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Am I being unreasonable/lazy to not want to move to a very hilly town?

(100 Posts)
Amandette Wed 27-Feb-19 23:48:25

We (myself, dh + one dc) are moving to a different part of the country.

Dh and I will both be working in a particular city, and have been looking at towns a commutable distance away.

We’ve narrowed it down to 3.

Town A is dh’s favourite by far - in all fairness, it is a lovely town, with a beautiful high street, great schools, low crime etc etc, seems to tick all the boxes. But the high street is at the bottom of a valley and all the houses are on the really steep valley sides above it. I’ve heard that you can’t really park on the high street, so any trip to town to go the shops or anything else would end in this massive climb home.

I would prefer Town B or Town C which aren’t quite as picturesque/upper middle class but are far flatter.

Dh thinks I’m being lazy. AIBU to discount a town for this reason?

Merryoldgoat Wed 27-Feb-19 23:50:04

Nope. It would get really old really fast.

Pishogue Wed 27-Feb-19 23:51:11

Personally I think you’d be quite mad. Assuming you haven’t got a disability that would making dealing with regular hills difficult.

radishingravish Wed 27-Feb-19 23:52:30

I live in a hilly town smile Takes about 15 minutes to walk down and 15 minutes to walk back up from my house. I like it and it keeps me fit. Think about all the good it will be doing for your health. Or the extra bag of crisps/slice of cake you will get to eat.

Ribbonsonabox Wed 27-Feb-19 23:53:50

Is it Hebden Bridge? Gorgeous place...
Look on the bright side once you've got used to it you will be super fit!

JumpOrBePushed Thu 28-Feb-19 00:01:04

It’ll keep you fit OP, just think of the health benefits wink

Seriously though, I live on a hill. It’s fine most of the time, you get used to walking uphill.

The main problem is winter. Ice, snow, and hills aren’t a good combination. Some of the minor roads round us are too steep to drive up when covered in snow. How much of a that is depends on how close to the bigger, gritted roads you live.

BackforGood Thu 28-Feb-19 00:01:25

Another who thinks that you would appreciate your fitness and the extra calories that are used everytime you walk up hill rather than on the flat. I genuinely do think you would get used to the hills very quickly.

HeddaGarbled Thu 28-Feb-19 00:21:58

I used to live up a hill from the town centre and it was a pain. Carrying heavy shopping bags, pushing a pram/push-chair, walking back from school with extensive school paraphernalia were all made more arduous. Icy weather was dangerous.

The bliss when we moved somewhere flatter. I walk more now and use the car less.

PickAChew Thu 28-Feb-19 00:26:16

I live uphill from our city centre. I'll happily make the 25 minute walk in but will catch the bus back unless we have neutral weather and I have no heavy bags!

BuildingBackUp Thu 28-Feb-19 00:38:00

Yanbu op.

The village we live is really flat and I think it’s a huge benefit.

We can all (even young dc) go for a cycle of a fair few miles around the village, straight from the door, and it’s all flat.

Same with walking - I’m far from lazy but I’m out and about with Ds3 in the pram loads and having to navigate hills all the time would get old fast.

EatsFartsAndLeaves Thu 28-Feb-19 00:41:40

Watch out also for flood risk, and for one side of the valley to get very little sun.

HazardGhost Thu 28-Feb-19 00:42:35

YANBU! Hill walking is fine when you have the energy, wellness and nothing to carry but regularly? With stuff? On a tiring day? Nahhh.

Monty27 Thu 28-Feb-19 00:56:57

Yanbu! I live at the top of hill in a residential area. I dread that walk walking from the train and feeling shattered let alone carrying shopping or wheeling buggies.
It does keep you fit though. And a great view smile

Sycamoretrees Thu 28-Feb-19 00:58:49

The walking up hill and the lack of sunshine and light if you're in the wrong position in the valley (especially in the evenings) would be a deal breaker for me!

MrsTerryPratcett Thu 28-Feb-19 01:01:23

I know someone that lives near Lake Garda. Very hilly. She has the calves of a 20 year old in her 80s and is very fit. With no exercise except walking around.

Blondie1984 Thu 28-Feb-19 01:10:07

It's the same where I live and whilst it does indeed keep you fit and mean you don't need a gym membership, it can be a pain when it snows/is icy - I've lost track of the number of cars I've seen skid down the road or had to help push up I something to consider if the place you're moving to has a lot of snow (e.g. Scotland)

JasperKarat Thu 28-Feb-19 01:18:02

I used to live in Durham city, very hilly, but worth it. My advice would be to take a backpack into town much easier to get any shopping back if you're walking up hill, don't discount somewhere lovely because of the hills, they're great for keeping your legs toned!

Holidaycountdown Thu 28-Feb-19 01:24:48

Sounds like Berkhamsted 😂 the hills are huge...parking isn’t that terrible though!

Amandette Thu 28-Feb-19 01:56:07

Sounds like Berkhamsted 😂 the hills are huge...parking isn’t that terrible though!

I was trying to keep it vague, but you guessed it! It is Berkhamsted.

Dh is set on it, I’d rather live in a nice part of Hemel Hempstead.

I’m interested to hear that the parking isn’t too bad though - we have some friends who used to live there (though left a few years ago) who said it was dreadful, but maybe things have improved since then.

Monty27 Thu 28-Feb-19 02:03:41

It definitely depends what is on the hill
Whether it's pretty or not. I monitor seasonal changes when I am trudging up the hill as a diversion.

Linning Thu 28-Feb-19 05:59:26

YANBU OP, I live in the San Francisco bay area, there are hills on each side street of my house and it is an absolute pain.

I (used to) love to walk and would walk for hours before moving here but now everything is a bit of an excursion and as a consequence I find myself driving much more because I can't bare the thought of walking up those hills all the time (and driving and parking up steep hills is a pain in itself!), I walk when the weather is nice and to go to places I know will be mostly flat but anything else and I can't be bothered anymore. If you have a baby or young children, you will find yourself staying fit but also miserable everytime you have to walk back home (especially when the weather is shit and you find yourself having to walk 10 minutes up hill, a distance that would take you 2 minutes if it was flat) and nothing more miserable than resenting have to walk home.

So yeah, I would advise against it if you can!

DroningOn Thu 28-Feb-19 06:08:26

If that's the only reason in spite of all that's good yabu

TheLastNigel Thu 28-Feb-19 06:13:15

Berkhampstead is lovely though, and Hemel Is generally rough as anything-I would take a hill in Berky over almost anything in Hemel tbh! (I work in the community in Hemel and I'm yet to find a nice bit of it).

MiniCooperLover Thu 28-Feb-19 06:16:24

Berko is lovely, Hemel is not. Not even the nice bits OP, avoid it!

Sanguineclamp Thu 28-Feb-19 06:21:54

Personally I'd base my decisions on schools. Education would be my first priority.

blueskiesovertheforest Thu 28-Feb-19 06:26:28

I'm very sceptical about it magically making you fit - it's more likely to dissuade you from bothering to walk if you're unfit to start with. You'll end up taking the car more rather than less, and driving to another town!

Are you intending this move to be permanent? Is it somewhere you could manage in old age or are elderly, less mobile people more likely to be housebound?

reefedsail Thu 28-Feb-19 06:36:05

Berkhampstead High Street?? Lovely??

I thought you would be talking about some fabulous rural market town- Frome, Hebden, Lincoln...

It is NOT worth it for Berko. Berko is not lovely.

bellinisurge Thu 28-Feb-19 06:41:33

I live in a hilly town. We walk a lot but bikes are out of the question. I have MS, before you jump on me. It took us ages to find a nice flat spot to teach dd to ride a bike - we had to drive there sad. I wish she and dh could just pop out for a cycle now and then but even a little pootle is hardcore. So we walk a lot instead.

TheLastNigel Thu 28-Feb-19 06:45:08

Berkhampstead has frequently been named as the nicest palace to live in Hertfordshire if you set store by that kind of thing...I love the high st there!

TidyDancer Thu 28-Feb-19 06:55:28

If you're set on Hertfordshire OP, there are nicer areas than both of those. I would rule out Hemel entirely if it was me, I'm not keen on it personally.

SaturdayNext Thu 28-Feb-19 07:00:11

What's public transport like? If there's a reasonable bus service the hill needn't be a massive problem.

randomsabreuse Thu 28-Feb-19 07:05:53

I live on the "wrong" side of a hilly town - high street is up the other side of the river valley... parking is busy in town.

Some ages are fine, baby plus preschooler = car, just baby = walk. Just preschooler depends on time pressure - if none can walk and enjoys cliff railway trip.

Pushchair is a liability- most direct routes involve steps with long detours for non step alternatives.

I do like my town (Midlands) but I got very fit very quickly after my first baby!

Seaseasea Thu 28-Feb-19 07:09:57

I grew up in a really hilly town like you describe and it was never an issue but I guess I was used to it. Sounds odd but now I live in a flat place it makes me a bit uneasy like it’s soulless and you can see everything, I don’t like it at all!
My main issue was that I was a crap driver and parking/driving always freaked me out!

sailorsdelight Thu 28-Feb-19 07:14:45

I do, helps keep us fit! Are there no buses?? Taxis??

Magenta82 Thu 28-Feb-19 07:21:02

I'd take Berko over Hemel any day of the week!

BejamNostalgia Thu 28-Feb-19 07:21:53

It does keep you fit. I live halfway up a hill. What is the public transport like? I have twins and can’t really push them up the hill now they’re toddlers, so I get the bus two stops up.

ChasedByBees Thu 28-Feb-19 07:22:37

A friend is a scientist who studies aging. She told me that people who have stairs have a much increased life expectancy and health outcomes. I imagine the same might apply to those getting exercise from hills.

In all honesty though, I might feel like you. grin

MaudesMum Thu 28-Feb-19 07:23:14

I moved to somewhere similar, but smaller, a few years ago. It's a 10 minute walk into town (downhill) and it then takes at least 15 minutes to get back (uphill). I've noticed a welcome improvement in my fitness since I moved, and am now much happier belting in and out of town more than once a day. I'm in my 50s and am looking at it as improving my health for the long-term. It also reminds me of a walking holiday I went on to a hilly part of Spain. We stayed in a town which was basically on a very steep slope. As we (all in walking boots and walking gear) slogged slowly up the slope to our hostel, the elderly residents skipped past us carrying their shopping!!

Newyearnewunicorn Thu 28-Feb-19 07:24:05

YANBU pushchair and steep hills are very difficult and I find parking on steep hills worrying. I’d look at other towns.

ChasedByBees Thu 28-Feb-19 07:24:50

I’m curious too now. I’m imaging Burford, somewhere in Stroud, Sheffield or near the Malverns.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Thu 28-Feb-19 07:25:11

Yabu, definitely. Berko is a far better place to grow up than Hemel. And as others have said, you'll get fit.

I agree with your dh.

pyramidbutterflyfish Thu 28-Feb-19 07:25:19

YABVU. Hills warm the soul. Flat areas, on the other hand, are depressing and vaguely sinister. Hence I refuse to move to Norfolk!

Phineyj Thu 28-Feb-19 07:28:57

Have you looked at Hitchin? It's got hills but there are flat bits too and good parking. Double check the train service if either of you commute though, as it was affected by last year's 'reorganisation'.

downcasteyes Thu 28-Feb-19 07:31:26

Why on earth not move to the actual city itself? Stop polluting the world with your stupid commutes, and LIVE NEAR WORK.

harriethoyle Thu 28-Feb-19 07:33:42

@Ribbonsonabox that's where I live and I thought exactly the same grin

bellinisurge Thu 28-Feb-19 07:34:25

Cities don't suit everyone. Particularly with few green spaces in affordable areas and bad air.

Wantobeacat Thu 28-Feb-19 07:38:07

I live in a very hilly town and I'm a runner. I always say I'm going to move somewhere flat but I'd miss them there hills. It's so lovely when you get to the top of all the hills, the views! Then you get to come back down.

Otherwise I drive everywhere and it's not a problem.

whitehorsesdonotlie Thu 28-Feb-19 07:39:29

Berko is lovely BUT the parking is often very tricky, AND traffic through the town is always slow.

I guess it depends where you find a house.....

downcasteyes Thu 28-Feb-19 07:40:05

Oh my God, I assumed that this post had to be about a northern city, and was wondering where on earth had such forbidding hills. You're talking about the forbidding massif... of Hertfordshire. Yeah, you're defintely going to need your crampons and your harness with you when you go to the local shops. confused

"Otherwise I drive everywhere and it's not a problem."

If you can run up the hills, surely you can walk to work?

whitehorsesdonotlie Thu 28-Feb-19 07:40:53

You definitely can't park on the high street but you can usually park in the car park by Waitrose just behind the high street.

Are you working in London? So looking to find somewhere commutable? I'm not keen on Hemel.

Have you thought about further out on the Euston line?

CountessVonBoobs Thu 28-Feb-19 07:41:02

It would be a complete and total no-brainer for me. Hilly town, with the hills as a total bonus for views and fitness. I love to walk.

whitehorsesdonotlie Thu 28-Feb-19 07:41:24

forbidding massif... of Hertfordshire.


Buddytheelf85 Thu 28-Feb-19 07:42:52

Why on earth not move to the actual city itself? Stop polluting the world with your stupid commutes, and LIVE NEAR WORK.

Yeah, because it definitely works like that. Especially in the south east.

CountessVonBoobs Thu 28-Feb-19 07:42:57

Wait a minute, this is bloody Hertfordshire. Fuck yes, you are being lazy! Get fit!

Birdsgottafly Thu 28-Feb-19 07:43:26

My Aunt lives up a very steep hill, in a Welsh Town. It amazes me how all the really old people still manage it, they seem to live longer as well.

Likewise when we go camping, the difference in older people and mobility.

downcasteyes, not everyone can afford to live in the city that they work in.

TrainSong Thu 28-Feb-19 07:43:30

Just think of it as a free gym! My DBro lives in a very hilly town. He and DSiL got superfit really quickly. The views are gorgeous.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 28-Feb-19 07:44:05

Wait for a house to come up right in the town - they do come up fairly regularly - the hills in Berko only kick in once you get back one street all around from the High Street

ie. there's a LOT of houses a flat walk from the town

Consider Tring? And St Albans over Hemel.

If you do pick Hemel there's only half a dozen streets (plus Felden) that's right next to the main train station that are nice enough to live - and you will still end up driving to berko to meet friends for coffee

Hemel town centre is really horrible - after a decade they still keep commercial rents too high to let most of the shops in the Riverside complex - which is a disgrace

oldmum22 Thu 28-Feb-19 07:46:36

Berko is lovely but have you thought about St Albans ?

Vulpine Thu 28-Feb-19 07:47:13

Hills are good for you

LaurieFairyCake Thu 28-Feb-19 07:47:42

Neither of these are huge but they are well positioned for the town centre. I like the one on the river, it's a lovely walk

Doghorsechicken Thu 28-Feb-19 07:51:17

I miss living up a big hill. I used to walk up a steep and long hill twice a day and it kept me really fit. I now live in a flat village and I’ve put 2 stone on. I still walk as far and for as long but I’ve lost my fitness so much. Hills are great! Plus think of the views!

Wantobeacat Thu 28-Feb-19 07:52:53

@downcasteyes I'm a self employed cleaner so walking for miles between clients isn't possible, it would add hours to an already long day.

Doghorsechicken Thu 28-Feb-19 07:53:05

Oh and you do get used to them. I could power walk straight up with hardly any effort.

BreakfastAtSquiffanys Thu 28-Feb-19 07:55:51

Berko is lovely

ReaganSomerset Thu 28-Feb-19 08:01:15

I'd go for it. Flooding will never be an issue, which is reassuring in view of the global warming thing.

EssentialHummus Thu 28-Feb-19 08:26:48

I'd check that at least one retailer delivered online shopping locally, then go for it.

FlorisApple Thu 28-Feb-19 08:38:17

Depends whether you have a buggy or not. I have fucked my wrists pushing a buggy up hills on the school run everyday, and I love walking, but unfortunately I underestimated the toll it would take.

LaurieFairyCake Thu 28-Feb-19 08:41:56

Just to reassure you, ALL of the supermarkets deliver to Berko

Grace212 Thu 28-Feb-19 08:52:22

I don't know the "massive" is this climb home from the High Street?

I'm googling but it just looks like where my mum lives - a hilly area, yes, but not hugely steep hills. Not San Francisco!

havingtochangeusernameagain Thu 28-Feb-19 08:54:04

I'm guessing the OP would love to live in St Albans but it is ridiculously expensive. Mind you I can't imagine Berkhamstead is cheap. Are you commuting to London or somewhere else? If London there are so many places you could consider.

winsinbin Thu 28-Feb-19 09:12:31

YABU. We moved to the top of a hill some years ago. It used to get me very out of breath me walking up it and I sometimes had to stop for a rest but now me, DH and DCs don’t even notice it (unless we have very heavy bags, in which case we might get a cab). It’s done wonders for our fitness.

Miljah Thu 28-Feb-19 09:18:30

I googled images of Berkhamstead. A tourist map came up with a DM comment 'the tourist map of Berkhamstead is shaped like a penis....' 😂😂

Jojoanna Thu 28-Feb-19 09:27:42

Yanbu I had to walk a hill everyday was scared to death in winter of falling over . Was thin though

WhiteDust Thu 28-Feb-19 09:28:15

Are you kidding me? Hills? I was expecting this to be about a place with actual hills!!
Park at Waitrose and you'll be fine.
Gorgeous place OP even if the map suggests otherwise!

Grace212 Thu 28-Feb-19 09:31:25

just to add....that "live near work" comment is mad.

A) couldn't afford it

B) wouldn't want to live in such a hellish crowded place

C) planning to freelance and work all over

D) does said poster also think people have jobs for life now?! Imagine if I'd had to buy a new flat every time I changed jobs over the last 20 years!

RachelHerts Thu 28-Feb-19 09:32:00

I live in the area you're talking about. Berko is definitely nicer than Hemel but don't discount Hemel completely! The areas around the two train stations (Boxmoor, for Hemel station, and Apsley which has its own station) are the nicest, and more affordable than Berko or St Albans.
How about something like this? Lovely Victorian house near station in Boxmoor

PBobs Thu 28-Feb-19 09:34:41

I am the opposite and cannot understand how people love to live in flat places. We're going to spend 3 months living in a particularly hilly part of a capital city this summer and I cannot wait. We're there right now and I love how fit and healthy walking is making me feel.

Adversecamber22 Thu 28-Feb-19 09:38:37

I grew up in an actual hilly rural idylI some of those roads were a big effort but where your considering doesn’t sound that hilly.I was imagining a hill like this

NewYoiker Thu 28-Feb-19 09:43:17

Hated bitch hill in Bangor when at uni but I definitely love living in a hilly area now

Pishogue Thu 28-Feb-19 09:43:49

I am the opposite and cannot understand how people love to live in flat places. We're going to spend 3 months living in a particularly hilly part of a capital city this summer and I cannot wait. We're there right now and I love how fit and healthy walking is making me feel.

I used to live in Lausanne, which is famously hilly -- and covered in a lot of snow in winter -- and that, while more challenging than Berkhampstead, was generally a really positive experience in terms of fitness. Just going about my daily life (I didn't drive) kept me very fit, quite apart from the hills contributing to making the city beautiful.

oreoxoreo Thu 28-Feb-19 09:49:47

I wouldn't mind walking so much, but parking on a steep hill and driving on icy roads would be a killer, so I would avoid hilly places unless you can totally rely on public transport.

ItchyKondera Thu 28-Feb-19 09:50:31

Oh god I would much rather live in Berko than Hemel!! The hills are not too bad, I used to work on the high st but had to park up the top of the hills.
Parking isn't so bad - and they are building a multistory car park at Waitrose (much to the dismay of residents)
Soooo much better than hemel. Honestly.
You could also look at Tring as an option?

IggyPoppers Thu 28-Feb-19 09:56:10

No way I'd live in Hemel over Berko. The hills really aren't that bad and Hemel schools really aren't going to be the same experience as Berko for your DC. Sorry, I'm with your DH.

Slowknitter Thu 28-Feb-19 10:00:03

I think YABU. But I live in Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District, so there's not a lot of flat round here!

BarbarianMum Thu 28-Feb-19 10:01:33

Ah yes the mountains of Berkhamsted. V droll.

blackteasplease Thu 28-Feb-19 10:10:25

Berko isn't that hilly. I wouldn't choose Hemel over Berko given the choice as it's a totally different place.

Have you considered Tring? Next stop along on the train.

romany4 Thu 28-Feb-19 11:00:05

I live in a hilly village in Yorkshire.
It's a mile and a half to the bottom of the hill to the nearest town. I walk down it and if I only have a couple of bags, I walk back up. If I get a big shop, I get a taxi. And My legs and bum muscles are fab!

downcasteyes Thu 28-Feb-19 11:19:23

How high is the summit of the tallest hill in Berkhamsted? Will the OP be needing acetazolamide for the altitude sickness induced by a trip to the Co-op? Is hypothermia an ever-present danger?

amusedbush Thu 28-Feb-19 11:24:15

I work at the top of a hill that's basically Mount fucking Doom and it's a slog. I've been here for six years and we all complain that walking up it has never gotten easier - not even slightly. It's so bad it actually puts a lot of people off going out at lunch time because you arrive back at the office sweating and out of breath.

I'm not lazy but no way would I choose to live somewhere like that.

EssexGurl Thu 28-Feb-19 11:45:09

Don’t do it! You are not lazy! FIL lives in a similar place. I’m fit but struggle with the hills due to a joint problem. MIL could never go out unless in a car due to her knee problems. If FIL wasn’t there she was house bound. Might be fine now, but think about future proofing.

iolaus Thu 28-Feb-19 12:50:09

I live in the Welsh Valleys, can't imagine living somewhere flat

Even from tiny the kids have walked up and down the hills, it does give you a base layer of fitness

adaline Thu 28-Feb-19 12:53:46

I live in Cumbria so everywhere is hilly by definition! I love it. And like PP's I'm a lot fitter since moving here!

Nat6999 Thu 28-Feb-19 12:58:22

I'm disabled & live in a city built on 7 hills ( Sheffield) I would love to live somewhere flat as it really is a struggle for me to get around.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Thu 28-Feb-19 13:05:34

Berko is nice - parallel parking on the high street isn’t great but there’s a car park behind the Sainsbury’s (? Might be Tesco).

I’m proper lazy but wouldn’t discount Berkhamsted. It’s not that hilly. I mean I’d discount it because it’s a bit la-di-da and too far from a large city for me but that’s by the by wink

reefedsail Thu 28-Feb-19 19:28:46

That's what I imagined Adversecamber! That hill is near me.

I'm obviously alone in thinking Berko is not lovely. I must have been very lucky in the places I have lived.

Rockmysocks Thu 28-Feb-19 21:16:50

We nearly moved to Wicklow which has some very steep hills. I noticed everyone, including the pensioners, seemed to be wearing trainers. Looking back, I think we were lucky the house fell through. I'm pathetic trying to walk on ice so dunno what I'd have done in bad weather there.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Thu 28-Feb-19 21:34:59

@reefedsail I can objectively say it's nice - but I wouldn't want to live there.

whasoaw1 Thu 28-Feb-19 21:44:42

I live in a hilly town and you just get used to it after a bit.

Lifecraft Thu 28-Feb-19 21:51:23

Dh is set on it, I’d rather live in a nice part of Hemel Hempstead.

Doesn't exist. There are awful bits, and fucking awful bits.

ShinyMe Thu 28-Feb-19 21:52:36

My granny lived in Berko when I was a kid, and lived at the top of Hall Park Gate, so along the main road and all the way up the hill. We walked up there every day when I stayed (several weeks a year) and it's fine. She was super fit from doing it. And anyway, there are buses.

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