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To move older dc to a rural location after living in the city?

(83 Posts)
Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 16:44:25

I'll try to be concise.

We currently live in the suburbs yet where we live means we needs to use car/ public transport for: dc school/ swimming baths/ cinema etc. The only things within 30mins walk are very small library, a handful of shops and a couple of small parks. When dc1 is old enough (currently 9) to travel to his friends, it would be a 15min bike ride.

We long for a more rural location and currently, older dc would love it for all the reasons we would (bigger house, huge garden, countryside on doorstep). My concern is that he will resent this when he's a teenager (several people we've spoke to about it have also mentioned the same issues, especially for when dc is 13-18).

The place we would be moving to is very small with only one shop and a pub, but it is only a ten minute bike ride to the two nearest villages who (though still relatively small) offer a Scouts group/ park but also, a bus that runs every ten minutes into the city centre (the journey itself taking about 20mins, which is the same on from where we live now if we go on public transport).

Is it selfish to move, or should we just go for it? confused Heard such differing views in rw I thought it would be helpful to get a range of thoughts on here.

will they live near their friends?
I moved from town to tiny village at nine. It was pretty crap. everything had to be arranged ahead for travelling to mates houses. no takeaway deliveries. no milk and bread in walking distance and terrible when roads icy and snowy.

Belugagrad Sun 29-Sep-13 16:58:33

My concern would be friends from new school cud all live in far flung villages- so weekend meet ups
Could be a pain? I think u have to be a willing taxi service as they get older if u make this move!

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 16:59:58

No, they'll be away from friends, although that would be the case with any of the places we're looking to move. It's just that other villages would be larger e.g. have parks/ swimming baths etc within ten minutes walk, and this one doesn't.

We'd obviously make an effort to stay in touch with his friends (but I'm aware that would dwindle in time), but if we're going to move, we wanted to do it before he's in secondary school. In my personal experience, new kids in primary were welcomed but in secondary they were always relegated by default to the 'outcast group', I don't mean that horribly, just that they didn't get to find friends they actually had things in common with and instead and had a narrow 'pool' of friends to pick from.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:01:06

I wouldn't mind being a taxi driver as two local villages have really good transport (trains in one, bus in the other) so I imagine we'd just be having to pick up/ drop off from there.

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:04:46

I live rurally and grew up rurally, but spent 20 years in London as an adult.

There are manay, many more things on tap in a city for teens, but they tend to be centered on inner cities, not suburbs anyway, as you say.

Rurally, there is NO public transport (where I live, there is a bus every 2 hours, and they stop at 5pm!), and you must be prepared to be a taxi service to get to swimming, cubs etc, as they're all in the next town/ village along. That bus service sounds dreamy! If it connects to a reasoanbly large town, that'd be great. Our nearest town worth a night out is 2 hours away by bus.

There is virtually nothing for the later teens to do.

That said, they make stuff of their own. A youth bus that visits weekly is well patronised, we have a library that does a lot ( it did Manga drawing classes over the Summer) and as there is one primary, one secondary ( takes the hassle out of school selection!), the friends are all local and bikeable when they're older. But, if they don't like the school, the other is 20 odd miles away.

A lot of the teens are outdoorsy, as that's whats about. There's a big off road biking scene and lots of running clubs.

9 is a good age to move.

What worries me is that you "long" for a rural life. It's not a bed of roses, villages are often poorly resourced, it can be very lonely initially, and very cliquey. You can't get away from people. And the countryside isn't always accessible: we live in a massively farmed area, and there are less footpaths than when I was in London! And all the newbuilds in our village are TITCHY, with next to no gardens. Go for ex-council 1950/ 1960 builds for gardens ( we have one, with a 250 foot garden out back, but new builds in the country are no bigger than elsewhere). Look VERY closely at the development plans for your area, the East of England in particular is set for massive expansion, and this won't show up on housing searches, you have to look at the areas overall regional development plans.

Also look at employment in the area: rural areas where I live are some of the worst in the UK, but around Cambridge it's fine, but VERY expensive. You need to really, really, research.

casacastille Sun 29-Sep-13 17:04:53

The country is great for young children, but rubbish for teens unless their friends are all within cycling distance.

Teens that have known the benefits of town/city life are unlikely to be thrilled by an isolated spot in the countryside.

Lilacroses Sun 29-Sep-13 17:06:43

I absolutely hated moving when I was 13. I moved from the middle of a large city to a cottage surrounded by fields. There were no pavements, no buses (unless you walked 3 miles to the bus stop first) and we weren't even in a village, sort of in between 2. As kids we did think living in the country would be all sweet and friendly and welcoming. It was the opposite, we were bullied, called snobs and for years my family were ignored in the local pubs/shops.

The worst thing though was that my mum and dad were not particularly happy to drive us anywhere so we spent alot of time feeling very bored and isolated.

My parents still live in this location and of course as an adult I like it very much! It is peaceful and quiet and since my parents have now lived there for 30 years they know more people!

I think if you are prepared to basically be a taxi for your kids for the next few years it will be absolutely fine. If not I wouldn't do it. I am bringing Dd up in a city because she has everything on her doorstep. We go to the countryside for holidays and thoroughly enjoy it though!

janey68 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:07:39

I think generally speaking teenagers will resent feeling more isolated. Yours may not be at that stage yet but ... Also while you may feel you don't mind being a taxi driver, it could become really restrictive later on if you're working or have other things to do. And bear in mind that public transport is vulnerable to cuts, so what may be a decent service now, could look very different in a few years time. Sorry... This isn't what you want to hear is it! I know you say that in reality a lot of the journeys wouldn't be longer than they currently are, but like I say, I wouldn't make decisions based on a current bus service to a small village. They only need to cut a couple of services and you're stuck. The teenage years are when your kids will branch out, want to be independent and I think it'll be tough

morethanpotatoprints Sun 29-Sep-13 17:09:23

Hi Wiggy,

We did the opposite and moved not only from quiet countryside to very large town but nearly 33 miles, when ds1 and2 were 9 and 6.
We have a dd who is 9 now, but even when the ds were younger, we were still a taxi service as it was too dangerous to let them ride bikes on road. Just because its a town doesn't mean that what you want is on your doorstep and quite often critics of the countryside don't think about this grin.
I think it sounds ideal as you are still close enough to a city, which is a huge bonus when living in the countryside.
If it was miles from anywhere with nothing for the dc and no services then yes I agree not ideal for dc, but this isn't the case by the sounds of it.
We moved for this reason, our 2 ds had very little opportunity to experience much other than school and playing out with friends.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:03

Sorry, should say 300 miles not 33

stargirl1701 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:10:47

They'll need to join Young Farmers to have a life grin

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:16:08

Young farmer events in the late 80's were my social life, and I can say that they were VERY exciting! What a bunch of young people can get up to in a barn is without limit.

Not to mention village hall discos. Once a month it was a Heavy Metal night and that was EXCELLENT. All the boys in black jeans with motorbikes ffrom miles around..... (sigh)

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:19:57

Mmm, good point about bus service. The nearest city is one of the biggest in the north so they won't be miles away from clubs/ bars etc when older. That said, really good point about cuts to bus services (though there is bus and train, so I'd have to imagine that both would be cut for it to cause real problems). We've already spotted the house we want which is a lovely, huge, stone built house. There are other kids around, I'm just not sure how many/ what ages- the reason I know is that we've been checking out gardens in the village for swings/ football nets etc!

Great point about planning permission too. The house looks out onto stunning open countryside... I'd best check it would stay that way! hmm

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:20:38

Sheridand grin

thebody Sun 29-Sep-13 17:26:11

don't kid yourself that living in a town doesn't mean you aren't a taxi service!

you still are as there are house parties and venues where buses don't go and it's too late for young teens to be in them anyway.

there are pros and cons to both really.

sheridand Sun 29-Sep-13 17:30:21

Boys with motorbikes are a big draw in villages. Especially when they hang around the wreck. Ah, nostalgia. You can't get into pubs underage when your mum knows the landlord, and the nearest other pub is a bus ride away, and the buses stopped at 4pm, so the boy with the motorbike has to go and get you the Thunderbird. I'm not selling this, am I?

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:34:41

Yes, I guess that's it. There are pros and cons, and many of them will be hard to appreciate until we actually do it. Some of the cons we probably won't have thought (hence posting on here, and thanks top those who've already provided food for thought), and I'm sure some of my pros may not turn out to be that great (it'll be hard to know what the community is like until we live in it I guess).

That said, some things will be for definite (i.e. the lovely house, the huge garden, the views and the countryside on our doorstep).

thebody Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:16

oh thunderbird!! also blue nun..grin

Fuzzysnout Sun 29-Sep-13 17:35:45

Sounds lovely. You can't predict how any of you will feel in a few years time, let alone teenagers. Go for your dream before you regret missing out.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sun 29-Sep-13 17:36:58

I moved to a small rural village aged 11. I made new friends. It was great in that I had a lot of friends in the village, we all went to school together and spent our summers together but as a teenager there was less to do. I hated having to get my mum to pick me up after I'd been out late etc.

When it snowed we couldn't go anywhere, not even to the local shop two miles away! However snow days meant days off school and we went sledging instead. I liked growing up there, but I missed the convenience of public transport and shops.

It's a lovely place to visit now, my parents are still there. Village life is nice, but it takes a long time for you to be considered a local!

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:37:38

Sheridand- haha, I grew up in the suburbs and though I could get in all the city centre bars aged 14, that wasn't such a great thing! That said, we still spent many a happy evening chugging cider in the local park.

Despite all that, I managed to come out of my teens in reasonable shape and made it to uni etc.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 17:40:21

Mmmm, pobble, I imagine it may be a bit 'local' elite (due to comments I'd read from a local on a pub review about all the walkers who 'invade' on a weekend). That said, I'm hoping to work part-time as dc2 is still young so hoping the fact that I can go to mother and baby group in next village/ stand at school gates for dc1 so he can have friends for tea etc etc will hopefully allow me a foot in the door.

Wiggy29 Sun 29-Sep-13 21:14:07

Pants. Looked again at bud routes and the one from (what would be) our village is only every 90mins and not on a Sunday. It goes from next closest every 10mins, but that would be a 15min cycle for dc (when he's old enough). That said, looked at bike route on google maps and it looks pretty safe. That does mean a lot of taxi-driving. Urgh. Really don't know what to do? sad Starting to think that may be a bit too remote for a teenage. Oh gosh, what to do. My parent's view is that dc's teenage years are still a good few years away so just to move for now and see how things go but I really want a 'forever home', well, at least one we can settle in for the next ten years or so.

cardibach Sun 29-Sep-13 21:20:41

We moved to a small village without even a shop when DD was 5. SHe loved it then and loves it now (aged 17). I do need to be prepared to drive her around a lot - though she will hopefully pass her driving test soon...
We found it was easy to integrate (and it is really remote and Welsh speaking) as long as we put ourselves out a bit and made an effort to join in. People won't come to you!
Go for it.

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