Are you considering joining the record number of families that are now relocating from London to the country? Are you wondering what benefits country life might offer you and your family?
To assure and inspire you read my 9 reasons to start a new life in the country. And set your plans in motion.
One of your prime reasons for moving out of London to start a new life in the country will be, most likely, to gain more space for your family. Swapping your current property in the capital for one at the same price, or less, in the country will guarantee you added space both inside and out. The further out of London you move the more square footage you will be able to afford. You might even be able to acquire many acres to boot. Properties within commuting distance to London, especially those that are within walking distance to local shops, a train station and good schools, are in more demand than ever. But if you have time to do your homework to find towns/villages that are a little less well known, you have a good chance of finding a great property within budget. Not only that, you could be making a good investment.
A useful new tool from Rightmove ‘Where can I live?’ can help you to find areas that you have not yet considered.
With a larger house and garden comes maintenance and bills. Bear in mind that your cost of living may be cheaper in some respects, but your energy bills could increase. A large garden can take a lot of time and effort to maintain, or money to pay for a gardener!
“Having moved to Leicestershire we now have a trampoline (bigger than our entire garden in London), football goals, a greenhouse and vegetable patches.” Diana
Your lifestyle will change in so many ways when you move to the country. Your pace of life will be slower and more relaxed. Your daily commitments will be very similar during the week, but you may find that there are less obstacles and hurdles that stand in your way. During the weekend you will enjoy being closer to nature with your family. If you move close to the coast, you will be able to enjoy kayaking and sailing with lots of rock pooling for younger children. A move further in to the countryside will enable you take long walks, to take up horse riding or fishing. Replace heading for the gym with running along the beach or in open countryside.
Make sure you’re organised; it might be a long walk or a drive to the nearest shop.
Your children will be the ones to benefit from an enormous sense of freedom. If you find yourselves living in a quiet village your children might make their own way to the village green to play with other local children. Playdates will no longer have to be in the diary days or even weeks in advance. Instead, you are more likely to have an open door policy meaning that their local friends will just pop by for a play in a far more relaxed manner.
As a parent you may have to be more willing to take a back step, rather than accompanying your children everywhere as you would in London.
It is inevitable that your hobbies, especially those of your children, will become more ‘outdoor’ orientated. Instead of heading to the local park or straight home from school along busy main roads, your children will have the chance to run through fields or along a beach, climb trees, ride horses or even catch crayfish for supper!
Activities for the children such as football, tennis or gymnastics will most probably be a little further afield which will involve more time in the car. However, instead of driving 10 or 20 miles an hour in stop/start traffic, you will be, pretty much, guaranteed consistent journey times (unless, of course, you find yourself stuck behind a tractor or a herd of cows!).
It’s quite rare to feel part of a close, friendly community in London. This is something that is not in short supply in many small towns and villages outside London. It is highly likely that you will be immediately welcomed into your new locality.
Your new neighbours in the country are very likely to be warm, friendly and welcoming. In their first week from moving from London to the country, my most recent clients were given house warming cards, fresh cakes and brownies all within a week of moving to their new home. Countless people came knocking on their door to introduce themselves and welcome them to the village. One lovely man even gave them a list of useful information including details of doctors, a bus timetable, rubbish/recycling dates etc.
You will no longer rely so heavily on Google to find out information; the well established locals will become your personal search engine.
The anonymity of London suits a lot of people. Be ready to be part of a close knit community.
Many of my clients ask me to find the right school for their children before I start their property search in the country. There are so many outstanding schools outside London as well as high achieving grammar schools in some counties. One of the many advantages of state schools outside London is the size of school and class. You may well find your child moving from a three form entry school in the city to a school with one form per year group. To add to this, the class sizes are often a lot smaller meaning that the pupils receive a lot more dedicated teacher time. Furthermore, the headteacher will often know all of the pupils by name unlike many inner city schools.
There are countless excellent independent schools, many set in wonderful grounds, that are substantially cheaper than independent schools in London.
Your chosen school might be in the nearby village or town, which means you will have to drive or arrange a lift share. You will therefore be less likely to meet and chat with other parents at drop-off as you may have done in London.
The vast majority of people that I have spoken to, who have swapped London life for the open countryside, have commented on how much more healthy and vibrant they feel. An increase in outdoor activities and improved air quality appear to promote ones physical and psychological well being. To be awoken by a chorus of birdsong rather than the thrum of road and air traffic is definitely a good reason for many to start a new life in the country.
If foreign travel is high on your agenda, a lack of plane noise may mean that your nearest airport is some distance away.
8. Customer Service
Once you leave London you will also be leaving the more perfunctory attitude of those providing a service. That is not to say that London is devoid of excellent customer service, it is definitely not. But travel further afield and your local butcher, fishmonger, community shop will embrace you with open arms and get to know you personally. The more rural the area the more likely it is that the butcher will sell to your door and you may even be lucky enough to have a fish and chip van arriving in your village one evening each week.
Allow extra time when shopping locally as you will be more likely to be drawn into a lengthy conversation at the till!
9. Pet Friendly
A utility/boot room will be a must for those dirty wellies or riding boots, as well as for your muddy four legged friend(s)!
To learn more about leaving London to start a new life in the country visit:
If you would like to chat further about your move to the country please contact me, Harriet Rowlands, on +44 (0) 782 532 1564 or visit www.nplhome.co.uk. I shall be very happy to discuss your property search requirements and answer any questions that you may have.