Local Talk

Considering moving to York - need advice

(47 Posts)
joshandjamie Fri 06-Jan-12 11:26:21

I know there are other threads about moving to York but I'm hoping for some more advice. We are considering moving to York. There are four main reasons for this:
1) My husband is from Yorkshire and he feels he would like to return home (not that he's from York itself!) He went to Pocklington school. And his elderly mum lives in Yorkshire so we'd be closer to her. I'm South African so anywhere is far from my home!

2) I am keen to have more of a town/city lifestyle. We've been living in rural countryside for a while and although it is beautiful with great walks, it means a car journey anytime we want anything. Something about being able to walk to a coffee shop has huge appeal.

3) Private schooling - our local state schools are good (in fact this makes it harder because if they were bad it would be an easy decision). They're not great but they're good. We're thinking of St Peters or Bootham.

4) And this is the main one: friendly people. My husband assures me that people in Yorkshire and York are friendly. The area where we live, the people are really not friendly. I have spent 5 years trying to make friends and although I now have a circle of friends, it still feels like all the effort comes largely from me and there's a general negativity about the place (We have constant battles with our elderly neighbours over our hedge and there is nothing wrong with our hedge and twice I've had eggs thrown at our car parked on the drive - not sure why)

So - what is it like living in York itself? Fun or a complete nightmare with traffic and millions of tourists/students who drive you nuts?

Any thoughts on St Peters (and the junior schools that feed it) and Bootham?

Are people friendly? Is it easy to make friends? I am past the baby/toddler group stage so I wonder how I'd meet people - school gate (not sure how viable this is with private school), sports clubs (I love sailing and notice that there's a small sailing club at Bishopthorpe), ??

Jobs are not an issue. My husband works from home and would commute to London once a week. I run my own business - in fact any thoughts on what the local small business community is like?

We did consider living in one of the villages outside of York and sending the kids to Pock, but the local state secondary school where we currently lives ranks 100 places higher up the league tables than Pock and I fear that we will swap one village lifestyle with another. But if anyone knows of genuinely lovely friendly villages and has any thoughts on Pock school, please share.

I appreciate any advice. We're heading up next weekend to go check it out. (sorry for mega long post)

bigpigeon Fri 06-Jan-12 15:26:46

Been here for three years now. Absolutely loved it from the start. Only know the school by reputation - excellent. Commuting around York at rush hour can be a bit tricky (coming from London that says quite a bit) so try to get a home on the side of York you will do most travelling on. Tourists and students never bothered me. Everyone really friendly and helpful and York is very safe city. Families are very welcome practically everywhere. London trains only take a couple of hours. There is always something going on in York and it is easy to find things to do. I would suggest you rent somewhere first if this is possible and then investigate chosen areas like we did. My husband is from Zim and is really happy here (except for UK winters!!). Incidentally, York is in a basin and we have quite dry summers and it is often milder and sunnier than the rest of the north. If you chose Bishopthorpe for the boating then there is an excellent priamry school in copmanthorpe and you would get to choose from Tadcaster Grammar or Fulford High schools.

joshandjamie Fri 06-Jan-12 17:53:27

Thanks Bigpigeon. Which area did you end up in? Are there any suburbs in York itself that you'd recommend?

I think you maybe need to look a bit closer at the prospectus for both St Peters and Bootham - they are very different.
Yes at certain points of the year there are a fair few tourists but it's not too bad.
One thing to think about is unless you have a HUGE budget you may struggle to find a house you love near the centre that also has a good sized garden. Lots of lovely houses - very few with gardens.

A few examples:

this is big and lovely but the garden isn't massive and it's on a very busy road.
this is pretty damn perfect actually - great location for both schools and town, 10 minutes walk max - more like 5 - to the station and a good garden - hence the price.

nice house but tiny garden although you have got the square garden

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-32066813.html?premiumA=true brand new]] been on the market for ages - they must be getting desperate

this is very typical of the popular south bank area no garden, no parking

QED Fri 06-Jan-12 18:09:31

I live near York and like it here smile The middle of it is small enough to walk through and tbh doing anything with a car is a pain grin. There are some lovely houses near to Bootham and St Peters schools although obviously depends on your budget (sadly outside mine).

York is small enough that suburbs aren't really suburbs but areas if that makes any sense. Most are fine although Acomb and Tang Hall are less lovely. There are nice villages around the edge but I think you'd like being in York itself. Where roughly are you living now?

QED Fri 06-Jan-12 18:12:51

I know a person in the 6th form at Bootham - very "nice" girl. She babysits the DC sometimes. That is about the limit of my knowledge of the schools although I know bootham is a Quaker school which would attract me.

I feel very confident in the quality of state education the DC are getting as well though smile

Some more grin

this is a nice street also very handy for schools and station but no garden (spot the theme)

this is a bit further out but very handy for schools and the riverside walks. Looks like it does have a garden

joshandjamie Fri 06-Jan-12 18:19:21

Thanks All. NorthernLurker - I spent all day looking at Bootham's prospectus and love the look of it. Haven't got St Peter's yet. I think the two will be chalk and cheese, one far more traditional than the other. I know that we won't be able to get a big (if any) garden in the centre of York but living in the middle of it has so much appeal.

QED - we currently live in a tiny village in West Berks. I have to drive everywhere. And while we have beautiful walks on our doorstep, there is just something not quite right with the place. And I long for friendlier people. Are there any villages outside of York that you would particularly rave about in terms of people being friendly/community spirit/some local conveniences and still reachable to either Pock or a good state school?

My boys are currently 6 and almost 8 (years 1 and 3 respectively)

QED Fri 06-Jan-12 18:33:46

I live in a village a few miles to the east of York - I tend to cycle into York which is good for the thighs smile Very happy with the DCs primary school (v similar ages to yours in year 3 and year 1) and we are currently in the catchment for Fulford school which seems to be very good. Not sure it will stay in fulford's catchment as other secondary schools are nearer but the other two nearby secondary schools Huntington and Archbishop Holgates also seem fine.

My dentist is in Pocklington and I know someone who teaches at pocklington school - is about 15 minutes or so drive from here. I am fine with where we live but think it would be lovely to be able to walk into York.

lookingforaschool Sat 07-Jan-12 19:34:49

We're moving to York for similar reasons to you; I wish I'd seen your thread before starting my own as it asks very similar questions!

joshandjamie Sun 08-Jan-12 09:28:46

lookingforaschool - do let me know if you end up moving and which schools you opt for. Lots of useful advice on your thread so I've been reading with interest. We are going up next weekend to visit some schools and check out the area.

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 11:20:34

We live in a village just to the south of York - have been here 11 years and love it. Outstanding schools in the village and they are very friendly child centred - also currently in catchment for Fulford and Tad Grammar (comprehensive despite the name). There are local shops ( Coop , post office , hairdressers, chemist, butcher, baker etc) and 3 pubs. There is lots going on club wise for the children and for grown ups and we have always found people to be really friendly. Like you we didn't know York very well when we moved and looked all over the city but really feel that we fell on our feet so to speak.

joshandjamie Sun 08-Jan-12 13:03:05

pearlgirl - do you ever regret not living in York itself? For me I want to be able to walk out the door to the shops (having lived in the sticks for so long) but i also want community and wonder if there is less of a community feel when you're right in the middle of the city. Your village sounds lovely

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 14:40:15

We had lived in a very similar position (big village just outside the ring road) elsewhere and previous to that on the edge of the innercity bit of a large city - we decided that we wanted to move to a village because of the defined community but wanted easy access to town which takes 15 /20 mins on a bike, work for dh (again 20 mins by bike). I am sure that we would have made friends wherever we had ended up but are really glad we are here.

QED Sun 08-Jan-12 14:48:25

pearlgirl is yours village beginning with a C? Remember looking there and liking it if it is smile

My village has good school and Costcutter, newsagent, hairdressers, chemist, doctors, dentist and some pubs. And a fabric shop and a butcher and newsagent (there is more than I thought smile). And in catchment for Fulford but I still don't understand why given where village and other secondary schools are. Probably some historical thing.

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 15:02:26

No it begins with a B and is next to one that starts with a C.

QED Sun 08-Jan-12 15:45:03

I know which one you mean. Thinking about it cycling from C would probably take a bit longer smile B is very nice - I have village envy grin. Should have realised when you said schools as there are separate Infant and Junior schools there aren't there?

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 15:53:45

QED - you're exactly right about the schools.. We did look all over York but am really glad to be here.

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 15:54:56

QED - what type of fabric shop does your village have?

QED Sun 08-Jan-12 16:02:56

Interior design type shop but I think it has fabric (have never actually been in it but looked in at the window smile). It's here

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 16:06:08

Looks very nice but out of my current budget. We also considered your village but there was very little staying on the market long enough when we moved.

notveryinventive Sun 08-Jan-12 16:17:52

Some parts of Acomb are quite nice. Plus Acomb is like its own little town as is Haxby. They both have quite a few shops in them.

QED mentioned Tang Hall as an area to avoid, I think that yes there is a bit to Tang Hall to avoid, but most of it is really nice, there is just a couple of streets that let the whole area down in all honesty.

Heworth is nice and within walking distance to the city centre, Id personally also walk from Huntington (but most would get the bus). Or theres somewhere up Tadcaster Road, they are nice houses too, near the racecourse.

Dont know about either schools TBH though someone said something about living in Copmanthorpe gets you into Fulford, unless somethings changed since I went to Fulford I dont believe this to be right as not one person I knew of came from Copmanthorpe. AFAIK children from Copmanthorpe go to Tadcaster Grammar.

I dont notice the tourists unless Im in the coppergate centre in Summer and they are all queueing up to get into The Jorvick Viking Museum. I personally havent found it particularly easy to make friends in York as people tend to talk to who they know and not many other people, but then again I am shy so that may just be me.

<goes off to worry as Im leaving York to live in a village in the middle of nowhere and I need to make friends.>

pearlgirl Sun 08-Jan-12 16:21:45

Notvery is correct -Copmanthorpe is in Tad Grammar's catchment .

joshandjamie Sun 08-Jan-12 19:26:05

QED and Pearlgirl - I think I know which villages you're talking about. I think I'll go take a look at it when we're up next week.

notveryinventive Sun 08-Jan-12 19:51:34

I grew up in the village QED lives I believe. I was there today visiting my parents.

QED Sun 08-Jan-12 20:04:05

I think you do - I live just round the corner from the school /

notveryinventive Sun 08-Jan-12 21:20:04

I lived round the corner from the park.

backfromseoul Sun 08-Jan-12 22:09:54

Our situation is uncannily similar, right down to work patterns and the sailing (didn't know about Bishopthorpe, thank you!). I've been on tenterhooks all through the Christmas break wondering if there will be a place for our DS at Bootham Juniors. Might find out when the school re-opens tomorrow, but does anyone know if Bootham and St Peters junior schools typically have long waiting lists? We were also looking at Cambridge but have pretty much given up finding schooling there.

upatdawn Sun 08-Jan-12 22:15:21

I don't know about waiting lists but St Olave's is much bigger than BJS so I would think waiting lists would be shorter. However Olave's is boarding and I suppose the more 'obvious' choice (even though I would prefer BJS for my DC) so that might mean it has a similar waiting list.

Stopsittingonyoursister Sun 08-Jan-12 22:21:48

OP, I live in the village next to pearlgirl, and I love it. Excellent primary school, feeds into Tadcaster Grammar School, and very friendly and community minded. We have excellent events like an annual carnival, art competition, etc that you can choose to get involved in or not, holiday clubs for the kids run through the local churches, lots of stuff for the kids with sport, dance, youth club, brownies/cubs, etc and lots of stuff for the adults as well, with fitness classes, pub quiz, and so on. Only got one decent pub, but lots of shops, and very close to a major supermarket. Also very good bus links into town, which takes about 25 - 30 minutes, or you can go park and ride. I am never moving.

One problem you may find is that houses used to come on to the market all the time, but the number of houses available at the moment is fairly low.

Best of luck!

joshandjamie Mon 09-Jan-12 07:06:41

Stopsitting - I will definitely go take a look at those villages. But you're right, there's not much property on the market in them that I've seen. Backfromseoul, do let me know if you get a place at Bootham. If there is a long waiting list, that might force our hand toward St Peter's junior schools or going to one of the state ones. If you do move, please stay in touch via mumsnet. There seem to be a few of us thinking of moving there and as we'll all be new and norman no mates, it might be good to get together should it all go ahead!

bigpigeon Mon 09-Jan-12 14:50:04

I am in Cop and they don't get to go to Fulford - It is Tad Grammar or perhaps Manor if you have a church connection.

joshandjamie Sun 15-Jan-12 19:49:25

just wanted to update - we went to York this weekend. We think we've decided to move there and send our kids to St Peters (well Clifton Prep and St Olaves). I think they fit our boys best. Now we just have to sell our house, find one there and shift my business. Our aim is to be there over summer starting the new schools in Sept.

Re where to live, we want to live right in the heart of the city rather than in the surrounding villages. I know that the houses near the school go fast and don't come on the market that often (and are expensive). We have a budget of up to £700k but would prefer to spend less if possible. I also loved it along the river down towards Fulford but think it's going to be too far to walk to school and cycling could be an option but worry the younger one (6) would battle.

Lookingforaschool - have you made a decision yet?

lookingforaschool Mon 16-Jan-12 17:54:38

Not found a school yet, although Bootham is looking like a strong contender for our DD although we're thinking our DS would be more suited for St Peter's. However we might be a bit late as he would need common entrance to get in and we've done no preparation. I understand that at Bootham you can do their own entrance test as an alterternative to CE?

joshandjamie, I've been scouring rightmove every night and have lusted after this house; it is beautiful! I've had my eye on this one, too.

joshandjamie Tue 17-Jan-12 09:12:33

love both of those lookingforaschool - we could well be bidding on the same houses! according to estate agents, the houses around the schools go very fast

lookingforaschool Tue 17-Jan-12 15:16:50

The first one is way out of our price range!

joshandjamie Tue 17-Jan-12 15:57:02

We've resigned ourselves to living on beans on toast smile

lookingforaschool Tue 17-Jan-12 17:22:20

Looking at house prices in York I think we may have to as well!

loumumagain Mon 30-Jan-12 10:53:46

We moved to York from London in the summer and we absolutely love it. We moved for the schools mainly and my 3 boys all go to Bootham. It's an amazing school and they are all so happy there. Especially compared to the big state school they were in before. We live off the Shipton road near Clifton green so very easy compute to the schools. The 2 older ones are in the senior and the younger one is at the junior. My 3 year old girl is about to start a new Montessori nursery very near by. Happy to help if you need anything.

Heffylump Sun 18-Mar-12 18:16:16

Joshandjamie -

We also currently live in a small village in W Berks and we're also moving to Yorkshire in the next couple of months. My other half's South African and is also rather gobsmacked by the general unfriendliness/borderline hostility where we are right now.
Having spent a decent amount of my youth 'up North', I can absolutely reassure you that people really are a whole lot friendlier there. And the countryside up there is fantastic - good luck and enjoy the move :-)

joshandjamie Sun 18-Mar-12 18:44:36

Ooh Heffylump - how intriguing. I'd love to know which village you're in. We've just returned from a weekend in York and have put in an offer on a house (but I think that someone else will nab it before we can get it as our house hasn't sold yet).

Where about in Yorkshire are you moving to?

Oh - and Loumumagain - it was lovely to meet you this weekend! Afraid I couldn't convince my husband to get the house next to yours (even though I LOVED it). But I will keep you posted on where we end up.

kickassangel Sun 18-Mar-12 18:58:17

Looking. That second one is the street I lived on and I LOVED it. Been over 10 years since we left and I still miss York sometimes.

Traffic onPortland St is a nightmare, particuarlywhen Bootham school empties, but it is an amazing location and I just loved it so much. Parking also a nightmare even though it is residents only.

God I loved living in Portland St. It is known as one of 'the' streets to aspire to and hardly ever has houses for sale on it.

You're about 50 yards for the boho studenty street with cafes and you can hear the Minster bells from there.

(faints due to extreme home sickness)

Did I mention I love York?

Fab city.

Heffylump Sun 18-Mar-12 19:18:03

Congratulations - I hope it works out for you :-)
We're looking to move to the Harrogate area - haven't settled on a spot yet but would definitely prefer a small town with access to city life rather than the other way around!
Currently out near Pangbourne - it's pretty but we've found it v claustrophobic and generally unfriendly. Not rude, just too hard to get to know people. How about you?
Best of luck with your move :-)

joshandjamie Tue 20-Mar-12 08:01:37

Heffylump - I sent you a dm about where I am. But the same here re generally unfriendly. Good luck with your house search

wolvesarejustoldendaydogs Tue 20-Mar-12 08:15:10

Harrogate is lovely, nicer than York to live in IMHO. All the amenities of town without the huge amount of tourists that York has - and quick access to the countryside without as much traffic as York has. Only half an hour from York and Leeds by train / car too. Really good schools, looks very pretty, easy to meet other mums. Only downside is that property is expensive (but probably no more so than York).

I would say Harrogate is more expensive actually - and the town is a tiny bit pleased with itself smile

wolvesarejustoldendaydogs Tue 20-Mar-12 08:31:44

ha, northern yes there is probably a fair bit of smugness about. It is a lovely town though. Been here 2 years and love it. York is also lovely, but I think I would find the sheer volume of tourists a pain (have lived in other tourist towns and found it a bit annoying). Not so bad if you live in the dead centre, but a pain when you've got to wade through them all to get anywhere.

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