Villages near Banbury/Bicester/Thame

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  emily 9 years, 8 months ago.

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    We have decided to move out of London-mainly for more spare for the kids (2 and 8 months). We have decided that ,y husband will commute From any of the above stations and was wondering if anyone has any advice /pearls of wisdom re villages vaguely near these stations? All advice really welcome!!



    Hi firstly this is a great area with a great train line – my husband spent two years commuting from Thame, for the last year he has commuted from Banbury.
    Be aware of the HS2 as it is cutting across the whole area so there are places to avoid, check out the route on the HS2 website.
    We moved out of london and rented for two years whilst looking for a house. Its a huge area so maybe best to give the kids to someone for a couple of days and drive around. We stayed in a really nice pub the Mole and Chicken near Thame and then once we were settled i started looking further afield. (It takes about an hour to drive from Thame to Banbury particularly if your going cross country). Try to look at a couple of houses that you like the look of in each area and take it from there. There are so many factors to think about schools, commuting time, countryside, village location, edge of village location etc….

    Over the two years I looked at 55 houses in the four counties of Bucks, Oxon, Northamptonshie and Warwickshire with my two small boys in tow. For what its worth I found the area around Thame more expensive (closer to London and more commuters). The land around Bicester I thought too flat and I love the area around Banbury much more rural and remote. South Northamptonshire is a hidden gem really pretty, Banbury to Chipping Norton very pretty Oxfordshire so more expensive and there is Warwickshire also very pretty, slightly north of banbury. Some people also commute form Milton Keynes (30 min drive and 30 min train journey)as its a fast train into Euston.
    I also bought the local papers each week as you get to know about local issues/events/news and the Banbury guardian in particular has a great property section. The estate agents are really helpful all the usual suspects but you need to keep in touch wiht them as they all have alot of people on their books. Go and see them in their offices first.

    I have looked at so many villages to list them all would take ages but have a look on rightmove and if you want any more help do let me know. You could also consider using a search agent if would take away alot of the stress!

    Good luck and enjoy your house hunting!


    Emily, We can help at Stacks! Have a look at our website

    I look after the North Oxfordshire & Warwickshire part of your search area ( while my colleague Rachel ( looks after the Northamptonshire part.

    This is what we do day in day out – finding houses for our clients. Our service includes introducing and recommending schools, lawyers, builders etc – everything you may need when moving to a new area – We don’t, however, unpack your boxes!

    Do get in touch – I am sure we can help


    Hi Emily,

    Glad you have decided to make the move out of London, I am sure you won’t regret it!

    Can I ask why you have decided on a commute from those 3 particular stations? Is there any reason why you have ruled out Princes Risborough for example? Princes Risborough is of course one stop closer to London than Haddenham & Thame Parkway (so reduced journey times), but also surrounded by lovely countryside (in my opinion more attractive than that further north).

    Princes Risborough, unlike Thame, is within Buckinghamshire, so this would make you eligible for grammar schools in due course (I realise this is a little way off yet)!

    Princes Risborough and surrounds is generally quite affordable, unlike some locations in Bucks. Unfortunately Chiltern Railways changed their timetable mid-December (adding a fraction on to journey times), however a typical commuter journey into London Marylebone from Risborough is 40 minutes in the morning and 36 minutes in the evening. If commuting from somewhere like Banbury, you would be looking at well in excess of an hour in the morning spent on the train, and nearly 55 minutes in the evening (not accounting for time in getting to the station of course). People we have previously assisted with moving out of London have preferred to focus further south to reduce commuting time, especially those with young children.

    And finally, would you be planning on buying or renting first? In Autumn of last year we moved a couple out of Notting Hill (coincidentally also with a 2 year-old) and they are now settled in a rented farmhouse – much easier to try the location first, and they have a break clause at 1 year should they miss the hustle and bustle of city life!

    Hope this helps!

    Kind Regards,




    Thank you everyone. We are pretty flexible on area really so will have a look. I need t find the right schools too!



    Dear Emily,

    I’m sure you’ve read the other thread on schools in this area, but this link might also help with your area choice – obviously I am biased in favour of Northants, but this sets out why !!

    Good luck with your move !



    I moved to Thame 18 years ago because it’s easy to get to London, it has a very good comp and a Waitrose. Anywhere near the Chiltern Line means an easy commute into the Smoke. The lure of Bucks grammar schools is quite enticing but what if the little darlings don’t get in? Worth checking out Lord Williams’s School in Thame. It’s a great school with a good reputation and excellent results



    One small tip. Do consider living in the town or village where the children are educated. I find as my three take on more and more after school activities I can notch up countless journeys per day back and forth from their school and inevitable clubs linked to it. Thoughts for you are deddington or bloxham both of which have good primary schools.


    Agree with Catherine – Lord Williams School in Thame has a very good reputation – rated ‘Outstanding’ in an Ofsted report completed October 2011.

    In fact our neighbour’s daughter opted not to take the 11+ exam last academic year in order to maximise her chances of getting a place at Lord Williams (we are on the Buckinghamshire/Oxfordshire border).



    I lived in Banbury for ten years and the countryside around is stunning – either west towards the Cotswolds or east towards Northamptonshire. Villages with good primary schools include Shenington, Bloxham, Deddington and Charlton. Strutt & Parker in Banbury have very good office – v helpful staff have extensive knowledge of villages. Great schools in Oxford – my daughter got school bus to secondary in Oxford. Takes almost an hour but she made loads of friends on the bus.



    Dear Emily,

    Do ring Celia Enderby, Strutt and Parker banbury office. she is extremely good and everyone uses them in the villages round Banbury. there are extremely good schools in the area. Prices are a bit less if you look in those villages just in to northamptonshire from north oxfordshire. North oxon villages – cropredy, Claydon, northamptonshir west farndon, Aston le walls lovely villages – there are so many. Good luck. people very friendly. excellent private schools as well as primary and sedondary. Clare



    Thank you everyone x

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