Moving to Cheltenham, help on areas please(28 Posts)
We are thinking of relocating to Cheltenham, DH will have a better commute and we will be closer to both sets of parents.
I really don't know the areas so we are going to have a look next weekend but just wanted to get a head start on areas.
We currently live in an individual new build in a small village. We both love new houses but have never lived on a big development before. I like the Taylor Wimpey houses in Up Hatherley. Does anyone know what this development and the general area is like?
I know some larger developments can be very nice if there are in a good location.
Any other ideas on areas would be great.
hiya... is that the new brand new build houses in up hatherley on cold pool lane?
i would tread carefully - as you're inbetween up hatherley and the reddings... and therefore, not really near a primary school or senior school. it's a bit of a dark area there, being inbetween two areas. they have built some lovely houses, but they haven't built amenities! (drives me mad!) we lived only a few minutes away from this new build (just off up hatherley way, near morrisons, ) and thought 'hear we go again.. more houses and families - in an already over stretched area (re schools).' we have moved to another area now, leckhampton..
however, it is a nice area there..if you like new builds and being near the motorway for your oh's work and the nearest primary school is LAKESIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL.
if i were you.. (if you have kids.. or want kids) - move as near to a primary school as you can... as near as you can... !
also, you don't say where you're oh works.. what motorway does he need? up hatherley is great for the m5.
i don't want to go putting areas to avoid.. as i don't want to offend and i don't know your budget... so, come down and have a look around yourself and get a feel for the area..
if you have kids, then do be flexible on things like style of house etc.... new build/olders etc.... as really, the school is the all important thing.
we got my daughter a place at her school, and then found the house. we're 0.3 miles from the school now.
cheltenham is crammed full of great schools - but people are scrabbling for the places.. and it is only down to already having older siblings in the school already and how far (as the crow flies) from the school. this is also true for secondary schools.
parents are beginning to get mega stressed about this year's intake.... thankfully, we should be fine as i have a 7yr old in the school - (PHEW!)... but, many of my friends don't have older siblings.. and to be honest... they are pooping themselves, and understandably so.
please feel free to private message me on here if you want more info.... i'm happy to help.
As well as the 'big' new build developments, there are quite a lot of individual / small groups of new houses dotted around in amongst the older housing stock.
For example, we rented for a bit in Leckhampton in some houses recently built on the old ambulance station, and there is a row of new builds just finishing on what used to be an office / warehouse site just off the Bath Road ... or depending on the size / budget you are looking for there are recent (grand) builds on London Road and on the Shurdington Road.
Do you have children? If so, decide on a school first, and find out a) the furthest distance admitted from last year and b) their expected furthest distance for next year (expected to be even tighter). Aim to live at least as close as the second distance (and find out about any other criteria e.g. church attendance) and use that to drive where you live.
Secondary schools are even more exciting. There are new 'priority areas' for the two most popular secondaries, and again, you should aim to live as far inside these as possible as places are still allocated on distance - ie you can live in a priority area and it gives you no guarantee of a place, it just depends how many people live closer than you do whether you will get in.
Happy to help if you pm me. Probably know more about the schools than about specific areas, tbh.
Thank you both so much.
We too are thinking of relocating to Cheltenham this summer! We have found a great house in Charlton Kings, and not knowing the area were keen for some insider info!
We have a 3 year old dd with another on the way! Obviously the local schools are really important, although dd has another year of pre school. Are the kindergarten and infant school here any good? I have heard good reports, but would love to hear from other mums!
We would be on the same road, as the junior school and balcarras! Are these any good? Always having to be forward planning!
Also are there, any local pay parks or swimming pools nearby?
Thanks to your help!
Spamreid junior school and balcarras both excellent. Cheltenham has the lido near the town centre, lots of lovely parks too
Spam I have lived in Chelt all my life and Charlton Kings is the nicest part of the town (consequently tends to be the most expensive part too). The infant school on Lyefield Road East is fantastic. Junior school is good and Balcarras is excellent. My son went to all three. There is a big playing field next to Balcarras with a park - always lively on sunny days. Open air pool in the middle of the town and a big council run indoor pool and small kid's pool down in St Pauls (a car ride away).
The junior school/balcarras road is in a lovely area but does get super busy at school starting and ending times. Also used as a bit of a rat run for commuters. Again though these are just at set times. Throughout the rest of day time and at weekends the road should be relatively quiet.
Cheltenham is a lovely place to live!
We moved to Charlton Kings for the schools. It's fantastic from that perspective. There are also 3 excellent kindergartens, one each attached to the 2 local primaries, and a very good community playgroup next door to Charlton King's Infants, St Mary's. All have really good OFSTED reports and lovely staff. There are stacks of locals with small kids as the schools are such a draw. It is expensive, though. House prices reflect the desirability, so anything that can house a family is extortionate by Cheltenham standards. Depends on where you're moving from as to how eye-watering you'll find that. But on the other hand the expenses are higher in the city centre, or were for me! Fewer shops to pop into, and a lot of outdoorsy things to do. The hills are really nearby and make a good afternoon out with kids, when it's fine. If it ever is again!
CK is lovely generally. Almost no crime (people leave their kids' scooters tucked into the school's link fence!), very villagey feel. There's a coffee shop opposite the library, next to Co-Op, with flyers etc for local activities and a lot of the local mums pop in. The woman who runs it has small kids herself (makes good coffee, too) and if you visit at 9 am ish a lot of people are usually there with babies. Useful to pick brains or eavesdrop, perhaps.
It is a village, though. Everyone knows everyone else. If you're a city person, that can be a bit much.
We're relocating to Cheltenham from the U.S. in summer of 2013. It's a bit overwhelming since we don't know the area and will have at most a whirlwind trip in April to try to find housing. I'm already worried since I've been hearing dreadful things about trying to get children into schools. We will have an 8, 6, and 4 year old to place. Is it true that school places are allotted in December, and we will miss out if we do not have housing until May? I would really appreciate advice as to where to center our search. I would also love advice about some of my childrens favorite activities- they all do swim teams, sailing, and football. Any links to good clubs would be greatly appreciated. Finally, if you would like to share some of your favorite parts of Cheltenham or give me some links to learn more, I would be eternally grateful.
I 100% recommend Bishops Cleeve. You have a choice of modern and old houses, many of which are in a quieter location, ie not on a main road. They are within walking distance of the village which has a 10 minute bus service, a few mother and toddlers, playgroups, two primary schools and one at Woodmancote, a good comprehensive school (Bishops Cleeve Primary and Cleeve Comprehensive ofsted reports are excellent, the others may be as well), Tescos, Lidl, takeaways, pubs, pharmacy, library, two doctors surgeries and other shops etc etc. Most people are really friendly and I've met some really nice friends. If ever we have to move, we are both agreed we have to stay in Bishops Cleeve even if the house isn't quite right.
Katecs, forgot to say we are about a ten minute drive from Cheltenham's swimming pool. Bishops Cleeve has it's own football team for youngsters. Bishops Cleeve Primary and Cleeve Comprehensive are fairly large schools, but that means they can have more in the way of clubs.
You will have to travel a little way for sailing, but I know they do it at South Cerney, near Cirencester and possibly at Bredons Hardwicke near Tewkesbury.
@katecs - I'm a member of a couple of dinghy sailing clubs locally. There are none immediately in or around Cheltenham, unfortunately.
"Farmoor" is probably the biggest club. It's near Oxford, about 50 mins drive from Cheltenham. It's based on a resevoir and is the biggest inland area of water for sailing, within sensible commuting distance
of Cheltenham. As well as the sailing club itself, they have a sailing school there. They run various kids clubs, at least weekly - after school and at weekends, during the warmer month. http://www.oxfordsailingclub.com/sailing
The Cotswold Waterpark at South Cerney (near Cirencester) us an area of several small lakes. They were created from abandoned gravel pits. Probably prettier than Farmoor, but much smaller stretches of water and because of the surrounding trees the wind is more shifty - better for becoming a good sailor, but more frustrating for a beginner. There are several clubs and one lake is primarily a sailing school. The clubs will run their own sailing schools too, but perhaps not run the courses as often as the dedicated sailing school. List of all the schools and clubs here, (I'm a member of Whitefriars): http://www.waterpark.org/leisure/sailing.html
Tewksbury Sailing club is based on a river. I've never sailed there, so don't know much about the club. Tewksbury is probably 30mins drive from Cheltenham: http://www.tc-sc.co.uk/
Severn Sailing club is based on the same river as Teekesbury Sailing Club. It's also near Tewkesbury and about 30 mins drive away. Again, I've never sailed there, so don't know what it's like: http://www.severnsailing.org.uk/
I don't know if you have a similar club setup in the US, but here you tend to join a club which gives you the right to sail on the club's lake, use the clubhouse facilities and store your boat. Membership usually comes with responsibilities too in terms of helping run the club. Many of the smaller, cheaper clubs rely entirely on members to run the club. For instance, at my club I spend one Sunday a year manning the tea bar. There are a few commercial places where you pay to sail, but they're rare and not cost effective for regular sailing.
I've lived in Cheltenham for 13 years, I moved here from the North East. Coming from one of the cheaper areas of country for housing to one of the more expensive was quite a shock! The nice thing is that pretty much anywhere is fine to live in Cheltenham - even the areas that the locals define as "rough". They probably are rough for Cheltenham, but all things are relative and coming from an industrial northern city, I consider Cheltenham's "rough areas" to be "quite nice"! ;-)
This is my personal view on the areas of Cheltenham, hope it's not offensive to anyone!
Whaddon & Lynworth, Hester's Way and parts of St Paul's are the main areas of social housing in Cheltenham. These are the areas that native Cheltonians tend to look down on (although those who live there are usually fiercely proud of their neighbourhood). You probably wouldn't have a problem living in any of those areas (I bought my first house in Whaddon and lived there happily for 8 years), but they are more working class areas and the local schools tend to reflect that - although both Hesters Way and Whaddon are in the catchment for primary schools with very good Ofsted ratings (not sure about St Paul's schools - don't know it well). That said, houses are very reasonably priced for Cheltenham, not very pretty, but usually well built and designed - good for first time buyers especially.
Leckhampton is very middle class. It's near the posh end of the town centre - which is walking distance from most areas of Leckhampton. It centres around Bath Road, an area of desirable independent shops. It's mostly period properties with a few modern houses from the 1970s-1980s. I've lived in Leckhampton as a renter in three different houses and always enjoyed living here. We're currently trying to buy here ourselves. There are several excellent primaries in the area. House prices reflect the aspirational nature of the area and the schools. The house we're looking at buying is only slightly bigger than my ex-local authority house in Whaddon, not as well built or laid out and yet costs more than double my house in Whaddon. We are basically paying for the area and the schools - house itself is a bit ho-hum, tho' fairly pretty.
We seriously considered Charlton Kings too and nearly offered on a house there. I thought it was fractionally cheaper than Leckhampton. It's expensive because the primary AND secondary school is so good. It's a bit further out than Leckhampton from the town centre - probably a little far to walk into town, but it does have it's own centre and village-y feel, which I liked. Seems to be a mix of period and more modern housing. The best of both town and village living?
St Paul's is on northern edge of town centre. It's a mixed area of attractive period Victorian terraced houses (many student housing), some grander Regency villas and also social housing.
Fairview is an area of period "artisan" (mostly Victorian terraces) on the north-east of the town centre. Attractive, fairly desirable area as houses quite pretty and town centre close at hand, but not obtrusively so. I lived there for a summer and it felt safe and convenient for town. Some of the housing is student housing. Quite a "young, middle class" kind of feel to the area.
Hatherley, Swindon Village, the Reddings, Benhall, Springbank, Wyman's Brook and Oakley are all estates on the edge of town. Mostly more modern houses from 1960's to present day. You get a lot of house (relatively) for your money on these estates. Most people are home owners in these areas, tho' they're not as aspirational as say Charlton Kings or Leckhampton. I lived in Wyman's Brook for a while - a nice, residential, safe feeling area, although perhaps less of a sense of an obvious "Cheltenham" identity than the more period areas of town. Also I found the walk into town not as convenient as I'd have liked.
Warden Hill is sandwiched between Bath Rd area of Leckhampton and Hatherley. Housing is mostly 1960s-1970s-ish era. Not as aspirational as Leckhampton, but a lot more affordable and a good compromise if you like the Bath Rd area but can't quite afford it or want more living space at home.
Pittville runs from town centre upto racecourse, in the area around the attractive Pittville Park. There are some grand period properties in the area, but also some modern housing. I'd say it was aspirational.
Battledown is based around Battledown Hill. There are some very large posh houses on the hill, enjoying great views of Cheltenham. Has a gated community off the hill for really expensive houses! Also, some more affordable housing, particularly at the bottom of the hill where there is a new housing estate near Sainsburys supermarket.
St Marks is also fairly near the edge of town, it's a conservation area of attractive red brick houses. I believe they are ex local authority - but you wouldn't immediately know that, as they are very nice looking houses. Well priced for Cheltenham, good quality spacious houses. Quite a distinct looking area of town. Sometime called "The Poets Area" as many roads named after poets.
Lansdown and Montpellier have a lot of large, Regency houses. Montpellier is in town centre. Lansdown runs from town centre and up around Lansdown Road. Mostly a posh area and looks typically "Cheltenham". A lot of the larger houses have been converted to flats.
Prestbury is on north-east edge of Cheltenham. It used to be a village and still has village feel. Some very nice pubs. Lovely views of Cleeve Hill and easy to reach country walks. Mix of pretty period houses and some more modern housing. Fairly aspirational, parts of it very aspirational.
I'm pregnant with my first, so I'm not too hot on where the good schools are yet. I've been using the Ofsted website to try and work it out! http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/
Sainsburys on Tewkesbury Rd.
Tesco on Tewksbury Rd, town centre end.
Waitrose near Tesco.
Asda in Hatherley.
Morrisons in Hatherley.
Public swimming pools:
Lido (open in summer) centrally located near Chelt General Hospital and Sandford Park.
Leisure@Cheltenham on Tommy Taylor's Lane, north-east Cheltenham.
This map shows the areas of Cheltenham along with more politically correct descriptions than i've probably just given...! http://www.cheltenham4u.co.uk/areas.asp
What a great help Honeymoon! Thanks so much.
Honeymoon, I do believe you are heaven sent..you should write for the 'Rough Guide'. I can't thank you enough for your frank and honest account you've made my life so easy as we're in the process of relocating to Cheltenham.
I'm in Hatherley. My kids go to Warden Hill Primary and are very happy there. Greatfield Park School is also nearby and has a new HT who is excellent. Hatherley is an easy area to live in- lots if modern housing with play areas etc for DCs and a good secondary (Bournside)
Yep, Honeymoon is pretty much bang on there.
Leckhampton has the village end as well as the Bath Rd - latter being right at the top of the map Honeymoon links to. Primary school is Leckhampton CofE, Bath Rd end has Naunton Park, and St James (also CofE) on the Park. All good, all popular, neither church school has any church attendance etc requirement. I love the Bath Rd, would like to live up there, but you get a bit more house for your money down here and we have off-street parking. Bit of an issue with secondary schools - both closest (Balcarras and Bourneside) are good but it can be a challenge to get in if you're in the middle of the two (as we are, with a child in Yr 4 already, sob).
Footie - Leckhampton Rovers use the school field out of ours, and there are weekend matches on Burrows Field. Swimming - Brockworth pool is more accessible from this end of town than either Cheltenham one, and is reasonable. National Star College, up the hill at Ullenwood is a special needs college which also runs a swim club on Wednesday evenings and at weekends (also has lovely bistro).
Do you mean football as an American means it (ie Amrican football with lineouts and people in helmets) or soccer? There are LOTS of good children's soccer clubs in Cheltenham - Leckhampton Rovers (older teams practice at Naunton Park or The Park, younger ones at Leckhampton Primary), Charlton Rovers over towards Charlton Kings, Southside etc. I don't know of any American Football teams at all... though am happy to be corrected!
(We are vagely Bath Roadish area though a bit further out towards Charlton Kings and agree with pretty much everything other people have posted about the area. Secondary schools have turned out OK in the end but I have some grey hairs to show that I've been through it - luckily DS is in a low birth year..)
I'm in Hatherley too -
And school wise, my girls went to Lakeside - a fabulous school, one of the infant/primary combined schools with 2 class intake per year. My girls moved on to Chosen Hill secondary in Churchdown - choice was there or Bourneside for us as we are in catchment for both. Both are really nice schools.
If you move to the north side of Cheltenham your secondary school choices become more "interesting" - though there is a good grammar school, and buses to the Gloucester grammars...
Thanks so much ladies.
I'm aware I'm resurrecting a rather old post but as the OP I'm still talking about this topic!
Our current house is now on the market, we are still in a quandary as to the area to live within Cheltenham.
We have a little 16 month old and are driven by schools, I want him to be in a good school that also has a kind, caring and creative atmosphere (can you have a creative atmosphere...? I guess you can!). We settled on Leckhamstead and Charlton Kings but recently I've become a little concerned regarding the catchment of the best schools. I guess I feel concerned that we will buy in an area thinking we are within the catchment for said school only to find out that it's changed the year ds starts.
Maybe my concerns mean we should buy almost next to the school!
Can I ask, our budget is 325k max but wound like to spend 280-300k, what are your feelings on this budget in the areas I've mentioned?
Rightmove is great but I'm starting to sense that properties in these areas go very quickly.
We have recently relocated (guess where to, was a bit stuck for a local NN). You can take a look at whatdotheyknow.com for people who have made freedom of information requests on effective catchment areas. You would need to be right on top of the Leckhampton schools some years to get in - as in 0.4 of a mile and under.
We looked in Leckhampton but we found that, at that sort of budget, we were often looking at houses which had been two beds and had a converted loft. So pretty small three beds. We have two kids, and we really wanted a garden and at least three good sized bedrooms. A lot of the housing round there seems to be period, which obviously commands a premium. And houses right on top of Nauton Park or Leckhampton primary were very, very expensive. I think a lot of people move into somewhere small, get child no. 1 in and then move further out for something bigger and use the sibling rule.
I think you might find it quite hard in Leckhampton. Something like this looks good until you realise you'd never get into the schools. You should be ok with somewhere like this though. There just won't be much to choose from.
I dont' know much about Charlton Kings as it wasn't for us, but I think the Balcarras thing pushes up prices.
Do bear in mind that, for all the hype about Leckhampton and Charlton Kings schools, there are lots of good schools in all sorts of areas that might get you more for your money. I'd only focus on those areas if they are where you want to live for other reasons too- you'll pay a real premium for being there.
My daughter is starting as a junior doctor at the Cheltenham General Hospital soon, and would like to know where it would be a good place to rent a flat that is within cycling distance of the hospital. Is there an area where young professionals seem to congregate? We don't know Cheltenham at all so any advice would be appreciated. thank you.
Tough one, but I'd say there's some nice flats just outside the centre of town near Waitrose, it's a 5 min walk into the town centre from there and easily cyclable to the hospital and train station - there's lots of flats in that sort of area, of various ages/niceness/budget (some purpose blocks, other converted Georgian houses). Most people tend to congregate in town/bars in Montpellier area in the evening which is 5-10 mins from there. I don't really know what you'd call the area though sorry!
I am looking to move to cheltenham with two small boys, can anyone advise on Christchurch c of e school, and living off queens road by the traction, is it a nice area?
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