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Whats Weston SuperMare like?

40 replies

relocator · 11/02/2010 22:55

DH may have to move job to Weston Supermare. What's it like? Where are nice places to live nearby. Need to live on good transpost route as haven't got a car.

Have DCs in primary school. Where are good schools. There seem to be alot of church schools but do you have to be churchy to go to them?

OP posts:
HGS1 · 12/02/2010 14:25

We live in WSm - for 4 yrs now. We live in the new estate by morrisons and both commute to Bristol everyday. Lots of bus routes and two train stations nearby, 1 in walking distance. Lots to do for kids - swimming, football, dance, karate - all at the campus complex 10 mins walk from house. Mead Vale, Hillside and Mendip Green are good schools. The beach is nice, more so in the winter, for a good walk! We are happy - and we both grew up in Cornwall - so it had a lot to live up to!

relocator · 12/02/2010 15:14

Thanks for that HSG. what about secondary schools - are they ok too or haven't you thought that far ahead?

The second two you mention are first schools so where do the kids go next?

What's the social scene like - we have lived here for over 5 years and I've got loads of mummy friends so am a bit worried about having to start all over again.

All the activities sound good. Anyone else comment?

OP posts:
HGS1 · 12/02/2010 16:18

Secondary schools - know more about Bristol - as that is where my husband teaches - but Worle Community School is good. I think the middle school is St Martins - and that is also fine. WSM is a thriving town with loads to do - lots of pubs, restaurants etc. Mummy stuff is good - music clubs, playgroups, aerobics etc.

relocator · 12/02/2010 17:56

Sadly we are past the playgroup stage - they are great for making grown up friends. Am dreading thought of hanging around school gate like a new girl hoping a mummy will be my friend.

But thanks for all your positive words. It does look to be in a great position but when I looked on a few WSM forums everyone was going on about drug rehab centres.

Still it can't be worse than here - we have the drugs without the rehab centres!

OP posts:
FreakoidOrganisoid · 12/02/2010 18:24

Relocator can you CAT me? I live in Weston but don't want to put too much info on here. But generally it's not a bad place to live, rough in parts but where isn't?

HGS1 · 13/02/2010 15:49

I agree with FreakOid... but on the whole a good place and the drug rehabs are down a road and are not noticeable - or at least I've never been bothered by them. WSM is only 35mins from Bristol - so lots to do there as well.

QueenofWhatever · 13/02/2010 16:25

What you think of WSM will depend on where you live now and what's important to you. I lived in North Somerset for years and have a pretty negative opinion of Weston. The schools are very mixed, many parents try to get their kids to schools outside of Weston.

I live in Bristol and people have very strong opinions of the schools here. DD goes to one that many people would consider unacceptable, but it has a 'good' Ofsted rating and I think it's great.

Work out what is important to you (you mnetioned friends and transport) and take it from there. Do you work? You don't have to live in WSM just because DH's job is there. The traffic can be pretty miserable and lots of holiday makers in the summer.

relocator · 16/02/2010 22:29

Hi all

went to WSM thhis weekend and was very impressed. Our last seaside visit was to Morecambe & Margate in quick succession and there was more life in WSM on a cold day in Feb than in Morecambe on August bank hol w/e.

Compared to where we live now it all felt pretty safe and quiet.

Guess we didn't see the holiday makers and traffic but thought the sea front was great, especially all the improvements and work on the pier.

Wondered about houses though - there seem to be a lot of smaller 2-3 bed houses aimed at retired folk or huge mansions but not so many of the family houses with largish gardens that have been dreaming of. We also went to Clevedon, Nailsea & Backwell & Yatton. Clevedon looks very genteel.

QOW - interesting what you say about schools as the Ofsted reports for the 2 I looked at were good although results were pretty average so not sure what that means.

OP posts:
retiredgoth2 · 16/02/2010 22:33


(apologies to Weston-Super-Mud residents)

It's a dump.

..and many of the schools, secondary in particular, are poor.

Lots of Somerset villages around and about it which are not much more expensive, but much nicer...

...or Burnham is just down the coast, a small seaside town which is similar in cost but much better than WSM...

Elibean · 17/02/2010 08:51

Relocator, FWIW, I spent a year in Weston (a long, long, decades-time ago!), half of it in rehab/connected to rehab, and I'd say the rehab residents are probably better behaved than local youf...they wouldn't be there, for the most part, if they didn't want to be clean/sober and besides, they are well supervised

Honestly, I loved it when I lived there (I spent a few months living on the end of the old pier, believe it or not, before I moved) but I would look carefully at the school situation out of all the pros/cons if I were considering it now.

There are lots of lovely places near by, not sure about schools, but I'd look around?

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit · 17/02/2010 09:08

I grew up in North Somerset and now in Bristol. Sorry but WSM is an awful, soulless place. In fact, a well-known local architect claimed they were creating a ghetto when building all those horrid new estates.
Also a huge problem with empty hotels being used as dumps for drug addicts and re-housing refugees. Lots of petty crime and local aggro regarding the poor refugess (as if they haven't hd enough to deal with!). Don't know about the schools, tho.

Most people live out of WSM either in one of the large-ish villages around or back in Bristol and commute.

Elibean · 17/02/2010 09:14

'dumps for drug addicts'?!?

Either the rehabs have changed hugely, or you haven't actually been near one. They were not dumps at all, but family-type homes with youngsters trying hard to change their lives (and mostly succeeding). Though I repeat, I may be out of date.

That said, I've been back (stay there a couple of times per year to visit uncle in Weare) and something seems to have gone out of the looks tired and run down. Or maybe thats me

BristolIrishGirl · 17/02/2010 09:46

We have lived in two villages in North Somerset. There are lots of really nice villages around WSM if you don't want to live in the town. And there are lots of good schools - both primary and secondary in villages, such as Backwell, Nailsea, Portishead, etc. It's a really nice part of the country and we love living here.

relocator · 17/02/2010 11:21

Thanks for all your comments. I'm getting the picture but not quite sure why people are quite so negative about it - maybe you could expand a bit. I knwo you can't always tell just by looking. OAnof - which horrid estates are you referring too - are there any particular ones to avoid or was it just an aesthetic comment?

I live in inner city London so most places look nice to me and am not really phased by areas of deprivation/ drug rehab/ refugees. We used to live opposite a half way house for years and only realised it was one when it closed down!

Loved the seaside aspects of WSM but I hear what you all say about other things.

What's Clevedon like as am quite keen on idea of seaside. I find living where you can see or easily walk to the sea very relaxing.

Also, vis a vis transport does anyone have any experience of car/ lift sharing schemes in the area? We are keen to be eco friendly.

OP posts:
relocator · 17/02/2010 11:29

Sorry, to expand on comments about areas of deprivation etc - am not planning to live in one but they are a feature of most larger towns so can co-exist with them.

What concerns me more is things like street crime and personal safety, muggings etc. WSM felt quite safe to me - is that right?

OP posts:
QueenofWhatever · 17/02/2010 15:08

I used to live in London too and the way I would try and explain it is that the deprivation is much more ingrained and somehow more depressing. It's white, non-working often with racist, violent attitudes. It's the low level stuff that gets to you and there's something really grim about seeing the generations unfolding in front of you. As to personal safety, you certainly wouldn't get me walking in Weston at night and I am not a fearful person, would walk through much of Bristol.

North Somerset has the biggest gap in life expectancy in the country. WSM is pretty dire and then you get the safe, middle class areas like Nailsea. Personally I wouldn't live in in Nailsea as it is soooo dull. Clevedon is dull with a yummy mummy element, I worked there for a year and the town centre is deserted during the day. It's full of charity shops (good ones actually, most of my wardrobe comes from them).

Car and lift sharing? Hopeless, I tried for years. People are wedded to their cars here so bus services are scant. I would strongly recommend renting, not buying. Moving from London even to Bristol is a big enough change, give yourself a chance to find out what you really want. Bet it won't end up being Weston .

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit · 17/02/2010 17:27

EliBean - yes dumps for drug addicts. I have done large amounts of work in the vol sector most of my working life. The drug addicts I am referring to certainly don't have the safe, caring situation in which to live that you suggest. They are mostly shoved into empty B and B's in the area, in fact it is a huge problem in WsM. I am relieved to hear that so many addicts you come across are changing their lives, the rehab rates in North Som aren't quite so rosy.

OP- Clevedon is lovely and as Queen suggests full of families. There has been quite a move out of Bristol due to the ridiculous house prices and Clevedon is one of the more popular areas. You're right that difficult areas often mean that there is an interesting multi-cultural atmosphere and is often where the good stuff happens but Queen is right when she paints a depressingly racist, aggravated picture of WsM, you just need to look at the local rag to see that.

Regarding the estates - I was quoting a general comment in the manner that the estates have been planned (or not).

WynkenBlynkenandNod · 17/02/2010 18:50

I have lived in Weston fleetinly but didn't last long, I have to say I hate the place and legged it as didn't feel safe with a small DD at the time. To be fair it was 10 years ago but we did have another go at living there a couple of years ago with DD enrolled in a village school down in Somerset, lasted a week.

My friend works on Drug and alcohol services in Weston and I understood that there was the issue of them being shoved in B&B's. We all went to the beach once and the poor guy was tripping over his clients all over the beach.

I had heard a fair few schools in Weston were pretty dire. All my friends live in the surrounding villages, either down into Somerset or the other way towards Bristol.

The Bournville is an estate to be avoided along with Oldmixon. Renting is definitely a good plan.

Elibean · 18/02/2010 09:08

How sad. I'm sorry to hear that, times have clearly changed (I am talking 20 years ago!).

When I lived there, they were 12-step treatment centres (Broadway Lodge and Weston Counselling Services) with inpatient half-way houses run by counsellors. Weston Counselling did use B&Bs, but as the patients were in counselling most of the day they (we) were hardly ever there.

Anyway, I digress. Good luck choosing, OP

FreakoidOrganisoid · 22/02/2010 14:14

'bus services are scant' ? One every 10 minutes from the end of my road. Locking Castle is pretty poorly served though,

I'd agree that the town centre is run down and shopping is pretty dire but it's close enough to Bristol for that not to matter too much (and that's probably why it's run down as well).

Sea front is nice but a bit too crowded in summer. Sand bay is lovely for quieter beach and walks.

I'll admit I worried about the 'rough' aspect when moving here but it really doesn't affect my life at all-I live in North Worle, walking distance to 3 good primary schools and a secondary school (which seems ok but my dc aren't that age yet), walking distance to Sainsbury's, walking distance to a couple of parks (not great ones though) and to countryside. I feel safe walking around this area at night but admit I've never been into town centre at night.

SoozieB · 27/01/2016 20:18

I gave an exchange to Selwood close in weston super mare. No young kids. 3 grown up son's one who will be living with ma and another living in Chippenham with partner. Am worried about being in built up area with to much crime! And to many built up estates. I have a little dog who is deaf. I always wanted to get old n move to live near the seaside! Am I doing the right or wrong thing moving there as I'm well middle aged n want a wee bit of peace if possible. Thank you for reading. Please be brutal, I realy font want to end up some 2 here that I'll regret, I have 3 bed and downsizing so have a lot of scope in other places I suppose. Could have a 2 bed bungalow in Bath! Seems nicer is just the sea that pulled me weston way. 😊

SoozieB · 27/01/2016 20:25

Has my last n first post materialised please! I'm lost!😕

Sunnyshores · 28/01/2016 14:02

Coming from London arent you going to find any move quite a change?

Bristol will make up for alot of things you may miss, but unless youre living in it, with young DCs and without driving I dont expect you'll get there too often. The train station isnt in central Bristol.

As this isnt RL I wont beat about the bush . . .WSM town centre is a dump and I wouldnt go there day or night. There are always some drunks or druggy types hanging around the high street, sitting in the parks. WSM has cheap housing for a reason, its not remotely desirable.

You mention Margate, I think its comparable - lovely beach, lovely period properties, but no shops, no life and the sort of social and economic deprevation that makes me feel very uncomfortable and depressed.

I think without driving it will be difficult around here, unless you are happy with suburbia, you'd need to be central to a larger town. Id look at what areas you could afford in Bristol, if not Wells is lovely, Taunton or at a push Bridgewater.

Simon1973 · 23/04/2016 13:46

I'm utterly staggered at the last comment about Bridgewater, it's utterly awful, people hanging round on most corners, eyeing you up for an easy opportunity, cars racing around wil no insurance or tax seems quite common, local travellers hanging about again looking for easy targets, people looking into the windows of houses walking down the road. Dirty, unkept etc etc.

Are you saying Weston is a worse choice than Bridgewater , I'm staggered but I'm also open minded and would be happy to hear why ?

Also on the same subject, what is Worle like to live in, being away from the seafront .

Appreciate your responses .



TennesseeMountainPointOfView · 23/04/2016 15:52

Worle is almost entirely residential, but the boundary between it and Weston has largely disappeared, because it has sprawled so much in the last 25 years.

If you are looking at North Worle, you are close to the motorway junction, but traffic can be truly horrible early in the morning, because the junction still can't cope a lot of the time. The schools are mostly decent, and there's a fair few to choose from dotted around the village. You've also got a decent choice of supermarkets, plus you're close to the station if you want to go to Bristol for some decent shopping, because Weston really doesn't do that!

It's much better now that the main road goes from the motorway junction straight through to town, because large parts of North Worle used to grind to a halt in summer because of traffic.

You're also close enough to nip in to the beach if it ends up being a nice day, without having to make a big trip, and you're also close to Sand Bay, which is usually a lot quieter, or Clevedon for a bit of a change.

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