Leaving London

(39 Posts)
sparklechops Thu 08-Nov-12 21:07:53

I would really love to hear from people who have left London with their families, in order to live up north.

We love London and have been so happy here. But it's time to go. We just can't afford it anymore. Our rent is crippling and we only have a shabby little flat without outside space. We thought of moving to Essex, where DH is from, but commuting doesn't appeal.

So we reckon we could make a go of it up in Yorkshire - maybe Leeds or Harrogate.

I'm freelance and DH is hopeful that he can find work (obviously we'd only go once he had a job sorted). It looks promising. We could potentially afford to buy a lovely house with a garden for DD to play in. My family is up there too.

DH is keen. It's me who's stalling. I am SCARED about leaving London after nearly a decade. Worried I'll miss the hustle and bustle, the excitement etc. I am not trying to offend northerners (I am one!) as I know there's loads going on up there. But it's such a massive change from living in the buzz of London. So I'd really love to hear from people who left the big smoke and have never looked back...to give me that final push that this will be a positive thing.

Thanks in advance!

sparklechops Thu 15-Nov-12 22:51:33

Although I am originally from Bradford so not from too far away....

sparklechops Thu 15-Nov-12 22:50:16

We thought about HB rudolph but heard that it was a bit hostile to incomers!

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 15-Nov-12 19:45:55

If the world is your oyster - why not look at Cardiff. It's affordable and near the best bleacher ever (gower) and close to some great mountains too.

Rudolphstolemycarrots Thu 15-Nov-12 19:43:23

Look at Hebden Bridge. It's a great place north of Leeds with good train links.

wigwam33 Wed 14-Nov-12 19:49:22

Manchester is a great place for media jobs now that the BBC have moved a good chunk up here- well Salford which is a stone's throw from Mcr City Centre - it has a knock on effect. Plus it's a fantastic city. But I am biased because I live here (moved 10 years ago from Leeds, originally from Southern England). I also wouldn't recommend a daily commute across the Pennines (e.g. Leeds - Manchester) as I did it for 6 months and it nearly killed me. Two or three days a week would be OK though.

We've considered the opposite move to you, i.e. move to London for careers but have consistently decided against it for exactly the reasons that you're considering moving North - house prices and quality of life. Of course, you do have to consider the effect on your careers of moving out of London though. I would say it would be far outweighed by quality of life, but that's something only you can decide.

Just my tuppence worth!

sparklechops Wed 14-Nov-12 18:52:08

Thanks for all the responses...lots of food for thought. We are still hankering after Harrogate and DH is applying for jobs so.....we shall see! Good luck to anyone else trying to make the move.

Autumnmumm Mon 12-Nov-12 14:00:45

We are n Surrey borders.

Look at warlingham caterham coulsdon kenley areas.

CaurnieBred Mon 12-Nov-12 10:19:56

If it is greenery you want you should look at North London - I live in Barnet and I can assure you that there are plenty of fields around here: I can pick Sloes in the park outside my house (well, if there were any sodding sloes I could pick them this year - damn that early Spring/late frost!), DD can play in the brook across from my house and we can jump in the car and go to the pick your own farm 10 mins away.

Good schools here; good links into Central London too on the tube and on national rail into Finsbury Park/Moorgate.

You could also try looking at Enfield/Grange Park. Plenty of greenery near there too.

(I am more advocating North due to the ease of links to the M1/A1 to visit family: I lived in SE London before moving up here with DH and the journey there from up north was an extra hour by the time you went around the M25). There is plenty of greenery around South London too.

pinkdelight Mon 12-Nov-12 10:17:19

"It's really difficult to explain how I feel about London. I have lived in quite a few big cities but there is nowhere quite like this one..the buzz, the excitement, the feeling that anything is possible...."

I know that feeling exactly. But I'm from up north too (also work in media!) and tried to move back there for the same reasons as you, when I was pregnant with DS1. My DH got a new job in Leeds and we went up to view some houses... and just couldn't do it. It was like I'd crossed a line and just couldn't go back there. I like Leeds a lot, but no other city has that buzz for me. We cancelled the rest of the viewings, quickly got DH's old job back, and moved to... Croydon!

I still miss the north - my family, the landscape, that feeling of home - but I just love living in London too much to give it up. And after a few years scrimping, we've inched our way back into a London postcode now, with a good school and friendly neighbourhood. So often I think how glad I am that we stayed. Which isn't to say it's right for everyone. Several of my mates have moved back to Manchester, Sheffield etc. and are happy with their decision. But they had also lost the 'buzz' thing and were glad to leave London behind. That's the difference I think.

Bet advice is to give it a try, go for jobs up there, look at houses. And when it all starts to feel real, you'll know in your gut if you can go through with it. Just make sure you keep you jobs here until the very last minute! And do consider the commuter belt. There's a reason why so many people put up with that life.

sparklechops Sun 11-Nov-12 18:54:39

I have no concern over restaurant choice up north! Or shopping or culture (my parents live within walking distance of an art gallery!)

It's really difficult to explain how I feel about London. I have lived in quite a few big cities but there is nowhere quite like this one..the buzz, the excitement, the feeling that anything is possible....

I probably just need to get over it. But I am sure I am not the only one!

My job is very London (magazines) so some doors would close in terms of my career. But I work from home due to baby Dd at the moment anyway.

Mandy21 Sun 11-Nov-12 17:04:05

What is it in particular that you think you'd miss, OP? I can certainly understand if you work in a niche industry or a specialism that is particularly London based, that job opportunities might be reduced outside of London, but I'm sure most large cities can offer most of what London has to offer? I'm quite taken aback by some of the comments (less choice in restaurants?!)!

sparklechops Sun 11-Nov-12 11:09:50

Charlotte, that is what I have always thought - that it would be easier to move to another city. Glad your move has worked out for you. Did you miss London much?

AuraofDora Sat 10-Nov-12 21:26:03

it's a real dilema, one that swirls around my head a lot too..

If the jobs were there then I think we would go too but so much to miss, but London is pricing itself out of the ordinary person's price range imho

Weegiemum, what kind of publishing in Glasgow - books?

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sat 10-Nov-12 21:17:24

do it
we left London for A Large City in the North
from speaking to friends, it seems a far, far, easier transition to move to another city than to go rural/suburban Home Counties.

and Leeds is a great city with loads going on.

sparklechops Sat 10-Nov-12 21:14:06

I was going to ask the same tricot! Any tips on good suburbs would be gratefully received.

It is so hard to know the best thing to do. I could see us having a life in London or up north (But I know where we'd end up living in a rented flat forever and where we'd be able to have our own place and a garden.)

Being a first time buyer in London is so depressing. You're essentially being shut out of a place where you've lived and worked for years. But that's a whole other thread...

Thanks for all the comments anyway - very useful reading. And also reassuring to know lots of people have had the same dilemma.

tricot39 Sat 10-Nov-12 18:17:35

Ooh which burb autumnmum?

Autumnmumm Sat 10-Nov-12 13:46:29

We were in your position a few years back and looked into moving either to Glasgow or yorkshire but we decided against.

Jobs were our major stumbling block so in the end we kept our jobs and we moved instead to a very outer suburb of London.

I never thought I would end up in the suburbs but I surprised myself and I'm so glad we went for it because its great here, quicker to get into town on fast trains than tube from our previous zone 3 place, good schools and full of people like us who moved out with young families, great community stuff and lots of country nearby. So I would say don't discount the burbs!

Apparentlychilled Sat 10-Nov-12 13:32:18

We did it, and I would echo what others have said about work. There are fewer options up here (we're in W Yorkshire), but once that is sorted, it's great. Life is easier - more space, people as a rule are friendlier (not once you get to know them- I was in London 10 years and had great friends there, but just randoms on the street seem to be friendlier), houses are cheaper (other than Harrogate, which is almost London prices) and there are more good schools (around us all 4 of the primaries are outstanding, and there are 2 privates as well, if that's your bag).

The only down side is that if your work isn't local, there can be more travelling. (DH works for a national co, which seems to think of everywhere outside London as "local" for him, so he can spend a lot of time travelling, and is often away several nights a week). But that's more than balanced out by everything else.

Good luck!

MoreBeta Sat 10-Nov-12 10:42:22

A lot of people do move out of London when they have children but be realistic. The job market is not as vibrant outside the South East and in fact places like Harrogate can be surprisingly pricey for property and of course everything else from a cup of coffee to clothing is exactly the same price as London.

I come from York, educated in Harrogate and moved pout of London to Oxford and now elsewhere. My wife still misses London and does not like where we live now. To be honest, I am glad we moved out of London and did not bring up children there but DW always say she will miss the vibrancy and cosmopolitan life. She is from Newcastle so she is Northerner too but really I have to agree - you will know you are in the North. It is the attitudes of people, the lack of choice in things like restaurants. It is better than it was now internet shopping is so easy and things like films go on national release.

I think in reality your DH needs to fond a job first and then think about schools, and moving house. A lot of people just end up commuting long distances back to London because they cant get a job when they move North.

Londonista1975 Sat 10-Nov-12 10:32:26

I think the key thing for you is to move to a city with alot going on, so you wouldn't miss London that much. And - as I'm fast discovering myself - having family nearby makes a big difference so I agree about Leeds, with another bonus being that fabulous Yorkshire countryside, and you could easily get your York or Harrogate fixes on the weekend or whenever being so close. And as MrsPnut says, commuting to Manchester is perfectly possible.

MrsPnut Sat 10-Nov-12 09:13:49

We moved from Stoke newington to Harrogate because of DH's job. I did grow up in harrogate though so knew where the best places were already. We really loved it, it is so green and there are things going on when you know where to look. We made some fantastic friends but have since moved again with DH's job to Lincolnshire and can't wait to move again.

If your DH can find a job and bear in mind that commuting from Harrogate is not the easiest then it would be a great place to bring up children.
Like other people have said that now media City has moved to Salford then there are more opportunities in Manchester. My DH is looking to work for the BBC again and Manchester would really suit us.

RugbyWidow7 Sat 10-Nov-12 08:55:24

We left London for all the reasons mentioned above, two years ago. We are in hertfordshire at the moment but dh would love to move back up to Yorkshire at some point. I can honestly say we've never looked back. We were so tired of the traffic, tiny living space and lack of proper countryside. I really highly recommend it and you'll always find great people with interesting backgrounds, wherever you end up (particularly in Harrogate or Leeds ;-)). Our son loves it here and it's much easier to get back home to see the grandparents! Don't hesitate. Friends will visit and you'll have fab weekends away staying with them, and spending longer periods of quality of time with them. Good luck!

weegiemum Sat 10-Nov-12 06:13:05

If you're Looking for media jobs plus a great quality of life, think about Glasgow! I'm in education but have many friends here in media type work, both publishing and broadcasting, freelance and contract. My dd1s best friend (they're 12) was born in London but moved here as a preschooler and her parents have been very happy with their move.

Succubi Sat 10-Nov-12 05:45:55

I left West London to move to Essex last month after having lived in London for over 30 years. My family and friends all still live in London and it is to my mind the best city on earth.

Having said this I do not regret leaving at all. I have two young boys and my weekends/activities centre around their needs/hobbies which is equally served outside of London but at half the price.

But if I am truly honest it was the school that pulled me towards Essex. I love the school my eldest is at. I wanted my boys to have a private education just like I did and the cost of a prep at London was prohibitive for two but manageable fir two in Essex.

The house we have is bigger and I commute to London to work as does my husband. I do not miss the tube at all and strangely the journey time is the same. The only downside is not having my family around 24/7 which was nice for the boys but you can't have everything.

I guess what I am saying is don't rule out Essex. I think it's a pretty cool place.

sparklechops Fri 09-Nov-12 23:24:12

I remember your thread Londonista and I identified a lot with what you wrote. I go between loving it and hating it...if we could afford it we would probably stay. But I would like DD to grow up surrounded by fields like I did! Not going to happen where we are now....

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