Local Talk

Sopwell Lane questions

(7 Posts)
WookieStackhouse Sun 28-Oct-12 12:40:57

Hi there, I'm looking to move to St Albans from London and am quite keen on a place on Sopwell Lane. I have a couple of questions - v grateful to anyone with local knowledge who can help me out!

1. Is The Goat a noisy pub? Looks quite gentle...
2. Are there any recommended nurseries in reach? And good state junior schools with this as a catchment area?
3. Am looking at a place with an 'unofficial' 3rd bedroom. Heard this is v common in st Albans though it's making my spidey senses go haywire... Do unofficial extra bedrooms make it impossible to sell properties on?
4.is it a very busy road for traffic & thus mega noisy?

Big thanks to any St Albanites who are willing to pass on their wisdom.

Snorbs Sun 28-Oct-12 14:42:01

Sopwell Lane is a little bit of a rat-run during rush hour but it's pretty quiet the rest of the time. Parking is likely to be a pain.

I've only ever been in the pubs around there on a Sunday afternoon so I don't know what it's like at night-time. The gardens are nice places to be on a sunny Sunday grin It strikes me that the pubs round there are local's pubs rather than the big city-center pubs that attract a younger crowd so I doubt it would be particularly lairy. Nevertheless all pubs tend to be a bit noisy at kicking-out time.

I'm no expert on schools in that area but I think both St Peters and Abbey CofE primaries are very close and the last time I looked a few years ago they both came out well.

Secondary schools might be a bit trickier. I'd guess that the closest mixed is Marlborough and I wasn't impressed with it when I went round there with my DD a month ago. I don't think their results are particularly good either but your other choices for mixed secondaries are unlikely to be any better. You would probably be close enough to get into Verulam Boy's School (which is very good) and maybe St Albans Girls' School (aka StAGS).

The Hertsdirect site is a good place to start for information on schools. They've got a "Find my nearest school" link.

Highschoolmum Mon 29-Oct-12 13:00:40

Much the same as snorbs says, I hold my hand up to using it as a rat run too blush

Abbey View preschool is on Holywell Hill, it is Ofsted outstanding, a lot of parents like it, but some say it is very prescriptive and not a lot of room for creativity, as all artwork is template and pre cut. They follow independent school term dates. ( purpose built, or rather only they use the converted premises)

The other end on Old London Road is OLR preschool, very popular and a lot more diverse, grassed outside, offers holiday clubs and run by a very enthusiastic team. ( Scout hut

With Prae Wood having their intake numbers now reduced, not a lot of chance of getting in, St Peters is always over subscribed, and Abbey you need to be on the church roll from birth and attend every week.

You'd probably get Albans City Free school, and most new parents seem to be very happy with it.

No idea about the bedroom thing and I've lived here for a lifetime and moved 4 times within the city!

Snorbs Mon 29-Oct-12 13:37:30

Is the Free School actually open now? Every time I go past it still looks like a building site.

Highschoolmum Mon 29-Oct-12 15:47:51

It opened with 60 children over a period of three weeks, on time. It does still look like a building site, but the classrooms are all finished and extremely well resourced.The main snag is the council won't allow them to demolish the very dilapidated Pemberton building. so it is impacting on the playground area.

The Pemberton building has been in a poor state for the last 20 years or more, but apparently of historical interest.

Snorbs Mon 29-Oct-12 16:11:09

Oh right. Thanks. I hope it works out for them. We could do with a bit more choice in primary schools.

It would be a shame if they demolished the Pemberton building though just to create a bit more playground space. That's got to be part of the conservation area and it's not like it could have taken them by surprise. I thought it was in use up until the university moved out last year.

WookieStackhouse Wed 07-Nov-12 07:10:28

Hi all, sorry for the delayed reply... thank you so much for sharing your advice, much appreciated x

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