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Londoners - are you planning on staying in London with kids?

(80 Posts)
pilgrimway Sat 25-Feb-17 16:13:49

Those who live in London are you planning on staying with your kids or will you move before school - primary or secondary?

I know there is no right decision on this and it is all personal.

Love in a lovely bit of North London - lots of pluses but I can't help thinking perhaps would be better further out - less hectic, less expensive, more space, maybe less competitive?, more countryside nearer and easier to get to the sea, less pollution. The usual.

Can see us staying for primary but lots seem to move out at secondary - I think I'd rather stay somewhere throughout so not uprooting from friends etc.

We are tied to London for work so can't move far if we do move out.

Interested to hear about other people's paths! Why do others move out? And if you stayed, any regrets or worries about your children in London?

NotYoda Sat 25-Feb-17 16:38:25

I did not choose to move, and am very very glad of it

Do not underestimate the advantages of a short journey to work once children come along. I think suburbia is the worst of all worlds from that point of view

London schools are amongst the best in the country

Children are more streetwise and independent, and able to use public transport

London is great for teens, IMO

If you want to move for more space - garden- then the time to move is when they are little.

Also remember that once you have children, you no longer live in London; it feels more like living in a community and you naturally become more a part of it. sO, IMO it doesn't feel stressful or competitive etc.

NotYoda Sat 25-Feb-17 16:39:21

... I live in Zone 2, btw

NotYoda Sat 25-Feb-17 16:39:55

... and I have teens

Crumbelina Sat 25-Feb-17 16:58:10

100% sure we'll be bringing up our kids here as we've bought the forever house which is a labour of love renovation project and I never want to move again! There are a few other reasons ...

We live in Kingston which I think has the best of both worlds. It's not too far to get into London, the schools are great and we have so much green space: Richmond Park, the river, Bushy Park and Hampton Court on our doorstep. It's also very quick to get out into Surrey. I probably couldn't live somewhere really central and congested with no green space.

I'm probably quite biased though because I was born and raised in SW London and I turned out ok. smile

I also think my kids will thank me for it in the future (or maybe moan about having to live in Zone 6 hmm). There's so much going on in London and I don't think I'd like to live in a small town with nothing to do as a teenager and be reliant on lifts etc.

FourToTheFloor Sat 25-Feb-17 17:00:24

I have 6yo and 18mo and happy in London. Agree with Yoda short commute is invaluable. Having dh being home before 6 when dd1 was born and I was on mat leave was a serious life saver.

We're zone 3 so maybe a bit more out of London than you meant. When we leave London it will because we're leaving the UK.

EssentialHummus Sat 25-Feb-17 17:06:12

We're planning to - DC1 on the way and we've just bought a family home. Downsides: we'll be in a flat without direct garden access, with a large mortgage. The upsides are great though- a lively area with lots of young families, great schools, short commutes.

EssentialHummus Sat 25-Feb-17 17:06:23

Zone 2.

camelfinger Sat 25-Feb-17 17:08:51

We're on the outskirts of London and planning to stay. Whenever I've entertained the idea of moving out it seems that we have to spend more time driving everywhere. Love having so much on our doorstep. So far our young children like to fight over one tiny corner of our small garden to play in so I'm not convinced that having a big garden would improve our quality of life; we'd just have more to do.

Basically it comes down to not being arsed, we've worked hard to make our life here and I'm not sure that anywhere else would be worth the hassle of moving.

icanteven Sat 25-Feb-17 17:10:10

We're moving to London partly BECAUSE we have children. All of my happiest childhood memories are precisely because I grew up in a capital city, and I am delighted to be able to give my own children the same benefits.

We're moving to N1, where there are zillions of primary schools (fewer choices for secondary so may go private then), and endless activities - a pool a five minute walk, the Castle climbing centre a short cycle and then all the galleries, museums, cafe culture, socialising etc to while away rainy days.

Not to mention a happy Mummy and Daddy who can go to great gigs etc. again & get our lives back a bit. We're going to see Justice in September and it's just 20 mins on the tube, instead of the major (and costly) intercity operation it is now to go to a gig involving about 4 extra hours of travel time + extra babysitting costs etc. (meaning we barely ever go to gigs, obv). I know that's a shallow reason, but all these shallow reasons add up!

We live in a popular small city now & know lots of people who live in the little Cotswoldy/Chilterny villages all over the place and it seems so alien to me - their children spend SO LONG in cars every day, for one thing.

I am VERY EXCITED about moving to London with children. smile

icanteven Sat 25-Feb-17 17:11:26

Also imagine the huge fun of being a teen and living in (relatively) central London!

donkey86 Sat 25-Feb-17 17:15:06

I've (we've) lived in London for ten years and have loved it, but I'm 9 weeks pregnant with our first and we just put our flat on the market yesterday. We're moving to Sussex. All being equal, we'd love to stay in London, but we live in a small, upstairs flat, no garden, no room for a pram, and we'd rather have more space. We won't be moving to a palace by any means but our flat should get us enough for a three bed terrace with a small garden nearish the sea. If we could afford similar (minus the sea!) in London we'd stay, but there's no way we could.

We did consider staying until primary, but I think moving then could be too much of a wrench. Going now means all our new parent friends will be in the town we plan to spend many years in.

BendingSpoons Sat 25-Feb-17 17:18:34

We are in a 2 bed flat in zone 2. We want a garden and 3rd bedroom so will probably move out, most likely to zone 5/6. My commute is currently an hour, although DH can walk to work. My reluctance to move is that there is so much to do locally.

cestlavielife Sat 25-Feb-17 18:04:32

Two train commutes from outside London...what happens when trains fail or one needs to get back for childminder ?

For teens london is great they can travel around easily.
Will you end up driving a lot in chosen place or can you get a town centre property ?
In the end if you like where you are why move ?

cestlavielife Sat 25-Feb-17 18:05:07

In London zone 2 garden flat... might move out when they left home!

MajesticWhine Sat 25-Feb-17 18:17:30

I misread part of first post as "lots of pulses" made me snigger. smile
We stayed. Fantastic for teens to be independent and not need lifts. Not without stress though having them out all over London. They are fairly streetwise confident kids. I haven't made up my mind if that's a good or a bad thing. Mostly a good thing I think. Finding and getting into schools is very competitive in London. I assume it's the same elsewhere.
We have found it very flexible for work staying in or near a city (doesn't have to be London). Easy access to stations, airports, DH and I both changed jobs several times and I attended university without having to move.

Mrsfrumble Sat 25-Feb-17 18:20:14

We're in a zone 2, 2 bed flat with a 4 and 6 year old. We have access to a communal garden, but we spend most of our outdoor time in the park. I found that even when we lived abroad and had our own garden the children preferred the park anyway as they liked playing with other children.

DH being able to walk to work was a massive deciding factor for us, and generally not needing a car. We visit a (free!) museum or gallery most weekends. Clissold Park and Highbury Fields are both a short walk away. We're happy with the local primary schools, although to be honest we don't have a long term plan. We'll need a 3rd bedroom eventually so might have to move further out (or become millionaires overnight).

sallylondon Sat 25-Feb-17 19:36:44

My teenager (15) loves living in London; with her Zip card and journeys anywhere for 75p, the city is her oyster! She's so streetwise, I won't have any worry about her going off to Uni - disadvantage being that practically anywhere is going to feel rather provincial compared to her hometown. Wouldn't live anywhere else.

icanteven Sun 26-Feb-17 08:51:41

Should have said - we're moving to a 2 bed flat with two children under 10, with a shared garden. Can't imagine using the garden very much, with all the parks etc around us.

We're leaving a 3 bed with a big garden on the edge of a very pretty town to do this.

londonfeather Sun 26-Feb-17 09:01:52

I was born and raised in NW London and loved it - was the best experience! Will absolutely be staying in London to have mine. Property here is the only bugger, I would love to be able to raise mine in the borough of Camden/Westminster where I grew up but it too pricy for 2 bed+ really, as I'm 5-10 years too young to have got a bigger place at a decent price. But If you've already got the space... you're laughing! Mine will be growing up in SW London, which is/was a bit more affordable and has its own benefits and I love too!

My family are mostly in London so I wouldn't want to move out away from them.

If we had to move, I'd rather go abroad or somewhere like Manchester than the suburbs.

Gowgirl Sun 26-Feb-17 09:11:13

I moved back because of dcs, they are 10, 4 and 2, great schools, short. Commute for dh, and plenty to do ds1 has blossomed

Sugarcoma Sun 26-Feb-17 09:18:33

Grew up in NW London and am pregnant with my first - couldn't think of living anywhere else. I grew up in a flat without a garden so that concept doesn't concern me - loads of parks and things around - but the biggest problem is that London is basically becoming unlivable because of the strain on public services (GPs, public transport etc). The flip side, of course, is that there is tons and tons to do for kids and teenagers (and grown ups) - if you have the time and money.

DH and I are considering moving abroad but we wouldn't move elsewhere in the UK.

FourToTheFloor Sun 26-Feb-17 10:05:16

It's interesting that most in London are in flats with/without gardens and happy enough. We are in a 2 bed house which honestly feels big enough for us. We looked at moving to a 3 bed but we'd have to compromise imo on so much just to get that.

We have a smallish backyard which is enough for summer days but honestly we are out every Saturday and the odd Sunday. If we moved right out of London we'd need a biggger place as we'd be at home I imagine practically all the time.

Gowgirl Sun 26-Feb-17 10:11:23

We have a garden, house us a little full at the minute as we have sil staying but otherwise fine.

LumpishAndIllogical Sun 26-Feb-17 12:28:48

I just moved out of London after having my kids, London is great but a few things really meant we couldn't stay. It doesn't remind me if the place I used to knock about in the 90s. I still love London and visit friends, but it feels overpriced and corporate at times.

Firstly the pollution is awful which is killing about 9,000 people year, I would not want my kids growing up in it. Bearing in mind we lived in zone 2 SW. It was starting to severely affect my asthma too.

Secondly, the house prices have gone insane. We are not earning enough to stay in a comfortable home.

Also, my reception age child is obsessed with the country side and nature so we have moved to somewhere rural. We go for walks along a river 2 mins from back garden. We chose not to spend ages driving around in a car, we can cycle. There is loads to do if you like outdoors activities (which we do). My kids are very happy in the country with the space and do feel freer.

Lastly, the knife crime culture in London is troubling me (I was working in a school and some of the kids regularly bought knives into school, it's become normalised). I was specifically working with disenfranchised kids with social and emotional issues and saw the direct effect low quality housing and reduced public services had on them, it was extremely sad watching London kids suffer under stressed resources.

However I couldn't imagine living on the outskirts/suburbs so it was either zone 2 or the countryside

We are lucky tho as DH has a mobile business that can be done from anywhere in the world and my skills are needed everywhere (social work type stuff)

I don't mean to sound negative and London is an amazing place for teenagers (I had fun there) but it wasn't working for us once we had kids.

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