A move to North Lancaster, tips and advice please?(50 Posts)
Myself, Hubby and 12 year old Son have been planning a move out of Essex to a quieter, slower paced life up North for 2 years now. Where as we started researching and searching homes around Cumbria, moving toward Penrith and Northern Lancaster all online, we are finally ready to go...House is sold, ones ready to rent and we're visiting to view 3 properties in 2 weeks time!!! So excited..However, everywhere we find seems to have some kind of bad opinion from someone. So one house we are seeing is in Wilton Close, Lancaster and I've heard the Skerton/Reylands area is rough, so should I be avoiding Wilton Close? Then we are seeing one on Kellet Road, Carnforth and the 3rd is in Milnthorpe. We want to be close to the M6, and all the lovely country walks/views/lakes etc without feeling like we are overlooked by a concrete jungle where we are now, but still good amenities and a safe place for my growing Son to make good friends and happy memories. I'm a Paramedic and the Hubby an Engineer and live in an area that is deemed pretty run down now. Though I'm not terrified to make a jump and change to somewhere new, I equally don't want to jump out of the fire - into the frying pan...All tips and advice asap would be greatly appreciated..thank you
Move to Carnforth or Milnthorpe but do not move to Skerton or Ryelands, they’re a world apart! For high school you’d be best moving to Milnthorpe if you have children.
....Out of the frying pan - into the fire even!!
Thank you Trialsmum..the house we liked was by the river on the outskirt of Skerton, would you say avoid completely? It's so hard when you know nothing about an area..appreciate your thoughts..
Milnthorpe is nice. Village feel but still has everything you need including a Booths (Northern Waitrose!)
Yes avoid, sorry! It’s not quite as nice as you think, living by the river. Also look at Heysham (By the sea), Halton, Hest Bank, Bolton le Sands.
Agree with the other posters!
Where will you be commuting to each day?
You will miss the SE weather btw
Avoid Skerton and Rylands. For starters it's a nightmare traffic wise at the best of times but with the bridge issues at the moment it's not fun. It's quite rough as well, and although it's classed as Lancaster it's really on the Morecambe side of the river, and there are parts of Morecambe and Heysham which are much nicer.
Kellet Road is also a nightmare because that's where the high school in Carnforth is and the traffic can be pretty bad. The houses are also mainly terraced and quite small..
Milnthorpe is okay, the school is pretty good.
To be honest you aren't ever that far away from the Motorway anywhere in the Lancaster/Carnforth/South Lakes area. Lots of people commute to Lancaster from the Kendal/South Lakes area the road, train and bus links are all pretty good.
From the houses you have mentioned I get the feeling that you are looking at REALLY close to the motorway for perhaps the wrong reason. For example as the crow flies Skerton is close to the motorway and Kendal isn't as much but when you take into account the traffic there's probably only a few minutes difference between battling through Lancaster traffic or doing duel carriageway all the way from South Kendal to Junction 36.
Where are you both going to be working? What's your budget?
The motorway is "empty" in rush hour (comparing to the M35 on a good day) it's the battle to get to the M6 junction that is more the issue!
How old are the DC and have you spoken to the schools about spaces??
Oh and if it makes a difference the Grammar school system in Lancaster makes things a bit of a nightmare and there is competition for school places at the other schools in the area.
In the South Lakes you tend to get into your first choice school unless you live miles away.
Just read he is 12 so in year 7 or 8, grammar wouldn't let mine go on the waiting list as they hadn't done the 11+...
I’m pretty sure there’s an opportunity to take a 13+ at LRGS.
The Scotforth/Hala areas are nice, as is Garstang (suggested by another poster). Garstang High and Ripley St Thomas are both good schools.
I agree that South Lancaster is lovely but op said north lancs? We need to know commute
Yes, look at Garstang. It’s South of Lancaster but lovely quality of life.
Arnside near Milnthorpe is lovely but maybe a bit far out for you. Carnforth is a bit of a dump in the centre.
TBH Wilton Close is probably one of the nicest streets in what is classed as Skerton. The area doesn't have a great reputation, but compared with 'bad areas' of most of the UK it hardly compares (unless you're on certain streets maybe). Lancaster overall is a pretty nice place, safer than most places for kids, crime isn't too bad compared with most cities, so it's all relative.
Wilton Close is right on the outskirts and the houses themselves are very nice (a colleague lived on there and never had any trouble at all, neighbours all lovely). The river itself isn't that amazing there tbh though and there has been flooding there a couple of years back which would put me off, rather than the area itself. The village of Halton is about two minutes up the road from Wilton Close and is much nicer.
Traffic is particularly awful in the North side of the river at the moment as one of the two bridges into town is closed for six months, so all traffic has to go via a single lane from Morecambe/Heysham into Lancaster. Once that's done, it won't be as bad. But Lancaster ring road traffic is terrible wherever in Lancaster you live, if you have to travel to/through town anyway.
Look at Halton, or south of the river in Bowerham or Greaves. Much nicer than Skerton. Carnforth is ok, the Kelletts are nice as well. Garstang is a pain in the butt to get to the motorway and is very expensive compared to Lancaster for houses. Also Preston postcode and council tax, which is more than Lancaster and Morecambe.
Schools are good- the grammars are nice, as is Our Lady's and Carnforth High. Ripley is a surprisingly horrid school despite its reputation. I'd never send a child there. Central is pretty bog and Heysham is a declining, appalling mess. Dallam school is good.
Yeah having looked at Wilton close now I wouldn't class it as Skerton really. If I lived there I would describe it as the outskirts of Halton instead
The house for sale there at the moment though says STC on the listing...
Only 20 weeks until the bridge reopens
Yeah, I've pretty much given up driving into town for the school run and shopping now. We just walk or scoot 2 miles instead and it is so much quicker and easier! Roll on the grand reopening
Wow thank you all for your quick replies..really appreciate them, so I am going to cancel our viewing over at Wilton Close as not liking the further reviews in that area! We are going to look at a couple more over in Milnthorpe and one in Halton. @ RandomMess my Hubby commutes everywhere, he could be in Edinburgh one day and Devon the next ha ha, even regularly in Italy and Ireland so for him it doesn't matter where we live as long as we are close to links. For me my base stations as a Paramedic are looking like Lancaster and Morecambe, maybe penrith if I'm steering back more North, again it doesn't matter too much as I'll drive everywhere in a 12 hour shift but will be nice to be no more than 30 min drive from my new local ambulance stations to keep the travel down after a long shift. Also need a good secondary for my 12 year old of course, some of the areas concern me as there always seem to be local primarys but not secondarys..I'm hoping that there are school buses that run from the villages?? @ IAmNoAngel and Shockers .. Garstang I have looked at but feel like we are coming too far down from our original plan of being near to the Lakes, and at a quick look our budget doesn't seem to return any properties there. @ TheCumbrian yes you're right we don't need to be real close to motorway, you can see above in this comment our commute commitments, our budget is up to £240,000 if ready to move in 'ish or hopefully £200,000 if needs work as rough guide. Finally, thanks again, I look forward to any further info...
Eeeeek do I keep Wilton Close on my viewing list still?? So difficult
There's an ambulance station in Ulverston too, if you fancied Cumbria proper.
Have you ruled out Kendal for any particular reason? I would say it pretty much ticks all your boxes and there is an ambulance base there too.
when the bridge is open It takes me 35 mins from the south of Kendal near Junction 36 to get to the Royal Lancaster infirmary (not including getting parked!) and the ambulance base in Lancaster is quite near Junction 34 so you could probably knock at least 10 minutes off that time.
Schools are okay, transport links are surprisingly good (Oxenholme, which is still Kendal is on the West Coast Mainline) and there are most of the facilities you would expect from a smallish town.
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