Thurston to London-do'able?

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    I’ve been looking to relocate out of London for quite some time and have a viewing in Thurston, which I understand is outside Bury St. Edmonds. Does anyone know what kind of village it is, i.e., nice? safe? and whether it is commutable to London 3 days/week. It seems that a train ride into Liverpool St. is 2 hours. I *had* been looking at Cambridge (Shelford) but haven’t found a suitable property (I need downstairs shower for my mother who has limited mobility). At the moment I’m just wondering how Thurston might compare to Cambridge villages (I had been hooked on Cambridge but think I need to expand my search). I don’t need to be near school as I don’t have children. Many thanks for any advice you can offer.



    I know the area well. I travel past the top of Thurston Road on the A143 Bury to Gt Yarmouth regularly and have relatives in Great Barton the neighbouring village where I spent many summer holidays on their farm! Thurston is quite a large and pleasant village and Bury St Edmunds 4 miles west is a lovely town ; a Britain in Bloom winner, a wonderful Abbey and adjoining gardens and a well preserved town centre with great character. After Norwich I would probably choose Bury as the “best” town to live in in East Anglia. Cambridge is also of course a fantastic city to live nearby. It’s hard to compare Thurston to Shelford as it’s a bit apples and pears. As you know they are quite a distance apart and in house price terms also. My gut reaction would be that if you are looking at the two then perhaps it might be best to take a step back and look at all other possibilities vis a vis your priorities and budget. Taking Thurston in isolation I would say yes it’s a nice place to live as long as the 2 hour commute is acceptable. Personally for 3 days a week I wouldn’t live in Thurston both the distance and unpredictability of so much track inbetween would put me off. I think that there are other towns and villages that might be just as nice or better plus an easier commute and if mid/south Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are both in scope there is so much to go at.
    Would you like to have a chat over the phone? Feel free to call me on 07787 853475
    Best wishes


    Hi Robert-thanks very much for such a thoughtful and detailed reply. You’ve given me lots of consider. I have 2 viewings tomorrow; one in Cambridge and one in Thurston, and yes, a phone call at some stage may be really helpful (thank you)-but for the moment, I’m wondering if you have the names of any particular towns/villages mid/South Suffolk that I might be able to look at on Rightmove. I don’t even know any names-that’s how unfamiliar I am with the area.

    Addendum: I just Google’d and got:

    Long Melford.
    East Bergholt.

    Are there any you recognise here?:)

    Best wishes,


    Hi there , yes I recognise them all so let’s start with them;

    They are all very nice to lovely and many were ones I was going to mention so very insightful of you! Many feature on Calendars ; Cavendish with its pink cottages, Kersey water splash, Lavenham and Long Melford wool villages dripping with timber framed buildings and Harry Potter film sets, East Bergholt in Constable country a stones throw from Flatford Mill and Willy Lotts cottage and Thorpeness a fairy tale village by the sea with its House in the Clouds (photo on my website) and full of timber framed cottages and a large boating mere I had great fun on as a child!

    All of these villages would be lovely and the deciding factor is I guess the commute as none of them have a station and of course prices. Just going on the commute criteria my list too to bottom would probably go
    Long Melford, Cavendish, Lavenham and Kersey in that order which are all serviced by Sudbury station then East Bergholt which is serviced by Manningtree, Coddenham serviced by Needham Market, Shotisham (Woodbridge station) and finally Thorpeness (Saxmundham). One thing about Thorpeness whilst it could be difficult to have much choice of property it is the one seaside village and if I could suffer the commute it would tick the box that says live by the sea but that’s just me. It also neighbours Aldeburgh a super seaside town and just down the road from Snape Maltings and it’s concert hall and Benjamin Britten legacy: if all of this is your dream then Thorpeness would go to the top!

    Turning to my other thoughts. I’ve got two lists, the first is just places with stations and the second lovely villages and towns nearby.

    The train station towns and villages are in order of nearest to London some of which are just in Essex:
    Manningtree, Mistley, Chappel & Wakes Colne (the village is Wakes Colne) Bures, Sudbury and finally Woodbridge.

    A couple of others to look at which are nice are Newmarket still in Suffolk and Ely in Cambridge (a beautiful Fenland little city with a fantastic Gothic cathedral on train line to Cambridge)

    Some villages and towns nearby the above which are not on your list:
    Hadleigh serviced by Ipswich
    Castle Hedingham and Belchamp Walter serviced by Sudbury
    And I would say most towns and villages in either Constable country of Dedham Vale or the Colne valley as called are worth looking at

    All in all if I was to focus on an acceptable commute and to do that I would go for a town/village with a station plus reasaonable house prices and a small town/village I think my shortlist in priority order would be:

    Woodbridge (at a push commute wise)
    Ely (albeit larger place but a very manageable size)
    Manningtree ( again a larger place)

    I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you here …and I haven’t really talked about Cambridgeshire!

    Kind regards



    Thanks very much Robert-slightly overwhelmed:) but much appreciated! I’m at an all-day workshop today but will reply more fully tomorrow.

    Best wishes…


    Hi Robert-apologies for the delayed reply! So here is my verdict-I drove up to Thurston on Thursday (I drive, as opposed to taking the train) and decided it’s a tad too far from London, mainly due to the A14 (though I was driving in the daylight-I couldn’t help but notice that large stretches of this road didn’t have any streetlights-it reminds me of the A12 in places-I really don’t like driving on fast roads that aren’t properly lit. So, I’m actually looking in Cambridge again-a location that is very accessible to the M11-a road I have grown accustomed to:).

    I’ll keep you posted if and when I find something suitable-I’m looking to rent to start with, just to see how I like the area, with a view to purchasing in a year or two.

    Thanks again for all of your input-it really has been invaluable!

    Best wishes…



    Hi! Just to add here as I grew up near Bury/Sudbury – if driving, rather than getting train, I do think this gorgeous part of Suffolk might be too far for your regular commute. Perhaps try the lovely villages/market towns nearer the M11 especially in the Saffron Walden area. Good luck!

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