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Where are the alternative / eco-friendly places to live in the UK?

(66 Posts)
Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 17:45:36

I'm going to move sometime next year and trying to find places that are a bit more alternative. Birmingham is a consumerist desert - or at least the bits I can afford are, and I'd rather not live in a big city. I can pick anywhere really as I can get work most places, but I'd like to put down some roots somewhere there are at least a few like-minded folks.

Need to go and check out places now before I apply for jobs. South Devon looks interesting and I can just about afford the cheaper parts. Maybe Suffolk coast. I like Lancaster.

Where else should I consider? Anyone live anywhere good?

TotalChaos Sun 14-Sep-08 17:46:42

Ulverston and Garstang are fairtrade towns. Hebden Bridge and surrounding area are pretty alternative.

frogs Sun 14-Sep-08 17:48:21

Hebden Bridge
Not sure about suffolk -- woodbridge maybe?
Bruton in Somerset

Anywhere with a Steiner school/alternative school of some kind probably a good start.

ahundredbiros Sun 14-Sep-08 17:49:48

Totnes and Bruton are the ones that first spring to mind.

Mind you, as far as I can see there is a very Notting Hill alternative look going down in Bruton . . .

Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 17:55:24

Mmm - never been to Ulverston, so that's on my list of places to check out and I've never explored Hebden Bridge properly. Thanks

Garstang - the times I've visited anyway - has always had a really conventional atmosphere.

It doesn't have to be a town/ city - I'd be quite happy with a village.

Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 17:56:43

Brighton and Totnes are well outside the price range. I haven't been to Bruton since I was a kid - OK that's on the list too.

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 17:56:50

some places in west wales eg narberth

but can be fairly isolated depends what jobs you need to do

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 17:57:09

or brecon

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 17:57:23


frogs Sun 14-Sep-08 17:57:47

All are relatively expensive though -- it's quite a chic kind of boho in places like Bruton, tbh.

ahundredbiros Sun 14-Sep-08 18:00:01

Yes, just going to say it isn't that cheap Bruton. Hence the Notting Hill alternative thang, also everyone buys houses there for the school I think.


ahundredbiros Sun 14-Sep-08 18:01:03

Bristol has a growing reputation for being green and alternative I think.

Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 18:15:04

I like lots of bits of Wales - but would be worried about fitting in as I'm English

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 18:23:10

west wales is very english

Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 19:26:13

zippitippitoes - I've had some great holidays in West Wales it's beautiful - but do the English people mostly hang out with other English people socially or is it more that everyone's quite relaxed about where anyone else is from?

ANTagony Sun 14-Sep-08 19:33:42

I live on the North Wales coast - one of the cheap bits, still get a liveable house under £100k. Excellent communication links 2.5hrs direct train london, Manchester, Liverpool and Chester an easy commute. English is the dominant language by far where I am - I've been strugling to find anyone with a good Welsh language knowledge to help me pronounce some of the long place names.

Great place for kids btw. Free leisure centre activities in hols and schooling available from 2.5 if you put them in a mixed medium school (welsh language). Also free prescriptions for adults and lots of pre and post school activities. Public transport round here is really quite good - lots of people still use it. Beeches are amazing, clean and so under used.

I'm sold on the place and don't feel at all excluded.

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 19:35:25

i think the area pembrokeshire ceredigion has always had a lot of english people it is mixed really

brecon area also lots of english people and if you live and work in these places i dont think its a proble,m

being a part of the community is the important part

of course you will always be the new people but i dont think more so than if you go to devon or cornwall

zippitippitoes Sun 14-Sep-08 19:36:41

buying a holiday home that you dont live in and making places ghost towns different thing

llareggub Sun 14-Sep-08 19:48:05

Pembrokeshire is known as little England to some people. I think that speaks for itself!

Tunicate Sun 14-Sep-08 20:07:53

Wow - thank you. I need to think about loads of places in Wales.

trefusis Sun 14-Sep-08 20:19:48

Message withdrawn

Fennel Mon 15-Sep-08 14:17:25

We are in Devon. The area is swarming with oddballs and eco-types. we love it grin. Totnes may be the epicentre of the alternative crowd but we don't live near there and it's still very fairtrade/eco/alternative. our local farm houses an artists' complex and people from the village have built a community yurt there. all very jolly.

Lancaster is good, my sister used to live there and loved it.

Hebden bridge, yes, another one we thought of moving to. Todmorden down the valley is cheaper than Hebden bridge but still good.

But you have to think, do you want a lot of crystal shops and Steiner schools (Totnes) or serious green politics, or an arty/hippy vibe? they're very different things. for instance I have no patience with Tarot reading shops and crystal shops but lots of "alternative" places have rather a lot of them.

noolia Mon 15-Sep-08 15:57:06

Glastonbury for crystal/Druid/hedgewitchery type alternative. Some very hairy people live there.

Wisp Mon 15-Sep-08 16:11:50

Stroud in Gloucestershire.
It's wonderful. There's even a hill, nicknamed by locals as lentil hill!

Jux Mon 15-Sep-08 16:33:10

I always wanted to live in Stroud! They had a year of no money once - I knew a guy who lived there then. (It's too far north for DH!!!)

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