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Best place to raise kids....city or country...what do you think?

(19 Posts)
Mfisher Tue 04-Aug-15 14:23:21

So, we are thinking about relocating from London (Chiswick) to Norfolk (Around Briston, Melton Constable), which will give our kids (2 girls, 2 and 4 yrs old) a more village and outdoorsy living smile We think it will be great for them to grow up close to nature, more free, with less competitiveness, with a community feeling and closer to family (my husband is from there). And we would be mortgage free and have much more money to spend on holidays and other activities. (We also love cycling, running)

However thinking now I am kind of having second thoughts, because I thought that perhaps moving to the country could be a bad thing for the girls, as they will miss on the stimulation and multi cultural environment that is available in London. Our inicial thought was to leave the craziness of the city and calm down, but thats the world today isn't? Crazy, fast, competitive. Maybe staying here they would be more prepared to be stronger and happier adults, more in easy with the needs of todays world. Me and my husband grew up in the country and we loved (I am brazilian so it was in Brazil), however I feel like when we moved to the city things were not as fast as today so there was a period of adaptation that made the transition easier. Then I think if we move today perhaps it will be hard for the girls when they are 18 and they want to come back they would struggle with the pace here - and again with the competitivess of today (in terms of professional life, as there are more and more studied and good people around). Opinions? I am 50% 50% and can't really decide! I know I have to decide what is best to our family and so on but still would appreciate opinions and different ways to view the matter!

Thank you all !!!!

Aebj Tue 04-Aug-15 14:28:16

I grew up in a small Devon village. Loved it while I was at primary school buy hated it once I hit secondary school. Buses were limited and my parents drove us to things, which is uncool when you are 16!!!
Also getting a part time job was hard due to lack of public transport

HarrietVane99 Tue 04-Aug-15 14:33:55

Country might be nice while they are small, but I think town is better when they reach secondary school age and want to be out and about with their friends. Not necessarily London, but a town that's big enough to offer a choice of things to do and good enough public transport that they don't have to rely on a parent to give lifts.

cosmicglittergirl Tue 04-Aug-15 14:39:40

What would you prefer? You need to be happy and settled so your children can be too.
For what's it's worth, I grew up in the countryside not really liking it and now live in London. I have no intention of bringing my children up anywhere else as I love living in London.
Could you live on the outskirts of London?

BrieAndChilli Tue 04-Aug-15 14:48:01

I think you need to choose your village carefully. We live in south wakes I a small village (pub, post office/shop, village hall and a farm veg shop) but we are only 5 and 10 min drive from
2 towns, with the things you use regularly like doctors, leisure centres, activities supermarkets etc, 20 min drive from a city which has the bigger shops, cinema etc and about half hour- hour from Cardiff and Bristol depending on traffic and where in the city you are going

Mfisher Tue 04-Aug-15 15:02:53

Thank you everyone!!!

Harrietvane99 and cosmicglittergirl So we thought about Norfolk because my husbands family and old friends (which I like) are there. Moving just outside London I think wouldn't be good as we would have to start from zero in terms of friends and so on!

Brieandchilli We thought about a village that is max 20/30 minutes from Norwich, so we could just pop in and do classes and so on. Perhaps we should decrease for somewhere 10/20 minutes from Norwich so everything will be easier! From my house to Westfield it takes 40 min in the car smile (mainly due traffic!!)

Thank you again!

TheOddity Tue 04-Aug-15 15:16:03

I'm 40 mins from a big town, live in a village which is very remote. It is great for small children but I find my social life and cultural life very limited. I think 30 mins from a city is better, and it also depends on the actual city in question and how much cultural richness it has. Saying that, walks together in the woods with no effort from the house is lovely and there is a nice community vibe here.

cosmicglittergirl Tue 04-Aug-15 18:56:12

If you know people that will make it much better for you.

I agree with pp who said proximity to a good town/city is vital. It sounds like you've done your research and that is certainly a lovely part of the world.

Kitella Tue 04-Aug-15 19:10:27

How about a small market town / large village as a good compromise?

I live in one in a semi touristy area. It is large enough to have 4 restaurants, half a dozen pubs, and all the day to day amenities (hairdressers, shop etc). More importantly, large enough for some clubs for the children. However, it is small enough to still retain the village feel - everyone says hello in the street, whether you know them or not, smallish village school, which means my children know every child in the school, and therefore the overwhelming majority of children in the village. It's clean, lots of fresh air and little / no crime / graffiti / litter etc..

But when I need a city fix, it's only 30 - 45 mins to three very different cities / large towns for a range of facilities.

I do feel we get the best of both worlds and miss out on many of the worst downsides of both city life and rural living.

letsmakecupcakes Mon 10-Aug-15 15:45:13

Hi, I completely feel your confusion. I am in a very similar situation and completely torn too. If it is ok to jump into this conversation I am a single parent and due to a change in circumstances I need to move and stuck between moving to berkhamstead nearer to family which has all the perks of country living, outstanding primary school ect with quick access to london but not much social and cultural life ( I am single and would like to meet someone long term) OR Queens Park which is really central but near to a large estate sad but affordable. So confused. Berkhamstead OR Queens Park? Any thoughts.

GummyBunting Mon 10-Aug-15 15:54:02

MY OH is from a village in Norfolk. He described the downsides as no public transport, parents drove him everywhere so he had little indipendance, not much in the way of part time jobs etc.

Also from a longer term angle, he moved quite far away in order to persue his career. His parents really struggle not having him in Norfolk, but his career prospects were so limited there he really had no choice. All of his friends who remined in the village work in shops, bars etc, so there don't seem to be many career options.

victoryinthekitchen Mon 28-Sep-15 11:02:48

we found primary age lovely in the country as the dc's were at a sweet little village school where you knew everyone. However secondary school is a massive transition due to the size of the school, leaving at 7.20am for the school transport and relying on parents for lifts to any activities. Having said that they benefit from countryside for their hobbies of biking, riding etc. I suppose it's down to personal choice.

senua Mon 28-Sep-15 11:11:24

Our initial thought was to leave the craziness of the city and calm down, but that's the world today isn't? Crazy, fast, competitive.

You do know that more people in the UK live outside London than live in it? Not everyone is a crazy.
Agree with most: you are painting a false dichotomy. There are a lot gradations between capital-city and totally-rural.

WhoAteMyToast Mon 28-Sep-15 11:49:50

I found a village incredibly dull as a teenager, but loved it as a smaller child. If you want to do it, do it now whilst they are tiny, but try and make sure you can move somewhere busier when they are in secondary school without making them leave their friends behind.

We didn't realise at the time what an important decision we were making when we bought a house and chose primary school - we kind of feel we need to stay here now for the children's sakes (though it is nice here).

gingerdad Sun 04-Oct-15 21:23:07

Country all the way. We are semi-rural and wouldn't move to a city. Small village but small town not to far so kids have lots if clubs etc. We are also close-ish to a rail station and you can be in a city in 30 minutes or a hour to major city. Currently encouraging kids to get bus / train to various larger towns.

My idea of hell would be living in London.

lljkk Sun 04-Oct-15 21:50:24

Why Melton Constable?
Holy Jesus, you won't drive into Norwich in a mere 30 minutes most days. Try 45 minutes at a minimum, & the Holt Rd is a bit of a maniac's commuter run before 8am. Just where are either of you working?

How will you feel when your offspring move far away for work which they will. Unless one of them becomes a plastics welder, I suppose.

Have you even checked what high school catchment it's in? Fakenham or Reepham, I suppose.

Why not South Norfolk, or somewhere on a train line at least so your teenagers have a chance to get places on their own?

RaisingSteam Sun 04-Oct-15 21:53:59

Best place is where you are happy and comfortable as a family. It occurs to me (as DS is now in Y7) that cities are a lot more tolerant of diversity and anyone who's a bit of an odd bod. I feel DS1 might be better in a more diverse urban area as he now doesn't have any friends in our village, but if we were in a city then DS2 would soon be in with a gang stealing cars! <pessimist>

lljkk Sun 04-Oct-15 22:02:57

If you are not-white-skinned then it would be a very good thing for you to move here ... coz heaven knows we could use a bit more diversity in rural Norfolk.

hlr1987 Mon 07-Mar-16 22:03:11

My husband and I are on opposite sides of this: Both of us grew up in small towns (2 restaurants, one clothes shop but plenty going on with youth groups/ friends). I'm desperate to get back to it, the kids in the city where we live terrify me, but my husband loves the city and doesn't want to go back to a rural town. I liked walking everywhere or parents driving us,even as a teenager. Not sure what's normal in the city, I still find public transport a bit overwhelming sometimes, can't imaging my kids taking public busses to school. I hate the incredulous 'you walked here?' I get for my 40 minute commute to work.

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