Walsall is a large town with a rich industrial history located in the West Midlands. It is located a short distance from major cities Wolverhampton and Birmingham. The town does not have a gleaming reputation but there is much more to Walsall than meets the eye. The most famous aspect of the town is its football club Walsall F.C which plays in League One, the third tier of English football. Walsall is also a commuter town for most people who work in Birmingham. It is also the administrative centre for the entire Walsall Borough Metropolitan area.
Is Walsall a good place to live? For commuters to Birmingham, Walsall is a great choice. There are buses that will take you to the train station and into the city quickly. The real estate prices are very affordable in Walsall and there is every major facility you may require like hospitals, schools and shopping centres.
If you are moving to the UK, then you need to keep an open mind about moving to Walsall. Being open-minded will allow you to see that Walsall is a town full of beauty and culture. The city has transformed itself from a primarily leather manufacturing town to a modern metropolitan area with great amenities. There is also significant cultural diversity in Walsall and you will meet people from all walks of life. The amount you save while living in Walsall as opposed to Birmingham will also count for something.
Is Walsall a good place to live?
Walsall is no different from any other city with regard to having good neighbourhoods and bad neighbourhoods. There are areas in Walsall that most people will be wise to avoid due to insecurity and the general standard of living. Such areas include Blakenall, St. Mathews, Willenhall, Aldridge, Bloxwich, Darlaston, Pleck and Delves. Better neighbourhoods are judged by factors such as their proximity to motorways, security and standard of living. The better areas in Walsall include Bescot, Pheasey, Vicarage, Sandwell and Wednesbury.
Crime in Walsall has been steadily on the rise for the past few years although; the rise in crime is not limited to Walsall but the entire UK. Violent crime is by far the most prevalent criminal activity in Walsall making up a third of all crimes. Anti-social behaviour crime and vehicle crime are also quite high. General criminal activity in Walsall despite being high is still below the national average.
Walsall is home to many primary and secondary schools. The schools comprise of state-run schools, private schools, academies and grammar schools. The best secondary schools in Walsall include Queen’s Mary Grammar cool, Queen’s Mary High School, Joseph Lackie Academy, Barr Beacon School and Walsall Academy. Walsall also has highly rated primary schools including St. Francis Catholic Primary School, Beacon Primary School, Salisbury Primary School and County Bridge Primary School. Walsall College is a great tertiary learning institution and has three campuses in Walsall. The University of Wolverhampton also has a campus in Walsall. There are plenty of learning institutions that you can visit to evaluate their merit.
If you plan on moving to Walsall, then transportation is going to be a crucial factor in your decision-making process. As said earlier, Walsall is a commuter town as most people living here work in Birmingham or the greater West Midlands area.
Walsall Bus Station is made up of two more miniscule bus stations; Bradford Place Bus Station and St. Paul’s Bus Station. The bus stations connect Walsall to over 90 bus routes which link the city to a variety of other towns. If you prefer to travel by car, Walsall is also very well connected to the UK road network. You can use the M6 and M1 motorways to connect to London.
Walsall is close to three junctions on the M6 with some of the busiest intersections in Europe. There is an A34 road connecting Walsall to Manchester and the A454 which connects to Black Country. Walsall has a railway station located on Station Street right in the city centre. There are up to four trains per hour which makes Walsall a great transport hub.
Walsall has an exciting nightlife with luxury bars and theatres buzzing with activity for much of the year. There are also plenty of bars and pubs with live music and other artistic displays. The Grange Playhouse is an excellent place to visit for amazing local performances. The New Art Gallery and Walsall Museum extensively showcase the city’s rich history. Park Street is perfect for those who like to go shopping with famous retailers on display.
Is Walsall a good place to work?
As I stated earlier, Walsall is considered a commuter town and many residents work in Birmingham and other neighbouring cities like Wolverhampton. However, there are also plenty of employment opportunities in Walsall.
The average salary in Walsall is £32,100 which is slightly lower than the UK average of £36,600.
Therefore, do not expect high paying executive jobs to be plenty in Walsall.
The unemployment rate in Walsall is 5.1% and is high compared to the national average of 4%. But that is still low and there are usually plenty of job vacancies available in Walsall.
The largest industry employing Walsall residents is the wholesale & retail trade and the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles employing about 18% of the population. Other large industries in Walsall include manufacturing, administrative & support service activities and human health & support service activities. As far as individual organisations are concerned, the largest employers in Walsall include HomeServe UK, Echo Managed Services, Dunelm, Walsall Council and Tesco.
Is Walsall a good place to buy a house?
If you have decided to move to the UK is a good idea and you have selected Walsall as your area of residence, then purchasing or renting a piece of property is the next step. First, you need to decide where the best place for you to live is. Rough neighbour hoods include places like Blakenall, St. Mathews, Willenhall, Aldridge, Bloxwich, Darlaston, Pleck and Delves. The better areas to live in Walsall include Bescot, Pheasey, Vicarage, Sandwell and Wednesbury.
Average house prices in Walsall experience larger fluctuations than most other areas in the country. As of January 2019, the average price for a detached house in Walsall was £348,369.
The average price for a semi-detached house was £179,848 while that for a terraced property was £116,017. Flats cost an average of £96,583.
The average monthly rent for a one bedroom flat in Walsall is £457. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is £537 per month while that for a three bedroom property is £657. It costs an average of £790 per month to rent a four bedroom property in Walsall while a five bedroom flat will cost you around £1050.
According to Zoopla, the average price of a property in Walsall as of April 2019 is £194, 377. The average asking price of a one bedroom flat in Walsall is £99,995. The average price of a two bedroom property is £125,000. A three bedroom property will cost you an average of £160,000 while a four bedroom property will on average cost £225,000.
Is Walsall a good place to retire?
Although the rents rates and property prices in Walsall are quite cheap, I would not term Walsall as an ideal place to retire. Unless you are a former SAS officer who can defend himself, the high crime rates in the city will discourage many senior citizens from retiring in the area. There are many quality retirement properties in the area including Hunter’s Court, Homebell House, Croxall Court, Coleman Lodge and Alder House.
The market prices and rental rates for retirement properties in Walsall are quite similar to those for regular apartments and houses. Anyone looking for a retirement property can use those figures as a guide.
Is Walsall a good place to visit?
Walsall is an old town with a detailed history hence there is much to intrigue any visitor of the city. However, there are some stand out place that are a must see for anyone who visits Walsall.
The arboretum spans 80 acres and includes Hatherton Lake where you can go on boatrides, acres of playing fields and a splash pad. The most incredible characteristic of the arboretum is that it is home to more than 10,000 species of trees and shrubs. It is a genuine place to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Willenhall Memorial Park
The park is a serene green space meant to commemorate the lives of WWII casualties. The park includes a fishing pond and extensive woodland. There are fun events hosted at the Park all year round including carnivals and scavenger hunts.
Walsall Leather Museum
Walsall is synonymous with leather as it is the oldest manufacturing trade in the city. The museum tells of the history of the leather trade in Walsall. The exhibits in the museum are original Walsall made leather pieces including saddles, gloves, bags and shoes spanning more than a century.
Other places that deserve a visit in Walsall include Barr Beacon, Chasewater, Four Seasons Garden, Dudley Canal and Manor House Museum.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.