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Moving to the South of England from Canada

Moving to the South of England from Canada

Old Jan 8th 2024, 7:20 pm
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Default Moving to the South of England from Canada

My family are looking to move to the UK next year. We have been looking at the south of England. Trying to narrow down areas. We have two young boys (ages 5, 3). We value good schools and entertainment (both indoor and nature).
We are moving from Vancouver, BC Canada.

Any useful places to start looking?
Thanks!
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 7:44 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
My family are looking to move to the UK next year. We have been looking at the south of England. Trying to narrow down areas. We have two young boys (ages 5, 3). We value good schools and entertainment (both indoor and nature).
We are moving from Vancouver, BC Canada.

Any useful places to start looking?
Thanks!
Hi, welcome to BE.

What do you count as 'nature' and outside entertainment? If you can clarify that would be helpful.

Also, any other criteria to help narrow it down - budget, type of property, do you need to commute anywhere or need to be near public transport, airports etc?
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
My family are looking to move to the UK next year. We have been looking at the south of England. Trying to narrow down areas. We have two young boys (ages 5, 3). We value good schools and entertainment (both indoor and nature).
We are moving from Vancouver, BC Canada.

Any useful places to start looking?
Thanks!
Are you returning Brits or do you need visas?
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

I have my British passport. Am looking into the spouse visa for my husband.
I
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 8:01 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
I have my British passport. Am looking into the spouse visa for my husband.
I
Have you ever lived in the UK?
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 8:05 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Thank you for the welcome
As far as entertainment I suppose I mean Beaches, forests anything in general to explore outdoors. In regards to indoor recreation I'm thinking swimming pools, cinemas, shopping centers.
We would have to rent to start but would like to purchase a house for under 500,000 Pounds.
Ideally we would like to visit London frequently (once every 6 weeks or so) for some shows, shopping change of scenery.
I'm trying to find areas my kids will be able to have stuff to do in their teen years so not too rural.
I would like to find some areas before looking for jobs.
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 8:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

No. I have only ever been to London. My parents are both from the UK and would love to retire back. They will not go unless their grandkids also go
So we will maybe make the adventure together.
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Old Jan 8th 2024, 8:23 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
No. I have only ever been to London. My parents are both from the UK and would love to retire back. They will not go unless their grandkids also go
So we will maybe make the adventure together.

So first things first, you need to acquire a visa for your husband.

There are financial requirements which can be met by employment income, self employment, savings etc. Only YOUR employment income can count.

Read the following document carefully to see how you qualify. Note; the financial threshold is going to be increased to around 29,000 GBP sometime in early 2024.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...equirement.pdf

You are looking at probably the most expensive place in the UK if you are looking anywhere west and south of London.

Nice areas are Guildford, somewhere around Reading, but not Reading itself, Kingston upon Thames, Walton on Thames, lots of villages and town in Sussex, Farnham, Sevenoaks

Anywhere in the UK has beaches, forests, outdoor activities.

Where you are able to find a job will determine where you live.

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Old Jan 8th 2024, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
Thank you for the welcome
As far as entertainment I suppose I mean Beaches, forests anything in general to explore outdoors. In regards to indoor recreation I'm thinking swimming pools, cinemas, shopping centers.
We would have to rent to start but would like to purchase a house for under 500,000 Pounds.
Ideally we would like to visit London frequently (once every 6 weeks or so) for some shows, shopping change of scenery.
I'm trying to find areas my kids will be able to have stuff to do in their teen years so not too rural.
I would like to find some areas before looking for jobs.
OK. Your requirements are slightly at odds with each other in all honesty - within easy reach of London and with excellent schools, with a budget of £500k will be tight. What kind of house would you want for that budget? Pretty much every area will have swimming pools, shopping, cinemas (remember the UK is much smaller than Canada, so you'll never be far away from those things wherever you are). For beaches you'd need to be further south than the areas that are considered the best for schooling in England (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire etc), and those counties will mean you wouldn't get much for your budget either. But maybe Kent might work? That's probably the area that springs to mind from what you've said and would be much cheaper than other places in the south east too.

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Old Jan 9th 2024, 2:50 am
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Sevenoaks or Tonbridge might be a good place to start looking as they have reasonable train service into London. But properties of any size will be at the top end of your budget unless you are looking to modernize a 'dated' property with a lot of work, either DIY or hiring builders. but both towns have excellent schools and are in easy reach of London, and if you continue down the train line, you end up in Hastings, or driving you can get to Rye, which is a lovely spot with excellent beach opportunities. Be aware that the beaches, for the most part, will all be 'shingle' beaches, so more stony beaches than sandy.
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Old Jan 9th 2024, 4:17 am
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
OK. Your requirements are slightly at odds with each other in all honesty - within easy reach of London and with excellent schools, with a budget of £500k will be tight. What kind of house would you want for that budget? Pretty much every area will have swimming pools, shopping, cinemas (remember the UK is much smaller than Canada, so you'll never be far away from those things wherever you are). For beaches you'd need to be further south than the areas that are considered the best for schooling in England (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire etc), and those counties will mean you wouldn't get much for your budget either. But maybe Kent might work? That's probably the area that springs to mind from what you've said and would be much cheaper than other places in the south east too.

thank you. This is actually very helpful. Good to know I may be unrealistic with expectations of what we may afford. Our budget may increase in the next year (I’m sure prices there will also increase a bit). I will definitely be looking at Kent. And yes, definitely need to keep in mind the size of the Uk. We are very used to driving an hour or two for a day outing.
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Old Jan 9th 2024, 4:19 am
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by SkiBoySpouse
Sevenoaks or Tonbridge might be a good place to start looking as they have reasonable train service into London. But properties of any size will be at the top end of your budget unless you are looking to modernize a 'dated' property with a lot of work, either DIY or hiring builders. but both towns have excellent schools and are in easy reach of London, and if you continue down the train line, you end up in Hastings, or driving you can get to Rye, which is a lovely spot with excellent beach opportunities. Be aware that the beaches, for the most part, will all be 'shingle' beaches, so more stony beaches than sandy.
Great I will check out the areas! My husband actually is a contractor and does home renovations so we wouldn’t mind some work on a place. Thank you so much for the helpful reply
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Old Jan 9th 2024, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

I'd start by asking yourself if you want village/town/city.

In my view it's not possible to say that any particular area of the South has better schools because it tends to be where the school is in relation to areas of depravation that are more important... and there are pockets of depravation all over the place not just in one geographical area. HOWEVER before I get attacked by everyone I'd just like to clarify: I said "tends to"... yes there are fantastic schools in poorer parts and terrible ones in leafy suburbs. On the whole, personally, I prefer the small village primary schools
​... but that's a personal preference and each parent knows what is best for their kids .
​​​​​
Living in a village would give you instant access to nature, and bearing in mind what's already been said about the UK being quite small it's usually easy to get from a village to the edge of the city and access the things you mention if you have a car, and relatively easy to get to a train station, but also remembering that public transport isn't great in rural areas so in about 10-12 years your kids might find village life a bit boring (but seriously who knows what will happen in that timescale). But then again maybe you are a city person and there's advantages in terms of getting jobs, etc.

If you only go to London roughly every 6 weeks you'll be best of going by train, and I'd consider extending the search further than other people have suggested because it helps with house prices. If you head west on the mainline from Paddington station you'll get to the area around Bristol and the Cotswolds in a little over an hour, and then you'll be not that far from day trips into the mountains and coastline of Wales which maybe would suit you in the longer term. If you head south the high speed train goes down to the coast towards Folkestone and Ashford, and then you could have day trips to France. Both areas have all the things you are looking for plus house prices more in your price range
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 6:52 am
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Small provincial cities in the UK with about 100-150,000 people offer just about all you need and are often very close to great countryside. Both you and your kids when they are older will have access to good job opportunities without a long commute from the countryside. Canterbury and Norwich spring to mind. Once you have decided on a town or city then find out the best secondary schools (you can do that online) and buy within their catchment area. That will normally be in one of the more expensive parts of town but will be worth it as your children get older.
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Old Jan 11th 2024, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Moving to the South of England from Canada

Originally Posted by ameliasc
Thank you for the welcome
As far as entertainment I suppose I mean Beaches, forests anything in general to explore outdoors. In regards to indoor recreation I'm thinking swimming pools, cinemas, shopping centers.
We would have to rent to start but would like to purchase a house for under 500,000 Pounds.
Ideally we would like to visit London frequently (once every 6 weeks or so) for some shows, shopping change of scenery.
I'm trying to find areas my kids will be able to have stuff to do in their teen years so not too rural.
I would like to find some areas before looking for jobs.
Most cities here in the UK have theatres and having shows from the “west end” is great news for anyone who does not always want to travel into London which might help widen your search areas personally I think the best beaches in the south are in Dorset,Devon and Cornwall you have cracking beaches all around the UK but you will have to think of work your budget and schooling, do you want to live near a city and close to the beach then Winchester, Chichester,Salisbury are excellent cities with good links to London, Bath is a huge favourite of mine with a European sort of culture and fairly nice drive to beaches. Norwich (on the east coast) is another city with a drive away to some lovely beaches as well and has plenty to offer culturally and shopping. Portsmouth and Southampton are having tons of investment poured into them and towns and villages nearby are lovely ie Petersfield, Fareham, Milford on Sea,Lymington, I have visited these areas myself and they are lovely with good connections to London, beautiful scenery and also proper countryside on your doorstep. Good luck with your search I hope all goes well
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