For a small, luscious village on the shoulder of a large port city, Long Ashton has wrestled a fair proportion of the limelight away from Bristol over the years. Never fully comfortable with the ‘commuter town’ tag, and far too distinct to be labelled a mere suburb of Bristol, Long Ashton has punched above its weight for centuries.
Its history is richer than a millionaire’s pudding, and its influence on the world is highly disproportionate. Long Ashton’s Manor House, for instance, dates back to 1265 and was purchased in the 15th century by Richard Amerike, merchant and dignitary whose surname, it is argued in some quarters, was the basis for the naming of America. Amerike’s coat of arms was similar to the flag later adopted by the independent United States, and he funded John Cabot’s expedition to the New World. Amerike lived in Long Ashton for most of his adult life.
And Long Ashton doesn’t stop there. It was also where cricketer W.G. Grace went to school before becoming the famous forefather of that gentle old game that we all know and love today. Sticking with cricket, Australian legend Shane Warne played for Long Ashton briefly in the early 1980s, and Stuart Broad’s father – Chris Broad – also played for the team.
Cricket, history and more greenery than you can shake a hay bale at, Long Ashton is a quintessential English village, Chuck in Ashton Court’s Balloon Fiesta, deer park and unrivalled dog-walking territory and you have the very epitome of England’s green and pleasant land.
But what’s it like to live there? Its contrast of rolling fields and a village-like atmosphere with its proximity to the centre of Bristol is invigorating, and it’s a convenience that is often reflected in the property prices. Much of the dwellings here are semi- or fully detached houses, often with their own spacious gardens and three, four or five bedrooms. The architecture ranges from stone cottages through Victorian, Edwardian and modern, so there’s plenty of choice for the discerning homeowner. Prices are above the Bristol average, but then so is average floor space.
Families will find Long Ashton’s cocktail of accessibility and semi-rural surrounding irresistible. There are plenty of good nearby schools, lots of open space, great road access to the motorways and down to the beach at Weston-super-Mare, plenty of golf courses for dads to swing about in, and a good selection of shops and supermarkets close by too.
Long Ashton is not really for young night owls – the few pubs in and around the village are cosy, family friendly establishments rather than late night boozers.