Where to move?!!

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  kirsty 5 years, 9 months ago.

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    Hello we currently live in and love Wandsworth Common but need to think about moving both from a space (esp outdoor) and schools perspective. But we are absolutely stuck as to where as my husband’s commute is an issue. He starts work between 630-7am in the City. It rules out so many locations as he’d need to be on a circa 5am train from so many typical commuter towns. We want to at least maintain some mid week quality of life for him so a train closer to 6am is preferable! We are really keen to hear about any recommendations for nice small towns and villages that offer an ok city commute, have a nice buzz to them, restaurants, cafes etc; and good primary and secondary school options. We’ve got a decent budget for house as would sell our 4 bed London terrace although know that money doesn’t go as far as you think moving out of SW London as commuter belts are so popular! Thanks for any tips. We plan to spend this year visiting various places to hopefully settle on an area.


    Belinda Aspinall

    Hi, really hope we can get you some helpful answers from our members. I don’t think you’re the only one who has needed to find a solution with similar working hours.

    A few places you might want to consider initially

    Sevenoaks – just 24 minutes into London Bridge, and Tonbridge is only 33 minutes
    (for more info on Kent this might be handy http://www.lifeafterlondon.com/kent-why-move-to-kent/

    Hurst Green is only 32 to London Bridge – many areas of Surrey take less than an hour into London http://www.lifeafterlondon.com/surrey-why-move-to-surrey/

    If you lived somewhere around Maidenhead you’d benefit from the Cross Rail station which will mean Maidenhead to Liverpool Street around Liverpool Street 48 minutes (as opposed to 1hr 11 now)

    Beaconsfield is just 22 minutes to Marylebone and Bishops Stortford is 38 to Liverpool Street.

    The map on Hertfordshire about commuting might be handy too http://www.lifeafterlondon.com/why-move-to-hertfordshire/

    You’ll want to know lots more about each of these areas but might give you a good starting point to consider.



    @Lifeafterlondon Thank you for the question ? Have you looked at Chipstead or Westerham? I am sure you will find what you are looking for ?



    Hi Kirsty, I’m going to give you a biased view here as I live and work in Kent as a homefinder (and I used to work in the city so know the commute). I also look at East Sussex but that is going to be too far out for your husband’s commute. My husband has spent many years commuting in from Tunbridge Wells but he is very patient and likes listening to music/reading for the near hour-long journey so even though he gets in for just after 7am it didn’t matter if he was a few minutes late. Your husband sounds as if just after 7am is too late and that does limit your trains from beyond Tonbridge on that train line. You don’t mention a budget as such or if you have any children although you mention schools so I’m not sure where you are in terms of immediate needs. I would look very seriously at Sevenoaks or villages nearby but you might be shocked by house prices even coming from Wandsworth! A village near Tonbridge would be ok but start your search further up the line for the commute times, in the end starting that early is very tiring so I’d go for Sevenoaks which is seriously quick into the City… unless you mean Canary Wharf and then it’s a different story. The trains go into London Bridge and Cannon Street so it’s quite flexible without having to take a tube etc. I can’t say this is the most imaginative idea for you but it is an absolutely lovely place to live near with Knole Park, good schools accessible via road or train (the grammars) as well as so much to do at weekends, with London only half an hour away. Doesn’t get much better than that.
    If you would like me to show you around do have a look on my website Kenthomefinders.com and I would love to show you the area and give you a really good idea of what it might be like to live in or around Sevenoaks. Many thanks, Louise



    Thank you so much for your replies. Going to spend some time looking at all this over the weekend!



    Hi Kirsty,

    Your request is quite common the desire to move out and the need to be back into the city with the early train. I would use a three step approach.
    1, I would start with train times, i.e what would you be prepared to spend time commuting. For example below are rough times for Buckinghamshire.

    Beaconsfield Marylebone 22 -29
    Gerrards Cross Marylebone 20 -26
    High Wycombe Marylebone 30
    Princess Risborough Marylebone 38
    Sauderton Marylebone 44
    Aylesbury Marylebone 60
    Wendover Marylebone 52
    Great Missenden Marylebone 46
    Haddenham & Thame Parkway Marylebone 46
    Amersham Marylebone 39
    Marlow Paddington 1 hr 10min

    2, Once you have considered your commute then type in any of the property search engines what your purchase budget will get you within the areas you’d consider.
    3, Then look up school league tables and crime statistics and finally connect up with net mums or such like to gain a locals perspective.

    I hope this helps. Sharon



    Just a further thank you for such great info! This is a great site and really appreciate time taken to respond. Will be looking at based on train times! I swing towards Bucks as grew up there but house prices are going to be interesting esp as you get nearer stations. I’m also surprised how much Sevenoaks house prices have gone up!



    I was wondering whether the location of Theydon Bois might be of interest to you. It still retains a village feel, although it is on the Central Line and therefore provides excellent access to London, especially the City area. House prices are, of course, never cheap but even if you couldn’t afford a huge garden, you would have a wonderful village green, pond and playground all easily to hand. Add to that Epping Forest on your doorstep (and of course, easy access to London anytime you should get withdrawal symptoms) I think I could well be worth looking into as a possibility.

    With regard to schools, my advice is to not get too worried about Ofsted Reports and instead visit ones in your potential living area. That way, you get a much better feel for what is right for your child, rather than just results tables.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.



    We moved from Marylebone to Epping last summer and can recommend living out this way. You have a fast, easy commute to London on the central line (41 mins to Liverpool St / 45 mins to Oxford Street), good options on schools both state and private, very active and friendly community and of course, 6000 acres of Forest and the glorious Essex countryside on your doorstep.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 10 months ago by  Kerry. Reason: adding in commute time


    Hi Kirsty,
    I have just moved out from wonderful Wandsworth Common to an area near Henley. I miss Wandsworth hugely but the area is very very pretty around the Chilterns, property is expensive but schools are fantastic. Henley has a good buzz and lots of schools, if you live towards Marlow (pretty town just like Northcote Road) the schools are really good too. Marlow has Sir William Borlase Grammar which is excellent, High Wycombe have lots of Grammers for both boys and girls and lots of good state and independent schools. When we first looked outside London my main concern was having good places to eat and good schools for the kids and I must say the food is marvellous!!! Anyway just thought it was worth a look but not sure about commute from Henley to the City. Reading is another option, South Oxfordshire is lovely and Reading and its surrounds have great schools and again 2 good Grammers if that suits you. Nr Reading are beautiful places such as Whitchurch Hill, Pangbourne, Goring on Thames, Sonning etc.
    Anyway I have always loved London and am now minutes away from the Thames and an hr drive back to the big smoke so that keeps me happy and we have quinoa! Best of luck!



    Thank you for all the latest replies. Very helpful indeed. we have a lot to think about and places to check out!

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