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Information on living in Chester

(35 Posts)
LittleDyn1982 Wed 04-Oct-17 12:30:48


A job opportunity has come up in Chester. Before we plan a visit for ourselves, could anyone shed some light on the area. Where are the nicer areas in Chester (and therefore good schools. Eldest is in reception, youngest at nursery) and which are the areas to avoid? I see there are some areas which may have more students due to the university, which we would want to avoid.
From my look at Google images, the town centre looks gorgeous! But that's literally all I know about the place. I'm sure it's also a lot cheaper than where we are in Surrey.
Thanks in advance....

Frazzled2207 Wed 04-Oct-17 12:44:14

Someone will be along shortly I’m sure with more info... I grew up there but no longer live there so can’t comment on house prices and schools but it’s an ace place to live. Lots going on, shops restaurants etc but not too big. Generally safe and quite prosperous. Great for kids as it’s the kind of place you’d be happy to let them wander around by themselves when older. I’d love to relocate back but it’s not practical at the moment.

Very busy on Saturdays and difficult to park as it’s something of a shopping hub. When I last worked there though rush hour traffic wasn’t too bad.
Good trains to London too and easy for both Liverpool and manchester airports.

As a starting point and if you have a decent budget I’d look at the Queen’s Park/Handbridge/Lache areas. Very nice and leafy - Lots of 4 bed houses. Schools probably good but don’t know.
Easy walking distance to the city (within a mile).
If you fancy a more countrified location then there are lots of nice villages to consider, especially to the east eg. Kelsall, Tarporley.

Frazzled2207 Wed 04-Oct-17 12:46:43

Over on the other side Hoole is also nice and again walking distance.
Huntingdon has a vast 90s housing estate if that’s your thing, soulless though.

Chester genuinely doesn’t have many dodgy bits, but the one area to avoid would be Blacon and the surrounding school catchment I think.

Want2bSupermum Wed 04-Oct-17 13:02:40

It's a brilliant area to raise a family. There is so much to do and most people are quite welcoming to people moving to the area. Personally I like Hoole and Christleton but I don't know if those areas suit your budget.

There is also the possibility to live in wales. It's a lot cheaper for housing and the funding for certain services is better sometimes. If you plan to use private schools Queens/Kings are excellent. The Hammond is a performing arts school and you have a couple of boarding schools in North Wales. Of the boarding schools, the only one I would send my DC to is Ruthin after 13. For private day I would send them to Queens/Kings. For state I would look to send them to Mickle Trafford primary or the one in Christleton.

To be clear, I am raising my family in America but grew up in the Cheshire area. I would like to return but schooling doesn't support our autistic son as well compared to where we live.

Want2bSupermum Wed 04-Oct-17 13:05:08

Housing isn't necessarily cheaper. A family home in a desirable location can easily cost £450-550k.

PeasAndHarmony Wed 04-Oct-17 13:17:58

It's a lovely place to live, we moved there from the south a few years back. Although it looks like a quaint old city there's actually loads going on. E.g. A fab new cinema and theatre, exhibitions, music, brilliant restaurants etc.

Nice areas to live are probably Hoole or Handbridge if you want somewhere cool with its own stuff to do/ high street but within walking distance of town.

Or Westminster Park, Upton, Newton, vicars cross if you want somewhere a bit more residential or a bigger house with a garden.

Broughton (near Waitrose) is up an coming but does have a lot of rental properties.

Avoid the Garden Quarter if you don't want to be surrounded by students! This is the roads round the uni and canal like Cheney road, Catherine street etc.

Blacon , Lache and Saltney are the most 'deprived'areas but nothing like London deprived areas, they're fine!

You could also consider the villages as they are so near- mollington, christleton and Waverton are lovely.

I cannot think of any primary schools to avoid, we're so lucky to have excellent schooling here however many schools are full if you're planning on an in year transfer.

Secondary- christleton, Bishops and Upton are most popular and get good reviews. Christleton and Upton look like they get better exam results but Bishops is smaller with great pastoral care. Queens Park has had a bad few years under a terrible head but the new head is great and turning it round, still only 60 kids started Y7 this year when it has capacity for 180.

Beware that high schools give some priority to feeder primary pupils so if you have a strong preference for a particular high school you may want to apply for a feeder primary. The only oversubscribed secondary this year was Christleton though.

Wirral (neighboring council) have grammar schools so chester kids can take the 11+ and apply there if they don't mind traveling a fair way to school each day!

Hope that helps, just ask/ PM me if you need more info!!

CheshireSplat Wed 04-Oct-17 14:44:07

Chester is fab! Are you looking for suburbs or villages outside? And what's your house budget? Or would you rent to start with?

Mrskeats Wed 04-Oct-17 16:26:49

I live in Chester and I love it. I think the nicest areas to live are Hoole and Handbridge and also Curzon Park. Hoole has a lovely village feel with loads going on and is near the city and the station for commuting etc.
Bishops and Christleton are good high schools and there are lots of good and outstanding primaries.
House prices are pretty reasonable
I would avoid Saltney and Blacon

LittleDyn1982 Thu 05-Oct-17 13:27:37

Thanks for the advice! Hubby would need to get to the Chester train station. We don't have a preference really between suburbs and villages, as long as the area is nice and there are good schools (and hopefully a good community and church)
We would definitely be renting to start with, and you seem to get a lot more for your money renting there by the looks of things.

Want2bSupermum Thu 05-Oct-17 13:33:41

This will def out me. I'm not Christian but the church in Mickle Trafford has the most fab vicar. He is truely wonderful. Highly recommend checking out that church.

PeasAndHarmony Thu 05-Oct-17 19:04:55

Hoole would meet all your requirements, walking distance to train station, amazing community (check out Notting Hoole and I love Hoole on Facebook) and All Saints church on Vicarage Road (if you are C of E) is very welcoming and runs lots of groups/ events.

St martins academy in Hoole is massively oversubscribed and you need to live very close to get in but Hoole C of E is also a great community school. If you are catholic, st werberghs has a great reputation.

LittleDyn1982 Thu 05-Oct-17 22:18:03

Thanks so much! Really hope he gets through to an interview as you've all made Chester sound so lovey!! Fingers crossed!

LexieLulu Thu 05-Oct-17 22:41:48

I absolutely love Chester, I live on the Wirral, a stones throw. If I could move more into cheshire I would, pricey mind.

Is money an issue for you? If you don't mind outskirts and you'd like something cheaper but on train route... Hooton is lovely x

SlothMama Thu 05-Oct-17 23:10:23

I live just outside of Chester, it's a lovely city as with every city there are places to avoid but previous posters have covered them. Chester itself is expensive but there are plenty of nice areas which are cheaper and on the train line into Chester.

LittleDyn1982 Fri 06-Oct-17 06:01:02

Yes money is an issue, unfortunately, so further out on the train lines would also be a great option for us

LexieLulu Fri 06-Oct-17 08:14:59

Look up the wirral train line, or north Wales. Both much cheaper.

I live in Wallasey which although is dooable, it would take around an hour as you have to change trains.

Bromborough Eastham Ellesmere Port, all cheaper and around half an hour on one train (probably less than).

I don't know much about north Wales unfortunately x

SlothMama Fri 06-Oct-17 09:14:42

I live in Ellesmere Port and it's one change from my nearest station at Hooton to get into Chester takes about 30 minutes. But I usually drive to Hooton and park there as it only costs 80p for all day parking.

House prices are decent here, there are a lot of new builds going up if that's what you want. Granted there are less nicer places to live in the town but the Whitby, Little Sutton and Great Sutton areas are nice

LexieLulu Fri 06-Oct-17 12:46:02

@SlothMama sorry if my comment caused offence, I meant houses can be cheaper than Chester central. flowers

Want2bSupermum Fri 06-Oct-17 18:32:57

The best part about a move to Chester is that you really don't need to be living in an expensive part of town or village further out. Nothing wrong with Ellesmere Port IMO. I'd live there and have friends who live there, having bought a 5 bed home for £180k about 5 years ago that did need some work, mainly cosmetic. They did this purposely because they send their DC to a private school.

The other good thing about Ellesmere Port is that you can go well below asking on older homes because there is so much available that is new build.

Frazzled2207 Fri 06-Oct-17 19:32:36

Yeah ellesmere port area worth looking at - especially if you want a modern house. Town centre not good but that’s because of the colossal Cheshire Oaks complex.

Want2bSupermum Fri 06-Oct-17 22:06:38

To be clear, even if you live in Ellesmere Port you do not need to send your DC to a private school. The state primaries are good.

chocatoo Sat 07-Oct-17 10:33:23

Don't forget to look at Wirral. There are excellent state grammar schools - there are school buses from Chester but there are some lovely villages on the Wirral with Chester as a 20 min commute.

LittleDyn1982 Mon 09-Oct-17 11:00:29

I've noticed 2 areas with nice looking properties, Saughall and Saighton. What are these areas like? Thanks again!

PeasAndHarmony Mon 09-Oct-17 13:51:27

Saughall is quite mixed in terms of housing, council type housing at the Blacon end to Posh village detached. My friend lives there and says it's a nice village community. It's at the Wirral end of chester so would make grammar schools accessible.

Saighton has loads of new builds as the old army camp is being built on, don't know much about it apart from that!

Both 3-4 miles outside of Chester.

moominsareace Mon 09-Oct-17 17:45:00

Be aware that there is a large (and I mean huge, 1400 homes) development planned near the Kings School on Wrexham Road (near Westminster Park). Nothing at all is built at the moment, but I believe that planning has been granted and building will start in the next couple of years. If you are thinking of renting to start off with, by the time you want to buy these houses might be up and ready.

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