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 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?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Mon 26-Aug-13 08:48:14

I mean a holiday cottage...

WeAreEternal Mon 26-Aug-13 08:53:06

I did it and it was the best decision I ever made.

Maybe you could take a couple of holidays in the area you would like to move to so that the DCs can get used to the place.
Maybe even a taster day at the school to see if they can see themselves going there.

Valdeeves Mon 26-Aug-13 08:53:58

I grew up by the sea and other than looking at it there weren't any real advantages as we lived in the north and it was too cold.
I holidayed every year with relatives who lived there on the Essex coast - that was brilliant, always swimming in the sea, collecting jelly fish, crabbing - great weather - icecres, fun on all the local piers. My family were blasé about it which suggested the novelty wore off!
We now live in a town which is an hour/hour and a half from the Dorset coast and its brilliant to be able to take the kids to a lovely beach for a day out.I think living relatively close is enough - the weather's only good enough for the each four, five weekends a year unless you like walking in the wind and the cold (lots of people do with a dog and I do to be fair as I loooove the sea.)
If you really want beach life, perhaps broad is the way to go?
But just to add - I have moved six times now and the last was so painful. Think carefully before you uproot your life.

Tbf I think wetsuits have changed access to the sea. Ds1 & I go in the sea pretty much all year round. We sat out Feb & March this year because of illness/extreme cold/no surf but that's unusual for us to be out so long.

Allegrogirl Mon 26-Aug-13 09:18:53

YANBU. We live by the coast and we would not move inland. DH is from West Wales and my parents are both Westcountry although military family so I lived all over the place growing up.

Me and DH lived in London when we were first married but felt utterly miserable every time the sun came out. We moved to a city by the sea so relatively cheap house prices, theatre and cinema etc but only 20 minutes from the beach. Unemployment still an issue though and really hard to break into jobs due to people moving here for the lifestyle once they are established.

What sort of area were you thinking of OP? A small town or village can be tough for DCs if they don't fit in with the clique. My parents moved to Cornwall when I was 13 and it was really, really tough being in a village. I had no life until I passed my driving test.

prettybutclumpy Mon 26-Aug-13 09:19:53

primalass are you in North Berwick? Would love to chat if you are, as we are hoping to move there soon.

freddiefrog Mon 26-Aug-13 09:30:49

We did it 10 years ago and while it does have it's negatives, I'd never move back.

Our eldest child was only 6 months old though, no schooling/friends/etc so worry about.

As much as I love it, it does have its downsides.

Work - there is none, apart from in care homes or seasonal stuff on minimum wage

Tourists - as much as I love the summer and love the way our town comes alive, it's still nice come September when everyone buggers off home. I love taking a flask of hot chocolate and having a stomp about on the beach with the kids and dog on a filthy November day

There are problems with young people. low aspirations/no work/etc and drug and alcohol misuse, it's not some idyll where all kids are caught up in Enid Blyton-type adventures on boats and rockpools and you don't have to scratch the surface very far to find it.

That said, my kids adore it, but then they've never known any different. Both mine are into Sea Scouts and surfing,sailing, watersports-y type stuff and have very outdoorsy/active lifestyles

Although I have to say, you do end up taking it for granted. I can see the sea right now, but you end up not really noticing it after a while. This summer, we haven't really been to the beach any more than we would have done if it was a 2 hour drive iyswim

primallass Mon 26-Aug-13 09:39:13

prettybutclumpy - no we are in Fife. I love North Berwick though. I think it is easier to be near the sea but near civilisation in Scotland as it is smaller. Within an hour we have Stirling, Glasgow, Falkirk, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Livingston, Dundee, Edinburgh etc for jobs.

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 26-Aug-13 10:09:08

Where I live ( in Essex) is by the sea but it's only 40 mins from central London and there are plenty of jobs and great schools.

It's no where near as beautiful as Cornwall but it's pretty and has a little sandy beach and I love being able to walk to it in 10 mins. It's busy all year round as it's not reliant on tourists and my favourite time here is on a sunny winters day. The kids paddle in their wellies and build sandcastles.

We find that in the summer we don't get down to the beach much as we are busy doing other things and it can be a bit crowded so not as relaxing as it should be.

I absolutely adore Cornwall and the amazing beaches and If I won the lottery I would buy a holiday home there but I'd want to stay living exactly where I am now.

Silverfoxballs Mon 26-Aug-13 10:13:06

I grew up by the sea, maybe it has changed but for teens it meant lots and lots of drugs, alcohol and underage sex on the beach.

I don't think you should move in the middle of GCSE years.

Have you been to a seaside town in the winter? it can be dire. I think lovely for parents and young dc but total crap for teens.

Having said that I hope to retire to the coast.

Cravey Mon 26-Aug-13 10:18:23

We live on the coast. It's lovely. I think it depends where you intend to go. Sme places have low employment and bad education. Others are pretty good. The only downside for me as others said is tourists. It's the pure fact that many of them are self entitled and rude. It's almost as if they get to the beach and turn into a loon. My boys grew up here. They are now 22. They surfed, water skied etc. it's a lovely life.

FrenchRuby Mon 26-Aug-13 10:20:55

I live by the sea and its hell in Summer, I don't go to the beach nearly as much as you'd think because of the tourists. You can't move on the beach in the summer. But saying that, I'm not a summer beach person anyway.

Mojavewonderer Mon 26-Aug-13 10:30:04

Don't let these misers put you off your dream!!!
I have lived by the sea and loved it! I got married on a hill top looking out to see that's how much I adore it. Not everywhere is touristy and you can always commute to work.
When my husband and I retire we are moving to live by the sea and will be picking a quiet village but still commutable to London. Can't bloody wait!

freddiefrog Mon 26-Aug-13 10:30:17

It's the pure fact that many of them are self entitled and rude. It's almost as if they get to the beach and turn into a loon.

Totally agree. It's "Yachties" here that cause problems. They seem to think that acquiring a boat gives them a free-pass to behave like a dickhead.

Bowlersarm Mon 26-Aug-13 10:33:08

I think if anyone is thinking of moving areas totally, regardless of whether to the coast or not, it really is better to do it with the children being as young as possible.

If you think you will do it, then I would do it now to give your eldest a few years at a new school.

And definitely before they start getting serious boyfriends/girlfriends.

Goldensunnydays81 Mon 26-Aug-13 10:39:24

People here saying that lots of teenagers in seaside towns/villages drink take drugs and have sex but is there difference for teenagers in towns/ cities? What extra things are there for teenagers to do?
My brother had a bit of time drinking when he was younger but I think he would have done this regardless of us living by the sea or not. Me and all my friends growing up never did and all had a lovely childhood!

Rufus43 Mon 26-Aug-13 11:01:08

Depends what part of the country you are thinking of. I live in a little village 10 mins walk from a stony beach. It is not a tourist destination and so does not have tourist problems. Good schools, sailing club you can join socially which is fab for teenagers, youth club, skatepark etc. 20 miles from two cities and 10 mins from two towns

flowery Mon 26-Aug-13 14:47:09

"for teens it meant lots and lots of drugs, alcohol and underage sex on the beach."

There are always going to be groups of teens everywhere who do drugs, drink and have underage sex. You don't need a beach for that, and that certainly wasn't the reality for us as teenagers.

I'd say there was more to do for teenagers where we were by the sea than there is where we are now, because there was all the usual stuff, cinemas, bowling etc nearby, and the beach.

brainwashed Mon 26-Aug-13 15:04:54

Prettybutclumpy if you need any info about north Berwick you can contact me. I love it here ..wouldn't live anywhere else now!

Loulah Mon 26-Aug-13 20:10:10

Thank you everyone - lots of food for thought. Nothing else to add really but will post if we take the plunge!

Takver Mon 26-Aug-13 20:19:16

"for teens it meant lots and lots of drugs, alcohol and underage sex on the beach."

I thought that was meant to be a positive grin

Seriously, we live 5 minutes walk from the sea, and I love it - we go to the beach loads (its our default outing in summer), our small town has proper shops (butcher, chemist, baker etc) because tourists use them, the teens all seem to have a great time & go to loads of parties. I know loads of 2nd generation incomers - people whose parents came here in the 60s/70s - most lived away for a bit if they went to uni but came back in their late 20s to settle down. However getting a job is a challenge! (We run our own business, so don't have that problem.)

Kendodd Mon 26-Aug-13 20:23:28

Where do you live now OP? and where do you want to go? The UK is a small country and we are never very far from the coast so you could move and still be within easy reach of friends/family.

I think you should do it. You only get one life so why wait, after all, you could always move back if you didn't like it.

Feminine Mon 26-Aug-13 20:29:23

jove are you saying that "as a local" you didn't accept newcomers?


Wherever you move it will be up to you to make it work. smile

We have made MASSIVE life changes ( in terms of moving) over the last 10 years. I really can't say enough, that it really is possible to live almost just has to adapt.

Good Luck...I actually don't think you have anything to lose. We did a similar thing last year with very similar age groups!

Living by the sea can mean so many things; anything from rural windswept isolation or small village community, right through to busy city life.

I have lived no further than half a mile from the south coast my entire life - in both rural and urban areas. I can't imagine living anywhere else. My children have grown up with things to do on their doorstep all year round - it doesn't always have to be quiet and shut up during the winter months.

It can often be much milder on the coast in winter too - we have relatively few frosts and snow is rarer than inland. Of course there can be some cracking gales, but it cam feel snug to be warm indoors as the maelstrom lashes outside.

Don't abandon your dream, Loulah - there is a good quality of life to be lived if you weigh up your priorities carefully.

Pink10 Mon 26-Aug-13 22:10:48

I would love to move to the Cornish coast - Padstow especially. However, I don't imagine it would be as nice as it is to live there as it is to holiday. House prices are so expensive and even with a public sector job I'm not sure how easy it would be to work there - do the Teachers stay in their roles for a lifetime etc. Anyway, I still also dream of moving to the coast.
I think with your eldest now is the time to move or after GCSEs as others have said for 6th form.

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