Where to move where kids still “play out” and it’s easy for adults to make friends?

(49 Posts)
Tabletoppp Sun 13-Sep-20 09:20:39

We live in London now. But feeling a twinge of sadness that my kids can’t play out independently like I did when I was a kid.

Where’s a really friendly community place (within part-time commuting distance of london - say 2 days a week), where kids still play out on their own and it’s safe?

OP’s posts: |
whataboutbob Sun 13-Sep-20 09:36:17

The 1970s. But seriously, I hope some one comes on with better suggestions. Too many cars and transient populations has put paid to this in London I suspect. I live in London.

Tabletoppp Sun 13-Sep-20 09:37:58

Ha you’re not wrong - probably is the 1970s!

Yes far too many cars in London. And the same goes for the traditional commuter towns that I visit (which, as far as I can tell, are just as bad for that as here!).

OP’s posts: |
Roowig2020 Sun 13-Sep-20 09:38:15

I can't suggest specific areas but in my experience new build estates have lots of families where kids play out, and if it's one in a commuter town then it might be easier to make friends as everyone in the same boat. Tbh it's pot luck really!

Snowoctopus Sun 13-Sep-20 09:38:49

You’d not be able to commute to London but smaller Scottish villages could offer you this.

hypochondriaceveywhere Sun 13-Sep-20 09:42:44

I'm in Leeds and lots of children play out together including mine.

pinkcheesecake Sun 13-Sep-20 09:55:05

Aww bless. I was born in the 80's in London and raised in London and I used to play outside in the 90's (best childhood) but can understand as I would now never allow dc to play outside in London now. I moved to a seaside coast when I started college (south of England 1.5 hour away from London) where we lived, there were loads of families living there with children outside. It was a lovely cul-de-sac where the kitchen was in the front and parents would supervise from the kitchen. As a pp mentioned, new build neighbourhoods or cul-de-sacs can be great. Christmas time was amazing though as the parents would decorate the exterior with amazing lighting. I hope one day I can find a similar neighbour hood like that when dc is older and move there.


Tabletoppp Sun 13-Sep-20 10:17:56

That sounds lovely cheesecake! Which seaside town, do you mind me asking? Brighton?

I’m from near(ish) Leeds, the outdoorsy childhood of my dreams!

Also wish we could move to Scotland or Cornwall or back up to the northwest, but would struggle with changing work sad

OP’s posts: |
Frazzled2207 Sun 13-Sep-20 10:20:47

we’re up north- agree that it seems to be a “thing” in newer estates. Far less of a thing than in the 1980s though sadly.

Rainallnight Sun 13-Sep-20 10:21:21

We’ve just spent 6 months in Dublin and it was like you describe. I’m really missing it now I’m back in London

FinnyStory Sun 13-Sep-20 10:25:06

I'm not sure if these places still exist.

I live 4 doors down from my parents. We were always playing out as children and I'd hoped for the same for DC but whilst it's still perfectly safe, IMO, parents don't seem to let their kids out until they're past the "playing" stage.

I think it's more for fear of being judged for having feral kids or being neglectful than any real concern for their safety.

Frazzled2207 Sun 13-Sep-20 10:38:14

Even if my kids did play out though (they mostly don’t because we live on a busy road) I would feel obliged to sit on a chair in the front garden and watch them. I can’t imagine just letting them do their own thing which I definitely did from around the age of 7 or so

NameChange84 Sun 13-Sep-20 10:50:50

I’d agree that it’s mainly the New Build estates (and I’m up North too). Even then though there are problems with some children not having guidance on how to behave so not being careful with cars coming out of driveways or riding their bikes, scooters etc and getting too close to neighbours cars or wrecking the grass and plants out front (as most new builds don’t have front walls). So as a pp says, many children are kept in so as not to be accused of being feral! All you need to do is check out some of the “child on trampoline staring at me”, “neighbour’s kids playing out my front”, “new neighbour’s kid damaged my car” threads on here.

Then the obvious dangers of phones etc with the potential for children to be exposed to violence and porn which, when I taught younger children, we found usually happened when children were playing unsupervised, quite often on the play parks
on some of their new estates. Sadly, I genuinely think that sort of freedom that there was for children is decades gone now sad.

NameChange84 Sun 13-Sep-20 10:52:00

Obviously I meant most new builds don’t have front GARDEN walls blush

JaJaDingDong Sun 13-Sep-20 10:52:47

Loads of places in North Wilts, and commutable to London too.

BiBabbles Sun 13-Sep-20 11:15:09

I know a few people who commute to London from where I am in Derby, and plenty of kids play out around me. Got two parks within a few minutes walk and out front has kids regularly (though they do tend to be 9 years old+ maybe slightly younger with older siblings/friends, so not as young as I did as a child).

Making friends as adults, that's trickier, it depends on interests and how one likes to do that.

FinnyStory Sun 13-Sep-20 11:27:31

There was a post on our local FB group last night "warning" the community of a group of youngsters out on bikes. When locals feel the needs to issue such warnings, it's hardly surprising parents are reluctant to let kids out.

pinkcheesecake Sun 13-Sep-20 11:32:39

@Tabletoppp yes near Brighton from a small seaside town called Eastbourne.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Sun 13-Sep-20 11:38:21

Military camps. You or your partner just need to join the Forces first, then put up with crumbling housing, moving at a few weeks notice to CES you've never considered, then theres the bitchiness, snobbishness and all sorts.

Kids can ay out reasonably safely though.

PastMyBestBeforeDate Sun 13-Sep-20 11:39:30

I don't think it's something you can identify by towns. As pp said estates with cul de sacs can be great but if there aren't children of their age or enough children to form a mixed age group then it might not happen. We live on a road where there are lots of children in my ds's age group but none from my dd's.

gubbbbbddaaaa Sun 13-Sep-20 11:39:49

I live on a new estate in West Sussex and the houses are but around a green in my section.. all the kids play out and the adults chat . So I'd say a new estate or a house with a green nearby .

idril Sun 13-Sep-20 11:44:26

It's very road specific. I live in London (outskirts) and the kids play out because we live on a cul-de-sac with a little green in the middle of a turning area.

The area generally is quite green with open space but it's the specific road that makes the difference.

So I would pick an area and then join a local facebook group and ask people which roads children play out on.

ivykaty44 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:45:43

there are a few places in London trying to stop the side roads being used as cut throughs by drivers, making the streets safer for children to play outside. Why not investigate and see if you can implement this in your area

ivykaty44 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:46:56

So I would pick an area and then join a local facebook group and ask people which roads children play out on.

that sort of behaviour will raise suspicion

user1493413286 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:49:15

This isn’t helpful in terms of location but I’ve found that new build estates tend to have parks that houses overlook or cul de sacs where playing is easier and as everyone is new to the area they’re keen to make friends

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