To dream about moving my family to live by the coast?

(50 Posts)
Loulah Mon 26-Aug-13 00:27:52

I have always dreamt of living by the sea and it is something dh and I have talked/ dreamt of for years but said we would do in retirement.

Recently though we (mainly me) have been thinking why wait? Friends of ours have done exactly what we have always talked of doing which has got us thinking!

My worry is AIBU to move my family away from the home they know? We have three children aged 14, 10 and 3 so apart from the youngest all have established lives. Eldest isn't great with new/unknown situations and can get anxious with change which obviously is a big consideration. Middle child has friends he would hate to leave and is quite dramatic if the topic is discussed but he is only 10 and can't see a time when he doesn't play in the park with his best friend.

We both have our parents, mine would probably move close to wherever we moved to and we don't see too much of dh's parents.

Whilst I think you should put your kids first I think we have maybe done too much of this to the point where we don't have much in our lives outside of them (they have always been my life but as they get older i am starting to think what will I have when they move on?)

My biggest worries are:

They hate it and don't settle.
Their education suffers.
They resent the move, and us.
They hate it...

The 'right' time to move would have been about 3 years ago! Due to ages of dc if we wait until youngest leaves school we will be retiring anyway.

Is there a right time? Oldest is part way through high school (gsce's next year)' middle one is doing SAT's this year and high school next year, youngest will start school next year.

Sorry so long!

Advice needed.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 26-Aug-13 00:31:34

You could consider it now...it won't be the end of the world...I personally think that unless your oldest child is doing exceptionally well in his current school, then a new start wouldn't be a bad thing. A lot changes at this age...but also remember that coastal towns often come with social difficulties for teens....there's not a lot to do for a large portion of the year. Some...a lot...of UK coastal towns and villages are quite badly off in an economic sense which has a domino effect on schools and aspirations.

Might be better to wait till the older one is ready for 6th form? Then the middle one will still be quite young....

poorpaws Mon 26-Aug-13 00:37:46

Be careful what you wish for. I moved to the sea 12 years ago and it isn't all as wonderful as I thought. Tourists are a nightmare, neighbours from hell, high cost of living (Council Tax and water bills especially) to name but a few of the problems.

I did move as my daughter was going to uni and didn't expect her to return home but she did and has now made her home here (with partner and baby).

Jobs are another issue, it's very difficult to find a job much above minimum wage and usually in the hotel or care industry. There are a tremendous amount of old retired people here.

Having said all this I don't think I'd move back. Where are you thinking of moving to?

BrokenSunglasses Mon 26-Aug-13 00:42:27

I don't think it's ideal at this time in your dcs education, I personally wouldn't consider moving when I had one doing GCSE's next year.

YANBU to dream though. My dream of living by the sea always ends abruptly when I think of how windy it usually seems to be in coastal places.

Loulah Mon 26-Aug-13 01:03:36

Friends have moved to St.Ives in Cornwall but not a lot of jobs and house prices steep. Just like the idea of being close to the sea (middle dc said it would ruin holidays as we would be sick of the seaside!) I think friends moving has made us evaluate our own lives and has left us feeling a bit boring! Not sure i am brave enough to make such a big move with so many people and things to consider. Have considered starting a business but obviously a lot to take on with family so very much in the shall we or not stage.
Poorpaws where do you live if you don't mind me asking? We have looked (online of course so far) at lots of coastal towns.

If oldest is at 6th form age middle one would be in same situation as oldest is now and youngest about to start high school arghh! Have read about poor social/economic issues and also lack of opportunities for young people so really unsure if it would be giving them this 'better' life that I imagine.

DanicaJones Mon 26-Aug-13 01:17:45

I don't think you should move half way through eldest's GCSEs

Beastofburden Mon 26-Aug-13 01:25:34

If you move to Devon you get excellent grammar schools-Torquay and Colyton. A friend did this and has not regretted it, but she is a doctor. Her DH has had much more trouble finding work. For the kids it has been a bit mixed I think.

Actually I think the worst time to move is when the DC have just left school. My parents did this, and when I came home from Uni it was to a town where I knew nobody and had no way to meet anyone.

But if you have a kid who can be anxious, then midway through exams does seem a bad idea, TBH.

SaucyJack Mon 26-Aug-13 01:35:46

I think YWBU to cause so much disruption to your family's life purely for the sake of living by the sea tbh. Sure, it's pretty enough when you walk the dog on a Sunday afternoon but it's very far from being a necessity for a happy life.

If you were doing it for a job promotion/cheaper house prices/needing to be near an ageing parent yadda yadda then my view would be very different.

Suusex coast born and bred btw.

Loulah Mon 26-Aug-13 01:37:30

DS has not started GCSE's yet (sorry wasn't clear in op) he will do one GCSE a year early and then start Sept 2014 to do rest so still some time. It is more about his/their reactions to moving than their education as I think they would pick up wherever they were at school.

whitesugar Mon 26-Aug-13 01:40:08

I live by the sea and have two teenagers, 16 and 14. Teenagers are not catered for here and usually just hang about with their friends, go to the cinema and local nightclub and are involved in music. Teenagers can get into trouble here as easily as in the city if they want to. The both plan to leave as soon as they can. I am originally from a city and came here because EXH was from here. I have a good job but it is very hard to find work here. The sea is lovely and beach walks are gorgeous but I don't find it particularly stimulating. I would prefer a coffee shop with people walking past. Most of the people here are white and Christian and old fashioned/racist attitudes prevail. Public transport is dire. There are very few art galleries and no museums. There are lots of castles and amazing walks though.

I don't spend any time in traffic jams and there definitely is a slower pace of life which is relaxing. There is a good sense of community here and people do look out for each other. I have been here over 20 years and it has taken me a long time to be accepted. I am now and have lovely friends and neighbours. My family including parents, siblings and their DC don't live here so I miss them a lot.

Activities include going to pubs, restaurants, walks, cycling, sea sports and other hobbies. I love walking but to be honest it is dark half the year and on the coast it is extremely windy and cold.

If you ever think of moving try to spend sometime there first. Read the local papers to get an idea of local issues. Listen to local radio. Write down all the things you love about your current location and see if you can still do these things by the coast.

I hope I haven't put you off. I insist on living near shops and people. Endless fields and cows don't do it for me. I would die if I lived in an isolated rural area and basically ten minutes outside town and you are in the countryside. There are days where the beauty is startling and I think I couldn't move away. The reality is I probably will when my DC leave.

Loulah Mon 26-Aug-13 02:35:15

thanks for all of the comments. Probably not a great time for us, may have to give this lots of thought.

I think my lovely friend moving has had big impact on me as I miss them being closer and they have done so well since their move and they seem to be really happy and settled (think I was more worried about their move than my friend as she is such a positive person and someone who makes things happen) I don't know if we would be considering moving if they hadn't already done so. Might just stick to visits if they will have us! Thanks again

Lampshadeofdoom Mon 26-Aug-13 03:51:05

I did .

Tourists will drive you mad, you can't get anywhere fast at Easter, Summer, half terms.

There are no jobs, other people have same idea, lots of seasonal only work.

It's harsh in winter.

You take it for granted after a while, when we moved locals told us they never went to beach, we couldn't believe it and where there everyday.
Three years on we never went.

We moved away last year, dc would go back tomorrow though.

Jovellanos Mon 26-Aug-13 04:00:57

Don't underestimate the negative impact of pulling up the roots your children have put down.

Incomers are never properly accepted in coastal/rural areas - you think you are, but take it from a local: you aren't. Many of you will move away again when your children leave home - and they will leave, in a desperate (possibly life-long) search for the sense of 'rootedness' you deprived them of

primallass Mon 26-Aug-13 06:32:12

'By the sea' could mean anything, given that the UK coastline is nearly 8000 miles long! We live by the sea but are half an hour from Edinburgh. I grew up on the coast and now feel 'uncomfortable' if landlocked so wouldn't change it for the world.

Uprooting children is hard though.

flowery Mon 26-Aug-13 06:53:07

We did it for my dad's job when I was 14. I didn't feel deprived of 'rootedness' in the slightest. I made new friends and put down new roots!

If we didn't have to be commuting distance from London for DH we'd be living back there with the DC, but it's just too far.

littlewhitebag Mon 26-Aug-13 07:00:26

We moved to the coast 5 years ago. My youngest DD was going into year 6 and my eldest DD was going into 6th form. They were both keen to move. I left my job and didn't look for another until we had moved. I managed to get one pretty quickly. I don't regret the move and love loving here.

lotsofdirections Mon 26-Aug-13 07:04:58

I live by the sea and when you say there is not much for teenagers it does rather depend on the teenagers. Mine all love surfing/sailing/rowing so it is ideal also the girls both have horses so that takes up a lot of time. However if your children have very 'urban' tastes it might be difficult. Although what is so great about hanging round in parks does rather defeat me!
We have an ice rink, a multiplex cinema, bowling, theatre and aqua centre within 10 miles but they all cost money and mine would rather get wet and sandy. The biggest issue is often a low wage economy and low aspirations by young people. Able teenagers head off to uni and tend to settle elsewhere and gradually come back when they are in their 30's with children.
Good luck with whatever you decide.

Tittypulumpcious Mon 26-Aug-13 07:14:04

My parents moved us as kids from the city to the coast, now as an adult I still love it, I have a good job great friends and I am so pleased my parents made the move for our family.

CambridgeBlue Mon 26-Aug-13 07:27:42

Interesting thread! I'm desperate to move nearer the coast but know I am thinking with my heart not my head. It's great to hear about the reality of living by the sea in different situations.

Goldensunnydays81 Mon 26-Aug-13 08:04:07

I moved to a small Devon village by the sea when I was 10 I hated my parents for the 1st month but after that I loved it! Don't think I would move from here. Like lotsofdirections said it really depends on what your children are into my brothers loved surfing and skating there is surf life saving where we live and I don't think we really missed out on what other teenagers in towns did.
Saying that August is hideous in my village there are just so many people but you accept that is what it will be like for 1 month a year. I love winter here and long windy walks on the beach

Peacocklady Mon 26-Aug-13 08:10:14

I'm on holiday in Cornwall again, staying with my aunt and am imagining moving here. I was thinking in about 10 years once the dc have finished school so they can have their teens with school friends. Really interesting to read the responses.

flowery Mon 26-Aug-13 08:13:18

Nothing better than a walk on the beach on Christmas morning... smile

marriedinwhiteisback Mon 26-Aug-13 08:17:42

I come from the coast and came to london at the earliest opportunity.

It depends on the life you want: small town, small minded, everyone knowing everyone's business and wearing the same style coat from the same local town's high street didn't do it for me. I had access to horses and boats and life at the top end and it still wasn't enough. Beyond that there was rotaract, the YC's, etc. And beyond that for the disengaged and unconfident there was smoking in the seafront loos and a bit of glue sniffing with a snogworthy weekly disco in the community hall. The bus was hourly until 22.50 and the last train from London stopped just after midnight so almost impossible to go to the theatre and get back although even 30 years ago I think a return ticket was .ore than a fiver.

What sort of job will you and DH be able to do?
Is it commutable?
State of local economy?
Distance to nearest county town?
Any local cultue?
Quality of education/local NHS/other services?
Age profile of other residents?
Will your quality of life improve?

If all of that is possible from your DC's ages you have a window of opportunity to do this when your eldest goes to 6th form. You cannot possibly disrupt her education during her GCSE courses.

I wouldn't do it vis a vis our own DC (18 and 15) - there wouldn't be enough for them but they live in a safe part of london, go to excellent schools, have good friends, and access to the best that london offers.

If wE were on a vast london estate with syringes in the stairwells, they were at dodgy inner city schools, and I worried for their safety and their prospects then I would go like a shot whether I had a 14 year old mid gCSE or not.

We moved by the sea, & I'd never move away again tbh. I grew up here & came back after 12 years away

The teens I know who love it here are very outdoorsy, they surf, skate, surf some more.... Then surf a bit more smile

Tourists are an utter pita in summer, you do 'lose' your area a bit for the 6 weeks of the English school
holidays (not so bad in June/early July). But come next week the weather will still be great & the beach empty. I love winter beaches as well though.

Job market dreadful (I run my own business) & house prices can be ridiculous because of second homers - although depends what price range you're looking at and where.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 26-Aug-13 08:47:40

Could you consider buying a very small property op? Somewhere lovely?

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