This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To escape to the country?(114 Posts)
DH and I are fantasising about leaving our outer London suburb and getting a nice house in the country...
We are both fed up with living in such a built up area and DH’s job has become WFH... (I can work anywhere..) we have both lived rurally before, but not for years and not with DCS. I would like a large garden, maybe a pony ( or 2) and a bigger house. Financially it would make sense.
However, are very lucky with amenities here... train to London on the doorstep, green space and opportunities for almost any activity the DCs might decide to do. Good health services, leisure centres/ theatres etc. A selection of good or outstanding secondary schools when the time comes. The DCs can cycle to school and will be able to visit friends etc independently later on. We are not dependent on a car if we dont’t want to drive.
but, it is busy, noisy and there is a lot of anti social behaviour and traffic congestion. We don’t have family here and not many local friends. DH is sensitive to noise and hates living in an attached house. We can’t afford detached around here.
Is it fair on the DCs to move them away from all the opportunities they will have here? Will I just spend 10 years as a taxi driver?
It sounds crazy, but... flip a coin.
Heads, you actively plan a move to the country.
Tails, stay where you are.
If it lands on Heads, and your gut reaction is pleasure and excitement, it's the right call. But if your immediate reaction is nervousness, or fear and doubt, it's probably not the right move for you at the moment.
It sounds woo-y, I know. But your gut knows what is right for you. Listen to what it says.
Good idea? Has anyone else done this and how have you found it? Or do you regret not taking the plunge?
Where in "the country" ? This will make a huge difference, also be careful what you will for, find a nice village and find the pub has closed, the po is closed the busses don,t come to 10.am and end at 4.00pm. This is the reality for some. (or similar )
Currently looking about 5 miles from a market town. No local ammenties. The last bus went in 1973!
We did this from very central London. Best decision ever and just wish we had done it a decade earlier. Research, research, research but honestly, if you choose wisely you won’t regret it. I have to go into London every now and then and wonder why we stuck it out for so long.
There is definitely life outside London!
I left London with my husband 4 years ago and it was the best move we ever made. We were both born and raised there and all our family and friends still live there but we just knew we didn’t want to live there anymore and a good opportunity came up for us so we took it.
We moved between Derbyshire and Yorkshire and we love it. We’ve thrown ourselves into life up here though and have made lots of friends. I can imagine it might be lonely if you don’t get to know people. We also don’t have any children yet so the lack of public transport hasn’t affected us yet. As for schools, there are good and outstanding schools all over the country (I teach at one) so please don’t let that worry you! There will also be lots of opportunities and things to do depending on where you move. We are roughly half an hour from a city so if we ever want to go into town we can. For us, we never went into central London enough to warrant needing to live that close to it. If you’re someone, that likes your morning Starbucks though and a local high street full of shops and restaurants then you might struggle with rural living. There are no restaurants or shops in my village. I drive to the city whenever I want to do that sort of thing.
Where are you thinking of moving to? Do you have any experience of that area eg: do you go on holiday there? Have you just got an idea from something you’ve seen or heard or have you not thought of an area beyond just “living rurally?”
I’d maybe make a list and look at the pros and cons. Also, on a side note about the pony or two, do you have experience with horses? I have several friends where I live that have horses (I ride but don’t own) and driving to the yard at 530am before work in the pouring rain, in deepest, darkest winter is a real labour of love 😂.
I left life in a big city in the IK for a rural life here in the u tied states. I don’t know how far into “the country” you are thinking. Where we live we are 25 miles from the next village, GP is 43 miles away, nearest largeish town with restaurants, cinema, department stores etc is 75 miles away. This was a huge change for me as I was used to stepping out of the front door and having buses there, shops, restaurants, etc. I used to go to the cinema several times a week. It’s a once-a-month outing here that takes a whole day. Likewise going to a salon (also 75 miles away) so we often combine the trip with going to the cinema, going to a salon, doing shopping, etc. Because we are 25 miles from a small supermarket and even further from a karget one we have to be prepared and also accept that if you forget something when you get the fortnightly groceries then you have to just make do without. We have huge freezers and our vacuum sealer is probably our most useful gadget because we buy in bulk. No taxis will come here. No food delivery (Dominos, etc) will come here. If I order something online that says “2-day delivery” as soon I put the ZIP code on the delivery time changes to at least 5 days.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world. We are surrounded by wildlife. It’s so peaceful and quiet and we can hear the ocean the whole time. It’s safe. The biggest danger is a bear or a cougar but we are prepared for that. It’s so nice after work (I work from home) to just step outside the house onto a deserted beach. Neighbors are far enough away that we can’t see them but close enough that if we had an emergency they could probably reach us in time, and vice versa. Coronavirus has barely touched this part of the world.
We have no children but if we did it would be a long journey to school and back. I still think that would be worth it for the quality of life we have here. One of my favourite things to do at night is be outside, looking at the stars, and listening to nothing but the waves and possibly a few whales depending on the time of year. I wouldn’t swap this for city life no matter how much you paid me.
My wife and i moved from a busy commuter town to the countryside last year......Best decision we have ever made, and so glad we did with what has happened this year. Clean air, lottle noise, 1 next door neighbour, beautiful views from our garden, woodland opposite our house and sheep in the field next door.....couldn't ask for better.
The only thing I would advise is being remote means you lose access to the basics beings on your doorstep. For example.....the nearest supermarket is 25 minute drive away. Not mich
I don't have children but am making the leap in a few weeks, sale almost complete.
My one request was a 'view' and it has it in droves.
My commute is longer by about 30 minutes, but lived very close to work before.
I’m raising children in the countryside. I don’t think they are missing out on any opportunities.
We regularly travel and take them to London or visit other large cities. They have a good school and we have a city within 40 minutes drive.
What opportunities are you worried the children will miss out on OP? How old are they?
To put another perspective on this, I lived as a child in the country with lots of what you describe - horses, fields, lots of space. However, it wasn’t always the same place - my parents moved a few times for jobs and from that I would say it varies MASSIVELY on where you go and what ‘countryside’ is to you. For a while we lived in a little village commutable at a push to London with a school shop pub buses etc and it was lovely. After that we moved to ‘proper country’, which as a young person I found a bit brutal - no buses, nowhere walking distance, school miles and miles away. No local friends. It was very isolating. I was lonely, so was my mum for a long time too, and it was so so hard. I also think it depends how old your kids are how they will adjust - pre secondary school you should be ok, but being moved as a teen I found harder and it had quite profound effects on who I was as a person I think.
So I guess not saying don’t - there are lovely pros to life in the country - but there are definite cons too, and your children may well take time to adjust if they’re older.
It's a no from me (for the "country" lifestyle you e described). We've lived in the middle of nowhere, London and places in between. Currently live in a village with few amenities, 3 miles from a market town and about to move back to a town as our children are becoming more independent.
If you have children at home with you I would go for a compromise between what you've described. I hate having to be so reliant on a car. You can live in places with good amenities and public transport but still have the countryside at your feet.
Hmmm... from London to the sticks is a fairly big jump. I've lived in both and neither appeal. I would aim for a happy medium. A safe, pretty town with good amenities. With enough people that yiu can have some anonymity but few enough that you get a community feel. This for me would be my home town. I would give anything to move back but sadly it's not plausible right now. The added bonus is it's beside some of the mostly glorious beaches in the country. I wish my DCs could have the upbringing I had. Instead they're stuck in the sticks of dullsville. Yes the house is lovely and the air is clean but my guess is no amount of ponies will cut it when they're 16 and bored out of their skulls!
Moving to the country is by far and away the worst move I've ever made and I've made plenty of bad moves in my life!
@Ploppymoodypants - the things I think I missed out on where more visible as I got older - independence!! Being able to go somewhere without needing a lift - to a friends, part time job, anything really. There were also fewer young people my age locally and I envied all my town school friends who walked round to each other’s houses and hung out a lot after school. These things aren’t visible with young kids, but over 12 or so I do think it matters. There was lots I benefitted from though too - I think eventually I would move back somewhere rural, but probably not til kid’s are uni age!
(Saying that, wild horses wouldn’t drag me to London! So I can see how leaving is appealing - but there are lots of towns and even cities much nicer cleaner and generally more live-able).
I moved from Croydon to a small town in Sussex nearly 30 years ago. It was the best move ever.
Friendly people, countryside on the doorstep (the house behind ours looks out onto open fields and woods for miles, I can walk round the corner, cross one road and then walk for 5 miles before I come to another road). We have plenty of pubs and restaurants, there's a local independent cinema run as a community assest, GPs and a minor injury unit (this may not be a big deal for some, but I am accident prone).
If we need anything we can't buy locally, we're only 10 miles from Brighton. Public transport is shite though.
We want to be more rural. I'd like to live somewhere where we can't see or hear another house. We're looking at Devon, Cornwall, Herefordshire and possibly north Yorkshire.
We are thinking of doing the exact same. We currently live in Edinburgh and are thinking of moving to rural Perthshire, or further up towards the Highlands. We can both wfh, and would prefer a rural lifestyle. We have 3 dc, all currently primary aged. I think they would be happier living a country life than stuck in the city, however beautiful and historic it may be.
I also grew up in the remote countryside and I wouldn’t do it to my kids. I was ok as I was from a big family but I definitely missed out on most of the stuff my friends were doing and found it harder socially.
Why not find a compromise? I currently live in a largeish village with a train station. There are plenty of spacious detached properties with land within cycling distance of the village. Please give your teenagers some freedom, it’s horrid having to rely on your parents to go anywhere when you’re 16.
@peajotter - agreed! Dh and I live in a town we really like, and while we’ve discussed going more rural I just wouldn’t want to do it to my kids.
No. The countryside can be hard to adjust to if you're used to a city. You'll come to resent the isolation. I grew up in the countryside and love it, but know I would HATE living in London. It's likely the same the other way around.
I grew up in the country (very rural north Wales) and as a child, it was pretty idyllic. Rope swings, tree houses, fields and streams to play in, rabbits in the garden, lovely clean snowdrifts, all that stuff. As a teenager, it was moderately nice on a sunny day, when you could sit in the garden without people seeing you, but otherwise I hated it. All my friends lived ten miles away, there were no cinemas or ice rinks or McDonalds or chip shops or discos.... As soon as I left school I went as far away as possible for uni and never moved back.
I like it there now, and visit all I can. It's lovely and I love it, but I still wouldn't LIVE there all year round. Lovely in summer for a couple of weeks. Not so lovely in November when it's pouring with rain sideways and blowing a gale and you can't go anywhere without driving ten miles, starting with muddy tracks and puddles up to your knees. Or in February when it snows and you can't go anywhere because there is no way you can get the car out. Or when a gale blows half the slates off the roof and nobody can come out to you before Thursday because the road is blocked and anyway, everyone's house has lost all the slates.
Well I grew up in a rural village and my mum spent my teenage years driving me and my brother around, because she had no choice. It was fine when we were younger but as we wanted to become more independent it was hard as we had a bus that came to our village twice a week.
I moved away after university and have no wish to move back. It’s beautiful and I love visiting but you have to have a car, they get snowed in every winter and have to drive to even get milk.
We all learned to drive as soon as we could.
Where are you looking at?
Ideally edge of market town with good schools and easy transport in to the town for you and when the kids get older. My kids have been fairly independent since 13-14. They can walk in to town which has a cinema and restaurants and a bus to bigger town with multiplex etc. Most of their friends are within walking distance. But country is five minutes away - but other than being pretty to look at what is it? The roads are dangerous with high hedgerows. There are footpaths but so are there in big parks near London (Bushy Park, Richmond, Hampstead Heath, Wimbledon).
We spent a weekend at a holiday cottage in the country last year. It was nice but I had to get in the car for everything. The one local shop closed at 5. And the kids couldn't do anything on their own. I tell you if my 15 year old son was reliant on me to get him places (friends, rugby etc) we would have killed each other by now.
I'm moving back to London next year. Can't wait.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.