Nice places to live in Bristol

(37 Posts)
Bumpologist Thu 20-Dec-12 14:59:30

Hi there. We're thinking of leaving London and relocating to Bristol in order to be closer to the countryside and parents, but we don't really know where to start looking. We currently live in Herne Hill, in-between posh Dulwich and edgy Brixton, and would like to find somewhere similar with good local (not private) schools, a slightly bohemian feel, green spaces where the kids could play when older, and friendly liberal people to make friends with. Any suggestions? We currently have a 2yr old and a baby. What are the nursery waiting lists like around there? And how tough is the competition for primary school places?

lovinglapland Thu 20-Dec-12 20:19:00

Schooling in Bristol is something of a nightmare! In order to get into any of the 'excellent/good' state schools you need to be very close to them. Secondary particularly as there really isn't a great choice. From your description of the area you would like I would suggest Bishopston, St Andrews, Redland, Cotham as areas to look at. Some of the best state secondaries are also there - Redland Green, Cotham School and if you have girls, Colstons girls is an academy that has an entrance test and banding/ lottery system. There are good primaries also in those areas but you really need to check the data on how close you need to live to secure places. As you have time I would suggest renting for 6 months and working out where you want to/ need to be. I can't help with the nursery part as I used nursery care outside of Bristol, although I've never heard of it being a particular problem.

Bumpologist Fri 21-Dec-12 04:56:57

Thanks. Renting is a good idea - makes the idea of relocating somewhat less daunting!! We'll take a look at those areas.

LittleRockersSoftPlay Fri 21-Dec-12 20:27:21

Having read your message, I would suggest looking at St Andrews/Montpelier areas. I know Herne Hill well and that is most similar.

Knowle/Totterdown/Windmill Hill/Southville would also suit you. (I've lived in all these areas). Lovely, lovely places imo. My kids are the same age as yours and there's loads to do for both toddler and baby. Nursery waiting lists about 9months-1year, but some excellent CMs who often have availability sooner. Southville & Knowle have the largest houses which you will probably find very affordable after London.

Bumpologist Sat 22-Dec-12 21:15:28

Thanks LittleRockers. This gives us some great starting points. Any ideas what schools are like in totterdown/southbound area?

brizol Fri 04-Jan-13 18:35:24

i would agree with every thing that LittleRockersSoftPlay said
Totterdown knowle & Southville are nice family areas with a great mix of people and a nice community
cant comment on the kid stuff as mine is 18 ++ but house wise and sizes you will defiantly get a lot for your money compared to London

There is a fab park as well called Perrets Park with lovely views across Bristol and some lovely big houses nice tree lined st etc but rarely see house up for sale though
Also easy access to the city centre , train station ect is within walking distance

londonlove Wed 09-Jan-13 11:36:24

hi - I lived in London before moving here and I moved to Cotham. We Loved the vibe of London and found the closest thing to London Life was Definitely North Bristol - Cotham/Montpelier/Bishopston - I understand the appeal for families to go South (Southville being the nicest) BUT all the ex Londoners I meet all seem to live in Montpelier!! So funny. Family Parks - My favourite park in Bristol is St Andrews (a park you can spend a long day in) I really missed the atmostphere of london parks(stoke newington was mine.....aah) the nearest to that here is St Andrews park. More Green spaces - north bristol is SO close to The Downs, Ashton Court, Leigh Woods (country pubs are minutes away) Pubs/Restaurants - Gloucester Road, Bishopston has the nice busy feel of London. Vibrant cafe life and independent shops. Clifton Village is posher! less edgy, very less edgy. My local area is Stokes Croft - Bristol's Banksy Bohemia Area! - Creative Capital of Bristol !! - Family friendly cool 'Canteen' pub/restaurant you'd love. Always something going on around here.
My kids all went to local nurserys - no problems with waiting lists. Schools are very competitive BUT if decide to live here. For Primarys check out Colstons sch and the Dolphin sch. For Secondary - Cotham is outstanding and cool, nice mix of kids. My eldest is going next year. Redland Green too, nice and very middle class!
Don't know if this helps but we might be moving back to london soon and Everyone I know suggested I'd love Dulwich so we may have similar tastes!! good luck.
ps - I found the majority of south bristol (where i grew up actually) very very white (still) it is changing but it doesn't have the mix that I prefer in my neighbourhood. Just thought you'd want to know.

pinkfluffypompomhat Sun 13-Jan-13 15:30:39

We've just moved from Brixton to Southville. We looked in Montpelier/Bishopston/St Andrews but found the traffic to be a bit of a nightmare ( one of the many reasons we wanted to move out of London!), nice houses to be a bit out our budget and gardens too small. Good primary schools are apparently oversubscribed in these areas ( just look up threads on MN for an idea)

We found a lovely house in Southville v. close to a good primary in the end. It feels less congested and is close to two lovely parks but still very central. Very happy with our decision.

charlottekatherine Sun 20-Jan-13 12:54:30

Clifton or Southville, both have a lovely slightly bohemien vibe. I moved from London six months ago I've met a lot of people through groups and clubs in clifton (knitting is such a good way of making friends

northbristolian Mon 04-Feb-13 00:25:51

Are you the inhouse scriptwriter for Pseuds Corner? What a load of twaddle. Not sure I'm very keen on your ethnic cleansing policy either ... 'too white'????. No wonder race relations goes nowhere in this country ... on the one hand the philosophy is we must be colour bind then all the right-on mob do everything they can to segment us all. I like a mix of people too ... but their skin colour is irrelevant.
Pass me the houmous.

londonlove Tue 05-Feb-13 14:00:32

Slightly moving away from the point of this thread AND being rude. This lovely lady wants help and advice on where to move her family. You haven't really helped? I'm sorry you disagree with me and my apparent want of 'ethnic cleansing?' really? I just wanted to help. And whilst we're off the point....My mixed race niece spent her whole 12 years living in 'very white' (fact) Southmead. She came to visit us in Dalston, London. And whilst sat on the top deck of our local bus she cried!!!.....why?.....for the first time in her life she felt at ease and apart of somewhere she could relate to. The bus had all races, all colours. She moved up there a few years later. Is she wrong??
Just wanted to paint a picture to help. My comment 'too white' was probably the wrong way to explain....but talking twaddle. Never.

Bumpologist Sat 08-Mar-14 07:50:49

Just re-stumbled across this thread after a long time away. Thanks for all the advice! We're on the verge if making the move and are pretty set on Cotham/Redland - though there are currently no appropriate and affordable houses for sale there (panic!). Wondered what Montpelier (around Cromwell rd) would be like with kids - presumably we'd be in the catchment area for Dolphin School, but its not in area of 1st priority for Cotham secondary, despite close proximity. Would it be a big gamble from a secondary point of view? And is it too urban/hipster for young kids, do you think? We looked around kingsdown parade and thought, 'this would be great for us', but not so sure about primary-aged children in terms of safety/green space..

givemeaclue Sat 08-Mar-14 19:41:54

What would the secondary option be? That would be a key factor. Montpelier...some love it, some don't. Personally I am not a fan but maybe it's different living there to passing through. It deffo not cotham or Redland! I think there are nicer places in bristol rather than montpelier

Broccolitree Sat 08-Mar-14 20:29:39

Would the secondary school there be Fairfield? It's a school on the up (quite rapidly) - good ofsted and exams results dramatically improving. I've heard lots of good things about it.

Tigulator Sun 09-Mar-14 22:28:33

What's the latest on Knowle? 2 DSs in KS2 so secondary choice is looming. Can't find a site for Bristol catchment areas.
It's Bristol or Exeter for us. And my thinking is that Bristol is only a goer if we can find a little serenity with local parks and a garden of our own.

givemeaclue Mon 10-Mar-14 07:50:44

Bristol city council website, go to secondary admissions, the PDF tells you about secondary catchment areas. Not sure what school covers knowledge.

givemeaclue Mon 10-Mar-14 07:51:07

Knowle not knowledge!

TheBristolParent Wed 19-Mar-14 19:34:11

Hey, we live in Knowle (sort of Totterdown borders) and it's brilliant. Housewise so much more for your money than Southville etc and so close to everywhere. We also moved from London and though I would have also liked to have been North in Bishopston or St Andrews, Knowle and Totterdown are just as bohemian, community focused, and best of all, lots more big green spaces. Lots and lots to do with kids too. Mine is younger, but I just wrote this post which might be helpful

vjoy74 Tue 22-Apr-14 11:45:00

Can I ask what primary & secondary school you're looking at for Totterdown?

cakesaway Sat 30-Aug-14 20:09:24

We are hoping to move to Bristol in the next 12 months . I'm a single widow with three kids 8,12,13 and need 3 different schools ; primary , secondary and a private boys for my eldest .
I don't know where to start so any help with nice areas to live , good schools etc would be massively helpful . We'd like somewhere a bit green , close to parks etc , nice shops . I work from home so the area is very important - could even be a little further out of the centre - help ?!

LadyEboshi Wed 12-Nov-14 15:31:33

hi Cakesaway, I am in the same situation like yours, also widow but with one child (7 years old). I made the decision to move to Bristol as well. We are currently living in Germany and plan to move in Summer 2015 so that my daughter finishes her school here and I have more time to prepare the moving. Also looking for any ideas regarding primary schools, near the city centre with lovely green spaces and nice shops.

kastiekastie Sat 27-Dec-14 16:22:39

Hi Cakesaway and Lady Eboshi - and all of you!
Seems like mass exodus to Bristol!
I was hoping to move there ten years ago but didn't work out and ended up in Portsmouth for one reason and another. I now have a lovely 9 year old boy and although he really doesn't want to move away, I really do!
I don't have any useful information I don't think - yet - but just wanted to say hi and make contact... No idea when we'd move if we did though would love to say this is the year I make it happen - if not now then when eh?
Would love to know how you get on anyone who's just moved or thinking of it please...

Clifford29 Tue 30-Dec-14 08:53:53


Not sure about on the ground best places but use Gov data to map local crime, road accidents, property prices etc. May be worth a look.

Bumpologist Mon 05-Jan-15 22:22:03

Hi all,
So we finally made the move to St Andrews in August, and love it. Perfect combination of the buzz of Gloucester Road, the wonderful St Andrews Park, and just a short walk down the hill to St Werburgh's with its alternative vibe, climbing wall and the absolutely amazing city farm. And you can be on the M32 within 5 minutes.
Primary school options seem very good, with several existing schools expanding, and new schools (managed by Colston Girls' School) opening. I've also heard positive things about Fairfield, so am optimistic for the future, and we may still get into Cotham School. But secondary schools are still 7 years away for us, so who knows!
Thanks for all the advice smile

Wahey79 Wed 21-Jan-15 22:09:51

This is such a useful thread, thank you. We are thinking of moving back to Bristol (my home town) this summer, but my son is currently in Reception in London so I have the gut-churning prospect of an "in-year application" for a year 1 school place for him, which I can't do until we've bought a house...

Has anyone on here been through this? Even if we spend more than we should on getting very close to a good primary, I get the impression it's still far from certain we'll get a place.

Does anyone have any tips, or know where is a good place to look to hedge our bets? I had thought maybe Westbury Park/Henleaze but suspect they'll be unlikely to have spaces coming up in year 1 this summer.

Thanks in advance for any insight anyone can offer!


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