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We moved a few years ago, rented in tiverton & then bought in Exeter. We are really happy in Exeter. I know quite a few young families in honiton & ottery. There's loads for littlies to do in the area, lots of groups etc. And both bicton & escot
I have just made the move from London down to Exeter with my hubby and 22 month old son (we moved end of November). We decided to rent first and opted for Exeter so we could get to know all the surrounding areas before making a decision. It's really hard to know where to choose, but at least with renting you can move again if you get it totally wrong! We've been into Sidmouth a couple of times and it seems really nice. Not sure how many young families there are there, but you only really need one or two toddler groups to help you meet people. I've already met a few lovely mums in Exeter, although it is scary and I'm sure it will take a long time to feel really settled.
Good luck with it all. And let me know if you fancy meeting up once you've moved down.
hi katekitkat, i am from london originally, and have "downsized" to sheffield, and now exeter 7 years ago. no doubt it will be a change from london, but hopefully in a good way. it is of course, perfectly natural to feel nervous. for what its worth, i would much rather rise my family here than in london, nice pace of life and good access to the sea, and the moors. as for where to base, it depends on what your priorities are as a family. where is your husband going to be based? exeter is undoubtedly the best urban centre in Devon (and that includes plymouth!), though it depends on how often you would use it, and go out etc. It isn't a far drive from many communities in East Devon e.g. Ottery, or Sidmouth. The state schools are probably better (if you bvelieve in league tables and ofsted) in East Devon, which has some really good schools, especially round the Ottery area. The idea of renting first is a good one, though it may impact on what school your oldest goes to, as presumably would need to apply fro myour rented location rather than where you ultimately buy, so catchment areas come into play etc.
We have had a holiday in the area staying in Budleigh Salterton and visited all around to try to get a feel for the area and we have had a few serperate trips a bit further east around Lyme Regis. We have only driven through Otterly! We are coming down next week to start having a look around and to try to find a rental property. We feel like the only real way to get to know the area will be to live there for a bit which is why we are renting first. I know lots of people do it but it feels like a big move to start fresh again somewhere new. I know it will be a massve change so it does make me wonder if we wouldn't be better off actually in Exeter, at least to begin with. It is very hard as it is my husband really driving the move, he is really excited whereas I am just really nervous.
Sidmouth is not full of old people! There are quite a few but they are not the sole population. DD's best friend lives there; there are nurseries and schools etc. We don't live there (wouldn't mind, though), so I don't know it that well. Have you actually been to any of the places you mention?
My husband and I are planning on moving to East Devon, with our two little ones, at the end of January (we are just finalising the sale of our house). We had thought that we would base ourselves in Sidmouth, at least to begin with, while we get a feel for the area.
Our daughters are 3 and a half and very nearly 1 year old and we know no-one in the area. Someone I recently met who has previously lived in the area said that Sidmouth was just full of old people which has made me wonder if we are heading for the right place!
I was wondering if anyone might have any advice or reassurance for me about the local area. Are there are lots of childrens activities in the area (playgroups etc)? I am feeling nervous about starting out somewhere new and making new friends etc. I will be at home looking after my baby full time and I will be looking fo a nursery for my older girl.
We have also been thinking about Otterly as a base or maybe even Lyme Regis so any advice or thoughts on these areas would be very gratefully recieved as well. I think it would be best to be based in a town, especially as we will be moving from London and it will be a big change, which is why we had been thinking about Sidmouth.
I look forward to hearing from anyone with any advice.