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Moving to Llandaf

(8 Posts)
Littleredbeetle Wed 09-May-18 11:55:44

Hi, I'm new to Mumsnet and just looking for any local info/tips on Llandaff, as we are considering a move there.

Me, DH and daughter of (currently) 9 months old are looking to relocate from Surrey to Cardiff. I'm originally from South Wales and still have family and friends in the Pontyclun area. DH has a new job offer for Bristol (London some days) and I work from home so now thinking of moving back to where most of our mutual friends are. Thought I would post on here to see if anyone has any insight, as although I'm from South Wales we have never spent much time in Cardiff suburbs.

We think Llandaff might be a good option but are keen to hear from people who have experience of living there - what are the nicest areas to live in/streets to avoid? Any high crime areas? Is it mainly older, more affluent people who live there or lots of young families too? We are both mid 30s professionals and would love to know if the area would suit our needs as much as we hope it will. Attracted to the greenery/coffee shop vibe and ease of access to Taff Trail/city. Plus access to the m4 for DH. But is the traffic in the area a growing issue?

Also wonder about toddler groups for meeting fellow parents in the area? Am used to being able to walk to a children's centre so really hope there is something similar around there. I'm also used to being able to walk to local shops/pub and green spaces.

Schools look good, would want my DD to go to welsh medium so presume Glantaf...

We are in the very early stages of looking at moving so wouldn't be till the end of the year. Right now would just love to hear about what it's like to live there and if we have the wrong/right impression! We have only been there a handful of times and looked round Insole Court.

(Budget is about 400k for a family home with green space ideally.)

Alternative area suggestions welcome too by the way, but have considered Cyncoed/Roath/Penarth and not sure they have all of the above... thanks in advance :-)

NoodlesLivesHere Thu 10-May-18 13:42:25

Llandaf is lovely but the character of the area is changing and becoming busier. It's also on a catchment border so some parents have found it tricky when their children are earmarked for different schools depending on when they were born.

If you're after a community feel next to the Taff trail you can't go wrong with Whitchurch. There's a high street in the village with Iceland, Co-op, Boots, a Welsh book shop, plenty of little independent businesses and cafes/coffee shops including the lovely Cariad Kitchen.

School catchments place you firmly in Ysgol Gymraeg Melin Gruffydd and Ysgol Glantaf for Welsh medium or Whitchurch Primary and Whitchurch High for English medium.

There are two railway stations to choose from depending on which bit of Whitchurch you live in, Llandaf is at the top of Llandaff North and on the main line from Pontypridd or Whitchurch or Coryton which are on the city line. It's also a matter of minutes to get to J32 of the M4 in normal traffic.

£400k would get you a decent 3 bed house with a garden bigger than a postage stamp (which seems to be the norm on new builds these days).

There are plenty of community and church groups for baby and toddler sessions dotted around the community.

Rhiwbina also has a community feel to it and is the other side of Manor Way (a470). It was designed as a garden village so again has a lovely high street with decent shops available. This is a little further from the Taff Trail but only by a mile or so.

Littleredbeetle Thu 10-May-18 15:26:39

Thanks so much NoodlesLivesHere, super useful to know about the schools!

When you say the character if Llandaf is changing, what way do you mean? Have you lived there yourself? Would be really interested in your thoughts...

Thanks for the suggestion of Whitchurch and Rhiwbina - I thought Whitchurch was just quite a busy throughfare but maybe I'm wrong? Perhaps I should look at those a bit more closely. Are there certain areas of Rhiwbina/Whitchurch that you'd recommend or suggest steering clear of? It feels like Cardiff is a bit like London with areas changing rapidly from street to street?

NoodlesLivesHere Thu 10-May-18 19:44:42

Llandaf used to be very quiet and mostly older residents. Slowly more families are settling there but the student residence is growing in popularity all the time so you do get quite a mix of people which gives it a slightly disjointed feel because you still have the dyed in the wool locals but there are more new faces now. There is still a sense of community but it feels diluted compared to Whitchurch, Tongwynlais or Rhiwbina. It is very busy in terms of traffic though and getting busier because of the new housing development near Pentrebane. My in laws lived there for years and DH grew up there. That being said, insole court is brilliant and we consider the Cathedral to be our family Church.

Whitchurch can feel like a through-fare because of the A470 cutting down alongside. It's funny because before I moved to the area I thought the same. I blame the big sign next to the road declaring Whitchurch Golf Club's location! But it is definitely seen as a desirable area to raise a family in. Most of the families I know are professionals in health care (consultants, GPs etc) or civil service and the adults certainly know how to keep the local restaurants, coffee shops and bars afloat.

Both primary schools are consistently oversubscribed and the only reason Glantaf isn't oversubscribed like Whitchurch High is due to the council opening Bro Ederyn in East Cardiff a couple of years ago. That situation will soon change though with only 5 spaces free in the first round of allocations this year.

Honestly though I've never encountered community spirit like the Whitchurch or Rhiwbina anywhere else in Cardiff (I've done my rounds from student digs, to single professional and now Cardiff meaning I've had a mini tour of Cardiff as a resident).

There are festivals and community events always ticking along and they are both very family friendly areas. Traffic can be busy on the main routes but most of the streets are quiet enough to cross without looking (I'm not actually recommending this!!).

I've had a look at houses with 3 beds and a garden on Rightmove in your price range and wouldn't be put off by any apart from the one on Manor Way. The houses there are lovely but they are on the dual carriageway which would put me off. You do get more house and garden for your money because of that though. North of Coryton train station is technically no longer Whitchurch but Coryton. There's a fair bit of council housing there but really the only difference is that it's closer to the M4 and further away from the facilities of the village.

There isn't anywhere I'd immediate avoid in either Whitchurch or Rhiwbina to be honest. Some parts of Whitchurch touch on Gabalfa (near college road) but it's almost gentrified those parts of Gabalfa so they don't see the issues further into the estate.

There are other lovely very family friendly areas of Cardiff too. Cyncoed, Thornhill, Lisvane, Lakeside, Heath, Birchgrove are all generally desirable and I'd struggle to think of a street that would be less attractive to live in but none are particularly convenient for the motorway. I'd avoid Roath only because it's very popular as a student/young professional area so whilst there are some lovely family homes, there are a lot of converted multiple occupancy houses.

Penarth is stunning but dreadful for commuting to the M4. The link road (A4232) is often caught up with bad traffic because of an accident/event in Cardiff Bay/game at Cardiff City football club (just been promoted to premiership so that isn't going to improve things).

Day to day I don't use the car living in Whitchurch. We can walk to the school, to the shops (including the many little coffee shops), we have access to Hailey Park which gives you a route straight onto the Taff Trail. There's also the library park at the top of the village. In terms of activities there's a very popular cycling club and tennis club and within easy reach are swimming pools and numerous sporting clubs including girls football and rugby if your DD was so inclined.

The local PACT meetings are largely taken up with inconsiderate parking near schools and busy parts of the village. Given that we're a city suburb, crime not being a large feature of a PACT meeting in any given month is encouraging.

Given the choice I'd buy one of the beautiful 5 bed detached homes in the vicinity of Heol Don with the massive gardens and make it a home for life. For now I shall be content in dwelling in my lovely 3 bed home with the sound of bird song the only noise you regularly hear.

There are Facebook community groups you could join to get a better insight to the areas too. There's a fair amount of adverts and lost pets but it does give you a feel for the kind of community and events that happen around here. I like that there's a community but it doesn't have a village mentality so your business doesn't belong to everyone.

Hope that helps a little.

Littleredbeetle Sat 12-May-18 10:23:14

NoodlesLivesHere - thank you soooo much for your detailed reply! That is incredibly useful.

You've given me such insight into life in Whitchurch and have certainly convinced me to take a proper look, and not just focus on Llandaff. Having read your post I'm now very excited about the idea of exploring the area. Super useful information about the particular areas and streets, too, which is so hard to work out as just a visitor, so I really appreciate that smile

What you've described about not using the car on a daily basis sounds like the perfect lifestyle to me and exactly what I dream of...

I suppose I need to look into the school situation next then, as that is all very new to me and I'm not sure how it works yet (DD is only 8 months). So I might post separately about that later.

You also had me with the birdsong... sounds wonderful!

Thanks again for such insight, exactly what I was looking for grin

NoodlesLivesHere Sun 13-May-18 00:15:26

grin you're welcome

NancyJoan Wed 06-Jun-18 11:35:48

Littleredbeetle, I live in Llandaff. Lovely houses, little to worry about in terms of crime etc, but also very little in terms of a villagey/community feeling. My kids are at Howell's and Cathedral Schools. We moved from Pontcanna (for a bigger garden) which I loved, did all my shopping on foot every day, spent lots of time at Chapter Arts Centre for coffee/films, baby groups.

Penarth is LOVELY, with fantastic schools, but the commute out will drive you mad.

I'd seriously look at Rhiwbina, it's got such a close community feel and some really nice houses. I go there for an art class every week, it really feels like everyone knows everyone, and the local primary does well.

CasperGutman Thu 14-Jun-18 06:40:13

Another vote for Whitchurch. Everything Noodles said rang true to me. We previously lived in South East England, and I didn't think suburbs with the community feel there is here existed.

We were so lucky that a house which ticked all our boxes came up here, because our house search had massively undervalued the importance of being in walking distance of schools, churches, cafes, bars, restaurants, toddler groups etc. Getting all this "by accident" has transformed our lives* and made it easy for us to make a fantastic circle of friends here.

*This sounds ridiculous, but is an appropriate description for the difference it's made!

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