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Places to live in the UK

139 replies

Sylvaniannightmare · 20/06/2017 09:21

Currently living in a naice city in the SE and feel we don't fit with the crowd in our area at all. It's a predominantly wealthy mc class area and all the schools around here are really good. House prices are sky high, we were lucky to buy our house 12 year ago when the market wan't as developed and the area was more mixed.

Both dc at an outstanding local school. All sounds great in theory but we have found we don't really fit in with the people who live in this area.

It's all about house prices, competitive parenting competitive holidaying and activities.

30% of pupils in dc's are property millionaires. I am not at all a reverse snob but we simply don't fit in. We are not poor, dh and are both in professional jobs and probably 'mc' as well but our faces just don't fit around here.

We are a slightly artistic family, enjoying sports and outdoors life, camping, hiking etc. not exactly alternative but pretty down to earth and definitely not competitive or wanting to be part of the rat race.

So, after this slightly whinging bit, I wondered if IABU to ask which areas in the UK are nice, with good communities but where people don't live that mc competitive lifestyle?

I have friends in Brighton who like it there so that is one option but Brighton is also quite expensive. We both work from home a lot so commuting shouldn't be a problem at this point in time. I have heard that Exeter is nice and a bit alternative too.

Nice down to earth, diverse places with culture and access to the outdoors would be my dream. Any hope for that at all?


OP posts:

6demandingchildren · 20/06/2017 09:27

Eastbourne is lovely, near Brighton, you have the sea and the south downs, friston forest, abbots wood, near Herstmonceux castle and Observatory, surrounding villages like East Dean, hellingly are nice.


brexitstolemyfuture · 20/06/2017 09:27

I live in Exeter, it ticks all your boxes but it is quite far out west


LoisWilkersonsLastNerve · 20/06/2017 09:29

Maybe Devon/Cornwall? The Scottish highlands/islands?


UsedToBeAPaxmanFan · 20/06/2017 09:31

Come to Cambridge. Our dc attended an outstanding school where most of the parents were professionals but not mega-rich. Lots of camping, walking, outdoorsy holidays.

That said, ds2 used to naturally migrate to friends whose parents were a lot richer than us. But we were never made to feel that we didn't belong.


VacantExpression · 20/06/2017 09:31

There are towns in the Cotswolds that could fit your bill perfectly and the outdoor life is amazing. Depends where and how often you are commuting too though.


Cric · 20/06/2017 09:32



Dixiechickonhols · 20/06/2017 09:33

Ribble Valley, Lancashire, regularly in top 10 places to live. People friendly.


AnnieOH1 · 20/06/2017 09:34

What about Derbyshire? The peak district would tick all your boxes certainly. Xx


Sylvaniannightmare · 20/06/2017 09:38

Thanks I didn't really think anyone would reply as I'm aware my post might come across as spoiled and whinging.

6 interesting suggestion. A friend and old neighbour of mine who raised her dc here moved to Eastborne recently and told me she made several new friends within a few months of moving there.

She used to live in my area for a long time and I know she felt she never fitted in with the families at her dc's schools or the local social groups in our area.

My old (as in previous) neighbour said she wished she'd moved sooner and raised her dc where she lives now.

Brexitstolemyfuture can you tell me a little bit more about Exeter? Do you live in the city or in one of the surrounding villages? I hear they have a grammar school system. A friend of mine left there rat race here last year to move to Torquay.

One additional factor (hope I'm not drip feeding) is that dh is from Italy but he has lived here all his adult life. I'd worry about moving to a place where the fact that he has an Italian accent which I adore would mean that he'd not be quite welcome if that makes sense.

I wouldn't have worried about this sort of thing previously but in the context of Brexit it is a small concern of mine though he couldn't care less.

OP posts:

TheDogAteMyGoatskinVellum · 20/06/2017 09:39

Probably a diverse buzzy northern city would tick boxes.


Sylvaniannightmare · 20/06/2017 09:46

"Come to Cambridge." I have always liked Cambridge and it would be still close enough to tay on touch with friends in and around London.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Would you recommend living in the city or in the surrounding villages and towns? I have heard Ely is lovely but worry it might have the same slightly 'precious' and definitely competitive lifestyle that I'd like to leave behind.

VacantExpression I have holidayed in the Cotswolds, it's very beautiful there. Is it diverse(ish) though?

OP posts:

Sylvaniannightmare · 20/06/2017 09:47

*stay in touch Blush tired laptop

OP posts:

19lottie82 · 20/06/2017 10:01

A bit further than Cambridge or Brighton but.......Glasgow! Great people, plenty of culture, good schools and easy access to Loch Lomond and the Campsies. Oh and cheap houses.

Can you tell I'm a Glaswegian Grin


steppemum · 20/06/2017 10:01

Stroud in Glos fits your bill perfectly.

It isn't very ethnically diverse though.


spidey66 · 20/06/2017 10:02

Bath is a good option. I'm in London but would move there in a heartbeat.


UsedToBeAPaxmanFan · 20/06/2017 10:03

We live in a village west of Cambridge and love it. I would thoroughly recommend it. Our dc attended Comberton Village College and had a very good experience. I love the fact that I can be in Kings Cross within an hour of leaving home and that we can access all that Cambridge has to offer in terms of culture and sports. The downsides are the traffic in rush hour and the fact that the surrounding countryside is a bit flat. Easy for cycling though!

I don't know much about Ely to live in so don't know what it's like competitiveness wise.


hellobonjour · 20/06/2017 10:07

I second Glasgow!

Move to newlands, Giffnock or the bohemian west end Smile


LooksBetterWithAFilter · 20/06/2017 10:15

The Highlands would suit your lifestyle and regardless of what you hear are pretty diverse.
Jobs aren't falling into people's laps though.


MushroomPancake · 20/06/2017 10:16

Go a bit further along the coast and come to Worthing. Loads of Brightonians are coming this way due to ridiculous house prices.

Worthing has direct train links to London, lovely beach, lots going on for families and there's a sizeable Italian community with lots of restaurants.


Sparklingbrook · 20/06/2017 10:18

Come to Worcestershire. Lots if nice little villages if that's your thing. Plus I would imagine you would get a lot of house compared to where you are now.

Are you tied re work?


Newjob12345 · 20/06/2017 10:20

Newcastle is a lovely place to live. The people are friendly, lots of art and arty people. Loads of beautiful countryside on the outskirts and amazing beaches. Housing is very affordable compared to the areas you are looking at now.


Decaffstilltastesweird · 20/06/2017 10:24

If we didn't have to be near London for work we would move to the West Country or Northern Ireland. Bath, Bristol and Exeter are awesome, as is Belfast.

I'm so envious EnvyWink!


CMOTDibbler · 20/06/2017 10:29

I agree with Sparkling Wink. I live in a very small town in Worcestershire, and absolutely love that my ds can walk to the swimming pool, go paddle boarding or kayaking, we can walk in woodland within 5 minutes, 20 minute drive to amazing hills. Lots of crafting/ artistic stuff going on, and the local food scene is amazing.


Uhtred · 20/06/2017 10:30

I live in a similar MC area in the SE and would love to live in an area you describe and in the future are looking at Bath way or Stroud/Glos. I know Exeter well and it's too far west for me. The only reason we can't move yet is there just aren't as many jobs for us in our field so we may never be able to really. I've also looked at Wells as an option.
I definitely want to move west though so you have lots more options!
What do you do work wise?


BroomstickOfLove · 20/06/2017 10:35

York is nice - slightly artistic and outdoorsy is a pretty good description of the culture of the families in the DC's school. Great countryside a short distance away, universities and cathedral mean that it punches above its weight culturally (and there is easy rail access to London, Leeds, Manchester and Edinburgh). The city voted Remain in the referendum. Excellent state comprehensive schools and plenty for children and young people to do.

It's overwhelmingly white, and house prices are very high in relation to earnings, but it's worth considering.

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