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AIBU to dream of leaving London?

(73 Posts)
alreadypastit Wed 20-May-20 19:28:08

I’ve lived in London for the last 20 years and think I’ve finally had enough.

We live in a lovely flat but our mortgage is large and we have another 28 years left on it. I wouldn’t say it stresses me out on a daily basis or anything, but it is undoubtedly a weight around our necks.

The hot weather today reminded me that London can be so noisy and relentless. I have a baby and tried to catch some much needed sleep this afternoon, but wasn’t able to because there’s constantly people talking, cars coming and going, neighbours doing home improvements. I would love to live somewhere peaceful and quiet and less claustrophobic, where people aren’t so on top of each other!

The restaurants, bars, museums, galleries, culture and parks in London are undoubtedly second to none, but I barely have the time to visit any of them anyway.

I’m also worried about my child growing up in such a polluted city and am concerned about schools - the ones near us aren’t great from what I’ve heard, but we couldn’t afford to move to a different part of London.

I would love to live by the sea and am thinking of relocating to Kent - maybe somewhere like Margate. If we were to buy there we could reduce our mortgage to about £300 a month, although I’m not sure what we would do about jobs. I’d rather we both worked in the place where we live as I wouldn’t want myself or DH to have to commute back to London every day. I think it would be soul destroying and also very expensive.

AIBU to consider leaving or am I being unrealistic, especially on the jobs front?

OP’s posts: |
Lucy40ishere Wed 20-May-20 20:58:40

It doesn’t sound unreasonable at all & I can really relate to how you feel. I have also been in London for the best part of two decades & have a toddler. I also dream of living by the sea. I guess it all hinges on the type of work you & your husband do & how transferable it would be to somewhere like Margate. Although some people are saying that post Covid there may be more flexibility in terms of working from home. We are thinking of moving before our daughter starts school as the situation with Covid has focused our minds somewhat. We’re wondering more about commuter belt Kent as feel similarly about having a long expensive commute. There is some beautiful countryside & you can drive to somewhere like Brighton in just under an hour. Very interested to hear other people’s views on this, particularly those that have made the move!

Chillipeanuts Wed 20-May-20 20:59:10


Puppylucky Wed 20-May-20 21:06:13

We did about 15 years ago - moved from NW London to the west country in search of a more peaceful life. We lasted about 2 years before coming back. Be careful you don't underestimate how much London living has shaped you - it's not an easy city to leave in my experience

Fluffybutter Wed 20-May-20 21:09:42

Margate?! I’m assuming you haven’t been there in the last few years , it’s gone drastically down hill.
I wouldn’t even go for the day let alone live there

Lucy40ishere Wed 20-May-20 21:13:42

Yeah I’m not sure I’d pick Margate although I haven’t visited recently. It does have some very deprived areas & the nicer, more gentrified bit is actually quite small. Whitstable is lovely though & on the same line

SerenDippitty Wed 20-May-20 21:17:56


NaturalBlondeYeahRight Wed 20-May-20 21:25:50

Do it, we moved to Kent 10 years ago after living in London my entire life (villages are better than seaside on the whole) First year was odd but now I couldn’t move back. It’s not far anyway if you want to go in either.

DDRickyDD Wed 20-May-20 21:27:47

London is greatest city on earth, I'd only leave to go somewhere else in the south-east which it looks like you want to do. The north and most of the rest of the UK is really grim and deprived, its not a great place to bring up kids.

Almahart Wed 20-May-20 21:34:16

There are a lot of quiet spots in London if you are in zone 2 and further out. What's your budget?

AdoptedBumpkin Wed 20-May-20 21:40:34

Not unreasonable to leave any city if the new place suits your needs.

Fluffybutter Wed 20-May-20 22:02:19

Should add that my mum moved to Kent from where we lived in west London about 5 years ago and she would move back to London in a heartbeat .
She really misses it

WorryWartOne Wed 20-May-20 22:03:03

Could you move to the outskirts of London instead? I live on the London-Essex borders and it’s lovely here; good schools, surrounded by forest and country walks, lots to do and a 30 min commute to Liverpool St. Best of all worlds and the prices are much cheaper than inner London too... think £400-500k for a nice house with a garden, or £300-400k for a large two bed flat.

lidoshuffle Wed 20-May-20 22:05:16

The north and most of the rest of the UK is really grim and deprived, its not a great place to bring up kids.

How ridiculous.

Rainbowsparkle Wed 20-May-20 22:05:50

We are right on the outskirts of north London. Luckily we have the best of both worlds. Plenty of green spaces, 25 minute train journey into the city plus easy access to the motorway/ a10. Our road is set back so is really quiet. Both myself and my husband work in London. His parents moved to the coast in summer it’s lovely. In winter it’s dead.

Macncheeseballs Wed 20-May-20 22:06:03

'London is the greatest city on earth'? How many cities have you lived in exactly?hmm

Caplin Wed 20-May-20 22:08:08

We did a couple of years in London but it is a crappy way of life, commuting, long hours, crowded, hot, polluted. We moved back to Edinburgh, now live in a big house, garden, ten mins walk to a beach. There are art galleries, theatres, festivals every other month.

Depending on your job the market here was doing pretty well before covid, lots of financial services etc.

4Naan Wed 20-May-20 22:09:04

Have been feeling the same way lately. I also live in a capital city (not UK), for the last 20 years, biggish mortgage and a toddler. The only thing I will say is you might want to hold off making any big decisions till after the pandemic is under control. I suspect it might be causing me to have some kind of fight or flight reaction that I'm not even consciously that aware of. I've certainly never felt this urgent need to leave the city before.

yasmiina Wed 20-May-20 22:09:49

And in 10 years you will regret it and want to move back!

OrangeSamphire Wed 20-May-20 22:10:04


Sort the jobs first. This could be easier to do in a post covid world as the world has finally woken up to the fact WFHing is a positive for many people and businesses alike.

Go to places. Stay in them. Outside holiday season.

Be prepared that leaving London is a culture shock. Not because the places you can move to outside the city are lacking in culture but because London is so different (not better, just different) to just about anywhere else.

And (probably) don’t compromise on suburbia. The worst of all worlds, you might find.

snappycamper Wed 20-May-20 22:12:08

London is greatest city on earth, I'd only leave to go somewhere else in the south-east which it looks like you want to do. The north and most of the rest of the UK is really grim and deprived, its not a great place to bring up kids.

What a load of bullshit.

I grew out of London for all the reasons you listed OP. We left 12 years ago and never looked back. It was the best decision we've made, couldn't imagine raising my children in that filthy, overcrowded, polluted shithole.

bravotango Wed 20-May-20 22:12:25

The north and rest of the UK is really grim and deprived, it's not a great place to bring up kids

Charming. Speaking as a Londoner (born and bred) who lives happily in the NW, you are the minority that gives Londoners a bad rep.

LilacTree1 Wed 20-May-20 22:12:34

I understand OP and I was in the same boat

However, we’re so overpopulated I’m starting to think a lot of places are noisy and overwhelming and relentless. I think you probably need to go pretty rural to get away from it.

speakout Wed 20-May-20 22:14:02

The north and most of the rest of the UK is really grim

I live in Scotland. We have several people in the village that can read.
Most of our time is spent foraging in the mud for edible grubs, which are plentiful during the summer months- so not all bad.

Ellmau Wed 20-May-20 22:16:28

Folkestone has improved in recent years.

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