Thinking of moving back to B'ham from London to bring up children, after nearly 20 years in London/SE.(8 Posts)
I grew up in Moseley in the 1980s and 90s, and left for university in London and haven't been back since, apart from a one day visit! My family weren't from Birmingham, and moved away when I was 19, so although I grew up there, I don't really have any ties or connections there. Most of my friends moved to London too, and I would NEVER have thought I would think of moving back!! I did enjoy my childhood, but as we weren't FROM Brum, I didn't feel rooted there.
We now have 4 small children, and unfortunately don't have the bankers' wealth needed to live in nice parts of London, but we want a garden, and some space, and a relaxed community where it will be easy for our children to make friends, and for my DH and me to make them too, as well as easy access to theatres, city life etc.
We have tried moving from London to Brighton, but there are no gardens, and it's still too cramped here, both inside and out, as well as many other problems.
Is there anyone else who's made the move from London to Birmingham? How did you find the change?
Is there anyone else who grew up in Birmingham, moved away, and went back to bring up their children? How have you found it second time around?
I would move to Moseley, parts of King's Heath, or Harborne, as those are the areas I know and would feel most comfortable in. What does anyone think of these areas today as compared to in the 1980s and 1990s? Are they the same, or have they changed a lot?
How has Birmingham itself changed in the last 20 years?
Very many thanks for any info! Visits are difficult with 4 small children, and can also be misleading.
Hello Local (great nickname btw!). Moving to Birmingham is a great idea.
I'm not a native Brummie, but have been in South Birmingham for 10 years now and have three small boys. It's an excellent place to bring up children. We're surrounded by parks, and at the weekends tend to zip off to Worcestershire/Warwickshire/Oxfordshire/Shropshire for longer walks in the countryside.
It's so easy to go into town (we frequently use the train) and enjoy days at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, thinktank (the new Science Museum at Millennium Point, which will be new to you), the brilliant new library, as well as cultural events such as Chinese New Year and the Christmas Parade.
You can buy lovely Victorian/Edwardian houses with substantial gardens and driveways for a fraction of the (frankly scary) prices in London. We walk to school every day and have loads of brilliant schools around us (Bournville). My husband cycles into work (it takes 12 minutes).
I visit friends in the South East and thank my lucky stars we (accidentally) ended up here when we started our family. Our quality of life is very good.
Area-wise, Moseley and Harborne have lively high streets with nice pubs/restaurants and may be more attractive to you if you're used to the convenience of the capital.
Hopefully there will be others along who have more experience of moving from London.
Thank you for such a positive account of moving to S Birmingham! It's definitely quality of life we're looking for, and don't really have any of, despite paying so much for mortgage and living costs, here in the SE. Bournville was always nice too, I'd forgotten Bournville! B'ham City Centre seems to go from strength to strength, the science mus sounds great.
Did you find it easy to make friends when you moved there?
That's the thing I love about being in Birmingham - it's so friendly. It's been really easy to get a good network of mates.
I'm always v baffled by MN threads which talk about intimidating alpha mums at the school gate etc - never seen any sign of that nonsense round our way, thank god!
Give us a shout if you want any more help when you get closer to house-hunting. Must be bloody hard to do with 4 kids in tow! How do they feel about moving?
Hi, we moved back up from West London 3 years and despite loving London life, we now love it here and don't regret moving for a moment. I am from the Midlands, but my husband isn't, but he too enjoys the way of life, schools, wealth of weekend activities, lovely properties (his own driveway!) too.
We moved to Sutton, as it gave us all the benefits of the Birmingham schooling system, but in a more suburban setting. Solihull and villages artound that way looked very nice too,
We have friends living the Edgbaston/Harbourne way and they love being close to the city, but without living on top of it.
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised and impressed by the choice of schooling and cultural and social activities.
I grew up in W Mids outside Birmingham, went to high school in Brum, moved to SE for 20 years (including 7 years in London) and then to Moseley 4 years ago.
I love it and would echo what's been said up thread. Easy to drive to green spaces outside the city - Clent, Lickey, etc - but there are loads of green spaces close at hand too - Cannon Hill Park, Moseley Park, Moseley Bog are all walkable for me, with Winterbourne gardens and the Botanics within 10 min radius by car. My 11 year old can get the bus into the city easily. Amazing cultural life - lots of independent festivals, kids stand-up at the mac, etc, climbing centre nearby...
Lots of indie cafés about including gorgeous French bakeries and Ort in Balsall Heath which sells tea for 50p, deep armchairs, live music and donation-only language lessons... I only take advantage of a tiny proportion of what's here but we're all really happy here.
Happy to pm if you need anything specific, and also to meet up if you do decide to move.
We moved back from West London to Sutton Coldfield nearly 10 years ago with our two children.
Being from the area, we chose Sutton Coldfield in the end and we wanted to live on the edge of Sutton Park and the schools are excellent as our the local sports and tennis clubs.
We did however hover over Dorridge, Solihull, Moseley and Harbourne, which all looked good too.
I'm sure you'll soon settle and find a new group of friends. We were very lucky and we were all soon settled.
Good luck X
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