Escape to the Country: 10 things they don't tell you 


Thinking of leaving the concrete jungle for pastures new? Before you release your inner Austen, there are a few things rural Mumsnetters think you should know

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1. There's wildlife. Everywhere


"Insects will ultimately win the battle for your home."

"The sheer size of the spiders that trek down off the fields..."

"Keeping free-range chickens is a lovely idea - but free-range chicken shit is not."

"Cows escape into your garden at 5am, and you've got to ring around to find out who owns them."


2. There's a downside to splendid isolation


"When you really fancy a takeaway, none of them deliver."

"Lack of any kind of amenity, miles away from shops, cinemas, civilisation."

"You can get stranded in the snow and cut off for days."

"Public transport is dreadful, so you ferry your kids everywhere. And you have to buy them mopeds when they're 16, which is dangerous - but at least they won't be stuck somewhere with no way to get home."


3. Peace and tranquillity? Well, yes and no


"Country people seem to like using large, noisy, mechanised or motorised machinery. Constantly."

It's surprising "how loudly cows can moo for their offspring, and how far two competing bulls can bellow."


4. Country roads: less relaxing than you thought


"Driving on ungritted roads is the norm every winter."

"You'll need to swerve out of the way of bouncing sugar beet as it tumbles off a trailer."

"The badgers are HUGE, and will put a severe dent in your car if you hit one."


5. It's probably not for the time-poor


"You'll get stuck behind a tractor for miles and miles."

Get used to "being half-an-hour late for work, because the cows are asleep on the road."

"You have to put up with waiting at the till in the village shop, while the cashier has a long conversation with the customer in front of you."


6. "Everyone knows everyone"


"You can't sneak into the local pub, because the landlord has known you since you were three weeks' old."

"Village life can be very gossipy and small-minded - though you can choose to stay out of it."

"You're not a local unless you're at least third-generation in the village."


7. "Decent broadband is science fiction..."


"...and if you do have a decent mobile signal or 4G, it's because of a great, big, ugly antenna on the highest elevation."


8. "Has anyone mentioned the mud yet?"


"Wellies must always be worn if stepping outside - even if only walking to the car."

"Your car is actually caked an inch-deep in mud and cow shit all winter - you have to learn a special technique for getting out of it in your work trousers."


9. Nature can pong a bit


"When the sun is shining and you head out for a lovely bike ride, the farmers will be out spreading shit on their fields - the smell will nearly kill you."

"It has smelt of onions around here for 10 days now."


10. Property is cheaper - other stuff, not so much


"Every time I see a thread about Aldi and Lidl I want to cry."

"No 'big' supermarkets for at least twenty miles. No cheap shops full stop - even in the big towns."

"Thatch insurance is very expensive."

"Heating oil. Nuff said."


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Last updated: 8 months ago