To wonder if any of you have moved from the city to the country...(63 Posts)
and how it worked out? It's one of those things I dream about sometimes when I'm fed up of rude people in supermarkets, aggressive drivers, litter drifting around the gutters etc.
But I know I probably have a very Enid Blyton/Miss Marple view of country life as being all cosy and fragrant and safe and friendly so would like a reality check.
Yup. Lived in Newcastle, then Durham (city but very small) and now am happily in the middle of nowhere on the Durham/Northumberland border. It's beautiful and lovely. Post office a mile away, which is just that bit far that I can't be arsed to wander up for a second bottle of wine!
Mini Tesco 4 miles away, supermarkets 5.
I was reminded in our local shop last week that I am an incomer because you need at least four generations of your family to live here to qualify as local. I've been here since 1979! There is a lot of that sort of thing in some country areas.
We sort of did it. North London zone 3 to a village in Surrey. I couldn't have totally lived out in the sticks. Too much bloody fresh air It's been great but we were ready for the change. We're walking distance to local shops (inc Costa ) so it's not a total culture shock!
We moved from London about five years ago. It took a while to adjust but now I love village life. It's friendlier and more relaxed and when I look back now I can't believe how frazzled I was in London and how much of my week was spent commuting. I was exhausted all of the time and never felt like doing much at the weekend. Here I'm involved in loads of things and have discovered a real love for cooking now that I have time to potter around the kitchen trying out recipes.
Until I was in my thirties I had never lived outside zone 2 in London! (Not counting 4 years at uni.) We made the move when DC1 was 18m. We still live in commuter belt, but we are surrounded by fields and the only things within easy walking distance (ie less than 40 mins) are a pub and a post box. I am completely converted - it is safer and friendlier and the DC have seen lambs being born etc etc. Everyone knows everyone else's business though, which can be a bit of a shock after London! Also I guess when the DC are teenagers they will find it boring.
went from a rough part of leeds to a village.
Things I miss: having a takeaway close enough that the food is still warm when you get home.
Things i don't miss: being surrounded by shops.
Our village is lovely a little slice of the 1950s, village spirit, small school (60 kids) so all the kids play together. We look out for everyone else.
For example my neighbours wanted chickens, my chickens needed a new home, so we now share the chickens.
But with this comes the downside that everybody knows everybodies business, but my business isn't that secret.
We personally didn't like it. The inconvenience, the fact you have to drive to get anywhere, being stranded when there's bad weather. I prefer being able to walk into the city/town, and being 'close to the action'. Just make sure you think of all the boring practicalities and how it changes your life. I.e if you run out of milk are you ok driving Xmiles to get some. We live in the city again, only lasted 8 months in the middle of a field/village.
I think it depends on what you expect really. My family have lived in our hamlet for 7 generations but my wife is an incomer although she has become somewhat naturalised after marrying me.
The bad (based on things DW moans about occasionally - having being brought up a city girl):
Shops far away so you have to keep a good stock of food in.
You can get cut off in snow in the winter
Going out to restaurant / cinema / theatre requires MAJOR planning - either staying over or expensive taxi home.
Shopping trips are the same - it's a full day out to go anywhere with any decent shops (apparently).
You end up being a taxi service to your kids until they can drive - then you just worry about them driving on dangerous rural roads!
Farmers (like me) and their tractors clogging up the roads making you late for work, plus my animals can smell (sorry but if you live here you have to put up with it - this is the back of beyond, not Kensington).
Very few people!
Endless places to walk your dog (just keep to the countryside code)
Sooooo peaceful..... I don't even take holidays very often. Don't need em!
If you are truly serious about moving to the country then you will love it, but only if you integrate. It's no good moving to the country and then complaining about the noise of the sheep, or the odd tractor cutting the hedges when you're trying to do the school run.
What the countryside does not need are people who work in town buying up all the nice houses then using their home as some sort of dormitory as their work / social life continues to revolve around their city jobs / lifestyles. People who do this rarely have a good time of it.
If you do move to the country try to become a country person - rather than a person who happens to live in the country. Integrate into your new community and you will love it.
Me too mintyy.
I did, from Sheffield to a small Durham town. It's lovely, the schools are great, countryside is on doorstep, can be in Durham in 40 mins, newcastle in an hour. Downsides. Lonely as for a good few years. Long way from family and friends. Decent shops are a trek. Jobs at a premium.
Can be very dull. (But Saturday nights are quiet)
We did... I was born and raised in a huge city, went to university in a medium sized city, started work in a small city, then moved to a village wi about 300 people in it. I LOVE it. I'll never (willingly) go back.
Yes, in 2000. West London to Northamptonshire. We're near Warwick and Stratford on Avon, so lots of chocolate box cottages, horses in the road, escaped sheep on the way to tesco and red phone boxes on village greens.
kids can roam
no traffic jams
funny countryside customs (scare crow competitions at the mo)
cheaper cost of housing
lack of public transport
therefore buggered if/when car breaks down!
long way to shops
local shops expensive
at mercy of the weather - snowed in/flooded
sometimes it smells like poo! (my DDs contribution)
lack of jobs
What maninawomasworld said.
We rented a lifestyle we couldn't afford for 14 years, slap bang in the middle of nowhere. A little ham that had nothing but a few houses in it - long stretch of windy road with a house every couple of hundred yards.
Now we have moved to a tiny market town (we saved enough to buy but couldn't afford to buy where we lived). There are people here !!!!!!
I'd move back in a heartbeat, but DH is looking to the future!
FluffyRaggies, I think I grew up very close to where you are! I was near a place called Daventry, but was very rural. I used to love random days out on my own to Stratford or Warwick, or Leamington.
I lived in London in my 20s but moved back to the country town where I'm from.
It's great. I can be either in the middle of nowhere or having a nice coffee in 10 mins walk. I hated London but would feel a bit isolated in a village with small dcs I think... Really reccomend the country town option for best of both worlds.
Well I'm the opposite, I can tell you a little. 1) Everyone will hate you because you're a city person. 2) If you have teenagers they'll hate it. Nothing to do apart from drink. If you don't drive you'll hate it too, buses are hopeless if you have any at all. 3) Unless you're actually moving to somewhere with acres and acres of your own you won't like it. It's industrial, just a different kind of industry. In some ways there's less fresh air out there than in here.
rinabean . I see what you say but I have to disagree - all your points (except for the bit about the hopeless buses) boil down to someone moving to the country but remaining a city person.
1.) Yes, if you move to the country but moan about tractors, sheep, smell of manure and general country things then people will hate you because you've moved into their village and are complaining about all the things that they do, and have done since long before you showed up.
2.) Teenagers in the city do different things to many born and bred in the country. A lot of the local teenagers round here ride horses, go for a blast on their dirt bikes, go shooting or fishing or other country pursuits. If you turn up here with teenagers in tow and then moan that there's no multiplex or McDonalds or ten pin bowling then people will say what did you expect. If you want to live in the country then become a country person and take up some country hobbies.
3.) Yes your own land is very useful, but if you do as I suggested and integrate, you'll soon make friends with a landowner. I have 2000 acres and I allow some of the local kids to ride their dirt bikes on certain bits of my farm provided they're responsible and shut gates / don't litter or generally cause any trouble. They are really good to be fair and I've never had any grief with them, a few of them even reciprocate and give me a hand at busy times of year on the farm.
There are also loads of villagers with dogs / kids who I allow to walk round my lakes etc. No public footpaths, I just allow them to because they're decent folk and I don't want to be known in the village as that miserable bastard with all the land who doesn't let anyone else enjoy it. Then everyone would hate me!
My sister moved from a city to a seaside town and I asked her for the advantages and disadvantages:
Kids spend weekends doing surfing and other water sports instead of hanging around the local shopping centre
Much better community feel
No constant traffic jams
People in shops aren't constantly standing on each other's heels and fuming if someone dares to have a quick chat with the shop assistant
Easier to buy decent organic food
More engagement with local activities eg Everyone turns out for the local Am Dram productions; people still play cards in each others houses etc
Not as much variety re shops
Everyone knows everyone's business
She said initially she missed having a variety of pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres to go to but as she got more absorbed in the community she discovered a totally different type of social life revolving a lot around local stuff.
She also wouldn't move back to her old sprawling housing estate with renters having loud parties every weekend and other neighbours barely nodding to each other, if you paid her.
It's my ambition to move to the country but I grew up in a more rural(ish) area so know what it's like.
"country life as being all cosy and fragrant and safe and friendly so would like a reality check."
Cosy - well, any home can be cosy, wherever it is. And country houses can be quite exposes and old and draughty, to be honest.
Fragrant - the countryside is definitely that. Muck spreading, diary, pig and chicken farms, muck piles. It's pretty fragrant but not necessarily in a nice way.
Safe - yes, I think it's safer than cities.
Friendly - pick your area and village very carefully. Some are very welcoming, some are very unwelcoming,to outsiders.
Yes, moved to a small market town when we had our baby... and we moved back to the city again after 2 years. Yes, it was pretty and fragrant but full of small-minded stockbroker types and racists. Nothing to do, felt completely isolated, couldn't buy proper cooking ingredients or get a decent curry, no cultural diversity... I could go on all day about how awful it was!
When we moved back, I worried that we would miss the clean air and being able to see stars at night but I have never looked back.
Yes moved froml London to a rural place... Outside now lying in the sun listening to the wind in the trees. Wouldn't go back if you paid me.
Agree with maninawomansworld if you expect the country to be a cross between a country park and a theme park, then revise your expectations. Be practical, don't expect Selfridges on your doorstep, be aware that people might be interested in different things to city people but they might be no less important, and don't moan about horse poo on road/sheep baaing/cows mooing, etc..!
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