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Living in Nirmingham or West Country

(27 Posts)
Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 16:19:16

I lost my mom last year and have no remaining family left except my husband and children. For about 15 years I have wanted to move out of Birmingham and the Weat Country has always had a special place in my heart but it is a big move for me as I have never lived anywhere else than Birmingham.

I don't particularly like Birmingham as I would love to be nearer the coast and I think it would be better for my children but I'm scared if I moved I wouldn't like it and I would have no where to go back(very special family home for 3 generations).

I have no family ties and not really any real friends and this does get me down and I wonder if moving away will be the making of us all and after the year I have had I feel I need a fresh start.

My husband says he would move but I get the feeling he is not as interested as me as he doesn't look for work in that area even though he says he is unhappy with his current job, he has given a timescale of about 2-3 years which I would be happy with if I thought it was going to happen, I just feel he is happy to plod along but I am not.

Could people who live in the West Country tell me what it is like to live and for people living in Birmingham, do you like it? Another place I considered living was the Isle of Wight but maybe West Country( particularly Devon) was more realistic.

Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 16:21:32

Sorry title was meant to say Birmingham

Stormtreader Tue 14-Mar-17 16:43:59

I am actually from the West Country and moved to Birmingham about 18 years ago to go to university.

The West Country is nice and rural, people generally friendly although some of the smaller villages can have a bit of "you aint from round here" going on. The countryside is lovely. The weather tends to be warmer in the summer and colder in the winter, theres often snow in the winter when Birmingham only has rain.

There are not a huge amount of jobs around and public transport is DIRE, my village had one bus once an hour and dont expect it to run to the timetable, trains as well can be prone to a lot more delays as there are a lot of leaves and rain about.

Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 16:50:33

Thanks for your reply stormtreader. I would probably like to live in a town but with a drive away to the beach. I just feel calm by the sea and I need to see it more than a couple of times a year if that makes sense. Do you like Birmingham? Don't know whether I have just got stale with the area and what with having no family or real friends I just feel really down. I obviously have my children and husband but no support network at all.

Dizzy199 Tue 14-Mar-17 17:43:14

I live near the Cornwall / Devon border. It's nice, rural, lots of countryside. People tend to be friendly, mostly because there are less people so you run into the same ones over and over again.

There is not a lot to do in comparison to bigger metropolitan areas. Recreational shopping is likely to be very different to what you have now. Public transport is horrific. My village has NO buses. Ever. If you can't drive, it would be a problem.

I would strongly recommend you have some holidays in the areas you are thinking of moving to, and pay attention to how suitable the area is in terms of the style of life you and your family have now (rather than just spending every day in the beach, and doing holiday stuff). You don't say how old your dc are? If, for instance you have teenagers that spend their time in the city and you move to the middle of nowhere, they are going to have a bit of a culture shock.

Smaller towns and villages are likely to have more of a community spirit, but be prepared for everyone to know your business and discuss it amongst themselves. It won't just be you, they do this to everyone, like a real life soap opera!

Hope that helps, and doesn't put you off too much, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

scaryteacher Tue 14-Mar-17 17:53:59

Where are you Dizzy? my Mum can get from her market town near the Devon border to my village in Cornwall, and vice versa by bus. There's about 1 bus an hour.

Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 17:54:31

Thanks Dizzy. My children are 2,4 and 6. I just want a fresh start. I don't have a specific area in mind but a good school would be a priority.

I'm looking primarily at Devon but would consider Cornwall too. I wouldn't want to be completely in the sticks so a town would be ideal. I love being outdoors and walking. I have been to the West Country every year since a child and while I know living in a place is going to be different to having a holiday that doesn't phase me.

It just feels right and I think it would be a better future for the children where they can be outdoors more.

Theimpossiblegirl Tue 14-Mar-17 18:00:49

Lots of people from the Midlands relocate to Somerset, near Burnham-on-Sea, Cheddar, etc.. Not as far south as Devon and Cornwall, near enough to commute to Bristol for work and some very good schools (some not so good but this is the case everywhere).

I don't think the beaches are as nice as Devon/Cornwall but they are ok.

ButtercupChain Tue 14-Mar-17 18:04:43

Nirmingham! grin

Sorry but that tickled me

If it were me it depends. B'ham has good transport links and lots of jobs etc, but more crime/violence etc. Shit areas, nice areas, but the shit areas are reeeeeally shit.

West Country. More picturesque, but maybe more 'off the beaten track.'

So it depends what your priorities are really. smile

PNGirl Tue 14-Mar-17 18:06:07

I'm from Yorkshire but now live on the Wiltshire/Somerset border. Where I am is great as it's near Bath, Bristol and Swindon for jobs but much further south and you're really out in the sticks.

PNGirl Tue 14-Mar-17 18:07:24

Also, I hate Birmingham. It's my least favourite city!

whirlygirly Tue 14-Mar-17 18:08:23

I work in the deepest West Country with loads of people who've moved from Birmingham. It's literally 10% our company. They all seem happy to have relocated. Dp is also from that way but misses the hustle and bustle.

whirlygirly Tue 14-Mar-17 18:10:08

What struck me when moving down was the differing local news headlines from the area I came from. No murders or major frauds here - just an escaped cow or poor potato harvest..

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Tue 14-Mar-17 18:13:06

I live I need Devon. Beautiful county , I understand the appeal but 2 big issues -lack of higher paid jobs which are few and far and high cost of housing due to second homes and sought after location.
Doesn't sound like your husband or you are self employed so I am really wondering how realistic your dreams are. Devon and Cornwall are large geographically and since you state you don't mind which part really , this suggests that jobs have not been sought.
Once you have found work I would be happy to post about what that place / area is like .

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Tue 14-Mar-17 18:14:07

I live in Devon not I need Devon , bloody auto check speller!

Owllady Tue 14-Mar-17 18:22:32

I didn't move to the west country but I moved to a coastal town nr to a larger city
I noticed it's very white and there is a lack of diversity across the board
It can be very insular and yes to news stories. My parents used to find the local paper hilarious 'couple have argument outside nightclub' type stuff
Lack of good take aways!
People really aren't as friendly outside of the west Midlands
Lack of opportunity and aspiration amongst youngsters
Drug problems

Positives were
Nice walks, a different pace of life, more Sun! Not as grey
You don't have to speak to anyone if you don't want to. I'm always struck when I go back to visit my mum how strangers ASK you personal questions
No one constantly going on about whether or not you've put on weight
Cheaper food and fish
Cheaper housing
Less crime
More sheltered upbringing for the children.

I'm not sure if this will be helpful grin I quite like Birmingham now!

Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 18:28:49

Property wise we are mortgage free due to family deaths so realistically we could afford a property up to £250,000. Job wise I'm a SAHM at the moment due to childcare costs and my husband works in care/education.

Crime in Birmingham is one of the main factors in moving away, I know you can get it anywhere but it seems to have increased where we are and while the children are young enough I want to make the most of their childhood.

The pros of staying are I love my house and it is very sentimental to me and I like the school my children go to but are good enough reasons to stay? We don't live in a particulary bad part of the city but it is so built up and love countryside. I don't even go into the city centre as it doesn't interest me at all, I haven't been this year and I'm not sure when I went last year. If I did it was only a couple of times.

My husband wasn't born in Birmingham so he had no loyalty to it but I just wish he would show more interest in it as I want to do it before my eldest goes to senior school or if not before.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Tue 14-Mar-17 21:06:05

Property prices vary a lot in Devon linked to prettinress and jobs. Generally villages and protected landscapes are more expensive than the towns. For £250, 000 you could get a 3 bed in Exeter. Plymouth, North Devon and parts of mid Devon are cheaper whilst East Devon , Dartmoor and the South Hams are quite a lot more. Education is more difficult to get into, lots of teachers fancy moving to the South West although care jobs might be easier as the general lower pay makes Devon unaffordable. Not needing a mortgage might put you at an advantage in that regard.

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Tue 14-Mar-17 21:18:24

One of my family members made a similar move when their spouse's job relocated. Property is more expensive down there, and it's been difficult to get decent middling level work. The state of the economy moves at a different pace.

Although the move has been financially harder, socially, it's worked well. The pace of life is gentler and they've got better social networks than they had in their Midland city.

Their DS has relocated to a very different part of the country for university. Local opportunities are thin on the ground.

Is it worth investigating other areas of the country that may also suit you? That's not a criticism of your suggestion, just that you're quite open in your needs.

Lulabell1979 Tue 14-Mar-17 21:24:28

I think it depends where in Birmingham you are and where in Devon/Cornwall you want to go and are you hoping a magic wand will make everything better? Sure living by the sea sounds lovely but in reality in mid winter when you haven't got all the conveniences you are used to is it? I live near Birmingham and spend a fair bit of time in Devon. Unless you can afford somewhere really lovely a lot of it is a bit shit (!) Torquay, Paignton etc have some nice bits but I'd liken a lot of it to Rubery/stirchley areas of Bham - bit grotty, bit deprived etc, the only difference is the sea! Of course areas like Dartmouth, kingsbridge etc are gorgeous but you really do pay for it and £250k won't go very far. Do you really need to make that move?there are plenty of lovely areas in Worcestershire, Warwickshire, even in Birmingham that are lovely! Quite intrigued where in Bham you are that's so bad - that may sway my view! But for a total change of life then why not but think you need OH on board!

Westcountryatheart Tue 14-Mar-17 23:11:58

Where I live in Birmingham is not awful by any means, I'm not far from Solihull but still in Birmingham but I have probably outgrown the area. I never go out as the area doesn't interest me. I don't really enjoy local walks around the area and just generally feel bored of where I am and very restless.

I want to move mainly to be part of a community as there is no community spirit where we are, nothing happens in the neighbourhood and generally we don't really see any neighbours.

I could consider other areas but I just feel very drawn to that particular area.

It's very interesting to read everyone's replies, personal experiences and opinions, I really appreciate it.

2beesornot2beesthatisthehoney Wed 15-Mar-17 07:29:44

If you want community sprit then that means a village. You may be able to find a house for £250000 in a north or mid Devon village away from the sea , but you won't get much for your buck., Why don't you look at villages outside Birmingham?

PeaFaceMcgee Wed 15-Mar-17 08:12:44

You can get a nice house in Helston or Hayle areas in West Cornwall for £250k - 10 mins drive from gorgeous beaches.

Westcountryatheart Wed 15-Mar-17 10:20:13

The place I thought of initially was Barnstaple or somewhere in North Devon. I don't think I would look just outside Birmingham as I want to leave the Midlands all together.

Peaface, what's Hayle and Helston like?

Hogs Wed 15-Mar-17 10:38:10

I'm Cornish and, honestly, unless you have a car and quite a bit of money then it's not a great place to live. Falmouth and Truro are nice, and of course the scenery is amazing, but the other towns are pretty crap. And there's plenty of crime in them too. Moreover, well-paid jobs are very, very few and far between.
I also lived in Devon as an adult, which is better. The transport links are much better and, depending on where you are, you can easily access Plymouth or Exeter, or even Bristol for far better paid jobs.

On the other hand, it's a slower-paced life, the landscape is truly amazing and the people are friendly.

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