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Relocation advice: Your thoughts please(8 Posts)
We have been living in Brentwood, Essex for just over an year now.
We are now considering moving to somewhere else (where, is the big question, of course),
I would be grateful for any suggestions/tips/advice/places to avoid ...
Thanks a lot
1) The key trigger for moving is that it is hard to get value-for-money in Brentwood, as it is in the London commuter belt.
DH works in Basildon, Essex and am SAHM at the moment; So, proximity to London is not a criteria at the moment. We pay 950 for a
tiny two bed flat and even pushing the budget upto 1250 doesn't take you too far.
2) We are looking for 3 bed accomodation in a decent, safe locality, not too far from town/city centre. To rent,
initially and may be buy in the long run
3) Want a wider choice of activities/play school for DD, who is 19 months now. In particular, looking for Montessori/Steiner
type of schools to start her off, when she turns 2.
4) In terms of places, DH is happy to commute upto 40 mins; he travels away a lot for work anyways.
THe places we are considering: Cambridge, St Albans, Bishops Strotford;
Equally, we are also considering places like Guildford, ...
I know, I know, ..
It is just this thing of wanting to give up the nomadic life that we have been living and have some semi-permanency or some semblance of that :-)
We have lived in Cambridge and BS, in the past. And as such, like Cambridge better. But, that was from the eyes of a student and not as a parent.
So, would love to hear parent's views on Cambridge as about
any other places that you can think of and/or have experience of
Cambridge is very nice to live in as an adult (nicer than as a student, I think), so I think it's well worth taking a look. However, you won't be living very centrally, because the centre is taken up with student housing. You'll be in one of the villages or general outskirts.
I'd work out the commute from your DH's work and then see where in Cambridge looks most practical. Probably somewhere to the south near the motorway?
Have a look at rightmove.co.uk - plenty to rent in your price bracket and some of it is quite central. Even up near the railway station it's only 20-30 min walk to the centre. Check Romsey Mill SureStart Centre. Otherwise Trumpington gives easy access to M11, or Chesterton for A14.
We relocated from St Albans (v expensive) to Cambridgeshire 6 years ago with two young children and haven't looked back. Love the place. Cambridge itself v pricey and busy, we prefer South Cambs villages towards St Ives (Swavesey, Over, Longstanton, Cottenham, Hilton etc), better value/lovely communities and great transport links. We both commute into London from Huntingdon as easier to park, less traffic than Cambs (going against the A14 rush) and can use the Guided bus to get into Cambridge when we want (or cycle along it if you're fit!). Great school for 3 to 11 years in Willingham called the Phoenix School Cambridge in that locality too, most others are in the centre of Cambs.
What ChestertonCharley said about being near the railway station (especially east of the railway line where it's cheaper, and where we are). As she says, rightmove does seem to give a fair few options at £1250pcm and below. You get more space for less money in Coleridge ward than in the tiny and astonishingly trendy narrow terraced houses of Romsey (this map shows the wards). Feels pretty safe to me, the buses are good, plenty to do for little ones within a half-hour walk, including the brilliant Botanic Garden which for not much more than thirty quid a year you can swan in and out of at will... I love it here and hope that when I leave my house for the last time it's feet-first! I couldn't find a nursery with places within a reasonable distance, but my reasonable distance is pretty small as I don't drive. Don't get me started on Steiner ... I'd be a bit surprised if there's nothing Montessori-like in Cambridge given the kind of place it is, but don't know of anything myself.
Thanks all for your replies.
I did check in rightmove before my OP, but will repeat the exercise with these additional info in mind. We don't need to be near the station. Access to M11 will be more important, as DH will need to commute to Basildon.
claerwen: Sorry, do Steiner schools have some negatives..sorry, if i am shooting a completely wrong Q at you..but, this is our first child and much of my info is gleaned from reading general stuff written as opposed to talking/reading parent's views/experiences on the same. Would be grateful if you can share your views pls..feel free to PM me, if necessary.
Steiner Waldorf education: there is a whole elaborate system of ideas underlying it. The emphasis on the outdoors, movement and natural materials is superficially attractive and I guess is what initially attracts most parents, but the underlying ideas are bizarre (children not being "fully incarnated" until their milk teeth start falling out; black and brown being impure colours; developmental and other disabilities being due to issues with past lives). I suspect that the groups and classes for very young children vary a lot according to the person who runs them, but the Steiner movement as a whole just seems... well, odd, and then some!
There's been some discussion of Steiner stuff in Cambridge here before; try a quick search. It may have been there that I came across the suggestion that Montessori schools and nurseries share many of the attractive features of Steiner only without all the funny philosophy behind them, but I haven't looked into that. I don't know a great deal about Steiner either but I've stumbled across a few discussions of it and I had a bit more of a read-up when a parent of one of my son's childminder's other mindees suggested a Steiner group as an activity for the childminder to take them to, and it needed payment so we were all asked; I felt like a po-faced killjoy in not going along with it but I didn't feel like I could in good conscience support the movement with his participation.
Thank you very much for that claerwen, and for your PM.
Indeed, as you have very rightly said, it was those buzzwords of "emphasis on outdoors, movement and natural materials" that drew me to it. But, there is always more than what meets the eye, I guess and i don't think Steiner schools are for me.
I was meaning to search on MN for relevant discussions. Glad that we got into this topic now.
Thanks again for sharing that
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