mixed race family - where to live outside of london?

(124 Posts)
expecting Thu 12-Jan-06 00:26:57

Having a real dilemma so please help me out. Want to leave London so we can afford a house but want to stay South. Don't mind so much if area isn't multicultural so long as it's inhabitants are liberal minded. Been considering areas by Essex coast such as Leigh-on-sea or Westcliff but open to suggestions.

Jodiesmum Mon 16-Jan-06 09:00:30

Hi there, we moved out of South London last April and are absolutely loving our new life. Had all the same worries as you but the experience has been 100% positive so far. Our 2 DDs get more attention than they did in SE22 but it's all very friendly and admiring so they really enjoy it. This isn't much help to you, as we're living in a completely different area than the one you're thinking of,but at least it shows you don't have to stay in a multi-cultural area to feel safe and happy!

Kelly1978 Mon 16-Jan-06 09:36:25

we moved from croydon to ascot last October. The boys do get odd comments, and some people are a bit nosy. Some of the neighbours aren't particulary friendly, but things are going ok. I do miss living in a more multicultural area tho.

Holymoly321 Mon 16-Jan-06 11:44:06

Ooh! This is a really interesting topic and I one I will be watching with avid interest. DH would love to bring up our kids (so far we've only got 17wk old DS) outside of London, but I just have reservations about other places being less multicultural and accepting of me and my children (DH is white, I'm mixed and thus so is DS). We too currently live in South London but want to move out at some point - better schools, kids can play outside more, more space etc etc. I've been to various places outside of london for work (one -two day trips) and I have to say I've been shocked by the reactions of some people to my skin colour - literally stared at in disbelief and disgust by some people in more rural areas. I'd love to be somewhere with a reasonable amount of 'cosmopolitaness' about it - couldn't live in a tiny village. I'll be keeping my eye on this thread!

Holymoly321 Mon 16-Jan-06 11:44:37

Jodiesmum, where did you move to?

expecting Mon 16-Jan-06 18:36:02

jodie's mum - thanks and it's still useful. We live in SE22 and I like the fact that we don't stand out. I don't think dh much relishes being 'the only black in the village' but there are so many things that would be positive about it. Aaaagggh! We seem to keep going round in circles on this one ....shall we move or shan't we!!

Kelly1978 Tue 17-Jan-06 09:34:00

my dp prefers living in predominantly white areas, not really sure why. I'm not so keen, I worry for the boys when they are the only ones int heir calss who aren't white.

expecting Wed 18-Jan-06 22:38:34

Schools are good in Ascot I heard.

flutterbee Wed 18-Jan-06 22:45:55

I'm white and DH is black so obviously ds is mixed. Before we had ds I convinced dh to move from London to Mansfield in Notts he was really worried but moved and couldn't believe how normal it was. Just before I had ds we decided to move south again but I refused to move to London, ds is now 9 weeks old and we have been living in a little village called Polegate not far from Eastbourne on the South East coast, I think DH is "the only black in the village" but we have had no problems at all DH loves it and everyone comments on how gorgeous ds is no nasty comments or stares. Just to prove my point dh works in a large store and an old lady (blue rinse brigade) stopped him in the middle of the shop last week and told him what beautifull eyes he had, he was positively bursting with happiness when he got home.

Go for it, you will always get idiots no matter where you go but you will be suprised how fantastic people are in general.

meggmoo Wed 18-Jan-06 22:48:03

Smiling, where did you get stared at? Gosh that is really shocking.

handlemecarefully Wed 18-Jan-06 23:03:07

I'd say pretty much any city but perhaps not small market towns / rural locations if you don't want to feel 'singled out'

CountessDracula Wed 18-Jan-06 23:05:22

Brighton?

Mytwopenceworth Wed 18-Jan-06 23:05:54

Anywhere you want to.

We live in a very rural location, and nobody gives a rats arse that we are a mixed family.

flutterbee Wed 18-Jan-06 23:14:00

I agree mtp

handlemecarefully Wed 18-Jan-06 23:14:10

No? - well I live in a rural location too (have also lived in Sheffield and Leicester which were very multicultural) and whilst I don't think anyone would be 'hostile' to a mixed family, not everybody is comfortable in an environment where they are the 'only ones'....

I have vivid recollections of holidaying in Derbyshire with a previous paramour (Asian) and feeling really irritated by Joe locals curious gaze following us around.

Mytwopenceworth Thu 19-Jan-06 10:23:35

if you were holidaying in very rural derbyshire, the locals were probably looking at you because you were an unfamiliar face, nothing more. in very small communities, anyone not familiar is stared at. "they're not from round here"

Kelly1978 Thu 19-Jan-06 10:35:08

I actually find we get started at more in central london than here. Especially on the tube. Croydon was more accepting tho.

WideWebWitch Thu 19-Jan-06 10:37:25

Bristol is multi cultural and it's one of the reasons we moved away from Devon tbh, the mono culture. Or what about High Wycombe? Commutable to London, mixed community.

magicfarawaytree Thu 19-Jan-06 12:22:42

I have never noticed being stared at being for being mixed race. For many other things. I moved to Bristol just after the racist interview programme many years ago and my husband to be comment that before I move to southville which is where he lived that he had never seen an ethnic face in the area. It was a passing comment not a judgement of any kind. He felt that Bristol had a racist undertone.

magicfarawaytree Thu 19-Jan-06 12:22:42

I have never noticed being stared at being for being mixed race. For many other things. I moved to Bristol just after the racist interview programme many years ago and my husband to be comment that before I move to southville which is where he lived that he had never seen an ethnic face in the area. It was a passing comment not a judgement of any kind. He felt that Bristol had a racist undertone.

magicfarawaytree Thu 19-Jan-06 12:26:32

BTW we live in a primarily white area would like it to be more mixed. Just as a matter of interest are there primarily black middleclass/affluent areas in and around the south east?

crunchie Thu 19-Jan-06 12:38:39

I just read this thread with suprise, as I am not mixed race it hadn't occured to me that people still stare etc.

TBH IMHO London is the most multiculteral you will find and if you want to mix with other similar families you are bestto stay there. We are in a little village outside Colchester and there are various different families and I have never seen or heard anything about them standing out or being singled out. There may not be many, but in the school where my kids go there is (out of 360) probably about 30 - 40 kids of various races I think. About 2 or 3 per class.

The funniest thing for me is that we are the only jews in the village

expecting Thu 19-Jan-06 13:07:03

Is there much for kids to do in Colchester? Also at the local shops/shopping centre are there baby change facilities/high chairs and access for buggies?

shimmy21 Thu 19-Jan-06 13:22:07

Yes people do still stare and yes it does make a big difference to how you feel about where you live. We moved from London to a very monocultural area and dh (middle eastern) routinely gets stared at. Nobody will sit next to him on the bus or train even when it's standing room only(I just tell him to enjoy the extra space). He does feel hurt and is more than a little paranoid about this now. definitely worth taking into account in a move.

crunchie Thu 19-Jan-06 13:41:55

Colchester is great with kids tbh. There is an amazing zoo, a castle, a few museums, a few good park, some decent shops. A pedestrianised town centre which is totally accessable for buggies. High chairs and baby changing I can't remember as my kids are older, but I don't remember having a problem. I know there are defineatly 2 or 3 decent changing rooms in Debenhams and M&S. As a town I thought it was pretty good, I don't come from here. You are also 20 mins away from beaches on Mersea Island or 1/2 hr from Frinton or Clacton in teh summer. The villages are all pretty nice, we live in quite a big village 2 miles from the main station. Links to london are great 1hr (ish) on the train. If you getteh right one it is an intercity with tables (more room for kids) and so you can still come to London for teh Day. It has a decent Cinema, a good theatre (lots of kids shows) and it is near loads of other places that are easily accesable by car.

All in all I come form Hertfordshire, but Colchester wins hands down for me. The only downside is teh town centre after 9pm at night as teh squaddies come out to play!!

I don't know Leigh-on-Sea or Westcliff, but Southend is a lot more horrible than Colchester as far as I can tell.

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