To move older dc to a rural location after living in the city?

(83 Posts)
Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 16:44:25

I'll try to be concise.

We currently live in the suburbs yet where we live means we needs to use car/ public transport for: dc school/ swimming baths/ cinema etc. The only things within 30mins walk are very small library, a handful of shops and a couple of small parks. When dc1 is old enough (currently 9) to travel to his friends, it would be a 15min bike ride.

We long for a more rural location and currently, older dc would love it for all the reasons we would (bigger house, huge garden, countryside on doorstep). My concern is that he will resent this when he's a teenager (several people we've spoke to about it have also mentioned the same issues, especially for when dc is 13-18).

The place we would be moving to is very small with only one shop and a pub, but it is only a ten minute bike ride to the two nearest villages who (though still relatively small) offer a Scouts group/ park but also, a bus that runs every ten minutes into the city centre (the journey itself taking about 20mins, which is the same on from where we live now if we go on public transport).

Is it selfish to move, or should we just go for it? confused Heard such differing views in rw I thought it would be helpful to get a range of thoughts on here.

will they live near their friends?
I moved from town to tiny village at nine. It was pretty crap. everything had to be arranged ahead for travelling to mates houses. no takeaway deliveries. no milk and bread in walking distance and terrible when roads icy and snowy.

Belugagrad Sun 29-Sep-13 16:58:33

My concern would be friends from new school cud all live in far flung villages- so weekend meet ups
Could be a pain? I think u have to be a willing taxi service as they get older if u make this move!

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 16:59:58

No, they'll be away from friends, although that would be the case with any of the places we're looking to move. It's just that other villages would be larger e.g. have parks/ swimming baths etc within ten minutes walk, and this one doesn't.

We'd obviously make an effort to stay in touch with his friends (but I'm aware that would dwindle in time), but if we're going to move, we wanted to do it before he's in secondary school. In my personal experience, new kids in primary were welcomed but in secondary they were always relegated by default to the 'outcast group', I don't mean that horribly, just that they didn't get to find friends they actually had things in common with and instead and had a narrow 'pool' of friends to pick from.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:01:06

I wouldn't mind being a taxi driver as two local villages have really good transport (trains in one, bus in the other) so I imagine we'd just be having to pick up/ drop off from there.

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:04:46

I live rurally and grew up rurally, but spent 20 years in London as an adult.

There are manay, many more things on tap in a city for teens, but they tend to be centered on inner cities, not suburbs anyway, as you say.

Rurally, there is NO public transport (where I live, there is a bus every 2 hours, and they stop at 5pm!), and you must be prepared to be a taxi service to get to swimming, cubs etc, as they're all in the next town/ village along. That bus service sounds dreamy! If it connects to a reasoanbly large town, that'd be great. Our nearest town worth a night out is 2 hours away by bus.

There is virtually nothing for the later teens to do.

That said, they make stuff of their own. A youth bus that visits weekly is well patronised, we have a library that does a lot ( it did Manga drawing classes over the Summer) and as there is one primary, one secondary ( takes the hassle out of school selection!), the friends are all local and bikeable when they're older. But, if they don't like the school, the other is 20 odd miles away.

A lot of the teens are outdoorsy, as that's whats about. There's a big off road biking scene and lots of running clubs.

9 is a good age to move.

What worries me is that you "long" for a rural life. It's not a bed of roses, villages are often poorly resourced, it can be very lonely initially, and very cliquey. You can't get away from people. And the countryside isn't always accessible: we live in a massively farmed area, and there are less footpaths than when I was in London! And all the newbuilds in our village are TITCHY, with next to no gardens. Go for ex-council 1950/ 1960 builds for gardens ( we have one, with a 250 foot garden out back, but new builds in the country are no bigger than elsewhere). Look VERY closely at the development plans for your area, the East of England in particular is set for massive expansion, and this won't show up on housing searches, you have to look at the areas overall regional development plans.

Also look at employment in the area: rural areas where I live are some of the worst in the UK, but around Cambridge it's fine, but VERY expensive. You need to really, really, research.

casacastille Sun 29-Sep-13 17:04:53

The country is great for young children, but rubbish for teens unless their friends are all within cycling distance.

Teens that have known the benefits of town/city life are unlikely to be thrilled by an isolated spot in the countryside.

Lilacroses Sun 29-Sep-13 17:06:43

I absolutely hated moving when I was 13. I moved from the middle of a large city to a cottage surrounded by fields. There were no pavements, no buses (unless you walked 3 miles to the bus stop first) and we weren't even in a village, sort of in between 2. As kids we did think living in the country would be all sweet and friendly and welcoming. It was the opposite, we were bullied, called snobs and for years my family were ignored in the local pubs/shops.

The worst thing though was that my mum and dad were not particularly happy to drive us anywhere so we spent alot of time feeling very bored and isolated.

My parents still live in this location and of course as an adult I like it very much! It is peaceful and quiet and since my parents have now lived there for 30 years they know more people!

I think if you are prepared to basically be a taxi for your kids for the next few years it will be absolutely fine. If not I wouldn't do it. I am bringing Dd up in a city because she has everything on her doorstep. We go to the countryside for holidays and thoroughly enjoy it though!

janey68 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:07:39

I think generally speaking teenagers will resent feeling more isolated. Yours may not be at that stage yet but ... Also while you may feel you don't mind being a taxi driver, it could become really restrictive later on if you're working or have other things to do. And bear in mind that public transport is vulnerable to cuts, so what may be a decent service now, could look very different in a few years time. Sorry... This isn't what you want to hear is it! I know you say that in reality a lot of the journeys wouldn't be longer than they currently are, but like I say, I wouldn't make decisions based on a current bus service to a small village. They only need to cut a couple of services and you're stuck. The teenage years are when your kids will branch out, want to be independent and I think it'll be tough

morethanpotatoprints Sun 29-Sep-13 17:09:23

Hi Wiggy,

We did the opposite and moved not only from quiet countryside to very large town but nearly 33 miles, when ds1 and2 were 9 and 6.
We have a dd who is 9 now, but even when the ds were younger, we were still a taxi service as it was too dangerous to let them ride bikes on road. Just because its a town doesn't mean that what you want is on your doorstep and quite often critics of the countryside don't think about this grin.
I think it sounds ideal as you are still close enough to a city, which is a huge bonus when living in the countryside.
If it was miles from anywhere with nothing for the dc and no services then yes I agree not ideal for dc, but this isn't the case by the sounds of it.
We moved for this reason, our 2 ds had very little opportunity to experience much other than school and playing out with friends.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:03

Sorry, should say 300 miles not 33

stargirl1701 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:47

They'll need to join Young Farmers to have a life grin

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:16:08

Young farmer events in the late 80's were my social life, and I can say that they were VERY exciting! What a bunch of young people can get up to in a barn is without limit.

Not to mention village hall discos. Once a month it was a Heavy Metal night and that was EXCELLENT. All the boys in black jeans with motorbikes ffrom miles around..... (sigh)

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:19:57

Mmm, good point about bus service. The nearest city is one of the biggest in the north so they won't be miles away from clubs/ bars etc when older. That said, really good point about cuts to bus services (though there is bus and train, so I'd have to imagine that both would be cut for it to cause real problems). We've already spotted the house we want which is a lovely, huge, stone built house. There are other kids around, I'm just not sure how many/ what ages- the reason I know is that we've been checking out gardens in the village for swings/ football nets etc!

Great point about planning permission too. The house looks out onto stunning open countryside... I'd best check it would stay that way! hmm

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:20:38

Sheridand grin

thebody Sun 29-Sep-13 17:26:11

don't kid yourself that living in a town doesn't mean you aren't a taxi service!

you still are as there are house parties and venues where buses don't go and it's too late for young teens to be in them anyway.

there are pros and cons to both really.

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:30:21

Boys with motorbikes are a big draw in villages. Especially when they hang around the wreck. Ah, nostalgia. You can't get into pubs underage when your mum knows the landlord, and the nearest other pub is a bus ride away, and the buses stopped at 4pm, so the boy with the motorbike has to go and get you the Thunderbird. I'm not selling this, am I?

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:34:41

Yes, I guess that's it. There are pros and cons, and many of them will be hard to appreciate until we actually do it. Some of the cons we probably won't have thought (hence posting on here, and thanks top those who've already provided food for thought), and I'm sure some of my pros may not turn out to be that great (it'll be hard to know what the community is like until we live in it I guess).

That said, some things will be for definite (i.e. the lovely house, the huge garden, the views and the countryside on our doorstep).

thebody Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:16

oh thunderbird!! also blue nun..grin

Fuzzysnout Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:45

Sounds lovely. You can't predict how any of you will feel in a few years time, let alone teenagers. Go for your dream before you regret missing out.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 29-Sep-13 17:36:58

I moved to a small rural village aged 11. I made new friends. It was great in that I had a lot of friends in the village, we all went to school together and spent our summers together but as a teenager there was less to do. I hated having to get my mum to pick me up after I'd been out late etc.

When it snowed we couldn't go anywhere, not even to the local shop two miles away! However snow days meant days off school and we went sledging instead. I liked growing up there, but I missed the convenience of public transport and shops.

It's a lovely place to visit now, my parents are still there. Village life is nice, but it takes a long time for you to be considered a local!

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:37:38

Sheridand- haha, I grew up in the suburbs and though I could get in all the city centre bars aged 14, that wasn't such a great thing! That said, we still spent many a happy evening chugging cider in the local park.

Despite all that, I managed to come out of my teens in reasonable shape and made it to uni etc.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:40:21

Mmmm, pobble, I imagine it may be a bit 'local' elite (due to comments I'd read from a local on a pub review about all the walkers who 'invade' on a weekend). That said, I'm hoping to work part-time as dc2 is still young so hoping the fact that I can go to mother and baby group in next village/ stand at school gates for dc1 so he can have friends for tea etc etc will hopefully allow me a foot in the door.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:14:07

Pants. Looked again at bud routes and the one from (what would be) our village is only every 90mins and not on a Sunday. It goes from next closest every 10mins, but that would be a 15min cycle for dc (when he's old enough). That said, looked at bike route on google maps and it looks pretty safe. That does mean a lot of taxi-driving. Urgh. Really don't know what to do? sad Starting to think that may be a bit too remote for a teenage. Oh gosh, what to do. My parent's view is that dc's teenage years are still a good few years away so just to move for now and see how things go but I really want a 'forever home', well, at least one we can settle in for the next ten years or so.

cardibach Sun 29-Sep-13 21:20:41

We moved to a small village without even a shop when DD was 5. SHe loved it then and loves it now (aged 17). I do need to be prepared to drive her around a lot - though she will hopefully pass her driving test soon...
We found it was easy to integrate (and it is really remote and Welsh speaking) as long as we put ourselves out a bit and made an effort to join in. People won't come to you!
Go for it.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:33:58

Ohhhh, Cardi, I could hug you! That's just what I wanted to hear! Is she not resentful of friends who live closer together?

My family did this and I cannot tell you how much I hated it once I'd grown past the ' Famous Five' age of playing in the woods and fields.

As a teen it was dire and just made me want to get away from the countryside and never come back.

I now live in the suburbs, small town but in walking distance of enough local shops, and nothing could ever convince me to live in the countryside again. I have four teens and they have grown up able to catch the bus, to have a choice of which school to go to for 6th form as a consequence and to have lives which didn't depend on whether I wanted to pick them up at midnight or not! Trust me on a saturday night not being able to have a glass of wine because a child needs picking up from a friends will be a pain :D

Incidentally my Mum has now moved back to a small suburb because as she has become older she realised she didn't want to have to drive miles to get milk, or to a doctor!

I would strongly suggest renting for a while first and REALLY testing to see if the mental picture adds up to the reality.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:52:05

Cardi- sounds perfect. Does your DD have friends near by? Is she resentful of others who live closer together/ have more access to cinema/ shops etc? I'm assuming that being taxi driver means you need to know exactly where they are/ when they'll be back etc- is she okay with this?

zower Sun 29-Sep-13 21:54:38

when you say 'older DC' any thoughts about waiting till they've flown the nest?

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:54:48

Medusa... Mmmmm, renting, I'd never thought of that. Would have to talk to dp as would be more expensive (moving stuff twice etc) but I guess a cheaper 'mistake' than buying in the wrong area.

On here, there seems to be a real divide in opinions which is the same as in rw.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:56:39

Zower- older dc is 9... but we have a dc under a year (and are trying for another in the new year), so by the time dc1 goes, dc 2 (and hopefully 3) will be at a similar age to dc1 now and therefore we'll have the same issues. Plus, considering how expensive it is to get your own place now, he may still be with us in his 20s!

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 22:05:38

Would this be a solution?

I'm wondering about possiblity of moving there until ds is 13 (ish), that would allow us a good few years and would match with when I'd prob go back to work full-time (dc2 would be back to school full time) so pay rise too. Although it would seem very cruel to shift ds aged 13, there are bigger nearby villages (that we don't like as much) that we could move to that would mean ds could go to the same secondary? But that would only be if he really hated where we lived? Would give us time to test it at least?

Lilacroses Sun 29-Sep-13 23:43:23

Wiggy, obviously it's up to you. The village I teach in is really lovely, despite not having a shop/pub or anything really it has a great community feel etc I know for certain that lots of the children are very happy there but I can't vouch for the teenagers

I'm sorry my post was particularly dire! It's just something that myself and my siblings all felt very strongly about and as a result none of us have settled in the countryside with our kids!

I also feel that Dd has alot more independence here in the city than she would out in the sticks. Here there are pavements, street lights etc so she was able to walk to school from the age of 10 and can now wander into the city with a friend without it being a huge rigmarole on the bus etc.

Having said that we all recently had the most amazing holiday in the Yorkshire dales which was so beautiful and friendly that we said we could imagine ourselves living there.....but probably when dp and I are old!

LazyMonkeyButler Sun 29-Sep-13 23:49:23

Gosh, I've never heard of a village with a swimming baths.

I guess we already live in the kind of rural place you would be thinking of moving to - and we are yearning to move to the seaside.

We have similar concerns (DSs are 16 & 12).

All I would say to you is that there are kids everywhere (i.e. your DC will make friends) and that everyone's DCs finds something to do! i.e. We have no cinema within a 10 mile radius, which would be a nightmare for some teens BUT our DCs are not bored.

DrCoconut Mon 30-Sep-13 00:03:52

I would not want to live rurally personally. I like the convenience of having facilities nearby and wouldn't want to have to rely on nearly non existent buses. The countryside is great and important, I love going there but not permanently. I felt the same as a teenager, when I was 6th form age my social life was an important part of my development from nervous geek to reasonably Ok (hopefully) adult. I would not have got that stuck out in a village with nowhere to go. DH grew up in the middle of nowhere, he wants to go back to that and I'm thankful that as yet we can't afford it. Each to their own on where to live, if you like the country that's fine but I can't see it being good for kids who are past playing out and adventuring that's all.

Thatballwasin Mon 30-Sep-13 00:07:18

Avoid anywhere where the school is really tiny. I had this and spent years with the only girl of my age constantly in the huff about something. Fun it was not!

I understand how you feel though. We were at my mum's this morning and DD was half way up an apple tree, shaking the branches to make the apples fall.

Saying that, I walk far, far more now I life in the city than I ever did growing up in the country.

facebookaddictno300 Mon 30-Sep-13 00:14:41

just do it - a lot can change between now and then

justaboutatpeace Mon 30-Sep-13 00:16:15

I lived in the countryside as a teen and was happy, but only because my parents were willing to be a taxi service. If you won't be happy to do that, then don't.

facebookaddictno300 Mon 30-Sep-13 00:16:27

and I want remote - I lived practically in a major city centre, they grow up so quickly

YouHaveAGoodPoint Mon 30-Sep-13 00:31:04

We moved to a town with a population of 9 thousand when we moved to the UK. We chose somewhere where the kids could walk to town and school, where they could easily go to the cinema and the leisure centre, where they could find afterschool jobs and where they would be close to friends. I am really glad we did this. I think kids need independence when they are teens and being able to get out and about on their own is good for them.
I know you are happy to be the taxi but I have found that teens (especially the boys) are not that great at planning things.
Good transport links are also great for when the kids are in their late teens.

I would suggest, if possible, that if you do move to factor in the cost of buying driving lessons and a cheap car for your kids so that they can be mobile when they are 17/18.

I am sorry I am sounding a bit negative but I thought it might be useful to have the views of someone with older children.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Mon 30-Sep-13 00:33:26

Can you do some research on the village and find out exactly how many kids already live there? There may be quite a few.

kiwik Mon 30-Sep-13 01:30:04

My parents did this when I was about 12. We moved from London to the depths of rural Cornwall - a huge culture shock for me. I was at boarding school and found holidays a real struggle as I didn't know any other children in the village at all, so had no social life outside of school time.
I did become more involved in rural life when I was an older teen - Young Farmers was fabulous fun, and I began to ride with a group of locals too. However I did move back to the city as soon as I could for Uni, and then never left again. I am definitely a city girl at heart.

My DH keeps mooting moving out of the city to a more rural (but still commutable) location, but I've halted each of those conversations so far. I love where we are at the moment - a city suburb with easy access to beach and the countryside if needed. I walk the dog everyday in the bush near our home, and that's plenty enough of the countryside for me.

NoComet Mon 30-Sep-13 01:50:29

The middle of nowhere is great for teens you know exactly where they are and who they are with, because you took them there.

If they are ever unspeakably badly behaved you have a way better threat than the WiFi password- no taxi service!

flaflafla Mon 30-Sep-13 02:06:50

I would love to live in the countryside. I lived in Manchester for 3 years and mostly hated it. Too crowded, too much noise and stress.

justwondering72 Mon 30-Sep-13 06:34:02

I grew up on a farm right out in the sticks. Even the local village (1 shop, closest bus stop 15 minutes drive away, no pub) was 4 miles away. I only had any kind of life at all as a teenager because my parents drove me everywhere, to parties, bus stop, even dropping me of and picking me up from a Saturday job every weekend. I also spent a lot of time sleeping over at friends houses at the weekend and I remember feeling quite powerless, always depending on the goodwill of others if I wanted a night out that lasted longer than the last 11 o.clock bus home! I passed my driving test within weeks of hanging the age, left for uni at 18 with a huge sigh of relief, and am now living city centre with Teri chosen and greatly enjoying all the benefits of the location! My folks still live in the sticks and it's lovely for visiting, not too keen to move there though!

justwondering72 Mon 30-Sep-13 06:51:22

Teri chosen = two children, stupid phone.

janey68 Mon 30-Sep-13 07:00:40

I think that's a very good point above about teenagers often being quite flexible about arrangements and maybe not knowing until last minute that they want to pop round so and so's house. It's one thing to agree to giving a lift well in advance, but what about when a mate texts and invites them out last minute? Also, when your children are teenagers and of an age when you and your husband will want days out or even a weekend away alone... Very restricting for the teens to be left all day or overnight with no transport, no facilities even within walking distance.

I second the idea that if you do plump for rural living, you plan to fund a small car for your teens when they reach 17... I know it's a lot of money with insurance but I think it's the only way of enabling them some independence

The countryside is beautiful, no one is denying it, but you can have holidays and day trips for your children to experience the joys of it, I just think moving to live there would be a totally different experience. Having teens myself (and even with a ds who is really outdoorsy) I still can't envisage living somewhere really rural. They get a lot more independence where we are than they would in the countryside

ProfYaffle Mon 30-Sep-13 07:08:34

I live in a town which is a similar size to youhaveagoodpoint, I really wouldn't want to live anywhere smaller. We live on the edge of town so have open fields to the left but to the right it's a 5 min walk into town with shops/pubs/youth centre/swimming pool etc plus we're on a main intercity train line which means when the dc are older they can easily get into the nearest city and to London in 90 mins.

I have several friends who live in outlying villages and I'd really hate it, all the disadvantages already mentioned here re transport/small village schools etc.

JourneyThroughLife Mon 30-Sep-13 07:20:04

Move to the countryside. The benefits are enormous, too numerous to list here. My children grew up in extremely rural villages and loved it. Yes, you will have to accept the taxi bit during the teen years but this is the only downside I can think of. Friendships do happen and are closer and more personal, villages are so safe. No worries about break-ins, could leave even small children can walk home at night and play out on their bikes. Healthwise, fantastic fresh air, close to nature, freedom from noise, traffic fumes....I could go on forever.
During the teen years I had to taxi the children around or drop them off at the nearest transport. Or take them to the nearest town (30 miles away) at weekends. Was still worth it.
My children are now older and have left home, both live in cities but choose to do that. When they went to University they were far more self-sufficient than many of their peers becuase they'd had the freedom to learn about life, I think they'd have been too constrained to do this in a town or city.

janey68 Mon 30-Sep-13 07:26:01

Ps- also remember its not just about how your children's lives will change as they get older; yours will too, in ways which you can't imagine while you're in the throes of small children. Just a couple of years back I couldn't imagine being able to go off all day on a Saturday with DH, having lunch, shopping or visiting our friends or some place of interest. But that stage comes around fast: when your teens won't want to be doing everything with you: they will want to do their own thing. It's possible for us because we can go off knowing our teens can get up (in their own sweet time!) and send us a text that they're off to the shops, or cinema or going round to a friends. Ours aren't quite old enough for us to feel comfortable with overnights away but probably next year we'll try that. None of this would be possible if going off all day meant leaving our teens stranded with only a couple of buses a day, and not even a local shop. I can't tell you how liberating it is - for us, not just them.
Lots to mull over. Maybe go for a compromise and a small town/ big village which at least will give them more to do without being reliant on you?

Vivacia Mon 30-Sep-13 07:29:49

There isn't a primary school within a 30 minute walk of your house? You must live in the largest suburb in the world.

kmc1111 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:33:54

I wouldn't. My parents did a similar move when I was 10. The next 7 years were incredibly isolating and boring. The other kids my age didn't really share any of my interests (most of them were being groomed to take over their parents farm/work on their friend's farms-I was into art and books and theatre), and unlike where we used to live, there weren't any places to make friends other than school. The kids in scouts and all that were the same kids you saw at school. I did have people to hang out with, but no real friends. They were nice people, but if I'd have thought no one would make a big fuss I would have rather have just had books for friends. BTW, all that crap about kids in the city being the time I was 16 half of my peers in the countryside were either drug addicted alcoholics, pregnant, had criminal records or all three. Oh and an obscene amount died or were terribly injured in car accidents, most of which were caused by idiot kids playing chicken in stolen cars and stuff like that. It was easy to understand though. Live in a place where teenagers have nothing to do, they're going to make their own fun.

By living where we did I lost the opportunity to do a lot of things. Where we used to live there were lot's of free and cheap activities, there were museums and amazing libraries that ran all sorts of classes and events. In my new town there was really nothing. Loitering outside closed shops for 5 hours was considered a fun activity. When I was a bit older, I couldn't get any sort of job. There was no work in my town for teenagers unless their parents owned a shop, and we were too far away from bigger towns. I had tons of interviews and so many places told me I was perfect but I lived too far away. They wanted someone who could get there by themselves eg. not relying on mum and dad or a bus that ran every 2 hours, and they were right to. If I had gotten a job public transport wouldn't have cut it, I would have needed my parents to drive me back and forth most of the time, and I know they would have tired of it almost immediately. Meanwhile the few friends I kept in contact with in my old town all had jobs, and they also got to do some work experience and volunteering that greatly helped them later on. I had trouble getting work later because I had nothing on my resume when most people my age had at least a few work experience spots. Oh and the school I went to was terrible, there was definitely an undercurrent of 'everyone's going to be in this dead-end town forever, just like their parents and their parents parents, no point in bothering really'. The closest schools were the same, going to a decent one would have meant a 3 hour round trip, so never a viable option.

Probably the biggest thing was the lack of independence. I was very reliant on my parents to get anywhere, and because of the work situation I was also completely financially independent. I honestly had a lot more freedom aged 10 in a big town than aged 16 in a small village. In the big town I could walk to school, to nearby friends and shops, to the library etc. because there were so many people around, in the small village my parents wouldn't let me go anywhere by myself til I was pretty much an adult (and even then they didn't like it), because if anything happened there'd be no one around to help or even witness it. And like anywhere there were some real creeps, but due to the small population they knew my name, could easily guess where I'd be etc. I felt/still feel a lot safer in big towns and cities.

Oh and other posters are right, unless it's a big pre-planned thing like a concert, most teens just make plans on the fly which makes it really difficult if you're reliant on someone else to ferry you around.

Sorry to be so resoundingly negative, but I really hated living in the sticks. I moved the second I was able to, and life immediately got a million times better. I honestly feel living where I did held me back. I wouldn't mind living in the countryside as an adult, because now I've had fun, I've seen things, I've had opportunities, I've I'd be ok with a bit of isolation and a nice, simple but rather dull life. But I'll wait til the DC's have left.

lljkk Mon 30-Sep-13 08:40:55

Wifi is a good point: does your target village have decent broadband, OP? I live in Norfolk & lack of decent broadband in rural areas is a huge local issue atm.

I'm not sure how teens make local friends outside of school/clubs if not from hanging out on street corners & in the skate park which, er, isn't widely recommended.

Though I am not sure if it's possible to live anywhere with teens & not become a taxi service! Terribly important that they can do most basic journeys (to school & clubs) without relying on adults, though.

Trills Mon 30-Sep-13 08:48:16

You should pay attention to KMC 's point about being able to gets jobs.

It's true that you will be a taxi service to some extent wherever you are, but in the countryside this will last for longer. And don't imagine that they will get cars at 17 - insurance is ridiculously expensive these days.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Mon 30-Sep-13 09:01:07

I grew up in a village. It had a shop a pub and a small school. I lived it. And we didnt have a car! There were more than enough local kids to always be friends with someone find someone to snog and there were occasional buses. I learned to be very patient waiting in bus stops and tbh rarely went into town anyway!
I woukd personally go one step further than you. Id drag the whole lot of mine off to Shetland give half a chance! wink

Chunderella Mon 30-Sep-13 09:04:26

Jobs is a good point, not just now but also later on. Unless your DC will be doing jobs that can be done rurally, it'll be a huge advantage for them to have the option of living at home in or within striking distance of a big city as adults. The way the world is going, with unpaid internships and postgraduate training increasingly common, having to stand on their own two feet at 21 is going to close some doors to them. I don't mean to offend anyone and have nothing against the countryside, but it's getting so much harder for young people to get their start. Can't see that it's going to be any better in 10-15 years. I know you've talked about moving in 5 years, but you've also talked about wanting a forever home. If you do decide to go for it with a view to coming back after x years, I'd make very certain you had a big deposit. The housing market is nonsensical and totally unpredictable at the moment.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 30-Sep-13 09:15:54

I live in the country because I want to do that. I want the beautiful garden and no neighbours and lovely views and I feel enormously lucky that I am able to do this.

I will, of course, make every effort to ensure that my teenagers have access to a social life/work opportunities etc. But I am not going to live my entire life in a spot that doesn't suit me out of a sense that they may be better off socially somewhere else. I don't even feel particularly selfish about this.

My DH was moved from the country to a town as a teen and hated it. Personal anecdotes are just that - personal! I truly believe that you have to do what you as an adult feel to you have to do, then make every effort to make it work for everyone.

Harryhairypig Mon 30-Sep-13 09:19:59

I grew up in a village with reasonable transport links. buses to the next town and trains to where school and friends lived and that was ok. that was ok compared to the village with no transport links we moved to when I was 16. There were good reasons why my parents had to live there it wasn't just a lifestyle choice. I then had to rely on parent to get anywhere. I would spend all weekend at friends house where I went to school. left for uni and didn't appreciate the place until I was grown up. my younger siblings social lives weren't bad as they went to school in the village or next town and made local friends. They definitely made their own entertainment often involved illegal substances. but there was no way we were young farmers material so never did that. It was ok to grow up in a village. I do now live in a town with and will stay here till they are grown up.

Harryhairypig Mon 30-Sep-13 09:22:59

that should say that all it was ok to grow up in villages have chosen to bring my kids up in a town as there is more to do and it's easier for them to be independent as they grow up.

JustinBsMum Mon 30-Sep-13 09:27:19

We moved to country when DS was 14 and he happened to thrive in new much smaller school and met a great and still v close bunch of mates. It was friendlier and parents shared lift giving, unlike in the town where we had previously been.

Trills Mon 30-Sep-13 09:33:17

Humphrey - of course you should live where you want to live. We're just pointing out some of the potential consequences, which will affect the OP as well as her children.

Living in villages/suburbs/towns/cities all have different pros and cons. It's good to be aware of them when you make the decision, but ultimately the decision is up to the adults.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 30-Sep-13 09:37:06

Oh, I know that Trills. I was coming from the perspective that I wouldn't think that the consequences being pointed out were not necessarily relevant as the circumstances are all so very different.

It is not just town v country, it is a million different places versus a million different places.

HumphreyCobbler Mon 30-Sep-13 09:44:02

Oh and possibly I was slightly chippy as I get quite defensive about the listings of all the reasons living in the countryside is crap as I am about to give birth and am very hormonal blush

I just wouldn't dream of listing all the reasons I think living in the town is crap as I think it could be seen as rude to those who live in towns. Although that is the point of the thread so maybe I should just retire gracefully and shut up.

Preciousbane Mon 30-Sep-13 09:48:45

My youth had a lot of cow pat fights and underage drinking. The teens had just the same issues as other dc but in a small place everyone tends to know about which I hated and couldn't wait to get away from.

I didn't partake but there was a lot of drug taking and a lot of it was from the magic mushrooms that could be easily picked. Our cross country running at school took us past a spot and I remember some having the balls to pick them whilst on the run shoving them down their shorts.

The boys were absolute buggers for doing stuff like cow tipping and impromptu rodeo riding and trying to nick tractors when drunk.

Bad things I remember was a boy losing his own thumb because of some incident with his brother with his Dads shotgun and a boy in my class being done for badger digging.

The whole lack of transport was a problem and I still think somewhere is a bit far if I can't walk to it. That is my little personal anecdote, we were part of the rural poor though so if you have plenty of money for transport that's different.

Trills Mon 30-Sep-13 10:00:57

If someone starts a thread saying I am thinking of moving from the countryside to a town - what are the potential downsides then feel free to list them all!

Or list the crap things about living in a town here, just label them as this is why you SHOULD move to the country grin

notthefirstagainstthewall Mon 30-Sep-13 10:04:41

If your children might like country hobbies - riding ,shooting, young farmers then they will have a lovely time (and they can also find part time work beating, mucking out, calf feeding etc).
If you need swimming pools,galleries,broadband etc then they'll hate the rural life.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 30-Sep-13 10:31:07

I haven't read the whole thread, but I remember from school that the DC who lived in the villages were the ones who couldn't go into the town for a drink in the Wimpy with their friends; they were the ones who couldn't/didn't meet up in town to go shopping or just mooch about. My teenage DC have some friends now who live in outlying villages and they are the ones who don't meet up at the weekend, or if they do, it's a big faff and can't be done on the spur of the moment. I would hate to live rurally. I don't mind suburbs, though. I wouldn't move. We particularly chose our house so it is near enough the town centre for DC to walk into and close enough to the schools, too.

NutellaNutter Mon 30-Sep-13 10:31:23

This is a really interesting thread, and KMC's post struck a chord with me.

I think a move to the country also possibly depends on your children's personality type. I grew up in a small place and hated it. The only way to have enjoyed it would be to embrace the outdoor life, but that wasn't me at all. I think my experience was coloured by the fact I was a bookish, arty child. I now live in London, and am utterly in my element. There is so much to do here. All the children's theatre, galleries and museums and the millions of other off-beat things there are here for kids to do would have meant the world to me when I was much younger, and I often wonder whether a childhood in a big city would have meant an easier time of things for me.

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:11:11

Massive thanks for all your replies, it's really food for thought.

Have since spoke to woman in local deli (who lives in village) and discovered that there are actually 3 buses per hour into city (Newcastle) with 20min travel time. She has one dd past teenage years and one dd that is 9, she said they both love it and that kids are all very friendly/ play out together and transport links were no issue at all for her older dd. I know that's just her own experience but was good to hear, (she invited us to have a cuppa with her in her deli when we next visit (which is tomorrow) to find out more).

As for eldest ds's personality- it's a tough one. On one hand, he adores the outdoors- biking, football, walking etc etc but on the other he's quite happy reading/ playing lego/ going to cinema etc etc. I guess that's typical of most kids his age, it'll be hard to predict what he'll like as a teen. I would say that he's happiest with friends.

Also spoke to village school (few streets from house) and there are 30 kids in his class (so not that small), of which 19 are boys (and of those 19, around half are from the village, others from nearly villages). There is also a bus service which takes kids from village to next school. All of the schools are ones I'd be happy to send dc to (and dp and I are both teachers so we're fussy)!

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:19:38

Vivica- yes, there are currently schools within a 30min walk of us, there are several, I should have been more specific and said there are none that I would choose to send my child too.

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:20:06

or even send my child to blush

zower Mon 30-Sep-13 12:20:28

good luck! its been an interesting thread too.

If there is a bus into town every ten minutes I wouldn't really class that as rural. Ny parents moved us from London to a village in Cambridgeshire when I was 9. I detested it for two years as the kids were really unpleasant in the junior school. there was only two buses a day which made life as a teen very tough - if I missed the 7.25 but I would be 2 hours late for 6th form and if I missed the 5.45 bus I was at the mercy of my Step father for a ride home. With so little transportation I had to beg to be allowed to any social events in the evening and only ever found two friends local enough to walk to their house.

If you are willing to be a taxi and take him to friends houses in villages all over, prepared for drives into town when he misses the last bus and think he will enjoy the countryside, go for it. A bus every 10 minutes sounds great.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Mon 30-Sep-13 12:40:17

Lol, are you sure it's in the countryside, 3 buses an hour with a 20 min trip into Newcastle sounds like the suburbs. grin
I was picturing a remote hilltop farm out in the middle of the moors.
I think it sounds a perfect place to be.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 30-Sep-13 12:45:03

Its a gamble. I was moved to a village at about that age, along with my two brothers (both younger). In our teen years:
I was still the outsider and bullied/socially isolated
DB1 was in a close group of friends who stayed active in Scouting and did outdoors activities most weekends
DB2's friendship group fell apart and he ended up a group who took drugs out of boredom.

How far is it to the secondary school, and is it a school you are happy for DS to go to? Because his friends as a teen may not be from the village you are in/primary school he goes to.

Tak3n Mon 30-Sep-13 12:45:10

I remember a debate on this subject on Radio 5 once, and the general consensus was it is a very selfish thing to do, young children then great, but the various experts made the point that having stuff to do for teenager's is critical to their development...

All I can tell you is we have done the opposite, I was bought up by parents who love the country and I had zero friends where we lived, a tiny village of 50 houses

and I was bored a lot, and I vowed to raise our DS in a urban environment, despite its shortcomings..

I don't know the right answer as obviously we now have the internet etc,

flashheartscanoe Mon 30-Sep-13 12:49:09

I think it sounds great. Just make sure they can walk to school on their own and walk from the bus stop for secondary. This is crucial or you will be tied to school runs until the youngest is 18.

We live in a totally isolated spot. I have to take the kids to the bus stop and pick them up again. This afternoon 2DCs have clubs so wont be on the bus. One has to be picked up at 4.30 and one at 6.30. Its a 35 minute round trip. I could do without all the driving and am desperate to move.

BUT I would only move to the village where the primary school is and where their friends live and where the school bus comes to. I would never go back to the city. My friend grew up in the centre of London- she says she spent her teens hanging outside 7eleven as they werent allowed in anywhere.

Let them grow up in a small community and then revel in the big city when they go off to uni.

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:57:50

Yes, I'd be happy with schools and yes bus stop is walking distance (the village only has about 20 streets so everything is walking distance)!

I'm not sure the 'bored kids in the country do drugs' is any different to anywhere else, there will be teenagers everywhere who take drugs (I've taught in inner-city, suburbs and rural schools and there have always been a proportion of kids who will experiment (and in sad cases, be fully consumed) with drugs.

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 12:59:46

I don't mind idea of being taxi driver, dp and I rarely drink (normally if we go out which is about once every 2 months), plus, it's not as though we'll have 'our lives back' as ds1 is an older teenager as ds2 will only be around 9 and we're hoping for a dc3 so essentially we'd still have two young ones and so be up early/ driving them places etc.

MinesAPintOfTea Mon 30-Sep-13 13:13:26

Oh I know that teens everywhere "do drugs", but some people have a rose-tinted view that the teens in the country live in Enid Blyton books and are protected from the modern sins of drugs and sex. As long as you know that doesn't work.

Wiggy29 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:29:50

No, I had some friends who grew up in a rural village and they said they basically spent their time getting stoned in fields... which is pretty much what all my friends in the city did (except in parks)!

CloudyBayDrainageSystem Mon 30-Sep-13 14:54:23

Check the bus times and routes then double check them. Make sure they go until late in the evening.

I also had the following experiences - magic mushrooms, racing round the woods on mo-peds without helmets at terrifying speeds, lots of drinking/sexual activity in the group at very early ages, and more soberly, two deaths and two serious injuries arising from teenagers on bikes/in first cars tearing round the village lanes showing off. When I was 17 my UCCA choice selections were all deliberately in big cities at least 100 miles away from home, and i spent the next 15 years in big cities. Looking back it was actually a fun way of growing up (although I felt very naive at uni), but I do worry about my own kids (we moved back to the same area when my kids were born to give them the whole extended family experience). I worry less about the taxi service bit (my mates have the same experience in the heart of London) but I am sure that once my kids start driving or being ferried around by other kids I will be losing an awful lot of sleep waiting for them to come home. Only a few weeks ago there was another 17 yo died in a car crash not far from our village, and last week was the anniversary of the death of the 16 yo son of a friend in the village (hit from behind whilst driving carefully on a moped). That for me is the very worst bit of village life.

Preciousbane Mon 30-Sep-13 16:13:29

Wondering if Cloudy grew up near me due to all the magic mushrooming. A lot of boys had trail bikes and used to go up to a disused chalk pit.

I must admit it does sound more like an outlying suburb especially with the several schools comment.

This thread has made me a bit sentimental, which is unusual but memories of having a piss in an abandoned pigsty while eating jam sandwiches is making me have a little internal laugh.

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