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Advice on areas in Northern Ireland

(21 Posts)
Esc2C Tue 30-Jan-18 16:59:29

Today had been a crazy day so I’m indulging in a bit of dreaming! We are currently planning a big move and have been considering Northern Ireland. I am Irish but born in the UK and lived in the West of Ireland for quite a few years. I have an English accent and DH is English but we’d really want to integrate wherever we are (I mention this is in a very small minority of places we have encountered some hostility from strangers due to our accent). We are atheist and don’t plan on that changing but are open to any decent school. Would anyone be able to recommend areas where we might be welcome and be able to build a life for us and our two boys? We have travelled all over Northern Ireland on holidays but I’m a bit clueless about areas to live. Our wish list would be good schools, a decent sense of community, rural or semi-rural and not too close to big cities, by the sea would be a huge bonus too but far from essential. My eldest DS has just turned 2 and the youngest is on the way. We really could move anywhere and would love a few recommendations.

MarDhea Wed 31-Jan-18 21:35:23


Esc2C Wed 31-Jan-18 21:37:02

Thanks MarDhea. Any input very welcome.

shoofly Wed 31-Jan-18 21:43:51

North Coast jumps to mind immediately. I'd live in Portstewart in a heartbeat if I could. We're in Jordanstown, just north of Belfast on the coast which is probably too close to the city for you. I honestly think few areas in Northern Ireland would be a problem these days. The main thing, I would imagine, is work opportunities?

TulipsInAJug Wed 31-Jan-18 21:52:18

I would move to the north coast if I were you. Beautiful, yet not too remote.

Esc2C Wed 31-Jan-18 21:58:34

The north coat looks wonderful, it’s the area that jumps out at me. Work wise we are fine as our jobs can be done remotely from anywhere, we’re very lucky in that sense. Portstewart looks lovely, I’ve just had a nose. Are there any other towns/villages/areas that spring to mind? Thanks so much!

TulipsInAJug Wed 31-Jan-18 22:17:45

Portstewart is lovely but very built up. It's good if you want cafes, pubs, restaurants all within walking distance, and it's just down the road from Coleraine, with sainsbury, M&S, leisure centre, etc.

If you want less built up, more rural, wild and scenic, Ballycastle might be an option. It's a smaller town, yet with all the amenities, and the surrounding scenery is stunning.

Littlegreyauditor Fri 02-Feb-18 09:00:28

I used to work in Ballycastle, it’s a lovely place with lots of amenities. You are looking at a bus to Coleraine/ Ballymoney for a choice of post primary schools, and it is quite a long way off the main road.
That said, nowhere in the north is really that far from anywhere not by driving-in-England standards.
If you want North Coast, villagey, you could look at Castlerock, Portballintrae and Bushmills too. All in that general Coleraine area, lovely beaches, interesting weather.
A bit further inland, but still very handy for the coast, are Limavady, Kilrea and Garvagh - small towns, lots of rural living in the areas around them. If you are used to house prices in England you will find you get a whole lot of house for your money over here. Maybe research the internet situation though, if your job relies on it. I live in the hills surrounding one of the aforementioned towns, and I have to encourage some very patchy broadband into my house via a satellite dish and many swear words.

Phuquocdreams Tue 06-Feb-18 20:24:41

I think Ballycastle won best place to live in Nothern Ireland recently. Jobs might be a problem though, what do you do for work?

SheriffCallie Tue 06-Feb-18 21:45:52

I live on the east coat and can recommend our village. I will PM you.

BigBairyHollocks Tue 06-Feb-18 21:49:58

Do you not fancy Belfast?Ballyhackamore would be lovely if you did,and accents would be no problem at all.

BigBairyHollocks Tue 06-Feb-18 21:50:41

Sorry missed the sea but,never mind!

ademanlu Tue 06-Feb-18 22:13:20

North coast springs to mind from me as well - Portrush, Portstewart or Castlerock. All within easy reach of Coleraine and good travel links to Belfast or Derry. Schools are excellent with a good range to choose from - both at primary and secondary. English accents aren't out of place around here due to being a university town and being a tourist area.

Or what about South Down - Newcastle, Annalong, Dundrum round to Ardglass, Strangford or Killyleagh?

I was born and raised in Newcastle and would be back there like a shot if circumstances permitted - currently up on the north coast.

FlaviaAlbia Tue 06-Feb-18 22:18:45

Holywood or Bangor. Handy for commuting to Belfast if the type of job you do needs to be there but both are beside the sea and Holywood especially has a fairly good community and loads of ex pats from all over.

buckeejit Tue 06-Feb-18 22:23:21

Pretty much all our schools are great. I'm inland County ANTRIM but still just 25 minutes from the coast & the City. It's a great place to live but even though it's my home, having lived away for 15 years I've found it hard to integrate back, although there is a good community feel in most areas. I'd just say avoid Carrickfergus. For some reason, that seems to be where the weird folk go.

buckeejit Tue 06-Feb-18 22:26:56

If you go soon you could meet a batch of baby ladies for the new baby. I know you say you are atheist but most of the good mum & tots are held in churches so think if you're happy to attend these as there's not as much sure start etc

theguineapig Tue 06-Feb-18 22:46:40

There's also Cushendun/Cushendall near Ballycastle which are both beautiful.

eloisesparkle Mon 12-Feb-18 08:29:50

What are Crawfordsburn, Helen's Bay, Bangor like to live in ?

A1Sharon Mon 12-Feb-18 08:58:52

Crawfordsburn and Helen's Bay are lovely, Helen's Bay has the train station, C'burn the shop and garage, and the C'burn Inn-which is good for a drink but don't believe the hype about the food, it's not good. C'burn country park is lovely, we go there often. I have plenty of lovely friends in both areas who really rate them.
Bangor, well, it's a bit of a dump, like so many sea side places it has an air of neglect about it. I know people who live here and one is hoping to move back to Belfast she feels 'forgotten' out there, they other stays for family nearby. You'll get more for your money here though.

FlaviaAlbia Tue 13-Feb-18 22:25:19

Depends where you move to in Bangor, it's a bit mixed. You'll be able to tell by looking at the house prices. Groomsport might be worth looking at and if Helen's Bay is in your price range, then Cultra too.

FlaviaAlbia Tue 13-Feb-18 22:26:40

Crawfordsburn and Helen's Bay are a bit low on amenities despite the pricing, they wouldn't have a centre with shops the way, say Holywood would.

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