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Rural Suffolk (Framlingham/Woodbridge/Southwold, Otley, etc)

(2 Posts)
missdaisy2013 Tue 21-Nov-17 05:05:58

Hi MN-ers!

Just wondering if there are any Mums out there in Suffolk (particularly Framlingham/Woodbridge/Southwold and surrounding areas?) And if so, how do you find the lifestyle there, in terms of stuff going on for kids (mine are going on 2 and 5), cost of living, and schooling, etc? Is it really very sleepy? Are there any Mum & toddler playgroups and the like? Is it quite easy for newcomers to make friends there? Are there any ex-Londoners, or, dare I ask, people from even further afield? I ask that because we are a bicultural/bilingual family, and I'd really like my kids to have some contact with a Spanish-speaking community if possible, even if we have to travel a bit for a once-a-week playdate or something. I have some family there (close to Framlingham), so know the area a bit from having visited over the years, but we are thinking of relocating there next year, and I'm wondering what it's like to live there full-time with young children.

I know the area is beautiful; the cost of rentals seem very accessible compared to other areas in the South/South East, and from what I understand, there seems to be less pressure on the schools than in other areas closer to London. Overall, I think it could be a good option for our family, and tbh the lower cost of living & proximity to family are really the driving factors in all this, but my only slight concern is that it might be too quiet for me (I really, really rely on company with other adult humans to help keep my sanity intact!) I love the idea of having a family support network, enjoying fresh air, country walks and sweet little village schools, but I have to confess I'm really a city girl at heart, so I'm just wondering how I might adapt there. I'm also a tad worried about my DH, who'd essentially be a (legal!) non-EU immigrant (/expat?).. Just wondered how being 'the only foreigner in the village', so to speak, might go down there, although he's normally very laid-back and adaptable, so perhaps I'm worrying unnecessarily there. He speaks excellent English btw, but until now, due to work, we've always lived in quite international communities, so this would be a very different (hopefully in a nice way) change of pace.

For those familiar with the area, is it really very sleepy? Are there any Mum & toddler playgroups and the like? I'm wondering perhaps whether living in a nice village on the outskirts of Ipswich might work – ie something that offers country life, decent and not over-subscribed schools, activities for toddlers, etc, but is also close enough to get into Ipswich on a weekly basis? Would anyone have any recommendations for good villages/areas, ie with great schools but also with some sort of life for toddlers (and Mums)?

I should mention I'm basing this all on the assumption that my DH and I will be working from home, hence our flexibility in terms of location, though tbh that's still a work in progress and depends on several factors.... If we can't both pull off the working-from-home gig, I'd have to look for work in Ipswich and/or consider a different area of the country altogether. But fingers crossed it'll all work out smile

Huge TIA for your help!

Rob1981 Sat 06-Jan-18 23:55:40

Hi. I've signed up specifically to answer this post (if it's not too late). We (me, my wife and our nearly 5 yr old daughter) live in a village between Woodbridge and Framlingham. We've been here for a year but I'd previously lived in Ipswich for 15yrs. There's plenty going on in Woodbridge - lots of family bits and a lively, interesting town (by Suffolk standards). Framlingham is less bustling but absolutely charming. Some of the villages are lovely, the schools great and both Woodbridge and Framlingham high schools excellent. Ipswich is a bit more varied - I'm really fond of it but it's a bit shabby. Ipswich schools have been underachieving over recent years (but there has been a push to Raise the Bar). In our village, we've struggled a bit to make friends, probably more us than them though! I love it here and would heartily recommended it - I couldn't leave the post unanswered!

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