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Move to Wirral

(26 Posts)
mrsmilk Sat 25-Jul-15 11:37:18

Hi there

I realise there are a few threads similar but those are getting on a bit now and wanted to start an up to date one.

We are seriously considering moving to the wirral within the next 18 months. I'm australuan but my husband grew up in Heswall. We have there bits aged 11, 8 and 7. The eldest is starting at a grammar school in south london in September.

We are both desperate to get out of London and my husband still has loads of school/uni friends in he north west. I love it each time we come up and can hardly face another year or so in London and I'd move up tomorrow if we could sort it out that quickly!

We'd originally thought we'd like Heswall or west Kirkby but I've noticed on a few threads that a few ladies have mentioned Oxton as somewhere they really like.

I'd be so grateful for anyone's thoughts/advice. One slightly significant issue is that out 9yo is statemented with ASD so any advice re schools that have a reputation as better with autistic kids would be really really helpful.


ImperialBlether Sat 25-Jul-15 11:44:37

If you have a child in a grammar school at the moment then you should be looking at West Kirby or the Higher Bebington area as those are the catchment areas for the grammars.

Parts of Oxton are lovely, but somewhere like West Kirby has a real identity that I think your children would really like.

I'm afraid I don't know anything about schools for children with autism.

ImperialBlether Sat 25-Jul-15 11:48:56

OP, here is an outstanding local specialist school.

ImperialBlether Sat 25-Jul-15 11:49:41

Sorry, just realised I don't know whether you want a specialist school.

Bostonpj Sat 25-Jul-15 14:22:31

We live in Oxton and love it here, mostly. We are right in the centre of the village which at the moment is having a few issues with the busy nightlife. During the day it's perfect, family friendly and there are plenty of reasonably priced properties up for sale. Coffee shop, deli, art gallery, restaurants including the Michelin starred Fraiche! At night, it can get a little rowdy, taxis idling waiting for fares and when the pubs close, drunks arguing etc.

Heswall/Hoylake/West Kirby are all pretty and close to the coastline but further out from the motorway. Family friendly, lots of coffee shops, pottery painting, galleries etc.

I would definitely arrange a trip up to explore. There are several schools listed as having The Autistic Society accreditation in the area.

Electrolux Sat 25-Jul-15 14:40:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Electrolux Sat 25-Jul-15 14:45:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ijustwannadance Sat 25-Jul-15 15:03:19

Depends on how much your social status means to you. Oxton is lovely, unfortunately it became the trendy place to on a weekend evening hence the issues, but this happened 10 years ago in Hoylake when that was the 'in' place socialise. Some just see it as the posh part of Birkenhead. Heswall/West Kirby is were the money lives (you can see house prices drop with every stop on the train from WK to Birkenhead) There are some lovely parts of wirral and some not so lovely, just like anywhere.

TreeHouseDweller Sun 26-Jul-15 10:52:03

Ooh I love a Wirral thread.

I vote for Oxton. As Dance says it's something of the 'in' place at night at the moment, but we're only talking one or two pubs. It's all relative. As long as you don't live directly on the main street you're unlikely to be disturbed. A new pub has just been refurbed for a quieter evening drink than the bigger noisier one.

Oxton architecture is really lovely and the main village is a conservation area. Every year there's a 'Secret Garden' event where you can nose round people's beautiful gardens. Nice cafés, restaurants etc.

West Kirby is nice but like a little pocket of the South in the North, IYSWIM. A bit homogenously 'rah'. Lots of shabby chic'ed cafés. Some might require a bit more diversity. It's also a trek to Liverpool. Oxton is handier for Liverpool being on the east side of the Wirral.

ijustwannadance Sun 26-Jul-15 18:39:16

Oxton is not handier for Liverpool unless you drive. West Kirby has the direct train link.

Bostonpj Sun 26-Jul-15 19:37:38

Oxton is 5 minutes from the bus route through to Liverpool!

Bostonpj Sun 26-Jul-15 19:38:19

*walk blush

ijustwannadance Sun 26-Jul-15 20:28:52

smile I know. Was just pointing out that direct train link, half hour straight to town (yes town to me is liverpool not birkenhead) just as easy as walking to bus stop and getting on a bus.

Thing is, if op's husband grew up in Heswall he would surely know as much as the rest of us about where to live. Also if they can afford to even consider heswall (can afford to live in london, posh schools) they are unlikely to live so close to birkenhead no matter how lovely oxton is. E.g. if someone can afford to buy a house in meols for £200 + grand they are very unlikely to buy one in moreton for £120 grand. Person who can afford to buy in Wallasey village is unlikely to buy in seacombe etc.

TreeHouseDweller Sun 26-Jul-15 21:03:52

Ooh it's like those comprehension tests/puzzles.

If Oxton is to Birkenhead, Wallasey is to Seacombe, Meols is to Moreton, what is Bebington to.....? wink

Bostonpj Sun 26-Jul-15 21:07:39

I agree smile I was just putting forward the other side of the argument for Oxton. Some people think it's too close to Birkenhead but others are quite happy to pay £300k+ for a house here.

Having driven through Thurstaston this morning I would quite happily live there if the OP has the funds.

When we moved to Oxton, DH was working in Manchester and it was quick, easy access to the motorway. Now he's working in city center Liverpool he walks down to the bus stop or drives through the tunnel (fast tag recommended which takes a little off the price of working on the other side of the river!).

ijustwannadance Sun 26-Jul-15 21:28:46

Tree ....,Bromborough? Or New Ferry?.

I wouldn't mind living in Oxton. Some gorgeous property there. If anyone could lend me a few quid?

peacypops Sun 26-Jul-15 22:17:14

I grew up in Oxton - have since moved away but my family are still there (5 mins down hill from village) and I think it's a lovely place to live. Really handy for Liverpool (I used to work in city centre) and generally a nice community feel. Birkenhead town centre has definitely seen better days but a train into Liverpool takes no time at all if you want to go shopping. Oxton village itself is great - a few pubs, restaurants and nice little shops. The Wirral in general is a great place to bring up a family with such easy access to the coast and countryside aswell as good schools. If hubby hadn't persuaded me to move to Manchester I probably would still be there!

TreeHouseDweller Sun 26-Jul-15 22:19:54

Well done dance! The correct answer was indeed New Ferry.

(I would also have accepted Rock Ferry grin)

ijustwannadance Sun 26-Jul-15 22:24:25


mrsmilk Mon 27-Jul-15 16:45:37

Thanks all for your replies - very helpful and very interesting reading although I'm not sure where to start with answering everybody.

Boston/Tree/Peacy thanks a million for your Oxton tips. We were actually up on the Wirral over the weekend and drove around practically everywhere. Oxton around the village did seem great and I honestly see us much more there than Heswall or WK which are nice but I see what you mean re rah and chabby chic in WK.

Dance I'm not worried about Oxton being near Birkenhead. London is not uniformly posh - it's extremely diverse - certainly in south london where we are anyway. That's one of the (few) great things about living here. And I grew up the youngest of 11 in a bush town in the middle of nowhere in Australia - where farm workers and sheep shearers poured out of pubs most weekends having drunk every penny they'd earned and wrapped pool cues around each others heads.

My husband did grow up on the Wirral but left 30 years ago and although he's visited his mum, he hasn't really kept on top of what it's like in every area of the Wirral since then. So his view of where to live really isn't as good as someone who is living there now - all your advice is so helpful. And I'd rather gather some views other than his anyway.

thanks again all

herethereandeverywhere Mon 27-Jul-15 17:22:45

On the grammar school front - I thought that there was no longer catchment for the 11+? i.e.: everyone on the Wirral could take it and travel to the grammar school if selected?

It was catchment in my day (over 25 years ago!) but 3 years after they changed it so anyone could take it. This could have changed again but it is worth checking out.

Oxton village is lovely and period properties are much better value for money than Heswall/West Kirby. I would say much of Heswall/Thursaston/Caldy/Thornton Hough Willaston/ Barnston etc still associates itself with Cheshire and Chester whereas Oxton village is chi-chi but comfortable with its proximity to Birkenhead and Liverpool.

I'd go back tomorrow if I had a good network to go back to but that's not the case for me.

skinnysoyvanillalatte Mon 10-Aug-15 12:35:32

I have just seen this. I am an Australian on Wirral and the areas I find nice, casting an Aussie eye, are parts of Oxton, (My son will go to Birkenhead Boys), and then Meols moving ?south. Don't worry about Oxton being too close to Birkenhead, it isn't a factor. There are some beautiful old properties with lots of TREES (my criteria for a nice area) on Noctorum road.

FluffyCubs Mon 10-Aug-15 13:07:47

I just moved here and love it. We are currently renting but looking for a house to settle into.

West Kirby....physically pretty but v unfriendly and the daily mail runs out by 10am. Massive plus point is well stocked library and new leisure centre....both provide us with a lot to do.

Heswall....v pretty, no beach and quite congested with traffic. Lower heswall is great but pricey. Hezwall seems to have a lot for kids though.

Frankby.....rural, trees, footpaths....and a big park that puts on quite a few events. village, good houses and much cheaper and quieter than heswall. Couple of smashing pubs. No train though.

greasby and pensby are decent areas but to me seem to lack a real centre .

I also like Thornton Hough, brimstage and barnston , but it depends what you like....we like being in a quiet area.

For a bigger place look hoylake...fab Victorian villas.....and an enormous beach. One stop closer to lpool is moels....lots of space, airy, beachside. I like moels but too far from schools for us.

TheClacksAreDown Mon 10-Aug-15 13:28:57

Op your budget is really going to drive what you can look at. Wirral has some lovely places to live and it would be my first choice if I were working out of liverpool.

The Wirral isn't like london where you have rich and poor communities mixed together though, there are some pretty clear social divides.

Your need to research the schools very carefully and how catchment now works. I'm unclear whether your asd child is high functioning but bear in mind the 11+ provides a stark divide although I guess you may have that now.

skinnysoyvanillalatte Mon 10-Aug-15 13:37:44

Fluffycubs what type of schools are you after> We are in Meols and quite close to good schools. smile

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