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Yankee Expat moving to Southampton!

(20 Posts)
Settly Mon 20-Nov-17 20:45:06

Hello everyone!

My husband and I have been living in Seattle for several years, where I'm originally from, but are now planning on moving to the UK, (Hubby is English), and have settled on the Southampton area.

However, we got a bit of a surprise last week, and we will be having a little one joining us when we get there!

My question is, with Southampton being so big, what are the different neighborhoods and villages like?

I'm a city girl, and my husband is from the country, although country and suburbs are off the table.

Can you tell me the areas of Southampton that are a bit more hip, with some culture and lively energy? We like a neighborhood feel, but with the benefits of City Life.

Thanks so much!

Ta1kinPeace Mon 20-Nov-17 22:14:13

Bitterne Triangle
the very top of Hill Lane

neither has as good Vietnamese food as Seattle
but those are the two parts of the city where you'll get the best NW style vibe

StinkyVonWinky Mon 20-Nov-17 22:58:59

Bitterne Triangle definitely. A great place to raise a little one, as there is Riverside park right on your doorstep and lots of activities to do. Plus a few cafes, a bakery, a microbrewery and an ice cream parlour! You can easily get into the city from there on the bus or train and it's easy enough to drive in too.

Jenijena Wed 22-Nov-17 11:47:19

Not sure Southampton is ‘hip’ but it’s not bad ;)

Congratulations on your news too smile

You might like Romsey, it’s a town just outside of Southampton, with a definite identity and lots of cultural stuff going on (yarn bombing/arts festival/am dram theatre/food festival). Lots of families and good schools, although by a city per se it might be a good compromise for the two of you.

shirleybanister Wed 22-Nov-17 12:05:05

Congratulations on your news! I would agree with others - Bitterne Park, Upper Shirley and Highfield are all nice places to live fairly near to Southampton City Centre. Rownhams is not hip, but has good schools. Winchester is a lovely city with good schools, but housing is expensive!

shirleybanister Wed 22-Nov-17 12:09:01

Congratulations on your news! I would agree with others - Bitterne Park, Upper Shirley and Highfield are all nice places to live fairly near to Southampton City Centre. Rownhams is not hip, but has good schools. Winchester is a lovely city with good schools, but housing is expensive!

HeadDreamer Wed 22-Nov-17 13:28:36

Southampton is really quiet. Agree with all the lovely places already mentioned. But I think you need to adjust your expectations if you are a city girl. Neither southampton nor Winchester are busy cities.

NancyDonahue Wed 22-Nov-17 13:32:28

Seriously, I would give Southampton a miss and look at Winchester. Southampton is huge, urban and sprawling and the city centre is really taken over by the two universities. Winchester is more expensive than Southampton due to being closer to London, but it does have more of a cultural vibe going on, lots of history and lovely parks, pubs and restaurants. The outskirts are more affordable but it has an excellent park and ride and general bus services and excellent schooling.

If it HAS to be Southampton due to work, then I agree Bitterne Park is your place. Schools are great and the park is a big bonus for families. However, it's a very old part of the city and the houses are generally small and parking can be difficult.

West End, Hedge End and Botley are nice villages. They could be a bit sleepy for you but are only 20 minutes or so drive into the City Centre. They all have newer houses and more being built if you prefer modern homes. Schooling is excellent in those areas.

Ta1kinPeace Wed 22-Nov-17 13:52:57

I did think Romsey, but after Seattle everything will seem pretty quiet !

Then again the M27 is blissfully peaceful compared with I95 grin

Seattle is a port, as is Southampton
and interestingly Seattle is actually smaller than Southampton (if you ignore Kirkland)

Oceanfox Wed 22-Nov-17 22:30:49

My experience of living in Bitterne Park was of being surrounded by busybody curtain twitchers! Highfield and Hill Lane are gorgeous and more open-minded I suspect.

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 23-Nov-17 14:03:11

Winchester is pretty horrendously congested and polluted relative to house prices though. I lived there for a bit and was astonished how much people just accepted the pollution around the centre.
Southampton at least has more variety.

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 23-Nov-17 14:04:23

What was your reason for choosing Southampton? Work or other? Commuting can be fairly grim so a lot depends where you /he would be working.

Adelie0404 Thu 23-Nov-17 18:44:14

Hi there! I am married to an American here, but he's been here 20+ years. I recommend Upper Shirley for living or Bassett. Winchester you needs lots of money!Its hard to advise,

vixo Sat 25-Nov-17 18:56:31

Highfield has a good local community with cafes and supermarkets within walking distance in portswood. And a good school!

If you're not planning on moving again within 4 years then you need to have a proper look at schools and catchment areas so you don't get caught out.

Nicecuppatea21 Sat 25-Nov-17 19:10:34

I don't know anything about Southampton but I have spent a month in Seattle. Why would you leave Seattle? I have travelled extensively and Settle is one of the best places I have ever been.

You obviously have personal reasons and it's wonderful news about your baby, congratulations!!!

Ta1kinPeace Sat 25-Nov-17 20:51:19

Whereas I live in Southampton
I have family in Seattle and would gladly never go back.

The homeless people everywhere, especially around the hospital
I95 polluting the city center
The dope smokers on every corner
and not being able to take my kids into a licenced restaurant for supper after 9pm
then again, I did rather like Redondo smile

HeadDreamer Sun 26-Nov-17 20:14:38

Homelessness in southampton city centre is very bad. I shudder to think what it’s like in Seattle if you say it’s worse.

Ta1kinPeace Sun 26-Nov-17 21:52:35

Seattle has around 2000 rough sleepers at any time
there are tents pitched all around the highway in the hospital grounds
its grim
I looked up the stats after going there
as the US does not provide mental health treatment to the poor.

CRowland29 Wed 04-Dec-19 21:26:13

Hi! I just wanted to follow up on this. See where you moved and if you liked it. Moving from states to Lyndhurst area and feeling nervous about missing city life.

leckford Sat 11-Jan-20 19:31:08

I have been to Seattle and I can assure you Southampton is nothing like it. Some parts are very rough, the norther suberbs are nicer and full of footballers I believe. Romsey is an ancient city, nice but quite small. Winchester is nice, very expensive with terrible traffic very good schools, some private. You need to do a lot of research and driving around before you make up your mind

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