Alton – help me out!

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    Last year we moved out of London (eeek!) to the beautiful Godalming. We decided to rent for a year to try out the area before we committed to buying. Now we’re in a position to buy, we’ve started looking at the market and we’ve found our dream home in Alton. The trouble is, we know very little about the area! From a quick look around, I have to admit it did look a bit run down and it didn’t strike me as somewhere that had a lot going on. We’re now in a position where we need to decide whether we compromise on property or location so I was just wondering if anyone has any experience or knowledge of Alton – what’s it like to live there, schools, things to do etc. Is it a nice and more importantly a safe place to bring up a baby? Any help would be greatly appreciated!



    Hi. I live on the coast of Hampshire, so not that close to Alton. I do know the Council are in the process of trying to build a new leisure facility in the town which may help to regenerate it if it looks run down. There is the steam train which will bring tourists in the summer.
    Sorry I cant be more helpful.



    Alton is a town of contrasts! Great potential but has always some how managed to fail to live up to expectations. Jane Austen country though! The railway is the beginning of the line which is an advantage, there is every likelihood of getting a seat even though it is the slow line. The arrival of Waitrose was heralded as a coup, but the truth is the town is still shabby and there is a community apathy when you walk up and down the High Street. This is why it is cheaper than the surrounding villages. The countryside around is lovely though and look at the schools, they are doing well and the 6th form college was very highly rated in the past. I think the problem is that it hasn’t founds its mojo and the council have never really grasped the economic well being and redevelopment. Its big employers in the past were the brewery (now closed) railway and army with a farming community on the edge. I have ex in laws who live in the area and they bought as it was where they can afford which is not the same as it is where everyone WANTS.



    Personally I think Petersfield is better than Alton.



    I live not too far from Alton but nearer Petersfield which is lovely. I have a friend in Alton I can put you in contact with if it helps you. I do agree with Adrian and can also say that Alton catholic school is good. Best of luck



    Hello Candy – Alton is a lovely small market town with a really attractive town centre. The residential sectors surrounding the town provide a wide range of properties and it is an up and coming area. You mentioned that you saw aspects of the area which looked a bit run down, but you would find this in most towns so it depends on where you were driving around. Your decision will no doubt be influenced by you budget. Central Alton will provide a good choice of lower to mid market homes (say £300k to £750k.) and if you are spending more (say £1.0m. to £1.5m.) then you will find some excellent homes just a few miles out of the town centre. If you want to look at an alternative the charming villages of Odiham and Hartley Wintney should be considered and this is a link to an agent who is strong in those areas



    Candy Alton provides better value for value than some of the other, perhaps more attractive towns surrounding the area. It is a friendly place to live and I do think that the council will one day wake up and smell the coffee about improving it overall. But when I couldn’t say.

    Schools are good and there are some very respectable areas to live in there.I am sure its a safe as any of the other prettier towns in the area. The point someone made about the train is valid. You will get a seat!

    You said in your initial request for help;

    “We’re now in a position where we need to decide whether we compromise on property or location”

    My advice would be to be very careful compromising on location. Moving is stressful and expensive so try and get it right first time. As they say in the carpentry world Measure twice cut since!!

    You can always alter a property but there isn’t ever much opportunity to alter an area you decide isn’t where you want to live.

    If you have not yet done a detailed investigation into mortgages, it might be worth doing so as it could lead you to being able to spend a little more and buy a better location.

    Good luck.




    My family and I moved five years ago to a country village which is five miles from Alton and this is my local town. Adrian’s post sums up Alton well. We love the surronding villages and countryside but find Alton dreary. There are however some green shoots with major housing developments starting and we are hoping that the council finally helps the town get back on its feet as this was not so long ago a very prosperous country town and was more popular than Petersfield or Arlesford. But ultimately your move will be about schooling for your children and maybe have look first at the options available in Alton? I have friends who have children at the Alton Convent nursery and school and very happy there. We also have neighbours whose children are at Amery Hill secondary school also very happy with it. Bohunt in Liphook is the go to state secondary school. Good local independent schools include Churchers in Liphook and Petersfield and Highfield and Brookham in Liphook. Winchester is thirty minutes away and there is a good girl’s school St Swithuns. If you love the countryside there are some great villages locally to Alton that might be worth looking at.

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