Local Talk


(64 Posts)
SuperGlumFairy Sun 19-Aug-12 13:40:32

I just wondered what Huntingdon itself was like to live in? We had been planning to move to Ely but have not been able to secure a house and now all the primary schools are full so have switched to looking at Huntingdon.

How is it to live there? How are the schools? Any areas of it I should avoid?

StrangerintheNight Sun 19-Aug-12 16:03:41

Sorry, don't know Huntingdon very well, despite living fairly close by, but friend of a friend lives in the Hartford area, she likes it there plus it looks nice when you drive through. Godmanchester would also be a good place to investigate. Both these areas close to the river and relatively scenic.

LauraSmurf Sun 19-Aug-12 16:13:37

Godmanchester is lovely, hartford is also lovely. Most of the schools in the area are great, just avoid cromwell park primary like the plague and you will be fine! (Massive managemnt issues and huge staff turnover.)

flowery Sun 19-Aug-12 16:21:31

Godmanchester is lovely [biased]grin

IMO most of the outlying villages are nicer than Huntingdon itself.

EauRouge Sun 19-Aug-12 16:22:37

Hartford and Godmanchester are nice. I've only driven through Oxmoor but it doesn't look great.

fluffywhitekittens Sun 19-Aug-12 16:26:49

Have you looked at villages around Ely? How old are your children?

LauraSmurf Sun 19-Aug-12 17:45:17

I have to say Papworth everard is lovely, as are Hilton and Fenstanton if you would consider villages nearby, all v good primary and secondary schools.

Papworth really worth a visit to see the family facilities

EauRouge Sun 19-Aug-12 18:08:45

Isn't the new A14 link going to go right past Papworth? Might be worth double-checking with the local council what the plans are.

LauraSmurf Sun 19-Aug-12 21:56:17

It will go between godmanchester and Papworth, but not next to either village, in fact closer to Godmanchester.

That is if the link EVER gets built! Been promised for the past 10 years!

EauRouge Mon 20-Aug-12 09:39:35

True, by the time it gets built we'll all be driving flying Deloreans and we won't have to worry about getting stuck for hours grin

SuperGlumFairy Mon 20-Aug-12 10:11:22

Thanks for the help, my kids are a nearly 14 year old daughter and boy/girl twins 8.5yrs.

St Peters has a place for my daughter and several of the primary schools can take the twins which is a great relief.

I don't drive so don't want to live outside of the middle of Huntingdon if I can avoid it, perhaps in a couple of years when I plan to be driving I could move further out but for now given I have anxiety I am best off if I can walk places or short bus rides.

EauRouge Mon 20-Aug-12 10:21:06

Anxiety is a bastard, hope you feel better soon. Buses in the town are pretty good, the further you go out the worse it is. I live 10 miles away and we get one bus an hour.

SuperGlumFairy Mon 20-Aug-12 10:50:13

Thanks EauRouge, anxiety really sucks and it's taking a lot of me at the moment trying to co-ordinate this move from Australia with my ex being as difficult as he can. He won't even look at places for me even though he is 25 minutes down the road from Huntingdon after walking out on us leaving me to pack the house, rehome the pets, finish off selling cars on top of dealing with kids who are in a right state over the way their father is acting.
I've still got to manage the plane ride yet too with 3 kids and I don't travel well but he bailed on travelling with us after he said he would.

EauRouge Mon 20-Aug-12 11:31:24

Crikey, that sounds like a lot of work for you sad Fingers crossed things start getting better for you once you get over here.

SuperGlumFairy Tue 21-Aug-12 09:08:06

Thanks EauRouge, absolutely packing it over flying over I have to say.

In terms of the Huntingdon Primary schools are any better than others? Hartford appears to be full at this stage but i can get the twins into most others.

How far a walk is it from the Tesco end of Huntingdon to the High Street? Trying to figure out where best place for a house is, though my preference seems to be Stukelely Meadows. Hard to get a house there though.

What is Thongsleys like? We were offered a house there, with our cat even...but it seemed a bit rough there so wasn't sure?!

LauraSmurf Tue 21-Aug-12 09:44:16

I would choose stukeleys over thongleys if possible. It's closer to st peters and the high street. The tesco is a bit further out of town, not much but still makes a difference.

The area of the Stukeleys is a nice area and friendly school with a nice big park.

SuperGlumFairy Tue 28-Aug-12 12:44:40

Out of interest..is the local high school for Godmanchester,St Peters in Huntingdon and if so is there a bus that goes from Godmanchester to the school?

flowery Tue 28-Aug-12 12:49:40

Godmanchester is in catchment for hinchingbrooke not st peters.

SuperGlumFairy Tue 28-Aug-12 13:00:17

Flowery Oh okay...hmm...last i checked Hinchingbrooke was full for my daughters year level..even though it was our preferred pick of the two schools. Thanks for letting me know.

SuperGlumFairy Thu 30-Aug-12 04:38:00

How is Hinchingbrooke to live in? is there anywhere in that area where if I need milk/bread or something last minute that I can pop to a shop there? I see Stukeley Meadows has a Tesco Express but is there anything in Hinchingbrooke? I love the idea of being so close to the Country Park but does it make it harder for my eldest to get to school 1.2 miles away at St Peters and is Cromwell Primary really that bad!?
If I worked in the Town Centre what's the best way to commute?

SuperGlumFairy Thu 30-Aug-12 08:36:09

Also going to throw St Ives into the mix now as I am getting supremely desperate to get a house now. How's the jobs, facilities and schooling there?

lakeofshiningwaters Fri 31-Aug-12 12:41:23

St Ives is lovely. I know quite a few people who live right in town and they like it a lot. There are nice shops, the river front is pretty and you'd be near the leisure centre which has lots to do for children. The Ivo school is supposed to be fine - not outstanding or anything - but I know several teenagers who've done really well there. Primaries are all fine - lots of people seem to rave about Eastfield but the others are all good. Not any that'd you worry about sending your children to.
I'd choose St Ives over Huntingdon everytime.

lakeofshiningwaters Fri 31-Aug-12 12:41:54

Oh and there's the Guided Bus which is good for getting to Cambridge.

EcoLady Fri 31-Aug-12 13:54:53

St Ives is great. Wheatfields Primary school is good.

SuperGlumFairy Sat 01-Sep-12 03:37:26

How is it retail workwise in St Ives? I am starting to prefer it as I am getting scared by a lot of the reports about Oxmoor and some of the areas of Huntingdon itself.

My ExH was posting happy snaps at St Ives last weekend and it certainly looked lovely but to be honest if he is thinking of moving there it would turn me right off. He's playing silly games and not telling me what areas he is looking at and I am wanting to avoid not being able to walk down the street somewhere and not bump into him and his new gf. He won't even look at houses for me and the kids for the sake of his own children. No help whatsoever.

I did contact the School Admissions though but it seems I can't get daughter into St Ivo..Swavesey is also full so not sure where that leaves us with secondary schooling? The primary schools that have availability for my twins are Thorndon, Wheatfields only has one place available and Westfield they would need to discuss with the school itself!?

Houses do seem more affordable in St Ives though, and it is pretty.
Are there any major supermarkets etc there though as I don't drive so need jobs, school, Dr, Dentist, Post Office, Vet etc all closeby.
Are there any areas there I should avoid?

Is there a train station there at all or would we have to go into Huntingdon or Cambridge for that?

Really appreciating all the help, this is so hard to do long distance but I haven't even been able to find something self catering to come to so we can at least leave here to look at places there sad

kickassangel Sat 01-Sep-12 03:46:28

St Ives immensely nicer than Huntington, less shops but much 'naicer' good library and good range of shops. Buses into Cambridge if you want the big city. Better schools than Huntington and less social problems.

North of st Audrey's lane is cheaper, but still possible to walk into town (also a good bus service) and has shops for groceries. Good recreational facilities there as well, and the town is beautiful.

I rate it better than godmanchester or loads of other places around there.

We lived 5 miles outside and I just longed to move into st Ives as it's so lovely, and has loads of family friendly places

EauRouge Sat 01-Sep-12 11:26:27

No, there's no railway in St Ives so you'd have to travel to Huntingdon or Cambridge. There are loads of facilities in St Ives though and it is a lovely town from what I know of it (not much!). There's a leisure centre, Waitrose, library, a few shops. This site has loads of info about what there is.

Not sure about jobs, there might be more in Huntingdon.

Sorry your ex is being such a dick about this sad Do you know anyone in the area at all? We should have a meet up when you're all settled in.

SuperGlumFairy Sat 01-Sep-12 13:58:48

I am very blessed to have a wonderful sister in law who is in Chesterton, she's being an absolute rock for me at the moment. My parents in law are also being very supportive, they are really good people so I don't expect trouble with them, I have one old work colleague out towards Ely but that's about it for in the area. I am hoping in time Ex and I will get to being on better terms but right now we are just bringing out the worst in each other. A lot of hurt and frustration on my part and a lot of selfish git on his side ;)
St Ives sounds lovely, just not sure what to do with secondary college for Miss 14 if there is no place for her there or at Swavesey, what are the other options when I don't drive at all?
How long is the bus ride to go St Ives to Huntingdon for shopping?

ParaOlympicpark Sat 01-Sep-12 14:07:08

Godmanchester very nice also biased <tries to sniff out flowery>
You can walk to the train station, waitrose, sainsburys and a vet from godmanchester. Community school is brilliant, local community very nice too.
Schools in Huntingdon are all on the Oxmoor which is better than is used to be but the is a lot of challenging behaviour. Pm me if you need estate agent details etc.

SuperGlumFairy Sat 01-Sep-12 14:18:09

Is there a bus from Godmanchester to St Peters school though as I know Hinchingbrooke is the catchment school but Admissions Office advises it is full. St Peters seems the only option.

I have driven through Godmanchester before as Ex and I actually got married out at Buckden at the George Inn before it was all modernised. St Ives does seem a bit cheaper with the housing at least.

ParaOlympicpark Sat 01-Sep-12 14:25:17

Him not sure, just looked at the go whippet website and couldn't find one. There is one to Huntingdon train station though and it is about a ten minute walk from there.

flowery Sat 01-Sep-12 14:33:06

She could cycle it easily. Most of the children in GMC who go to hinchingbrooke walk or cycle and st peters is hardly any further really. It would probably take her 30 mins to walk, or she could catch a bus into Huntingdon and walk 10 mins from there.

kickassangel Sat 01-Sep-12 16:37:04

I used to teach in cams so have some inside info on schools. I was sec and my neighbor is a primary head. I don't have time right now but can on you more later.

Personally, I would go for st Ives over Huntington, but if there are no spaces at the ivo then that is a problem. Do you know if there's a waiting list? Could you home school short term til a place opens up?

If you're living in st Ives you really wouldn't need to go to hunt for anything. There are buses to the big Tesco on the a14, and st Ives has everything you need for daily living, including local butchers and an OK market twice a month.

Have you thought about Ramsey are? Way cheaper, the school there has improved a lot, and still within easy reach of Peterborough, but I don't know about buses or trains from there. Not as big as st Ives if you're looking for work.

What kind of school would suit your dc's best? Are they academic, sporty, sociable etc?

I'm in the US so Will post at odd times, but I have a lot of friends teaching in the area still and could ask around about admissions and whether there's any chance of late entry to a school. Sometimes they are theoretically full but are aware that a family is about to move out so can offer a place later.

EcoLady Sat 01-Sep-12 22:16:17

SuperGlumFairy I also got married at The George!!!

OP Godmanchester is lovely. Community Primary is large and well resourced ((own large indoor pool with professional instructors!). St Annes CofE is smaller. It had a disappointing Ofsted recently which was felt to be very unfair by those in the know. It's a lovely caring school if you like the strong CofE ethos.

kickassangel Sun 02-Sep-12 01:52:47

sent you a huge message but forgot to say - if your dd has to travel to get to school, I'm pretty sure the county will provide a bus or taxi for her if you get pushed to somewhere you wouldn't choose. Check up on that, but her getting to school may be easy, it will just impact her social life as she won't see people around outside of school hours.

SuperGlumFairy Sun 02-Sep-12 02:26:02

Thanks for all the advice thus far. Looks like St Ives is a clear favourite for families so will have a good nosey about on the net today and have a closer look.

I don't plan to be to be without a driving license forever so that will certainly open up more options in the future but just not immediately.

Miss 14 (well later this week she will be) is very academic, she's an incredibly bright student in all areas of her schooling and is currently one of the top 5 students in her year here. She's very quiet and shy though and doesn't tend to socialise a lot outside of school anyway but does have a good core group of similar friends here. She's not at all sporty but still tries her best in what she does. She's not into boys, makeup, swearing and back chatting quite yet so I am very lucky there. Homeschooling could be a possibility with her though I would have no idea where to start. if there are activities in St Ives that she can join she would soon build a network of local friends I guess until we could get her into Ivo.

As for my 8 year old twins, my son does struggle a bit with school, mostly with his writing. He has been working with a Speech Therapist for several years as he had a learning gap, he keeps up well with his class though but does seem to have more trouble with writing and things that involve no boundaries. ie Write a story about anything you like as opposed to write a story about an elephant with a red balloon. He's much better with things like maths and gets those concepts more easily as it's more black and white. His twin sister is the opposite, struggles a little with maths but her writing skills, comprehension etc is above her age. They are both quiet, well behaved kids though and fairly sociable so I think they will adapt more easily with the change at this point.

KickAssAngel - off to read the msg, thanks so much

EcoLady - How long ago? I remember when we got married (15 years go later this month) that the lady who organised our wedding there was getting married there the week after we did! We did photos at Buckden Towers too, beautiful day despite how things have now changed.

Flowery - haven't ruled Godmanchester out either.

EauRouge Sun 02-Sep-12 08:00:05

If you do end up home schooling, even temporarily, let me know because we are going to HE our DDs so I already go to a few groups and know a few HE families.

SuperGlumFairy Mon 03-Sep-12 10:02:48

Hmmm so I have been advised that there are 3 other out of catchment children on the waiting list for Yr 9 St Ivo..all I need to do to jump up the list is move into the catchment area right??

kickassangel Mon 03-Sep-12 13:10:53

Not sure. I can fb a friend who would know. Or ask admissions again. If you did get to the top of the list that's a good bet you'd get dd in.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SuperGlumFairy Mon 03-Sep-12 14:31:01

StopEating- Stukeley Meadows is full for primary though but it was the one area of Huntingdon I likely would have felt safe enough to live, plus have all the facilities I needed close by. It is good to hear St Peters is coming up though as Huntingdon itself has everything I need opportunity wise for me as well with Job Centre, the Regional College if I should choose to do further study, CAB advice, a good amount of retail work advertised etc Everything I need is there really, at least St Ives isn't too far though. My Miss 8 is just annoyed that there is no Claire's Accessories store in St Ives as she is really into bling!

KissAssAngel - according to the admissions criteria for St Ivo an in catchment child places higher than an out of catchment. I just need to get a house though!

Oh bum, sorry I must've missed that bit, must read things properly before posting!

Have you considered brampton at all? I'd imagine its bikeable to st peters and is w nice little village, similar to godmanchester but better for train station access. Just another option to consider if needed.

Tell miss 8 that thanks to the guided busway there's reasonably frequent busses between st ives and huntingdon, so all is not lost if she MUST get to Claire's accessories! Check out thebusway.co.uk (I think, I'm sure Google will give a definite answer). You'll also find details about onward travel to Cambridge from there too.

Also would you consider renting for a while? I believe there's a fairly healthy rental market in st ives. Certainly two friends of mine didn't have any problems recently finding somewhere.

SuperGlumFairy Mon 03-Sep-12 15:13:40

STopEating - yes we will be renting as it is. Losing so much money on the shipping and airfares that buying will not be an option for me for a very long time, if ever. It's just trying to get a house that will allow a cat, is affordable, near facilities and school vacancies nearby. Trying to get that all in one house is proving hard hence we are branching out to look at more than a few possible locations now.

SuperGlumFairy Tue 04-Sep-12 11:23:42

Another question...are there any parts of St Ives considered dodgy or not safe? It looks beautiful, loads of green areas, neat and tidy and I love the look of the schools there, but are there any social problems like in HUntingdon or parts that are less nice than others?

kickassangel Tue 04-Sep-12 21:13:41

not really.

since huntingdon police started cracking down then the high street is a bit drunken on a sat night, but it doesn't sound like that would affect you.

StrangerintheNight Tue 11-Sep-12 21:38:32

Hi, OP, hope things will start to fall into place for you soon. In response to your earlier question, there often seem to be retail vacancies in St Ives shops, if that's what you meant.
In terms of area, I don't know if there are any dodgy parts of town, but if you can live south of st Audrey Lane then all the main facilities are easily walkable.

SuperGlumFairy Wed 12-Sep-12 12:48:43

Thank you STrangerintheNight - good to hear there are no known dodgy parts of town. At this stage we would be happy with something in St Ives, Godmanchester or Hartford/Stukeley Meadows area of Huntingdon.

We need to be out of our house here in 10 days so I am desperately looking at self catering accommodation in those areas to at least have somewhere to go while we continue to look for houses.

mell242 Thu 04-Oct-12 12:29:11

Slight hijacking of the thread with regards to Godmanchester. We currently live in Histon which is great but we're renting and prices to buy are slightly out of our price range. Hubby works in Histon so a commute from Godmanchester wouldn't be horendous (even though it's on the A14!).

We've only ever driven through but it looks lovely and want to do a bit more investigation.

Are the local schools overscribed and what are they like? My son would be starting next September.

lynniep Thu 04-Oct-12 12:36:45

Godmanchester lovely. (also biased like flowery) . St Ives quite nice although don't like there. Swavesey v. good schools but you need to be in catchment. I know theres a big Waitrose in St Ives but Tesco will deliver. No train station.

lynniep Thu 04-Oct-12 12:37:19

that made no sense. St Ives quite nice but dont LIVE there so don't go so very often and not that familiar.

SuperGlumFairy Thu 04-Oct-12 14:38:09

Hey Mell I don't mind the hijack..I'm still househunting for St Ives, Godmanchester and Huntingdon but hoping something will come up any day now as I am so ready to live this house and get to UK.
In regards to the schools I think it would depend on the year level you are requiring and whether you are in the catchment area for the school you want. I know that St Ivo for example is full in Yr 9 with 4 on the waiting list but they are all out of area, so if I moved into that catchment area we would actually go to the top of the list.
I just tend to keep checking in with the Admissions Office as places can change all the time with places filling and emptying etc.

tobemory Fri 05-Oct-12 14:51:39


We live in Brampton near Huntingdon. It is lovely - got everything you need, friendly and lots of families. School is nice and Hinchingbrooke catchment. Train station 5 mins in car. Hinchingbrooke Park and Grafham Water really close.

Would recommend if you haven't already ruled out. Best of luck.

kiwibella Wed 10-Oct-12 18:38:22

have you got somewhere to come to when you arrive from Australia, SuperGlumFairy? Or, are you planning to rent a home from Aus? I'm in Huntingdon - Hinchingbrooke Park and my children are at Cromwell Park and Hinchingbrooke. LauraSmurf said earlier to avoid Cromwell Park school... I have to add my own little defense - the head teacher is disliked by many people. Personally, I don't like her style and the staff turnover has been of a very high number... however it is a beaut little community and the children are (generally) happy there. There are going to be things that you like and don't like about any school. We have made the loveliest friends through our children.
It is an easy walk in to town from Hinchingbrooke, where there is a Sainsbury's supermarket or the bus to Tesco. We moved here from London for the secondary school and the rail link because my dh still commutes back.
Good luck with your plans!

SuperGlumFairy Thu 11-Oct-12 10:28:10

Hi Kiwibella, I am hoping to secure a property before leaving Australia as we have nowhere to go when we get there. We are talking to an Agent at the moment about a house in St Ives which the kids and I are quite excited about so we're hoping we'll get it and finally be able to set a date to travel. It's just hard to commit to a house that we've not seen in person, it's a bit daunting but unfortunately my in-laws are on holidays this week so they can't even go and have a look for us and I am sure my ex won't even I asked. I figure at worst we'll stay in it for 6 months and then find something more permanent as by then the kids will be enrolled in schools and hopefully i will be working so we'll know where works best for us. I do really like the photos we have seen from the agent's site though and it has all we need, it's just a case of having no idea what the room sizes are or what the layout of the house is like.
I am just so afraid of making the wrong decision as I have no one to talk these things over with, the downside of being a single parent I guess. Kids love the house though so that's a good start.

littlemrssleepy Thu 11-Oct-12 13:51:19

check out this website - not sure how old your kids are but may be of use. www.saveoursanity.org

SuperGlumFairy Fri 12-Oct-12 11:48:37

We have a house!!!

EauRouge Fri 12-Oct-12 13:07:54

Fantastic news! Is it the one you liked? Hope the move goes smoothly. We ought to have a meet-up once you're settled in.

SuperGlumFairy Fri 12-Oct-12 13:53:43

It's not the St Ives one I was talking about yesterday but it's just up the road from it funnily enough, was slightly better suited to us and much cheaper actually. I am so happy, big love to the amazing agent who has really pulled out all the stops to help us with property hunting the last few weeks.
I can't believe it's real and I am just so in love with St Ives already. Everything we need is nearby and I am happy that two of the 3 primary schools have spaces for my twins as of yesterday.
First thing Monday I am booking removalists, cleaners, cat transporters and more!

A huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this thread and given advice and experiences of the different locations we were looking at. It was such a huge help. I cannot wait to make this move now. I don't think I will stay a SuperGlumFairy anymore!

SuperGlumFairy Tue 23-Oct-12 22:00:23

28 hours until our flight leaves!!

EauRouge Tue 23-Oct-12 22:44:25

Wow, not long. Best of luck with the move smile

StrangerintheNight Wed 24-Oct-12 22:50:24

Best of luck with the move, hope it all works out for you.

SuperGlumFairy Sat 03-Nov-12 07:43:43

We are here and loving it! It is so beautiful and I am confident we will be very happy here. House is way smaller than expected but we'll manage for now. Have ventured in town a couple of times, been up to Huntingdon on the bus and yesterday did the guided busway into Cambridge. Anxiety has been super good, didn't even freak out with the plane ride. Kids were magnificent the whole way over. Feel like I am gliding about in a bubble of bliss, now if I could just work out all the damn funny little coins ;)

EauRouge Sat 03-Nov-12 08:35:54

So glad you're settling in OK smile Let us all know if you need anything or if you fancy a meet-up.

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