Moving to Gloucestershire(4 Posts)
My OH and I are planning on moving to Gloucestershire in April, probably to one of the villages surrounding Stroud. Stroud looks like our kind of place - lots of arty alternative folk around . We live on the Isle of Wight at the moment and really like that it's so rural and a bit alternative. Career prospects aren't great here unfortunately which is why we're moving.
Any advice of commuting times to places like Bristol / Cheltenham / Swindon / Gloucester from Stroud? Is there a good amount of work around?
Any info on local schools would be great too. My DD is 4 and will be starting school in September.
Stroud is nice & v popular & definitely known within Gloucestershire as 'arty' or 'hippy' even. Commuting to Gloucester would be around half an hour depending on where in Gloucester & where in Stroud (could be 20 or 40). I can't advise on other commuting times as I live in Gloucester.
Gloucestershire has an unusually high number of grammar schools so a lot of children from Stroud commute to schools in Gloucester & Cheltenham. This does impact the remaining schools negatively but I think Stroud schools do pretty well as it's a fairly posh area anyway. There are some absolutely stunning places to live in Stroud with incredible views (I hope you don't mind walking hills!!)
Other than that living in Gloucester with a toddler I can't be much more help
I'm in Stroud and agree with Bumbles first comments about it being a bit hippy and about the commuting. My DH travels to Gloucester daily and it does vary a lot but generally is around 30-35 mins from south Stroud. Cheltenham is slightly longer, but again depends which bit you want to get to. (Very) North Bristol, on a good day is only 30 mins or so but in the rush hour could be double that. Swindon is about 45 mins plus in the rush hour.
Re the secondary schools thing. I actually disagree here - I can only think of one person who I know who travels to Glos for schools and that is for a private school (Kings). Stroud also has grammar schools (one boys,one girls) so there is actually no need to commute. The comps are mixed but at least one is generally considered pretty good. Although it is a long way off for you, the secondary catchments are worth looking at as it amazing how quickly time flies once your DC start school. My DC are now secondary age and above, so have 'been there, done that'.
As to primaries - there are plenty of very good schools in the Stroud area. A lot are quite small village school, mainly with good reputations. If you want any more specific information about any school, please feel free to DM me and I'll give you any help I can. We live in one of the villages close to the town, so may be able to give you some tips.
As to work availability - I would say it's probably no better or worse than any other small town. There aren't many big companies here - tends to be more small independent companies, so if you are after something specific, you may well have to travel.
As I say, do feel free to ask if you have any questions.
Central Bristol is about 40 mins without traffic, an hour first thing in the morning but a bit longer if you hit rush hour getting in. Coming home is about an hour.
Gloucester is half an hour, but again if you hit traffic on the way in it adds a bit.
Bath is similar to Bristol.
If you're thinking of getting the train, Stroud is on a direct route to Cheltenham, Gloucester and Swindon (and Reading /London) but not Bristol. You'd have to travel to Gloucester or one of the stations in South Glos to get the train in.
I think if you're prepared to commute there are jobs around. But I know friends who did the move in reverse were met with incredulity that they would live more than a couple of miles from work.
Schools in the area are pretty good. I think there are very few primaries that people try to avoid- it comes down to preference for size (there are some small ones with 2 classes per school) etc in lots of cases. And at secondary even the "worst" school in Stroud gets results that many Bristol families would kill for.
Crucially, most years some decent primaries have vacancies in reception (although it seems to vary massively each year as to which one). A local school to me this year has 6 spaces, last year it was oversubscribed with 15/30 going to siblings. Can't say exactly what the situation would be this year but I'd be surprised if you couldn't get something good even applying late.
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