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Where are the best places to live in Lancaster?

(46 Posts)
benson76 Mon 18-Apr-16 21:20:54


We are relocating to Lancaster in July, it's all happened very suddenly and we need to decide where to live. My husband has a job at Lancaster Uni and we have 3 young kids and so we want to be pretty close to the university. And that is all I know!

Obvious choices seem to be either somewhere in the city - if anyone can give us advise on good / safe and nice looking areas I will be very grateful because I haven't managed to find anything much online so far. Or a nearby village, I've seen Galgate and Garstang but am not sure about either. Garstang looks lovely but we will be renting and I'm not sure how many options there will be for accommodation.

Anyway, any tips anyone can give me will be really appreciated.

Also my oldest will be starting school, so any advise there will also be gratefully received!

Thanks a million...

SpecialStains Fri 13-May-16 12:56:40


I live in Lancaster itself, and really appreciate being able to walk everywhere and have everything on my doorstep. If you are looking to buy, there's lots of new builds which are very nice, along the Quayside and up near the Ashton Memorial (we've recently bought and so have spent lots of time looking!). Our search area included Aldcliffe, Scotforth, around the Ashton Memorial (though that hill would be a pain with a buggy!) and the Quayside. Avoid anywhere on the Marsh or Bulk estates. Lots of good schools in Lancaster, so I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Galgate is ok, and primary school there is very sweet, but it's on the road between the southbound M6 exit and the town centre so I wouldn't live there personally. If you haven't considered it already, Halton is a lovely little village with a nice feel to it, and again a good primary school. Lots of community stuff going on there.

PM me if you have any more questions. Hope the move goes smoothly.


SpecialStains Fri 13-May-16 12:59:39

Also, I'd stick to south of the river. We used to live in Skerton (for three years while we saved for a house deposit). There is a reason it's so much cheaper than the houses just across the Lune! Morecambe has nice parts, is much cheaper and has a good cycle track to Lancaster, but traffic is awful at peak times so if your DH drives I would avoid.

BobbinThreadbare123 Sat 04-Jun-16 19:23:52

I've lived in Lancaster a very long time, in Greaves and in Freehold. Both are lovely. All my friends with children live in Bowerham because apparently the primary schools are good. Agree with SpecialStains about sticking south of the river. There's a lot to rent in Lancaster too.

Lancaster is safe, you've got two motorway junctions, Lakes and Trough of Bowland on the doorstep; people who come for uni tend to stay!

chocolateshoes Sat 04-Jun-16 21:15:55

I live in the Lune Valley to the east if Lancaster, but have lived in Kacaster itself & work there.
I would agree that you should def avoid the northern side of the bridge - ie Skerton and Morecambe areas.
The new builds around Williamsons Park seem good. A nice area to rent is Freehold( Windemere Rd for example) as you're close to city centre and there's a good community around there. I'd avoid Dales St area as that is mainly student rentals so could be noisy.

AddlestoneReVampPlease Sun 05-Jun-16 17:33:12

I would avoid the new houses on quayside river view just because of what I expect the traffic to be like... this may be less of an issue if you are renting but be aware during busy periods it would mean having to go around the one way system and as more houses are finished and lived in I think it will get more and more time consuming!!!

I live in the Scotforth/Bowerham area and very happy here, ironically most of the DC activities are north of the river so I still spend an awful lot of time stuck in the traffic in the evenings hmm

Lancasterlass Sun 05-Jun-16 20:52:42

We are a one-uni, one-commuter family and live near the station. It opens up Preston, Manchester and Liverpool and we know several families who do this (and two who do Birmingham but WFH as much as possible, both also Uni people but most of the commuters we know don't do that.
Quayside will also not be in much of a catchment area for the close schools - you'll be allocated the expanding school which is about 3 miles or more.
We also like being able to walk to town. Agree about the traffic in Galgate.

Kazzyhoward Mon 12-Jun-17 12:45:41

I know it's an old thread, but for anyone still interested, Bolton Le Sands is very well placed. It's a very large village with plenty of amenities such as outstanding primary school, churches, shops, GP surgery and restaurants, sea views, picturesque canal etc. With the new Morecambe by-pass, which you can join at Beaumont (near Slyne), it's very quick and easy to the motorway which gets you to the University and beyond to Preston etc very easily. Public transport is also good with regular buses to/from Lancaster centre (10-20 minutes depending on route), and the canal footpath takes you into the heart of Lancaster on an easy level cycle track.

DawnCalls Mon 12-Jun-17 22:17:48

I live in Halton, and lots of uni-employed people live in Halton, Caton, Brookhouse or south lancaster (Scotforth, freehold, bowerham). There's lots of good advice here and i agree with avoiding slyne and north of the river. I prefer a quieter location and we moved from Scotforth to Halton but lancaster in general is a lovely place to live I've found.

Kazzyhoward Tue 13-Jun-17 12:21:03

i agree with avoiding slyne and north of the river

The new bridge and by-pass has really changed things "north of the river" as people now now avoid Lancaster's awful one way system and the two congested bridges. It's only been open a few months, so the full benefits aren't yet realised by all those "South" of the river who avoid the North, Morecambe, Heysham, Carnforth, etc. I work with a few shops and other businesses in Morecambe and they're all now a lot busier now that the traffic congestion has been eased. A couple of local estate agent friends have also said that there's a lot more interest in the relative cheaper housing in Morecambe and Heysham, and that some very slow moving houses in Slyne and Hest Bank have started to move.

GinFirstQuestionsLater Wed 19-Jul-17 14:25:19

I live north side of the river and now that the bay gateway is open, its brilliant. A few mins to the motorway and if you need to cross the bridges, it takes minutes rather than hours like it used to. You get a lot more house for your money, usually with a garden rather than a yard too.

Before the gateway opened, I often had regret days as I sat in the traffic, but I bought my house with a long game in mind and its fab now grin

fourcorneredcircle Wed 19-Jul-17 18:51:04

I'm north of the river too - huge house yes, bragging, low mortgage and two minutes from the beach. Can't go wrong. Morecambe gets a bad rep and I know bits of it are very run down... but... erm, just don't buy there?! It's hardly a Rio Favela.

DRinger Mon 11-Dec-17 12:38:59

Looking at moving to Lancaster and came cross this thread so hoping still some activity on it... any recommendations welcome lease in terms of areas. Is there much difference north v south of the river? and what are they? got an 11 year old so secondary school age. Want to be close ish to centre if possible but hubby travels so needs to get to m6 in 10-15 mins if possible too. have lived in cities and towns so don't want too small a village ideally. We've seen a few properties but not sure of areas... seem to be either down towards Bowerham south or north heading towards ryelands park type area?

RandomMess Mon 11-Dec-17 13:46:01

South of the river is generally seen as more "posh". Do you know which school your 11 year old will go to?

Be warned Greyhound bridge is closing Jan - June the traffic through town and over the river will be horrific!!

I would recommend living close to a decent bus route, means you (or the DC) can walk into town and get the bus back up the hill.

We were out of the quayside due to having to navigate the one way system and I think the road in and out will get very congested. The new development of Quernmore Road doesn't have any buses and is further out of town than you think...

We live and work in Bowerham but most of the DC activity are north of the river and the journey does drive me insane! Have you looked at Heysham Village? Great access to M6 , bus goes all the way through the centre to the uni.

RandomMess Mon 11-Dec-17 13:46:51

What is your budget and what are your must haves in a house?

fourcorneredcircle Mon 11-Dec-17 14:32:35

Morecambe and Heysham are now 10-15 minutes from the motorway thanks to the bypass. Central Lancaster not so much 😂

Personally I think Bowerham and south Lancaster are over priced. You get more for your money north of the river (although some of the areas of the suburbs Torrisholme and bare are more expensive)

Knowing where your 11 year old will go will help (and we can probably advise on that too!)

RandomMess Mon 11-Dec-17 14:47:53

The pull of south of the city centre is if you work at Lancaster University although their staff parking is woefully inadequate but do mega cheap staff bus passes - so back to living on a bus pass ;)

Another downside of Bowerham etc is student households as neighbours...

Long term we want to give up the car and live in a penthouse in the city centre, just counting the years until the DC are moving out grin

fourcorneredcircle Mon 11-Dec-17 15:02:44

Good point Random. South Lancaster also better for hospital - getting to the motorway is much better than it used to me but crossing the city is still a pain at rush times or when there are roadworks.

The train from Morecambe/Bare is cheaper and quicker than the bus it does only get you to one place! You pay a premium to be within five minutes walk of Bare station though as a result.

DRinger Mon 11-Dec-17 15:11:10

Not sure which school yet unfortunately as waiting for dates and confirmation of potential moving dates to then liaise and try to negotiate a place. Budget up to £300k but hoping not to have to stretch to all of it. Got an older son (just finished uni) who may end up coming so ideally looking 3 or 4 bed house if we can find it

RandomMess Mon 11-Dec-17 15:12:55

Yes I think you either live in the city centre - again pay a premium, or buy in the best few streets that suit your needs!

My DC refuse to use the school bus and would rather walk!! Unfortunately no public bus route that would make it worthwhile sad personally I think all the schools have their pros and cons. Wasn't impressed with the primary school although it suited mine fine.

Any ideas of where you can walk dogs off lead in Morecambe other than the beach? I haven't managed to find anywhere but not lived here that long.

Living a short walk to the train station one of the reasons I want to live in the city centre! Looked at the 4 bed roundhouse properties but so poorly maintained despite the huge fees paid quarterly...

The residents only street permit parking is ridiculously cheap.

The town centre parking prices is ridiculous and frustrates me - want to support the local businesses but full whack car park prices in the winter put me off.

fourcorneredcircle Mon 11-Dec-17 16:33:35

No top tips for dog walks sorry - we’re a cat house!

Ok, so, I’m going to suggest these houses in Bare - five mins walk from train station and 10 minutes drive to the M6. Closets tot station, good parking, nice house, on main bus route in to town too BUT on main road. Just off promenade and lovely parK THE street to live on but not good for parking in my opinion FIVE bed! Newly refurbed/decorates/extended

lancasterlass Mon 11-Dec-17 22:12:58

Has your DS already started secondary? My friend has been looking at secondary schools and has Strong Views (our DC are much younger).

Skerton and Ryelands have really bad reputations I'm afraid. Two sets of friends have bought there because it's cheap, moved and found it impossible to sell.
We live vvv close to someone on this thread (now - we moved partly to avoid the one way). Wonder if we know each other IRL?

Although we are also struggling to sell our old house which is south of the river!

RandomMess Mon 11-Dec-17 22:35:46

The housing market is dead at the moment I think it is the deluge of new builds! Where do they think all these new families are going to come from, there aren't loads of new jobs at the moment and it's a longish commute to Manchester!

fourcorneredcircle Mon 11-Dec-17 22:55:56

Is VVV close a clue?! Is it me?! Ahaha

I’m afraid I don’t live in Bare. I live in the bit of Morecambe that would invite pearl clutching. grin

lancasterlass Tue 12-Dec-17 09:14:23

No not you four. We were quite tempted to move to the West End when we saw that the price of our house in Lancaster could get us a 19 bedroom ex-b&b there.

random I'm not quite sure it's that they think they'll all work in Manchester, it's more that somewhere needs new houses (but they haven't worked out that it's not here, even if maybe they are needed in the NW, they are maybe needed in Preston/Blackburn/Bury/Manchester). I don't think they've thought beyond "ah, Lancaster, close enough".

It's the same with schools - they need more school places for the new houses, but most of the primary schools can't expand, except for Moorside, which isn't that near most of the new housing.

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