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what's it like living in the valleys of South Wales?

(41 Posts)
catbills Mon 30-Oct-17 18:35:29

Hi mums,
I'm considering a radicle house move to South Wales because it's the nearest place I might actually be able to own my own home. I have visited many times but would love to hear from anyone living in places such as Mountain Ash, Merthyr Tydfil, Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Tredegar, Aberdare, phillipstown, Trealaw, Ferndale etc or any of the rural villages around Newport and Cardiff.
I'd especially be interested to hear from anyone who has moved there from England as to how easy it is to integrate in to the community. I'm a single mum and worried I might get lonely if I can't make friends easily as I don't know anyone in Wales.

MyBrilliantDisguise Mon 30-Oct-17 18:37:03

Unemployment is very high in those areas. Why were you thinking of there specifically?

welshweasel Mon 30-Oct-17 18:39:00

Very high unemployment, high levels of deprivation, communities can be quite insular. Without roots in the area or a compelling reason to move there, I wouldn't.

SilverSpot Mon 30-Oct-17 18:40:43

Have you watched Valley Cops? Doesn't look great based on that!

QOFE Mon 30-Oct-17 18:41:22

Fucking awful.


Haint Mon 30-Oct-17 18:42:21

Gloomy, damp and insular

QOFE Mon 30-Oct-17 18:42:23

Tredegar maybe....

But seriously just don't to any of the other places you've mentioned.

thatstoast Mon 30-Oct-17 18:43:49

I live in Merthyr. I promise you it's not as bad as everyone thinks it is. Unless you want to move to the Gurnos, that's pretty bad.

Lolimax Mon 30-Oct-17 18:45:58

Blackwood here. Love it, housing relatively cheap, great transport links, people are lovely. Jobs are available depending on what you want. Lots of care, some factory. Some good schools.
I moved here from further up the Valleys and am really settled.

Lolimax Mon 30-Oct-17 18:46:30

Ps QOFE I’m a Tredegar girl originally!

BikeRunSki Mon 30-Oct-17 18:48:31

I once lived in Pontypridd for 3 years. I swear it rains everyday from 1 October to 30 April.

FellOutOfBed2wice Mon 30-Oct-17 18:51:25

An aunt of mine moved from East London to Merthyr on a bizarre whim after a divorce. She says it’s bleak and miserable but enjoys how cheap housing is. She’s part of a niche religion so has a built in community in the congregation of that but says the locals are generally not that fond of The English let alone Cockneys.

newnamechange84 Mon 30-Oct-17 18:51:56

Just don’t. As a pp mentioned there are high levels of unemployment, deprivation etc. Why are you wanting to move there? Some of the towns like Cwmbran and villages like Usk aren’t too bad.

FrogFairy Mon 30-Oct-17 19:44:42

What sort of work do you do? Jobs are pretty scarce.

Also do you drive? Public transport might be difficult depending where you want to travel to.

Berthatydfil Mon 30-Oct-17 20:20:15

I would say a big no to Phillipstown terrible for social deprivation .
I would consider Blackwood Newbridge Risca Ystrad Mynach hengoed or llanbradach

feejee Mon 30-Oct-17 20:33:06

I'm English and now live in the valleys (about half way between pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil). I don't mind it to be honest. The village we live in is alright, a few shops pubs takeaways etc. I have eventually integrated a little mainly with the older generation to be honest. I found the mother/toddler groups very clique and as I didn't grow up here haven't really made proper friends. My husband is from here and we have his family nearby. It's only half hour to Cardiff, half hour to the beautiful Brecon beacons. I think a lot of it is about what sort of work you might want, if you drive or not, how easy you find it to make friends.

QOFE Mon 30-Oct-17 21:42:47

Usk is nice but vair vair wanky expensive.

QOFE Mon 30-Oct-17 21:46:04

Simple fact is that there's a reason places are cheap.

Areas with good transport links/infrastructure/employment opportunities are not the cheapest areas to buy property. The Valleys is a beautiful area in places but overall unless you hit super lucky it's a miserable place to live. Sorry.

BelafonteRavenclaw Mon 30-Oct-17 21:48:28

I moved from E London to Caerleon, just outside Newport. I really like it, compared to where I used to live it’s lovely. And I now own my own home, I couldn’t afford a shoebox in London.

Ruhrpott Mon 30-Oct-17 21:55:57

I’m English and live here too, just north of Pontypridd. I have a lovely house and lovely views and a good job in Cardiff. No problems integrating but my kids were older when we moved here. I would say do it. Aberdare is ok, Merthyr has ok parts, Pontypridd is a good compromise I think. Blackwood is also popular.

Scoleah Mon 30-Oct-17 21:56:55

Just over the hill from Tredegar here! Obviously I’m biased as I’ve lived here all my life , so it’s home to me!
Housing is cheap, and people are friendly enough!
Valley cops didn’t portray Merthyr or us Valleys folk in good light at all!
Some Nice views not to far from your doorstep, Good shops not too far away!
It may drizzle from Oct-Sept though grin

shinook123 Tue 31-Oct-17 13:30:42

I spent the first twenty years of my life living in the south Wales valleys.
We moved to Cornwall twenty two years ago and I live in an idyllic Cornish village.
I can tell you Cornwall has far more deprivation.Everyone sees what Caroline Quentin or what TV dramas portray.
Where as where I live could be classed as a wealthy,middle class area.You only have to drive to your closest supermarket to see just how many deprived estates and rough areas there are.
Though the locals here are friendly,you'd go a long way to find friendlier than valley people.
There's far more unemployment and low wages in Cornwall than in the valleys too.
I guess if you said you wanted to move to Cornwall people would tell you to go for it based on what they see on TV or because they have a nice holiday here once a year.
We moved back to the Rhondda with my husband's job but only for a year.
When his contract was up we moved back here.My husband didn't want to come back,he thought it was the friendliest place he'd ever lived and was very welcomed even with his Cornish accent.
I can only speak for living in the Rhondda but I still have all my old friends there.
There is a lot there for children and teenagers (at least compared to cornwall).
It's not a decision to take lightly.If you can afford to,take a couple of trips there to get a feel of the place.Personally I can recommend in the Rhondda the villages of Treorchy,Gelli and Penygraig.Lovely parks,good schools and a great community.They also have shops etc and excellent transport links to Cardiff about 20 minutes by train.

SilverSpot Tue 31-Oct-17 13:37:34

*There's far more unemployment and low wages in Cornwall than in the valleys too.
I guess if you said you wanted to move to Cornwall people would tell you to go for it based on *

Nope I'd have said WFT Cornwall, there are zero jobs and massive levels of deprivation.

Hammondisback Fri 13-Apr-18 21:01:13

Don’t know if this is still relevant, but I was born in Tredegar, moved away to uni & moved back 5 years ago, so that we could be closer to parents. I would never live here by choice, not without family ties, although most people are quite friendly, the ones that don’t stare at you as if you’re a Martian because you haven’t always lived here or your accent is slightly different from theirs. There are 2 lovely parks here, some lovely rural and mountain walks, a retail park half an hour away and an hour to the coast or to Cardiff, yet VERY cheap housing. Very few jobs, so I wouldn’t move here without one. Pros and cons, as you can see smile.

greenlavender Sat 14-Apr-18 16:40:12

I'm from Merthyr originally & now live in Brighton. Parents still there so go back often. Some of Brighton is just as deprived & the homelessness is worse. Merthyr has a very bad press but some of it is very nice. Jobs may not be plentiful, but Cardiff is near & if you have a trade / career, you'll be fine. Beautiful scenery nearby too.

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