Henbury is actually very diverse, albeit in an economical and social sense. This is a district that neighbours affluent Westbury-on-Trym, At the other end of the scale, the notorious Crow Lane, with its parade of less-than-salubrious shops, is in the heart of Henbury.
So where’s the happy medium? Social housing estates dating from the 1950s snake out from Crow Lane, and are largely populated by pensioners and young families. They form, for the most part pleasant residential streets and roads, backdropped by the dense and attractive greenery that characterises the famous Blaise Castle Estate
At Dragons Well Road, the housing stock almost immediately switches from high density, social terracing to interwar-era semi-detached and detached properties. The transformation is stark, and not a little confusing. How, you wonder, can two evidently disparate districts live side by side with one another? This is part of the charm of Henbury. In parts it can resemble a typically blighted council estate, in parts its streets are lined with mansions; beyond these residential areas Henbury ambles along country lanes, wraps around the beautiful woodland and historic architecture of Blaise Castle, and gives itself over to the stunning Henbury Golf Course. Venture slightly farther still and you come upon the M5 and the commercial behemoth that is Cribbs Causeway.
There’s plenty of history in Henbury, too. Its Village Hall is a Grade II listed building that was previously a school. The Henbury Lodge Hotel dates back to 1600, while the Church of St Mary the Virgin is even older, with the tower tracing its roots all the way back to the early 13th century. There are also modern areas too, with Barratt Homes developing Hazel Grove, a new housing estate that consists of approximately 150 houses.
Families considering moving to the area will be interested in the good schools that Henbury boasts, and for wide open spaces you really cannot do much better than the Greenhill Plantation and grounds of the Blaise Estate – think rivers, woods, green meadows and designated play areas and you’re in contented kids/parents heaven. For commuters, the easy access to the M5 and city centre is a boon, and while Henbury may not have the widest choice of bars and restaurants for younger couples to choose from, it’s only a short drive to Westbury-on-Trym and Clifton, and Cribbs Causeway is always a convenient option for retail therapy, grocery shopping, going to the cinema and dining out.
Henbury is an area that is defined by its diversity. For every country style lane there’s a bustling residential street; for every expanse of greenery there’s a busy road; for every gated mansion there’s a high-rise tower, and for every age group there’s something to suit. So, if you fancy moving there, it’s a place where you really need to do your homework, but you can rest assured that there will be something, somewhere, that will feel like your new Henbury home.