Local Talk

Moving to Bristol

(33 Posts)
Iloverobinhood Tue 18-Sep-12 17:32:19

I have just found out that my partner has a job Bristol. It's a great job so it looks like we will be relocating from London with our 2 small children (3and 8 months) I know Bristol a little bit and have family in bath but am at a loss where to start so wondered if any if you kind locals had any recommendations. In London we live in a multi cultural area, not posh or shiny with lots going on. I guess we are looking for somewhere similar, an area with good community, shops, bars, parks to walk to and of course a good school (not obsessive about this, doesn't have to be the best ever). Any of your thoughts experiences would be greatly revived. Job is on white ladies road I think. I think we will be moving in the next few months so well need to get our skates on.

Thank you x

Iloverobinhood Tue 18-Sep-12 17:47:28

Excuse typos but hopefully you all know what I mean smile

issyocean Tue 18-Sep-12 17:54:05

Gloucester Road area could be what you are looking for.Lot's of independent shops and bars, a lovely park and Ashley Down Primary School is rated outstanding by ofsted

MrDobalina Tue 18-Sep-12 20:02:31

Easton!

It is exactly what you are looking for. it has a bad reputation for crime/drugs; try Greenbank/Whitehall...upper Easton area...much more 'leafy' still in walking distance of local shopping...good Primary school (Whitehall Primary) think MayPark Primary is improving also; Summerhill and Air Balloon also good Primary Schools

Its multicultural, got lots of alternative stuff going on, liberal/ bit of an independant/anarchist vibe, street party capital of Europe apparently, great community centre, Bristol to Bath cycle path, St Georges Park, Eastville Park/Snuff Mills, Easton Community Centre, Thali Cafe, Cafe Matreya, home of Banksy

Ive lived all over Uk, all over the world; I LOVE living in Easton

MrDobalina Tue 18-Sep-12 20:12:21

Illuminate Festival at St George’s Park, Redfield, BS5 – 2pm till 8pm, Saturday 29th October

Halloween meets Diwali: the Hindu Festival of Lights meets Dia de los Muertos: the Mexican Day of the Dead – Illuminate celebrates an exciting mix of cultural festivals that mark the changing of the seasons, rebirth, renewal, life and death and take place at this time of year. Phoenix52 invites you to come along in fancy dress, take part in workshops, a carved pumpkin lantern competition, the lantern parade and marvel at the illuminated installations, projections and performances.

purplehouse Tue 18-Sep-12 20:21:41

I have to say that you DO need to be obsessive about schools in Bristol. Bristol has a very mixed bag of schools with a few being totally unacceptable, even at primary level. I know that doesn't sound like a very nice thing to say, but it is true.

Iloverobinhood Tue 18-Sep-12 20:45:38

Thats interesting to know about the primary schools. I was aware about secondary but didn't realise so will be a bit more careful. Thanks for the other suggestions. I love the thali cafe in Totterdown. Will look in to gloucester road too.

MrDobalina Tue 18-Sep-12 20:46:40

yes, agree purple

charlearose Thu 20-Sep-12 16:40:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Iloverobinhood Thu 20-Sep-12 18:29:04

Thankyou all so much. We're going to come down next weekend and spend some time looking around and trying to choose a few areas to focus on. Everyone I speak to is so passionate about their own area that it's hard to narrow down from a far I think. (Great that everyone loves bristol so much). I am sure I will be back to ask more questions.

Charlea - my brother lives in Totterdown so this is certainly an option, not sure about schools either though. Can I just ask where do you mean by North St Bristol (is this an area ?) Sorry not quite sure.

I've lived in Totterdown and you get more bang for your buck in Easton, keeping in mind the Old railway Line is a major artery into the city centre.

CremeEggThief Thu 20-Sep-12 18:41:04

Southville/Ashton Gate/Windmill Hill/Victoria Park/Totterdown. North Street is brilliant and kind of marks the boundary between Bedminster and Louisville. Schools- avoid Parson Street and St. Mary Redcliffe Primary, but the rest of the schools are okay.

Bear in mind a lot of primaries in this area and areas around the Gloucester Road are over-subscribed.

MrDobalina Thu 20-Sep-12 19:00:37

North Street is in Bedminster...I've never really 'got' Bedminster, but people love living there, so must have something going for it confused

you are right though, I don't know anyone who doesn't like living in Bristol smile

CremeEggThief Thu 20-Sep-12 19:10:14

Oops! Damn predictive text! North Street runs between Bedminster and Southville. Don't know how Southville became Louisville!

crazymum53 Fri 21-Sep-12 08:32:45

Totterdown would probably suit you. The local schools are Hillcrest primary which is very popular and oversubscribed so you have to live very close to the school to get a place. Victoria Park primary and Knowle Park Primary are both Godd schools. St Mary Redcliffe Primary has had problems recently (and was in Special measures) but it has been inspected again by OFSTED and is now officially a "Good" school. It does have a nursery class for 3/4 year olds (and is the only local school to offer this). There is also pre-school provision (and toddler groups) at Sydenham Road Under 5s in Totterdown and at Windmill Hill City Farm in Bedminster.

Iloverobinhood Fri 21-Sep-12 11:05:32

Am liking the sound of the south Bristol places and from rightmove etc they're a bit more affordable. Partner's job is on whiteladies road though so would the commute be terrible? How long would it take by bus?

Can't believe how over subscribed the schools are. I was hoping we'd escape the situation we have here in London but it sounds v similar. Aaaaargggh.

crazymum53 Fri 21-Sep-12 11:32:55

The 54 bus route goes down the Wells road (A37) from Knowle / Totterdown all the way through the city centre to Whiteladies road, so you would be close to a bus route. I would say approx 30 min travel time by bus, but Whiteladies Road is a long road so it is hard to be exact.
Am afraid that most good primary schools in Bristol are oversubscribed but the Council is adding extra bulge classes in many areas to try to overcome the problem. The problem is worse in North Bristol though.
HTH

CremeEggThief Fri 21-Sep-12 11:51:45

There is a good bus service from Bedminster, via West Street, and the 24/25 go through North Street. He could catch the bus into the centre and walk up Park Street to Whiteladies Road, or get another bus up from the centre, but Whiteladies Road is also walkable/cyclable, if very hilly, from Southville and Bedminster. If he's a fast walker, it shouldn't take much more than 45 minutes from Bedminster and 30 from Southville, as once you've crossed the river, you're in the city centre.

xkcdfangirl Fri 21-Sep-12 19:17:55

If you can afford the house prices, try to get within a small radius from Hillcrest primary school (need to be circa 300m away or less) or Southville Primary (need to be 200m or less - don't be fooled by the fact it wasn't oversubscribed this year, there is a bulge class and it will be back to oversubscribed next year) which are among the best in south bristol. You'll then be within walking distance of Temple Meads and your DH can catch the train up to Clifton Down, but you'll be near your brother and some fab parks. With a 3 year old you really do need to think about school first and then get the nicest house you can afford within a small catchment radius. The nicer/bigger house you can afford that you like more will be just a tiny bit too far away from a decent school and your DC will end up going somewhere awful (unless you can aford to go private of course!).

Of course you could go for Redland/Cotham and be nearer DH's work but I think the vibe of south bristol is more bohemian and friendly. Easton is also good but the transport links to whiteladies will be less good.

MrDobalina Fri 21-Sep-12 19:24:12

train goes from stapleton road in easton to clifton down actually...is the train which comes from templemeads, so you are actually 1 stop closer smile

its an easy enough cycle also if you like hills

LaundryFairy Fri 21-Sep-12 19:49:13

I also recommend the area around the Gloucester road (Bishopston) - famous for all of the brilliant independent shops and a really good community feel. Come and check it out on a weekend. Lots of very good primary schools in the area but I would suggest you do your homework about secondary schools as well. Many people choose to move house for secondary schools because of catchment areas. Public transport to Whiteladies road is definitely your best bet as parking almost non existent (unless of course DH is VIP at the BBC in which case I'm sure a reserved space awaits!)

LaundryFairy Fri 21-Sep-12 19:51:17

Bishopston also has the fabulous St. Andrews park - also with a vist when you come to check Bristol out.

Iloverobinhood Fri 21-Sep-12 20:20:49

Oh you are all so lovely. Thank you, this is brilliant. We are going to rent to start with as I don't think there is anyway we'd be able to sell our flat here and buy in time for school applications and also I think the job will start end of november.

We are coming exploring next weekend and are going to look at north and south. Have also ordered a large map of Bristol and can see myself plotting schools and potential houses and probably getting completely obsessed (even though I said I wasn't in the op) .

xkcdfangirl Fri 21-Sep-12 21:44:55

MrDob of course you are right, apologies (my friends in that area are the other side and it would be a fair old hike for them to get to Stapledon Road, but I should have checked my facts!)

Well let us know where you end up iloverob!

Iloverobinhood Sun 30-Sep-12 17:03:06

Hi all, a quick update. We had a lovely time in Bristol and all of your suggestions were really helpful so thankyou very much. We are a bit torn between a few areas - St Andrews/ Bishopston, Windmill Hill and then Totterdown. I really really liked the Gloucester Road and the high street there but have friends in Windmill Hill and thought the park was lovely. Next stop is to look at the schools and see what rental propertys come up I guess. Will keep you posted.

MrsWembley Wed 03-Oct-12 21:25:23

Just spotted this one and I have to agree that Gloucester Road/Bishopston sounds ideal for you, especially as your DP could probably walk/cycle to work.

And we've a great book group, if you're intersted... (winkat certain posters here)

Iloverobinhood Thu 04-Oct-12 09:01:32

Thanks MrsW. We are looking at some houses tomorrow to rent. There doesn't seem to be much about but hopefully we will find something. Book group sounds great. When/ where?

Spero Thu 04-Oct-12 09:45:28

School situation is AWFUL. My daughter bagged last year 1 place in local school when we arrived in Southville, other children after her were being busses miles out. I think there are about 3,000 extra places needed for primary school places in Bristol.

I am now governor of my school and we are going to two form entry and building extra classrooms, but work can't even start until after Sep 2013. I don't see how southville primary can ever expand as it's site is so small, Ashton Gate primary were looking to buy land but I think that fell through.

So I got a horrible shock when I moved from London.

My school is not considered 'naice' by middle class locals but my daughter very happy there.

MrsWembley Thu 04-Oct-12 22:51:14

Check the thread in local under 'Book Group...?'

I'm not looking forward to my DD starting primary next year.sad Apart from that Bristol's fab!

charlearose Fri 05-Oct-12 16:43:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Londonista1975 Thu 25-Oct-12 21:55:39

Bumping as I too am thinking about relocating to Bristol.

TorandB Tue 13-Nov-12 19:54:57

Hello ILoveRobinhood, did you find a nice property? I just read this thread with great interest as we are moving to Bristol v soon. Lots of helpful advice about schools on this thread! Tor

Iloverobinhood2 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:36:59

Hi, we did find a nice house - in fact we are moving at the end of the week so why I am on mumsnet rather than packing who knows ? This message thread was extremely helpful and we deliberated between windmill hill/ totterdown/ southville and St Andrews/ Bishopston. It was all down to fate in the end though as we really struggled with rental properties to find. We were having to visit from London and there just did not seem to be much available and houses seemed to be being taken as soon as they were put on the market. We had a small window to find somewhere and in the end were lucky enough to find a small place in St Andrews. We're very excited about it but would have been equally happy in the South where we already have some friends and family.

There seemed to be a bit more property for rent in the south (we were looking for 3/4 beds) and slightly cheaper but in the end circumstances prevailed. If you are thinking of renting, it may be worth trying to stay with someone for a bit as we struggled a bit not being able to jump and visit a place the minute it was placed on the market. When we were visiting we were also looking around with lots of other people. Hopefully things will be easier after christmas but thought I better warn you. They also wouldn't let my mum go and look and sign up on our behalf which was a bit annoying as I would have trusted her .

My sense is that there is more property to buy but I may be wrong.

Anyway thankyou all again for your help and I hope to meet some of you when we've got through the angst of moving.

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