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Any liberal / open-minded places worth leaving London for?

(27 Posts)
imtheirmum Fri 29-Jun-07 20:51:41

Would love to leave London, and probably need to be in Southern half of country, but terrified of that home counties, daily mail/telegraph reading culture and commuter belt. What places have the reputation of being open minded, creative cultural places? Brighton is an obvious choice, but there must be other places? Any ideas? On our wish list also - period properties, reasonable sized gardens, decent schools...

Cappuccino Fri 29-Jun-07 20:53:14

oh good grief

southeastastra Fri 29-Jun-07 20:54:09

ha not here, st albans maybe?

Hathor Fri 29-Jun-07 20:54:37

Milton Keynes

Quattrocento Fri 29-Jun-07 20:55:24

Apart from Brighton, there is Edinburgh?

toomuchtodo Fri 29-Jun-07 20:56:16

imtheirmum, stay in London love

PeachesMcLean Fri 29-Jun-07 20:57:12

There's plenty of life outside London.

Won't post any more as you've stirred up all my anti London-centric feelings.

Cardiff's nice though.

choosyfloosy Fri 29-Jun-07 20:58:38

let go of the fear

embrace adventure

and avoid Sevenoaks

i wd say stick to university towns, at first anyway

snowleopard Fri 29-Jun-07 20:59:00

I would say Edinburgh - it's totally brilliant - but if you have to stay in the south, Bristol? Brighton I think can be a bit too much up its own arse in the creative/cultural stakes actually.

toomuchtodo Fri 29-Jun-07 20:59:41

Brighton it is then

Mercy Fri 29-Jun-07 21:00:48

A) you are being ridiculous

B) how about Oxford, Winchester, Salisbury, Bristol - that sort of place?

Mercy Fri 29-Jun-07 21:01:36

Brighton is actually more expensive than London atm

snowleopard Fri 29-Jun-07 21:01:38

OK she's being elitist, but have you lived in cultural nowheresville? I grew up there and I'm never going back.

sleepycat Fri 29-Jun-07 21:02:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moopymoo Fri 29-Jun-07 21:04:26

<<voice echoes round huge georgian mansion in cultural nowheresville>>
do you know it takes us 3 hours to get to London! How do we live?

Mercy Fri 29-Jun-07 21:14:09

London can be a cultural nowheresville too, I'm afraid.

Cloudhopper Fri 29-Jun-07 21:25:32

Talk about going where angels fear to tread.

I think there are loads of open-minded places in this country. Good schools tend to be the norm outside London don't they?

I would avoid anywhere with a reputation for being insular if you are worried, but more or less any city will provide you with culture - and usually in a cheaper, more accessible way because of transport and cost.

This reminds me of a comment made by one of my Southern friends when we were on a train nearing Blackpool for a conference.

"Whenever I go out of London" she said "I remember why it is I live there".

slinkstar Fri 29-Jun-07 21:49:37

my son said to me yesterday that he is the only kid in his dads town without a shaven head!!!!
his dad lives midlands and we live in london.
why are some towns so UN diverse/ imbred!

snowleopard Fri 29-Jun-07 23:04:04

It is diversity that's the key. I like living in a big and culturally diverse city... I just do. I like to see loads of people, have things to occupy my brain, exhibitions, shops of all kinds, loads of cinemas, jazz, venues for gigs, whatever, and all kinds of people living there including the creative types that gather. That's NOT to say you don't get culture in small places - you do - but generally not a huge diversity of stuff all in one place.

Also I do realise that where I grew up had culture - but it just wasn't for me, it was cheesy nightclubs, telly, football, rugby, football and football. I happen to be bookish and arty-farty so I prefer it here. I'm with the OP, I'd be equally unhappy in toryland. What's wrong with having a preference?

Quattrocento Fri 29-Jun-07 23:20:17

I have one further useful suggestion.


notasheep Fri 29-Jun-07 23:21:43


Peachy Fri 29-Jun-07 23:25:56

Glastonbury! About as open mnded as you'll find anywhere.

All the cities- cardiff, bristol, Bath, Newport (I know I know but actually there are some lovely parts around this way)

LoveAngel Sat 30-Jun-07 08:06:38

Totnes in Devon if you like a really alternative / hippy type vibe (although plenty of posh Devon farmer types too).

To be honest, I sometimes get sick of London, too, but if I was going to leave I think I think Id have to leave the UK. I have a phobia of 'anywhere in Britain outside of London' (sorry!).


suzycreamcheese Sat 30-Jun-07 08:18:48

its limited if you cant leave south east
would probably have to leave uk too am afraid

tired of london, tired of life they say!

imtheirmum Sat 30-Jun-07 12:42:25

Thanks for suggestions, will continue to ponder this one...

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