March 22, 2013 at 10:13 am #4475
We are begrudgingly looking to move from Wandsworth as we love living here, but need a bigger place with a garden and a more outdoors lifestyle. I am keen not to give up on the convenience of city loving but want space and great primary and secondary schools/grammar schools for the children. My other half needs to get into the city of London for work. So we have identified Epping and Amersham as potential places, does anyone have any experience of both for a fair comparison? Or anyone have any pros and cons for either. Any help would be gratefully received! Thank youMarch 22, 2013 at 11:10 am #4477
Hi Dawn – I currently live in Chesham, on the border of Amersham and have been working in Amersham for a few years now. We moved out of Chiswick back in 1994 and chose this area as my hubby was then working in Harrow – although he has moved many times since, but we have become very attached to this area. Amersham will give you the choice of both the Chiltern line and the Met line and is on the edge of some beautiful countryside as well as still having that connection to London. Regarding schools, you will probably already know that there are some very good schoos in Bucks, Grammar and private/independent schools. Just a warning though, everyone loves the idea of sending their kids to the grammar schools but reality can be a bit different if your kids don’t make it and have to go to one of the secondary schools – I know because both my children wouldn’t do any tutoring and my daughter even said that she didn’t want the pressure of the grammar schools – but having said that they have both done really well in their own way. my son is just about to finish Portsmouth uni having studied Computer gaming for the last 6 years both there and at the local Amersham & Wycombe college. my daughter is in year 2 at Hertfordshire Uni doing history and Chinese and is absolutely loving it. Both of them have really good friends locally as well so I don’t see us moving from this area for a long time yet, if ever.
Also, don’t dismiss Chesham completely – a lot of people in the area look down on it, and it does have some areas you wouldn’t want to buy/live in but I can assure you that it also has some lovely areas – the high street has everything you need as well as the choice of a big Sainsburys or Waitrose. If your budget is restricted you will get more for your money in Chesham, but if it isn’t then Chesham Bois is the place to go.
I have worked in Estate Agency in the past, in the area – and am just about to go back into it with another agent – so if you need any advice on buying property in the area I am happy to help with some advice.
Also, if your children are very young the local NCT is very active and a good way to make new friends in the area.
Good luckMarch 22, 2013 at 11:46 am #4480
Thank you so much for your reply, we would like to move in time for our son to start reception and our girl to go into yr 3 and start ks2 at the school. Moving schools seems to be a nightmare, esp in this area as the schools seem so popular that people don’t leave and I don’t want to be in the position of trying to get 2 children to different schools for 9am! Do you know if there are any junior schools without feeder schools in the area?
Thanks again for your help, it seems that you and your family have been really happy there which is brilliant to hear.March 22, 2013 at 12:13 pm #4481
When we came here Chartridge Combined School, Leyhill Combined School and Chesham Bois Church of England all had good reputations and are both primary and junior which negates the problem of trying to get 2 children to 2 different schools when they are young. I wouldn’t like to confirm how good their reputations are now but I’m sure if you contacted the NCT and explained that you are hoping to move to the area and ask if they could put you in contact with any members with children of a similar age you could get up to date advice from them.
My experience was that we used separate primary and junior schools and on reflection I wished I had gone for a combined school as it is stressful when you have to choose a junior school to move on to. I presume your question about ‘feeder’ schools refers to what I call a combined school? if not let me know! The junior school I chose was not the one the primary fed into, so it can be done – but I have noticed how quickly popular schools go in and out of fashion at all levels – and, of course, what suits one child may not be right for the other!
Just try and get as much information as you can – then visit the schools. A bit like buying houses, the more you visit the more you will get a ‘feel’ for the schools and what feels comfortable for you. Then you just have to hope for the best!!!!!
SallyMarch 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm #4482
I live at the bottom of Chesham Bois (part of Amersham on the Hill, more than Chesham in reality) and it’s a great spot – we can walk straight into the woods or the Chiltern Hills here… And it’s safe and friendly for kids with lots of families and London commuters, including my husband! Marylebone is about 35 minutes on the Chiltern line where there is access to the tube easily for onward travel around central London. My oldest child goes to Chesham Bois Church of England combined school and it’s a lovely school – highly recommended. There is a second primary in Chesham Bois which is also fantastic – Elangeni.
High street has a good range of shops and coffee shops (so a mummy scene), but is known for it’s charity shops – people travel from London just to go charity shopping there – presumably the affluent area influence???
I don’t really know about feeder schools yet so can’t help on that question – may be worth calling Mrs Brown, head of Chesham Bois school and having a chat? She’s friendly and helpful…
The only other comment I’d make about leaving south London and heading to the north side is the distance to visit friends you are leaving behind. Our time in London means we have some best friends in south London, around Greenwich and Streatham and it’s a real trek! Kew, however is only 35 minutes as the motorway links around Amersham are brilliant…
Good luck with your decision…xMarch 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm #4483
Thanks Sally and Wendy, this website is brilliant, and its fantastic that people are willing to reply to help other people! I think a visit is definitely on the cards for this weekend!March 22, 2013 at 3:39 pm #4491
Two different locations you have chosen to compare there! I can’t comment on Epping, but I know Amersham area well, due to living and working close by in Bucks.
One thing I would say about Amersham is that yes, it is a great town, with the transport links back to London etc. Old Amersham is particularly scenic, with it’s Olde World High Street and attractive architecture. And of course the new town provides a tube station on the Metropolitan line.
Do however be cautious about the HS2 route – although new plans show it to be potentially tunneled around the town to the south, this will of course still produce disturbance during construction especially. The line will also affect surrounding villages particularly, including Hyde Heath and Little Missenden.
If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Kind Regards,March 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm #4507
I know Amersham and surrounding area very well having lived and worked here for many years. Chloe’s comments about HS2 are true and it is a worrying time for many local residents.
At the moment the area is a great place to bring up a family, easy access to shops, good schools and plenty of pubs and restaurants, also good sports facilities. It is a wealthy area so buildings etc are well looked after, there are lots of local clubs and things for children to do as well as plenty of beautiful countryside to enjoy.
Sewing Seams Easy
https://www.facebook.com/SewingSeamsEasy?ref=hlJuly 25, 2015 at 9:29 pm #14583
Hi, just out of interest, where did you move to? We are moving from W2 to Epping next week and slightly nervous about the change.December 21, 2015 at 11:07 am #15571
I have just seen this post and and although it is quite old i felt compelled to write some of my thoughts about Chesham and those considering moving here. First a bit of background on my own situation. My wife and I were renting a 2 bed flat in Northwood, which is further in on the met line and very affluent, clean and middle class suburb. We no longer wanted to rent whilst watching the property prices shoot up at an astonishing rate so we looked at what we could afford and chose Chesham on that basis. I went to school many years ago in Amersham so it wasnt o unfamiliar.
I will start with my conclusion for those considering a move to Chesham and then explain why this is my conclusion: Do not move here. It is not a nice town:
The town centre is awful, just depressing and awful. When I am in my house, looking out onto the rolling chiltern hills, I feel some contentment, but when my wife and take the little one into town, I literally come back feeling miserable and depressed. Its so grim. Its made up of run down charity shops, the buildings are falling apart and its so clear that nothing has changed in years! Nothing! I have estate agents trying to tell me that Chesham is going to be the next big thing, but when I speak to people who have lived here for years, they say that essentially nothing has changed in this town and its still (rightly) considered as a very very very poor and downmarket version of Amersham
Run down parts
My advice to anyone that is considering moving here is to drive around this town. Dont kid yourself by the descriptions you read about it being a ‘lovely little town in the Chilterns’. Yes, its in the Chilterns but thats about it. Believe there are part of this town that are so ugly and run down, it will take a huge sum of money to every change it. Think about how much land there is in and around Chesham…..and no developer wants anything to do with this place. Think about that for a second: we are in a property boom right now. Prices are sky high and there is a glut in supply. Developers are so aggressively seeking land everywhere so they can build flats / houses. There are no developers in Chesham at all. Its hilly and therefore so limited in its potential. The bad parts of Chesham are very very very bad indeed and you cannot avoid them. You will frquently hear people say that ‘all towns have bad parts to them’…not like Chesham. It really is very sad.
Comparisons to Amersham
This is my biggest regret. I managed to save up quite a decent deposit £100k and I wish I had invested it in a smaller house in Amersham rather than a slightly larger house (4 bed, 2 bathroom semi detached) house in Chesham. My money would be far better protected and I would be living in an area that is so much brighter, cleaner and well maintained. Its very clear when you go into Amersham, that the people there take a great deal of pride in themselves and their town. This is not the case in Chesham, at all. Yes, you will get people who have lived in Chesham for many many years who sing its praises, but that would naturally be the case anyway. Consider very very carefully these comparisons between Chesham and Amersham. Its your hard earned money and once, like me, you have invested it in a house in Chesham, you will have to face waking up in the morning and looking around your own town centre and feel such an overwhelming sense of regret. Ive actually got to the point where I avoid the town centre altogether.
Calibre of People in Chesham
Often people mention the ‘ethnic diversity’ of Chesham. I say this as an Asian Muslim, do not buy into this at all. When we moved here, I went down to my new local mosque on Bellingdon road (awful area) and stepped inside the mosque and my heart just sank. These people cannot speak English, have no idea what country they are in and have essentially lived on the same road for a couple of generations and contributed absolutely nothing to the wider community (Muslim or non Muslim).
Value for money
Another mis nomer. Yes the property prices in Chesham are cheaper….much cheaper. But they are like that for a reason….because the place simply has such a bad reputation and I don’t see it changing anytime soon (or ever).Yes the property prices have gone up, but not because necessarily are queuing up to move her, but because the property prices in the South East are just generally moving up. The base price of houses here are so radically behind neighbouring towns that they will most likely never catch up. I bought a 4 bed/2 bath semi detached house for £420k and although in one year its gone up to approx £480k, the value of my house is light years behind the same size house in Amersham, Little Chalfont etc. My money has certainly maintained its value in comparison to sitting the bank when I was renting, but if you are selling a current property to move here, I would urge you to consider very very carefully whether you will be moving to an area that will ever put you in a competitve house price situation. If I could go back in time, I would choose a much smaller house in Amersham than living in Chesham.
You also have to ask yourself another important question: Why does a town that is flanked by some of the most desireable suburbs in the south east UK (Amersham, Little Chalfont, Beaconsfield, Berkhamstead) still have such an appalling reputation? A town simply could not be sandwiched between a more sought after set of suburbs than Chesham…and yet it is still radically underdeveloped both in its infrastructure and residents. I dont think any of this will change. There is so much potential in this town but I suspect that investors and developers have been too intimidated by the mammoth task at hand.
I don’t mean to offend anyone on this forum and would be really happy and interested to hear others’ views, but I do feel compelled to write the above as a husband that was hoping for so much for his young family, a father wanting the best for his baby boy and as the only earner in my family desperately wanting to have made the right financial choice. Its hard for me to face the truth that perhaps I have failed in all three of these aspects.
So my honest and heart felt advice to people who hope for all the things that I did and have their hard earned money saved up and ready to be invested in a family home: Dont make the same mistake I did. Dont move to CheshamJanuary 31, 2019 at 9:19 am #21119
What areas of Chesham would you say to avoid?
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