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Moving: Cardiff to Somerset- looking for good schools

(25 Posts)
Plums85 Mon 17-Aug-20 20:51:35

I’m originally from Torbay, Devon and have lived in Cardiff for 16 years now. Since lockdown my husband and I have been working from home and started to pine for the countryside. We have a daughter who turns 4 next August and will be starting nursery school, plus another on way at Christmas.
Trying to work out when to move, but also where to move! Originally looked rural within 30 mins commute to Exeter but it is so expensive. Have started looking further out as Somerset has some amazing countryside and it looks like we will get more for our money.
Can anyone recommend a village/rural area to live, which is close enough to local town that has lots going on where I could meet other mums and put down roots?

Would love to be able to jump into car and get to larger town/ city anything big, but have local shops in village close by for milk etc.

We are also moving as we are not in a great catchment currently, so would have to be in catchment of a good primary/secondary

Sorry I realise this is a big ask, but really have no clue where to even start looking at the moment.

My husband likes the look of Chard, or Cheddar currently. He may have to commute to Cardiff once/twice a week.

Thanks so much in advance,

Plums

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 17-Aug-20 21:31:26

www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/schools-by-type?step=default&table=schools®ion=933&la-name=somerset&geographic=la&for=primary

I don’t know Somerset at all but these are all the schools in Somerset LA. Should be easy to see where the best ones are.

catsarebetterthandogs9 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:21:31

Chard is not a nice place (apologies to anyone who reads this and lives there). There's nothing there at all and you're 20-25 minutes drive to either Yeovil (also not nice) or Taunton (where I live).
I live in a village on the outskirts of taunton. 10 minute drive to town. Buses are rubbish. I'd look at taunton and surrounding areas. 50 minutes ish to Bristol and 40 max to Exeter. Plus the town is ok for every day shopping, it has everything you'd need.
Best schools are Castle and Heathfield. Avoid anything in The Academy catchment area.
PM me if you want to know anything!
Also avoid Bridgwater.

catsarebetterthandogs9 Mon 17-Aug-20 22:23:30

Apologies if that was blunt was trying not to waffle blush

Dinosauraddict Mon 17-Aug-20 22:30:05

What's your budget? Sherborne, Bruton, Castle Cary way are some nice villages. Street is a nice town for shopping etc. Agree with PP - wouldn't touch places like Chard or Bridgwater...

averythinline Mon 17-Aug-20 22:40:22

If you want more village Axbridge us lovely and schools good in villages..Cheddar also nice bit bigger but a bit of a shlep to Cardiff...most of Somerset will be i think....how about Monmouth way??

DaughterX Mon 17-Aug-20 23:02:33

I've PMd you, OP

Atalune Mon 17-Aug-20 23:15:09

NOT chard, Bridgwater, highbridge, Glastonbury, ilchester or street

Corfe, North Curry, Monkton Elm. There are afew nice villages around the edges of Taunton and it’s a pleasant market town with shops, restaurants ect with good schools.

Langport, which on the river small town or large village. Good schools and lots of little villages around like Kingsbury Episcopi, high ham.

Other places to look at
Ilminster
Somerton
Montacute
Hinton St George
Crewkerne- well maybe the villages around

The little villages which are so pretty though are all connected in part by lots of little lanes. So This might be off putting or stressful! O

species5618 Tue 18-Aug-20 01:33:36

Cheddar wouldn't be my first chooice - very very busy a lot of the year with tourists. Street area is pretty good I was there when the children were younger. decent schools, college and plenty of other ameities but a bit of a drag for the bigger hospitals Some really nice villages like Butleigh, and West Pennard. Reasonable motorway links. Glastonbury - probably not smile
Quite like Wells but a bit expensive

m0therofdragons Tue 18-Aug-20 07:40:29

I always find these threads hilarious - people in Taunton dislike yeovil and vice versa. The surrounding villages of Yeovil are really lovely. We have two country parks, loads of children’s parks and all the amenities you’d expect. I tend to go clothes shopping in Exeter but Yeovil is functional for day to day shops. There’s a right and wrong side of town (like most places). It’s fairly similar to Taunton but smaller. We can get to London as a day trip, Bath, Bristol, Cardiff (I go for concerts) and Exeter, plus 45 minutes to the Dorset coast.

We moved here from the south east in 2004. Stoke sub Hamdon, montacute, east and west coker, Queen Camel etc are all lovely.

Plums85 Tue 18-Aug-20 07:45:17

Oh thank you all so much guys!! Have been non stop on right move and it has felt like looking for a needle in a haystack and I don’t even know what my needle looks like!! This is SO helpful as a starter for 10!! When I grab time today I’ll start working my way through all these suggestions- but great news re Chard as potentially we could have been looking in wrong place to start.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! smile

OP’s posts: |
minnieok Tue 18-Aug-20 08:05:49

If transport links are important look along the m5 corridor, some villages also have stations and there's a direct train to Cardiff eg from Yatton, Nailsea, Taunton (not a village). Don't know about schools as mine are adult but local kids are polite and queue nicely for the bus here unlike where I moved from. We like to be near the coast too which is more expensive but like the balance

whiteroseredrose Tue 18-Aug-20 08:14:45

Chew Valley? DH grew up there and PIL still live there (sometimes).

Not sure about primary schools but Chew Valley Comp has a good reputation and it is close to Bristol and Bath.

There are lots of villages with varying property prices and it's not far from the M5 / M4.

Atalune Tue 18-Aug-20 08:37:05

motherofdragons you’re absolutely right the villages around Yeovil are pretty but Yeovil
Town itself is a dive, always has been and is getting worse, Taunton is much nicer with a better spread of shops and doesn’t have the poverty stricken look about it.

I don’t live in either and am equidistant to both.

op my job takes me into primary and secondaries across Somerset so if you’re looking for particular school recommendations then let me know.

chard, Yeovil, Glastonbury and street all have significant problems with county lines and it’s a big problem in some of the secondary schools over there. Something to also consider.

GreenBeeSW Tue 18-Aug-20 08:53:41

We moved to Taunton at the beginning of this year and are now house hunting. If you want easy access to cities I wouldnt stray too far from the villages around Taunton. House prices in the good catchment areas are a lot higher than places like chard, Silverton, stoke-sub-hambdon etc. Somerton and Bruton are lovely but out of the way. Be clear on what your priorities, some villages are more like small towns so they dont feel that rural but on the other hand some villages have very few services. I dont know what the villages around Wellington, tiverton etc are like but house prices there look good and falls into Devon.

FoolsAssassin Tue 18-Aug-20 08:56:54

Watching with interest! We need access to Bristol, Exeter and Cardiff in that offer and don’t need to consider schools.

m0therofdragons Tue 18-Aug-20 09:05:45

@Atalune I live in Yeovil and it’s great. Dc are doing well at school and dd1’s secondary was phenomenal during lock down. The high street, like all high streets, is struggling but the town is safe, Hospital is exceptional, and regeneration project is looking good (which will transform the high street). There’s 3 theatres (hopefully they’ll survive) bowling, cinema, lovely restaurants and lots of popular cafes. Which bit is a “dive”? Whetherspoons end of town isn’t the best but which Wetherspoons is? You can walk from town right into one of the country parks. (Like I say, I’ve lived elsewhere so I’m not born and bred here. I chose to love here.)

m0therofdragons Tue 18-Aug-20 09:06:43

Live not love but I do love it. We’ve met some brilliant friends here.

m0therofdragons Tue 18-Aug-20 09:08:09

Yeovil has had one issue with county lines since we moved here so I wouldn’t call that significant. Lol

Atalune Tue 18-Aug-20 09:22:10

mother respectfully you do not know what you’re talking about re county lines. You won’t hear about it on the local news- obviously there was the fatal multiple stabbing last year which was BIG news but there are many many other cases.

My work has direct links with county lines and all i can tell you is that in some areas of Yeovil and the other towns I mentioned there are significant problems. They won’t be reported in the western gazette as many involve children, and they are all sorts of rules around that. And many many cases are under investigation and so also will not be in the news.

I’d say the walk from Wetherspoons up to Tescos is pretty horrible and now Denners is closed it’s even worse!

I’m honestly not trying to have a dig at you personally. But I think it only fair on an open forum to give the information that I know and I think is pertinent.

hedgehoglurker Tue 18-Aug-20 09:41:06

@atalune May I ask your thoughts about the schools in Ilminster and Crewkerne? I'm looking at villages in the locality which are served by schools in those towns.

Atalune Tue 18-Aug-20 10:47:28

Both those areas are in a middle school system so it’s
First school YR-4
Middle Y5-8
Secondary y9- 11

The middles are
SwanmeAd in Ilminster is ok- lots do leave at the end of y6 and go to Holyrood in Chard. I know lots of parents view as the worst of both worlds- so it’s not quite a primary and not quite a secondary. But it’s on a big site and has good facilities.

Maiden Beech in crewkerne I think is pretty steady and again it’s on a big site with good sport facilities.

The secondary that they both feed into is Wadham and it’s my personal view that it’s a very nurturing school but not as demanding academically. Some parents decide to change schools in y6 and go to Holyrood Stanchester. Holyrood gets better results.

The middle achool system is under consultation though and in the next year or 2 there will be changes. Whether that means Ilminster gets a secondary (what the town wants/needs) I don’t know. But it it’s set to change. There will be docs on the Somerset county council website about this as it’s been out for public consultation.

First schools are good. And there are LOADS of really good little primary schools. Greenfyld in Ilminster is really good.

m0therofdragons Tue 18-Aug-20 12:02:49

@atalune I have monthly meetings with police over key local issues I need to be aware of for my job but okay. County lines has become an issue across the south west but Langport is affected than Yeovil. Spice is becoming an issue but that started in Taunton a year ago so was expected. The high street isn’t pretty but regeneration project will have a big impact and it’s one of the safest towns I’ve been to that isn’t miles away from everything.

I think Taunton and Yeovil are fairly similar except Yeovil is smaller. Like I say, people in Taunton slate Yeovil and vice versa.

Atalune Tue 18-Aug-20 16:44:08

I don’t live in Taunton.

I’m Welsh!

CatsShinyWhiskers Wed 19-Aug-20 07:34:03

Taunton area, Bishops Hull and Norton Fitzwarren are lovely and good access to M5 for Exeter. Bishops Lydeard also nice but not so accessible to the motorway.
The Academy does not have the best historical reputation but speaking to parents with kids there they cannot praise it enough. It has had some big changes over the last couple of years and is getting much better. The primaries for the above villages are great. Please PM me if you want more information.

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