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Wondering if i should leave london... but I don't want to!

(33 Posts)
Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 19:22:29

I've lived here for 15 years now. Have dc and a (too small) place to live in a neighbourhood I love with fantastic schools.

But. It is SO polluted. Our walk to school is, walk to the train is and even our walk to the park. My snot is black (sorry, gross), and the pollution is starting to clog my throat a bit. I look at my gorgeous kids and wonder if staying is the right thing... mainly because of that, to be honest.

I do love it though, and our borough (Hackney), and all the stuff around us.

What would you do? Did anyone leave and regret it / really happy about it?

Been wistfully wondering about green fields and fresh air...

OR is there a compromise london place that isn't very polluted?!! Or is all of london a bit clogged with it?

MyCalmX Tue 16-May-17 19:26:37

Dh has developed asthma since we moved here 8 years ago. We will leave....eventually!

But I wouldn't live anywhere else in the UK so it will be a move out of the UK which I'm just not ready for yet.

TheCrowFromBelow Tue 16-May-17 19:28:14

I'm really happy for the kids that I left, we moved from Peckham to a village near a small town with good schools and it has been brilliant for them.

I miss London for me, and ironically for the pollution aspect, we drive so much more than we did in London.

What about Brighton?

Tollygunge Tue 16-May-17 19:30:34

I keep thinking this. Unfortunately I'm not sure we'd find work elsewhere. I also love our left wing diverse borough and would be frightened that I wouldn't find that elsewhere in a place I didn't know

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 19:34:38

tolly - that's exactly how I feel!!! Love my diverse, lefty borough 😩

thecrow - i keep hearing good stuff about Brighton. I've never been, but should have a look!

mycalm - haha I always said if I left london it would be to live abroad! We've got family ties to Australia via dh. But it feels so very far away... not ready for such a massive upheaval, or to be so far from my side of the family...

Ktown Tue 16-May-17 19:36:24

I moved a 20 mins train ride from central London.

Hellish. Don't move! Can you take another route!?!

hellokittymania Tue 16-May-17 19:43:13

I have spent a lot of time in Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Manila so I don't notice the pollution in London. If you like it a lot, I would stay.

Kursk Tue 16-May-17 19:48:05

I like the county, I moved to London for university and couldn't wait to get out. Not only was the pollution bad, I found it depressing not being able to see anything green, or any wildlife.

Tollygunge Tue 16-May-17 19:49:40

There's loads of green and wildlife in my London Borough. My kids go to the forest at least 3 times a week. But the air pollution is a factor

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 19:51:26

tolly - do you mind me asking which borough you're on? Forests sounds great!

Tollygunge Tue 16-May-17 19:55:52

Next to yours, beginning with a W.

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 19:59:21

tolly - haha yep got it! smile

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 20:58:18

hellokittymania - I saw some people with those Beijing-style anti-pollution face masks on and wondered if that was the way forward! EEEEEK.

Haint Tue 16-May-17 21:10:23

We live in an idyllic market town in the south west which has consistently recorded dangerous levels of air pollution particulates

Like many things it's not just a London problem

Brightonagain Tue 16-May-17 21:18:47

It's one of the main reasons we are considering moving - and to Brighton as my name suggests. Even though we used to live in Brighton I find the idea of moving, for all the reasons you mention about the fabulousness of living in London, scary. But the pollution is really making me feel we should move and if it all goes to plan I think we will be doing in a couple of years. Will miss London dreadfully though. Our borough - south of the river from yours and beginning with a G - is lovely and leafy yet close to everything in town but also close to the black wall tunnel and although it doesn't look it is one of the highest polluted areas because of this.

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Tue 16-May-17 21:27:49

I've never lived in London - so I don't get how anywhere could be so good that putting up with black snot levels of pollution would be a small price to pay.

Love London, though - truly an amazing city, but wouldn't swap being surrounded by green fields for all the tea in China.

For me, the health of DCs trumps brilliant transport links, theatres on your doorstep etc etc.

helloitsme2016 Tue 16-May-17 21:30:54

I left last year. Before I left I was getting ill for 4-5 days (often with multiple days off work) 6-7 times a year. Since I've left (a year) I've been ill once and only for a couple of days (1 day off work). I didn't realise how poorly it was making me until I left. I don't regret a thing!

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 21:32:21

haint - that's interesting - naively think of it as a big city problem, but its diesel cars and trucks really, isn't it? I fantasise about the days of all electric vehicles!

brighton - I briefly lived in your borough! Loved it. God, yeah, the Blackwall tunnel. Brighton sounds like an interesting shout, I need to visit!

Arsenals - yeah, I've been feeling pretty guilty. My kids are really outdoorsy, too, and today I was rushing them inside because the traffic fumes were just disgusting. Felt a bit weird about that.

Orange80 Tue 16-May-17 21:34:21

hello - wow! That's so bad that it was making you so ill!

pollybythesea Tue 16-May-17 21:38:30

We lived in Hackney for 10 years before throwing in the towel for a life in Devon in 2013. (Sick of expensive rents, tiny houses, black snot and having to work a zillion hours a day to survive)

I left very tentatively , swearing I would be back within a year but once I got here I never looked back. A leafy borough doesn't look very leafy anymore when you're in Devon. I go back to london now and just enjoy the good bits... you realise the happiest people in London are always the tourists!!

I would say the hardest bit was making the change and leaving, but even once the keys were handed over a weight was lifted.

MovingtoParadise Tue 16-May-17 22:25:03

Blackheath/Greenwich. Air is very fresh and clean, no black snot. Move here! There's only one place I get bad black snot and that's the really congested Fulham road. I had to go there every day last summer and I felt my chest tightening as soon as I got off the tube.

I've only driven through Clapton and Hackney but I assume it's quite congested too.

innagazing Wed 17-May-17 00:01:43

Brighton and Hove is full of people who have moved from Hackney, and none want to go back...

Kursk Wed 17-May-17 01:10:53


Where are you? I was in Twickenham, I found it very built up.

Raaaaaah Wed 17-May-17 01:30:13

It is so difficult isn't it? I was always a confirmed country girl and thought that I would be the one persuading DP to make the move but I love London now. The pollution and knife crime are the only things that make me question it. I love the broad minded attitude, the multiculturalism, the chaos, our school is fab but not in a purely white middle class way, there is always someone to chat to, the kids love it here...but the pollution.
Isn't Brighton quite traffic heavy?

Brightonagain Wed 17-May-17 14:23:12

Movingtoparadise I live in Blackheath and Greenwich (equidistant stroll from the park and the heath) and I hate to break it to you but we are up there in the highest polluted areas in London. All our local schools were in the list of the top 800 in the city I'm afraid. It feels all gorgeous and green but we have the main artery of the A102 (Blackwall Tunnel), the A2, Trafalgar Road, Woolwich Rd and other roads and we are in a real black spot. That's the only reason I am considering moving - I love it here, got a nice size house so that's not a problem, it's lovely and green, cultural, near everything etc etc but the pollution is really bad.

Brighton is quite traffic heavy in the town centre yes but not in other areas.

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