Moving back to the UK what's it like?(21 Posts)
Hi, I've been living overseas for 13 years. Various places. I now have two children they are 3 and 6. My marriage is intact and I have worked hard to keep the kids grounded. Our time overseas will inevitably be up some day as I am an only child with an aging mother in the UK. No point dwelling on it. As much as I like my freedom and life overseas I have a duty towards my mother. If it weren't for our children I wouldn't mind so much but I must admit I dread moving my kids back to the UK. Everytime I visit I seem to see social problems around me (my mum is in London). I find it indimidating. Lots of antisocial behaviour and I hardly recognise the place. What's it like nowadays for kids (I grew up in London in the late 80s and 90s)? How are schools? What are class sizes like? Discipline etc. My other option is Ireland near my inlaws. Any advice on moving back to the UK with kids who are not used to large cities like London? Thanks.
I think it's pretty brilliant growing up in London but I may be biased as I am from there and would LOVE to go back. My experience of having DC at (state) schools in London are excellent discipline , larger class sizes but they manage it really well and personally I think larger is better than too small and it's no different to where we live abroad. Standards tend to be really high academically in the part of London I lived in (though not necessarily a good thing as competition is fierce). Multicultural. Lots of choice. Lots of extra-curricular stuff to do. Loads to do, places to visit. Lovely people. Sigh.
If you are not so keen on central London, try the 'burbs/Greater London. Lots of choice.
Can't speak for London schools or education in general, but this government is economically more right wing than Thatcher was and there's no sign of austerity ending any time soon.
I would consider moving abroad if circumstances were different.
What's it like nowadays for kids
Well, clearly, people have different experiences, but for my child, it's fantastic. So many opportunities that I could only dream of when I was a child in a semi-rural location. Schools are busy, and probably also variable but I've been very happy with the schools my daughter attended - one of them in Ofsted's 'special measures' category and another rated 'outstanding'. I've liked them both.
As for anti-social behaviour, well, there are a lot of people, some of them are bound to be anti-social but that can happen anywhere. London isn't immune, but neither is it more susceptible than anywhere else, in my opinion. What is it that you find intimidating? In my experience, it's just people going about their business. I don't feel intimidated, or regularly witness anti-social behaviour.
Oh yes, discipline - much, much stricter than 20-30 years ago, I think. Sometimes, I find schools too strict on things I consider petty, but they say it all adds up to create a more respectful whole.
A lot depends on where you live now, what conditions you are comparing.
Depending on your finances, I think your biggest issue will be housing. Prices have gone up hugely since you left, in all areas and in all types of accommodation, particularly near good schools
It reads like OP is unhappy about all the foreigners in London. Which would be ironic considering OP has lived overseas for so long.
Unless by 'hardly recognise the place' OP is objecting to new buildings.
London has changed massively. The poor are being pushed out, housing is ridiculously expensive and it is fast becoming a city for the wealthy only.
Having said that, I also think the areas I have experience of are great and wouldn't hesitate to raise kids here.
Life in the UK generally is not all that pleasant. The government has succeeded in turning people against one another and intolerance has grown massively. Racism seems on the rise which I find particularly frightening.
It's unfair to reach that conclusion based on what the OP said, I think, although I do understand where you're coming from, lljkk, as that phrase can be used in a certain loaded way. She could mean anything though.
Yes a little about influx of foreigners but from the stand point of pressure on public services, green space (so many flats going up) and prices. Also general lack of social cohesion. Many of the countries I have lived in have not welcomed me with open arms either but I didn't always take it badly. It was not personal. I have lived in countries with rapidly changing economies and social change and I never took people's fears and anxieties personally.
Finally my mother is herself a foreigner. She moved to London in the 80s and never looked back. She loved London and has been very happy for many years. It's probably the last 3 years that have been tough. Sometimes it's these babyboomer émigrés who are the most disorientated by these changes. Anyway one thing is for certain there's no free speech.
I am a bit astounding by your blatant hypocrisy tbh.
lljkk - my apologies: your radar was right. I'm irritated that I wasted my time on this.
Yes, that's right, OP, no freedom of speech, and some people stand on the right of the escalators, it's an outrage. Best stay where you are.
lol, I didn't take it badly. I mean, I said "It sounds like" to let OP confirm or refute.
Vicarc: you need to say what you want maybe, rather than list all the things you don't want. I like going to London & meeting a rainbow of people speaking a dozen different languages. And all so hard working, too. Because I live in the monocultural white provinces. It's very sheltered & safe here, which is handy with kids, but not teaching them to rub along with diversity, or any street smarts.
There's next to no litter or crime, but omg the petty gossip in a small town, ugh.
I moved back 5 years ago.
I find it a bit of a slog tbh. It feels like everyone is a bit worn down by the grind and in all honesty the crap weather does get to me.
There is a lot that is good, but it feels hard going.
Can't your mother come live with you instead?
We moved back last year after years on a small island and thought a city could be too much for the DCs (4 and 7) so we went for a market town with good transport links still close enough to London for a day trip or overnight stay but access to lovely countryside too. There are plenty of areas for you to consider outside of London if that is what you want. We are more than happy to be back for so many reasons. For your Dcs sake you need to think positively about it, if they feel your 'dread' as you put it,it won't be as easy for them to settle in wherever you end up.
I miss the space and the weather but overall v glad to be back, so much culture, can work, quite safe, ,education good, all things which really matter. Still v unrooted though, think will be so forever, once an expat , always an expat!
I moved back briefly for 9 months (after being abroad for 7.5 years) before going off again, but I can't wait to be back in UK, in my own place. 2.5 years down, another 3.5 to go.
My home is in ruralish Cornwall, so we have none of the urban hassles described above.
No free speech in the UK OP? Please could you elaborate?
Join the discussion
Please login first.