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Moving to Chippenham 2023

50 replies

OW0809 · 22/03/2023 15:55


Could anyone please share their thoughts on:

  1. Chippenham
  2. Melksham
  3. Calne

We need to relocate and have easy access to Bristol (train and car). Primary and secondary schools are also super important as well as country walks for our lovely big dog.

Melksham and Calne seem to offer more property for £ than Chippenham but not sure if it's because of the areas?

Honest opinions (the good and the ugly) are very welcomed!

Many thanks in advance
OP posts:
Handsnotwands · 07/04/2023 09:34

Swindon is fine. It gets an unfair press. It’s not pretty on the whole (but like everywhere has pockets that are). The town centre is dire but it is a very functional town; low rise, lots of space, pretty green, very low unemployment. It has everything that anyone would need and excellent connections to other places for days out. I wouldn’t rule it out

OW0809 · 07/04/2023 09:36

According to a lady at one of the sites in Chippenham, she said not to bother with Melksham as apparently schools aren't great and Melksham itself is run down.

She also said that south side of Chippenham isn't great but can't see anything on the north side that can offer 3 double beds, a study and all for £450k.

I think we will be fine to move again if secondary school isn't great, as our LO is only 6 and as long as primary school is good, we'll be fine for 5 years.

We live just over hour and a half from the area so very difficult to have a good look around ourselves but these comments are super helpful

OP posts:
Tulipvase · 07/04/2023 09:40

I can’t see that Chippenham is any better than Melksham, just a bit bigger. Certainly the shops are no better.

Im surprised by the house prices, I always thought of it as a cheap area. I wouldn’t be looking at new builds though so that maybe why.

Some lovely villages in the area though.

OW0809 · 07/04/2023 09:46

That's really good to know. Yes, we were somewhat surprised about the prices too but expect the premium is because of transport links and proximity to the motorway.

Do you know anything about Trowbridge?

OP posts:
Jezzballs2000 · 07/04/2023 09:47

Wotten-on-Edge is one of the places that lots of Bristol people move to. I'm in Stroud which has terrible links to Bristol but Cam and Dursley is v well connected and actually isn't too bad. Great pub, cafe and schools and increasingly good community action for families. It's reputation hasn't quite caught up with the reality of it. Good luck!

incywincyspiders · 07/04/2023 10:05

I live in Corsham. Have you considered getting the bus to Bath then train to Bristol? The X31 bus is really reliable and not too expensive if you're only doing it once a week. (I commute about 3 days a week)

I would choose Melksham over Chippenham. While Chippenham town is nicer than Melksham's centre, the surrounding areas are much nicer in Melksham.

Trowvegas is just a no. It's nicknamed that for a reason.

KnickerlessParsons · 07/04/2023 10:15

Wootton Basset has a great secondary school and is only 6 miles from Swindon station, which has ample all day parking. You'd easily get a 4 bed for £450k.
Also look at Purton and Wroughton - also good schools and close to Swindon station.

OW0809 · 07/04/2023 10:47

Thank you very much for this! Have looked at Corsham but no houses at the moment that we could look at at 😔

I think a drive to Melksham sounds like something we need to do. We have lived in the county for so many years and I have struggled with how built up Chippenham is. Looking on Google maps, Melksham has a bit more greenery around

OP posts:
Grace204 · 07/04/2023 14:20

I've lived in both Melksham and Chippenham. I preferred Melksham although generally I would say the schools are better in Chippenham.
Melksham is small enough to get to know people and know what is going on in the town. Chippenham seemed too big.

Madcats · 07/04/2023 17:09

The thing is, once you get too rural you will be tied to needing a car to do just about everything. How about Westbury? There seem to be a lot of houses around the £475k mark. If you don't mind a housing estate and small garden, how about this place:

Check out this 4 bedroom detached house for sale on Rightmove

4 bedroom detached house for sale in Cheviot Road, Mill Brook, Westbury, BA13 for £475,000. Marketed by Town and Country Estates, Trowbridge

DashboardConfessional · 07/04/2023 20:09

I live in Trowbridge and will defend it til I die! I'm from Yorkshire but lived here 15 years. DS about to start school. I work in Westbury but Matravers school (secondary) is dire. Secondaries are fine, not excellent. I think Bradford on Avon has a good secondary but you need over 600k for a 4 bed.

Trowbridge has been improved a lot since I moved here. Transport excellent (35 mins to Bristol), cinema, some shops (more than Melksham). But a lot of people screw up their noses about it.

You can't live in Melksham if you need a train. As a pp said, there's an hourly or half hourly shuttle between Swindon and Westbury.

mrsorangepyjamas · 07/04/2023 20:21

WsM? 25 mins on train to BTM, trains to abbey wood too, cheaper than Chippenham

Girlattheback · 07/04/2023 20:25

I was reading through and thinking of Trowbridge for you and you beat me to it. Getting to Bristol and Bath is much easier from the south than from the west. Trowbridge is definitely much nicer than Chippenham, Melksham and Calne. Worth a visit to check it out.

incywincyspiders · 07/04/2023 21:41

Despite my previous statement, Trowbridge has got a lot better - especially the town centre but I do find parts of it quite ugly (sorry @DashboardConfessional!). However I really like Staverton/Hilperton. Neither of which are convenient for the train station though.

Tulipvase · 07/04/2023 21:44

What about Devizes or Warminster? I have visited Devizes once and it was heaving on a Saturday lunch time. Looked to be lots of busy pubs and cafes. But I don’t know much about it.

DashboardConfessional · 07/04/2023 22:01

Warminster's quite nice. Also has a direct train to Bristol. Couldn't comment on schools though, my colleagues either pay for private or send theirs out to village schools nearby.

Devizes doesn't have a station which is ridiculous really.

DashboardConfessional · 07/04/2023 22:05

Girlattheback · 07/04/2023 20:25

I was reading through and thinking of Trowbridge for you and you beat me to it. Getting to Bristol and Bath is much easier from the south than from the west. Trowbridge is definitely much nicer than Chippenham, Melksham and Calne. Worth a visit to check it out.


It's got a lot more expensive to live here unfortunately. We paid £170k for a 4 bed 10 years ago and it's doubled in value. It's about £400k for a detached 4 bed now, £450k in Staverton.

Corsham wasn't in our budget in 2013!

Crikeyalmighty · 07/04/2023 22:09

Hi OP- how about something like this. Saltford is 5 minutes into Keynsham ( with station) and 10 minutes into Bath- (and station) has a few shops, couple of pubs, takeaways, and a fantastic farm shop and cafe- nice countryside and Waitrose 5 minutes drive- I think it's way better and more suitable than the areas you are looking at (we live in Bath) it's a roomy house and I think fits your criteria. I'm not sure if it's Vath schools or Keynsham- but keynsham is closer and a very good secondary

Crikeyalmighty · 07/04/2023 22:11

Sorry I notice it's actually stated well away (keynsham ) catchment area- great school

Twoshoesnewshoes · 07/04/2023 22:17

a long way south I know, but there is an hourly direct train to BTM that takes 34 minutes. Nice countryside, easy reach of Exmoor.
housing is more affordable there too.

Squamata · 07/04/2023 22:21

I come from one of the towns you mention, know all of them and am not v keen - Melksham is sleepy and backward, Chippenham is full of wannabe Cotswold commuters who couldn't quite afford it and put nothing into the town - calne is slightly better but still snoozy.

Have you considered Bristol outskirts instead? Hanham, Kingswood, Staple hill? You can be in South glos but still easy enough to get into Bristol for trains (bike path into town is one option if you like cycling).

Westbury and warminster have train stations too, schools are crap tho and they're squaddy towns

Tulipvase · 07/04/2023 22:45

Chippenham is nothing like Cotswold prices……..

TheGuv1982 · 08/04/2023 09:23

There’s some 4 beds in Bradley Stoke that meet your budget, and you have Bristol Parkway station for trains to Temple Meads and Chippenham.

Schools are a mixed bunch, I know parts are in the catchment for Winterbourne, but the rest are served by some pretty ropey schools in the same academy group.

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