Moving to Sidmouth/Exeter area - please help!

(18 Posts)
ladybay53 Fri 27-Jul-12 23:20:38

Sorry I'm new to mumsnet, not sure if I've posted this in the right area, so please excuse the duplication. We are looking to move to South East Devon and considering the Sidmouth area as a location (as we are currently land locked in Nottingham!). Can anyone give an insight to living in Sidmouth or villages nearby such as Newton Poppleford? We have a 5 & 9 year old, so need to consider primary (and secondary in the near future). Is Sidmouth College a good school? I know it's results aren't great, but it gets a good ofsted, so a parents' honest opinion would be great (and opinion of the primary as well). We have made a brief visit to the exeter area and although ottery st. mary has the good secondary school, we didn't love the place. As we're moving from a big inland city, we've decided that we would like to be as near to the coast as possible, but we have to consider keeping the children happy and not be too remote as we want to be near amenities/sports clubs etc. Any insight would be most welcome!

JUbilympiX Sat 28-Jul-12 00:14:26

We don't live in Sidmouth, but it does have quite a lot going for it. You might find it frustrating not to have a railway, and I gather the buses are a bit of a nightmare. You'll need to drive.

Primary schools are generally pretty shit around here, but we have some great secondaries. Although King's is in Ottery, there are loads of Sidmouth kids there, and you could have a stab at getting into Colyton Grammar which is selective and very good. There are buses to both schools but I can't remember whether they're schools buses or public buses; either way, there will be lots of other children so yours would not be travelling alone.

pickles184 Mon 30-Jul-12 10:26:37

Budleigh Salterton's always worth a look as well not much further along than Newton Poppleford and St Peter's Primary has a pretty good reputation and it's still in the catchment for Colyton Grammer which is an excellent school. Much the same as previously mentioned Devon's transport is not the greatest, driving is a must!

FudgeyCookie Tue 28-Aug-12 08:40:29

Hi smile I lived in Newton Pop until 2 years ago and attended both the primary school there and sidmouth college. I left sidmouth college at 17 which was 2 years ago. Both schools are good from a pupil point of view and the college have really changed in the last few years! I went through a lot whilst I was there and they were really helpful and supportive. I also attempted the Colyton practice test but got borderline so never took the real test and actually I was glad in the end. It's a brilliant school but we still ended up with some of their students come to sidmouth for a levels as they felt less pressured iykwim.
Buses aren't too bad, depends where your going! Hourly bus to exmouth, two buses every hour to Exeter and actually they are pretty on time now as they are timed more often and recorded how late they get in etc. honiton is another place to consider - good rail transport, and schools. Whatever you decide this is a nice part east Devon smile

Trala33 Tue 01-Jan-13 22:22:05

Hi, I have just seen your post about relocating to sidmouth and just wondered if you had made the move? We are in a similar situation with a five year old and a three year old.
Many thanks,

devondarling Fri 18-Jan-13 12:34:02

Newton Pop school is very good and has an Outstanding with Ofsted. The teachers are very caring. Most of the local primaries are very good. What gives NP the edge I think is the grounds as they have a large playing field and a far field which is used as a Forest School and each class goes down once a week.

Another consideration is that at NP there is one class for each age group. In smaller schools in the area, there can be shared age group classes. This can be difficult from both a teaching point of view and from a social point of view.

Not all classes in NP are full at the moment so you may get lucky and end up in a small class.

On the down side there has been some reports of bullying recently and some children have left.

Sidmouth Collage has buses from NP and villages up to Colaton Raleigh get free bus passes as Sidmouth is the catchement school (although the buses start from Budleigh I think) Kings also has a bus from NP but it costs £50 a month same for Colyton.

Sidmouth Collage has improved since the last head was brought in 3 years ago for that purpose. He has now left and we have a new head who is looking promising. The results are above average but they get very mixed abilities and stream quite a few subjects.

Some of the extra curricular opportunities offered there are great and really enhance the learning. They have a FB page and you can read their weekly newsletters there.

NP has brownies, church youth groups, drama group. Tipton St John has cubs/scouts. There is loads going on in NP and surrounding villages as the lack of amenities means people organise their own entertainment eg most villages put on a village panto. Some villages have mums meets at the pub (!) and there are community things like Christmas parties for children, bingo, coffee mornings etc.

All in all it's a fantastic place to live :-)

redwinegirl Sun 03-Feb-13 12:59:20

I have recently moved from Honiton, lovely town, close enough to good beaches and the city of Exeter.if you are doing a council exchange there are certain roads to avoid.also the high school is dirty and rubbish.primary schools are great.good train link, and buses.we live in north Dorset now and kids go to a fab school but I miss my trips to Sidmouth and Lyme Regis.

jamakatab Thu 21-Mar-13 16:48:59

Sidmouth is a great place to live for young parents. Plenty of pre-school activities, good schools, cinema, swimming pool, theatre, skate park, youth groups and every kind of dance, drama and sporting activity for children (and parents too). The added bonus is the beach of course. The townspeople are really welcoming to newcomers who want to get involved. Check out the online edition of the Sidmouth Herald to find out about what's going on locally.
The town used to be seen as a pretty stuffy retirement town, but nowadays there are a real mix of ages - and old and young seem to get on reasonably well together.

tweetwee Sun 16-Jun-13 18:49:23

I absolutely HAVE to get in on this conversation! I am OBSESSED with moving to Sidmouth! I currently live in mid-Devon and we moved to the area from the north of England a few years ago. I just think it looks like a town with a really good community. I already know a few young parents who live there and I can tell there are lots of interesting things going on for young families. I LOVE the area and I have checked out so many things for young families to do, which are all really good: Bicton Park, Donkey Sanctuary, Farm shops with pet's corner, Dart's farm, Exeter in general...i'm sure there are more i'm not thinking of. As for the schools, Sidmouth College is a good school and the GCSE results are good, though it doesn't score that well on the league table (I don't trust those tables anyway) Also, bear in mind that schools can change round really quickly, so if your children aren't starting for a few years, anything could happen! We are thinking of moving to Sidbury/Tipton St John, Sidford, Sidmouth or Otterton... does anyone have any knowledge of those villages and whether they would be good to move to for a young family? (children 3yrs and 1yr) All in all, I love Sidmouth and can't wait to move!

kateandfamily Sat 22-Jun-13 00:23:23

Hi we are currently in the process of an exchange and I keep getting told different things from different people about Sidmouth. We would be moving from Somerset in july/august 2013 to Woolbrook area of Sidmouth. We have visited the area a few times and have been to the schools. We are a married couple I'am 29, my husband is nearly 33 and we have two sons aged nearly 10 and 6 years old. We don't know anybody in the area and would be nice to hear from the people that know this area. We have already looked at Sidmouth C of E primary which the boys liked the look of.

Emilylolx Sat 06-Jul-13 11:10:57

Hello, new to here as well.

I too am hoping to move to Sidmouth very soon. Our house has sold stc and we are going to rent for a while in sidmouth to make sure I've done the right thing. I am a single mum with two daughters 10 and 11. We are visiting Sidmouth college this Thursday , and hope my eldest can start there in September. I will send my 10 year old to Sidmouth Primary for her last year of primary and will be sitting her for the Colyton entrance exam. It's great to hear positive things about Sidmouth as it is a very scary thing to do, up sticks and move away from friends , but I do believe I will be providing a better life experience for my

janmax Mon 15-Jul-13 16:05:31

Hi there, great thread! I've found a house to rent in Sidford that I'm considering taking - my daughter is going to Ottery Primary in September but not finding many houses available in Ottery at the moment. I've heard a few negative things about Sidford but it seemed nice enough when I visited? Any advice about the area will be gladly received!

devondarling Sat 03-Aug-13 13:31:42

Just be aware that if you are intending to send to Sidmouth College in Yr 7 that certain primaries that seem to be close feed into other secondaries eg Otterton feeds into Exmouth and Tipton/Ottery feed into Kings. If you are in catchment then the bus is free to the secondary school of your area but if you choose a secondary out of catchment then the bus is typically £50 a month

janmax Sun 08-Sep-13 12:16:25

We moved to Sidford 4 weeks ago and so far I think it's absolutely wonderful if you have outdoorsy kids. Great feel, plenty of life, lovely shops, beautiful countryside (especially Salcombe Hill) and there are almost always kids on the beach for my daughter to play with, which is great as she's an only child. Everyone we've met has been super friendly and seem genuinely happy to live here. The cycle route down the river from Sidford to Sidmouth is really lovely to walk, scoot, skate whatever, and is safe and flat.

The school run to Ottery is going to be a slight pain but it's not much of a detour in the commute to Exeter, and we preferred both the primary and secondary schools in Ottery.

I would love to get to know some mums here is Sidmouth if anyone fancies a meet up?

FudgeyCookie Thu 17-Oct-13 17:03:40

Hi janmax, I commented earlier on the thread but am now moving back to East Devon from mid Devon, not to far from sidford! I'm actually moving up next to Waitrose, and think a meet up would be great if a few more people will come!

DeeAndFamily Tue 12-Nov-13 12:32:48

We are a family with two boys, aged 10 and 5. Busy house hunting at sidmouth area. Could anyone be able to advise me which area is better between Woolbrook and Cliff Road? How does it feel living right in the front and facing the sea (cliff rd)? What's the maintenance cost of detached sea front house due to the strong salty wind? Would it be quite windy and cold in the winter?
Any advise will be most appreciated. Many thanks.

MNExeterLocalEd Sat 16-Nov-13 22:18:59

Hi Dee, I live in a seafront house (South Devon) and the car gets a rougher time than the house (always coated in salt and seagull splats!) Yes it's windy and cold in the winter, but even in the depths of winter Devon's a good few degrees warmer than upcountry, and snow rarely settles near the sea.

I don't know much about Sidmouth - try the talk boards on Mumsnet Devon?

DeeAndFamily Fri 29-Nov-13 11:31:09

Hi MNExeterLocalEd,
Thanks sharing your experiences with me.

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