Moving Devon advice needed

(8 Posts)
wearerofmanyhats Sun 05-Feb-17 01:13:20

Hello
We are moving to devon in june of this year. I have 4 children one whom will be starting secondary school in September this yr. The next one will be going in to yr 3 and the 2 youngest nursery. We are looking at Totnes but a 4 bedroom house is much cheaper in torquay or paignton. But Totnes is lovely. Can anyone give me advice on living in any of these towns - the good, the bad etc and also schools in these areas.
All advice appreciated.
Thanks
Steph

Goosegreen Sun 05-Feb-17 19:34:19

Hi, we also have four kids, and live in village nr Totnes. I would say that for us (and everyone likes different things) it's a great place to bring up kids. I would definitely be really thorough in your research about location. Torbay is not at all similar to up this way, and then different villages have different vibes too.
If you like Totnes (we love it here), but need more for your budget, villages that have good feel and have families in contrast to retirement or holiday rentals include- Ashburton (really lovely now, lots of people live here 'instead' of Totnes, lots of little shops and nice cafes. lovely town houses with high ceilings and large gardens), South Brent (more Devon locals, as well as incomers, people rate the primary, lots going on in village, other side of A38, so more rain, but cheaper). Buckfastleigh is a bit marmite, but cheaper houses, and has really pulled itself up recently, so might get bargain. Used to not have great rep though.. might be the next Ashburton?
Rattery, Dartington (really sought after, great village, nr Dartington hall with festivals, cinema, arts, gardens etc)., Staverton, Harberton and Harbertonford all good bets... lots of families live here then socialise, shop, etc from Totnes.
As far as schools, private, private alternative, or local? All the village schools are CofE around here, with mixed reps. None bad, mainly quite small in villages, but a different feel to each. In central Totnes the Grove is the primary many feel is better academically, but Dartington is also popular (although in temp. accom. right now). Village schools too many to mention, ask if interested in any of them and I might know more!
The secondary system is Comps and Grammar schools around here. The Grammars being co-ed or also one each in Torbay for Boys or Girls. Mixed rep depending who you ask. KEVICCs which is in Totnes is a large comp, and gets a fairly good rep, especially for arts. In Ashburton there's South Dartmoor, which has a different feel, but not much between them really. Privately, ask if you want to know, and also a number of alternatives, i.e. Steiner just outside Totnes, or Park (primary) on the lovely Dartington estate, Sands (secondary) in Ashburton. The Dart free school possibly going to open next year in Newton Abbott? So lots of choice!
As far as where to live, we really stretched ourselves to get the location we wanted, and I'd say for us that was the right decision, Totnes has such a great feel, and so much going on, there is so much on offer for our kids too, I would rather the compromise on house than town....
Do let me know or Pm if you've got questions, or want to ask about a specific school or location and I'll do my best to help. (We rented for a year while we househunted, and although I hated it at the time, I think it did help us rule out some places and find out more about our options). We still feel moving here was the best decision we have ever made for our family...Good luck!

wearerofmanyhats Sun 05-Feb-17 22:51:56

Hi thank you so much for your reply. Just what i was looking for. We have our heart set on totnes or very close by. Is paignton nice or to be avoided? what about torquay? Id heard torquay is quite touristy? Anyway thanks again i will be checking out thise villages

Goosegreen Mon 06-Feb-17 19:51:40

It's a hard question, if I say what I think, someone who lives there and loves it will come along and flame me! In all honesty though, if you love Totnes I would think you won't love too many parts of Torbay. It's very kiss-me-quick, seasonal and (I'm putting on my hard hat to say this), a little worn out. Lots of boarded up shops and charity shops. Having said that, we have friends who live on the fringes of Torquay, and it's lovely, but they go to Exeter to do their shopping! There are obviously some really lovely bits, and it's great for sailing, just not the actual town centres! The beaches in South Hams are much prettier, and less developed (google Blackpool Sands, Burgh Island and Mill Bay nr East Portlemouth for some lovely beaches). From Totnes also only 15mins or so to Dartmoor.
It depends what you want and are moving for. And where your work will be? If we were looking to get biggest for money I'd personally rather go towards Newton Abbot than Torbay area, or Buckfastleigh, villages on other side of A38, which are usually cheaper. Highly recommend Ashburton if Totnes/ Dartington villages are bit much.

wearerofmanyhats Thu 09-Feb-17 00:11:56

Thank you so much for this. Will be renting to start. Totnes is our number 1 but depends on finances. Ill definitely research the other villages/ towns. Thanks again

wearerofmanyhats Thu 09-Feb-17 00:11:57

Thank you so much for this. Will be renting to start. Totnes is our number 1 but depends on finances. Ill definitely research the other villages/ towns. Thanks again

wearerofmanyhats Thu 09-Feb-17 00:11:57

Thank you so much for this. Will be renting to start. Totnes is our number 1 but depends on finances. Ill definitely research the other villages/ towns. Thanks again

wearerofmanyhats Thu 09-Feb-17 00:11:59

Thank you so much for this. Will be renting to start. Totnes is our number 1 but depends on finances. Ill definitely research the other villages/ towns. Thanks again

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