Thinking of moving west near Swindon – will i die?

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  • Thinking of moving west near Swindon – will i die?
  • IHN
    Member

    Nice village South of Swindon, where’s that then?

    Swindon itself cannot be described as a charming town, but it’s not *that* bad.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Chiseldon

    (I reserve the right to use the word ‘nice’ loosely)

    llama
    Member

    Rent and see if you like it?

    Some people really like Swindon + area, some don’t.

    Croft trails are near there.

    I used to work in Newbury. You might die of boredom.

    Being slightly more constructive i used to commute from near Heathrow to Newbury everyday and it wasn’t so bad, fella I worked with used to go Shepherds bush – Newbury and he managed it without going loco. Your journey will be slightly worse as you’ll be going with the bulk of the traffic.

    T1000
    Member

    you could always move a bit further out and has the opportunity to train it in from Bath for example (change and get off at Hayes and Harlington)

    you could drive into Swindon, Chippenham or any nr of stations in the area from your chosen village

    At somepoint a commute on the M4 or using FGW trains will go badly wrong but having the option of drive or train is v handy

    you could try Cirencester (dual carraigeway to the M4 or train from Kemble)

    IHN
    Member

    you could try Cirencester

    Cirencester can be described as a reasonably charming town (I live there). You’re sticking 20 mins onto your commute though.

    slimjim78
    Member

    So, I’m getting divorced.
    I’m losing pretty much my dream home in Surrey in the process, and I’m not going to be left with enough capital to buy anything other than a tiny studio flat in a really crappy area within easy reach of my office near Heathrow Airport.

    I’m thinking of casting the net wider and investing what little I have left in a more affordable property out west on the M4 corridor.
    I have a colleague who commutes daily from around 15 miles west of Swindon, and despite the obvious disadvantages he seems pretty happy to continue doing so.
    Having looked at how much extra you can achieve in a property out there I can see why.

    Ideally, i’d like to stay as close to M25/Heathrow as possible not only for work, but as i’ll be visiting my son in Surrey every weekend.

    I’m aiming for a place in the Newbury/Thatcham area – I’ve seen a couple of 1 bed places with parking within my budget, but, I’ve also seen a really nice 2 bed apartment (amongst others) in a nice looking village south of Swindon, with a large adjoining garage, for around £15k less than the 1 bed flats in Newbury.

    Therefore i’m weighing up if I can hack the commute for a year or two whilst I consider relocating my job.
    Does anyone else have experience of a similar commute?

    I realise that drawing a circle 60 miles around Heathrow opens up a whole load of other areas, but i’m drawn west for the moment.

    griptool
    Member

    Chisledon …. lol

    I wouldn’t board my dog there, has no nice village feel and is (at least was rife with incest(two families banging away like a shithouse door in the wind(if local lore is to be believed)))

    If you want to go west stick a pin in Swindon draw a 5 miles radius and treat that area as radioactive 🙂

    I live in Thatcham, its nice enough. Big improvement on Reading, not that that means much! I like it though. You might want to look at somewhere in newbury near the m4 junction for ease of jumping on M4 though as from Thatcham you would have to go thru newbury first. Some fantastic road biking straight from the door as well as some fun moutainbiking, winyers a bit gloopy though.

    qwerty
    Member

    What about overground train and then underground train? Would work from Swindon, Kemble, Stroud. May take the strain of your travel or add to it! If it’s just a crash pad for you there may be some more rural spots along the rail line than could be doable. Stroud to Paddington is 1hr20 iirc.

    qwerty
    Member

    PS: Ciren won’t get you much bang for your buck compared to Swindon.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Yes, potential on and off-road cycling routes would be advantageous.

    Cirencester – far too near the ex-mother-in-law for comfort im afraid.

    griptool – some of the most expensive real estate in the world is located within moments of the worlds most famous inbred family, back in London town.
    (despite your reservations – id put up with a strange village over residing in Slough – currently my best shot at local property)

    slimjim78
    Member

    regarding train links, by car (or motorbike-which I own), the commute from Newbury could be done in an hour – im not really sold on the idea of trains including transfers which would theoretically take a fair bit longer.
    Also, last time I checked the price of train tickets raised both eyebrows..

    But, its another idea that I should certainly consider

    Premier Icon DavidB
    Subscriber

    Chiselden is no way as bad as that. Also look in Old Town Swindon where I live which is a nice place to live.

    Hoff
    Member

    Try a couple of commutes to see how bad it is? I occaisionally have to travel the 40 miles from Newbury to Slough & thats bad enough.

    A few friends commute by train to central London from Newbury & don’t have much praise for the train operator.

    Motorbike would be fine from thatcham then. Thats what I use. You can skip thru newbury to the m4 or go along the a4 and join at reading.

    CountZero
    Member

    Wroughton isn’t too bad, and both that and Chisldon give you really easy access to the Ridgeway and miles of byways and bridlepaths on the Marlborough Downs. Certainly the area south of Swindon gives great riding opportunities, and easy access to the M4 and other main roads.
    [/url] image by CountZero1, on Flickr[/img]

    What’s not to like?

    slimjim78
    Member

    indeed! I took a look around the local area yesterday and took a drive over to the Ridgeway, there looked like miles of great road riding and I spotted several bridleway opportunities.
    I also spotted a couple of muddy off-road riders head straight past the flat i’m looking at 🙂

    TiRed
    Member

    I commuted by car down the A34 then along to J3 of the M4. It is not a great drive I am afraid, and ten years of driving 600 miles a week meant I spent 1/12th of my life in a car. We lived out in the Vale of White Horse for 15 years, which felt pretty rural. The area you are looking is very pleasant.

    Personally, if I were you, and knowing that you will be travelling to see your son every weekend, I’d look closer to Heathrow. You can offset some of the travel costs for rent or mortgage. And you could even cycle to work – something I now do after relocation.

    v666ern
    Member

    My boss sold Swindon to me with ‘you can get to a lot of nice places from Swindon’
    Old towns not bad tbf, just watch out for the badgers attacking cyclists (google it)

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Well, the map that CountZero has kindly provided does indeed show unlimited opportunities for riding.

    Having moved away from Wiltshire I really do miss my pootles across Fyfield Down where I spent many a happy hour sitting on a Grey Wether and solving life’s problems. The climb up Smeathe’s Ridge was fantastic in all weathers.

    Can’t help with regard to your situation, wouldn’t envy you with a long commute.

    CountZero
    Member

    As v666ern says, Old Town is actually a nice part of Swindon, a friend of mine lived there for a while, and it was dead easy to get to her place via Avebury and Woughton, there’s a nice little arts centre there, and a pretty decent bike shop too, or there used to be, so all things considered, it’s a pretty decent area to live.
    Rather there than Trowbridge or Melksham.

    slimjim78
    Member

    Thanks again for the comments.
    I suppose I’m fairly aware that the commute will be far from joyous. But the fact that others have commented on the area having scenic routes and decent riding goes a long way to assuring me that my weekends should always be pleasant enough.

    The hard fact is that i’ll be even further out of pocket to rent locally (and off the property ladder indefinitely), with little means to save further.
    I already have alternative plans for at least two nights per week and am considering requesting work from home status for at least one day per week, so the commute from Wiltshire could potentially be cut to 2 or 3 days per week..

    In the medium to long term ideally i’ll be renting the Wiltshire pad out and living in London area with Mrs Slim Mk2.
    Although, it would make a rather nice weekend bolt hole pad.

    hooli
    Member

    I live not far from Thatcham and my advice would be to not under estimate the M4 eastbound in the morning. It is a *&^%$ %^&*, normally less than 40mph from J12 or 11 then a standstill around Bracknell and again at Slough and to the M25.

    Evenings are OK as long as there are no accidents.

    The upside is it is a fantastic part of the world with more for your money and some great MTB and road rides.

    slimjim78
    Member

    The plan would be to hit the m4 at j15 at 6:30am, and off at j4/Datchet .
    I also have a motorbike for during the good weather.

    However yes. I’m still putting serious thought to whether I can handle the commute in general.

    Premier Icon Caher
    Subscriber

    I used to do a similar commute into Bretford from west Berkshire. Out of school holidays it was a breeze, in school time it was a nightmare. Worst case one rainy November – I was stuck on the M4 for 5 hours but not unusual to be stuck for 2/3. Come the weekend the drive took so much out – you were truly fatigued.
    Don’t under estimate that horrible motorway.

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