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South Wales: can anyone recommend nice places in and around Bridgend?

(19 Posts)
Moving2Wales Sun 15-Jan-17 13:17:09

Please smile

DH and I have been talking about moving to Wales for ages and this is the year when it's finally going to happen! Work (for him) is sorted and that is in Bridgend.

DH is originally from Wales and we started talking about moving to be nearer family, since his sister and nieces still live there. Everyone is thrilled but there is one little problem: every property or location we mention to SIL is met with either "oh that's posh" or "oh you don't want to live there". She adamant we shouldn't live in Bridgend because of the teenager events of the last decade (sorry to bring that up but she keeps banging on about it). She also thinks we also shouldn't live in a village because we would be isolated. DH thinks she's trying to steer us to live close to her, which is lovely of her but part of the reason for the move is cutting the commute time and she lives in Swansea.

So, I am now looking for some unbiased opinions: what is good in and around Bridgend? DSIL only suggestion is Porthcawl, is that nice? I like the look of the Vale of Glamorgan villages on the other side of town but just over the border. We are ideally looking south of the M4 as we want to be as close to the coast as possible.

Also, we have a Y3 child, and since we're not looking to move again any time soon, we are looking at secondary schools rather than primary. Is this a decent guide? www.walesonline.co.uk/news/education/real-schools-guide-2016-state-11715879

Thank you very much. smile

Btw, Swansea would/will be considered if we can get get dream house material.

Moving2Wales Sun 15-Jan-17 13:18:39

Wow, that is long. Sorry for any typos.

Berthatydfil Sun 15-Jan-17 13:20:30

Cowbridge or nearby

Cookingongas Sun 15-Jan-17 13:26:02

Porthcawl, Kennelly area are very nice.

In Bridgend I'd avoid the centre but coity, coychurch, pen coed etc are all nice areas with some beautiful houses.

Fwiw the trains between Swansea are good and it's only 30-40 minutes drive from Swansea to Bridgend. And swansea is much more cosmopolitan.

I'm not sure about schools though- as mine are Welsh medium I've never looked into them.

hoochymama1 Sun 15-Jan-17 14:52:15

Hi moving, I'm from Maesteg originally. You lucky ducky moving to South Wales!
Like all areas there are some good, some bad places. Lovely people, beautiful countryside. Have a look around and see how you feel. Swansea to Bridgend is not a bad commute, and it's a bit more cosmopolitan than valleys towns. You have the Gower close by, so cool for stuff like surfing. Porthcawl is pretty though, and Ogmore is a nice bit of the coast near Bridgend.
Tricky judging schools, as we don't have ofsted, it's estyn, and it's not such a league table place. Visit schools and areas, trust your gut feelings. Good you have your SiL for advice, but draw your own conclusions. All the best flowers

Watto1 Sun 15-Jan-17 14:55:49

I was brought up in Laleston and it was lovely.

Autocorrect changed Laleston to Palestine! Fortunately I spotted it for once.

Moving2Wales Sun 15-Jan-17 16:50:51

Thanks everyone! Yes, hoochy, we feel very lucky to be able to move there, specially as DH got a transfer, so income-wise we will be the same.

We are not ruling Swansea out but we would like to explore what else is available, iyswim, particularly because everything I like seems to be west Swansea, so the commute would be a little bit longer.

Genuine question: I have noticed Cowbridge always comes up when South Wales is mentioned, is it really that much nicer than everywhere else? I've never been there, so I'd love to hear more about it smile

dodgydonkeysdoodah Sun 15-Jan-17 17:04:05

Cowbridge is pretty and chi-chi but doesn't feel very Welsh!

Ruhrpott Sun 15-Jan-17 17:05:10

Cowbridge has one of the best senior schools in the area but the houses are really expensive.

Ruhrpott Sun 15-Jan-17 17:07:40

I wouldn't move to Swansea. There are much nicer towns and areas around Bridgend

confusedandemployed Sun 15-Jan-17 17:09:15

Yes what dodgy said. It's nice for a bit of a mooch but I can't say I'd want to live there. I think Laleston is lovely as a PP said and I also really like Maesteg, seems to have a lovely vibe. Ogmore by Sea is nice but I'm guessing dead posh. I live in Pontardawe but am from the Vale originally. I like all of the western end of the Vale. For working in Bridgend I would say Swansea will be a pain: M4 around PT/Baglan is a bloody nightmare at rush hour.

NancyJoan Sun 15-Jan-17 17:10:24

Cowbridge, and the Vale are lovely, not posh, just nice. Easy reach of Cardiff and M4, v good secondary school, nice village primaries too. More expensive than Bridgend.

Shitonyoursofa Sun 15-Jan-17 17:18:56

I'm from Bridgend...Porthcawl is lovely, as is Cowbridge, Wick, Ewenny, St Brides Major, Ogmore by Sea. Llantwit Major is also nice. I think most of those apart from LM, Cowbridge and Porthcawl would get you into catchment for Brynteg, which I know use to be a good school but I moved away a while ago so not sure what it's like now.

I'm not a fan of Swansea tbh, if you were going to move to a city Cardiff is MUCH nicer!

Wherever you go out of the areas you've mentioned you'll be fairly close to the coast smile

Shitonyoursofa Sun 15-Jan-17 17:20:56

PS. In terms of the 'events' she mentions, although they were all grouped together by the press as being in Bridgend, it was actually a bit more disparate and spread over several areas and villages on the outskirts of the town, not really all in one place.

Ruhrpott Sun 15-Jan-17 17:21:15

As far as I have heard (don't have kids that age) Cowbridge High School is the one in Cowbridge

Moving2Wales Sun 15-Jan-17 18:47:27

Thanks so much. Shitonyoursofa, all those villages are on my list, St Brides Major is a 5 minute drive to DH's office, perfect commute! I think their primary feeds to Cowbridge, even though Brynteg is much closer. I think I need to have a word to the local authorities re admission arrangements.

Adsss Sun 15-Jan-17 19:25:43

A fair few schools including St brides, St David's in Colwinston and a couple of other in the Vale at the Bridgend end take direct applications not through the council.

Moving2Wales Mon 16-Jan-17 12:29:17

I mean secondary school arrangements, so we can choose an area/primary based on that smile

I will contact the primaries too, but I thought I would choose a more definitive area of search before ringing around. (St Brides primary looks nice though, do you have any experience of the school to share? Thank you smile)

Adsss Mon 16-Jan-17 19:25:46

I only know the Vale side of things. Cowbridge comp consistently highly performs. The primaries in the area work as feeder primaries so most children move onto Cowbridge if they are in the central and western Vale. Southern they head to Llantwit. A bit more west and you switch into Bridgend schools territory.
Primary wise most are also really good, the village schools naturally smaller and I'll be biased and say friendlier.

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