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Moving to Somerset - advice on where to stay - Taunton/Wells/Frome or Shepton Mallet?

(25 Posts)
maryann189 Wed 15-Feb-17 11:00:20

Hi everyone

My husband has landed a job in Crewkerne, so us and our son of 14 months are moving to Somerset from Maidenhead, Berkshire. I have no idea about the local area so looking for a place to stay one hour commutable to Crewkerne. I am looking for jobs in Bristol and Bath as well, so has to be within commutable distance for me too.

Could somebody advice about a good place to say ideally close to the shops and with good baby nursery facilities? We are considering Taunton, Wells, Frome and Shepton Mallet. Prefer not to live in the middle of nowhere as we like having things to do/places to go to on the weekend.

W found a inexpensive place to stay in Shepton Mallet – not sure about the area at all, apart from that it is a village. Is Taunton nicer by comparison?- My husband prefers Taunton as there are more “things to do” apparently... I hear that Wells is lovely but expensive?

Any views welcome!


WhereisRickon Wed 15-Feb-17 17:20:08

I've recently moved away from Taunton, but I absolutely loved living there. Taunton is smallish but has quite a nice town centre including a few independent shops as well as the usual. But also with a 10 minute drive you can be in the Quantock Hills. 25 mins to get to Minehead, only 2 hours on the train to get to London or Birmingham.

I've never lived in Shepton but a good friend of mine lives there and I gather there's precious little going on there and if you live there and try to get somewhere else it can be a real nightmare. Chances are the road will flood or you'll get stuck behind a tractor and then you're buggered.

I love Taunton and can't wait to go back!!

MerrynCaterpillarMusic Wed 15-Feb-17 19:14:22

Wells is fantastic - plenty going on and a beautiful place to live. I would avoid Shepton, but Frome has become quirky and lively these days and is still good value I believe.

Monstamio Wed 15-Feb-17 21:19:24

I love Wells. We moved to the area from London five years ago and haven't looked back. Loads going on and lots of young families. Toddler groups/classes etc pretty much every day if that's of interest (check out Mendip Mummies). Some great nurseries and the schools have a good reputation too (my daughter is only two so we're not there yet).

Commuting to Bristol or Bath is totally possible from Wells (roughly an hour) but would be a bit of a mission from Taunton. Frome also has lots going on. Shepton is ok... You'll get more for your money there but it's not as desirable as Wells or Frome.

Ideally though, you need to come down for a few days and have a look around for yourself. You'll soon get a feel for the place. smile

maryann189 Thu 16-Feb-17 15:07:56

Thanks for all your replies smile very helpful..

PovertyJetset Thu 16-Feb-17 17:08:27

Shepton mallet has some pockets of severe deprivation and it's primary is very challenged.

The others are all lovely.

None of them are brilliant commutable though. Lots of B roads and windy too.

Sizzlesthedog Thu 16-Feb-17 17:30:02

None are really very close to Bristol or Bath. Might look so on a map, but in travel time they are a fair old drive. You might want to be further up the M5 if you want to commute to Bath or Bristol.

To be honest DH working in crewkerene and you in bath or Bristol is so far apart. Can you look for a job nearer to his job. Live closer? Seems a hell of a commute if you are moving house and haven't got ties to one area.

PovertyJetset Thu 16-Feb-17 17:36:00

sizzles totally!

wibblywobblyfish Thu 16-Feb-17 17:47:57

I agree with sizzles. I personally wouldn't consider Shepton. Nor would I be considering commuting to Bath or Bristol from Crewkerne.

Bristol is a 2hr commute minimum from Frome, plus you would have to factor in park and ride or parking in an NCP at £14 a day. Did it for a while but it drove me mad in the end. Frome has quite an artisan front but for those who know it well, it's pretty rough and you might be disappointed once the initial shine comes off.

I like Taunton and Wells. Have you considered Yeovil?

PovertyJetset Thu 16-Feb-17 17:52:47

Ilminster or Langport are also nice!

TheHuffAndPuffALot Thu 16-Feb-17 19:28:17

Yes, Crewkerne to Bristol and Bath would be an almighty trek on the best of days, let alone if there happens to be a problem on the roads.

Yeovil, Ilminster, Chard, Somerton and even Taunton are all options worth exploring further that are easily commutable to Crewkerne (which is also a nice little town in itself)

PovertyJetset Thu 16-Feb-17 19:49:48

If you can live in for Leinster and you look for work in Exeter?

PovertyJetset Thu 16-Feb-17 19:49:56


PovertyJetset Fri 17-Feb-17 08:51:29

Also crewkerne is a middle school system and maiden beech and wadham have iffy reps

PovertyJetset Fri 17-Feb-17 08:56:26

Last thing if you're getting trains then that might make a difference. CreBristol or Taunton to Bristol.

Would you have a child minder as most wrap around care at schools is till 5 maybe 6!,( g

Sunnyshores Fri 17-Feb-17 17:27:32

Im not sure you'd like Shepton (definitely) or Frome if you're after somewhere with lots to do, personally I wouldnt live in either for many reasons. Also, commuting to Bath or Bristol really isnt going to be possible, the traffic is really bad and even worse in the summer. I wouldnt try anyhting more than a 30 minute commute on paper, as in reality it will be more like an hour.

Wells is lovely and compared to Maidenhead you wouldnt find it expensive. Id prefer the outskirts of Bath, but you will pay for that location.

Taunton is OK, nothing special, again the traffic is really bad, you would have to live the side you were travelling from. Although its bigger than Wells I dont think there is any more going on there though. It probably compares in size and activities to Yeovil. Id chose Yeovil marginally as I prefer the Dorset coast and villages.

PovertyJetset Fri 17-Feb-17 17:29:54

Yeovil isn't anywhere near as nice as Taunton I think. But just my opinion.

Sizzlesthedog Fri 17-Feb-17 20:00:54

Yeovil has a very rough side. My brother got beaten up coming out of the cinema on a Saturday afternoon with a group of friends. He said gang culture was alive and kicking in Yeovil.

Taunton is a ok town. Lots of shops and good schools. I think I'd rather live in a village and have a bigger town like Taunton nearby. There are some very naice villages around Taunton. But not a helpful commute to crewkerene. Unless you go for North Curry or around there and then it's a more direct route to crewkerene.

Please come back op and let us know!

PovertyJetset Sun 19-Feb-17 22:34:41

Op, comeback and tell us what you think?

mateysmum Mon 20-Feb-17 16:28:26

People do commute to Bristol from Taunton, mostly by train as there is a direct service, but it is still a bit of a trek. Just looked and the 07.51 from Taunton gets to Bristol Temple Meads at 08.27. That's the fastest service. some trains take just over the hour.

Taunton has a good choice of both state and private schools and it's a decent enough town which is expanding rapidly - lots of new houses being built. Traffic can be bad but only at rush hour through town, mostly it's fine. You also have very easy motorway and A303 access - much better than Shepton/Frome/ Crewkerne and you can still be on the beach in half an hour, lovely countryside all around. Exeter and Bristol and Bath all about an hour away by car off peak. Bristol and Exeter airports also less than an hour. So not a glamorous place, but there are far worse.

Depending on what kind of work you do, could you look for a job in Taunton/Yeovil etc. ? Finding a house commutable to both should be no problem.

Sizzles only the very best people live around North Curry ! wink

Sizzlesthedog Mon 20-Feb-17 16:50:55

mateysmum haha, I don't live there, but know people who do. I think it's a fab place. Handy to get to all sorts of places from.

maryann189 Mon 27-Feb-17 13:49:36

Hi all,

Have a taken a decision to live in Taunton based on your helpful feedback and advice. Found a new-build small and cosy 2-bed semi-detached place, and a nursery which is walking distance.

Still job hunting in (mostly) Bristol, but ope to find a remote working position as an online editor.

Will come back (I'm sure) for more on things to do in Taunton and the surrounding areas too.

Thanks all!

Sunnyshores Mon 27-Feb-17 15:43:14

Im glad youve found somethig that works for you and your family. Hope you settle in soon

tk335 Thu 06-Jun-19 11:51:02

Hi Maryann,

I am about to move to Somerset with my 2 year old. Any advice? I will be working in bridgwater.


Colcat50 Tue 10-Sep-19 22:52:12

I personally wouldn’t live near Bridgewater, I lived in Somerset for years, but no one liked Bridgewater. I would draw a circle within an hour of Bridgewater and go visit a few places. Sorry I cannot be much more help but I lived in south Somerset. On a positive note I loved Somerset and when we had to move for my husbands job, I was so unhappy and unsettled that he took early retirement and he found another job in East Devon and moved there, which I love. I would never go back South East.

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