How did you figure out where to go back to?

(34 Posts)
DolomitesDonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 05:06:04

I've not lived in the UK for 20 years (aside uni - and even then I worked abroad in summer hols). However, we're now planning to go back - for all the usual reasons I suppose - searching familiarity and easier access to things we like (sports/clubs-related).

How do you figure out where you want to go?

I moved around a lot when I was a child and so there's nowhere which feels like "home". My husband is from a city renowned for its "difficulties" and he doesn't want to raise the children there.

We have no interest in the South-East and are not tied down for work.

Our options and preferences are right now as follows:-

1) Wales - mid- or Cardiff-ish? Pros: Welsh Assembly, outdoors stuff, my family Cons: When my mum dies, I think my dad will go to scotland and we have no other ties in Wales
2) Loch Lomond/Western Highlands - Free uni tuition, great outdoors Cons: A total pita to get to London for work-related stuff
3) Aberdeen: Wild & wonderful - bit too far from anything else?
4) Northumberland: Neither of us have lived there but we visit now and then and love the wilderness and the friendliness of Newcastle and have some friends there. However, no family there.

We're not planning to move back until early 2015 but we said by the end of this year we'd like to have figured out where we're going.

How did you make this decisions? Did you regret it? Did you end up moving back and then moving on again? I'd love to hear your stories.

DameFanny Wed 24-Apr-13 11:21:24

If I didn't have family ties or work-specific locations to think about, I would so move to Inverness. Just big enough for culture, small enough to not drown in. Also ice skating, and proper snow - I'm a cold-blooded creature grin

Weegiemum Wed 24-Apr-13 11:25:41

Glasgow/West Highlands isn't too bad for London. It's 4.5 hours on the train from Glasgow Central (we live in Glasgow!).

I agree with DameFanny, Inverness is wonderful.

My ideas of "far" are a bit skewed as I used to live in the Outer Hebrides!

But for education, quality of life Scotland is brilliant!

DolomitesDonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 11:52:15

I lived in Shetland for a while so remote isn't a problem - in fact it's come upon our radar this morning. I'd like islands - I also love Inverness. There are mumblings of "chucter" though. wink

I like cold, so Inverness would suit me fine. Shetland of course mild, wet and horizontal rain.

DameFanny Wed 24-Apr-13 12:27:15

I think the thing I like about Inverness is that it has restaurants and theatre etc, but is vv close to all things wild and beautiful.

I want to move now. Gah.

Weegiemum Wed 24-Apr-13 12:29:12

Well in that case, seriously consider Lewis or Harris! We know quite a few people who live there, and who commute to London on a several days a month basis. Even with the flights (and there's reduced rate on flights if you have an island address) its cheaper than living in the south east.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 13:03:16

See I don't give a toss about the "theartarrrr" wink and I'm a brilliant cook - and an unsociable sod.

We like: riding, golf, rugby, fishing , you get the picture!

Would only actually have to go to London 1-2 times a year - or if in the highlands/islands go to Glasgow/Edinburgh every few months or so.

I was looking at houses on Shetland - nice 4-bed house for 160k with views to die for.

Also the ferry's cheaper than it used to be isn't it? In fact, all travel up there seems cheaper than it did back in the day. I heard it's now all heavily subsidised by the EU - any truth in that?

My husband has reservations about the islands because he's worried than the boys will grow up "too innocent" - I don't want them growing up being involved in gang fights in Glasgow like he was. sad

DolomitesDonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 13:10:49

PS Am loving this exchange of ideas - you two are totally on my page. Most people get a bit po-faced if I don't say London! wink

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 14:38:47

East Riding of Yorkshire - Beverly, York and around that region seems to be a lovely place to bring up kids. My DB moved there years ago and loves it. Everytime I visit I love it there too.

If I had the choice it would be near the sea or a Lake. A house on Robin Hood's bay, access to London via York. Bracing sea air! Or Whitby?

I grew up in Wales, and of course there are some beautiful areas there, but I find it a little bit stifling when I go home.

What a lovely thought that you can just choose somewhere to live so randomly Dolomites!

Weegiemum Wed 24-Apr-13 14:59:33

Well we live in Castlemilk in Glasgow now and our dc have no involvement in gangs!

Our dc started life in the Hebrides and aren't "innocent" at all! Though they've had lots of their life in Glasgow (we moved for work reasons!)

We have a house there (not for sale!!) that's 3 bed huge kitchen/diner/lounge, large lounge, bathroom, laundry, with 1 bed granny flat, 1 bed stone built holiday cottage, 1/4 acre garden. Recently valued at £280k the lot.

Seriously I'd consider it (we left as I couldn't get work up there but we go back lots). I'd go back tomorrow but it doesn't work for us right now.

magimedi Wed 24-Apr-13 15:09:34

I don't know where you live now, Dolomites - Italy I presume!

I did live in Aberdeensgire for a couple of years & it was indeed lovely, but the very short days in the winter were hard to bear. DS lives in France, he's been ther e6 years now, & even coming back to SE England in the winter he really notices the daylight being less.

DolomitesDonkey Wed 24-Apr-13 15:48:52

Wally Now Yorkshire seems to be a bit of a conundrum. Some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere (as featured weekly on Countryfile/My life in the country/Let's go for a fucking walk in the country etc.) - but it also seems to house some of the shittest towns in the country. sad wink Part of me wants to be by the water - I remember bunking off school and sitting on the beach watching the seals... but then a part of me is terrified about the boys!

Weegie I don't think they'd grow up too innocent either - I know my friends from school certainly didn't - illicit weekends away in Aberdeen were the things of legend! My dad went a bit bonkers when he went away to Aberdeen for uni - I think a lot of them do, but we all grow up. As for my husband... likes a bit of trouble he does!

magi I'm in The Netherlands so probably on a latitude with London or so - so the long winters would be tough. However we're both scots and the summers make up for it.

magimedi Wed 24-Apr-13 16:41:11

If you're both Scots you know what it's like then - in the nicest possible way. It was the first time I had lived as far north & the winters were a great shock to me, mainly for the lack of daylight.

Aberdeen is a great city - we lived outwith it but I remember (was in my 40's ) having loads of great friends & a wonderful social life. And the countryside was amazing.

Pootles2010 Wed 24-Apr-13 16:49:14

You cheeky fucker re Yorkshire! grin It's ace here. Don't go to South/West yorkshire and you'll be fine wink

We live in East Yorkshire, not far from beverley, and it's really lovely. Scenery not the most amazing in Yorkshire (ie Dales, Moors etc) but still v nice, we have towns like York, Beverley, Malton that are lovely.

WallyBantersYoniBox Wed 24-Apr-13 16:52:37

Sorry my mistake, of course Robin Hood's Bay is in North Yorks isn't it?

They do't half get territorial up there, it was all new to me until my brother moved, all sorts of nicknames for people in each county. I thought it was just Lancs that held the fiery temper, but I was wrong!

But some people think of Yorkshire and can't get past Hull to be fair Pootles.

Chandon Wed 24-Apr-13 16:57:24

We did this

We looked at:
- within 1 hr from our work
- close to family, easy to get to
- good local schools
- 4 bed houses in our price range
- countryside on our doorstep, as we missed walks

Just make a list of things that matter to you.

fussychica Wed 24-Apr-13 18:00:19

We were offered a rental from a friend of the family, liked the area so after 6 months landed up buying a place on the other side of the town. It wasn't anywhere we had considered prior to our return but sometimes things just fall into place.

DolomitesDonkey Thu 25-Apr-13 08:44:02

fussy That worked out well! I think renting first is definitely a good idea because of course we don't have any recent experience of any of the places on our bucket lists (bar mid-Wales) we don't really know what to expect. Something which looks beautiful on rightmove might be just down the road from something awful, the schools might be shit, etc., etc.

Chandon Mountains! grin

I think my heart is in the islands but because we want horses I'm thinking of that never-ending wind... and the hassle of shipping them up from Aberdeen. So many things to consider.

I think we need to start planning some road trips.

fussychica Thu 25-Apr-13 18:54:50

Yes it has worked out well Dolomites but I wouldn't put it past us to move on again at some point.
One of the great things about this forum is that if you are interested in somewhere there is usually someone who knows it and can tell you what it's like - good or bad. Whilst we were renting we still thought of other possible places but they either didn't live up to expectations or it was such a hassle to go and view somewhere miles away we often didn't bother.
Good luck whatever you decide.

Aberdeen is nice - another small city, so it has some activity but not so much it'd swallow you. It's well-to-do - there are a lot of Audis on the road and the cost of living can be very high compared to other parts of Scotland, but the energy industry has kept the city ticking over during the recessions. There are sports events like road races, some music events, occasionally a street market. The country is right on the city's doorstep, so easily accessible. Or you can live in the country in Aberdeenshire and commute in. There are a lot of horsey people in the area, so you would have company there.

Schools are pretty stratified here - the city itself has some of the best and worst academies in Scotland, if you judge by exam results tables, so you would want to pick your neighborhood carefully. Most of the private schools are excellent.

It does take more time on the train to get from here to there - ~2.5 hrs to Glasgow, several more than that to London - but if you are planning to go back and forth to London for work, there are direct flights from Aberdeen airport.

Traffic infrastructure is not what it should be. I know traffic is a fact of life everywhere, but it gets really bad in Aberdeen because there's no highway around the city, so all of the traffic has to go through the city centre. E.g. you would not want a job south of the river and a house north of the river - your commute would be at least an hour each way. Traffic coming in from more rural communities can get really heavy too.

Mosman Sat 27-Apr-13 09:10:29

I'm considering Scotland if we go back to the UK, how keen are the scots on the English ? My mum is Scottish and she doesn't think we'd be welcomed with open arms.
Also the job situation oop north, how's that at the moment, generally ? I'd be looking for a £25,000 sales rep kind of role.

specialsubject Sat 27-Apr-13 11:24:53

I looked into this and ended up in Shropshire - not too far from anything, beautiful countryside, lots to see and do, lots of history, fantastic open spaces, friendly natives, uncrowded roads, all the facilities. Just outside the day-trip range for London, so feasible house prices, lower living costs.

don't tell anyone, will you? :-)

generally the eastern side of the UK has more extreme weather, and popular places such as Cornwall and the Lake District are very green for a reason. North Wales is beautiful but it takes ages to get anywhere, funding problems with health service and if you don't speak Welsh you are barred from many public sector jobs. South Wales seemed just as busy as the south-east!

wherever it is - rent first.

DolomitesDonkey Sat 27-Apr-13 11:38:39

mosman my very English mum had always claimed the Scots had it in for her - however I'm told times have changed and even shetlanders return with an English spouse in tow.

The highlands is full of Brits escaping the rat-race.

I'm told there's plenty of work (far, far north) for those that want it.

I'm in quandary again, I'd still love the islands but it does rule out horsey competitions.

I love the edge of Shropshire - Presteigne direction - but fear too pricey.

DolomitesDonkey Sat 27-Apr-13 11:45:52

probably if we were to go Aberdeenshire it would likely be Dufftown direction. Would that be a killer commute?

dh informs me Dufftown is a fair old bit away. It's out past Huntly so would take more than an hour to get to the city without traffic. he reckons an hour and a half or maybe an hour and 45 minutes at rush hour. depends on timing though. It takes about 20 mins to go two miles at around 9 in the morning if you're out by the airport. a lot of people i know try to start for work earlier than that.

scottswede Mon 29-Apr-13 07:13:09

We are in the same situation about where to move to. We are thinking of Angus area, though I would like Inverness area, dh thinks it will be too cold. It is so hard to narrow down an area. My criteria are; No more than one hour from an airport, Coastal.
We did not research the area when we moved here which was a huge mistake and has probably lead to the return to the UK.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 29-Apr-13 11:54:15

scottswede This weekend I've been treated to an old schoolfriend posting pics of her new house - built to order, on the waterfront with views to die for. And yesterday, another posted pics of an orca pod... it's all so very tempting! Although my husband has just announced he hates the sea. Wtf? grin

C4ro Mon 29-Apr-13 12:16:21

Oooh, is that an old face (not meant in the rude way!) from NL?...
How the hell are you doing?: been AGES since I've stumbled over you on here. (PM me if I'm right at least).
Austria is awright, nearly 2 years here now but still having days where it's utterly alien and freaks me right out.

DolomitesDonkey Mon 29-Apr-13 12:26:19

Yes it is. smile I ditched my job before they changed the labour laws... How long are you planning on staying?

meerkate Tue 30-Apr-13 19:16:15

DD we moved back to the UK from Oz/NZ a few years ago and settled (for now...we have permanently itchy feet grin) in the Marches, the Anglo-Welsh border region not far from Presteigne - it's lovely! Beautiful, green and rolling, near the Brecon Beacons. Come live near me smile I too am Scottish originally but Inverness, Aberdeen etc WAY too cold for me (bad enough down here), I do see the attraction though. Good luck! Exciting times smile

DolomitesDonkey Thu 02-May-13 11:55:46

meerkate I don't know what to think of the cold, right now where we live has more "definite" seasons - e.g., late-30s in the summer but mid-teens below in the winter. I prefer the cold to the wet and Aberdeenshire does seem to be cold, but dry! e.g., 12 degrees and they're all in t-shirts. grin

Do you know Pilleth? That's probably my favourite place around your way.

I am umming and aahing about having a house on the beach and my children being taken by orcas. Nobody ever worries about that do they? AIBU to worry about orcas taking my children?

meerkate Thu 02-May-13 15:58:17

grin at your orca fears...not many of them around here so can't really reassure you sorry wink

Pilleth is just outside Knighton, isn't it - gorgeous part of the world. But no sea - I miss the sea, badly!

My best uni pals live in Pitmedden outside Aberdeen, and Inverness respectively. Both love where they live, get up to all sorts of outdoorsy japes, and wouldn't move anywhere else.

Ooh it's difficult, isn't it...but lucky to have the choice smile

DolomitesDonkey Fri 03-May-13 08:10:43

Yes, quite a treck over to Aber for some coast for you! Although I saw a couple of weeks ago that the mountain road from Rhayader to Aber is in the Michelen "top 20 drives of the world" or something. I always love going wild pony spotting up there - Keep your eyes on the road, keep your hands on the wheel... wink

Well we're off to Newcastle at the end of the month for a quick look-see, then off to mid-Wales end of the year.

Too much bloody choice and too much time to make it. If only it were a choice between Fort William and Easterhouse!

scottswede Fri 03-May-13 10:10:47

I know a lot of people think it's fantastic that I have my choice of anywhere in the UK to live but it's not so fab. We actually have the choice of some European countries too but have decided on the Uk now. Narrowing it down to north of the border. I totally agree with DolomitesDonkey; too much choice and too much time........

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