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Has anyone moved to the country after town life?

(19 Posts)
Angeliz Tue 16-Jun-09 08:57:36

Hello again smile
For a good few months now i have a great feeling of unrest.
We (myself, my husband and dd1-8, dd2-4 and ds-2) live in the centre of a big city. We have a nice house with a garden that the kids play in and it's always been our plan to stay settled till the kids finish school.
I was moved around a bit as a child and vowed that stability would be number one. DD1 especially has great friends she's known from nursery.
BUT BUT BUT, i just feel that our life is passing us by.
I have lots of 'schoolgate friends' (Mums) but we have no social life at all, no friends here and basically we could up and leave tomorrow and not be missed.
I am wondering about moving more rural, would the kids have more freedom, would we have a better life or am i just down!?

(Add into the mix my Father who is ill and my Mum would be gutted!)

Has anyone ever just moved away from it all and was it worth it?

ABetaDad Tue 16-Jun-09 09:32:04

Angeliz - there have been a few threads recently by women who have moved from town (especially London) to countryside, talking about their unhappiness and isolation and desire to move back to town. I think moving to the country will make your situation worse.

I grew up in the countryside on a farm 2 miles from a small village and 20 miles from the nearest town. It was horribly isolating as a teenager and I was glad to go to boarding school and then University. Me and DW lived in central London after University and enjoyed it but I know how that too can be as isolating as the countryside if you do not have work friends.

We moved out of London when we had cildren and now enjoy living in small cathedral city with access to countryside but with the benefit of good amenities such as buses, trains, broadband, shops, cinemas, reastaurants that sadly either do not work well or are do not exist in the countryside.

DW is from Newcastle so is a city girl and I am still a bit of a country lad. It is a kind of best of both worlds solution that suits us both as well as the children and probably will never live anywhere else except perhaps abroad when we retire.

Perhaps living in the centre of a cathedral city might be as good a solution for you as it is for us?

It is quite different from living in a big city and much easier to get to know people. A nicer lifestyle and physical environment too - most have some very good schools too.

Angeliz Tue 16-Jun-09 09:43:09

Thanks for that and i'll look up the threads.
Yes that's kind of what i was thinking, wouldn't want to be in the middle of nowhere but out of this city would be nice.
I am looking for places within an hour or two. (I'm from the NorthEast too)

Fennel Tue 16-Jun-09 09:47:21

Yes we moved from a large city to a little village 3 years ago. We love it. We were wary as we'd lived in big cities most of our adult lives. But it's been better than I expected, I'm a total convert to village life.

I think you have to be careful though, to get the right village. Ours is very welcoming of new people, it has a lot of people we have plenty in common with, lots of things going on which suit us (lots of eco-arty-hippy types around here, we enjoy that, lots of political activism too). Also we are close to a small city now where we work and we can walk and cycle into there, so actually we need the car less than when we lived in a huge city and both needed cars to commute to work.

our life is better for it. And there are lots of people around here who've moved from cities and are happy here.

AMumInScotland Tue 16-Jun-09 09:50:28

Hi, I think it's a bit of a fantasy that living somewhere rural automatically means you'll make lots of local friends and the children will have more freedom. We moved from a suburb to a small village. It's nice, but it's not easy to make proper friends there, as it's largely a dormitory and people's lives don't revolve around the village. Those that do have that feeling for the place have lived there for generations and aren't all that welcoming to "incomers". DS has to be driven to go anywhere or do anything - there are buses but it's not a great service, and he'd have to change buses to even get to the nearest shopping mall or cinema, so meeting friends takes an effort.

And children can't just wander in the fields and woods, in case of tractors and other farm machinery.

As ABetaDad says, you might be better looking to move into a smaller city or medium-sized town where everything is within easy reach and there's a community feel.

OrmIrian Tue 16-Jun-09 09:52:14

Having lived in the country all of my childhood and in a town/city since I'ev been an adult, I agree with abetadad. Find a compromise, at least to start with. I wouldn't live in the country now - not with my 3 DCs at the age they are, and a small village could be worse IMO.

Sarey1 Tue 16-Jun-09 09:52:17

Hi Angeliz. My DH and I moved out of a big city for my DH's new job which we were excited about, wanting to get away from the big smoke and all that. Rather than move to the middle of nowhere straight away we moved to a rented house in a nice market town so I had shops etc nearby for nappies etc but also fields and peace and quiet too ... so I would agree that if you do want to move away, you should do it gradually. (Three years on we now live in a little village and we love it!) We didn't have children at the time though so I can't totally empathise with you ... we have a little one now though and I am very happy that he isn't growing up where we used to live. Hope this helps a bit?!

Mintyy Tue 16-Jun-09 09:57:29

I moved from London to Devon and am sorry to say I hated it. We stayed two years, moved back to London and plan to stay here now. When we visit my dh's parents in the country I always try to imagine what my life would be like if I lived in a small village like their's - and I can only conclude that I would be really really bored! As, I think, would the dc.

But then my friends are here and I go weeks without leaving my little corner of London. In a way its like living in a small town! I second what ABetaDad says about rural living having the potential to be very isolating.

GoodWitchGlinda Tue 16-Jun-09 10:05:40

If you live up a country lane where your DCs can't get to their friends without you driving them, it will be really hard for you all. They will feel trapped and 'out of it' and you will be constantly giving lifts for all your kids until they can drive! (I lived that life when was a teenager, my poor parents!)

There is a middle ground between a country lane and middle of the city. If you want more of a community atmos, you need to find a nice little village with a school, pub, playground etc. That way you won't feel the isolation.

But country life is what you make it - you would have to be prepared to muck in with the locals and get a long with people.

Plus, you would have to get used to not being able to just pop out to the shops or a cafe etc, and not having everything on your doorstep. As long as you know there will be compromises, you will be fine.

Jux Tue 16-Jun-09 10:16:20

We moved from London suburbs to a small town in Devon. I had, before marrying, spent my entire adult life (20yrs) living in the centre of London and missed it dreadfully when I got married. When dd was born I knew I would never go back but still seriously couldn't stand the smug suburb we lived in.

Here, in our small town, we have a much better life than we had in the suburbs. We have much fresher food, we are closer to dd's school friends, it is safer for dd to wander around town on her own, she used to walk to school on her own from age 7 (she's just changed school and it's that much further away, but we reckon she can do the walk come September).

It took a while to get to know people and I certainly didn't rely on the school run mums. You have to have been here 20+ yrs before you're a real local! We are lucky in that dh is a musician and he gigs so that was our first entree into local society! Join clubs, go to pubs (and it's much easier with children to go to pubs and restaurants and so on here).

People, we have found, are much less judgemental here, are more inclined to let small children be small children, to let adults be who they are rather than expecting everyone to conform to a norm - a thing I found absolutely ghastly in our old home in the suburbs.

The air is fresher, there are fields with cows and sheep around, bluebell woods; all this in walking distance. A traffic jam lasts less than 5 minutes.

We are close enough to Exeter to get in to the shops if we need to, but everything we need on a day to day basis is available here in town, with numerous independent shops too. If you need work done on your house or garden, there is always someone who knows someone, and then you find this guy is a brilliant plumber and doesn't charge the earth, and eventually becomes a friend etc etc.

The only downside here is the lack of cultural diversity - most people are white - but we are seeing that change gradually too.

Angeliz Tue 16-Jun-09 10:24:39

These are all fantastci stories, exactly what i was hoping for pros and cons.
Thanks all for answering.
Jux i think i am feeling the way you felt. I am willing to muck in with a community but would love it to be a morte child friendly less judgemental one i feel i'm in at the moment.
It's actually little villages pretty close to towns i've been looking at.
I'm also finding that alot of schools seem great further afield too.

Fennel Tue 16-Jun-09 16:12:46

What we did was research it carefully with the following sort of questions:

What sort of transport links and shops are there, and are they likely to shut, and if so what then?

Where would our dc play, and go to school? As small children and as teenagers?

What sort of social life is around in the village/area and would that suit us?

Angeliz Tue 16-Jun-09 16:33:34

Thanks fennel.
Those are the issues that i'd make sure about too. I would hate the kids to think they were worse off as the whole point would be to have a better quality of life.
I am hoping to be starting a course in September and also would have to thank about that and schools so somewhere not too far from a town would be ideal.

Jux Tue 16-Jun-09 16:44:36

We researched by driving around in our van (in which we were living, having sold our flat) for 7 months, both here and on the continent. We wound up staying at a friend's cottage in a village near here and, desperate for a decent bed to sleep in, we said "oh that's a nice town, with nice architecture, let's live there". Then we found we could afford to buy the house we liked the look of on paper, and the schools weren't any worse than where we'd been so we went ahead (screaming "I want to be in a house by Christmas" hurried dh along a bit, too.grin)

willowstar Tue 16-Jun-09 17:22:49

bugger, GoodWhichGlinda, i just got back from signing papers to buy our new house which is up a country lane !!! our first child will be born in October. We weighed up the pros and cons and for us the thing that decided where we would live is the house and garden we could get for our budget. In the small town we live in now we could buy any number of houses on new estates but they all, each and every one, had very small gardens and no scope for workshops which is important for me and OH. The house we are moving to is detatched, has 3 - 4 bedrooms and is on 3/4 acre so I can have a big veg patch like i used to have a while ago. I appreciate that it could be difficult when the kids get to school age in that we will be running them everywhere, but if it is really not good for them we will move...but for now when he/she and any future siblings are very small I think this will be great for us.

GoodWitchGlinda Tue 16-Jun-09 17:29:35

Ah you have ages til it is a problem willow, and it sounds like they will have a great time there while they are young. plus enough room for their friends to come round, so maybe everyone else can drive their kids to you house instead of the other way round grin

I'm talking 15-16 yr olds, so ages away yet. Enjoy it while they are young, and you can always reasses when they are older. smile

willowstar Tue 16-Jun-09 17:37:02

yep, that is what i thought...plus it in only a mile and half walk along the river bank into town :-)

HerHonesty Tue 16-Jun-09 17:39:37

born and bred city girl, moved out a few years back. the things i miss in the city would add nothing to family life. i live in a large village and love it, i feel more anchored and part of somewehere than ever before.

GoodWitchGlinda Tue 16-Jun-09 17:59:00

sounds idillic, willow. they could do it on bikes before they learn to drive. smile

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