Parts of Swansea nice for kids to grow up in...(16 Posts)
Hi, We are moving to Swansea this year, and I wanted to know which parts people think are nice areas for kids. Nice parks, nice schools, things to do etc.
I would especially like some opinions on how schools actually 'feel' - as league tables don't give you that...! I guess I am a bit more nervous than most over this stuff as I was bullied myself as a kid, so I am less bothered about average grades and more about a school having a good, positive atmosphere.
So any experiences of your kids having a great time attending a particular school would be great!
How old are your DC? 'Re schools, did you want Welsh medium education?
Also do you want to be right in the middle of Swansea, more rural etc? There are lots of options here.
Hi! Thanks for your reply and yes I was a bit vague!
We'd be hoping to settle there long term so even though my children are Primary and Nursery age now, I'd like to find a place with a good primary and secondary school. We don't drive so if it was more out of town it would need to be on a train route. I looked at Neath - is it nice there? Otherwise, central or outskirts with good bus routes would be good :-)
We're moving from Scotland so none of us know Welsh, but we'd be keen for the kids to learn it (although perhaps not all of the schooling to be in Welsh).
Neath is ok. It has its good and bad areas like everywhere else. I prefer the town centre to that of Swansea - it's much much smaller but feels nicer IMO. But realistically they are both dumps compared to Cardiff! (Can you tell where I'm actually from?!).
I live in Pontardawe - no train but on a main bus route. It's semi-rural, we have huge long country walks on our doorsteps but can be in Swansea city centre in 20mins. Actually trains are not great around here. Buses ok though. I'm a short hop from the Brecon Beacons and Gower too.
The comp here has an excellent reputation, albeit it's an English medium school. DD has just started in Welsh medium primary though so she'll be going to a Welsh medium comp. Welsh is compulsory up to GCSE in English medium schools I believe so they will definitely learn some.
You could look at Loughor or Llanelli as well. Uplands, Sketty, Mumbles, are popular places in Swansea - but others will know more than me about Swansea itself.
As the poster above said, Neath is nice, and there are good and bad parts. I think it's much smaller and friendlier than Swansea. Have a look at Bryncoch and Rhos, which are both just outside Neath. It is easy to get to Swansea from there. Like the poster above, I am not far from Pontardawe! There are good primary and secondary schools here. Two good secondaries are Cwmtawe and Dwr-y-Felin.
Incidentally Cardiff is where literally ALL the money has been spent in South Wales so its hardly surprising that it's so much nicer in terms of aesthetics.
But its only 40mins on the train from Neath to get there so if you're used to Glasgow or Edinburgh you'll still have a bit of urban "chic" close by!
I live in Sketty Park which is 2 1/2 miles from the town centre and Sketty is a mile away. I don't have children but there are a couple of primary and secondary schools in the area. Primary Parklands and Sketty. Secondary Olchfa and Bishop Gore. Brynmill, Singleton and Cwmdonkin parks nearby. You can walk to Swansea beach through Singleton Park.
I grew up in Gowerton, about 6 miles from Swansea and is called the gateway to the Gower. I believe both primary and secondary schools still have a good reputation.
Gowerton has a railway station with trains going into Swansea and West Wales, Llanelli, Carmarthen etc. The buses in Gowerton don't run on a Sunday and they are infrequent at other times especially evening. Sketty Park and Sketty are on a good bus route into Swansea, evenings and weekends included.
For things to do look up Whats on in Swansea, museums - free, etc. There are monthly produce markets in Mumbles, Sketty, Uplands, Marina and a large indoor market in Swansea centre where you can also buy local produce. The faggots, Welsh cakes, cockles and laverbread a must not forgetting the different varieties of sausages.
You can walk or cycle along the seafront from Swansea to Mumbles and as a reward a Joes ice cream. Towards Mumbles Clyne Gardens in Blackpill and the lido (paddling pool) is open in the summer - free. The National Air Show is in July and is free. A cycle route through Clyne woods, also great for exploring, to Gowerton and beyond. Swansea and the Gower has lots of things to see and do, eg castles and beaches but I suppose the locals, including myself can be complacent about the amenities and beauty of the area. I'm sure you'll love it.
Thanks so much - there are lots of pointers there and places to look up! :-)
Gowerton would be on my list too - the train station is so handy as Troy said - I commute to Cardiff from there. The schools are good too. There's a brand new primary.
Sketty, Brynmill and Uplands areas good too though more central so property a bit pricier but you wouldn't need a car necessarily.
I grew up in Derwen Fawr in Swansea , very close to the seafront ( you could see the sea from my bedroom) and went to Parklands Primary which I remember as being a nice school although I was only there for a year before moving to Olchfa Comprehensive. It is a nice area of Swansea and you are also on the edge of the Gower Peninsula , an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are some nice schools on the Gower too although mainly primary , the secondary, Bishopston only goes up to sixth form and historically the majority then moved to Olchfa.
I left Swansea when I went to University, so my knowledge of schools is probably outdated but the area I lived in has remained pretty unchanged.
I grew up in bishopston (south Gower) which has a lovely primary school. The focus there is on respect to each other and adults -and the kids are all lovely and polite. They do forest school once a week which is lovely too and I know not all schools do this. My kids went there too until recently as we moved.
Pricier area but definitely worth it if you can afford it. Also lots of beaches within walking distance, parks etc.
Other areas local to bishopston (in the pricy but worth it range):
Going a bit further from Gower, slightly cheaper but still ok areas (though maybe a few more rough patches in places)
Feel free to pm me if you want info on any of these areas
The area round Swansea is stunning - Gower for amazing beaches, the Brecon Beacons if you like mountains! If you don't drive, you need to be careful, though, as some areas are not well served by public transport. In my opinion, the buses are infrequent and expensive.
As far as schools are concerned, Bishopston has a very good secondary school, but may be too out of the way for you without a car. Other people have already mentioned Gowerton - again, a good secondary school, and much better transport links. Olchfa is a highly rated secondary which is more in the centre of the city. I only know about a few primary schools, and more in terms of which ones to avoid than which are the good ones, sorry.
Neath is nice, and on both train and bus routes, but the town centre is small and somewhat run down in the last few years. Swansea has a bigger shopping centre. It's not pretty, but the bay more than makes up for that!
Thanks so much for all your advice. I feel much better informed now :-)
Can I crash the thread and ask which primaries are worth avoiding Quality? Were currently in a poor school and moving to the area too - so time for a fresh start!
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