Where to live in Bristol(7 Posts)
I thought I would ask the collective wisdom of Mumsnet this - I am following a thread in Secondary schools too but I know that there is lot of knowledge on this topic.
So DW and I are planning a move to Bristol later in the year. I have previously lived in Bristol but I was young, free and single then so I know (and love) the inner city parts - Easton, Montpelier etc.
However, much has changed and we now have two primary school age children. In an ideal world I would choose Bishopston/St Andrews but budget does not allow this. I am wary of the suburbs but DW is keen to have a larger garden/bigger house than our budget would go in a more central area. Obviously schools are a factor too - both primary now and secondary later on.
Budget is 375,000, we need three bedrooms and I need space in which to work from home. We do not need to commute so that is not a factor.
Thoughts o wise Mumsnetters?
We have been looking on Rightmove and wondering about Fishponds, Downend, Hannham, Kingswood - areas I don't know at all. Also Horfield outers, Filton. Any other areas that people know or would recommend?
We are a same-sex couple - like nice bars, food, period features etc.
We moved to Fishponds from Ashley Down/St Andrews just over six months ago and are absolutely loving it. There's a really strong community vibe, and loads of really useful amenities on Fishponds Rd. Also Oldbury Court is great for the kids. And we paid less for a six bed Victorian end terrace than we sold our three bed 1930s mid terrace on a main road for.
Our eldest starts school this September and there were at least two schools that I would be happy for him to go to (and it actually is a choice, compared to the insane competition for places in Bishopston and St Andrews where you get what you're given).
Would totally recommend it - feel free to PM if you like.
Thanks so much BootCamp - I know Ashley Down area better so that is great to hear about Fishponds. What is the shopping area like now? I know Vassals Park.
My children will need to start school mid year I think because I doubt we will get moved by September - they will be Reception and Y2. Good to know there is a choice, have you been and seen the schools?
Do you know Downend at all?
I would say that at the moment shopping is useful rather than particularly glamorous! Lots of supermarkets - Morrisons, Lidl and Aldi all very close to each other, plus a Co-Op and a Sainsburys Local. But there are also a fair few independents, with more starting to arrive all the time. Food and drink places include Grounded cafe bar (don't know if you know the Glos Rd one?), Coffee no 1, Burger Joint and an ace community cafe called The Kingfisher. Plus there's a pharmacy, dry cleaners, superdrug, pet shop, card shop etc. Oh, and a weekly Food Assembly for local produce that you order online and collect from the church hall with some sort of community supper alongside (I haven't actually been).
Re schools we went to see Begbrook, Fishponds C of E and Frome Vale and in the end have gone for Begbrook as our first choice. Seemed like a lovely atmosphere, loads of outdoor space and it's just a walk through the woods from where we are. We also really liked Fishponds C of E. We weren't so keen on Frome Vale, but I know other parents from nursery thought it was great. Didn't look at Chester Park as it's a bit out of our way, but people seem to really like it. There's also a free Steiner Academy if that's your bag, but I think it's quite oversubscribed.
I only really know Downend in terms of what I've seen of it since we moved here. I would say it seems a bit less diverse and a bit more suburban than Fishponds. I kind of see Fishponds as an extension of St Andrews, Montpelier, Bishopston etc as it's such a similar vibe, but Downend feels like a different place altogether and I can't quite relate to it yet. Sorry, not sure if that makes much sense.
If you're still interested, it might be worth following FishFest and People's University of Fishponds on FB to see some of the community stuff that's going on. I know I'm clearly biased, but I really feel like Fishponds is just about to hit a tipping point when people will suddenly realise what a great place it is to live. Bristol Metropolitan (secondary) has just come top in the Bristol league table, the Bristol to Bath cycle path takes you straight into town for easy commuting, there's loads of variation in housing stock so something for everyone, a vibrant diverse community, plus it's on the edge of beautiful green space and woods at Snuff Mills/Oldbury Court (Vassalls!).
The only downsides I would say are that it can still be a bit 'gritty' in parts, but not as much as Easton or Montpelier, and traffic isn't great (but where in Bristol is?!).
So, have I sold it enough?
Oh yes, thank you so much. I am so excited about coming 'home'. We will come and have a meander.
Your observations about downend are similar to what I had thought so it's really interesting to have an insiders view.
I didn't know that about the metropolitan academy- is that the old whitefields school? I will def have a look at those forums.
Selfishly, I hope 'tipping point' is held off for 6 months til we can move, prices can soar all they like then!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspectives- it really does help. If we do move there, my dd could end up in the same class as your ds!
Op, have you considered Ashton? Right next door to Southville but different houses, decent sized gardens, lots of primary schools etc. Maybe you'd need a bit of a doer upper to get all the space you want but definitely worth considering? Course, it is south of the water ... ;)
Thanks westcountrygemini. I really like Ashton and have a close friend there so will definitely keep an eye out. I thought my budget went a bit further in Fishponds but I do really like North Street/Tobacco Factory.
Do you live there - what is your experience of the schools if so? I know Ashton Gate Primary is well regarded but less sure about Ashton Park secondary.
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