How far do you think is too far for a journey to school

We are buying a new house and have narrowed it down to two.

we are thinking about distances to school now as part of our thought process. It won't matter for a couple of years but as we see this as the long term house needs to be factored in

one house is a 5-10 min walk from Hs primary school where he'll be from 3-11. The other is a 20-30 min drive depending on traffic. Do you think either journey is too long?

secondary schools would be closer to the first house as well

ivr never lived near my school so cant judge objectively!

also do you think living further out will put people off coming over for tea after school etc??


  • I'd prefer to be within walking distance of school personally. We love walking to school and meeting up with friends along the way and it helps to have other school mums around to help out every now and again. 20 minutes is a long drive at the end of a day with a tired and hungry child!

  • id not consider one with a 30m drive.

  • I live a 2 min walk from the primary school and would not consider even moving to the other side of town as it's sooo convenient being able to walk to school!! I certainly wouldn't consider a 20-30 minute drive.

  • I'd prefer a short walk with children, than a drive. I used to like walking to school, I'd meet friends on the way and sometimes our parents would take turns in walking us. By the time my little brother was in primary we'd moved and we had a half hour drive to his school, and then for me a journey of nearly an hour to my secondary school. Although the house move was the best thing in most ways, getting up so much earlier to go to school each day was really hard, particularly on dark mornings.

  • If you were a 20 min drive away would that not make you unlikely to get in anyway as you are living quite a distance from the school? If it's a popular school it's likely you would need to live close by to get a place . That's the main factor for us at the moment as we are looking to move

  • Is the closer one in the catchment area? I'd want to make sure the house I was moving to had a catchment school I was at least happy with (even if not preferred choice) as out of catchment you can never be sure to get a place.
  • I too wondered about catchment areas, I know they change yearly (at least they do round here) but still would be worth checking out. You won't necessarily get into your nearest school. I'm guessing you must be fairly rural (we must have at least 6 primaries within walking distance, probably more!) but even so.

  • We moved house 3 years ago to be in the catchment area for a school, it would have been a 15'min drive from our old house and we wouldn't have got in. We are now a 10 minute from the school which is great. We also love the walk to school too

  • For 4 years we had a 15 min drive to primary. Worth it to get the school we wanted. As a working mum I didn't do the school gates thing, and kids coming for tea was booked in advance anyway, so it had no impact on us really.

  • We are looking at private school so catchment not so much of an issue although both houses are in catchment for good primaries which gives us more options.

    Although neither are in walking distance I am a little concerned the drive may be too long so it's interesting having all your views that nearer is better. I mean that makes sense in my head really but the location is just less rural!

  • We're a 10 minute drive away. Would love to walk but no pavements down the lanes. The drive is fine but when I have to go back and forward (son at nursery in same village) for after school clubs, play dates , brownies etc etc I do wish we lived closer! We live less than a mile away from "our" village school but didn't get in as whole class was siblings so got allocated this school!

  • I wouldn't consider one where I had to drive 30 minutes.  We're a mile away from the boys school and I love the 20 minute walk each morning :)

  • I wouldn't want to do a 30 minute drive to school if I could avoid it. I think adding that kind of time onto the day for a small child is quite a lot of travelling. However, private schools can be different and parents will often drive from further afield so seeing parents on the school run might not be such a big thing anyway.

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