Berkhamsted vs Tring(5 Posts)
Hi ladies, I'm looking for some advice. We've been trying to move out of West London for nearly two years and had 3 chains fall apart on us. We were very much set on Tring but am now starting to worry that I'll find Tring too quiet and we might be better off going for Berkhamsted instead. However, I know nothing about the state schools and my daughter starts reception this September so really am leaving it a bit late to be changing my mind about Tring. We have just found a buyer again for our property in London so need to find something in the next month and have already accepted that I'll have to make a late application for a school place.
I know we will get less for our money in Berkhamsted but might be an easier transition to make and I'm assuming it would be cheaper/easier to get into London than Tring?
Your thoughts are very much appreciated
We have recently moved nearby also, couldn't afford the houses in Berko, so have bought in a village nearby. (Edlesborough)
Tring is around 40 mins to Euston, Berko 34 i think.
Lots more shops & restaurants in Berko, more of an extension of London I would say. Tring is very nice, pretty and quaint, but quieter. Although houses are definitely cheaper and easier to come by in Tring.
We are applying for kids to go to the Independent school in Berko, I have heard good things about the other schools in Berko though, especially St Marys in Northchurch. In fact Northchurch is not a bad option, its a walk into Berkhamsted but far enough out to make the houses a LOT more affordable.
We have also heard of people being gazumped quite often in Berko, so it might be an idea to rent whilst you get a feel for the area and find the right property.
Both areas are lovely though, we really enjoy it here and also moved from London,(Blackheath). If you ever fancy a coffee then PM me-this board is pretty quiet! My Dd1 is two, DS 11 months an expecting another dd in March-if you can handle the chaos then I'm always up for a meet-up
Dont move to Tring. Its so isolated and backward, and there is nothing, literally nothing, for kids to do, unless they are churchy or sporty. They wont thank you for moving here when they are teenagers and want some independence; either they will have to join the underage drinkers at the skate park by Tesco, or they will sit at home bored out of their minds, or you will be on call as a taxi service constantly. You dont want to use the schools here- Bishop Wood is bad beyond belief, Dundale still rough and Grove not too bad in my opinion, but rated unsatisfactory by Ofsted because of the heads absences. Tring School, when I went there in the 90s, was vile - Grange Hill was like Eton by comparison. It may have got a little better as the area has become gentrified, but any improvement is likely caused by the incoming middle classes use of private tutors, and not by any fundamental change in the culture of the place, since many of the worst teachers I had are still there. (The good ones lasted about a year or two and moved on.) If you happen to be well educated you will have to keep it quiet, as there is precious little tolerance for poncy intellectuals here, or for any other group that stands out from the increasingly homogenised norm: white, lower middle class, Daily Mail reading, small and large C conservative, God bothering,- well, you get the picture.
Tring-ites make Hitler look like a sandal-wearing liberal. Expect to be shunned by 95% of people if you ever become a single parent- I was, and its not an unusual story. (Nor limited to Tring, I think its similarly grim for single mums in small rural towns everywhere, but thats by the by.) The Conservative Club is pretty much the only social outlet apart from the aforementioned churches and sports clubs.
Of course, some people like the place, but even they must constantly be frustrated by the crappy transport links, which you will know all about if you have come here on the train. Half the evening trains which are supposed to stop here dont bother, and when you do eventually get one you are faced with a two mile trek down an unlit Station Road to get back into town, unless you have the rare good fortune to find a bus, or a willing to pay the usurious parking charges at the station. Im sure you already know this stuff, but dont underestimate the frustration of facing the reality of it on a regular basis.
Berko is better- no great shakes really, but a few more signs of life and rather more intelligent inhabitants. I do wonder why anyone bothers though, given the expense of buying a house somewhere whose chief claim to fame is not being as thoroughly shite as Tring. St. Albans is beautiful, as are parts of Watford. If its the Tring/Berko area you really want, there are some nice (if isolated) villages. Marsworth is lovely and has the advantage of being in the catchment area for Bucks grammar schools. Pitstone is physically unlovely but has some of the social diversity missing from Tring, and with the chance to get more space for your money. Aston Clinton is OK, similar prices to Tring. I dont know what the village school is like but its an easy commute to the grammar schools again and the social club and youth clubs are nice, and set in a fabulous park.
Tring is quite a bit cheaper for property. Northchurch is the cheaper area of Berkhamsted if you prefer Berkhamsted to Tring (just because it is a longer walk to the station). The journey from Berkhamsted into London is quicker and slightly cheaper. Lots of families here have moved up from London so settling is pretty easy as they are tons of people in the same boat.
I personally find Tring a bit too quiet for a town, somehow it feels like there should be more going on, but I only visit once every couple of weeks and Tring mothers may say otherwise! There is a lot going in in Berkhamsted for families and children, eg music / play groups, sports centre, youth centre etc.
The state primaries in Berkhamsted are great. The four nearest to me are all rated "excellent" by Ofsted and parents rave about them. We are going through a consultation process at the moment which may see us move from a three tier system to a two tier system, so there is much flux. My next door neighbour moved up from London part way through the academic year and got a place for her daughter at our local school, so it is possible to do this via a late application.
I signed up just to post this :P
I'm actually a GCSE student at Tring... It sucks. Hard.
The school recently became an academy, and the quality of teaching dropped fast. The new head just fired all the good teachers because she couldn't be bothered with them.
Most of the schools in tring are dumps, actually...
If you /do/ come here, then Grove Road School all the way. I swapped out at the end of year 5 from Bishop Wood. My advice: If your kid is anything other than normal (I.e. is slightly more intelligent than the average kid) then don't go there. At all. Ever. Your kid will despise the school.
So yeah... Don't even bother thinking about coming here. It's a dump. Try Berkhamsted. ;)
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