Where to start with a move from outer London

Home Forums General Moving Chat – sponsored by Knight Frank Where to go? Where to start with a move from outer London

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    We (me, husband & 2 sons in primary school) currently live and work in a very bland south London suburb, I moved here from inner London 7 years ago and I’ve had it now!
    Job wise we’re in accountancy & IT so not worried about that side of things but not looking for a grinding commute back to London nor a long old drive locally for work every day.
    The big dilema is where – I love the coast, we all enjoy cycling, elder son is very sporty (football, cricket) so local childrens teams would be essential, good all round primary & secondary /gramnar schools, active, sustainable & “proper shops” High Street essential, good transport links to London, within an hour or so of an airport, not a City but a small town with some cultural activities and a diverse socio-economic community would all be lovely. Our property budget is around £300k. Does such a place exist? Where do I start?
    Thanks for reading and your help!


    Belinda Aspinall

    Message from a member…

    Yes, the place that fits that bill is Hastings and St Leonards. You can still buy a four bedroom house for £300,000. There are fast trains to London, the fastest being 1 hour 20 minutes. Primary schools are good, I understand, not so secondaries but my neighbour’s children go to a good secondary in Battle, just up the road. There are numerous good private schools as well. Sea, coastal walks, cycling path all the way to Eastbourne along the coast, and numerous Dowen From Londoners opening up their ideal small business/cafe/gallery; independent cinemas etc. etc. Downside – social problems in certain areas where people with mental health and addiction problems have been concentrated, so be careful where you buy. Many people have made the move and love it.



    Hastings and St Leonards both fit the bill, as would Folkestone or Ramsgate. The latter have some gorgeous architecture, and an arty, cosmopolitan vibe, as well as the benefits of being by the sea. Folkestone and Ramsgate have an quicker commute – less than hour at peak times compared to hour and a half for Hastings. Folkestone has its own grammar schools and Hastings is in catchment for some of the Tonbridge based grammars although this would mean a long commute for your child. Good luck!



    I would recommend Petersfield in Hampshire to you! Petersfield is a market town within the South Downs National Park and therefore we have an abundance of countryside around us within the National Park. Most notably the Queen Elizabeth Country Park, part of the South Downs Way. Ideal for your cycling requirement. The town has numerous sports clubs for both adults and children, including Rugby, Football & Cricket. The town has a leisure/sports centre as well as private health clubs. The town has a nice mix of local shops and national brands for shopping; Waitrose, Tesco, M&S food-hall & Lidl supermarkets, fashion brands include Crew, Jules & Fatface and there are numerous private boutiques. Excellent schools always attract potential buyers and Petersfield station is on the Portsmouth – London Waterloo line (South-West trains) Waterloo being approx 1hr & 6 minutes. The south coast is approx 20 minutes drive away and the larger cities of Winchester, Chichester, Portsmouth and Guildford are all within half an hour. £300,000 will get you a three bedroom terrace/semi. Take a look at the website: http://www.williamsofpetersfield.co.uk



    Not 100% clear if you want to still be close to London but if that is not a factor I would recommend where I was brought up. It is a great place for families particularly those who enjoy and outdoors lifestyle. Poole in Dorset. It is not however within 1 hour of Gatwick or Heathrow but does have both Bournemouth and Southampton airport. 2hours on train to waterloo.

    The beach is blue flag award winning, you have the beautiful purbecks, recreational places to go as a family such as Poole Park and Baiter. Schools are good as there are still Grammar schools. There is an arts centre, leisure centre and high street. There are a few smaller shopping areas which I like as it feels a bit like London e.g. Canford Cliffs, Lower Parkstone with independent cafes, hairdressers, restaurants shops etc.

    Property is pricey as it is such a popular place and is booming with new property being built at the more expensive end i.e over £1m but you could get a house for that money – just be careful where it is.

    It’s not a large town but it is definitely a town that links into Bournemouth and for that reason could be too large for you?



    Hi Laura

    I think the place to go is Leigh-on-Sea. It is a lovely vibrant town with it’s own high street, close to the sea where the Old Town has cobbled streets and some decent pubs. Very good local schools and only a 45 minute train journey into Central London with Southend Airport only 10 minutes drive away and Stansted and Gatwick can both be reached in under and hour. £300k is on the low side for a budget but areas close by to Leigh, a bit further from the train station would definitely be affordable, and it is all affordable compared to London. It is a great community and the Leigh lights switch on is one of the best which might be worth a visit on Friday evening.

    Charisma Property Finders

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