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moving to Bristol from SE London with 4 and 2 yr old - no idea where to begin!

(31 Posts)
Southtosouthcoast Thu 22-Sep-16 12:19:42

Hi - we are looking at moving to Bristol for work reasons - and looking for a better quality of life. I have lived in S London all my life and am terrified of leaving behind friends of decades - but London is getting us down ...

I want a creative/ play focused primary for my son - he is in Reception just started now - are there any under subscribed schools where we would be likely to get a place -

also - I want to move to an area with views + good parks - I would sacrifice view for a really good park but would prefer to be high up - where would be good?

And is Bristol as good people say?!

givemeaclue Thu 22-Sep-16 13:14:39

Hi, you can ask the local council about which schools have places. Good schools in Bristol are very oversubscribed as in you need to live right next to the school. However all reception classes are based on learning through play.
Views, Clifton if you want suspension bridge views and have a high budget. Harbourside if you want water views.
Anywhere on a hill!
Good parks, Victoria park in totter down, the downs in Clifton, Blaise castle is a big park. Hengrove for play park, best in Bristol, but not a great area. St Andre's park popular with some but it's mainly a patch of grass.
You are doing the right thing for using on schools but although it seems a way off, include secondary schools in your thinking as Bristol has some good and some not very good. The not so good ones are perhaps not improving as much as people would like.
Clevedon and portishead if you want sea views and don't mind living out of town, excellent schools both primary and secondary.
Lots going on its a nice place to live if you avoid the grotty areas.

RedSpecs Thu 22-Sep-16 13:39:06

I've lived in Bristol for nearly 20 years, and I do love it.

Primary schools are mostly pretty good now, state secondaries are improving, but from a historically low base so still not great. I have y6 child so this is uppermost in my mind at the moment. We live in East Bristol and have choice between our local secondary with results of 55% achieving A*-C at GCSE, or over the border in S Glos or BANES with schools getting 75% A*-C. I appreciate that results aren't everything, but it does feel rather stark contrast!

If you're coming from London I'm sure you have a much bigger budget that I do for housing wink

Brizzly Fri 23-Sep-16 08:08:52

St Andrews Park is lovely - really good play area and summer paddling pool, very popular with families. Lovely area too, although schools will be over-subscribed. If you have a good budget then move as close to a good school as possible to ensure you're at the top of the waiting list.

Westbury on Trym / Stoke Bishop also nice, with good park at Canford Park - good play area but not such a pretty park as St Andrews. Westbury Park also nice (but expensive) and on the edge of The Downs (beautiful open space with cafe, sports pitches, good for walking / running etc but no play area).

I don't really know South of the river well so my suggestions are all in North Bristol smile

givemeaclue Fri 23-Sep-16 09:31:08

I forgot to mention Ashton court which is easily accessible from all of Bristol but particularly abbots Leigh, long Ashton, Clifton and southville

UniPsychle Fri 23-Sep-16 10:38:01

What's your (rough) budget? Bristol can be very expensive in parts, though obviously not as bad as London.

These two houses near me have some nice views:

I have lived here most of my adult life and also love it. School places are a problem though.

exexpat Fri 23-Sep-16 13:35:46

Your budget will make a big difference. The Cliftonwood area would also meet your criteria (nice primary in Hotwells, lots of green space nearby, hilly, views etc), but is much more like London prices. Eg, I rather fancy this house:
At the cheaper end of the Clifton scale you could get something like this (but no views that I can see).

exexpat Fri 23-Sep-16 13:41:44

This one might also fit the bill:

WheresMyBrandy Fri 23-Sep-16 14:24:19

There's a stiener school in fishponds near Stapleton which is a really nice area.

Southtosouthcoast Fri 23-Sep-16 14:41:25

thanks everyone! That is al really helpful - UniPsychle I saw that house and thought it looked really great - to my London eye it seems very cheap - is the area decent?

I looked online at HOtwells as love the idea of being near water - but it looked as though no parks in the area?

Our budget would depend really - we could go up to 600 if we wanted to but the point of moving is to have a cheaper lifestyle and lower mortgage - so would prefer to keep under 500/550 - or even less!

Is Fishponds a good place to live- that Steiner school looks really interesting.

exexpat - that house is gorgeous! It is a bit above budget....

WheresMyBrandy Fri 23-Sep-16 14:57:31

Fishponds has some amazing victorian houses and a high street with cafes and shops but Stapleton is a better area. Stapleton seems really green. It's great for walks and has a village feel but you're right in the middle of either getting into central Bristol or getting on the motorway.,_Bristol

One side of Stapleton is the Stoke Park Estate and the other is snuff Mills.

Southvilleterrace Sat 24-Sep-16 11:47:02

Hotwells is deceptively close (once the spike island pedestrian bridge reopens) to Greville Symthe park which is a good park. About 15/20mins walk. Also there is a little play park on st carolines place which is good for just getting out the house. Hotwells and Cliftonwood are lovely dream and the walk along the floating harbour from underfall yard to millennium square is possibly my favourite walk in Bristol

Southvilleterrace Sat 24-Sep-16 13:13:15

Should be *little Caroline place

artemisia2 Tue 27-Sep-16 17:52:58

Horfield and Ashley Down in north Bristol are nice areas with a good community atmosphere and houses which would fit your budget. Horfield Common is popular with families, has a cafe and a play area, and you can see all the way out over the city to the hills around Bath! There are also community allotments and a community orchard nearby at Golden Hill, and a city farm just down the hill in St Werburgh's. Bristol is a lovely city, with many good parks. One of the very best is Ashton Court, which is just south of the river - extensive parkland with woods, meadows, cafes and golf course.

cleoteacher Wed 25-Jan-17 20:53:29

Henleaze/Clifton sound like they would fit the bill and would be within budget but they are on the more pricey side.

Henleaze is very family friendly with great schools, shops and parks. It has a lovely rural feel even though it's 15/20 mins from the centre and restaurants and shops.

I also have a four year old and almost two year old and love it here. Best decision ever to move

Southtosouthcoast Wed 01-Feb-17 16:23:58

hello - just wondered if I Could bump this post and get some more answers - I visited Bristol and walked through Southville/ Bedminster area - and I absolutely loved the area around Victoria Park/ Windmill Hill - my only worry is that looking online at houses in the area they all look very small - also is the Victoria Park area popular with families ? It had such a nice feeling but I wondered if a bit quiet?

The other area we saw was St Werburghs which is also great but I liked the fact that Victoria Park had such great views...any opinioins on which areas are best with kids?

Southvilleterrace Wed 01-Feb-17 17:15:37

Know lots of young families that live in Victoria Park. I think I would prefer Victoria Park to St Werburgs though St Werburgs does have some pretty cool stuff for kids.

cleo81 Wed 01-Feb-17 17:44:48

I would also prefer Victoria park, it's a nicer area. There are young families in both those places though. To me, Victoria park is more scenic and less urban. Don't know much about the houses in either though.

Not sure about the schools in Victoria park though. Whereas the other school is outstanding

NumberTwoDue Wed 01-Feb-17 18:09:56

We live in Southville, not far from Vic park and love it. Loads going on for kids socially/activity wise and some good schools. Some of the houses can be spacious (thinking specifically of Stackpool Rd) but most are Victorian terraces. You'd get bigger houses up near Perret's Park and also an awesome view. Not so much going on right on your doorstep though and there is a big primary space shortage up there.

NiceHouseShitCar Wed 01-Feb-17 20:12:56

The Victorian houses in Southville/Bedminster and I suspect Victoria park/windmill hill also, vary massivly in size, there are fewer larger house than smaller properties so you might not be seeing many for sale online ATM. I know when they do come up for sale, they often get snapped up for more than asking price 😵
You need to visit Victoria park play area at the top of the park to see how popular the area is with kids! And windmill Hill City Farm too. Victoria Park primary is apparently the best primary in Bristol.

NiceHouseShitCar Wed 01-Feb-17 20:20:17

Just be aware of the Bedminster Green redevelopment project taking place in the area, it may affect the views you are so keen on.

ChambersL74 Sat 11-Feb-17 09:53:00

Hi everyone.
Apologies - I know that this is a very common thread, but your advice/recommendations would be gratefully received!
We currently live in a tiny house in Dulwich in London. We have 2 children (1 and 3), and are looking to move to a bigger place in Bristol this year. I've been in London for 20 years and while It's exciting and the right thing to do I'm terrified!!! We have a great setup here, with everything on our doorstep and would love to replicate this by the sea!
Please could you let me know your thoughts on the following:
We're potentially looking at the Bishopston/Henleaze/Redland area as the schools (both Primary and Secondary) look good.
Can you tell me where some excellent nurseries/preschools are?
Which are the best schools?
What are the people like in general?
Is it a nice community?
Is it easy to make friends? This is the part that's particularly scaring me!
Are there plenty of playgrounds/parks/nice cafes/children's activities?
Is it easy to get around on public transport?
Are there any other areas that you would recommend?
We're going to have a look around to get a feel for the place, but in the meantime it would be great to hear your thoughts.
Thankyou so much in advance!

Ruby2202 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:40:43

Those areas are some of the nicest in Bristol. Red land being the nicest and most expensive. Bishopston is also very nice and slightly more bohemian to my mind anyway. You would get more for your money in bishopston house wise but the houses are less likely to have drives and big gardens.

All of these have great transport links but obviously depends where you would need to get to. Parks, coffee shops, cinema, toddler groups, shops and pubs are all walkable. It's easy to get a bus from any of them to the town centre if you need more.

I can't comment on the community in the others as we live in Henleaze. We also have two dcs 4 and 1 and I find it's got a lovely sense of community. We love it here. There are lots of young families and people are very friendly. There is loads to do as with kids and great toddler groups. The primary schools are great. You need to be a little more careful with secondary schools and many people go private because of this. Red land green secondary is very good but you pay a premium to live near it, like anywhere really.

There are lots of childminders and pre schools nearby too.

Ruby2202 Sat 11-Feb-17 12:43:06

'Best' primary schools that I know in terms of reputation and results are elmlea which is in Stoke bishop, Henleaze school, Westbury park and bishop Rd. Don't know much about the others but in those areas you ll find they are all excellent/good rated.

jennymac31 Sat 11-Feb-17 16:21:57

Totterdown in south Bristol is a nice area with good parks, good schools and a friendly atmosphere. I think it would be a good idea to get in contact with the local council about schools and the current subscription numbers, as many schools are oversubscribed.

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