reassurance over a possible move up to harrogate

(7 Posts)
stump Sat 04-Dec-10 08:06:26

Hi everyone,
Its my first post on here and I'm looking for some reassurance about a possible move we will be making from Saffron Walden (Essex) up to Harrogate. I'm originally from Leeds (which is where my husbands new job would be) but we both like the idea of Harrogate if we do take the plunge.
I guess whats holding us back is we have two children a girl age 3 1/2 and a boy 16 months. My youngest I'm sure would be fine but I'm worried about how my eldest will take the move - she is very happy at her pre-school and for ages has had it in her head that she will be going to our local school. She does ballet and swimming all of which she absolutely loves.
Anyway I guess I'm looking for any stories from people who have moved. Advice on pre-schools - since I would want to get her into one asap (if I could find a space how easy would that be?). How much people love living there and how easy it has been to make friends. I don't work so making new friends is going to be equally important for me as the children.
Lastly any tips on how we get her into a good primary school since by the time we move we will almost certainly have missed the application deadline.
Thanks for reading and hope to hear from you soon!!

chickbean Sat 04-Dec-10 22:38:29

Hi Stump

We moved to Harrogate three and a half years ago from Cambridge. I'm from here originally and my husband got a job in Leeds because we wanted to be nearer grandparents. We live on the south side of Harrogate so that he can commute using Hornbeam Park railway station. Will your daughter be going to school in September, or not until the one after? I'm sure she will be able to get into most pre-schools for at least a couple of sessions - let me know when you get here and I can put you in touch with people in the same area as you.

I lost my confidence about meeting people when I first arrived (had been in Cambridge for ages) but then I discovered Netmums blush - and now I co-ordinate the meet-ups (because the old co-ordinator was giving up and it had been a real lifeline for me to begin with). Don't regret the move at all, theough I loved Cambridge (and its proximity to Saffron Walden - my favourite shopping town!!)

stump Sun 05-Dec-10 06:31:17

Hi chickbean
thanks for the reply! Yes she is due to start school in September so we've just applied where we are now but by the time we move (if it all goes ahead) we'll have missed the deadline!! No idea how that works!!! How old are you children and did they find it all went ok?? Been looking into Harrogate and the West/South Side does look a good option - for the commute and schools etc. I've had a look on netmums too and saw there are some meetups so that would be great!! Are most of the pre-schools up there attached to schools or independent?
Should know more in the next week or so whether the move is a yes or not but its so good to hear from people who have done it!!

HarrogateMum Sun 05-Dec-10 07:28:40

Hi stump - harrogate is lovely, I have lived here since I was 11 so thats a good, er, cough 27 years! Lots of really good primary schools, CAT me if you want more details. I am sure you will enjoy living here, it has great open spaces, great shops, nice restaurants and as well as those good primaries, some excellent secondary schools.

chickbean Sun 05-Dec-10 22:38:25

DS1 is 4 and just started infant school. His pre-school was associated with the school but not part of it. I would say that about a third of Reception went to his pre-school and the rest went to various other nurseries and pre-schools. A lot of schools do have the pre-school incorporated. DS2 is 2 and will start pre-school in March. DD is 10.5 months.

Between the Netmums group we cover Western, Oatlands, Woodlands, Rossett, Grove Road, Richard Taylor, Ashville (private), Brackenfield (private), as well as St. John's and Meadowside in Knaresborough. Also know mums at Hookstone Chase, St. Peters, St. Joseph's (Catholic), St. Robert's (Catholic) and Bankfield/Highfield (private) and quite a few villages. So if you have questions about any particular schools, let me know and I'll put you in touch.

The deadline for applications is January 15th. Info is at
I rang them last year about my application and they were very helpful, so it may be worth asking their advice. Everything is catchment based, so if you don't have an address you can ask them what to do.

HarrogateMum Mon 06-Dec-10 18:16:34

And I can add Pannal Primary to the mix mentioned by Chickbean and the School House Nursery which is in the grounds there.

poppies Thu 06-Jan-11 18:08:27

We moved to Harrogate 13 years ago (I'm originally from Essex)and had 3 children who were 8, 5 and 4. They settled in really quickly at Pannal School and Busy Bees Playgroup .On the first day all three were invited to go to their new friends to play and I became quickly involved with a group of mums who met for coffee once a week and this lead to more regular socialising with husband and children. Harrogate is lovely and I'm proud to live here. My three children are all moving on to university and we'll be sad to leave Harrogate but look forward to life by the sea in Devon. Good Luck but you'll be fine.

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