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Moving to an English Village

Moving to an English Village

Old Oct 29th 2007, 2:06 pm
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Default Moving to an English Village

For those of you who don't know, we are not actually going back for at least 18 months but I like to get an idea of what to expect and plan a bit.
I've been searching out different locations in the UK on rightmove etc, all with a reasonable commute to London for OH. I came across a village that I have driven through and vaguely recollect... about 20 minute drive from our old neighbourhood. It is very beautiful and I even found a house that is reasonable rent and very attractive and they even take pets (big worry for me with 2 Texan chihuahua's and 2 English cats!) There are 2 pubs and that's it! Not even a P.O. or sweet shop.

Anyway, I really like the idea of living in a pretty English village especially having a young child. However I'm wondering if I am being idealistic as I think I would get bored once the novelty wore off and would feel isolated/lonely and like the 'newbie' trying to make friends in circles that are already closed.
I have read about situations where some newbies moved to villages that still made them feel like the 'new people' even after 10 years or more
Having London a train ride away is a lovely thought as I have always been a Londoner at heart. My teenager would probably be bored senseless living in the sticks but he would be driving not long after. My OH said he likes the idea but then he's only there evening and weekends so it's easy for him as he gets a balance, where as I work from home... he's worried that I will be off my head within 6 months especially in the Winter time when it's dark so early... he said i'll be pooing myself everytime I hear a noise outside LOL

Anyone done similar? Any advice?
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Old Oct 29th 2007, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Hi,

If you have a young child then there will be no problem meeting people. We moved to our tiny village 4 years ago and didn't meet anyone until we started having children - although that was probably due in the main part to us both commuting into London every day and then partying at the weekend so we were very rarely here (ah, the good old days!). Now we're completely involved in village life and we have a 3 year old and 8 month old. Both have been our way of meeting people and we now have several friends in the village. Personally I think that if you have a young child then you can't fail to make friends at all the various parent & child groups around so I don't think you'll be lonely at all. I've certainly never come across any 'closed groups' of people, everybody has been really welcoming. I think that any place within commuting distance of London is probably used to seeing people come and go so strangers are perfectly normal and soon welcomed. It may be a bit different in the depths of Wales or the Cotswolds say, but here people are very friendly and used to new faces - we've had lots of people just introduce themselves to us, particularly when we have one or both children with us. They're usually a good excuse to start a conversation i.e. 'oh how old is he', etc, etc!!

I can't really help on the 'being scared alone' thing as I hate towns and have always lived in the country! I feel perfectly safe here and in fact, would feel much more at risk living in a big town, but that could just be because I've never known anything else. We live at the end of a cul de sac on an estate as well which probably helps as we know all our neighbours very well and we all look out for each other. I would say that if you're worried about it then make sure you get somewhere that is surrounded by other houses rather than isolated.

If you have any questions then let me know, we're off to live in the USA next year but have for the past 3 years lived in a village in Buckinghamshire with young children & my hubby commuting to London every day so sounds as though you'll be in a similar situation to ours.

Whereabouts are you thinking of moving to?
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Old Oct 29th 2007, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Originally Posted by USAGypsies
he's worried that I will be off my head within 6 months especially in the Winter time when it's dark so early... he said i'll be pooing myself everytime I hear a noise outside LOL

Anyone done similar? Any advice?
I haven't lived in a village before, but I'd love to now. Since being in the US, I've lived close to neighbours, and I hate it. (Not so much being in a house, but flats SUCK.) I don't know why, but it's bothered me more here than it did in the UK. If you're working from home, I would strongly suggest getting out and about every once in a while, even for just a walk round the village, and take up a hobby you can do from home.

Personally, I'm a homebody who's more comfortable on the couch when I'm not at work but every now and then I get cabin fever and just go out to the shops to get some air. That helps.

As for the safety aspect, I wouldn't worry about that. As christmasoompa said, if you can get somewhere near other houses, that would make you feel a little more secure, but at the same time not suffocated.
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Old Oct 29th 2007, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

We've lived in two villages in the S.W. since we moved over last year. The last one was better due to having a small village shop/P.O. and a large field behind our house which was used for footie matches and several local events. The current one's not terrible or anything but though it has a P.O. there is no little shop - you have the choice of venturing into the nearby town or over to the next village to their shop.

I've never felt unsafe in either place and not heard of any reports of crime of any type happening in these villages.

I hope you find the right place for you.
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Old Oct 29th 2007, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Originally Posted by USAGypsies
For those of you who don't know, we are not actually going back for at least 18 months but I like to get an idea of what to expect and plan a bit.
I've been searching out different locations in the UK on rightmove etc, all with a reasonable commute to London for OH. I came across a village that I have driven through and vaguely recollect... about 20 minute drive from our old neighbourhood. It is very beautiful and I even found a house that is reasonable rent and very attractive and they even take pets (big worry for me with 2 Texan chihuahua's and 2 English cats!) There are 2 pubs and that's it! Not even a P.O. or sweet shop.

Anyway, I really like the idea of living in a pretty English village especially having a young child. However I'm wondering if I am being idealistic as I think I would get bored once the novelty wore off and would feel isolated/lonely and like the 'newbie' trying to make friends in circles that are already closed.
I have read about situations where some newbies moved to villages that still made them feel like the 'new people' even after 10 years or more
Having London a train ride away is a lovely thought as I have always been a Londoner at heart. My teenager would probably be bored senseless living in the sticks but he would be driving not long after. My OH said he likes the idea but then he's only there evening and weekends so it's easy for him as he gets a balance, where as I work from home... he's worried that I will be off my head within 6 months especially in the Winter time when it's dark so early... he said i'll be pooing myself everytime I hear a noise outside LOL

Anyone done similar? Any advice?
We moved from London to a 'large' village and I had my baby while we were living there. I loved the village but made only a few friends through my baby but we moved to a small village when my child was 3. Strangely enough I found the smaller village a much more welcoming place and made lots of friends through the playgroup but I did make a huge effort and my efforts paid off. We were only 40 minutes from London on the train too.

My daughter attended the village playgroup, the village school and I think that is key as all the kids grow up together and you get to know the mums better. I also helped out at the school (fetes, reading etc etc).

Personally I wouldn't live in a village with no shop, PO, Drs - it can be quite isolating - everything where I lived was within walking distance including the 5pubs. We had no streetlights so nobody saw you when you fell down in the gutter p****d.

I joined the keep fit class in village which led to going with some other mums to tennis lessons and playing for the village netball team. I miss the community spirit living in Perth and we will be returning to the area when we move home whenever that may be.

My OH used to work shifts before he changed career and I never felt nervous on my own because we lived in a small cul de sac with great neighbours. Some of the huge houses in the village down country roads which backed on to fields would not have been my cup of tea as I would have felt quite nervous on my own and as you have small childen I would not recommend you be isolated. There were quite a few teens in the village but we lived 10 miles from a large town so they had the best of both worlds really even though their parents were being used as taxi drivers but that would happen in a town as well.

Like yourself I was born and bred in London and did have a bit of a culture shock moving to the country. However, I didn't regret one minute of it especially with kids. Just pick your area carefully - good transport links and good facilities.
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 12:23 am
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Try and check out the average ages of the locals too! We lived in a small village in Surrey where the average age was about 55. There were few young families (due to the house prices I would think) and few children. There were plenty of village events for that community, but not necessarily anything I would be interested in. We did like it there though, and had two local stores, a PO and a doctors, village hall and 3 pubs.

We later moved to a much larger village which had a huge mix of house sizes and prices and therefore a very mixed community. This was by far a better place for kids, with (more) local schools and community based activities, summer fayres, church festivals, etc.

As another poster said, the more time you can invest in making this a home, the more likely it will work out OK. But just sometimes, it may not work, no matter how hard you try, due to the composition of the community. Just something to bear in mind. Once you narrow down your choices, shout it out on here, and I bet someone can give you more specific info. Good luck
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Have a look at Bagshot, Windlesham & Lightwater. All 3 are 5 mins from J3 of the M3 or a 45min (fast train) journey into C.London
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 8:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Originally Posted by Danny B
Have a look at Bagshot, Windlesham & Lightwater. All 3 are 5 mins from J3 of the M3 or a 45min (fast train) journey into C.London
great area ,ive always like sunninghill and if we ever move back itll be one of the places we will consider .All are great for the west end but still retain that country feel .Lovely
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 10:29 am
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Some lovely villages South East in Kent area. East Sussex is lovely, depends on how much you wanna spend on a property as can be expensive, but still about 1 hour from london.

Good luck..
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 2:18 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

We live in a tiny village now and I was a bit nervous about it at first after living all my life in a town. I can honestly say though it's the best thing we've ever done. We are renting at the minute but I'd give anything to buy a property nearby. The locals are fantastic and the village pub is a great meeting place to make new friends. Can't beat it
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

For eight years we lived in a tiny village in South Warkwickshire, just off of the M40 between Leamington/Warwick and Banbury.

There were pros and cons.

We had a pub and originally a small post office that was open M-W-F from 9-1:30 - eventually that closed. There was a small playground for the kids, but that's it. There was a Co-Op, primary school and a surgery in the neighbouring village.

I liked that people knew each other and I found it easy to make friends. I took up riding and became good friends with a girl who lived in the next village, but kept her horses in my village. Another friend kept her horse at that yard and the three of rode together regularly for quite a few years.

We also became friends with the people who lived next door - we bought the house from his parents (and he was friends w/ my riding girlfriend's husband...)

We loved gardening and our house was quite prominent on the road. When working out in the front of the house, it was easy to chat with people when they walked by. We always went to the fete - the first year there I help run the teas...

At times it could be isolating. The downside of knowing everybody is that there is a lot of gossip. I really disliked the Parish Council (don't get me started on our planning application...) We had to drive 7 miles to Banbury or 12 miles to Leamington to go shopping... and I did wish that there was more near by for the kids to do when they were little. But I DID get together with other mums so the kids always had somebody to play with.

I think we were accepted in the village. My husband grew up in a Warwickshire village (just outside of Stratford), so he was from the general area. Even though I was "the American" in our village, our children were born there. We walked the dog and just lived our lives as did anybody else. (Once, some Americans were in the neighbouring village pub. They left and forgot to sign a check or something like that. So after a few enquiries with their regulars as to who these Americans might be, the barman showed up at our door, wondering if we knew them... somebody pointed them to our house since I was American. I have no idea who the hell they were! LOL)

Life's what you make it. Overall, I liked village life. If we ever move back to England, I should like to live in a village again. However, I'd like a slightly larger village with a few more amenities.

Just remember, until you get to know people (and even then) don't tell anybody anything that you don't want repeated!
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Old Oct 30th 2007, 11:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Originally Posted by USAGypsies
For those of you who don't know, we are not actually going back for at least 18 months but I like to get an idea of what to expect and plan a bit.
I've been searching out different locations in the UK on rightmove etc, all with a reasonable commute to London for OH. I came across a village that I have driven through and vaguely recollect... about 20 minute drive from our old neighbourhood. It is very beautiful and I even found a house that is reasonable rent and very attractive and they even take pets (big worry for me with 2 Texan chihuahua's and 2 English cats!) There are 2 pubs and that's it! Not even a P.O. or sweet shop.

Anyway, I really like the idea of living in a pretty English village especially having a young child. However I'm wondering if I am being idealistic as I think I would get bored once the novelty wore off and would feel isolated/lonely and like the 'newbie' trying to make friends in circles that are already closed.
I have read about situations where some newbies moved to villages that still made them feel like the 'new people' even after 10 years or more
Having London a train ride away is a lovely thought as I have always been a Londoner at heart. My teenager would probably be bored senseless living in the sticks but he would be driving not long after. My OH said he likes the idea but then he's only there evening and weekends so it's easy for him as he gets a balance, where as I work from home... he's worried that I will be off my head within 6 months especially in the Winter time when it's dark so early... he said i'll be pooing myself everytime I hear a noise outside LOL

Anyone done similar? Any advice?
USAGypsies

We moved back from Canada to an Oxfordshire village 2 years ago.
There are positives and negatives about village life as posted here.
My wife and I realised that we are not city folk and prefer rural living, but there are drawbacks like having to travel 2-3 miles to go shopping/doctors etc.
Village school was small, but friendly. No secondary school, so my 12 & 14 year olds now have a 3 miles school bus ride, which was no different from living in rural Canada.
Age profile can be an issue, lots of retired. Lots of city commuters. Social life is good for the over 55's, but have to travel to the town for children social life.
Also negative housing is expensive in many villages, lots of second homes or retirement homes.
Positives are for us are that there are no real crime issues, no yobs, plenty of space for the boys to play 1/3 acre lot, 2 garages, not over looked by neighbours. I can go away on business and wife/family feel safe.
Village kids seem polite and generally well mannered.
Plenty of open countryside to enjoy.
hudd
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Old Oct 31st 2007, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

I lived in Titchfield village for years...workend in the local sweetshop and post office..knew everyone and everything about everybody...

Titchfield is not out in the middle of nowhere like a lot of small villages...but it was very close knit...I liked village life having two big Cities and a town close by...not sure if I would of been so happy had we been way out in the sticks...but it was a great place for my daughter to start her life....we were always out walking...I miss that...
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: Moving to an English Village

Originally Posted by USAGypsies
For those of you who don't know, we are not actually going back for at least 18 months but I like to get an idea of what to expect and plan a bit.
I've been searching out different locations in the UK on rightmove etc, all with a reasonable commute to London for OH. I came across a village that I have driven through and vaguely recollect... about 20 minute drive from our old neighbourhood. It is very beautiful and I even found a house that is reasonable rent and very attractive and they even take pets (big worry for me with 2 Texan chihuahua's and 2 English cats!) There are 2 pubs and that's it! Not even a P.O. or sweet shop.

Anyway, I really like the idea of living in a pretty English village especially having a young child. However I'm wondering if I am being idealistic as I think I would get bored once the novelty wore off and would feel isolated/lonely and like the 'newbie' trying to make friends in circles that are already closed.
I have read about situations where some newbies moved to villages that still made them feel like the 'new people' even after 10 years or more
Having London a train ride away is a lovely thought as I have always been a Londoner at heart. My teenager would probably be bored senseless living in the sticks but he would be driving not long after. My OH said he likes the idea but then he's only there evening and weekends so it's easy for him as he gets a balance, where as I work from home... he's worried that I will be off my head within 6 months especially in the Winter time when it's dark so early... he said i'll be pooing myself everytime I hear a noise outside LOL

Anyone done similar? Any advice?
We are hoping to have something simular..I'm thinking all my son's Postman Pats videos are getting to me village setting, everyone knows everyone..all in a good way!! Let's hope you can relive your dream as well, as us...
take care hun! Keep in touch. We are on the same boat.

Last edited by dewdrop; Nov 5th 2007 at 4:04 pm. Reason: spelling mistake Oops
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