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Seems likely I'm moving to Bristol. Please help - where should I live?

(38 Posts)
FreckledLeopard Wed 12-Sep-12 15:46:01

So, I've had a job offer today for a great role, based in Bristol. DD and I are in London and, sod's law, she started secondary school last week and loves it hmm. She will, no doubt, kick up a huge fuss, but since I need a job, then we may have to move.

So, in terms of location, I will be working at Temple Quay. There's a possibility that DD will go to Sidcot School, near Cheddar. The school has bus routes from Clifton/Redland/Nailsea/Weston-Super-Mare. Alternatively, I could probably drive her there on the way to work, but ideally she'd get the bus.

So, the plan is to rent to start with. I don't want to go over £900 pcm if I can help it. Property needs to have 2 (preferably 3 bedrooms) and must have a garden.

So, looking at google maps, it seems that anywhere South of Bristol could work, but I really don't know much more than that. DD is lively, would probably not relish living in the middle of knowhere, but could probably tolerate a village near Bristol if it had good bus routes. I would like to be able to get to work easily (by car or bus).

Where should I be looking, wise women of Bristol grin?

FreckledLeopard Wed 12-Sep-12 17:33:48


Sabriel Wed 12-Sep-12 18:25:28

The thing you need to be aware of in Bristol is that everywhere takes much much longer to get to than you anticipate. We are in N Bristol and know not to venture too far away from home because you just get stuck.

South of Bristol are several very unsalubrious areas, plus some very very exclusive ones, so a quick search on Right Move revealed very little. You need someone who lives on that side to give you a better idea of where to look. Weston?

likeatonneofbricks Wed 12-Sep-12 18:26:38

Redland is the nicest as you mention the bus links! what sort of place would you like in terns of atmosphere? you can get a 2 bed with garden in redland for this price though maybe not right next to the station/buses. it's near the Downs so great for dd to run around in, lots of shops and london type usual cafes + independant on whiteladies road. Another high street is Gloucester rd more hippy-ish, good transport on both. I don't know Weston or Nilsea though. South bristol is a bit rundown but it has parks and Ashton court though transport is much more liimited there.

likeatonneofbricks Wed 12-Sep-12 18:28:03

Sabriel out of interest what are the excluisive areas there? do you mean Leigh Woods which is kind of south?

Sabriel Wed 12-Sep-12 22:22:45

I was thinking Chew Valley, looking at google maps straight line from Temple Quay to sidcot grin

exexpat Wed 12-Sep-12 22:26:28

Can I ask why you are looking at Sidcot school rather than any of the Bristol schools? There is a good choice of independent schools in fairly central Bristol, which would make your life/commute/choice of area to live in much easier.

EasyFromNowOn Wed 12-Sep-12 22:31:43

Weston could be good for you, depending on where exactly the bus runs, as there are definitely some areas you don't want to live in. The town itself will have the best transport options but probably less choice for housing, or just outside you could look at Worlebury and Worle - living in either of these will mean that your DD has to go into Weston for shopping/nightlife but there are lots of buses.

You could also consider Locking and Banwell, just outside Weston, but they are a bit more rural and I think the buses are a bit less frequent. You might also want to look at Churchill, Sandford or Congresbury for more rural areas, but these will be more expensive and may not be great for transport.

I don't know if you would be looking for a house on an estate - there are a lot of them in & around Weston, but something like this could give you a starting point. It's on a fairly large private owned/rented estate in a mainly residential area, there's a Co-op & a couple of local shops on the estate, plus a pub, there's a large Sainsbury's about 5 minutes away (and another pub). It's on the main bus route into Weston, and loads of bus routes go along Queensway, including the Bristol bus. It's also about 10 minutes walk to the train station, and close to the motorway junction, althouth I will warn you that the junction is hell in the morning.

JesusInACabbageVan Wed 12-Sep-12 22:31:43

Sidcot is quite a way out - you could look at Long Ashton - it's a nice village/town with some lovely bits, park and ride connections into centre of Bristol, and not too far from Sidcot.

FreckledLeopard Wed 12-Sep-12 23:30:18

Thank you! Could you let me know which areas are the less salubrious? I understand St Paul's is a no-go, but where else should I avoid?!

The reason I'm looking at Sidcot is that I want a co-ed school with as much emphasis on the non-academics as the academic subjects. DD is very into art, drama, music and I think the Quaker ethos at Sidcot seems nice. Are there any schools that are similar in Bristol itself?

Thank you!

Sabriel Thu 13-Sep-12 07:59:00

Speaking personally (and not wishing to offend anyone living in these areas) I would avoid Hartcliffe, Knowle and Bedminster, plus Lawrence Hill/ Easton/ Eastville.

Will you have parking at your work?

Mamf74 Thu 13-Sep-12 08:28:28

We moved back to London from Bristol 2 years ago and I miss it dreadfully! We lived in Southville which was lovely, loads of independent shops & the Tobacco Factory (a cafe bar / acclaimed theatre) and Hen & Chicken comedy club. It is close enough to town to walk to Temple Quay in about half an hour and the walk is along the harbourside which is a lovely way to ease into the day.

It can be a bit studenty, but it feels lovely; the Tobacco Factory has street parties occasionally and there is a real sense of community - bit worthy sometimes but we really, really loved it.

Good luck, am v jealous smile

FreckledLeopard Thu 13-Sep-12 09:17:25

What are Henleaze, Southfield, Horfield or Stoke Bishop like? In theory, if we lived there, I could drop DD at school bus stop on the way to work.

I don't know if I will have parking. I was thinking of possibly getting a moped if there isn't parking.

Thank you again for your help. It's all very daunting. I've been in London for seven years and have family and friends here. Relocating, as a single mother, is somewhat scary!

exexpat Thu 13-Sep-12 10:01:21

Henleaze: fairly well-off middle-class suburb, not too far from the centre with good bus links across the Downs, very good shopping street with lots of independent shops; also Waitrose and a lovely small cinema. Mix of Victorian and 1930s-1950s housing, mostly semis. You might find flats in the bigger Victorian buildings, or a few small houses. Not sure about rents at the moment.

Horfield - normal family sort of suburb, more downmarket than Henleaze (more council/ex-council housing mixed in with private), has a big Tesco, some parts are close to the upper end of Gloucester Road, which is a great place for independent shops & cafes.

Stoke Bishop - fairly posh in parts, ranges from huge detached houses near the Downs to smaller 1930s semis lower down the hill. Not so good for amenities unless you are near small parade of shops on Stoke Hill or larger one on Stoke Lane.

Don't know an area called Southfield - are you sure about that? Do you mean Southville? in which case see Mamf74's reply.

With a child your DD's age, I'd say Henleaze would be the best bet if you can find somewhere suitable in your budget - it's a safe area to let her become more independent. Though she might feel a bit isolated as if she went to Sidcot she'd be unlikely to have any friends living anywhere close. You might have to find some kind of local activity (guides, dance or whatever) so she could make some local friends.

Other private schools in Bristol that are co-ed are Bristol Grammar School (big, pretty academic day school, also does lots of music etc), Clifton College (large, traditional public school, very good reputation for music and sport), Clifton High (smaller, used to be all-girls at senior school level, now takes boys all the way through, but girls dominate), Colston's (sporty, not as intensely academic). There is also the Downs School which is a prep school, and so goes up to year 8, I think, but then she would have to move again.

FreckledLeopard Thu 13-Sep-12 10:14:31

Sorry - meant Southmead.

Also, looking at Weston Super Mare, there seem to be nice properties in my price range, but what's the place like? Does it have a sleepy seaside 1950s feel, or is it vibrant?

JesusInACabbageVan Thu 13-Sep-12 11:27:41

I would avoid Southmead. The borders are ok but most of it is quite rough.

We live in Cotham/Kingsdown which is very nice, and you can walk into town or to the main shopping streets on Gloucester Road/Whiteladies Road. Not as pricy as Redland but next door to it.

I'm not a fan of Weston to be honest - I'd rather be in Bristol especially if working here. Bristol's much more vibrant and the travelling would be quite onerous.

FreckledLeopard Thu 13-Sep-12 16:42:35

Just to cover all bases, depending on parking etc - what's the area like East of the M32 (Fishponds, Downend, Staple Hill etc)? Also, looking at rightmove, there seem to be some nice houses in Pill - is that a nice place to live?

Sorry for all the questions. Am coming down on Monday to look at school and suss out neighbourhoods.

Schlock Thu 13-Sep-12 16:47:12

Some nice streets in Fishponds but not a smart area overall.

Downend is quite nice, has a villagey feel but it's quite a long way from the centre.

Pill is quite nice as far as I know but the traffic into Bristol in the morning will be bloody awful.

I don't know Staple Hill.

EasyFromNowOn Thu 13-Sep-12 20:14:40

Weston doesn't compare to Bristol in any meaningful way, it's a small town compared to the city, and I'm not sure it has been described as vibrant any time in the last 50 years or so. The shopping for a teenager is not great, and while there are plenty of bars and clubs, there's not a great deal else. If you have lots of friends who live there, it's ok, but it's really not the same as living in Bristol itself. The main thing it has going for it is that it's quite a bit cheaper.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 13-Sep-12 20:59:15

We were swayed by cheap houses in Weston when I had a post natal moment after having DD, we lasted 9 months then legged it to a village outside it. It's got, or had, something like 11% of the nation's rehab places. Friend of mine is a drug and alcohol counsellor there, we dragged him to the beach and he kept bumping into his clients.

We weren't too far from Sidcot once we moved from Weston and I knew people who were very happy with it. I grew up in Bristol near Henleaze and it was a good place to be as a teenager, easy access to lots of places. If I was coming back to Bristol now, having a 13 year old DD, I'd be looking at Westbury Park, Henleaze, Redland, Cotham and Kingsdown but Sidcot would be a trek on the bus though.

EasyFromNowOn Thu 13-Sep-12 21:15:46

Yes, Wynken, if I went back it would be Worle, Uphill, or somewhere around Churchill (if we won the lottery!), but I'm never going back, other than for visits because DH's job is here, and here is too far from there!

shrinkingnora Thu 13-Sep-12 21:16:03

I feel obliged to warn you that Bristol is absolutely rammed full of temporary traffic lights and road closures around Horfield/Westbury/Henleaze at the moment. So the traffic may not be representative at the moment!

WynkenBlynkenandNod Thu 13-Sep-12 22:08:26

Easy, I'm also never going back as very settled where we are but with you on Uphill. I was reading about the renewed mutterings about the Severn Barrage and did say to DH, if it does ever happen, when the DC's have left home, easy access to Cardiff could tempt me possibly. I like Lympsham, Brent Knoll and Wedmore as well, all handy for Sidcot but can't imagine the ferrying around you'd need to do with teenagers - a friend lives in a village out there and drives miles every week and it's costing her a fortune.

exexpat Thu 13-Sep-12 22:24:16

I agree on the big downsides of villages/outer suburbs if you have older children/teens.

I grew up on the outskirts of Bristol with very limited public transport, so my mother spent my and my sister's teenage years ferrying us around. We also went to school out-of-area, so had no friends living close by to drop in on or share lifts with. So I made very sure when I moved back to Bristol, as a single parent with two children, to live somewhere central so I wouldn't end up as a full time taxi driver for the DCs. I'm in the Redland/Cotham area, and it is perfect: walk to school, walk to shops, walk/bus to centre for shops, cinemas etc.

DS is now 14 and can walk or get the bus everywhere by himself. He has several times recently said how happy he is we live where we do, as he has several friends living further out of the city who missed out on most of the social life during the summer because they just couldn't get places by themselves.

BobblyOrangeGoldGussets Thu 13-Sep-12 22:31:56

We live in Portishead. It has plenty going on, decent bus routes and is naice. I am happier here than anywhere else I have ever lived or stayed.

Long Ashton is naice to but more expensive and less to do, although much closer to Bristol itself.

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