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Suggestions for where to take a 4-month "family sabbatical" outside of London?

(54 Posts)
eversomuch Sun 26-Jan-14 20:42:40

Hmm, can't find a category where this fits exactly, so hope it's ok to post here.

Changes in our work and housing situations mean DH and I are considering possibly taking four to six months off this spring and summer, relocating within the UK somewhere cheap but lovely and just spending time with each other and our two DC (3 and 1) and maybe finding time to do some creative projects before returning to London in the autumn.

Any suggestions as to locations we might want to consider in England or maybe Wales? We're looking for places that would offer a lovely quality of life (with lots on offer for the kids and great access to nature), low cost of living and decent public transport links. Not needing a car would be a plus. Good chance of avoiding a wet, cold summer would also be great. smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 26-Jan-14 21:18:08

How about Anglesey? It seemed ok for William and Kate smile

BoffinMum Sun 26-Jan-14 21:21:56

Northamptonshire is unfashionable but beautiful in parts. Rutland, Derbyshire and South Lincolnshire might also be worth considering. Montgomery in Wales is pretty, and there are parts of Norfolk and Suffolk where you might find a bolt hole as well.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sun 26-Jan-14 21:27:10

That sounds lovely! Are you looking for somewhere quite rural then? Norfolk broads or North Yorkshire? I'd probably head to the west coast of Ireland or the outer Hebrides if it were me!

Raleighton Sun 26-Jan-14 21:31:07

why limit it to the UK?

Best1sWest Sun 26-Jan-14 21:32:29

Avoid Wales if you want good public transport links. Otherwise it is great.

eversomuch Sun 26-Jan-14 21:49:58

We've only ever lived in London since moving to the UK and haven't traveled around here all that much, so your suggestions are all appreciated.

Rural would be fine but not absolutely necessary. And I don't think we want anything extremely remote. A nice small town or small city would probably do.

We're not really considering going abroad right now as we may need to pop in and out of London occasionally, and it's a good chance for us to experience life in another part of the country before DC start school ... but feel free to try to convince me otherwise. smile

Raleighton Sun 26-Jan-14 21:54:58

Why not do a road trip in a campervan across Europe or USA?

surgicalwidow Sun 26-Jan-14 22:04:32

West Cork or Connemara (Galway) in Ireland - both beautiful rural places with lots of property available to rent and huge amounts of creative / cultural activity going on; think art, music and literary festivals, especially over the summer, art galleries, craft centres…. Would love 4 months to spend in either place!

Middleagedmotheroftwo Sun 26-Jan-14 22:17:32

Lots of nice small towns in north wilts. Rural, but not remote. 15 mins from Swindon (crap) but only 40 mins from Bath or Bristol (lovely) and one hour from London.
I'm thinking Purton, Royal Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury, Cricklade, Marlborough.

Stripytop Sun 26-Jan-14 22:24:05

I would rent a house within walking distance of Kynance Cove or somewhere along the Helford River - both on the Lizard Peninsula.

nldm1 Sun 26-Jan-14 23:33:42

I'd advise steering clear of Cornwall on the grounds that it's often damp, public transport is mostly rubbish and it's really not cheap to live down here (especially as you would be here over the tourist season) Granted, there are cheaper options, but they come at a price. Horrible housing or area etc.
That being said, it is an amazing part of the country with a lot to offer if you're aware of what to expect. As you can imagine, you have beaches, woods, historical monuments and as many walks as you could ever want. The local flora and fauna can be an amazing education for children.
Personally, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else, but like I said, you need to be aware of the reality so that you don't feel let down....that's probably true of most places though.

gretagrape Mon 27-Jan-14 07:35:18

Well, it might not seem like much of an adventure but I loved it when I lived in Bedfordshire as you aren't too far from anywhere but still feel like you can get away from it all. What I liked is that the villages there are 'alive' and working so you get a real sense of community and friendship, rather than a lot of counties where a village consists of 1 tiny shop if you are lucky so there's nothing to bring people together.

eversomuch Mon 27-Jan-14 12:56:12

This is great, thanks. Specific towns and villages are really appreciated, so I can look them up and see what sort of short-term properties are available.

We've been to the west of Ireland and Connamara -- really lovely.

Raleighton Would love to do a big road trip someday when the kids are bigger, but this particular adventure is more about taking it easy, regrouping as a family and not having to do too much planning or moving around. We are tired and lazy! smile

Will definitely start checking out these suggestions!

mrscog Mon 27-Jan-14 20:29:30

Worcestershire is lovely - Evesham area, or West of Worcester - Martley, Ombersley, Hallow, Malvern also a fantastic town - lovely park and naice Waitrose. Avoid the northern Birmingham commuter belt towns - Kidderminster, Bromsgrove and Redditch - nothing wrong with them but not exactly 'sabbatical' territory!

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 27-Jan-14 20:38:34

How about Chester? Lovely town in itself and easy access to North Wales, the Wirral, Manchester, Liverpool, Cheshire, Shropshire and North Staffordshire. Also has great transport links smile

lotsofcheese Mon 27-Jan-14 20:46:00

Would you consider Scotland? The Outer Hebrides are beautiful, so is Perthshire/Highlands, as well as East Lothian & East Neuk of Fife.

specialsubject Tue 28-Jan-14 17:47:58

Shropshire - 3 hours from London, loads to see and do and nobody here (so don't tell anyone...)

6 months is the minimum on a standard let BUT you'll need to provide all the furniture etc. Shorter than this is a challenge although can be done. PM me if you want a couple of reliable short-let recommendations - I lived in one of them.

Lagoonablue Tue 28-Jan-14 17:50:45

Northumberland. Beaches, hills, sparsely populated but near some nice towns and lots of castles.

ReticulatingSplines Tue 28-Jan-14 17:53:36

Aberdeenshire. The quality of life is second only to the SE of England. Inverurie, Banff, Huntly, Stonehaven.

gruffalosmile Tue 28-Jan-14 17:55:47

Lake District?

capercaillie Tue 28-Jan-14 17:56:57

I would head to Scotland - probably somewhere coastal. Oban, Fort William, Inverness or Ullapool could be good bases. It depends on whether you like outdoor activities although all of those places would have some other stuff going on. The advantage would be proximity to lots of great places, fantastic beaches etc

PotteringAlong Tue 28-Jan-14 18:00:13

I would say the lakes - Keswick, Windermere if you want towns or to Northumberland - Alnwick or berwick. Although you might need a car in northumberland

bakingaddict Tue 28-Jan-14 18:08:11

I would go Dorset only a few hours out of London and it seems to have good transport. When we do a UK holiday Dorset is normally our choice and you have the New Forest too. We live in London and dont have a car so its important for us to get to different places easily

NorthernLurker Tue 28-Jan-14 19:37:40

Personally I would head to the Hebrides but what about York? Don't need a car. Loads to do, nice parks etc. Easy access to London and trains and buses to the coast.

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