Ideas for relocating to

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    Hi, we are hoping to relocate at some point in the next three to four years, possibly when our son reaches the end of Year 6 and would need to change schools anyway. We currently live in the north Surrey area and obviously it’s horrendously expensive, also all our friends have drifted away over the years (not that we had many) and my partner’s family who live nearby hardly ever see us. Also we’re self employed and work from home so jobs are not an issue. Basically our criteria are:

    Pleasant / low-crime place (obviously!)
    Decent transport links (don’t have to be amazing but a train station is essential as we don’t have our own transport)
    Easily accessible countryside nearby- we like walking / nature rambles- provided the routes aren’t too popular with other people
    Good facilities / shops – a thriving high street would be nice (if such things still exist!)
    Good Internet speed and reliability (essential for our work)
    Prefer old towns to dreary suburban sprawls
    Small(ish) places fine, but not the sort of area where everyone wants to know everyone else’s business! We want the sort of place where we can exist peacefully without being bothered by anyone, ideally.
    Good secondary school
    It would also need to be an area where our accents aren’t going to stand out much and mark us particularly as “outsiders” – so up north would probably not work for us, for example.

    We would be looking to get a 3-bedroom property, detached would be nice, or semi. Budget would be around 420K max. Garden essential as we want to try to be as self-sufficient as possible and rely as little as we can on the powers that be.

    We had thought of possibly moving to a city (Bournemouth and Exeter were considered) but with crime levels obviously being higher, and we don’t need a *huge* amount of facilities (just generally enough) we crossed those off. Also we reckon that as global warming gets worse and worse over the coming years, the chances of societal breakdown become higher, so cities will probably bear the brunt of that. So somewhere where there aren’t too many people would be best for that reason too.

    We also considered seaside places (we particularly liked Dartmouth and St Ives) but the problem of tourists and the inevitable trouble, plus transport not being great, put us off.

    Towns we’re still considering:

    East Grinstead
    Great Malvern

    Opinions on the above would be gratefully received, along with any towns people might suggest. Thanks!

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