Looking For A New Area To Live In

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KittyGlitter | 06:23 Tue 21st Sep 2021 | Travel
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I'm looking to move out of London to a town that is still convenient for commuting into London. I'm thinking of the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire area. Has anyone got any recommendations please? What's Didcot Parkway like? Thanks


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Hitchen, in Hertfordshire is nice and easily commutable. Lovely countryside.
i spent a long time out there, and can say that it has good walking in the countryside and lots of nice villages to explore, plus one can go into Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, from there, and sundry towns along the route for shopping.
St Albans and Harpenden are lovey but a bit pricey, on a good rail line into London.
Didcot Parkway is a railway station :-)

Didcot is a dull commuter town. Delends what you want.
what about Amersham?
Lots of new flats being built near Bishop's Stortford railway station.
Are you buying or renting?
Wallingford, nearby to Didcot, is nice and a great Waitrose - no railway though the two nearest being Henley on Thames and Didcot (more mainline for the latter).
Your budget might limit the possibilities open to you. The areas you've mentioned are generally very expensive in terms of housing costs, precisely because they're in easy commuting distance of central London.

Didcot possibly isn't quite as bad as Ichkeria seems to paint it though. I've worked there, asking people loads of silly questions about their use of public transport, footpaths and cycle paths, etc. Knocking on people's doors, between 6pm and 9pm (just as they're cooking a meal, putting the kids to bed or watching Corrie) is quite a good test of just how friendly people are and I found Didcot folk to be amazingly friendly. (They're the exact opposite of the residents of Stratford, London, who get aggressive if you simply try to stop them in the street to ask them a couple of questions).

There's a really big (and surprisingly attractive) housing development, called Great Western Park, nearing completion on the edge of Didcot, with 3,300 homes. (That's where I've been supervising teams of people, knocking on people's doors, during several periods over the last few years). The influx of people into the town due to that development has resulted in its town centre faring much better than many others have in recent years, with far fewer closed shops and a generally upbeat feel to it. There are very good bus services in the area and easy access to both London and Oxford.

Don't rule Essex out of your list of possibilities. Chelmsford isn't a particularly attractive city but it's got an excellent market, two good shopping centres, a lovely theatre and loads of great place to eat and drink. Colchester, too, has quite a lot going for it. Going up into Suffolk, Ipswich is very popular with London commuters and very much an 'up and coming' town these days, especially around the Waterfront area (where there are lots of flats overlooking the river and loads of bars and restaurants).
reading? It's soon to be (if not already) on the underground line
newbury? it's a short train ride to reading (see above!)
The two cheap & quick to commute to LDN that spring to mind are Milton Keynes and Basingstoke.

It really depends on what you are after and what you want to pay. And how snobbish you are too of course.

I'm surprised at the Hitchen suggestion. Thats not at all like my wife paints it (She lived there for a short while after London and Essex).

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