Relocating to Chester / Wirral(29 Posts)
I hope you can help? I'm looking for insider info on chester /the wirral as we will soon be relocating there and I don't know the area.
We had a fleeting visit the other day and quite liked what we saw of Upton in Chester and Bromborough / Spital in the wirral. We did plan to have a quick look around Higher Bebington too but ran out of time.
Could anyone tell me more about these areas? Where's best to look / avoid? Are there any other areas we should look at too? We need good public transport links as I don't drive and we would quite like to be able to get to Liverpool and Chester by train too to make life easier for our older children. If there were some local shops that would be handy too.
Lastly what is commuting like around these areas? My husband will be commuting by car or public transport to the wirral hospitals (mainly Arrowe Park). If the traffic is known to be horrendous we might have to count out Upton in Chester out of our search (we are not sure we can afford to live there but it was very nice).
Thanks so... much for all your help and wonderful insight.
Hi Op. Areas in Chester that may suit are Upton (which you have already looked at), Hoole and Vicars Cross. These are all on bus routes as you don't drive and also near the M53 so your husband can get to work easy. What age are your children in terms of schools?
I'm not in that bit of Cheshire but good luck with your search.
For Arrowe Park, it's quite a commute from Chester. I'd be looking at west Kirby and heswall. Both are towns that have a lot going on and you don't need to be driving. They are well connected by bus and train.
It really depends what you can afford - Bromborough/Spital/ Bebington is much cheaper than Chester (or West Kirby/Heswall) - if you look at the M53 on a map house prices (and life expectancy/ poverty, sadly) are much less to the East than West of the motorway. It's all a grammar school area so doesn't matter so much where you live if your children are likely to pass but much more of an issue if you think they might not.
I'd have a look in the Spital area and work from there - unless you've just sold a house in Surrey, in which case Heswall may seem quite reasonable! And it probably also depends a bit on your husband's specialty - a lot of psychiatrists for eg live out of area, general medics less so - and Chester would be out of area for most.
Thanks for replies.
My kids are no longer in the school system (yeah!) but would like to be able to get to Liverpool and Chester by train - From what I just looked up West Kirby and Heswall are on the other line going to wales, so probably a bit less practical for them (sorry). Are there places on the other line that are okay? I know you get good and bad bits of every town (hoping for the good bits!)
I googled the drive from Upton in Chester to Arrowe Park and it said it was 24 mins. How is the rush hour traffic? Will it be more like 45 mins in reality?
Sorry for all the questions, it is scary trying to work out where to live from a 10 minute drive around an area . Your help is really valued. Thanks
Thanks sqwirral. Unfortunately my husband isn't a medic and I haven't moved from Surrey, so I would only be able to afford the lower end of the market to the east of the M53. Would be nicer to have one of their budgets.....
Thankfully I look after what I eat and drink and exercise so hoping which side I live won't have too much impact on my life expectancy . Just looking for a nice area with nice people and low crime.
Bromborough to the east of the train line looked lovely, but as I mentioned I was only driving through so only going on gut feeling so probably not very reliable. Will have another look at Spital though - thanks
I was more trying to sketch how it's an area of two halves not suggesting your life expectancy would fall!
It's such a varied area. Looking at east/south Wirral then Bromborough, Spital, Bebington are a great compromise between nice and safe areas and affordable. I grew up down south and so I think that's not a bad commute at all from Upton - I don't work at Arrowe any more but did 10 or so years ago and we used to avoid leaving at 5 as it would add 20 minutes to your journey home. I'd also maybe consider parts of Wallasey/New Brighton. I don't know Chester nearly so well I'm afraid.
In terms of crime... fromy observations there is very little random violent crime even in the rougher bits of eg. Birkenhead and the surrounding areas - drugs tend to drive burglary and the like, and non-random violent crime - but in a decade and a half of living mostly in the rougher areas of Merseyside I've been burgled once when we left a bathroom window ajar..... and that's it. No personal crime, no vehicle crime, never been properly broken into.
Hi and welcome to the Cheshire Pages! My Mum lived in Heswall for 20 years and loved it. She took her husband frequently took my step Dad for appointments at Arrow Park and I think it took about 30 mins to get there. Thanks Caroline
If you don't mind me asking, what is your budget and what type of accommodation are you looking for?
I grew up on the Wirral and currently live in Chester, commuting to Bromborough/Spital area for work - in a car it's around 30 mins, around 35 mins to Arrowe Park. Traffic is generally fine, although Chester can be jammed at rush hours.
If you want equal access to Liverpool and Manchester, then there are direct trains to both from Chester - however if you wanted Liverpool only I would probably look at living on the Wirral - you can get there easily by train from Bromborough/Spital, or plenty of other places such as Wallasey/New Brighton, West Kirby/Hoylake. To get to Manchester from the Wirral you would probably need to change at Liverpool Lime Street, that's what I used to do!
Where would you like to live? The M53 is a pretty quiet motorway, so you could live in Chester or Liverpool. Would you prefer a large city, small city, small town, countryside?
Merseyrail is good in that it is cheap and has lots of stops. But is very slow if you're going all the way along the route.
Thanks for all the great info. I just realised the bit of Bromborough I looked at might actually be in Eastham - not quite sure where the boundary lies.
I'm looking for 3 bedrooms and my budget will be around the 250-260 mark depending on what mine is valued/sold at. I looked on rightmove and all these places seem to be doable - that's how we worked out where to drive around.
I'm glad the M53 is quiet that increases my options. We have mainly lived in the burbs of large cities. We did once live in a rural area but I felt really isolated due to lack of transport. I think that is why I started looking at Chester but then realised I could probably get to parts of the wirral on the train as quickly as I could get to places like Upton on the bus from the city centre.
Thanks for all your help. We hope to pop along that way again in a week or so, so this is helping to plan our itinerary.
With that budget West Kirby and Heswall are definite options for you. 3 bed homes in Heswall, close to the center of town, start at about GBP190k (terrace or semi). West Kirby is more expensive, starting at about GBP200k for a three bed.
The reason I recommend both of those towns is because you don't drive. It is very common on the Wirral to drive and not doing so could hold you back. Heswall has fantastic bus connections to Liverpool and Chester. West Kirby is a quick commute for your DH and you have excellent bus and train connections to Liverpool plus chester. If I were you West Kirby would be my first choice of town because it has everything from supermarkets, a good leisure center, transport links and a quick commute for your DH.
Bromborough and Eastham are nice but you don't have as much of a town. Most people have a car to get them around.
Hopefully a good drive round will give us a feel for all these places, I'll let you know how I get on
Here's the train map from Merseyrail. There are three separate lines into Liverpool, starting at West Kirby, New Brighton and Chester/Ellsemere Port. Trains every 15 minutes on each line. Less frequent trains on the Bidston/Shotton Line.
I don't know the buses, unfortunately, as I've always taken the train. Want2b is right in that West Kirby is lovely, with its Marine Lake and Seaside (and Hilbre Island!). I did think of it as quite far away, when I was a child, but I lived close to Hamilton Square, where all of the trains go through.
For Arrowe Park you could consider Oxton Village, which is really lovely. It's only a 5-10 minute drive from the hospital. There will be buses (not sure how frequent, perhaps 3 an hour?) into Hamilton Square, then trains every 5 minutes to Liverpool from there.
Here are a few Oxton/Oxton Village properties from Rightmove:
Oxton is lovely but family who live there are always broken into. It's frustrating because you are safe, apparently family tell me the break ins are by people from Birkenhead north. West Kirby is more expensive but much less of an issue with that. Hoylake also now has a slightly higher number of break ins according to family who moved there from oxton 10 years ago. They just moved to west Kirby.
When I say safe I mean they aren't mugging you. They would never attack you personally however if it isn't nailed down it's up for grabs according to my family.
What about prenton or greasby? Hoylake maybe? Meals is also nice i would avoid Birkenhead north and seacombe
I went to school in Upton in the Wirral and that's quite a nice area
I'd definitely stay up the Talbot Road end and not the Slatey Road end of Oxton Village!
Thanks all for the info. Oxton looks good but the ones we liked didn't seem to have garages (a hubby requirement).
It's a bit tricky at the moment - as soon as I think about going to see stuff it goes under offer - arghh. Had my heart set on a house in Bromborough but that has now gone too. Bromborough / Spital got a good write up on mumsnets sister site gransnet so still quite like it there (More of a country park person than a beach person).
Anyway have actually managed to make a booking to view a property in Prenton so hoping it is nice there (not driven around there yet). Is Thingwall nice too? Nice house there but didn't seem to be too many shops. hmmm....
Thingwall (pronounced Thinwall) is nice but yes there are very few shops plus public transportation was never great around there (might have changed but probably not likely). Prenton is ok but not great because of the football. There are some good shops there including a big Sainsburys. Asda is the other side of the M56 junction and it is a good one. It is also super close to Arrowe Park.
Just back from a trip all round the wirral. It was good to explore all the areas you had been telling me about. West Kirby and Heswall and parts of Prenton were lovely as were and Bromborough and Spital (very leafy). We also visited the new housing estate at Little Sutton. Has anyone any insider info on Little Sutton? It looked quite nice from our drive around and visiting show homes is always fun, but any local info would be greatly appreciated.
I think a lot of our decisions on area will be made on what is available when we have sold ours - there isn't a huge amount for sale and the lovely houses seem to sell v. quickly.
Thanks for all your help
My mum lives in prenton she loves it. My friend from school lived in little Sutton, I always thought her family was very posh as it's a very nice area, very quiet. What about heswall? Lovely area and a nice little run of shops along the high street and an M&S food and a Tesco
Sorry just re read that you've looked at heswall
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