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We are moving to England in Southampton area in December. My husband will be working near Shedfield, we don't want to live in the city, but have to be not too far since I don't drive yet. Anyone knows good and safe areas to find a little house or a flat? Also things to do with 4 year old boy after school. Any other info will be welcome about Southampton
 

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First of all, if you are going to rely on buses but live outside the city Centre and the surrounding areas including Eastleigh, think again. The bus and the train fares can be very expensive if you travel occasionally. Also, petrol is expensive. It might hurt if your husband has to do long commute.

If you want somewhere lovely that has sufficient shops and restaurants so you don't really need to go to So'ton city centre or other towns regularly, then traditionally pretty towns such as Bishop's Waltham and Wickham, which have small supermarkets and no trains, are likely the best options. Wickham even has its on vineyard where there is also a posh Indian restaurant. Botley is nice but I don't remember if its High St has much to offer except one Tesco Express. It has a small train station where some fast trains stop on the way to Portsmouth, So'ton and London though. Meon Valley towns should be nice, but I am not familiar with the areas.

If you fancy a bigger town with large supermarkets and main train stations, Fareham, Hedge End or even busy Eastleigh are the best options. Fareham has got some lovely villages (and ugly ones). Eastleigh, apart from an airport and a main train station, also has a big High Street shopping centre, bus station and Tesco, Morrissons and Iceland. And within 10 mins' drive or bus ride, you can go to Asda or Waitrose. If you want the convenience of Eastleigh without living in it, Chandlers Ford is very close by via bus and train and it is quieter and feels nicer.

I don't know anything about schools, unfortunately. But IMHO you possibly have more choices in bigger towns.

If you ask me what towns should go to the bottom of your list, my answers are Shirley, Shirley Warren, Maybush, Havant, Thornhill, Millbrook and especially Lee Park.

I don't think you will get a two-bed place for under £700 PCM.
 
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