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Moving to Bristol...Help

(38 Posts)
Aerie6 Tue 01-Dec-15 21:46:38

Hi ladies,

We are currently renting a flat in London but we would really like to buy a house and we are thinking Bristol because London is ridiculously expensive and places near London have become just as expensive, we'd still have to commute to London for jobs, which is a lot of wasted time and money. We've done the math and London simply doesn't add up.

We'd like to get more value for the money when it comes to property, better life-work balance and a lively, diverse, town to grow our little boy, so we are considering Bristol because it ticks a lot of boxes in theory, although, truth being told, we are completely unfamiliar with the place. We're not the kind of people to settle down in a village or willing to spend hours commuting by car to the big cities for work.

Which are the nicest areas to live in Bristol with good childcare and schools near by? We are looking to buy a 3-bedroom house. I'd love to be part of a friendly community. Good transport links are a must as driving may or may not be an option for me. Thanks!!

OneofTHOSEWomen Tue 01-Dec-15 21:52:15

What's your budget? Public transport in Bristol is dire btw.

regretsihaveafew Tue 01-Dec-15 21:59:09

I would personally always live in the area south of Bristol, it's easy to get into Bristol from all the parts of North Somerset by bus or train...and a park and ride in Long Ashton which is on the edge of Bristol. Consider Portishead [very family orientated], Clevedon, Nailsea, Yatton, Congresbury. All have decent schools and plenty going on. And Bristol Airport within easy reach.

Within Bristol I'd say Clifton, Bishopston, Westbury, Henleaze but the property prices are higher and more traffic. I'm sure many MNers will come on to give their favourite areas.

Aerie6 Tue 01-Dec-15 22:01:36

Budget is between £350,000- £400,000.

Belvedere Tue 01-Dec-15 22:46:29

I live in Southville where a 3/4 bed would fit your budget. It's a really lovely area full of young families and a fab community. You can walk into town in about 20 minutes too. Lots of nice schools etc.
In born Bristol, bishopston and St. Andrews are nice but are maybe a bit more expansive.
Oh and beware of the bun fights you might encounter if you do find something you want to buy, in both those areas properties are being sold at sealed bids for well over asking. Good luck, I moved from London about 5 years ago and Bristol is a perfect city for me.

OneofTHOSEWomen Wed 02-Dec-15 09:25:00

Agree with everything Belvedere says. Also look around Victoria Park/Totterdown, Upper Knowle.

LouieLou2013 Wed 02-Dec-15 09:28:38

Agree about Bedminster/Southville/Ashton. Bit limited on senior schools. However you might be lucky and get into St Mary Redcliffe

exexpat Wed 02-Dec-15 10:11:14

I don't think you'd get much for under £400k in Southville any more, but Bedminster and Ashton are a bit more affordable. Bishopston, St Andrews, Henleaze etc would all be well out of budget for a 3 bed, and Clifton would be about double your budget.

Perhaps somewhere like Ashley Down? It's the 'wrong' side of the hill from St Andrew's/Gloucester Rd, but still near good primary schools (Sefton Park, Ashley Down), and it looks like you can still get a 3-bed for under £400k: www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-37060203.html

But really you need to come down and spend a few days in Bristol wandering round and getting a feel for the different areas.

BrushtheHeat Wed 02-Dec-15 10:19:21

Another vote for Bedminster/Ashton here. Centre can be walked almost as quickly as driving at peak times (buses really are crap) but there is a nice community round here. Secondary schools aren't hugely great and our ds goes to school in North Somerset for that reason. But it depends on how old your dc are as to whether that's an issue right now. Your budget will get you a three bed in Bedminster. I have always been told to avoid Knowle West though. Maybe another poster can give more info on that. I'm in Ashton. It feels like a village where I am but with the city close. smile And people are lovely too

BrushtheHeat Wed 02-Dec-15 10:23:18

I want this house and it's down the road from me. Well under budget. www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-54419855.html
Do a rightmove search using the bs3 postcode to give you an idea of what you're looking at.

senua Wed 02-Dec-15 12:32:02

Does it have to be Bristol? It's a groovy city but:
it's expensive
traffic snarl-ups are horrendous
schools aren't that great

OneofTHOSEWomen Wed 02-Dec-15 12:41:14

Schools aren't that great
No better or worse than any other city IMO. Can't argue about the traffic though.

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Wed 02-Dec-15 12:47:49

OneofTHOSE- Have the secondaries improved? A few years back they were dire (which ruled out Bristol for me).

Having lived nearby, I'd be careful of the towns Regrets listed. Not that some of them aren't nice. But they are very much small towns. Not a great deal 'there'. You'd be off to Bristol for any night life, much in the way of restaurants, cinemas, museums, etc

Traffic is hideous and the public transport is dire, especially to towns outside Bristol. If commuting isn't for you you are going to need to choose your area really carefully and possibly stretch your budget.

willconcern Wed 02-Dec-15 12:49:58

Personally I would go a bit out and move to one of the towns around Bristol. Portishead is big, and growing, and has excellent secondary school (this is a BIG problem in Bristol itself). But you can get into Clifton in 15 minutes, and there's a train link coming in 2019, so house prices in Portishead are likely to rise. At the moment, you can get 3 bed houses within your budget. In the "naicer" parts of Bristol, not a hope.

Someone mentioned St Mary Redcliffe School - you would only have a hope of getting in there if you go to church.

LouieLou2013 Wed 02-Dec-15 13:01:55

I think St Mary Redcliffe take a small percentage of local children but you do have to be lucky to get a place unless you attend church (many, many people do for this reason!)

willconcern Wed 02-Dec-15 13:11:29

the local children who get into SMRT are very local though, I think many from the flats immediately around the school.

harryhausen Wed 02-Dec-15 13:19:01

I've lived in Southville/Bedminster/Ashton for nearly 20 yrs. I now live about 5 mins away by car on the border of N. Somerset. This was purely for the house. More house for your money, driveway for 3 cars, 150 ft garden.

I'm still in a South Bristol postcode but I get SPACE.

As for schools - it irks me when people say South Bristol schools are dire. They used to be about 10 years ago. I've just applied for secondary school for my dd. We've chosen Ashton Park as our first choice over some N.Somerset schools that we have a good chance of a place with. Things are rapidly changing schools wise. I visited Cathedral and Backwell. Hated Cathedral and didn't get the right gut instinct with Backwell.

LouieLou2013 Wed 02-Dec-15 13:20:17

Quite possibly, although I do know some who live around Victoria Park that got in, that I don't think attended church(although may have on the sly)

We are really lacking a decent secondary.

BrushtheHeat Wed 02-Dec-15 13:44:48

harry it's funny how people take away different things from the open evenings isn't it. We loved backwell (not a chance getting in there!) and had an underwhelming experience with Ashton park. Ds isn't very interested in sports but AP's open evening mainly showcased their excellent sports facilities. Ds got St Kaths and can recommend it.

rosalux Wed 02-Dec-15 13:47:46

We moved to Bristol from London 7 years ago and our only regret is that we did t do it sooner. We lived first in Clifton (pre DC) but now have 2 boys a aged 4 and 22mths and are looking to upgrade from our current 3 bed in Hotwells - south of Clifton but north of the river - to a 4/5 bed. Be warned, in the year I have been idly looking house prices, especially in bishopston, St. Andrews and Montpelier (all the places the national,papers rave about) have increased by 15-20%. Ditto Westbourne Park, probably because of the schools issue, though I would say at primary level the choice and quality ids pretty good across the. It's, albeit the catchment areas are tiny - think 300m in some cases. DS1 has just started at cathedral primary and loves it, so I am curious to hear you reasons for disliking BCCS harryhausen, I've on,unheard good things.

harryhausen Wed 02-Dec-15 14:05:46

Each to their own Rosalux, but compared to the many other schools we visited I found the children that showed us around unenthusiastic and slightly miserable. I didn't take to the headmaster and found the whole tone a bit "if you're lucky enough to come here....". Just a gut feeling. I didn't feel very welcome and it just felt wrong for my child. I have no doubt about it's academic results etc - just not for us. I thought I'd love it. I thought it was the holy-grail for secondary schools in Bristol.

At other schools I found the children falling over themselves with eagerness to talk about their schools, welcoming, creative and inclusive atmospheres and just....exciting!

So it's good we all get a preference, so all's good smile If we don't even apply then people who love it get more of a chance.

harryhausen Wed 02-Dec-15 14:11:05

Meant to say, I don't doubt it's academic achievements, and u also know children who are happy there.

Now the applications are in though I admit to feeling slightly relieved we didn't like it as we don't have that lottery place angst. If your dc are at the primary though, you probably won't have that smile

harryhausen Wed 02-Dec-15 14:17:46

Brush, that's so funny about open evenings. We hardly touched on sport and were shown science, maths, drama, music, English and History which dd all ^loved.
^
My dd only slightly sporty at the moment but I have friends with dc who recently started there who said they don't particularly excel at sports either but love the school.

Backwell was a great school, and the children were uber confident and friendly. It just didn't feel right - both myself and dd felt the same. We had a decent chance of a place too.

I do love hearing different peoples views. I've learnt to take people's opinions of a 'good' and 'bad' school with a pinch of saltsmile

Sorry to hijack the thread with schools!

LouieLou2013 Wed 02-Dec-15 14:20:09

Sorry to Hijack further but is Cathedral fee paying?

harryhausen Wed 02-Dec-15 14:22:00

No louieLou. It's a state school but allocates it's places via a lottery. I believe it used to be few paying back in the day but has been state for a while. It's a small school. It gets great results.

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