Moving to the Henley/Pangbourne area – advice neeed!

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    Hi my family and I are moving to the Henley area this summer. We have a son starting at Moulsford Prep and a daughter starting at Rupert House in Henley in September. I really would like some advice as to where to live. I am a Londoner born and bred but I have learnt to love aspects of the countryside having spent the past few years in west Oxfordshire.

    In a nutshell I would like to be somewhere with a bit of life ( a pub or two and some shops would be a bonus) where I feel connected and not isolated and where there are other young families. We can’t afford the space we want in Henley itself so have been looking at the surrounding villages. I love the idea of Pangbourne as it feels buzzy and you can walk to the shops etc and crucially there is a station which is particularly great as my husband commutes to London each day. And I like the proximity to Reading where there is extensive shopping/facilities. But I’m worried about the school run from there into Henley with my daughter- is anyone able to tell me if this would be doable or a total nightmare in terms of distance/traffic? Would we be better to look somewhere between Moulsford and Henley? Can anyone recommend any nice villages?

    Many thanks



    Hi there! I have a son at Moulsford so can hopefully offer some help!
    Whilst I agree that Pangbourne is lovely, I think that you will find the Henley run a nightmare – sorry!
    If you want a town, Watlington could be a good one as it is reasonable for both schools and is easy to get to the M40 from (although you get a lot of traffic there for that reason). Goring or Streatley are similar to Pangbourne but just slightly closer in, so could be options.
    Many of our friends are around Peppard or Nettlebed which are great for both schools but less handy for a station. Benson could be another good one as there are loads of families there and it is easy to get to Henley. You will definitely find people in all of these towns and villages willing to lift share too!
    We actually live in Cholsey which has a station and is very close to Moulsford but less handy for Rupert House, so may not be quite right. My daughter actually goes to school in Abingdon so I know what it is like having children at two different schools!
    Good luck! To be honest, around here you can’t go too wrong and I personally love the area a lot.



    Happy New Year! I moved to Henley 18 years ago from London and it was the best choice I have ever made, so I hope you find somewhere.
    My recommendations for villages are based on friends living in them, or from my time spent travelling in the area. Villages/small towns that are often referred to as friendly are Shiplake, Peppard and Nettlebed particularly. Nettlebed is said to be very lively and will be great to get to Moulsford and Henley for the school and station. Sonning Common has a greatly improved reputation and is a thriving village with very good shops and transport links, with easy access to reading for the direct London trains. I have been told that Wallingford is lively and welcoming, but I’m not sure about the access to links to London.
    Sorry for the ramble, and I hope to have been of some help. If you are able to find anywhere in Henley, it really is the best place in the world 🙂
    Good luck!



    Hi Emer,
    I moved to the area a year and a half ago and like you am very much a Londoner having lived there since I graduated…however the country isn’t all bad!! I have a son at Moulsford and a daughter at OPS and another in Abingdon so we decided to rent and found a house near the OPS (therefore at least I am on the door of one school and can drive 12 mins to Moulsford and the Abingdon buses go from everywhere). From renting I realise I need a few more pavements around me and would love to buy in Whitchurch or Goring. Goring has 6 places to have a drink, :o) in the summer one of the pubs The Catherine Wheel has a pizza man in the garden which is great for kids, the Swan at Streatley is reopening and the plans for the bar area look fab. There is a good tennis club with kids lessons on Saturdays, and a great little sailing club which my kids love and sail in the fairer weather every Sunday. Streatley/Goring to Moulsford is 5 mins and a little traffic on the high street but nothing serious.

    If you were in Whitchurch/Pangbourne it would take you 15 mins to Moulsford then 20 mins on to RH. The traffic is rarely bad around here, sometimes there is a traffic jam but I think I am back in SW London!!! Pangbourne has a pub on the river too and it’s lovely and a few others, the shops keep you going, there is a pizza place and great butcher and cheese shop and in Whitchurch there are two pubs. I have a friend or two who live there for the train purposes and for the pavements.

    However with RH in the mix if you daughter is going to be there for a while you might be better off in Henley. It’s a great place, Hotel du Vin is lovely for a cocktail, there are lots of lovely pubs and restaurants and a big group of Moulsford/RH parents who put their sons on the bus to school, so that is also an option. During the Regatta and Festival Henley comes alive. There are lots of lovely cafes and a nice path along the river should you like running. Obviously it has all the usual clubs to join.

    As mentioned above Nettlebed is lovely (but you are in the middle of two schools so doubling up your journey), Shiplake is great, very pretty and path to Henley, I love the Peppards etc my main aim is to find a place that my kids can get off the Abingdon bus and walk home in the lighter months and a cute pub my husband and I can walk to should we ever want to leave our hopefully lovely house!!
    Best of luck



    Sorry to jump on the thread but we are moving to the area between Henley and Moulsford at Easter (fingers crossed!). Can anyone offer schools advice? I have a reception age son and also 3 year old daughter. I am hoping to find somewhere she can go to nursery and he can go school. Are there any particularly lovely village schools or are the private ones the way to go? Does anyone know anything about Rupert House vs Cranford House? Thank you!

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