Questions about where to start looking at areas to move to in Bristol…

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Vicky 5 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #14947

    Amy
    Member

    I grew up in Wiltshire and my mum is still there. DH’s parents are in South Wales. We are in North London and are starting to consider the move back west.

    So where do I start?
    Firstly, DH is a solicitor so would probably be working in Central Bristol…
    What is public transport like?
    Are there nice central areas that retain a leafy (possibly country-ish) feel? Which are these?
    Are there good train lines in from surrounding villages? Are there any particularly good/bad lines?
    Do people drive in to Central Bristol to work?

    Secondly, we have two small children. Are there any particular areas of Bristol/surrounding villages that are well-known for good schools? Do good schools get very oversubscribed as in London, resulting in teeny catchment areas?

    Any information very gratefully received…just feel like I don’t know where to start!!

    #14971

    Helen
    Member

    Amy,
    I was excited to read your post as I think I can help you!!!
    Firstly I run a recruitment business, specialising in moving solicitors from London to Bristol. My clients are large Bristol firms specifically looking for London lawyers so please let me know if your husband would be keen to discuss options.
    In terms of your questions I will answer them one by one. I will also confess that having moved from Tooting to Bristol two and a half years ago I am delighted that we did it and think it was the best possible move we could have made. We live in Westbury Park which is about 1.5 miles from the centre but very green and has a village feel to it. Lots of ex Londoners there, teachers, lawyers, doctors etc.

    Public Transport: Be prepared. Compared to London it is not very good. The buses are ok, but not particularly frequent and you need to know your timetable. The further out you go the better they are but it’s something to consider especially if you are relying on it. Commuter trains do exist but again there aren’t enough and most people from outside Bristol do tend to drive (unless between Bristol-Bath and Bristol-Weston where the lines are better).

    Westbury Park/Henleaze/Stoke Bishop/Westbury on Trym/Redland are all very leafy and close to the Downs which is a massive expanse of green space. The Downs lead to the Suspension Bridge which in turn leads to Ashton Court which is a massive country estate and from there it’s countryside all the way to the West and the coast. I can only speak for WP, where we live, but it definitely has a village-y feel and is easily walkable or bike-able into town.

    Further out you have Abbots Leigh, Leigh Woods, Long Ashton, Failand to the west which are more like real villages but still only 20 minutes to central Bristol. To the North East there is Thornbury, Almondsbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterall, Wootton-under-Edge – these are real villages and probably less suitable if you need to rely on public transport.

    Re Schools. Again I can only talk about what I know, but BS6/BS9 has great primary schools – Westbury Park, Stoke Bishop, Elmlea, Henleaze, St Johns, St Ursulas are all really good and have catchments of between 300-1000 metres. Secondary schools are trickier, but Redland Green and Cotham are both really good.

    I really hope the above helps! Really happy to help in anyway I can – contact me through this site or if you check out Redland Search on line you’ll find my contact details. We run a free relocation advice service for the West Country.

    Helen

    #14972

    Helen
    Member

    Amy,
    I was excited to read your post as I think I can help you!!!
    Firstly I run a recruitment business, specialising in moving solicitors from London to Bristol. My clients are large Bristol firms specifically looking for London lawyers so please let me know if your husband would be keen to discuss options.
    In terms of your questions I will answer them one by one. I will also confess that having moved from Tooting to Bristol two and a half years ago I am delighted that we did it and think it was the best possible move we could have made. We live in Westbury Park which is about 1.5 miles from the centre but very green and has a village feel to it. Lots of ex Londoners there, teachers, lawyers, doctors etc.

    Public Transport: Be prepared. Compared to London it is not very good. The buses are ok, but not particularly frequent and you need to know your timetable. The further out you go the better they are but it’s something to consider especially if you are relying on it. Commuter trains do exist but again there aren’t enough and most people from outside Bristol do tend to drive (unless between Bristol-Bath and Bristol-Weston where the lines are better).

    Westbury Park/Henleaze/Stoke Bishop/Westbury on Trym/Redland are all very leafy and close to the Downs which is a massive expanse of green space. The Downs lead to the Suspension Bridge which in turn leads to Ashton Court which is a massive country estate and from there it’s countryside all the way to the West and the coast. I can only speak for WP, where we live, but it definitely has a village-y feel and is easily walkable or bike-able into town.

    Further out you have Abbots Leigh, Leigh Woods, Long Ashton, Failand to the west which are more like real villages but still only 20 minutes to central Bristol. To the North East there is Thornbury, Almondsbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterall, Wootton-under-Edge – these are real villages and probably less suitable if you need to rely on public transport.

    Re Schools. Again I can only talk about what I know, but BS6/BS9 has great primary schools – Westbury Park, Stoke Bishop, Elmlea, Henleaze, St Johns, St Ursulas are all really good and have catchments of between 300-1000 metres. Secondary schools are trickier, but Redland Green and Cotham are both really good.

    I really hope the above helps! Really happy to help in anyway I can – contact me through this site or if you check out Redland Search on line you’ll find my contact details. We run a free relocation advice service for the West Country.

    Helen

    #14977

    Belinda Aspinall
    Keymaster

    another helpful response

    Depends what you can afford. Personally I’d always stay reasonably central to enjoy all the amazing things Bristol has to offer – Clifton, Cotham, Redland, Bishopston, Horfield (my favourite), Easton, Greenbank, St Pauls. Other areas are lovely but further out and not so much going on! I’d always suggest renting somewhere before settling to see if you like the area first. I agree Clifton is lovely but parking a bit of an issue. But lots of lovely areas
    Best to rent temporarily for a few months to get a feel for different areas.

    #14986

    Vicky
    Member

    Hello,

    I can help too! We moved to Bristol from South London last year and have never looked back, we only wished we had moved earlier. It is an amazing city to live in with a very friendly atmosphere. We rented first in Redland just off the Whiteladies Road near the Downs which was great and very leafy, but not much to do. We have now bought (the housing market has gone crazy so be prepared for best and final bids on all good properties) and live in Bishopston near to the great St Andrews park. We know the area now really well and love it. Gloucester Road is great to mooch around and has so much going on for the Children. Henleaze is a little more suburban (but very nice) and not much going on, there is a Waitrose though! To be honest all areas are close to each other so it really depends what you want and what you can afford. Clifton is beautiful but full of students and parking is a nightmare. Primary schools are excellent in North Bristol(Bishop Road, Brunel Fields, Ashley Down, St Johns, Westbury Park as in most areas, catchments are small) secondary schools are limited hence the copious amounts of good independent schools. As above, its really Redland and Cotham School. My children are toddlers so can help in that area….look at the website ‘Bishopston Mum’ for toddler groups. There is a great gym on Gloucester Road which my daughter has just started ‘ Bristol School of Gymnastics’. There is a really great toddler group called Cake and Flake in Cotham Hill which is a refreshing change to the usual church playgroups. All mums I know have annual membership to the zoo which makes for a convenient way to spend most mornings. I don’t tend to wonder into town as everything is up in Bishopston/ St Andrew/ Redland. My husband works in town and walks (35 min walk). Driving is a nightmare (in central town) but nothing compared to London. Here if you need more information.

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