A Good Place to Re-locate?

Julia asks:

I currently reside in the U.S. My family will relocate to the UK in the summer and have found GMV as one of our options. I have two small children 3 and 5 years of age. Since my husband will be working in central London, this seemed like an option since school, transportation, and shopping is within walking distance? Would we need a car?

After calling the school in Millennium I was told that there may not be space for my children for the September term. Is there any other areas in Greenwich you could recommend that is near some good primary and nursery care? And besides that would you say it would be a good place to raise small children? Any comments or recommendations regarding my questions or perhaps even other areas that may work for my family would be much appreciated.

The Phantom replies:

Welcome (perhaps) to Greenwich!

Would you need a car. Hmm. I’d say probably not. GMV is stuck out on a limb a bit, but it’s on many bus routes and about a ten minute walk to North Greenwich Tube Jubilee Line. It’s about a ten minute walk to the nearest supermarket too (there are two within easy walking distance from GMV – at one there’s an electrical store and a big DIY shed as well as Sainsburys; over at the ASDA (another supermarket) there’s a TK Max, Boots the Chemist, some clothing stores, an HMV, Office World. pet superstore and a stationers.)

You’d have a pretty sad life if you just stuck to those places though – they’re not all that nice, just useful. There are buses to Blackheath (a lovely little village, with a Farmers Market on a Sunday and lots of nice eateries, and to Greenwich which – well – you know all about Greenwich, I’m sure. If not, a trawl through this blog should help there…

I heard there’s a car sharing scheme on the peninusla but I don’t know anything about it.

The best primary school in the area is Halstow Road School, or so my next door neighbour tells me (people with young families may disagree with me there, of course.) I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s in the top 100 in Britain, I believe, but even if I have that wrong, competition is fierce. Some people move into the catchment area just to get their children into the school. It’s about a ten-fifteen minute walk from GMV, but check to see if you would ‘count’ if you lived there. Houses in the Halstow Road catchment area are a bit more expensive than GMV, but they tend to have gardens and more space. Obviously that area is FULL of young families.

There is a Steiner School in Westcombe Park, just up the hill from East Greenwich (Westcombe Park or Maze Hill railway stations) and I’ve heard good things about the General Wolfe School in West Greenwich, (loads of stations, LR and buses) though the housing stock tends to be much more expensive (and very dinky indeed…) You will find a lot of young families there too.

Families are growing in GMV, but because the housing units tend to be smaller, there is less room for spreading out. It’s reasonably safe though, and the eco park, views of the river and comparitively large amounts of green open spaces mean there’s somewhere to play.

Is it a good area to bring up children? I’ll have to open that one up to the floor!


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