Has anyone moved out of London and regret it after?

(17 Posts)
kaarma Sat 19-Mar-16 18:37:13

We are playing with the idea of moving from center of London to Kent with our 2 toddlers and wonder if there are any of you who have done it and regret it later?
My husband is from Paris, France so we lived there for 6 years before and now in south-west London. Both of us have always lived in a city so I wonder if I would miss this busy life on my doorstep. At the same time I would love my kids to have more space to run around.
I'm not working currently but surely I need to think about commute back to London in few years time...my husband's company has offices in several places so he always needs to commute regardless if living in London or in Kent.
What are your thoughts?

mumwhoruns Wed 23-Mar-16 20:11:52

Me though I think I may be in the minority. Currently trying to scrape together enough to move back in.

Though I do think it very much depends on where you move to outside of London and who you get to know and what you do. Rural life would be v different to a bustling town for example. And also where you lived in London and your reasons for wanting to leave.

I do love the easy access to countryside and having a bit more space but I do really miss London. I miss the atmosphere and the many things there are to do on the doorstep. Funny enough the area I used to live in in London was much greener than where I am now!

I would also consider if you will be commuting back into London what will happen with your kids. Commuting has been more stressful than we thought. If a train is late or cancelled you can be screwed. I don't really like being 1.5 hours away from my kids. Sometimes my commute is 2 hours echo way and we are just outside the m25.

I think it's really hard if you both have to work in London to make the call on where best to live.

CityDweller Tue 17-May-16 21:05:46

I think it completely depends on where you move to and how much it suits you. We moved out of London a while back and it's been really hard. Partly because I miss the hustle and bustle and 'world on my doorstep' lifestyle of living in the city and because I really, really miss my friends. But mostly because we've really struggled to meet/ find likeminded people in our new location.

My advice would be to seriously do your research on where you're moving to. Go and spend at least a weekend there. Hang out in the pub/ local shop/ whatever to get a feel for what the people are like. Spend a lot of time walking around. Visit the school. Etc. Even better, rent there for a year before buying.

Cakescakescakes Tue 17-May-16 21:13:44

We toyed with moving out of a city (not London) but now are so glad we stayed. I actually think cities are amazing places to raise kids. There are loads of green spaces and lovely Victorian parks around us plus museums, cafes, playgrounds, etc. There are city farms, a zoo etc etc. My friends who live in the country with young kids don't really have the kind of 'rural' life you'd imagine. They aren't running through fields etc as its all private land. The nearest shop is a car journey away. The nearest cinema is 40 mins away. There are no amenities. When i was a teenager I couldn't wait to leAve the village I grew up in. I'm hoping my kids will love the bustle of the city too once they hit their teens. (On another note one of my kids has SEN and the provision in rural areas near us is woeful or non existent. It would have been disastrous for him if we had moved.)

JT05 Tue 31-May-16 20:57:47

When our children were young, we moved out of London to a midland multicultural, university city. We have never regretted it.The schools were great, our children made lovely friends. The cultural life was just as good, although the high speed train took us into London quickly.
Importantly to us, we knew where our ( eventually) teenage children were when they went into town. We could pick them up from a night out, within 10 mins, or a taxi was under £10.
Ok so our old house is worth over £100,000 but the DS are well adjusted, well travelled young people. They may have also been if we'd stayed, but who knows.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 31-May-16 20:59:47

Not us. We love it.

JT05 Tue 31-May-16 21:20:47

I meant old house worth more than £1000,000.

Dixxie Sat 04-Jun-16 11:02:03

We miss our friends, it takes time to build up a new social life but we've joined a few clubs (running etc), got to know people at the local pub and slowly building it up and feeling part of the community. We have a bigger house, huge garden, fresh air, beautiful countryside on our doorstep, less noise and crowds... Yet there's still lots going on, it's very friendly and people are just more relaxed... I can order anything I want from John Lewis for next day delivery and return it to Waitrose the next day, easy - I don't miss shopping and this from a former shopaholic who worked in media in central London! I haven't been back to central London since we left - almost got on a tube when we were visiting but it was just too crowded - how times have changed! Friends from the city love to come and stay. We show off our vegetable patch and have a BBQ in our beautiful garden, visit antiques and flea markets and gorgeous towns and villages... Amazing views from country pubs... More sophisticated than I have it credit for. We visit friends in London regularly for parties... London is there if we need it but we don't miss the pretentiousness, materialism and hustle and bustle!

raisedbyguineapigs Sat 04-Jun-16 11:14:38

We're moving to a smaller city. I don't think I could cope with a completely rural environment, but I have found with kids, I go into London very occasionally. By the time I go in on the train and tube with the expense and the hussle and bustle and queues for everything the thought of it puts me off so we never do it. I have already booked the kids into two theatre visits over the summer at our new local theatre and its a short bus ride into the city to get there. There are cities and towns outside London with theatres and culture that are more easily accessable.

I have two friends who have gone from London to the middle of nowhere and love it though. My disclaimer is that we haven't done it ye, so after 2 years we might be scrimping and saving to get ourselves out of our roomy 4 bedroom house into a tiny 2 bedroomed terrace with a postage stamp garden grin

blueshoes Sat 04-Jun-16 12:12:46

Many people who have left London can no longer afford to move back because the house prices in London have since gone stellar. Friends who moved just outside London end up coming back in for weekend amenities.

JT05 Sat 04-Jun-16 20:48:03

We dipped back with a flat when DH got a job in London, for 6 years and DSs at uni., but kept our main house in Midlands city.
It was fun for a while, but the hassle of getting places, costs, dirt, noise, were not worth thinking about a permanent relocation! And I'm central London born and bred! Not the same place anymore, sadly.

Dixxie Sun 05-Jun-16 10:49:43

We managed to keep our maisonette in West London as a rental and we released equity to buy a second house in Worcestershire. Other friends sold up completely and bought much bigger houses but we have everything we need in this house and a growing long term investment/pension income from London which seemed sensible.

Wolpertinger Sun 05-Jun-16 11:20:24

Depends. I actually spend more time doing stuff in London than when I lived in London as I live an hour from Kings Cross on the train and it was an hour on the tube/bus when I was in London when I lived there - plus when I lived there I kind of took it for granted and never did anything.

Plus my asthma has appreciated not living there anymore grin

I do miss the multicultural life though, there are only so many identical country gastropubs you can go to. Upside are local farm shops, downside is no wandering down Edgeware Rd or Green Lanes or into your local Asian supermarket and discovering new ingredients. You have the world food aisle at Tesco, the Polsi Sklep and the internet.

You have to make more of an effort to find stuff than in London as it isn't laid out on a plate for you - it probably will be there but you have to look for it and it will be smaller but then the upside is it will probably be friendlier smile I now keep a list of all the touring independent theatre companies (a big interest of ours) - we probably see more live stuff than we did in London and with much smaller companies rather than big West End shows/big names in the regional theatre, the prices are much lower and it's a more intimate experience. But it took us a long while to find everything.

Dixxie Sun 05-Jun-16 21:12:39

Wolpertinger - like you we have seen more west end shows here than in London! We can walk to our theatre and it's no hassle... Brilliant.

bibbitybobbityyhat Sun 05-Jun-16 21:15:07

Yes, we moved away from London and hated it. Luckily were able to move back within two years.

abeltasman Sun 05-Jun-16 21:47:53

Moved from very Urban central central London to the boonies (edge of very small rural market town surrounded by 'rural'). Loving it. Having grown up in central London (bang in the middle) I am so happy I moved. We have loads of national trust places on our doorstep, yes a lot of land is privately owned but there are plenty of bridle ways and footpaths. Loads of farms to visit when kids were teeny and woodland to muck around in, hedgerows to forage, amazing wildlife. Dark skies so you can see the stars, clean air, green everywhere (particularly at this time of year it's totally lush). Our town is big enough to know nearly everyone with kids similar ages, but not too small so you can have 'space'. Lovely group of likeminded people, know and like all our neighbours, all friends within 10-15min walk. All the clubs for kids are available in walking distance / very short drive (swimming, cubs, brownies, martial arts, dance etc etc, too many to choose from). School is 5 min/15mjn walk away (primary/secondary) with amazing school results as everyone goes there (not creamed off into private). Loads of community events and markets with local grown food, and if your kid gets into bother everyone gives a damn and pitches in to help (even at 3am!). Ok I admit our town was in top 5 of Torygraph 'best places to raise a family' but it really is lovely, even in winter when it is fecking ridiculously cold and wet. We have stunning restaurants (inc Michelin starred) and lovely indie coffee bars and cafes.

Do I miss London? Yes of course I do. I miss the history and buildings and business. I miss the transport (there's a country bus 2xhr at peak time). But internet shopping rocks, and I can be in and out of a shop and not get stuck in't traffic for 2hrs like London. Kids possibly aren't able to shop, but then my kids aren't at all materialistic and prefer to Play on the street with their mates, which I can let them do due to no traffic and no weirdos.

Biggest thing I miss though is lack of multicultural society. It's naice to be with friends all the time but there is next to no diversity (and I have looked!) and that will be a shock to my kids when they are older, and growing up I really loved different cultures. So that is the biggest negative, other than being a long way from the majority of my pre-kids friends. But they love visiting our bit of heaven smile

The rest of it is fab.

Apart from the sodding pollen flowers

CityDweller Mon 06-Jun-16 13:22:31

Where is this Utopian place abeltasman?! It sounds perfect!

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