September 28, 2013 at 3:29 am #6078
We’re looking to move to a commuter town (to London) with a great community, schools, pubs etc, but not too big!
In my research I came across Twyford, Berkshire.
It seems very nice, and a little more affordable than some other areas.
Can anyone tell me a bit more about it, and how difficult it is to get children into good schools (girl aged 6).
And what is the commute like? Are the trains to London reliable, packed?
BeeOctober 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm #6093
I live in Twyford with two boys (5 and 9). We originally moved here because my husband worked in Oxford and I in London. I now work from home as a freelance journalist and he’s still in Oxford. It is a lovely little town/village (none of us can decide which it is). The centre isn’t chocolate boxy but it’s very useful and there’s a huge Waitrose slap bang in the middle. There’s great community spirit and plenty pubs within tottering distance to go and meet up. Very family oriented and there are two good schools. However, this is a big thing, the schools are VERY over subscribed. To have any chance of getting into either of them, look at the catchment very carefully and live no more than 0.5miles from either. Polehampton Infants & Juniors are linked and lives up to its excellent Ofsted rating. We have one boy at this school and the other at the other village school, Colleton. It has a good Ofsted rating but I’m not convinced by it. It has a very particular teaching style and to me seems chaotic. This school despite being in the village doesn’t foster ties with the community at all. Polehampton is brilliant at this and despite being CofE is not too dogmatic about it so non or other religions don’t feel excluded. Housing within the 0.5m of Polehampton is really varied, many of the houses are very nice though some are a little ‘samey’ cul de sac estate types from 1960s/70s. There are very pretty victorian terraces and detached houses. A 3 bed is typically 350,000.
It is possible to live no more than 5 mins walk from the station and still be at Polehampton School and the centre of the village. I can see the station from our top floor bedroom window but the train noise is not noticeable. Much noisier are the church bells at the bottom of my garden!
Trains do get packed but fortunately only from Maidenhead onwards. They are fast and clean and usually on time in the morning. If not, they’re every 5-10 minutes at morning rush hour so if yours is late, get the earlier late one if you see what I mean. Coming back the trains can get pretty packed. It’s always a good idea to hover around the platform at Paddington and leap on it as soon as it’s shown. Then you’ll get a seat. A kindle and some earphones are the best investment you’ll ever make. But Twyford station is very handy – 10 mins to Henley on Thames for some of the higher life or Reading if you want to revisit student days.
The people in Twyford are a real mix. There are some stonkingly expensive properties around it and some council properties. There seem to be a lot of people in the media, telecoms or digital creative around here. And we have our own microbrewery and beer festival. There’s a vibrant home-working network and between us, we all seem to be underpinning much of the UK’s national print, online and broadcast media! It’s amazing who you’ll find squirrelled away here. The excitement when you bump into Mr Tumble in Waitrose is palpable!
Come on in, the water’s lovely (particularly in our two open-air pools…)
MoragOctober 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm #6101
Morag has given a very comprehensive summary of Twyford. The only thing I would amend is that you should expect to pay a bit more than she suggests for a good, central Twyford home: £550k plus, in my view. And be prepared for competition as it’s not only the schools that are popular (or perhaps it’s because of the schools).
On commuting, CrossRail is due to operate from Maidenhead in 2018; which will speed up journey times to the City. So Twyford will give you good options for getting up to town.
The whole area is great: lots to do and see; good countryside around; great rail, motorway and air transport links; good schools; etc. My family settled on Maidenhead 19 years ago because we wanted somewhere a bit bigger, and we haven’t looked back. Twyford is great if that size suits you better and probably has more of a village feeling (my opinion in comparison with Maidenhead, which I would say is clearly more of a town).
Stacks Property Search & Acquisition
http://www.stacks-wooldridge.co.ukOctober 2, 2013 at 12:55 am #6106
Thank you Morag & Nick for your replies.
Morag – you’ve definitely struck a chord with us! My husband works in media/IT and I work in media/marketing – so sounds a good fit! lol…
Thanks for the detailed info – it’s so helpful. We’re currently out of the country, but trying to do as much groundwork as we can before moving back.
Will be in touch with you again, if that’s okay.
BeeOctober 2, 2013 at 4:59 pm #6111
Twyford has a Waitrose and a train station which is a bonus in any small town!
Twyford is part of Wokingham Borough Council, despite its MP being the Maidenhead one.
There is plenty to do and see around and is conveniently located for road, rail and river!April 17, 2014 at 1:56 pm #7447
Apologies for leaping on to this thread, but hoping someone could answer a couple of questions for me..
We’re hoping to move from surrey later this year and Twyford is one if the areas on the short list.. How quickly do houses in catchment for primary school seem to sell? And if anyone could give any advice re where to live for secondary schools as well, I’d really appreciate it.
Many thanksApril 17, 2014 at 2:41 pm #7448
The housing challenge in Twyford is that not many come to the market in what is a small town; so the good houses in catchment will sell quickly, possibly even before going live on the property portals for you to see. It normally takes an estate agent at least one week to get details agreed with their vendor and openly market a house. Depending upon their client’s instructions, a good, well-priced property could be under offer within a fortnight of being for sale – although it’s worth looking out for the fall-throughs, as roughly 1/3 of agreed sales stumble before exchange.
Advice on senior schools is more difficult to give as it depends on what you are looking for and the academic drive/potential of your child/children. There are grammar schools in Reading and South Bucks; and good comprehensive schools and private schools throughout the area; both single-sex and co-ed. Some offer bus services. So identifying the right secondary school for your needs requires a bit more consideration.
http://www.stacks-wooldridge.co.ukApril 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm #7476
Thanks Nick – much appreciated. I think we’re now looking at Newbury as the favourite but your advice was really helpful.June 16, 2014 at 10:03 am #11564
Guest of Life After LondonKeymaster
Hi there, reading all this information, Twyford sounds quite appealing, but a good internet connection and mobile network is very important to me, any idea if the service for both is good? I believe it is best to be closest to the exchange or something in order to get reliable and fast internet – any ideas where that might be and who is best? Also if there is good internet connection there and what service might be best?June 20, 2014 at 10:36 am #11677
I just moved out of Twyford after 10 very happy years there. I’d like to add that the pressure on primary school places has eased – the Colleton takes an extra 30 children and there is now a new primary school in neighbouring Charvil (which didn’t have one and used to feed Polehampton school in Twyford). It’s possible there will be pressure on secondary school places soon, Piggott has a good reputation so maybe look for a home on the Piggott side of Twyford.
My two children attended the Colleton primary – we were really happy with it, it is a bit different (no uniform and a free flow approach to learning) but go take a look around, the kids are so engaged and my two mad great progress there. Also, for preschoolers Little Acorns (on the same site as the Colleton but independently managed) is an outstanding preschool, great facilities and a great team there.
There are more toddler activities available in and around Twyford than you’ll ever be able to get to and for families, check out the nearby Dinton Pastures, 5 mins drive to a great country park with play area, cafe, water sports etc. There are so many young families around that there is often a waiting list to join popular after school activities – I’m aware of a wait for guides, scouts, swimming, ballet, gymnastics etc
We had fast Internet from Virgin media – no probs at all. I hope all this helps!
I forgot to add, some houses sell quickly, espec 2/3 beds at the mo. The agents say this is because there are many identical houses this size in Twyford so people know exactly what is being paid. I don’t think this is quite so true with homes at £500k plus, some def go quickly (I’ve known a few to sell before hitting the market) but others, still great homes, take a while to get to the right price point. Just call up the local estate agents and make yourself known, if you are proceed-able they’ll keep no touch! Not everything makes it on to Rightmove.June 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm #11700
Guest of Life After LondonKeymaster
A message via Twitter:
“We have Virgin media and it’s great. 50mb and they are upgrading in the area later this year.”
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