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To move out of London to Northern Ireland?

(160 Posts)
InternetArgument Sat 23-Mar-19 18:37:28

I realised the other day that I have been trying not to think about all the reasons I’m anxious about staying in london. I have one 2 year old and another on the way.

I’ve had enough of the stress of living here. I have a large house, very small mortgage and it is lovely in one of the nicest areas in the locality.

Im sick of the crime, stress and pollution. DH and I both have ties to Ireland and we have been to the north before and loved it - city, town and country.

AIBU to want to cash out and run to the hills?

Thinking of near Derry or Belfast.

Smileymoon Sat 23-Mar-19 18:40:12

I would. It depends on the lifestyle you want for you and your family. I prefer a relaxed one.

SkinnywannabeKBH Sat 23-Mar-19 18:42:43

I would too. Ok, so I've actually never been to London, it it doesn't appeal to me at all. I live approx 20mins away from Belfast and love living in Northern Ireland. House prices are so much more cheaper than those of friends who live in/near London. Schools are great etc...

InterchangeableEmma Sat 23-Mar-19 18:42:47

I'd wait and see what happens with Brexit first. There is still a pretty high chance of no deal (yes, really)

powershowerforanhour Sat 23-Mar-19 18:44:21

If you sell the large house in the nice area of London, you'll probably be able to buy Derry or Belfast. Possibly both smile

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 18:45:04

I have done this 18 months ago! It was a LOT more stressful than I bargained for, DH is still commuting which is part of that, NI is truly awesome and the schools are just fantastic, also great are the toddler and baby groups.

However I do really miss London! Friends and old career.

If you have a lovely house with small mortgage, what is it that’s driving you to move?

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 18:50:09

I’m in NI and I agree with waiting to see what Brexit brings for NI specifically. It’s far too unknown now and even as a lifelong NI resident I’m quite worried. I certainly would choose to move here until I had an idea of just how far up the shit creek we are going to be.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 18:50:47

wouldnt choose to move here

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 18:52:05

House prices are def going up though.

NeverTalksToStrangers Sat 23-Mar-19 18:52:24

I love living here.

With the profits from a large London house you could get yourself a beautiful place to live somewhere lovely. Do you both work? Have you looked at jobs? Where are your connections?

Mmmmbrekkie Sat 23-Mar-19 18:52:25

Where do you in London that you have a llarge house”??!

If it’s even half decent...You will honestly be able to buy an incomprehensibly big mansion in NI outright and have shed loads spare

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 18:55:38

We need a bell for the Protestant traybakers and their Catholic baking equivs tbh

powershowerforanhour Sat 23-Mar-19 19:06:05

I also have a two year old and due #2 soon. Live outside, but work in, Belfast. When I was at one of the antenatal midwife appointments they did that test where you blow into the tube, for carbon monoxide. Midwife told me I'd scored 2, so I asked her what the max was and she said 4 or under was fine "unless we were in London, where they use a max of 10. Because of the pollution". I thought, bloody hell. Obviously the vast majority of people in London have functional lungs but still, I don't think I'd like to live there forever.

InternetArgument Sat 23-Mar-19 19:11:25

We are moving because I’m horrified at the kind of life my children will have if we stay here. It’s the culture of urban violence we want to escape which permeates the schools. Friends have left for the same reason.

There’s no point having a nice leafy house if your child gets severely beaten at primary school or assaulted on the bus. With a second child we would have to remortgage to get them both into a cheap fee paying school, but one of us would have to ferry them there and back until they went to university.

There are many horror stories and I have heard them from the parents of the children who have suffered. It’s a shame as it is a nice place but we are living on an island surrounded by hostile people with whom I have nothing in common.

We have almost finished modernising the house. I’m not saying where as I don’t want to put myself

We both do the kind of work you could find in or near a large town, and have family in Ireland - we’ve spent a lot of time all over Ireland and at all times of year.

I want to be near enough a city for when the kids grow older.

InternetArgument Sat 23-Mar-19 19:14:06

Thank you NI mums for your encouragement! I think I can handle a few traybakers 😊

powershowerforanhour Sat 23-Mar-19 19:14:20

Disadvantages- it's dark in the winter. As in, gloomy at 4pm and pitch black at 5pm. All that lost daylight comes at about 4am in the middle of summer. Great.

Salaries- I suppose depending on what you do- are commensurate with the price of everything else compared to England in general and London in particular. Low.

Tunnockswafer Sat 23-Mar-19 19:16:58

If you ever decide to move back, you’d fine it very hard.

Tunnockswafer Sat 23-Mar-19 19:17:42

But you’d get to eat Tayto every day, so there’s a bright side..

Howzaboutye Sat 23-Mar-19 19:19:19

Go! Leave London for NI
We are considering the same

Folk in London have no idea how shit it is, NI is so much nicer

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 19:19:31

You see now I am gone for a year and a half I am a bit ‘was it REALLY that bad?!?’ We have been considering moving back. But we lived in an area which was really REALLY naice to one side and quite rough on the other so stabbings and shootings. Private schools round us were exorbitant hothouses obsessed with interviewing 3 year olds and putting kids through 7+ etc (NI 11+ is a breeze in comparison to London competitive day schools tbh) and while state primary was lovely, quite rough secondaries.

Eh, but I miss the dirt and the buzz and the madness.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 19:20:40

The traybake thread was AMAZING and reminded me why we’d returned.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 19:25:03

I don’t know what your part of London is like but in NI you’re never far from lots of green space and amazing views. (I remember watching an episode of homes under the hammer from my living room with the window framing the mournes and the presenter was very excited about the “fantastic view” if you squint between the two tower blocks in front of the flat you can see part of the shard- she really needs to visit NI grin) Roads aren’t as good as England IMO and transport links in general aren’t great. But I think (hope?) that will improve. Brexit dependant.

internetpersonme Sat 23-Mar-19 19:25:57

Good idea. No drugs or violence in Northern Ireland.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 19:27:35

There are drugs and violence throughout the U.K. just easier to cushion yourself from the impact of it in some places than others.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 19:27:39

Yeah I was skipping about strangford with the kids on bikes today which was pretty clean and scenic.

S1naidSucks Sat 23-Mar-19 19:27:54

If you have no links to the security forces and can live in a nice area, you’ll be fine, even if the troubles restart. NI has some wonderful areas and beautiful parks, NT parks, etc.

But admit it, OP, you’re only moving to NI for the traybakes, fresh soda bread and the frys.

Alsohuman Sat 23-Mar-19 19:28:34

It's a fabulous place to bring up children. Great schools. And low property prices. We have family there and their quality of life's much better than ours.

S1naidSucks Sat 23-Mar-19 19:29:15

Good idea. No drugs or violence in Northern Ireland.

There’s always one. hmm

yanboo Sat 23-Mar-19 19:32:21

@Howzaboutye yes it’s lovely and so are the people. I loved chatting to other mums when we went there on holiday (north coast). The way the kids were - just playing out and exploring and having fun - it reminded DH of his childhood (and me mine).

Pollution will get better with the ULEZ @BigglyBoggly but the crime won’t - it’s getting worse. We found out our local car thief/car damager (😡) got arrested and found guilty but has been released again and the keying, smashing of windows and mirrors, and theft of items and cars has started again. If you get burgled, your car stolen, mugged, threatened with a knife or menaced in public the police do nothing and everyone knows that. They don’t come out for intruders in the garden as my neighbour found out recently and the only reason people contact them now is to get acrime number.

I will never move back. Everything is so stressful and i don’t feel safe any more. Not all the time but I notice when I don’t now, and that’s quite often.

Im going over again to have a look before I have DC#2 and I expect it will be hard to come back at all.

buckeejit Sat 23-Mar-19 19:32:35

We moved back 7 years ago from Manchester. We are totally skint now but hey ho, life is great. I love this country. No stress & can pop to one of many beaches every weekend if we want. So good for dc

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 19:32:57

In fairness to NI, I have never been mugged / seen people be mugged in broad daylight as has happened many, many times in London. It’s insanely safe here in comparison. Was at a schools club recently and a nice mum in the loos left her huge designer wallet and keys to her 60k 4x4 sitting by the sink while she went to the loo, the Londoner in me was like shock.

Be ready for a crazy amount of the population to have a ginormous shiny car.

MadeinBelfast Sat 23-Mar-19 19:35:48

I moved to NI with small children, mainly because of the quality of schools here. There are many good things about the it but I'd agree about waiting for Brexit to be sorted out (if that ever happens). There is a real undertone of uncertainty about the place at the moment and if we do get a hard border I'm quite worried about what might happen.
If you are totally new to the area it can also be difficult to make friends. It's a small place and everyone knows everyone and has done for years so breaking into friendship groups can be a bit more difficult than in more transient cities. Saying that, people are generally very chatty and interested in what brings you here!

yanboo Sat 23-Mar-19 19:37:30

buckeejit I can happily accept being skint, as I want to SAHM and that would be impossible here.

Biggly- will DH finally get his big shiny jeep then? I know he’s always wanted one and he likes to fit in 😆

LadyGregorysToothbrush Sat 23-Mar-19 19:43:16

But you’d get to eat Tayto every day, so there’s a bright side..

It’s the abomination that is Nordie Tayto though...

yanboo Sat 23-Mar-19 19:44:04

I forgot to say that the schools do look great. We love the outdoors no are used to rain. If that’s all we moan about I’ll be happy.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 19:46:30

It’s the abomination that is Nordie Tayto though.

If she goes to Derry she’ll be alright. Easy access to the proper ones. grin

Tunnockswafer Sat 23-Mar-19 19:46:36

Nordie Tayto comes from a castle. You can’t beat that with your fake Tayto. grin (Disclaimer: have only ever eaten one kind of Tayto)

Inniu Sat 23-Mar-19 19:51:15

Having previously lived in NI and still having immediate family there I find there is always a strong undercurrent of sectarianism.
It is less expensive to have a nice lifestyle there but for me it wasn’t worth it.

scratchbass Sat 23-Mar-19 19:58:32

We made the move, no kids yet. Our salaries are lower but so is the cost of living so no real difference for us in terms of disposable income. Quality of life is good, and we're never far away from some beautiful places. A lot of people have caravans/second homes around the coast. London house prices will go far in NI - our Rightmove equivalent is if you fancy a browse!

NI has its own problems and the politics are ridiculous, but I just don't get involved with that smile

12548ehe9fnfobms Sat 23-Mar-19 20:00:00

How does it work re sectarianism if you are a mixed family? by that I mean that 1 is irish (southern) decent & the other is english? Both atheists? does that mean everyone is suspicious of you? genuine question.

isabellerossignol Sat 23-Mar-19 20:01:45

How does it work re sectarianism if you are a mixed family? by that I mean that 1 is irish (southern) decent & the other is english? Both atheists? does that mean everyone is suspicious of you? genuine question.

If you live in a 'nice middle class area' no one will give a damn. Honestly. And even if you don't, the vast majority of people will still not give a damn.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 20:02:20

Yes it will be a moral failing if he doesn’t, you should see how people look at our perfectly respectable by London standards 8yr old estate car! But we have moved to an NI naice area so that slants my view!

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 20:04:12

I am Protestant and DH from phenomenally Catholic background and we have precisely zero problems at all. Seriously.

jollyjester Sat 23-Mar-19 20:18:54

My DH commutes to London 4 days a week from NI. We were both born and bred here and did live in London for a while but after DC appeared we moved back.

Yes there are things we miss but those tend to be things we did pre DC anyway that we wouldn't be doing now.

Baby groups, these are mostly church run around my area but no one bats an eyelid if you dont go to the church.

If you end up Armagh direction (not sure why you would but the M1 is handy for a Belfast commute) give me a PM and I'll happily meet up some time!

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 20:34:05

You can come over, but fgs don't tell your friends in London or they'll all be coming over grin

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 20:35:46

Also in a mixed marriage and prone to dossing round Strangford on bikes, and no problems here either

My feet are nailed to the ground, Brexit be damned.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 20:43:23

Aw pineapple could have given you a nice mixed-marriage wave as we cycled past.

Iflyaway Sat 23-Mar-19 20:44:04

Good idea. No drugs or violence in Northern Ireland.

WTF?! Ever been there? Or read up on the history?


ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 20:47:27

I feel like we should be having MN meet-ups in strangford grin i’ll Bring the tayto.

hopeishere Sat 23-Mar-19 20:47:28

I think I was sarcasm @Iflyaway

Agree if you go for a "naice middle class" area you'll be fine.

Lolo1845 Sat 23-Mar-19 20:47:39

Love living in northern Ireland. I'm in the derry area. Good jobs can be hard to come by. But excellent schools and parks for children. I personally find London to fast paced. It's a much calmer way of life here.

Hersheys Sat 23-Mar-19 20:58:13

No advice, I hate both London & N.Ireland

whojamaflip Sat 23-Mar-19 20:58:56

Stop it guys - I want to come back home and this thread is not doing anything to help my homesickness! Moved 25 yrs ago to England---- but unfortunately I haven't worked out how to pick the farm up and move it and dh won't sell up so I'm stuck.

Good luck op if you do decide to go for it very very jealous you have the choice

ichbineinstasumer Sat 23-Mar-19 21:07:53

don't go to a small town, you will be an outsider and you will always be an outsider. Personally, although practising my tray bakes and a regular visitor, I will never go back, permanently although I have considered it because some things would be better - house prices, countryside, possibly schools. I feel it is a very judgemental place. Gay people still not easily accepted in many areas, English accents teased, low aspirations. Probably less of an issue in Belfast or a more metropolitan area.

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 21:08:34

Next time I'm in Castle Ward I'll be eyeballing all the harassed mums to see if the ham in their baps is naice or not grin if you have pom bears instead of tayto in your sandwich, you are definitely a MNergrin

NotAnotherJaffaCake Sat 23-Mar-19 21:09:25

Belfast born and bred and I wouldn’t move back. Family live in the naice parts of Belfast (BT9) and neighbours were raided for assault rifles. Houses broken into overnight for car keys and cars stolen. Sectarianism is always there; no one will say anything in the nice areas but just look at how segregated the schools still are. Our commuter village is more safe than Belfast, but probably not if you’re comparing London to Belfast.

Schools might look good on paper but were hauled up in front of Parliament for being exam factories, and your options if you fail the transfer test are not good.

That said, the amenities are generally fabulous - lots of things are new as they were only really built in the last 20 odd years, and that’s before you get to the coast and the Mournes etc. And I would give a lot to be able to pop to Creighton’sgrin

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:11:02

<Expecting a sudden influx of Londoners to all our small towns in NI on the back of this thread>

<Predict house price boom>

Don’t do it! NI is a horrible place, we all smell and you’ll never make out what we’re saying. Food is minging and the place is full of tractors.

Just stay in London wink

Iggity Sat 23-Mar-19 21:11:39

Ex NI in London. I’d go back in a flash but DH is a southerner (Irish kind) won’t. Life is better, people are nicer, schools better, exam results better, Russell Group uni plus Uni of Ulster is great too. The only concern I would have is my DS with English accent being bullied and having to attend Girl’s schoolwink. Some day....

isabellerossignol Sat 23-Mar-19 21:11:39

low aspirations

I don't see this at all. What I do see though is a huge amount of frustration at the lack of opportunities available for people and utter fury at being paid half of what we would be for doing the same job in a comparable city in the UK.

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 21:14:04

Too obvious ILove. They'll get suspicious. They're going to come, but we can steer them like a herd of cattle.



ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:15:04

The only concern I would have is my DS with English accent being bullied and having to attend Girl’s school


Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 21:15:38

Oi don’t send them to ards now, they’d take over knotts which would cause riots.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:15:41



AstonishedFemalePersonator Sat 23-Mar-19 21:17:23

The traybake thread was AMAZING and reminded me why we’d returned.

I loved the traybake thread and made one of the recipes for the office last week. It was a huge hit. Thank you to the thread creator and everyone who contributed recipes.

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 21:17:48

Can you imagine the Knotts blue rinse brigade versus Londoners looking for hipster coffee?

I know who my money is on.

LaurieMarlow Sat 23-Mar-19 21:18:29

Well they are very different places for starters.

I’m probably not the best person to ask. I grew up in NI and got out of there the first chance I got. I’d never go back.

I loved living in London. We’ve left now (we’re in Dublin) and I miss it every single day.

I guess it depends what you’re looking for. If you want a bigger house and more green space I can see how NI would deliver on that. On the other hand, think carefully about the culture you’d be moving to. It’s not necessarily an easy place to assimilate into.

PennyMordauntsLadyBrain Sat 23-Mar-19 21:21:19

We’re a mixed marriage- me NI Protestant and DH a Dublin Catholic.

We moved back from Dublin when I was expecting DC1- we live in a naice (and very unionist) village outside Belfast. We love it here, and DH has made friends with all the neighbours, even the ones that put a King Billy flag up for the duration of the summer.

It’s a fantastic place to raise a family and things have changed hugely in terms of attitudes towards people from “the other side”.

isabellerossignol Sat 23-Mar-19 21:27:30

I've lived in N Ireland my whole life and in all honesty I don't really love it here. Circumstances have kept me here, but if I had had full control over my life I would have left when I was young. But that is entirely based on matters relating to work opportunities. Which are improving in N Ireland, albeit slowly.

On the plus side, obviously housing costs will be much lower than what you are used to. The education system is good. If you like the countryside and the coast, it's as beautiful as you would find anywhere.

On the downside, salaries are poor, training opportunities are often poor once you are in a job, and recruitment processes are very rigid which I think comes as a shock to people who aren't used to it. And infrastructure and public transport is very very poor outside of Belfast.

It has pros and cons, like everywhere.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 21:28:06

I love knotts with a passion, I’m hanging with the rinse brigade for sure <says the ex-Dalstonite>.

Bigglyboggly Sat 23-Mar-19 21:29:29

Yes the recruitment process here is soooo rigid, I understand why it has come about like that to try and ameliorate discrimination, but it is very hard to navigate.

MrsFudge Sat 23-Mar-19 21:31:13

Born in NI, now living in London. I think it depends on your reasons for moving and general outlook on life.

Pros of NI - very cheap property, lots of green open spaces, friendly people, good state schools, generally relaxed way of life, limited crime.

Cons of NI - less multicultural, less open minded, less to do, could be hard to integrate if you don't already have connections, fewer job options (most jobs are public sector, so depends what area you work in).

NI and London are very different places, opposite ends of the spectrum I would say. Overall I would say life is generally easier for the average person in NI (society is more equal, less of a gap between rich and poor). However we will stay in London as there are more opportunities here for our kids in my opinion.

CheekyChappy710 Sat 23-Mar-19 21:33:17

NI vs London. Ah yes I see why youd leave London for the quiet, crime free, calm and peaceful oasis that is northern Ireland hmm oh and I'm Irish.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:33:45

I’m interested in the comments about rigid recruitment process. I’ve never worked outside NI so have nothing to compare it too. How does it differ in the rest of the U.K.?

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:34:54

Ah yes I see why youd leave London for the quiet, crime free, calm and peaceful oasis that is northern Ireland hmm

OP is in London. It’s hardly a crime free peaceful oasis!

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 21:37:11

I have also been frustrated with NI specific work issues. It can be rigid.

Though on the upside, I think it's much easier to maintain a good work/life balance, and there doesn't seem to be the same judgement towards sahms/women who go part time that you see on MN.

WeeLamb Sat 23-Mar-19 21:38:39

I live in London with small children (and lived here for a decade pre-kids) and have never seen violence or crime and don't recognise the picture painted by the OP at all (except the pollution!) Live in an outer London borough, loads of green spaces, fantastic community, great schools, everything walkable plus London has masses of culture for kids. We are so happy here - although recognise it's pretty affluent which is probably why.
Don't be fooled into thinking there isn't crime and violence in any town or city. NI is beautiful and lots of positives but not perfect by any stretch.

isabellerossignol Sat 23-Mar-19 21:39:48

I’m interested in the comments about rigid recruitment process. I’ve never worked outside NI so have nothing to compare it too. How does it differ in the rest of the U.K.?

I see people all the time on Mumsnet saying 'even if you don't meet all the essential criteria for a job, you should apply anyway and show them how you could do the job anyway'. That would never work here, because if you don't already have the experience you'll just not get an interview.

The HR department where I work seem to spend half their working day dealing with phonecalls from applicants from elsewhere in the UK (the jobs are well paid, so people are willing to move here for them) who are absolutely furious at not having secured an interview, despite not having met the criteria.

MrsFudge Sat 23-Mar-19 21:42:11

Also why NI? You say you have connections to Ireland, do you have family in NI itself? If not, personally I would think moving to the countryside in England would give you much of the benefits of NI without the difficulties of fitting in to a really quite different culture.

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 21:42:37

"Give it a try, you never know"

I bloody do know, I don't have two years paid experience, three years voluntary experience, and eight qualifications in being a trapeze artist, plus they want to know all about my sexual preferences on the equalities form grin

CheekyChappy710 Sat 23-Mar-19 21:44:09

@ILoveMaxiBondi yes I'm aware shes in London. Also....sarcasm.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:44:16

NI is beautiful and lots of positives but not perfect by any stretch.

grin I don’t think anyone is under any illusions about that!

hopeishere Sat 23-Mar-19 21:44:35

The equalities form doesn't count to getting an interview.

I think its more that jobs are advertised and there's less word of mouth recruitment as you have to show it was open to everyone and not just a "jobs for the boys" situation.

ILoveMaxiBondi Sat 23-Mar-19 21:45:02


Yes, I got your sarcasm, that’s why I responded as I did.

Nuyearnume Sat 23-Mar-19 21:53:05

I often wonder why people don’t move here ! Cheap houses,plenty of outdoor space and we are all Great craic!

powershowerforanhour Sat 23-Mar-19 21:56:07

You could always fly over from London at weekends and fill your suitcase with Knotts cakes. They are very stackable. One suitcaseful should last you about a week, unless you have lots of people calling round your house for cups of tea in which case I'd say Wednesday morning coffee time, max.

NeverTalksToStrangers Sat 23-Mar-19 22:09:08

Schools is a big thing. In general the schools here are fantastic and vast majority are state funded. Primary standards are high everywhere afaik. Yes, there's less options for secondary aged children who don't pass the transfer test but the proportion of children who DO get into grammar schools is quite high (I don't know the stats but I'd say at least a third). Your choice will be more limited if you rule out catholic education, but if that is something you would consider, you certainly don't have to prove that you go to mass like in English faith schools.

We don't get the free childcare hours but there's free provision for nursery school or playschool for most children aged 3-4. Some areas can be harder to get a place (especially for first borns), but more classes have been awarded in recent years. These might be removed with all the cuts to education budgets, but I haven't heard this if it is the case.

I don't believe NI is an intolerant and unfriendly place. Some areas, yes, but on the whole, most of the people I know are not bigoted and see the political situation for the shit show that it is. I personally prefer Derry to Belfast. People from Belfast tend to take themselves too seriously wink and the accent is atrocious grin.

isabellerossignol Sat 23-Mar-19 22:14:59

People from outside of N Ireland are often a bit horrified at the thought of the grammar school system but I don't think that not getting into a grammar school leaves children with a second rate education. The non grammars are mostly very good as well, although obviously there are exceptions. In the area where I live, the two hardest schools to get into are non grammars and plenty of kids don't even sit the transfer test because their parents prefer to send them to the non grammar even though they would probably get into grammar school if they wanted to.

Zofrasi Sat 23-Mar-19 22:16:11

Ive seen far more violence and anti-social behaviour on a Saturday night in small and medium sized towns in the UK than in South Tottenham, where I live, which is a lovely community minded place.

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 22:19:55

I don't think we are intolerant the way people think we are. Apart from the minority of nutcases. I think there's a things amongst some of the older lot too, where what people say and what they do tend to be two different things. Take an elderly relative of mine

"Isn't it terrible about Ashers having to make that gay cake? It's not right. Thon gays."

Me- "but your grandson is gay and you have him and his partner round every Sunday for dinner, and you offered his partner a lend of your Avon catalogue because he told you he wears makeup on Saturday nights"

Relative - "sure that's different. Our Darren was born that way. It was obvious from he was a wean"

Me - hmmconfused

Not saying it's the right attitude because it's not, it's just not always as simple as "cesspool of hate"

sm40 Sat 23-Mar-19 22:22:57

We live in London but dh is from NI.
Whilst the schools are fab and we could live in a mansion, it's usually grey (when we are there!) and mil gets excited if The weather gets over 20c! We went in the middle of the heatwave in London last year and shivered over there.
My dh Fled as soon as he could. As it's small everyone seems to know your business.
But lovely beaches and traybakes!

Cocolepew Sat 23-Mar-19 22:25:03

Newtownards is lovely all year round actually.
The people who live there are without doubt the nicest in all of N.I.

Doubletrouble99 Sat 23-Mar-19 22:34:50

I know this is a thread about NI but have you ever considered Northern England or Scotland. We live in the Scottish Borders now have lived in London for years. 40mins by train and we are in the middle of Edinburgh with all it's culture and fantastic stuff for kids. Gorgeous beaches and fantastic scenery. Good salaries too, obviously not as high as London but not the same costs.

peachgreen Sat 23-Mar-19 22:35:05

I did exactly that a few years ago OP - moved from lovely leafy South London to NI. It was a massive culture shock and I regretted it LOADS at first but now I don't think I could go back. I love it here. People are a thousand times friendlier (and I didn't find London unfriendly), the schools are great, the food is amazing, lower cost of living more than makes up for the wage gap, the countryside is beautiful, work/life balance is way better, etc etc. The only cons, for me, are that I miss theatre - there IS good theatre in NI and a great arts scene but not the off-West End musicals that I love - and the fact that it is expensive to get back to see my family - and that I have to prepare for my kids moving away for uni (not a given, but I guess more likely). In my experience, unless you live in a particularly dodgy area (which we did when we first moved here and it was fine, just a bit more open with its biases!) sectarianism isn't really an issue - more just something people joke about - and the weather isn't significantly different really, other than not getting as hot in the summer.

That said I would also wait to see what happens with Brexit. It'll be make or break for NI, I think.

powershowerforanhour Sat 23-Mar-19 22:39:31

You probably have the best calf muscles anyway, from all those wee strolls in Killynether wood (the name sounds sweet doesn't it? I hadn't reckoned on scrambling up what is basically a mountainside with leaf mould sliding under my feet, tripping over massive tree roots and miniature schnauzers).

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 22:43:37

And from the new wellbeing and leisure complex, weirdly named after an alcoholic party boy who crashed his car after a night of gambling and revelry grin

Minesapineappledelight Sat 23-Mar-19 22:45:23

Sorry Coco. Rather have the blue skies of Ards than the grey skies of Bangor etc grin

Cocolepew Sat 23-Mar-19 22:55:33

You know it's the truth grin

Howzaboutye Sat 23-Mar-19 23:23:45

Yep my DH is definitely the wee English fellah now!
And would be forever more, if we moved back

I am mightily pissed off at people in England not understanding me though. I don't have a strong accent, but I get very blank looks. It's wearing.

RedTitsMcGinty Sat 23-Mar-19 23:35:58

Oh Christ, no. The first 25 years of my life in NI was barely tolerable. No way am I leaving London to go back to a country with that shower of shites in charge, not that they’re even in charge anymore. Not for all the fifteens in the world. Maybe when abortion is available and marriage equality is in place. Maybe then. Just for the sodas.

watsmyname Sun 24-Mar-19 00:26:22

Maybe rent for a period before committing. Getting back onto London property market could be very difficult if you decide it's not for you. But NI is

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