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What's Stevenage like to live?

What's Stevenage like to live?

Old Jan 18th 2009, 6:05 am
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Default What's Stevenage like to live?

Biggest issue for many I would imagine is where to move (back) to in UK. Some no doubt move back to their old lives, and possibly their previous home.

In my case most of my opportunities are London based. I don't much like it but accept it. Although they come up elsewhere, I'm now super-sensitive to moving to a place where I have ONE opportunity in case it goes South. This happened to me in Vancouver and played a big part of our present situation.

My working needs are:
(a) I need to be commutable to London,
(b) I won't know exactly where I'd be working and possibly in multiple places,
(c) I need to be near an airport as my work involves occasional travel
(d) I would accept a more realistically priced area for extra commute time and higher commuting cost

Without disclosing all my research I did find an area that superbly meets these needs, but I don't know much about it. The area, as the title of this post suggests is Stevenage in Hertfordshire.

My understanding is as follows. Stevenage is a modern(ish) city where the modern parts now look a bit dated. The rail network to London connects with Kings Cross in 25 minutes and is about 30 minutes to Luton Airport. Property rental market is active with plenty of choice of 3 bed semis well below a grand a month, mostly in the north of town which presumably contains the new developments. I'm presuming this might be in part to do with new properties that just never sold in time for the market decline, flooding the rental market.

I have asked some friends in the area about the place but nobody seems to know, apart from they think it's a half decent place to live; nothing spectacular but reasonable. So I'm throwing this out for your opinions. It's a risk moving somewhere you don't know (as we are learning) but the more you find out about a place, the less likely things will go pear shaped. Well that's the theory.
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Old Jan 18th 2009, 7:19 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Hi there, Stevenage is a nice enough place in Hertfordshire, but depending on your needs (and in my humble opinion) there are surrounding towns that are maybe a little nicer. Hertford, Ware, Bishop's Stortford, Stansted (which is actually Essex rather than Herts), all of which would meet the needs you have listed. Other than the commutable issues, are there other elements that are forming part of your decision -family, schools etc? Check out www.intercounty.co.uk as they are a good local Estate Agents that will be able to show you what's available in the local vicinity.
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Old Jan 18th 2009, 8:41 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

I'm with ukintexas - Stevenage always seems a bit sort of built up and industrial to me - I'd be looking along the train line from Liverpool St to Cambridge for somewhere. My parents live in Shelford which is just outside Cambridge but that is probably a bit too far (75 min commute) but Bishops Stortford, Saffron Walden, any of the towns in that area would be nice IMHO.

However I am sure that Stevenage will be just fine, I can see that property and rents could well be cheaper given that it is a larger urban area and not quite so "country" as the towns on the other side.
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Old Jan 18th 2009, 1:28 pm
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Yes I'm with UKinTexas on this one also.
We were in Goffs Oak. Used to commute into London From either Cuffley station or Cheshunt station depending what time we needed to be in London and/or where in London. Cuffley goes into Moorgate and Cheshunt goes into Liverpool St. Either station will get you into London in around 30 mins or less.
If I needed to head towards the West end I'd get the Cheshunt fast train to Tottenham Hale (took 7 minutes!) then jump on the Victoria line straight to Oxford Circus.
I don't know much about Stevenage personally but know people who have lived there and said it wasn't all that.
Potters Bar may be worth looking at - I know a lot of people commute from there and it's a busier town.
We looked at moving to Sussex when we return but have since decided to go back to Herts. Not to the exact same part but to where we can use the same stations because it's so convenient and quite inexpensive given how far away from London it feels.
Hope this helps.
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Old Jan 18th 2009, 10:53 pm
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Hi Original poster. I know Stevenage well as I live in North London and commute to Ardely in Herts which is 7 miles from Stevenage and I go there for work a bit.

Stevenage is, an absolute shi* hole. Everyone takes the pis* out of it. There where a bunch of modern industrial towns/garden cities that were built as commuter towns to London and this one is the worst. I cant actually think of anything redeeming about the place, and I am not a snob when it comes to towns, but stevenage is universally panned, move there at your peril.

Herts has some much nicer places, if I had a choice of two places in Hertford I could live, then Hertford or Hitchin would be my two.

Any of the home counties would be OK, Kent, Surrey, Herts and Essex the best of the bunch, but you have probably highlighted the worst place you could move too. I assure you, one week in Stevenage and you will regret coming back.

Sorry if I offended any stevenagers here, its just my opinion, and the opinion of the other 70 people in my office, hahahaha.
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Old Jan 18th 2009, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Generally agree with the previous poster's view on Stevenage. Especially as you're returning from overseas, I doubt moving there would be the best re-introduction to the UK. I'd also pick a town/village outside the town (e.g. ware, hertford)

I'm from Bishop's Stortford and would agree with somewhere on that trainline from Liverpool Street - Cambridge. This also puts you pretty much on the M11. There are places I like - especially heading north and west of Bishop's Stortford, but very much depends on what's more impportant for you - town vs village, countryside vs close to a station (i.e. would you be happy to drive 15 mins to a station?) then how long are you happy sitting on a train?

Could also look at the line that goes from london into essex although I don't know it as well (went to school in colchester but been a few years now).
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 12:34 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Originally Posted by MTPockets
Generally agree with the previous poster's view on Stevenage. Especially as you're returning from overseas, I doubt moving there would be the best re-introduction to the UK. I'd also pick a town/village outside the town (e.g. ware, hertford)

I'm from Bishop's Stortford and would agree with somewhere on that trainline from Liverpool Street - Cambridge. This also puts you pretty much on the M11. There are places I like - especially heading north and west of Bishop's Stortford, but very much depends on what's more impportant for you - town vs village, countryside vs close to a station (i.e. would you be happy to drive 15 mins to a station?) then how long are you happy sitting on a train?

Could also look at the line that goes from london into essex although I don't know it as well (went to school in colchester but been a few years now).
Ware has the slow train line, Hertford the faster line. This isn't important if you don't mind driving to the station but I didn't have a car when I lived in Ware.

Not much in Ware except Glaxo! I liked Hertford but I was 18 so.....no idea what I would think of it now.
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 5:41 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

My aunt/uncle live in Stevenage and have so, for about 40yrs, their children are still there, and raising their little ones. I've been there many times..our last holiday we stayed there for 3weeks, and 1week in Potters Bar...both nice places. I enjoyed the small villages around Stevenage, Knebworth, Hitchin. very quaint!
Found housing to be pricey..maybe different now of course.

We won't be looking at Stevenage. As probably won't need to commute to London, so looking more in Suffolk, Essex, near the seaside.

good luck to you...keep us posted!
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 7:52 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Originally Posted by G586
Ware has the slow train line, Hertford the faster line. This isn't important if you don't mind driving to the station but I didn't have a car when I lived in Ware.

Not much in Ware except Glaxo! I liked Hertford but I was 18 so.....no idea what I would think of it now.
That might not even be there much longer!!!!! My dad works there, for now anyways. It is very much wait and see for the Ware site
My parents moved to Stevenage in 2005 and I hate the place, it reminds us of Crawley (where we are all from) only about 20 years behind the times!!!!!
Did reply to OP on the Canada Forum for this post but stand by what the last couple of posters have said here, not the best introduction for you back to the UK. I would stick with Vancouver over Stevenage anyday (and I don't really like Vancouver either!)
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 7:54 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Originally Posted by Steve&Tanya
That might not even be there much longer!!!!! My dad works there, for now anyways. It is very much wait and see for the Ware site
My parents moved to Stevenage in 2005 and I hate the place, it reminds us of Crawley (where we are all from) only about 20 years behind the times!!!!!
Did reply to OP on the Canada Forum for this post but stand by what the last couple of posters have said here, not the best introduction for you back to the UK. I would stick with Vancouver over Stevenage anyday (and I don't really like Vancouver either!)
I was there before they built the place nearer Stevenage. I worked in the research labs.
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Old Jan 19th 2009, 8:24 am
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Stevenage is, an absolute shi* hole. Everyone takes the pis* out of it. There where a bunch of modern industrial towns/garden cities that were built as commuter towns to London and this one is the worst. I cant actually think of anything redeeming about the place, and I am not a snob when it comes to towns, but stevenage is universally panned, move there at your peril.







I have to agree with this one, it is on par with Harlow and Basildon

If you want to stay in hertfordshire then I would try looking at some of the other places people suggested. Try Letchworth, Hertford, Broxbourne, Bishop Stortford, Cuffley, Goffs Oak and Sawbridgeworth. Some of these places where quite pricey when we left a few years ago but may have come down a bit now though.

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Old Jan 19th 2009, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Thank you for all the comments. i think I'm going to heed all the good advice. Nobody has said yeah it's really a fine place to live. Many people have used strong language to describe the place. That's enough to convince me. One comment which is really valid, is that Stevenage is kind of fabricated, rather than organic, and this makes a big difference in terms of the taste of the fruit.

Hitchin was recommended by some and looks like a viable alternative.

A friend recommended taking a holiday rental so we can settle, check places out ourselves, I can attend job interviews (with luck) and depending on what I get, can justify paying a premium, and choosing a place strategically. This does sound like a good plan, not least allowing our stuff to make its way across the atlantic at 18 knots and hopefully be available when we need it.

Thanks again for the constructive feedback. Life has taught me that my gut feelings are normally right. Comments here convince me that moving to Stevanage would have been (another) mistake.
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Old Jan 20th 2009, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: What's Stevenage like to live?

Stevenage is a total dump imo. If the town/city you are leaving is in any way pretty or interesting then you will be sorely depressed. If however, you are leaving a dump then it may be the place for you.
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