DBPR asked property experts Edward Corry-Reid and Ashley Wilsdon why parents are choosing to bring up their children in London rather than the country.
Edward Corry-Reid, Director, Aylesford International
“For me, Chelsea is still a great place to raise a family. It can seem counter intuitive as it is easy to immediately associate Chelsea with the bustling and busy King’s Road, but as you drift further away from the tourist traps and retail meccas of Knightsbridge and Sloane Square, you can still find quiet residential areas that feel very local and which maintain a strong sense of community.
Old Chelsea is such an area, particularly from St Leonard’s Terrace down to Old Church Street. It is full of quiet residential streets, yet close to plenty of schools for younger children such as Eaton House, the Knightsbridge School, Sussex House and Francis Holland. In the summer there are plenty of distractions and green spaces, from a lazy afternoon watching cricket on Burton Court, to the landscaped appeal of the Royal Hospital and – a personal favourite if you really want to feel like you’ve escaped London – tea and a walk around the tranquil Chelsea Physic Gardens.
Schools: As children grow older, the location also gives you easy access to the M4, so is highly convenient for the transition to some of the country’s leading boarding schools such as Ludgrove, Sunningdale, Heathfield or St Mary’s Ascot”.
Ashley Wilsdon of Middleton Advisors (London)
“I find that families choose a location that is right for them, as long as the school run is manageable. Richmond being a good example of this.
Richmond remains an attractive option for families seeking a balance between city life and a more village like feel. Often described as a Surrey-like market town. Richmond park is an obvious draw, as is the proximity to the Thames, meaning children have plenty of outdoor activities available.
Richmond to Waterloo taking only 21 minutes by train and the Surrey Hills are just 30 minutes by car. The town centre itself is a mix of quality chains and independent boutique shops. The most desirable family homes tend to be situated on Richmond Hill and approximately range from £2.5 – £3m.
Schools: Popular private school include Kings in Richmond, LEH in Hampton and St Pauls in Barnes”.
Moving to the country
I think for many families the country move can be quite daunting. Its such a change in lifestyle and can often be a real culture shock in terms of local amenities and on a social level. For this reason, this is why areas such as Barnes and Richmond have become so attractive, as they offer a balance between city living and a more rural feel. Furthermore, we often represent clients who have moved to the country and then back into London at a later stage in life, as they missed the buzz of the city, going full circle.
When families consider making the move out of London, for many it is knowing where to start. Its a hugely complex equation of which part of the countryside to focus on, transport links, local infrastructure, schools and then of course finding the house itself. Without professional advice and guidance, many buyers flirt with the idea of the big move but then choose to remain.
The idea of more space and some land is certainly an attractive prospect for any family, however, with so much on offer for both parents and children in the city, its a big decision to make.”