We're looking to move from London to Beaconsfield in time for the new school year & I'm just after a bit of advice of best surrounding areas/state schools etc. Our girls are 6 & 3, so any nursery advice would be great too! We'll need to commute to London, so need to be near a station. Is there a better alternative to Beaconsfield?!
Why Beaconsfield? Alternatives depend on what attracts you to it.
I live in one of the Chalfonts. I like it. Good state schools here.
I am not keen on Beaconsfield. Very expensive and rather up itself imo. Good for a meal out, model village and Odds Farm nearby but I wouldn't want to live in Beaco. My friends who live there happily are rich: like kids in private school, Range Rover, Porsche, horses, place in France etc.
You've missed this year's main school application round. For the good state schools you will need to be resident before you are even in the running for a place.
Even then, a place assumes there is an actual vacancy in a year 2 class in a good school at the point you have a council tax bill to show.
Worth the effort to get here eventually though imo.
Btw pretty much everyone drives to their station here. Approx 10 mins drive is normal, parking plentiful at stations and not ridiculously expensive.
Thanks for replying - the 'rich' element is something that does worry me, is there an us & them culture?! I suppose Beaconsfield is the headline act, but I'm definitely interested in more laid back alternatives of surrounding towns! Is there much between Amersham & Beaconsfield? I like the sound of the Chalfonts.
I don't especially like Beaconsfield either. Facilities good but essentially it is some super expensive houses built around the train station. I find new Beaconsfield terribly soulless. Not helped by the fact that every road is a building site as people continually move out of London, buy a house, rip it down and rebuild in an identikit 'look at how much money we have' manner. Old Beaconsfield is much nicer although there's no nice park for the kids to play in old or new town (unless I've missed it?) which I find odd.
There are still pockets where it hasn't been ruined but they are few and far between.
Seer Green is lovely. Amersham old town or any of the Chalfonts are far nicer than Beaconsfield too. Do you have to be able to walk to the train station?
If it has to be Beaconsfield and you can't afford private then I would aim to get into Butlers Court. I would avoid St Mary's for a few years.
Thing is, whilst I don't like Beaconsfield, I know loads of people that live there quite happily so if you like it (and can afford it) then go for it!
Depending on where you live in Beaconsfield, it can also be a bit whiffy at times due to a treatment plant just by the M40. There are some lovely villages around with train stations. Great Missenden and Prestwood have great state schools.
This is all really useful - thank you! It sounds like Beaconsfield isn't for us, we're just after a bit of 'normal family life' outside of London, but my husband will need to commute in every day. Is there any HS2 concern anywhere?
There is HS2 concern in most places that are along the route!
Great Missenden and Prestwood are really lovely places but I wouldn't buy there for the HS2 reason.
Kind of depends on your budget as well, plus what sort of house you need for your budget...
You can get the HS2 maps off the internet. It will go under my house. A very very long way under, and won't be over ground for a long distance in any direction from my house. It will thus have zero effect on us.
Great Missenden will have a problem.
Look at Amersham, Chesham, any of the Chalfonts, Seer Green is indeed lovely. I'd have a look at what you get for your money, schools and local shops. Get used to the idea that you will almost certainly drive everywhere, possibly even to buy a pint of milk, depending on how small your village is and how far from the centre you live.
It takes a while to get your head round that when you move from London.
Bloody lovely place to live though. I'm so glad we moved from South London to here even though it was a hell of a mind fuck in the first year. Total culture shock! Even though I grew up in the countryside myself (not in England mind).
The Prestwood side of the A413 isn't affected by HS2 as it will run on the other side of the valley through Hyde Heath etc. As a pp said, Great Missenden will be affected, but only by the construction of it, not the line itself. This will take a while though and is going to cause chaos on commutes and school runs.
Bourne End has a train station going to Maidenhead, then onto Paddington, and is 10 mins (drive from Beaconsfield) 2 minutes up the hill from BE is Flackwell Heath. Both are lovely villages, cheaper than Beaconsfield & Marlow, but close enough to benefit from. DH & I both commute into London for work.
Primary schools are great, but it is an 11plus area which makes secondary school intake a little fraught....
We live in Gerrards Cross- one stop closer to London from Beaconsfield.
We are really normal and so is everyone I know round us.
3 kids at state school (two the local primary & junior and one at a grammar school.) one the local Montessori preschool.
We are really happy here and I'm so glad we didn't go for Beaconsfield - which feels very different (posh).
Gerrards Cross has a reputation for being a bit chavvy but as everywhere there is a real mix.
It feels very safe.
My husband gets a taxi to the station as it's the same price as parking and he doesn't need a second car (insurance, tax etc).
Seer Green and Chalfont St Giles and Peter also seem like good choices. We are very happy here though.
Not sure how anyone would describe Gerrards X as chavvy! There's as much development of huge houses going on there as Beaconsfield.
What is your budget OP? Beaconsfield, Gerrards X, Seer Green, Amersham and many parts of the Chalfonts are all very pricey. Some of the smaller villages are lovely and better value and many are only a short drive from a station.
I think HS2 is going to be a pain in arse for most people in this side of Bucks purely from a traffic and disruption point of view sadly.
I am fairly normal :-) I always think Beaconsfield seems to be too clogged with traffic. I agree with others that you get more for your money if you look slightly outside. My DH wanted to be able to walk to the station which is why we ended up where we are. I think GX is convenient, albeit expensive
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