Fife/Angus Scotland Vs Home Counties England - to move or not to move

(182 Posts)
InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 21:53:01

Advice needed please.

I'm English, from the south of England.
My partner is from the northern isles of Scotland, and we live an hour north of Edinburgh.

I do not like it. I miss being down south, I miss being close enough to London to just hop on the train and see the sights etc.
I really miss the weather. It's so much colder, wetter and windier up here than I imagined.

We have been here for several years, and our children (10, seven) have been here most of their lives, so are settled in various activities (cubs, brownies, swimming etc). They are home educated, so no ties to school. My children both feel the weather too, and would be happy to move south.

My husband has finally said he'd look for a job down south. It has taken me YEARS of pushing to get him to even consider it, despite telling him I'm utterly miserable up here. But now, I worry about starting over with the kids re getting them into all the activities they like (waiting lists for various classes).
I also have big concerns about the state of the country, with the Tories destroying so much and at least we have some level of protection in Scotland with the SNP.
I worry about losing the free university options up here if we move.
But I also think the job opportunities are much better for my children down south, and they might not want to go to university up here, or even at all.

And if we bite the bullet and get a house down south, it will be worth more to them when they need a leg up when they buy their own properties. As it is, houses don't increase much up here, and I worry about not leaving them enough to help them.

If we move, we could only afford a small house with a small garden. Up here we could afford a nicer house, with a big garden (we moved in a rush, so are looking at moving anyway, to a better home. Whether that is in the same area and I accept my lot, or, we make the move, is the big dilemma.)

I feel torn.

What should be my key considerations?

I am NOT happy here, but, my children come first and I want what's best for their futures, but also their childhoods.

OP’s posts: |
Missannelliot Mon 24-Aug-20 22:09:57

I suppose it depends why you are really miserable. If it’s the weather there is not much you can do about that. East coast Scotland is cold but I always think there is no such thing as bad weather just the wrong clothes. But then I’m Irish living in Scotland so I’ve never lived with good weather!! grin

The weather doesn’t seem like enough of a reason to miserable for 7 years so is there anything else which you dislike? Your house, your neighbours, you town etc. Could these be changed by moving within Scotland? Or do you just dislike Scotland/Scottish culture? There is no doubt you can get better value for money up here but that’s not worth it if you are unhappy.

There is plenty of sights to see around Edinburgh and beautiful countryside and beaches around Fife. If you are being honest with yourself how often will you go to London if you lived down south? If you genuinely think it will be often then fair enough but it sounds like something you always plan to do but never get round to.

JoJoSM2 Mon 24-Aug-20 22:13:26

I’m sure your children can have happy and fulfilling lives in Scotland or the S of England.

Issues such as waiting lists for clubs are pretty minor considerations IMO. If you’re home educating, then schools aren’t an issue either. University fees need to be paid in England but students get loans and repayments are linked to their salary so, while it would be better not to spend the money, it won’t prevent them from accessing higher education.

My main concern would be having to fit into a small house with a small garden. I imagine that you’re all at home a lot of the time?

SeasideMaiden Mon 24-Aug-20 22:18:33

I live in the home counties and would give anything to live where you do.

I gave up living deep in the beautiful country, an hour from beaches, surrounded by valleys, to move back here til my children don't need me anymore.

Though the kids have adapted, they miss being in nature, they miss the sea, they miss their old friends, I miss mine.

There's so little in London which I could give two hoots about anymore, it's not the place it used to be, and most of the people I knew from round here or in London have all moved north.

I'm trying to make the best of it, we needed to move here for logistical reasons, but meh.

It's a shame you hate where you are so much, but I'm going to guess your husband will probably feel the same if you move back here.

hoodiemum Mon 24-Aug-20 22:36:14

Interesting. We were very tempted to move from SE to an hour from Edinburgh after the election last year. Decided not to upheave at that point, but still seriously considering it in the future. If you are not a Tory, how would you feel if you lived in England after Scotland has left UK, and the rest of us, without Scottish votes, have little to no chance of ever having a more left-leaning govt?

We've not experienced Scottish weather for any length of time, so perhaps we're naive to think that wouldn't be a big deal, but there seems to be an aspiration in Scotland to have a fairer and more decent society which is notably absent in the SE.

It's hard to guess which side of the border will fare better or worse after the chain of events that Brexit will bring, so who can say which will be better for kids' futures? But it's hard to imagine a situation where your DC wouldn't be able to choose which country to live in. You might find they pick the opposite one to you anyway!

I can't imagine it'll be that hard to get kids into Brownies etc. There always seem to be hundreds of clubs to choose from here (Covid permitting).
Housing - depends if space is important to you. And it's not only space at home, but space to breathe, too. My DD is at uni near you. She bangs on ... and ON... about how much better her lungs feel with a lungful of St Andrews air in them than when she's at home.

If you stay in Scotland, and house prices don't go up much, and your DCs want to stay in Scotland, then they wouldn't need as much 'help' as if you all settled down south. Surely proceeds from sale of a big house split, say, two ways in Scotland would buy two decent starter homes in Scotland, whereas a small house in SE split two ways would buy much less in SE.

The grass is always greener! There are loads of fab things about SE, and about your part of Scotland. But I'm sure whichever way you choose will end up working out for the best - and if not, it probably wouldn't be irreversible.

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 22:36:33

Thanks for replying.
The weather really affects me. I don't think I have SAD but I hate not having a summer. I don't dislike winter but I expect a nice summer to make up for winter. I like seasons - here, it's just wet, cold, and maybe a week of summer. I just want a good, long, summer. All my English friends were complaining about the heatwave. It was raining here. sad
We live near a beach. It is so windy most of the time it's just unpleasant getting whipped by the sand.

My main stress is my children's futures/prospects, ease of getting jobs, having more options. I feel their options are limited up here.

I also have just never felt at home here. It was never meant to be permanent, but a couple of years turned into several, and my husband kept trying to convince me is get used to it, and that the weather wasn't that bad.

We've done Edinburgh plenty. It does not compare to London. Depending on how close we managed to get to London, I'd like to take the kids in fairly often.

Clubs and waiting lists are quite important to us as we home educate, so we overcompensate with activities. Mine do something six days out of seven. We are out a lot. But also home a lot so we do need a decent space, including private outdoor space.

OP’s posts: |
BigGlasses Mon 24-Aug-20 22:43:39

What is it that you crave about London? Could it be replicated if you moved closer to Edinburgh? The smaller house that you would be able to afford would have a huge impact on your life I would imagine, particularly if you continue to home educate

I appreciate what you mean about the weather. I’m from the north of Scotland and live in fife, and the weather is grindingly crap. South of England is normally +10c. Maybe if you loved away from the east coast haar? The borders eg Hawick Galashiels where you could catch the train into Edinburgh and it’s a bit more of a Home Counties feel?

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BigGlasses Mon 24-Aug-20 22:45:16

Sorry, I’m the time it took me to type that you answers a lot of my questions grin

ThatDirection Mon 24-Aug-20 22:48:11

I think if that's how you feel, just do it.

I love somewhere I don't like and once children were in secondary school, it meant we had to stay another 7-10 years. My dc have had good lives here but don't want to live here when they are older, so now I am faced with living somewhere I don't like with my adult children living nowhere near. DH and I look back and think we should have been braver to disrupt their lives in primary school and moved on. If you're home schooling, perhaps you can live just outside a great catchment area so you can get a bigger house but still in an okay area. Do you have any family in the SE?

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 22:49:21

Seaside, wanna swop then?

I think my kids are more townies. As am I. We can do weekends in the countryside when we feel the need.

It has occurred to me that London isn't what it was. How will I know til I move?

My husband told me this move wasn't permanent. I'd never have agreed to it if I'd thought it was. So he's had several years longer here than we agreed. I feel he's had his way for more than long enough.

Hoodie, I'm definitely not a Tory, I'm left of Corbyn, and the Tories very much concern me, and hence another huge thing to consider. I guess we could just move back though, if need be, if England gets worse than we imagined. And exactly as you say, I do have concerns about leaving England to the Tories, I do feel that without Scotland (and Wales), England might well be doomed to Tory rule forever.

Re house prices, I want my kids to have the option to live down south. If we don't move now, it might be out of their reach.

OP’s posts: |
IckleWicklePumperNickle Mon 24-Aug-20 22:51:51

Not of much help on choosing or helping.
Angus is a lovely county though.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 24-Aug-20 22:55:04

I moved to London for the weather and it really is just so much better, it's basically mild all year. I do not miss the wind 💨

I've no idea what London was like 'before' confused but I think it's bloody great

Always something to do and I can be really spontaneous around work (pre Covid obviously)

I also find London really green, I live next to the river and a massive park in Greenwich

Because your children were born in Scotland they can go to uni there can't they ?

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Mon 24-Aug-20 22:57:53

I’m Scottish and am considering leaving due to the SNP. They are vile and have ripped my country apart. Anyway, leaving politics aside, what is your main issue? If the weather then yes it’s hugely better down south but much busier. But I can understand the pull.

If it’s the SNP keeping you here that is laughable. They have destroyed education, free speech, the health system is now plummeting and the country is as divided as ever. And now they propose some free speech hate bill. I would leave if i could tomorrow

The English education system is now vastly superior.

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 22:59:04

Ha, thanks, BigGlasses.
If we are going to move, I want to move back south. If we just move within Scotland, the weather is still dire and we have to start up again finding activities for the kids. The issue remains about job prospects.

Direction, can you tell me why your children say they don't want to live where you are when they are adults? I think I'd just follow mine to where they choose, hopefully they both choose somewhere close to one another.
What is it you don't like about where you are?

I'm not concerned about catchment areas at all, though we do need to bear in mind the children might choose school when they are a little older. I do want to have that option, just in case.

I have a few family members in one of the home counties/Greater London. I'm from the other side (trying not to out myself).

OP’s posts: |
InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:01:01

LFC, one child was born down south, one up here.
Their father is Scottish, I don't know if that helps re uni up here.

I'm glad to hear you still find London fabulous. I pretty much feel I will still.

OP’s posts: |
InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:03:27

Fellow ABBA fan. I know the SNP aren't great, and understand they are more tartan Tory than lefties. I feel they are still an improvement on the English Tories though.

Where do you want to move to?
Do you have children, and if so, what ages?

If it was just me, I'd move back in a flash.

OP’s posts: |
Missannelliot Mon 24-Aug-20 23:08:56

Well I can see if you home educate the museums and attractions of London would be useful. However, that does need to be balanced with having a house big enough to cope with you family.

SAD is obviously an issue. We do get darker winters up here and that won’t change. Perhaps if you grew up in the south of England the weather does seem bad. But we have had a nice summer. April, May and June were very sunny this year. It was 19C and sunny here today (although I’m west coast). I would rather have that than the heatwave temperatures in the south of England. I love walking on beaches with a breeze in Scotland. The air is so clean and fresh and it feels good for you. But that is just my personal preference and I fully understand you may prefer lying on a warm beach instead. I’m not trying to convince to that Scotland is the better choice....I’m just wondering if you are unhappy for another reason and that is clouding your judgement about the weather. Do you feel part of the community where you live? The Scottish sense of community and friendliness is what I love about living here.

It really is up to you what you value most. You deserve to be happy wherever you live. Your children will be fine wherever they live. Everywhere has positives and negatives.

XDownwiththissortofthingX Mon 24-Aug-20 23:12:03

They are vile and have ripped my country apart

What an utterly bizarre take.

They're polling at numbers and returning elected officials at a rate none of the other parties have ever managed in Scotland. So far from 'ripping it apart', it appears they've managed to coalesce and unify more Scots than any other political party at any other point in recent history.

Funny how it's only the SNP who are 'divisive', yet by definition division requires at least two views. Unionists are finally seeing the writing on the wall, and now they are the minority the toys are well and truly being flung from the pram.

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:18:31

Ickle, what's nice about Angus?

OP’s posts: |
Saz12 Mon 24-Aug-20 23:26:34

Undeniably there are more job opportunities in more urban areas - eg London! But your children might want very different things - One might want to be in financial services, the other a sheep farmer. They might choose to live overseas for a bit. I don’t think you can choose the “right thing” for your children because you just don’t know what their future will be.

It does sound like there’s nothing you enjoy where you are. You don’t mention having local friends or anything positive in your life. Is this a moving-house dilemma or depression?

Can you think of what lifestyle you’ll have if you move south? Type of house, type of area, social life, etc?

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:28:32

Miss, I think it's what I am used to. And my father was not born and bred english, he is from MUCH sunnier climes, so perhaps it is in my blood, same for my kids. I'm not meant to live somewhere so cold for so long. I love the snow, but we barely even get any of that where we are. It seems to be the worst of both worlds, weather wise.
I don't need to be laying on a beach, I just don't like shivering in the summer. I want long warm summers fir my kids, like I had.

My kids do so many activities and we are in the local home ed club, so yes, I have a sense of community, but it just doesn't feel enough, I've not clicked here, possibly because it was never meant to be permanent. I never wanted to be here in the first place, we moved because my husband got a good job offer that was temporary. It turned out to be NOT that great, but he got comfortable and then didn't want to move as another job came up that he wanted here, despite a) telling me this was not permanent, and b) knowing how unhappy I was. It would have been soooo much easier to move five years ago when the children were much younger. I guess if we don't move and I'm still miserable in three years, I'll be saying I wish we'd have moved when they were the ages they are now.

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InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:36:01

Saz, I make the most of it and we do stuff, weather permitting. I enjoy my children very much. But no, there's nothing special here for me. It depresses me. I don't think it's me who's intrinsically depressed, I do think it's living here when I didn't want to be here, but I wanted to support my husband in going for the job he wanted, and as my kids were young, it felt like something we could do for a couple of years then move back. He dragged his heels for several years though, and now I feel torn about moving the kids at the ages they are now.

Lifestyle wise, I want to live in a village, with easy access to a fast line to London (for husband's job, and day trips). The kids love doing their sporting activities so we'd look to join clubs asap, whilst also having a decent home to chill out in. Both kids also love playing Minecraft and tech stuff so are happy at home doing that too, or chilling with a film.
I also want to be closer to Gatwick and/or Heathrow. Pre covid, I kept seeing last minute bargain holidays we could go on, but they were always from those airports, never Glasgow or Edinburgh.

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Missannelliot Mon 24-Aug-20 23:45:07

I understand, what you grow up with will always seem normal to you. It can be hard to adapt. Scotland is a similar temp to where I grew up but is wetter. That took a while to get used to!! My best friend is from Devon and it took her ages to get used the the Scottish summer (best weather) being in May/June/early July rather than July and August.

The fact that this was supposed to be a temporary move probably has hindered your ability to settle in and adapt. Which is totally normal and understandable. Life really is too short to be miserable so if your husband can get a new job in England and you can see yourself in a smaller house then go for it!!

InsertSassyUsernameHere Mon 24-Aug-20 23:57:47

The small house issue is one of the dilemmas.
I have to weigh up whether location is better than room space. Here, the kids could have large bedrooms. Down south, most I'm looking at are MUCH smaller, and with tiny postage stamp gardens. Big dilemma.
I need a lottery win. Even a 'modest' £250k would vastly improve our lot.

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Tue 25-Aug-20 06:22:12

What would your budget for a house be?

It does sound like you never settled in Scotland.

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