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Reigate vs Dorking/Farnham ? help!(6 Posts)
DH and I are planning to move from S London to Surrey later this year and we're trying to decide on a town/area. He works in Staines, I work in Canary Wharf (though on mat leave at the moment).
I haven't been to visit Reigate yet but it seems like its in a good location travelwise for us, sounds like a pretty nice town to live in, and isn't too far from attractive countryside.
I get the impression property prices might be a little bit cheaper than Dorking or Farnham, which are the other two places we have been considering, so I wonder if it would be a good option for us.
So what exactly am I asking..? I guess what I want to know is whether Reigate is a good place to live. Pros/Cons, thoughts on junior schools and general family life. Pretty vague, I realise!
Also, houses in Redhill are clearly cheaper but I read that Redhill is supposedly a bit of a dump compared with Reigate. Is this really true? How bad is it (if indeed it's bad at all!)?
My biased opinion obviously!! I live in and love Reigate.
Reigate pros- great town, lots and lots of things going on for kids, good restaurants, Priory Park is amazing. Excellent schools.
cons- Schools are heavily over subscribed, and this pushes up house prices in areas near to the 'best' state schools, unless you go to the 'right' churches regularly. It's very true that you can pray or pay. Motorway can sometimes get snarled up coming into Reigate. Most trains you need to change in Redhill to get anywhere. Posh shops- hard to buy 'normal' things! very easy to get out to nice country pubs.
I used to live in Redhill, and for what it's worth- I wouldn't move back there- it wasn't as nice, and often felt that the town centre was a bit grim.
House prices may be cheaper- but what I said about schools may affect what you think of the house prices!
I grew up in Farnham, but I wouldn't want to do a commute to Canary Wharf from there. Half hourly train service at best and I think over an hour to get to Waterloo. Not sure if local nurseries/childminder hours would be long enough, would also be hard for you too. Schools are also oversubscribed. Drive to Staines would also be over an hour, can be considerable traffic on the bypass. You are at least at 20 minute drive away from the M3 without traffic or the rush hour to consider. I love Farnham and used to be quite upset that we couldn't afford to live there. Now I am realistic that it would mean too long away from my children for me to what to live there.
Would you consider one of the villages between Dorking and Reigate? There are loads of pretty ones such as Brockham, Betchworth, Leigh etc.
We live between Dorking and Reigate and it really feels like we are properly in the countryside which we love, yet Dorking and Reigate are only 10 / 15 mins drive away. I also think we got more house and garden for our money than if we were in Dorking or Reigate themselves. Being a bit in the middle of nowhere meant we got a massive garden and large garage for our money.
Both Dorking and Reigate are nice towns although I probably slightly prefer Reigate. Both have nice high streets with some nice shops (think Whistles, Jones Bootmaker, Waitrose, M&S, Fat Face, independent shops) and both have little cinemas and Dorking has a modern sports centre with swimming pool and gym. I don't have kids yet but imagine they are both the kinds of places with lots going on for kids.
I don't know what the housing area is like around Redhill as I have only been to the town centre, but the town centre is nowhere near as upmarket as Reigate or Dorking. On the plus side, Redhill has lots of practical shops like the £1 shop and Wilkinsons and Argos........ It depends on what you are looking for. If you want to live somewhere 'upmarket' then it would be Reigate or Dorking, but if you are not so bothered about that side of things Redhill is very practical (and on the fast train line into London).
We commute from Dorking to London for work and it is hard work and expensive - the trains are every half hour and don't run late into the night. We drive to the station (10 mins) and park in the station car park (£88 per month) then we get the train to London Waterloo (50 mins / about £3k per year for season ticket inc. tube pass) then you have to get to whereever you are going from Waterloo. Oh and we always get a seat on the train on the way in and normally on the way home too. Realistically I have to allow 1.5 hours to get from home to my office (near Bank).
There is a faster train that goes from Redhill.
The trains are normally ok, but on the couple of occassions when they have been messed up it has been a nightmare.
I know this thread is a bit old now, but I wanted to say thanks v much for the input. We went to Reigate a few weekends ago and I really liked it. Loved the park, liked the feel of the town, liked the setting in the countryside, etc. DH was initially a bit reluctant but when he saw the park and the branch of Richer Sounds (electronic/music kit shop) he started to change his mind!
I take all your points about the schools and the commute. We are still considering, but I do think it's going to be the right place for us. I'll be back with more questions about childminders, toddler groups, schools etc etc etc in due course, no doubt....
Hi! I agree with the above comments about Redhill, Reigate & Dorking and I'm glad you like Reigate - it's beautiful! Thought you might find the links that I've put on 'Best place to live with airport access' discussion thread useful as they might help your decisions about where to buy re: catchment areas for state schools if this is of interest. There are some outstanding state schools locally but there are others which are not quite as good. The outstanding ones are understandably very popular and the nearer you live, the better your chances of getting in!
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