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Moving to Devon...

(9 Posts)
lulupeg Sun 18-Sep-11 21:58:54

My DH and I are harbouring a secret desire to move with our one year old to Devon. We currently live in SE London are are looking for a part of Devon that offers good schools, preferably grammar schools for later on, some Guardian readers, culture or market town goodness... Plus the beautiful outdoors that is drawing us towards Devon in the first place.

We love the idea of Totnes or Brixham but need a few more ideas; hubby is a primary school teacher so we will be scouring for jobs and need to cast our neck a little wider than just Totnes or it might be a long old wait! Our property budget would be maximum £300k for a 3/4 bed and we'd also love to be on or near the coast... Would consider well connected villages but probably not up for living in Plymouth itself as hoping for a bit quieter than that.

Would love any recommendations of areas to have a look at and areas to steer clear of. I love Ilfracombe but have heard the schools there are shocking, any more detailed or insider information from locals or other London or equivalent transplants would be fantastic. How have you found it? Being part of our new community will be massively important to us, especially me as I'm very sociable and a SAHM (I don't drive but hope to rectify this as soon as we move!).

Thanks SO much in advance for helping us get a micro step closer to our dream of surfboards and cream tea weekends for us and our lovely little boy!

scaryteacher Mon 19-Sep-11 09:24:38

Tamar Valley in Cornwall; 20/25 minutes from Plymouth. Lots of primaries, can do 11+ for the 3 grammars in Plymouth. Cheaper housing. Not far from Bude for surfing, Launceston for a castle, Tavistock for foodie stuff, Liskeard is good for housing as well. You are near Kit Hill there, and not far from Dartmoor either.

Plymouth can be quiet depending where you buy!

Purplebuns Mon 19-Sep-11 09:39:16

Not many grammars in Devon I think there is in Torquay, which is lovely but quite touristy! Ilfracombe has a bit of a rep for being 'rough', I don't really like North Devon myself, apart from the beaches.
Exeter has lots of good schools and is a lovely part of Devon quite central, close to beaches. Lots of lovely villages around Exeter, definitely worth investigating. Brixham is lovely but quite small, not sure what the schools are like. Uffculme is an up and coming village with a great secondary, also Bickleigh is a fab village, however it would be secondary in Exeter or Tiverton.

As DH is a primary school teacher he should jump on any job opportunities as they are few and far between and there are lots of applicants, according to MIL who is a primary teacher and has found it really hard to find a permanent position.

The great thing about Devon is your never more than an hour and a half from the beach. There are still lots of farmers markets and things it being largely rural, I love it here. smile

UniS Mon 19-Sep-11 09:54:20

If you don't drive - check the village you like has a decent bus service , a primary school and a shop. Grammar schools are not universal in Devon, only a few in larger towns or Colyton. Most secondary schools in rural Devon are large comprehensives with a big catchment area , many of them are excellent.

Your property budget looks low for a 4 bed house near the coast in a village with public transport and a good primary school. Just like in the SE property prices vary with area and school catchment/ accessibility.

I suspect you will need to wait till hubby finds a job before you make final choice of location. It a VERY large county with poor transport links. If he is teaching in North Devon and you live in South his commute could be 90 mins each way on a good day, worse in summer or poor weather.

And yes, there are other guardian readers in Devon. There are thriving local arts or music scenes. Not just in Totnes.

lulupeg Tue 20-Sep-11 12:19:22

Thanks very much for the responses so far, we are investigating all suitable posts for DH and I know our budget is a bit low but we are not expecting sea views, period features or a huge garden. At the moment we live in an ex local authority house so we'd like a step up from that but are realistic.

Would love to hear more about Plymouth scaryteacher - I'm actually quite ignorant about that bit and its environs - basing my idea on a visit many moons ago. And there are future work opportunities for me that might be helped by being near Plymouth university.

Also any particular Exeter villages you could recommend Purplebuns?

Will take a look at Tamar Valley too, thank you!

And UniS we definitely won't be moving until we sort the job - so it may take time, but with teaching, accepting a job happens almost instantly on being offered it so it's important we have some ideas now on what we'd ideally like.

Cheers all! X

fergoose Tue 20-Sep-11 13:14:08

I live in south Devon - so pretty good knowledge of this bit anyway.

Totnes is lovely but very hippy - great if that is what you are after.

Salcombe and Dartmouth, beautiful, v expensive, quite snobby, lots of holiday homes - bit grim in the winter.

Brixham I'm not so keen to be honest.

Villages here I would recommend include Ermington, Yealmpton, Newton Ferrers, Noss Mayo, Holbeton. Great communities and easy commute to Plymouth and near good beaches. All have very good primary schools too. Houses are quite pricey as you would expect.

Plymouth is a decent town, shopping is improving, the Hoe is lovely and the Barbican too. Was pretty badly bombed in the war so is lacking in some architectural features, but overall I like it. Some studenty areas where I would not want to live, but there are some nice areas too.

Am afraid i don't know about grammar schools, but we use Ivybridge Community College and it is fab.

MetalSian Tue 20-Sep-11 13:23:10

I have lived in East Devon all my life and think it is great here.
Colyton Grammar is the only local grammar school but I believe it is very highly rated.

There are loads of primary schools in the area, in most villages and also the towns.

10lbsleft Fri 24-Jul-15 12:42:13

do you still live in south devon? which area? we visit a lot as my uncle has a flat in brixham and i know it might sound a bit odd but as my ds is an only child he gets a bit bored and i wondered if your family would ever be interested in meeting up with mine? my son is 9 but as he has learning difficulties he his happy playing with younger children too (his favourite child in our street is 4)

10lbsleft Fri 24-Jul-15 12:42:49

did you ever move to devon? we visit brixham a lot as my uncle has a flat and i know it might sound a bit odd but as my ds is an only child he gets a bit bored and i wondered if your family would ever be interested in meeting up with mine? my son is 9 but as he has learning difficulties he his happy playing with younger children too (his favourite child in our street is 4)

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