Moving to Manchester

(59 Posts)
ZiggyZogpops Tue 24-Jun-14 22:21:11

I’m looking for some help and advice if possible. It’s my first post here, so please forgive if I get anything wrong!

Basically, we’re going to be moving to Manchester at the end of the year, and are hoping to buy somewhere when we move, and avoid having to rent while we work out what’s what. We’re in the Midlands at the moment, and will be moving for work – neither of us knows Manchester at all, so we are completely at square one. I’ll be working at the Uni and will need to drive to work; DH will be working in the City Centre too (Spinningfields) and could either drive or use public transport.

We have a DD, who is two, so we really need to make educational choices a big part of this decision. I’ve heard that in Manchester/Cheshire, as is probably true everywhere, the areas with good primaries are often over-subscribed, so even if you’re in catchment etc, you can struggle to get a place.

So, I’m looking for help. We have six months to work it all out, and I’m hoping that, with the collective wisdom of all you good people, you can help shed some light on the options.

What I would really appreciate is thoughts or comments on the areas that people have mentioned to us at interviews etc. The ‘short’ list comprises: Sale, Altrincham, Didsbury (in various directions East, West and so on), Heaton Moor/Chapel/Mersey, Bowdon (though possibly unaffordable based on what I’ve seen on Rightmove), Bramhall, Marple.
I’ve watched enough Phil & Kirsty (or should that be Kirsty & Phil?) to know that you never get everything you want, but the things that will matter to us are:

•Schools (nursery, primary and secondary) – we’d prefer state as that’s more our sort of thing, but aren’t ideologically wedded to it
•Gardens/Greenness of the area – we live in a very leafy, tree-y place where you get lots of families and can get a decent sized garden with a house and would like to keep a bit of that if we can in the place we live
•Stuff for kids to do, and ways for our daughter (and us, as well) to make friends in our new home – could be sports or other community things.
•Commute – we love our daughter and would rather spend time with her than on trains/trams/traffic jams, so a reasonable commute is important
•House Prices – we can’t compete with footballers!

And that’s about it. If you live in/know these places, and would be willing to tell me what you think, I would really, really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance

Ziggy.

Lesshastemorespeed Tue 24-Jun-14 22:28:50

What's your house price budget? That might pick your area for you.

mamalovebird Tue 24-Jun-14 22:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mamalovebird Tue 24-Jun-14 22:41:03

Apologies for typos, pesky phone.

ElizabethMedora Tue 24-Jun-14 22:41:29

Budget is crucial here.

Treaclepot Tue 24-Jun-14 22:46:39

How many beds? How much mortgage? What are you into? Trafford in general is better for schools than manchester.

ZiggyZogpops Tue 24-Jun-14 23:11:05

Thanks very much for the replies. We need 4 or 5 beds and we'd ideally prefer to keep the budget to 750k, though would inevitably end up pushing beyond that if we really fall in love with a place.

Hard to say what we're particularly into, as I've mostly forgotten what I used to do before DD's arrival - nice evening or weekend strolls around parks would be good, and I do like a good cafe!

Thanks again.

Ziggy.

Dancingdreamer Tue 24-Jun-14 23:16:43

Wilmslow or Hale would be my choice.

BarbaraPalmer Tue 24-Jun-14 23:26:55

what are your thoughts on selective education?

I am aware it's a big draw for some, but I am not keen, and so chose to avoid Trafford borough when we relocated.

Mini05 Tue 24-Jun-14 23:37:37

From your list
The easiest from your list is Heaton Moor/ heaton chapel to Mcr by train 10
mins
Driving anywhere in rush hour is nightmare, the list you have I would say anything from 30 mins to an hour presume you start at 9am driving to at uni if it's the one on Oxford Road as there are loads of university buildings in Mcr
Heaton chapel desirable heaton moor quite expensive(don't know why)but v nice.
As for Bramhall/Poynton very nice areas but expensive esp Bramhall!
Driving from from there rush hour at least hour. There both have train stations. Good schools so I've heard
Marple is quite far from Mcr to drive esp rush hour, but trains. Again nice area and schools.

As said Sale/Altrincham if near tram stop yer 20 mins, driving 40 mins plus. Also nice area

It does really depend on finances! As to what area. As you know there are good parts and not so good parts of every district.

Mini05 Tue 24-Jun-14 23:40:42

Re cafe, defo Heaton Moor, Didsbury as loads. Bramhall as few.

RCheshire Tue 24-Jun-14 23:47:45

You've a good budget. Hale/Bowdon are the only areas where your budget may see compromises in the type of house and/or garden.

Key for me are the length of the commute and how much greenery you want. If 'greenery' means an urban park and trees planted along roads then fine, else you may find many of the areas you've specified too urban. What I consider a decent sized garden is a tough ask for your budget in Hale/Bowdon - although everyone's view on garden size is different.

Marple is very different from your other options and gets you much more greenery/open spaces but at the cost of being a longer commute. Has a very different feel from the Manchester and Stockport suburbs.

Bear in mind that if you are looking at public transport to work then consider the logistics of school with your working hours. Many schools allow drop off from 0845 - not too bad if you're continuing on a 30 min drive to work, but much worse if then driving to a station, catching the next train etc.

Also consider that suburbs (e.g. Altrincham) 'feel' closer to Manchester but the commute by tram takes a similar duration to rail links from further out (e.g. Bramhall). I get the train some of the time from Chelford to Manc - people think that's miles out, but takes me less than10 mins longer than when I was doing Alty > Manc by tram.

nomorelostweekends Tue 24-Jun-14 23:54:20

Agree with Mini about Heaton Moor with your budget. Really easy commute into Manchester on the train (7 mins, 2 stops), also reasonable to the University. Has library, park, cafes and a handful of independent shops. There is a bit of a squeeze on primary places though. The local secondary has a good reputation (no direct experience but I live in catchment now and families generally try to move into area to go).

Didsbury has a bigger centre, also pressure on school places and the secondary has not got quite as positive reputation, though I know one family very happy with it.

Elfontheedge Tue 24-Jun-14 23:57:58

Have you considered North Manchester? Your budget would get you something great in Prestwich with a big garden. Lots of green spaces such as Drinkwater Park, Prestwich Clough, Heaton Park. Metrolink into Manchester or drive not too bad. Much less crowded than South Manchester as well.

dustdragon Wed 25-Jun-14 00:05:00

I'd say Marple/Bramhall as you are much closer to open countryside and schools are good. Bramhall easier for commuting to the uni though just up the A34.

Have you considered Poynton - would meet all your criteria and is a lovely self contained village with good schools and access to the canal and Lyme Park. Or even Wilmslow, your budget would be enough for something nice.

ThePerfectNegroni Wed 25-Jun-14 06:03:11

What do you count as a reasonable commute? Twenty minutes, forty minutes? I'd rule out Bramhall, Poynton etc with either really.

How will DH get to work- drive or tram?

What sort of an area do you want to live in? Do you want to be able to walk to shops and to have a bit of a local high street etc?

You need to think about schools more. Would you consider private or state? Do you want your daughter to sit the 11 plus. Trafford, which includes Sale, Hale, Altrincham etc still has the grammar school system. Don't assume that means that the grammar schools are automatically better- some of them have poor value ie children still do well bet considering the level they enter from primary school they should do better. Trafford is one of the highest performing LEAs though, with something like over 80% of schools rates good or outstanding. That been said, a lot of Trafford is very white middle class, and if you want to grow up in a more multicultural area, it might not be the right choice for you.

If I has £750k to spend and wanted a 30 minute or less commute I'd look at
Worsley (part of Salford)
Chorlton (slightly more alternative multicultural vibe)
West/ East Didsbury
Sale

I have an irrational dislike of anything Stockport (including the Heatons etc) as the a6, a34 etc are a pain and there's no tram etc.

Christelle2207 Wed 25-Jun-14 06:26:54

I live between Bramhall and Marple and both are nice, especially Bramhally - we would live there if we could afford it! Marple cheaper . However both are a PITA to commute from - traffic is horrendous in south Manchester and the trains are crappy and go to Piccadilly which is not particularly good for spinningfields or uni.
From your list I think Heatons worth considering, lots of it is really nice with villagey feel and although the traffic issue still applies you're much closer in (and the right side of the m60) to start with. Also you get much less for your money than you would in , say, Marple, thoiugh with your budget there should still be nice options.

Christelle2207 Wed 25-Jun-14 06:32:07

Altrincham sadly gone downhill a bit though Hale nice (like alderley edge/Wilmslow a big pretentious ). I would definitely consider Sale for grammar schools and the met. Also Didsbury though it's mostly ginormous houses and flats and nothing in between.
Not keen on bowdon, not really anything there though you are close to Alty.

ElizabethMedora Wed 25-Jun-14 06:42:46

With your budget I would go for Didsbury or Chorlton. Possibly Sale. When buying in Trafford don't forget to factor in that your child might not pass the 11+ so it is wise to look at all schools not just the grammars.

wowfudge Wed 25-Jun-14 06:44:38

Worsley, though lovely, especially the area close to Worsley village, is not a 30 minute commute and the wrong side of the city for the university. It will take a lot longer. Traffic along the A580 is horrendous and getting onto it would be a pain. The public transport option is limited to bus only and the provision is nowhere near as good as the areas you have already identified.

mandy214 Wed 25-Jun-14 10:05:11

If schools is the top of your list, then I think you need to be in Trafford. The grammar schools are regularly in the highest performing league tables and the alternative (secondary schools) are out-performing many comparable comps now in the wider area. I think you could certainly get 4 beds for �750k in Altrincham, maybe in Hale too depending on what extras you wanted (plot size / garden). The village centre of Hale is lovely with bars / restaurants and a multitude of things to do for children. Dunham Park on your doorstep and the Bollin area too. Has a good community spirit too. Don't class Bowdon as a separate area, its literally a 5-10 min walk to Hale centre (although yes, Bowdon is ���). Similarly Hale is on the doorstep of Altrincham, so even on the outskirts of Hale you can walk to Atrincham station / tram in about 15 mins.

Sale is within Trafford too but the centre isn't as nice as Hale but your money will definitely go further. You'd get 4-5 bed with your budget in Sale.

The only thing I would advise if you're considering a move to Trafford is to do your homework re catchment areas. Consider catchment for secondary schools too. All of the schools (primary & secondary) are massively over-subscribed (I think there were 1500 children sit the entrance exams for Altrincham Girls for 180 places, and the same for the Boys this year).

Sunnyshores Wed 25-Jun-14 10:28:05

How exciting, I love Manchester and a few years ago were in your situation, with 2 primary age children, similar budget and requirements. We chose Hale for schools and 'village' life. The house, or actually garden size was the compromise we made. Would have loved it to be a little further out (greener), but that wasnt possible with our no1 criteria, which was to be able to take the children to/from school ourselves.

To get our working hours in, we had to be home-school-work= 30 mins tops and the traffic really is crappy in most of Manchester, so this ruled out alot of areas.

ZiggyZogpops Wed 25-Jun-14 15:52:26

Thank you again for all your helpful contributions! To help refine it, I think ideally the commute would have to be kept below 45 mins at peak times for me to drive to the Oxford Rd campus, and a bit more by either driving or public transport for DH to get to work. At the moment, DD goes to a nursery where she can be dropped off at 8.00 onwards and it's quite near my work, so if anyone has any experience of nurseries in the 'short listed' areas or near the Uni, that would be brilliant. When we get to school age, I guess we'll be looking at either breakfast/after school clubs - provision of that type of care would be a big plus, as our local schools all do that currently.

With regard to selective education, I do worry a bit about it (people tell me it can all get very fraught) but I guess that is something that we have to consider. I definitely wouldn't rule a place out just because of it. Am quite happy with faith schools, similarly.

Thanks again.

Z.

SwedishEdith Wed 25-Jun-14 16:04:13

If he's working in spinningfields area he'll have a 20 min walk from Piccadilly so don't forget to factor that in

mandy214 Wed 25-Jun-14 16:09:15

Most of the nurseries have pretty standard hours (8-6) and quite alot of the schools in Hale / Altrincham have on-site breakfast / after school clubs. Public transport into the city centre is definitely do-able within 45 mins (tram). I don't know about a drive though to Oxford Rd in 45 mins. I'd definitely suggest renting, even for a few months, as buying without the benefit of living here / doing the commute / getting the know the area would be quite hard.

SwedishEdith Wed 25-Jun-14 16:09:50

With your budget I'd be looking at West Didsbury - the metro takes you to Deansgate so a better commute. Not exactly rural though

Mini05 Wed 25-Jun-14 17:25:00

If you have Heaton Moor on your narrowed down list, you would get a lovely large Victorian detached for that amount of money.

Trains to manchester from Heaton chapel station say the 8.18 will get you in picc 8.29 he could then jump a tram from same stn to Victoria stn 5 mins to spinngfields.

You going to the oxford road campus would use the A6 and cut across onto oxford rd, or go onto A34 kingsway and cut across to oxford road.

Nurseries are plenty between 6-7 all within at the 3 miles.
Primary schools Heaton Moor Tithe Barn, 2 more on Didsbury Road C of E and RC. Few independent schools prob 4 or more all very close.

Have a Zoopla

sewingandcakes Wed 25-Jun-14 17:36:37

Is suggest Chorlton or Firswood.

sewingandcakes Wed 25-Jun-14 17:36:48

* I'd

Lagoonablue Wed 25-Jun-14 19:05:35

Chorlton is overrated Imho as is Didsbury. Chorlton has a very high crime rate but is trendy I suppose? Hale is nice as is Timperley.

littlemissforgetful Wed 25-Jun-14 21:54:40

I agree with discounting Chorlton, we currently live there and whilst it was great for bars in our child free days I don't think it's too child friendly, you really struggle to get a pram in a cafe.

I'd avoid Chedale too, although lovely to visit it's under a direct flight path... unless you don't mind the noise.

We are moving out of Chorlton soon and a combination of schools, village feel, large gardens etc our search area is Didsbury, Heaton Mersey, Heaton Moor & Gatley.

There's a massive difference between North and South Manchester (technically the Heatons, Gately, Chedale etc come under Stockport)

Lesshastemorespeed Wed 25-Jun-14 23:04:06

I work in spinningfields and live in sale moor. From door to door the journey takes 45 mins by foot and tram and that includes school drop off.

By car to john dalton building (mmu) takes about the same leaving at 8am. (There is a particular route to use to get there in that time). Leaving after 9.15 takes no more than 20 mins.

You can get a lot for your money in sale within walking distance of brooklands, sale or Dane road tram stops.

As pp has said, it's a really lovely area. The parks are particularly good, as are nurseries and schools. Sale town centre is no match for hale, but it's got everything you need and lots of stuff that other places don't have. lovely restaurants and cafés, library, canal, very family friendly theatre, leisure centre etc. motorway links are great too, you're a few mins away from m60, m56, m62.

Good luck with your hunt.

ZiggyZogpops Mon 14-Jul-14 10:35:23

So, things are moving on - all starting to get a bit real now, which is both exciting and scary! Based on your helpful input, we've done a first recce of various of the patches recommended by you good people. Can I share my thoughts so far, and invite anyone who knows the places better than I do (i.e. anyone who knows the places) to tell me if I'm getting it about right?
We could only manage to get up for one long day, as my parents were able to look after DD, but to be honest, our heads were exploding by the evening so we will need to come back a few more times.
We ruled out Bramhall/Marple/Worsley for this visit because it does sound as though the drive into Manchester at peak times is just too long. We focussed on Heatons, Didsbury, then the road back through Sale, Atrincham, Hale and Bowdon.
So (deep breath), here we go:
Heatons - good housing stock, affordable in comparison to nearby places like Didsbury/Bramhall. We'd promised ourselves to be shameless in asking for advice, so spoke to some mums in cafe who said good nurseries, nice vibe to the place, but interestingly several planning to go private for education - not sure what to read into that? Lots of trees (a positive), but not much by way of park and amenities that we could see. Overall, I did like the areas, but I think I�d be worried about schools and transport � several prospective colleagues have said it�s best to be near a tram line if possible .
Didsbury - really liked the bits around Fletcher Moss, and the park. Seemed to be lots of pushchairs, so while we didn't get to do in-depth research, I thought there had to be lots going on. Had rightmove on the ipad, and was a bit worried about the prices � it would be right at the top of our budget, and if we didn�t get a place at one of the good local primaries, I would have to think about going private. It sounds as though there is a problem, as we were told that the local C of E school operates a system of having your church attendance monitored by way of stamps on a card! Did like the feel of the place � it actually didn�t feel too urban. West Didsbury seemed to be younger and more at the chi-chi bars and restaurants end of the spectrum, compared to the main part. If I�m honest, I really liked that I would be able to get a bus into work, and not worry about getting there in time to get a parking space � which is a source of stress currently. We drove round the motorway wondering if the price premium and school uncertainty was just too much to take on, though � DH liked the idea of a cheese shop, but since he has a 38� waist now, he�d be barred!
Sale � a real tester. Houses seemed good, and we�d get more for our money. Lots of families living there, good schools � even an Art Cafe where DH managed to sneak an order of cheese on toast past me in a moment of weakness on my part! Several people said that there is lots going on for toddlers and young children. The centre was, if I�m honest, a real disappointment � I�m used to a community that has a defined �heart�, and Sale seemed to lack that. There was strong feedback that the main road is a nightmare � one person told us that it was not uncommon for you to be allocated a school place the other side of the main road, which could just take forever if you had to drive there and then get back on to the A56 to get to work. We were told that pretty much all the schools were good, which takes out a worry, but there is also a collective psychosis which grips parents of 8, 9 and 10 year olds ahead of the selective exams � tutoring and paranoia rule in some households and I don�t want DD to feel the pressure of keeping up with everyone else. Parks-wise, not much, but if we are in the position of having a decent sized garden and DD�s schoolfriends nearby, I guess that would be okay. Was told that it was possible to drive to Hospitals in 30-40 minutes, and DD would use tram, but all bets off on match days at Old Trafford re timings. Couldn�t work out areas/schools within Sale that well, but some of the more expensive roads on the Ashton on Mersey side were all electric gates and that�s a turn-off for me � I want to be a bit more integrated than that. Brooklands was recommended, as were the roads near Worthington Park, but I think where the schools are would be a big factor here considering the transport issues.
Altrincham � nice environment, but worried that the commute becomes less feasible, while houses become pricier. Still okay for DH, but more of a problem for me, and my work won�t move, whereas DH could change jobs in due course and be working somewhere not in the City Centre. We didn�t get to spend much time there as it was getting late, but did have a good drive around. Nicer shops and centre than Sale, but it�s not as non-urban as, say, Bowdon, while it didn�t have the city conveniences of, say, Didsbury. I could be doing the place a major disservice, but that was the first impression. Have been told there�s a fabulous nursery there (Oakfield), and, much, much later, if DD were to pass the exams, you�re on the doorstep of Altrincham Girls � I don�t know much about the other school options there, so would need to do more research. If there�s anyone on here who commutes from Altrincham to Manchester by car/public transport, I�d really appreciate getting more of an insight into the realities of it.
Hale and Bowdon � Bowdon was lovely in parts, but I just didn�t know if we�d fit in � I felt we�d be the poor relations in the old part of Bowdon, and the newer part seemed a bit less of a community. Hale had a nice High St, but again, it seemed to be quite expensive, and I think we�d worry about not fitting in as we�d be at the very top end of the budget range. Add in the commute issues from being further out again (me) and the need to add in a longer walk/drive into Altrincham (DH), and I fear that neither of them would quite work.
So, that�s it. We reflected on the way back and in the last few days, and I think out of the places we�ve seen so far, it�s between Sale and Didsbury, but with Altrincham a real possibility depending on some practicalities. We�ve thought about coming up and renting, but in truth, it�s the impact on DD that puts me off that � I could cope, but she may struggle more with all the chopping and changing.
The other absolutely huge worry is whether we can get a nursery place � it is genuinely keeping me awake at nights. By the time we�ve found and bought, DD will be nearing three, and (if it�s anything like where we are now), the nurseries are full. She�s at a brilliant nursery now 4 days a week, and is thriving on it � I really want her to be at another place she loves and will grow in. I�m really worried that, at short notice, at best we�ll only be able to get into a nursery that isn�t as good, and may struggle to find any places locally. If anyone knows about nursery availability in Sale/Altrincham/Didsbury, I would be so grateful for any insights on that.
Next steps are to decide whether another broad sweep is needed (this time to look at some of the other suggestions that have been made) or whether we just need to start focussing in on areas that seem like the most appropriate options so far. If anyone has any comments or thoughts they could share either to correct any misapprehensions on my part, or to say that I�m on the right lines, I would be genuinely very grateful .
Thank you

Missunreasonable Mon 14-Jul-14 10:51:01

I don't know why so many people are considering private education in heaton moor because tithe barn and didsbury road primary schools are excellent. Priestnall high school is excellent too.
Perhaps people have more choice about choosing to pay for education in Heaton Moor because the housing stock is cheaper than didsbury and Hale etc.
Trafford has very good schools but lots of children there are tutored in readiness for the 11+ which skews the year 6 sats results somewhat. Out of all the areas you are considering I personally would only avoid Chorlton and Sale but lots of other people love those areas.
Would you consider using public transport to get to the uni? Trains to Oxford rd would make a commute from more leafy areas quicker than driving. If i had £750k to spend I would probably be looking at Hale, Heaton Moor, Marple Bridge, Disley and high lane. I think you can't put a price on the peace and quiet that living in a more leafy area brings and they are usually more villagey and community feeling as well.

fusspot66 Mon 14-Jul-14 10:51:02

Sorry, I haven't read very carefully but i noticed someone said thread that there's no metrolink in heaton mersey but the east didsbury stop is on the edge of heaton mersey with abundant parking.
There are currently a few places for September at freshfield nursery in heaton mersey and it's excellent. Usually oversubscribed. Outstanding ofsted etc

fusspot66 Mon 14-Jul-14 10:54:03

Also be cautious with heaton chapel as the catchment for priestnall secondary school is to the heatons side of .the A6 not the Reddish side

Lagoonablue Mon 14-Jul-14 14:02:48

Flixton is nice. So is Urmston. Very family friendly, nice schools. On a railway line, 10mins to Manchester Oxford Rd. Lots of choice of houses, community feel.

Easycare Mon 14-Jul-14 14:23:57

Hi
I live in sale - near Walton park - and my daughters go to woodheys primary (one nursery, one just finishing year one). We moved here 2 1/2 years ago. I actually really llike it. The town centres not cool but it's friendly, and has some good cafes (I see you've already tried bean and brush!). If you want your fix of boho chic it's only ten mins drive from chorlton. Similarly altrincham is ten mins the other way. Loads of stuff going on for kids. My husband gets tram from brrokland to Manchester most days and it's usually ok (rarely gets a seat in the mornings tho). We paid £250 for a nice bur needing tlc 3 bed detached - you'd get something lovely for your budget.

MuttonCadet Mon 14-Jul-14 14:28:01

Have you looked at Lymm?

RedToothBrush Mon 14-Jul-14 14:59:09

MuttonCadet's suggestion isn't a bad one. Based on everything you've said, you would probably love Lymm. It is further out, but ironically, given where it is positioned if you are travelling to Manchester via car, it can be shorter on driving times than some of the places that are closer that you have mentioned during rush hour. (Certainly, Altrincham is a total nightmare in the mornings and if you are driving, its just as quick to come in from Lymm). Its an odd mix of being like a town, but also like a village at the same time. Very leafy and green and sits surrounded by greenbelt.

There is a good community feel, and most people living there are commuters too. There is a good mix of older and newer houses. Whilst there is a lot of very affluent people, its not as bad as Bowdon and Hale and there are a number of spots where there are a lot of shared ownership properties, which means there are quite a few people who aren't quite as rich as their neighbours. (Though with a budget of 750k you wouldn't be one of the poor neighbours by any means.) Its by no means cheap, but you'd get a very good quality of life for your money.

The schools are all good, and though they are full, if you live locally, you should get into one of the primaries without too much problem. They are not heavily over subscribed. The local high school is good, and again you should get in, if local. Unlike Trafford, it is not selective.

Public transport is the one area it does fall badly though. You would need to drive.

Lymm also has the advantage for being great to commute to a large number of places in the North West. If you did decide to look for jobs elsewhere, you have the possibility of a wider net to cast.

RedToothBrush Mon 14-Jul-14 15:20:09

Knutsford also wouldn't be a bad idea. Direct train to Piccadilly.

deepest Mon 14-Jul-14 20:15:44

Wow...OP your post is so thorough looks like an excel spread-sheet would be in order!!.......my advice is RENT for 6 months....the money you "waste" in rent will be a wise investment and save you tens of thousands in not getting it wrong -- if you are spending £750k - you will have massive SD costs and if you get it wrong and you need to sell again in a few years - you would be p***ing away double EA and SD fees by doing it all again. Are you sure that you both will be in the same job and house for 10 years? Do you really need to choose secondary schools at this point (ratings will change no doubt in a decade). I would RENT for a few months and try to think what is really important to you as a family for the next 5 years .... so nurseries and primaries ... if you are planning more children then how (and where) do you want to spend you mat leave?....do you think that you will spend weekends travelling to visit family?

explore where, WHY and how your work colleagues live over this time.

I have a lot of friends in these areas although I live down south I visit lots -- many aspire to Lymm...

mandy214 Mon 14-Jul-14 22:06:26

I would also advocate renting. We moved to the area in 2008 and although I had lived relatively close by previously, what I thought I wanted was completely different when we actually came to buy. It enabled us to build up a relationship with the local estate agents, narrowed our search area down to a select few roads.

I have a few recommendations for nurseries / pre-schools so if you want PM me, I'll give you the info local to me.

Good luck!

FinallyGotAnIPhone Tue 15-Jul-14 17:23:57

Hi not sure if you saw it but I sent you a pm. Good luck.

bughunt Tue 15-Jul-14 22:43:12

For those advocating Lymm, I just can't see how it would be easier to travel into Manchester from than Sale, Altrincham etc. You'd still hit the traffic in the rush hour eventually.

I also second renting. We moved 3 times within Sale before finding our 'spot'. We love it though and commute into Manchester easily.

ElizabethMedora Wed 16-Jul-14 16:01:31

Go for Didsbury within spitting distance of Beaver Road primary, unless your heart is set on church school.

RedToothBrush Wed 16-Jul-14 16:43:21

bughunt, you'd be surprised. I know its not logical.

Jennys2108 Wed 16-Jul-14 19:45:38

www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-31298037.html?premiumA=true

I walk past this house every week on the way to the shops at the end of the road. Always loved it and now it's for sale!

Very top end of this area, great school round the corner and 10 mins from tram. Bus at the end of the road goes to the university or a 40ish min drive in rush hour (20 mins in the evening)

Jennys2108 Wed 16-Jul-14 19:56:26

Sale moor also has at least 3 good nurseries, we used sale private day nursery which I liked a lot. We now have an amazing childminder. Templemoor school nursery is excellent too.

ZiggyZogpops Wed 16-Jul-14 22:16:03

Thanks for the suggestions. Love the house in Sale, it's really nice and has pretty much everything we would want. The fifth bedroom is one of those "optimistic" bedrooms that you'd struggle to get a bed in, but the cat would adore it! That house is the kind of place that would attract me - it's got a nice garden, plenty of space about you, and I bet DD would be able to have loads of friends near her.

Where is good for activities? DD loves singing and dancing, and does baby ballet every Saturday. She'd be really sad if she didn't get to do music and dance, and I know we could drive to other places and find classes, but it'd be better if it were local.

Re Lymm, it does have loads going for it, though the prices are definitely more than Sale, and I'd worry about having fewer school options? DH spoke to one of his prospective colleagues who lives there about it, and he reckoned it was quick into town, but you absolutely had to be out before 7.30. That was driving into Spinningfields though, so might be different to the Uni.

Jennys2108 Wed 16-Jul-14 23:43:05

There are loads of dance classes in and around sale, most of my DDs' friends dance, we're on a waiting list! Swimming pool nearby (council, but ok) gymnastics, play groups, rainbows, theatre. Sale has a lot to offer, but the town centre does lack 'heart' (we blame the trafford centre!)
I've especially loved living here since DD1 started school, whenever we're out and about we see people we know. It's very friendly.

deepest Thu 17-Jul-14 00:39:47

There are loads of dance classes/activities in every affluent area -- always plenty of entrepreneurs around to prize the hard earned cash out of parents wallets for their dc's enrichment/entertainment/education...!!

mandy214 Thu 17-Jul-14 08:58:51

OP click through on this link, its called Raring2Go, its a little magazine that is published in Trafford (might be other places too) but it has a list of all the classes for babies / toddlers / children in the back of it by area / day of the week. Not sure if there is a section that covers Lymm, but there is one for Knutsford / Sale / Altrincham etc. This is the online version, not sure its as comprehensive as the book - you could perhaps request a copy or if you're ever in the area, you can pick them up from libraries / cafes etc.

Pre School Classes

You might also want to google Sale Private Day Nursery - it came in for some negative publicity a while ago. Have no personal knowledge of it so perhaps its unfair of me to point it out, but I personally would be wary of that particular recommendation.

deepest Thu 17-Jul-14 13:10:43

OP -- what are your thoughts on renting for a while -- does it not appeal?

bughunt Thu 17-Jul-14 22:10:56

Happitots on Dane Road is an excellent Nursery. Mine were very happy there. There's almost an excess of nurseries and Primary Schools in Sale Moor. Lots of good choice.

TheMightyMing Thu 17-Jul-14 22:22:51

I live in the Heatons. My son goes to a Trafford Grammar, though I would have been more than happy with Priestnall if it hadn't come off. Primaries are all pretty good but there have some issues with shortage of spaces which I believe is being addressed by a new school on the old North area college site , where a new housing estate is being built.

The tram is a short drive away in East Didsbury where there is masses of parking.Train is 9 mins into Mcr. I drive to Mcr for work in 15-30 mins in the morning.

You mentioned lack of parks, there are a number of really lovely ones, plus lots of open green space, fields and a lovely Common.

I absolutely love it here.

wigwam33 Fri 18-Jul-14 11:36:54

Have just PM'd you.

littl3lady Sun 20-Jul-14 00:33:47

Wilmslow and Didsbury have the highest number of resident students living there, though the houses are large and schools are decent and excellent commute. Altringham is nice and leafy, middle class area, good schools.

All the area's you have listed are on the metrolink route.

I have lived in East Manchester all my life, but on a council estate. Myself and all my siblings have university degree's and work, so I guess it is what you make of it.....

good luck x

TheMightyMing Sun 20-Jul-14 10:26:13

Primary schools can be a real issue in Didsbury- there was a thread on here about someone who had to go private as offered nothing suitable. Usually Rc will get a place at St Caths though.

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