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Brighton to Norwich

(57 Posts)
Bigskydreamer Wed 20-May-20 20:45:20

We are hoping to relocate from Brighton to Norwich (well, rurally but within 15 mins of Norwich). We are a same sex family and adore Norwich and the big Norfolk skies. We know it will be different to Brighton but wondered if anyone has done a similar move? We are moving because we would like more space, to live more rurally, have access to fab beaches and love Norwich city as a base to shop / for leisure. AIBU to ask for some reassurance that this will all be ok and we aren't making a huge mistake?! I should add I have (diagnosed) anxiety so things do tend to spiral into endless worries with me! Thanks.

DisneyMillie Wed 20-May-20 21:04:44

Well as a rural Norfolk person I love it here - I lived in London for 10 years and the call of home dragged me back!

Can’t say anyone bats an eyelid at the two same sex families in my daughters preschool class either if that’s worrying you.

Hopefully if you move you’ll love it here!

lljkk Wed 20-May-20 21:07:13

same sex parents would raise some eyebrows at DC school, market town in Norfolk

Remember all our MPs (rural) are Tories & this county voted heavily for Brexit. Brighton it ain't.

Sparklesocks Wed 20-May-20 21:09:24

I have friends who are a same sex couple living with their son in Norwich and they love it there. One has lived there her whole life.

SinglePringle Wed 20-May-20 21:11:20

Norwich is very different to rural Norfolk. See PP about the MP’s and Brexit.

LakieLady Wed 20-May-20 21:14:13

@llijk, Norwich South has the terrific Clive Lewis as their MP, a little glimmer of red in Norfolk's sea of blue!

I haven't been to Norwich for years, but it always struck me as a great city: easygoing, lots going on, lovely shops and nice buildings, loads of pubs and just the right balance of chilled and lively.

I hope it hasn't changed.

Bigskydreamer Wed 20-May-20 21:14:23

Thank you everyone! I am very worried about us being a same sex couple and not fitting in, not really for us but for our children, who I would be so upset for. We are planning to live rurally (I.e. with no neighbours) but within 10 - 15 mins from Norwich. We like Wyndonham and Shotesham All Saints and around those areas.

Bigskydreamer Wed 20-May-20 21:16:22

And yes, we love Norwich! Is 10 - 15 mins from Norwich considered rural Norfolk? I believe they are still classed as Norwich but are rural areas rather than urban. I expect rural Norfolk wouldn't be dissimilar to rural Sussex.

lljkk Wed 20-May-20 21:16:44

You need to learn to both spell and say Wymondham.
Don't say it the Leicestershire way, either.

WarmSausageTea Wed 20-May-20 21:35:20

DP and I (ss couple) moved from a very diverse area to a tiny Lincolnshire village, and a though we didn’t worry about it, it did occur to us that we might cause curtains to twitch or be poorly received.

The reality was that we settled in without fuss, and have a lovely life. We have space, quiet and nature all around us. We’re on friendly terms with all but one of the villagers (she falls out with everybody) and ring the church bells on a Sunday - we’re not religious, but we like to do it for the congregation.

You won’t have the facilities in Norwich that you do in Brighton, and you’ll probably need a car, but country life can be hugely rewarding.

latheritup Wed 20-May-20 21:40:01

I have family in Norfolk across several parts. My brother is gay and we spent pretty much our whole childhood up there and he still goes and stays with our cousins for weekends. He's never encountered an issue.

I say go for it! I'm still trying to convince DP that we should do it too wink

Dozer Wed 20-May-20 21:41:31

There was a v similar thread recently, would have a search.

InfiniteSheldon Wed 20-May-20 21:45:14

I grew up around there and have lots of family there it's great and the fact you are ss couple won't matter at all.

Bigskydreamer Wed 20-May-20 21:47:57

Thank you very much everyone! A few mixed replies but generally positive! Just need to narrow down where we move now! Thanks everyone.

Shelanagig Wed 20-May-20 21:52:36

Norwich itself is VERY gay friendly. Norfolk less so.

TheBitchOfTheVicar Wed 20-May-20 21:57:00

The places you have mentioned would be fine. South Norfolk. But not too far from Norwich. I relocated from s coast to the area you specifically mention; I'll never leave

LadyDaisyChain Wed 20-May-20 22:00:51

Hi, I moved from Brighton to Norwich about 15 years ago. I'm not going to lie, much as I love Norwich I missed Brighton terribly for a few years. There really is nowhere else like it. I felt priced out of Brighton in terms of house-buying and as I got older felt like the noisy, rowdy, party atmosphere of Brighton suited me less. Even now I still go back to Brighton for holidays to get my fix though. Have you thought about living in the centre of Norwich? It's a great city, so much to do now. It's a tolerant and accepting place, has an active Pride. Maybe wouldn't be quite the shock of moving to a small town?

elf1985 Wed 20-May-20 22:23:44

I came to Norwich from Essex for university. Never left. The place is amazing, perfect balance of rural and small city. You will not regret it. I can't ever see myself leaving. My brother and his wife have since moved up and my parents are planning to when they retire.

JustOneMoreStep Wed 20-May-20 22:53:15

Having lived in both rural Norfolk and rural Sussex and personally think they are very different. I think as a ss family you would be fine in the city of Norwich, but would suggest the further you venture from it the less diversity you will find. Lack of diversity is not the same as intolerance, but I think there are areas of Norfolk that you might struggle more than others in. I think you need to think carefully about the extent of rural living that you desire, especially if you have children because it is easy to become physically isolated, and if you did end up somewhere which is less tolerant, it could make life difficult as you have a reduced number of potential people to mix with if that makes sense. You also need to think about the lifestyle you want regardless of being a ss family. Compared to life in Brighton, children will not have the same freedoms/independence. If you are outside the city, children will likely travel to school by bus from a large catchment area which makes socialising more of challenge, and the children will rely on you as a taxi service for everything until they are old enough to drive. Depending on where you are there may or may not be a bus service, and it very much depends on where you are so to how reliable that service is.

YinMnBlue Wed 20-May-20 23:06:10

I lived in Norfolk for part of my childhood, still have family spread across from the Broads to N Norfolk coast, and I go to different parts for work regularly as well as family visits.

It isn't Brighton. And while many, probably most, people are perfectly cool with all sorts of families, a much higher proportion than in Brighton, London, and many other places are...inexperienced in diversity.

Though hearsay has it that there is a well established gay women's network in Cromer and in Happisburgh.

Beware rural isolation for kids. Go somewhere with a good bus service and maybe train into Norwich. Don't plonk yourselves along a lane with no pavements - it makes independent travel for young people so much harder if the roads aren't safe for them to walk to a friends. My sister is a non-stop taxi service for her kids. I never have to take mine anywhere (S London).

I am less familiar with the areas you mention. Look carefully at schools - a while ago Norfolk as a LA was in special measures for poor schools, The answer in some cases has been to bring in these zero tolerant superheads, or things have remained not too good. Rural deprivation has an effect. However, there are also lots of good schools, my nieces and nephews are doing well at Sheringham High and Aylsham for example.

You need a busy village with more than one shop, preferably a primary school , lots of working families of different ages, not lots of second homers or retirees. Definitely spend a week or two there in February before you decide.

Misty9 Wed 20-May-20 23:15:41

I life in Norwich, very central. As a pp said, the high schools aren't great in the city but Wymondham has a good rep, both the college and the High. Also consider Hethersett and Costessey, just outside Norwich City. I'm not from Norwich and personally find it quite sleepy and cut off from the rest of the country (no motorways!), but all my friends love it here. Its definitely a slower pace of life, so I expect the rural parts are even more so! I don't have personal knowledge of ss acceptance, but my children's school hasn't batted an eyelid at transgender children and all variations of parent partnerships. Feel free to pm me for Norwich info smile

Misty9 Wed 20-May-20 23:16:40

I life in Norwich...grin Freudian slip perhaps... I meant live.

AranciaRosso Wed 20-May-20 23:25:15

Maybe you’ll meet these people. You could swap notes?

GoatsDoRome Wed 20-May-20 23:43:28

Agree with the points about rural locations and freedom for your children. I went to secondary school in one of the locations you have listed and the difference for me in being able to get public transport and my friends who lived in the arse end of nowhere meant a lot in terms of socialisation. However the quietness of the roads and general flatness meant that once I was a teenager I would go and visit friends on my bike.. a 15 mile round trip would not have been uncommon so I was generally very fit and really enjoyed my adolescence

Bigskydreamer Thu 21-May-20 10:17:46

Thanks very much for all the messages, loads of food for thought! Just to be clear we are considering being 5 miles or so outside of Norwich, I'm not sure being a 10 min drive of a city is considered remote? It feels an overwhelming decision. All I know is that we aren't really happy in Brighton, we never ever go into the city or to the beach, we spend every free moment driving 30 - 40 mins into the countryside/ woods. We couldn't afford a home in the countryside here and actually lots are rural but near very loud and busy roads as they are still accessible (I suppose for commuters). We are after a lifestyle change, we both work from home so no need to travel to work and are planning on having another baby so I will return to being a SAHM. I dont know what will be best for our family - we have a budget of 725k, here we can buy a nice 3/4 small home with small garden, just outside Norwich we could buy a 5 bed HUGE barn conversion with half an acre of land. We are real home bodies so love being at home and views of countryside has always been a dream. How to make the decision?!

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