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AIBU to think leaving London for a new city is preferable to the suburbs?

(211 Posts)
jumpyfrog Mon 20-Nov-17 16:22:12

I'm a born & raised Londoner (SW), husband the same (SE). We currently live in SW London & in the catchment of an outstanding school. As my mum is 10 mins walk & inlaws 10 min drive we also have a great support network & have 1 day of childcare plus babysitting provided by them.

However looking to the next few yrs we really would like a bigger property & perhaps try for DC3. 90% of our friends have moved out to either zone 5 (Sutton, Bromley, S.Croydon) or to surrounding counties (Kent, Surrey, Sussex & Essex) & this seems to be the natural step.

AIBU to hate the idea of moving to the suburbs/countryside & thinking moving to another city would be better for me?
I've always lived within 10 mins walk of the high street & the tube & cant stand the idea of driving everywhere. Obviously jobs are an issue but I run a small online business & my husband would still get a decent salary in areas such as Bristol.

Has anyone moved from London to a new city? was it a good decision? where did you go?

jumpyfrog Mon 20-Nov-17 19:37:28


splendidisolation Mon 20-Nov-17 19:44:50

I was just about to suggest Bristol before I got to the end of your post. You could also look at Brighton although house prices are almost just as crazy - some parts of town would be doable though.

ShrinkWrap Mon 20-Nov-17 19:45:59

Those places all have decent train links and high streets. It’s not all about the tube. And SE London is far cheaper than SW, so you might not have to move all the way to the burbs. Though schools may be an issue

peachgreen Mon 20-Nov-17 19:48:14

I moved from London to another city and wish we’d moved further out into Surrey instead, with hindsight. Or to another city with easy access to London, possibly.

gingerclementine Mon 20-Nov-17 19:49:52

We live in a lively commuter village. It's midway between two market towns but only 30 mins by train into Central London. I couldn't bear to move from here now. We spend a lot of time in London - going to shows and exhibitions, knowing we can get home in less time than it used to take when we live din central London. But we also have fields, woods, hills, heathland all right on our doorstep. I love the clean air, the seasons, the wildlife. But if we want buzz and culture it's not far away. A small town would feel like a compromise between the two.

BunnyFluffy Mon 20-Nov-17 19:52:03

We’ve moved out to a commuter zone and the commute is hell on Earth. Problems parking at station (not enough spaces), packed trains, delays ..... there’s a problem most days it seems

I would leave the south east in a heartbeat, but DH is committed to working in London.

But I’m not from London and my family are not there. It’s the family connections that would make me think twice in your case.

Osolea Mon 20-Nov-17 19:52:24

There are plenty of places in the suburbs where you can be within ten minutes of a good high street and decent train line, so you wouldn't necessarily have to drive everywhere. That convenience is reflected in the house prices though, and other cities are expensive if you live close to the centre of them. People are very influenced by the house prices.

I can see where you're coming from completely, I'm a Londoner that misses it, but would rather be close to London than move to another city.

Ecureuil Mon 20-Nov-17 19:54:23

If you prefer city living then yes, it sounds like the better option for you.
I’ve lived in London, Bristol, Madrid, Milan and am now in the suburbs (have a big house etc that we wouldn’t be able to afford elsewhere). I love it, but I’m pretty adaptable! Everywhere has its charms, and it’s less desirable aspects.

Ecureuil Mon 20-Nov-17 19:55:14

Ps the nice bits of Bristol are pretty expensive! Amazing city though.

Ecureuil Mon 20-Nov-17 19:55:48

Oh and pps... London was my least favourite place to live of all those cities!

Lules Mon 20-Nov-17 19:57:52

I moved out to Surrey. Still walk everywhere and hardly ever drive. Very near the station if I want to go to London and have excellent shops, coffee shops and pubs within a ten minute walk - far more than I had in London. Of course there are downsides but there are anywhere.

Lules Mon 20-Nov-17 19:59:42

The commute is shit though. It would really put me off if I had do it every day with no scope for working from home.

Elephantgrey Mon 20-Nov-17 19:59:46

I know people who have moved from London to Coventry and kept their jobs. It is a hour on the train which is very similar to some outer London suburbs and the train is less crowded. The transport is more expensive but you could buy a lovely house in a good school area walking distance to the station for much cheaper than anything you could get in London.

Andcake Mon 20-Nov-17 19:59:58

I was devastated to move from zone 2 to zone 4 but because of work couldn't leave London. I researched loads and found somewhere with lively high street great transport links and schools. I have found it friendlier than expected and I think dp prefers it, we have wonderful parks and londons theatres, museums and friends are still close.

Some suburbs are horrible streets and streets with nothing in easy reach.

Eltonjohnssyrup Mon 20-Nov-17 20:01:54

As a born and raised Londoner who has moved elsewhere I think you would be very, very surprised at how small other cities are. I am very glad I've moved elsewhere as I prefer the quality of life, but most other city centres aren't that much bigger than Bromley or Croydon and don't have the advantage of being 15-20 minutes from London by train.

If you don't feel Bromley is enough of a city for you it's very unlikely that most other U.K. cities would be either.

bringonyourwreckingball Mon 20-Nov-17 20:02:44

We moved from SW London to Sheffield but we have family here. Still love visiting London but love being up north. Would you really be in a city if you moved though? We’re still pretty suburban as that’s where the bigger houses and better schools are.

Ummmmgogo Mon 20-Nov-17 20:02:54

you would be mad to move. family support is much more valuable than a bigger house. stay where you are and but bunk beds!

killerwhale Mon 20-Nov-17 20:02:59

Don’t move to Surrey, if you love London you’ll find it so boring and full of people who talk about nothing but house prices and home improvements. I’d go to Brighton or Bristol. Loads going on in both places.

YoloSwaggins Mon 20-Nov-17 20:04:50

I've always lived within 10 mins walk of the high street & the tube & cant stand the idea of driving everywhere.

I live in Hertfordshire and don't drive. I like within 10 mins of town, the gym, train station, work and supermarket. It's half an hour into London. It's green but it's hardly "countryside"!

Lules Mon 20-Nov-17 20:07:24

I’ve found people talk about house prices far more in London. Mainly in a ‘maybe if I save up for 20 years I could afford to buy a shit one bedroom flat in zone 4’ kind of a way to be fair.

Ttbb Mon 20-Nov-17 20:09:27

I wouldn't bother tbh. Snall cities are the absolute worst. They have all the horrible things that come with living in a city-not enough space, dirty/noisy, ugly but at the same time are boring AF. Either live in a large city or go live in a villiage/open countryside.

jumpyfrog Mon 20-Nov-17 20:10:03

Thanks for all the responses, I'm really torn on the issue. Obviously it's great to have family close but if we moved to zone 5 we would lose the childcare aspect probably. Where some of my friends are they do have high streets but they are pretty boring to be honest, with the obligatory starbucks, indian restaurant etc. I guess because I do have babysitting on tap (i don't take the piss though) I'm lucky that we can still be relatively spontaneous & go into town on a whim.

ecurueil Can I asked what you liked about Bristol? We would have a budget of approx 850k so I know we couldn't afford a massive house in Bristol.

ginger Can I ask what area your in?

peach what do you dislike about your city?

TeachesOfPeaches Mon 20-Nov-17 20:12:26

You would be crazy to leave your family support OP.

peachgreen Mon 20-Nov-17 20:13:54

@jumpyfrog It’s not London! Has all of the bad bits of city living and none of what makes London special. It’s a nice city, it’s not its fault - I just miss London too much.

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