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Relocating to Devon - help & advice please!(23 Posts)
My husband was made redundant a year ago and with no income we are leaving Buckinghamshire to relocate. Always loved Devon and want to live by the sea. Teenage kids and will need 2 secondary places. Used to village location with lots of friends and love socialising. I'm a people person. If anyone could offer advice on where we should be looking, would love to be near the sea but I know budget won't stretch to sea views! So grateful for any advice as pretty nervous right now...
Torbay - Torquay, Paignton and Brixham - have schools, including boys' and girls' grammar schools in Torquay, and mixed grammar between Paignton and Brixham I think, as well as several comprehensives. Dawlish and Teignmouth are popular small towns.
Ashburton, and Newton Abbot are further inland, but nearer to Dartmoor, and have several schools. Totnes and the South Hams are a bit more trendy - and thus expensive. And further west, Plymouth is the largest town, with several different areas.
Thank you so much Ferguson. Very grateful for advice. Will have a look at the ones you suggest. Was thinking about Seaton with an eye on Colyton. Don't know if you have any pearls to offer on that? Thanks again.
I live near Exeter, it's a city but literally 20 mins from at least 4 different beaches (dawlish/exmouth/dawlish warren and sidmouth) the schools are good, and if you wanted village type life you could try topsham/alphington. They also have good schools and are both on the city edge.
Thank you so much Koop, I'll look at those areas. Can't afford Topsham property wise so good to have some other place names to put in right move. Will be starting my trips down soon but need to get on the phone to schools this coming week in the hope of finding a year 10 and upper sixth form place.
Hi OP I see you're considering Seaton with your eye on Colyton. Have you been to Seaton? I don't know why but there's something miserable about the town maybe it's because the sea is hidden by the 1960s blocks of flats. The big Tesco and the new Jurassic centre will hopefully bring more people, but still there is something about it. Perhaps just me. However Colyton doesn't have a catchment as such as it all hinges on 11 Plus results, and some children there travel an hour or more.
Anyway, Sidmouth is a lovely town! And has a bus to Colyford. Also a community college in case CGS doesn't work out. I'd rather Sidmouth than Seaton any day. Just my view - I'm sure lots of people love Seaton but personally I don't.
Thank you so much, haven't even been to Seaton yet so was just considering on what others have said. Am driving to Devon in the next few weeks to drive around and look. Someone else said Sidmouth was for old people! I will have a look though not sure what we can afford house wise there as we need to hold money back to live on in the hope the next year brings us better fortune...
Hi judetheobscure44 it looks like we're about 10 months behind you. How did your move go and do you have any good advice from the other side of the secondary school debate .... any views on Torquay grammar for girls ? Much appreciated
I'd vote for Plymouth personally. Even from the city centre you're only ever, max, twenty minutes from the moors and twenty minutes from the sea. Every city has good and bad areas of course, but Plymouth has affordable houses, great facilities, super history, lovely locals. Easy to have trips to Cornwall, through train to London, commutable to Exeter which is a great uni. Grammar school for boys, two for girls and the best pasties on Earth.
I went to Cuthbert Mayne and on to Torquay Grammer for 6th form. I absolutely loved them both.
Cuthbert Mayne is a brilliant school 😁
I was brought up in Newton Abbot and still love the South Hams area. If you like small towns have a look at Ashburton on the edge of the moors or somewhere like Teignmouth on the coast. I also like Tavistock on the other side of Devon - lots of beautiful countryside, good market and attractive town too.
Agree with PP, Sidmouth a million times nicer than Seaton. Sticking On the East side Honiton is also nice if you would consider being a bit more inland?
Seaton is a grey and depressing dump, full of old people. I would not recommend it.
Sidmouth is nicer, a more arty/folky vibe particularly during folk week in August, plus bigger so a wider range of shops.
Love Plymouth, there's a few rough bits as in any city but it's got everything you need. No beaches but the lido pool and hoe is great in the summer.
No beaches in Plymouth itself but they're not far away!
can you tell I'm a Janner missing home??
Churston Grammar is the mixed grammar in Torbay and it is a lovely, welcoming school in my experience. You also have nearby villages in Churston and Galmpton which are good for families as you have the advantages of a village but easy access into the bigger towns if you want them.
If you have ever been on steamtrain from Paignton to Kingsbridge you went through the school grounds, they have a sort of tunnel under the track to get to some of the pitches. Lovely location.
I suppose it depends if you prefer single sex, the Torquay schools, or mixed at Churston.
Thank you all. I grew up in Cornwall so the idea of Plymouth is very appealing, only dh needs to commute to pinhoe / sowton ... and we thought it would be a bit too far to drive. Torquay grammar school for girls looks excellent. I'm just worried about how rounded/ happy my sometimes anxious daughter might be there ....
Sounds like my daughter, that was why we went for Churston as it seemed a bit more laid back and she thrived there. She got 5 As at A level and 1 A at AS, this was before A* came in, so they can certainly achieve there. I would say have a look at both as what suits one doesn't suit another.
Thank you much ;) we considered CF, and as I'm originally from Cornwall the further west I can get the better bt my husband will be working at sowton, m5 so it's possibly a bit too far for him to drive ... (part of the reason for the move is to cut his current commute to Croydon).
Bear in mind as with all grammar schools the Torbay ones are difficult to get into especially as they don't have any catchment areas so kids come in from all over.
NOt meaning to sound blasé, but I'm not too worried about the "getting in" bit. .i was just v curious as to other girls' / parents' happiness/experiences once in. Tia
My mother lives between Totnes and Newton Abbot - I went to Torquay Grammar in the days when it did have a catchment.
My cousin moved to the area several years ago and his daughters are at Churston Grammar.
When I was last visiting my mum we went to Exeter for the day and I was really quite impressed with it. I'd like to move back to Devon some time and I think Exeter may be top of my list now. I don't know about schools there though.
My mum would love to live in Totnes or Topsham but it's too expensive for her.
Newton Abbot has great housing stock at not-very-expensive prices but I am not sure what the schools are like these days.
Torquay is probably a good option if you need to commute to Exeter, I assume the new South Devon Highway has shortened the journey a lot.
I didn't know that the steam railway line went through the school grounds, that's an interesting little nugget
Thank you everyone for your help and input.