Work relocation: to live in Bristol city or small town?

(12 Posts)
umck2014 Sun 12-Feb-17 16:04:53

Hello! My husband and I are relocating to Bristol from Hong Kong due to his work. Prior to that, we were living in Brisbane, Australia.

We have a LO she'll be 6 month old by the time we move.

I know it's hard to gauge what it's living in Bristol like when we're not even there yet. But before the move which is in 4 weeks time, I'll like to have a shortlist of areas to look at when we get there.

My husband will be based in Bristol city for the first 12 months then he'll probably need to work in Hinkley Point. Our plan is to stay in Bristol for the first 3-4 months while trying to decide to stay in the city or move to the a small town near by Hinkley Point.

So the big question is whether to stay in Bristol city/suburb, if yes, where?
or should we move to the small town further out from the city? What's the pro and con? and which towns should we consider?

Having lived and worked in a city setting in the last 12 years, obviously we like the lifestyle and convenience. But having a baby last year has definitely changed our mindset. My husband doesn't mind a slightly long commute to work (say up to an hr each way), so long we live in an area that's nice, family friendly, community that's easy to make friends (having nice shops and cafes would be huge plus). So if we're staying (renting) in the city, I was looking at Clifton, Victoria Park, Redland, Henleaze. Can someone tell me if I'm on the right track? Are these areas family friendly? far away from the motorway? Is the daily commute to Hinkley Point doable?

Or for those who have made the move from the city to the country town, can you share your experience as well?

I'm still pretty overwhelmed with this big move. I've been told nothing but lovely things about Bristol, which is great. But having a child in tow has definitely changed our needs. We love the city but at the same time, having the space and more laid back lifestyle maybe more important now. Perhaps there's something in between - but i have yet to find out??

Sorry for the long post - any tips and advice is much much appreciated.

CaptainMorgansmum Sun 12-Feb-17 16:18:11

The areas you mention are all the nicer bits of Bristol and will be lovely while your DH is based in the City. But do not underestimate the traffic. He will not be able to commute to Hinckley Point from any of those places within an hour. On a good day you are looking at 1hr 30. On a bad day in the summer, who knows?

This bit of the M5 is the main holiday route to the South West and during the summer gets really snarled up in both directions all the time.

Your best bet is to get here, settle in, and then you can take your time looking at the different areas to see where you want to be, and he can test out the commute on the ground.

cabotstalkonlytogod Sun 12-Feb-17 20:08:32

What's your budget?

umck2014 Mon 13-Feb-17 01:35:01

Thanks captainmorgansmum for the tip on traffic. I suppose we won't really know until we do a test run ourselves when we get there. Good to know they are all nice areas too!

Cabotstalkonlytogod- we're looking at getting a 3 bd apt or semi-detached. Our budget is about 1500 as we want to save. Perhaps up to 1800 if it's a really nice place. Do you have any recommendations?

Brizzly Mon 13-Feb-17 19:54:51

Henleaze to Hinckley Point would be about an hour for most of the year but on Fridays during the summer months the traffic can be pretty bad. DH used to do a similar commute. The worst traffic tends to be M5 southbound on summer Friday afternoons.

Not an ideal commute for long-term I'd say, but not totally undoable either, depending what your expectations are.

If you do want to stay in Bristol, Westbury on Trym / Stoke Bishop would be another area to consider - WoT borders onto Henleaze but is slightly closer to the motorway and has good schools and lots of young families.

I haven't lived in North Somerset so wouldn't know where to recommend really.

umck2014 Tue 14-Feb-17 11:37:18

Thanks Brizzly. This is very helpful.Will look up those areas you've recommended!

MessyFlipflop Wed 01-Mar-17 03:58:47

Hi, I'm moving to Bristol in 6 weeks (from Sydney) and I grew up in Hong Kong - let me know if you want to catch up when you are settled. I'm fairly anxious about the move due to sorting kids out and not knowing where to live...but I'm also excited as everyone is saying what a wonderful city Bristol is. All the best with the move!!

NaughtyMrWushu Wed 01-Mar-17 07:51:31

You can't really commute to hinkley from Bristol city, especially between April -October when the holiday traffic on the M5 can bring traffic to a standstill. If he will need to commute occasionally then look at places south of Bristol with good links to M5, A38 or A370.

The small town you mean near hinkley is Bridgwater? If you are looking at Clifton etc. in Bristol then the town will be a huge disappointment to you, it is quite a poor area. Better to find a nice village out of town smile

remembrance123 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:58:32

Hi UMCK. I live south of Bristol in North Somerset. I think a lot depends on whether you want bustling city or peaceful countryside. If you think you would enjoy a smaller community, you might want to consider a smaller village somewhere in North Somerset where you could commute to Bristol and later to Hinkley Point as well. Blagdon, for example, is a 30 or 40 minute commute to Bristol and you can get Hinkley Point in under an hour. It has a great preschool, baby and toddler groups, village school and (if you stay there for years) a great secondary school nearby. It has lots of young families and many have moved into the area recently. It's fun and friendly. There are other villages you could also consider including Ubley, Chew Magna, Wrington.
Alternatively, you could go down further into Somerset and look at somewhere like Castle Cary. House prices should be a bit cheaper. It's a classical market town and a lovely community to live in. However, it's quite far from a larger town so you'd have to decide if that matters to you.
Personally, I think it comes down to whether you want to live in the town or the country. For me, I like the liveliness and diversity of a city. But villages and smaller towns do have more of a sense of community and being known, which you might prefer. Best of luck and feel free share if you have any specific questions about any of these places.

umck2014 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:24:29

I know how you feel. In the same boat myself now. We're now in Bristol one week and it's been lovely so far. People are lovely and there seems to be lots to do with kiddies!

Would love to catch up - have PM'd you now smile

umck2014 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:31:50

The above message was meant to be for Flipflop. oops!

Hi everyone. Sorry for the lack of response earlier. I mustn't have turned on the update notifications. I only just read your responses just now.

A bit of update from us:
My DD and I arrived last week! Woop! The 3 of us including my husband are staying in the city for another few weeks. We spent the last week looking for a house and so far we have looked at Clifton, Stoke Bishop, Southville, Bedminster... etc. All inner city suburbs. So far I really like Southville. It has a quirky community kind of feel to it, very family friendly too. Our budget is 15-1800 per month and my husband finds that the houses we've looked at are on the smaller size. TBH i don't really care as long as it's close to amenities as we're not planning to get a second if living close to the city.

But then looking at the commute time... as DH will need to commute to the city and Hinkley Pt for work, maybe we should look at places somewhere in the middle. We took a drive to Taunton on the weekend and it was a much bigger town than I'd expected. (Maybe i can do the whole country living thing?) Next week we're going to check out some houses in north somerset.
Mr Wushu and Remembrance -- will definitely check out those areas you've mentioned.

So that's it for now. Will report back once we have found 'the' place! Cheers all xo

givemeaclue Tue 04-Apr-17 13:41:07

I agree with pp that thr commute to Hinckley in summer when the m5 is jammed would be a killer from central Bristol. Unless he fancies being very late every day.
Good luck!

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