Where in the SE to live?

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Mfro
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Where in the SE to live?

Postby Mfro » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:04 am

After 15 years of living in Sydney, it looks like a return to the motherland is in order (are you still showing Biker Grove on telly?)

One of the main catalysts for the move is my fiancees possible new job in Shawditch. If the job is firm and we do move, we will of course need to consider where we want to live. My work skill set is pretty transferable (account management) so as long as there is a reasonable sized city within a 45ish minute door to door commute, we should be fine.

I've made it clear to the misses that when looking at a place to live, I need to be able to access countryside (MTB of course plus hiking and general looking around). Something within an hours drive (door to trail / mountain / nice scenery etc) is pretty much the limit as I ride every weekend. If there is something within a couple of hours (I do 2-3 hours drives for excellent riding here 3-4 times per year) then thats a big bonus.

Riding wise, I do trail / AM plus DH (Remedy and V10). For those familiar riding around Sydney I ride Oxford Falls, Red Hill, Warrimoo, Ourmibah, Awaba, Menai, Royal National Park, Warriewood plus the odd trip to Canberra and surrounds.

So, if you were in my position, with the benefit of your riding experience in the UK, where would you choose to live whilst hitting the criteria above?

Thanks in advance.

Matt

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benpinnick
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby benpinnick » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:10 am

Tough call, as Shoreditch (SIC) is north-central london, so anywhere on the south side involves a ride on the tube to get there, which will blow your 45min commute out of the water. I'd recommend Bucks. Somewhere near Aston hill (Wendover) will put you a stones throw from some great DH trails, but still a fairly quick commute into London on the right side. Otherwise you're looking at Essex and Herts which is like some kind of weird hell full of chavs and odd people, who have no good biking.
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newjumper
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby newjumper » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:12 pm

Can't go far wrong with NW Surrey area(Farnham)Countryside & MTB trails on the doorstep,(Caesers Camp army ranges a very short ride,don't even have to get car out!),same for New Forrest in in Hampshire,
although further from London.

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cooldad
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby cooldad » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:18 pm

newjumper wrote:Can't go far wrong with NW Surrey area(Farnham)Countryside & MTB trails on the doorstep,(Caesers Camp army ranges a very short ride,don't even have to get car out!),same for New Forrest in in Hampshire,
although further from London.

I think you missed the bit about the 45 minute door to door commute. I live in Bracknell, work in Wimbledon, and sometimes it takes me a few months to drive in.
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newjumper
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby newjumper » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:39 pm

cooldad wrote:
newjumper wrote:Can't go far wrong with NW Surrey area(Farnham)Countryside & MTB trails on the doorstep,(Caesers Camp army ranges a very short ride,don't even have to get car out!),same for New Forrest in in Hampshire,
although further from London.

I think you missed the bit about the 45 minute door to door commute. I live in Bracknell, work in Wimbledon, and sometimes it takes me a few months to drive in.


Just under the hour from Farnham on train (Guildford & Winchester have lots of job opportunities & are very close.) to London waterloo.....much faster from Farnborough....New Forest ,Southampton on doorstep...see your point about driving to London though!

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cooldad
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby cooldad » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:46 pm

Yeah, I hate trains, and buses, and planes. Filled with the masses.
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Mccraque
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby Mccraque » Mon Nov 12, 2012 13:06 pm

Putney or Clapham?

Would make the commute to Shoreditch doable. Would enable you to be in Dorking within 30 mins by car or train (for the Surrey Hills), 30 mins to Swinley, 1 hour to the South Downs, and less than an hour to Aston Hill.

And only a couple of hours on a good road to FOD and Cwmcarn.

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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby scottfitz » Mon Nov 12, 2012 13:24 pm

Some where near cheshunt or epping, you will have epping forest for XC and Chicksands and woburn for DH. and not to far to shoreditch.
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benpinnick
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby benpinnick » Mon Nov 12, 2012 14:10 pm

newjumper wrote:
cooldad wrote:
newjumper wrote:Can't go far wrong with NW Surrey area(Farnham)Countryside & MTB trails on the doorstep,(Caesers Camp army ranges a very short ride,don't even have to get car out!),same for New Forrest in in Hampshire,
although further from London.

I think you missed the bit about the 45 minute door to door commute. I live in Bracknell, work in Wimbledon, and sometimes it takes me a few months to drive in.


Just under the hour from Farnham on train (Guildford & Winchester have lots of job opportunities & are very close.) to London waterloo.....much faster from Farnborough....New Forest ,Southampton on doorstep...see your point about driving to London though!


Farnborough is only 35 mins to Waterloo, but that means you have to live in Farnborough.
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milko9000
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby milko9000 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 14:51 pm

Don't reckon you'd get from Waterloo to Shoreditch in 15 minutes too often either on a busy tube. Especially as it's one of those 'in between' places where Old Street and Liverpool St are both almost there but not quite, so potentially a bit of walking to do as well.

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benpinnick
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby benpinnick » Mon Nov 12, 2012 14:52 pm

This is true, you're almost better off getting the drain and walking the last bit.
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milko9000
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby milko9000 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 15:15 pm

Or Boris Bike I s'pose!

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CommyAdam
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby CommyAdam » Mon Nov 12, 2012 15:52 pm

Probably not helpful to answer with a negative but...I live in Suffolk and commute into London (about an hour) and would recommend it as a lovely place to live...but as a mountain biker it is hell...its completely flat. Only decent trail is at Thetford in Norfolk and its certainly not exactly AM/DH... have to drive to Chicksands, Aston Hill, Cannock Chase to get my fix... so over towards Aston Hill for my money...

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njee20
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby njee20 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 15:55 pm

Still quite a walk, 15 minutes+ at a brisk pace, plus the getting to London I reckon you'd hit 45 minutes from about Vauxhall frankly! No way doable from Farnborough, or even Woking.

To be honest... a 45 minute commute to Shoreditch and close access to decent MTB terrain... I'd say one of those has to go! Given free rein I'd go Guildford/Godalming area and accept a longer commute. YMMV.

I live in Billingshurst, W Sussex and commute into London Bridge, slow train service, but far cheaper house prices than 5 miles north in Surrey. You won't do London in an hour though, let alone Shoreditch!

jairaj
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby jairaj » Mon Nov 12, 2012 16:35 pm

I guess somewhere around the North West quarter of the m25 would suit

There is an overground line from Kings Cross up to MK. So easyish to get into London and you have decent enough trails in Woburn and Chicksands. Also Aston Hill and the Chilterns are not to far away.

There is also an overground line from Euston to Northampton. Again similar journey into London but would put you nearer to Aston Hill and Chilterns and slightly further away from Woburn.

Aston Hill is the only place I know around here with proper(ish) DH tracks but is mega slippery in the winter. Woburn deals with the wet conditions much much better and has a bike park area with masshooosive jumps and freeridy stuff but think most of the DH runs are short and sweet but still technically challenging.

Basically follow the two train lines and decide where you like / can afford.

Surry Hills has some good riding not sure how much DH they have over there? But I think the commute to Shoreditch is longer and might be significantly longer than your 45min aim.

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njee20
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby njee20 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 16:50 pm

The problem is that the journey from any London terminus (save Liverpool Street and possibly Fenchurch Street) will push the over all commute over 45 minutes, because it's a particularly crap place to get to. That means you're looking at Essex/Hertfordshire (and just outside the M25 at that) if you're being particularly militant about the 45 minutes.

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MonkFunk
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby MonkFunk » Mon Nov 12, 2012 16:58 pm

Just to throw in another option......somewhere around Ashford, Kent with the High Speed rail link to Stratford or St. Pancras.

Close by there are a few trail centres (Penshurst (PORC), Bedgebury, Cyclopark) plus miles of XC basically on the doorstep with the north/south downs.

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The Spiderman
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby The Spiderman » Mon Nov 12, 2012 22:57 pm

I live on the Herts/Beds border.The fast train from Luton Parkway is 35 minutes into St Pancras,then tube would be 15 mins to Shoreditch.

St Albans,Harpenden are similar commutes, a little but not much cheaper than London prices.

Luton is cheaper but for a reason............... :wink:

Biking is mainly xc locally though Aston Hill is a short drive as is Woburn and Chicksands.

As mentioned above you might need to compromise somewhere!
Last edited by The Spiderman on Wed Nov 14, 2012 08:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

paulneenan76
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby paulneenan76 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 23:36 pm

Bucks/Beds border is spot on really. I regularly commute to Euston form Milton Keynes or Leighton Buzzard stations (London Midland or Virgin) and its approx 30mins. I live in a village and ride to Woburn trails, Dunstable downs, Ashridge and all surrounding bridleways. Forest of Dean is 1hr 30, Cannock 1hr 30, Aston and Wendover 20 mins and I can ride the whole chiltern ridgeway if I felt like it (or was young enough).

Negatives include comparatively high house prices and living costs. Whilst its not cheap, and the trails arent wales yorkshire or scotland level, they are pretty bloody good. - I wouldn't move though, I have a cracking life.

Don't forget, the weather is as crap as it always was :D
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Mfro
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Re: Where in the SE to live?

Postby Mfro » Tue Nov 13, 2012 09:55 am

Wow!

Thanks for all of the replies so far. Much appreciated!

It's given me a bit of homework to do in looking at where, how, why etc.

I used to live near Winslow before I left for Oz and before that near Southampton so some of the places are sounding familiar.

Please keep the suggestions coming, it's all good information and it gives me a chance to research living / riding locations.

Cheers

Matt


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