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Moving to Bristol - east vs north?(23 Posts)
We are moving to Bristol next summer and have visited several times in the last year to try and narrow down our search for a neighbourhood to move to. So far we like east Bristol (Hanham, Kingswood, St George) and are considering the north (Bradley Stoke, Filton). We are on a decent income but definitely won't be able to afford the likes of Clifton etc. My kids are 3ys and 7yrs. I have just found out that due to my youngest starting school next year, when I apply for primary schools in January, I will have to have decided on which ones in Bristol! A daunting task! Any advice on areas and schools please. We need to think ahead to my son starting secondary school one day too.
Your difficulty may be that applying from your current address you may have a problem getting a school in Bristol. The good ones are over subscribed and fill on distance.
We live in Filton and like it here, but traffic is dreadful and our council tax is higher than everywhere else, to pay for the local pool.
Bradley Stoke schools are better thought of, especially secondary. Depends really what you are looking for. Where are you working, what facilities do you want, what's your budget?
Forgot to mention, all the areas you mention are South Gloucestershire, not Bristol council.
Hi, Bradley Stoke is about the best out of the areas you are thinking about, but be warned that the secondary school is not great at all, one of my friends who incidentally is a primary school teacher sent both her children private and you will find that that is the choice many make, unfortunately Bristol is not renowned for its state schools! Bradley Stoke is essentially a large housing estate on the fringe of Bristol but does have very good transport connections both motorway and rail plus a nature reserve and parks.
Have a look at downend/Mangotsfield/emersons green/lyde green. They're halfway between those areas and have better schools and transport connections.
St.George/Hanham areas are lovely (biased!) St.George is in Bristol but Hanham is in South Glos as mentioned above. The secondary school in Hanham is very highly rated. There is so much to do with children in East Bristol. Personally I would choose Hanham as it is more spacious and less urban.
Disclaimer - I've never lived in those areas, I'm pretty central. But I was under the impression Hanham and Bradley Stoke are the nicest two from the places you've listed.
In Bradley Stoke houses prices can vary a fair bit just according to how close to a road / train line you are (side effect of great transport links) so if you can put up with the noise you can get a lovely house for a decent price.
Also in Bradley Stoke some of the houses have been built much more cheaply than others. Make sure you do the one person in one room one in the other talking at normal volume can you hear them? Test. Otherwise you'll end up with a house where kids can hear you shagging (true story, my poor friends )
Can you apply for school if you aren't living in the area? I thought you had to be living locally to apply for schools which is why people move and then apply for schools.
Similar situation with poor soundproof in some house built at 1995-1999. Such house was built at Bradley Stock and Brislington(St Annes Park). They seem very attacrtive and nice, but qualitty is really poor.
Bradley Stoke is definitely the best of those areas educationally - Secondary, but you do need to be careful as North Bradley Stoke falls under Patchway school. How about Winterbourne - close to Bradley Stoke area but much more mixed housing styles and good school (even though it had a bit of a blasting on last Ofsted- it will have bounced back already I'm sure). You'll find decent primary schools in all the areas. John Cabot in Kingswood area is also a good school - but I believe you would need to find a house as close as possible in order to comfortably gain a place when the time comes. Downend is also a nice area and the secondary school has been getting some good reviews recently.
Thanks for all of the responses! It's much appreciated. This is a big learning curve for me and I'm glad I'm asking a year in advance! Good to know these places are in South Gloucestershire! I just assumed Bristol!
I thought Bradley Stoke may be better than Kingswood/Hanham as the transport links seem better?? Bus and train into Bristol. I have heard about the nightmare traffic in Bristol and so I was hoping to be commuting by bus/train/walking rather than car, but we'll see what job I get!
I have noted regarding John Cabot being good in Kingswood. What about the Bradley Stoke Community School? Which are the best secondaries in North and East?
Regarding a bit further out (downend/Mangotsfield/emersons green/lyde green) - won't these places be a bit more difficult commuting into central Bristol?
If you imagine central Bristol as a circle, then you have Bristol suburbs and then you have South Gloucestershire.
So from Bristol you get Lawrence Hill then St George then it splits to either kingswood or hanham.
Equally from the centre you have Easton then fishponds and then staplehill or downend.
They all back onto a ring road which you take to get to Filton/Bradley Stoke. From the circle they're slightly more out then the other areas but not by to much.
Bristol traffic is really bad wherever you live. The traffic in Bradley Stoke is at standstill most mornings as it is in fishponds towards the centre and the ring road and the motorway (which the ring road connects to that takes you straight into Bristol).
The bus service is rubbish but all of these places are a on a main bus route into broadmead running every 15 minutes. The bus will always be late at rush hour because the traffic is so bad.
Getting to parkway to take the train into town will be a nightmare unless you aren't travelling at peak times. My advice is get somewhere with a good school, John cabot is great and downend is quite good and get somewhere you can get on to the ring road quite easily as you won't be able to beat the traffic.
This is all great info - thanks! I'm dedicated to the cause to moving to Bristol/South G. Commuting in Bristol sounds like a nightmare though! How do people do it?! How long is the average commute from my chosen suburbs into the centre of Bristol? Are employers flexible with employees hours?
I live in St George and as my DS is 10, secondary schools are on my horizon. John Cabot does have a good reputation but it's usually over subscribed and it's pretty much a lottery whether you get it (ie it's not just proximity to the school).
We are also looking at Oldfield, which is out towards Bath so means a bus ride but it's definitely doable from where we live and I know several families whose children are already there.
I don't really know that op.
I work in a school and luckily after the breakfast club drop off my school is in the opposite flow of traffic. It's busy but not standstill.
Will you be working in central Bristol in a typical 9 to 5? Can you afford to buy close to where you'll be working?
When I worked at a big central employer a couple of years ago, people from further out:
Got the train (some areas of Bradley Stoke are walking distance to the train you don't have to drive there)
Came by bike
Arranged to start early / late
Accepted the traffic and planned their route accordingly (one guy who technically lived half an hour away had an hour commute in rush hour traffic)
It all depends where you'll be working, how close to train station etc. Central or Clifton for example makes a big difference. Lots of central employers don't have parking either so a train/bike commute becomes more appealing.
Agree buses are terrible but you could look up what the new metrobus route is going to be?
DH works in Filton and drives to work from St G. He leaves the house at 7am and is at work by 7:30. If he left any later the journey would take much longer, even though it's not far as crow flies.
I work centrally and cycle. Buses are pretty poor and are expensive.
Many employers in central Bristol have no parking.
Many people,living in Bradley Stoke etc don't work in central Bristol they work on the outskirts e.g at the MOD, UWE, AXA, southmead etc
I see you plan to cycle or bus. Plenty of people do both. I don't think employers are any more or les flexible than in any other city re hours. I worked for a major city centre employer and can't recall anyone amending their hours of work due to commuting but we did have some parking for a small,proportion of the workforce. Some of it was allocated to specific roles and some was first come first served.
The forthcoming metro us may be a factor you want to consider as that route may ultimately cut commuting times. It's just a bus with its own lane.
Bradley stoke secondry schools is pretty good and had good gcse results however it's not big enough for all kids that there so some go patchway / filton abbey wood or ridings international academy winterbourne which is village between bradley stoke and downend / emersons/ lyde green.
Downend improving but still not great
John cabot is lottery so living in kingswood design not guarantee you a place at all as there's a test/ fair banding and lottery contend with so kids from all over city go there
Kings oak is only kingswood senior school and it's not had the best gcse results
A lot of bristol schools especially lottery ones or faith ones get better results than most south glos comprehensive.
I must admit living to the east and Moss the easy ness of getting train as most train stations concentrated to north
Just to get downend to parkway traffic takes forever .
I say if you working in town look central and stay easy as bristol bath cycle path means you have option cycling
Fishponds is very up and coming.
Local schools brunel / bristol met and fairfeild have made big improvement in recent years.
Two kids have been at Downend, now very oversubscribed, mostly due to other SG schools being crap/having massive overspends. It's an ok school, not fantastic but not bad (scores low on the terrifying kids count). Other child was at Fairfield (also ok). Parts of Hanham are lovely (google Hanham Hall - amazing development). I live in Fishponds, houses are still relatively cheap and it's steadfastly resisting gentrification. Traffic is appalling (where is it not?). I'd suggest driving around at different times of the day and evening to get a real feel for roads and areas.
Where are you moving from? And what's your approximate budget?
We live in Kingswood and my son goes to John cabot. Lots more children from the local area got in this year. For amount of house you get for your money Kingswood is very good. Transport links are excellent and primary schools at the south glos end are all very good.
I live here though so I am biased.
Hanham is great - the high school (now an academy) is improving very nicely and there's tons for kids to do. Transport-wise both the 44 and the 45 bus run into the centre. DP cycles in but it is v. hilly.
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