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If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

place to discuss doing things round and about the UK or to ask advice about other locations
AleisterCrowley
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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#48997

Postby AleisterCrowley » April 26th, 2017, 9:08 pm

todthedog wrote:What about Shropshire beautiful, not a million miles from Birmingham. Fabulous walking.

No, you wouldn't like it. Really.
Full of, erm, bears and things. And werewolves.

BrummieDave
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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49017

Postby BrummieDave » April 26th, 2017, 10:48 pm

And Brummies.

ElectronicFur
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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49099

Postby ElectronicFur » April 27th, 2017, 10:06 am

saechunu wrote:As social animals people naturally often wish to locate somewhere near to family, or near to friends or other connections or roots previously established.

If these are really of no consideration - and that may well be the case - then you have free reign to choose anywhere that fits your criteria.

However, I would think carefully about the above to ensure that's really the case to help avoid a costly mistake. It's not just expats who bail out from Oz or France after a few years but also plenty in the UK who gravitate back to an area they have connections with. I know of various people who've moved to a new location, ostensibly made a good success of it, but after a time returned to an earlier (original) location where the connections exerted a greater pull.


That is true, but we are happy to try and move somewhere and put down new roots. I am used to doing this multiple times, so it's more uncertain for my partner to move away. But we decided you only live once, so we should try it now if we can get a better quality of life elsewhere.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49289

Postby quelquod » April 27th, 2017, 8:16 pm

UncleIan wrote:The weather is colder up north, I had friends move back from London to Edinburgh and they reckoned it was on average 2 or 3 degrees colder. Or felt like it as the wind was colder or something. Anyway, enough for a bit of a shock to the system.

Considerably more I'd say. We lived in Bucks and Kent for 20-odd years before returning to Fife and I'd guess that without windchill it's easily 5 degrees on average. If you include windchill it's the difference between sitting out in the evenings and seldom if ever sitting out aside from a beer in the middle of a summer's day. Scotland's east coast is surprisingly (?) dry but definitely cold and windy.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49356

Postby Lootman » April 28th, 2017, 7:44 am

quelquod wrote:
UncleIan wrote:The weather is colder up north, I had friends move back from London to Edinburgh and they reckoned it was on average 2 or 3 degrees colder. Or felt like it as the wind was colder or something. Anyway, enough for a bit of a shock to the system.

Considerably more I'd say. We lived in Bucks and Kent for 20-odd years before returning to Fife and I'd guess that without windchill it's easily 5 degrees on average. If you include windchill it's the difference between sitting out in the evenings and seldom if ever sitting out aside from a beer in the middle of a summer's day. Scotland's east coast is surprisingly (?) dry but definitely cold and windy.

No doubt, although Western Scotland can be mild, if damp, and no colder than much of Eastern England.

The mildest part of Britain is the Northern Torbay coast, sheltered by Dartmoor to the West. In towns like Dawlish and Teignmouth, you have to mow the lawn year round,

But ultimately the weather is bad all over the UK. If climate is really the critical factor then you probably need to consider another country, Nobody visits the UK for the weather, but rather despite it.

AleisterCrowley
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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49363

Postby AleisterCrowley » April 28th, 2017, 8:32 am

But ultimately the weather is bad all over the UK
It's not so much bad as unreliable. We don't get sharply defined seasons, and escape the extremes of weather found in mid-continental areas.
It gives us something to talk about anyway.

DiamondEcho
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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49513

Postby DiamondEcho » April 28th, 2017, 5:49 pm

@EF
This is a question I'm also facing, and it seems multi-faceted, and challenging.
My home is in London, Zone 1/2 borders. I've spent 9 years ex-UK, and will return in c1 year. I've lived in 4 other properties abroad in the interim, all materially larger than my home. I sense that although my former home is quite generous, or 'ok', in size for London, I'm going to feel cramped back there.
So in one way we're going to want more space, and since we'll both be going into some form of early retirement then we won't need to pay the cost-of-living premium to live right in central London. But proximity to visit with some ease is a must.
So I considered what kind of space we might want in future. What kind of location, city-town-village/rural.
I was country-born, but a city dweller for say 35 years. My wife has always been a city dweller. I 'understand the country [life]' but am under no illusion that you move there as an outsider and just slot in. You don't, you'd be an outsider and have to work hard to seek to 'fit in' IME.
So my thinking is a peripheral city to London. We got a simple map and considered where we'd wish to travel to. London, regional relatives, airports for travel, and so on. Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton, Ipswich.... you start to realise the list is perhaps shorter than you imagined, when the location is discretionary.
I currently suspect [imagine?] Cambridge might work for us. Not London, but busy. Good links to London plus relatives within the wider region. We could sell in London and afford decent space there. I know the city reasonably, though it was from a year living there in the early 80s. I don't kid myself that my recollection of the place, or later tourist visits is reflective of what living there might be. So the current plan is return to my home in London. Spend a year or however long we want there. Visit Cambridge for short trips or long W/Es, and other places. See how we feel about the options. And then since moving is SO expensive then make a move in an informed way.

For us it's a balance. I've lived in the country and know how it works if you 'belong'. I also know how outsiders can be treated if you don't. Or to put it another way if you move to a rural village you have to be willing to participate in the community and slot into your place. [hard to explain, but also hard for outsiders to understand perhaps, in a city you're relatively anonymous, in a village you're not, there is a hierarchy and unwritten 'rules'].

So to me and us, it's a case of weighing up what we realistically desire, vs not leaping towards untested ideals and the risk of failing in finding them. Considering what you really want [space, amenities, transport links etc] might be the starting point in the initial triangulation.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49517

Postby BrummieDave » April 28th, 2017, 5:59 pm

All those options would match my 'dry and bright' not 'damp and dull' weather criteria and, as relatively wealthy towns generally, would all provide good options for the arts, eating and drinking, and also offer access to the great outdoors. Perhaps once you narrow it down to a 'favourite' and a 'reserve', have you considered using AirBnB and renting a place for a couple of weeks as a trial/pilot first?

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49744

Postby DiamondEcho » April 29th, 2017, 9:13 am

BrummieDave wrote:All those options would match my 'dry and bright' not 'damp and dull' weather criteria and, as relatively wealthy towns generally, would all provide good options for the arts, eating and drinking, and also offer access to the great outdoors. Perhaps once you narrow it down to a 'favourite' and a 'reserve', have you considered using AirBnB and renting a place for a couple of weeks as a trial/pilot first?


Agreed. Arts, culture, F+B are all things I consider to be requirements for us. We've saved hard for early retirement so now we will have time for such leisurely things, and there's no point moving out of London only to find we're constantly returning on trips to London to access such.
Also since my wife is a non-Brit, and after our nomadic lifestyle, we need a future place to be international in perspective. Hence a place with a university drawing in a constant stream of foreign students/academia etc seems to fit the bill, as then you have a less parochial perspective and supermarkets, F+B that cater to their tastes.

Yr 2nd point re: AirBnB. Yes, this is something that I think we will need to do. Or, as my sister and family did when moving from London to a regional city, rent a place for 6 months, whilst getting to know the area, property market, etc. But that move was a work relocation to a city they'd never visited before, so they were starting from scratch. So if possible I'd prefer to be visiting the final candidate location often enough to be getting face-to-face with estate agents, and on their 'this guy IS serious and not a time-waster' list.

I used to date an estate agent, and spent quite a lot of time hanging out in that shop on weekends, so witnessed how 'walk-ins' [customers] registered to receive current and future listings; how they described their requirements. That was back when agents posted out hard-copy particulars to registered customers, so an agent would acutely judge how serious the intent of such a person was. I recall one such 'walk-in', having then walked back out after the negotiators standard Q+A/registering his details, the negotiator leaned back in his chair and laughed manically, rolling the sheet of details into a ball and tossing them into the rubbish bin saying 'He says he's got a budget of X [say a million in today's money] to spend. And that he's looking for a place in Notting Hill, OR Clapham, AND he's heard Richmond is also nice. Despite having a million pounds to spend he doesn't know quite how many bedrooms he needs nor overall size, nor preferred floor, nor whether he wants a garden. And even if he knew what he wanted, he doesn't know quite what he can afford, or how he'll finance it! A complete and utter 'kin waste of time!!!!'

I used to go out for beers now and again with the owner of that agent [my then GFs father]. He also knew a relative of mine who was both his solicitor and a serious property developer herself, that he did a lot of deals with. He'd worked in that area for perhaps 20 years by then and knew the bigger players around well. As he was the boss he only worked with professional dealers/developers. I learnt a LOT from him. In essence the core of it might boil down to:
- Know the market you're looking to buy in [easier these days with the internet and listings available to instantly access]
- Know what kind of property you're looking for.
- Have narrowed down the location sufficiently. [This can be quite narrow, as the agent will by default widen it, alert you to possibles in somewhat outlying areas esp. if you appear uninformed].
- Understand that the first details that will be presented to you will be the negotiators 'dogs', that he's desperate to get off his books. [The more vague you are on needs the more likely that was/is].
- If you are moving from another property, demonstrate how that will interface with a new purchase. If you're selling, is it listed, who with, what price, how many viewings have you had?... etc. Being chain-free is a MAJOR bonus.
- A negotiator will tip-off his 'hot-list' of clients before the listing of 'a deal' is even on their website. They prioritise who they tip-off according to who they believe will go through with the deal [and hence generate them commission].
- If you're relying on a mortgage, you should show them a copy of the 'In principle approval'. If you're not yet at that stage you'll be taken much less seriously. On the flip-side as a cash buyer if you took in a bank statement showing it's a £million in credit, you will be taken very seriously indeed.
...and so on...
Perhaps it condenses to 'Know what you want and where. Demonstrate you've researched the market/area and are serious. Show you can afford what you're after'. It further condenses to 'Demonstrate that you will perform'. 'Perform' was the precise word he used, despite that conversation being c25 years ago now it made an impact, and it sums it up neatly. The people registered on an agent's books might consider that they're participating in a kind of beauty contest vs all other such registered people. To have a hope of getting the prize your performance has to beat the competition.

[Sorry, I rambled on far too long, again :) But as I wrote it all I might as well post it as is].

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#49821

Postby bungeejumper » April 29th, 2017, 2:47 pm

I've been around north Somerset and West Wilts for nearly 40 years, having rediscovered my country-dwelling side after three decades in London, Brum and Berlin. And I'm one of those boring, unadventurous folk who'll tell you that they couldn't wish for anywhere else to live. And really mean it...

We're about 6 miles east of Bath, which has a high-class but surprisingly small-scale cultural scene. (Bristol has a much bigger cultural range, although I hate to admit that.) But it's the rolling hills and the countryside and the big outdoors that does it for me. That, and the burbling local accent, and a genuine social warmth that I'd never really experienced until I left the confines of London for fresh fields elsewhere.

The main drawback around our village, for some people, is that it's quiet in the evenings. If you need a cinema or a bus or a takeaway meal in the evening, or if the total lack of traffic noise at night spooks you (as it does to some of our guests :o ), then this really isn't the place to be. (No shortage of expensive gastropubs, though.) If you're used to having 4G on your mobile, welcome to the world of 2G - although our broadband is fast enough. People will always welcome those there off-comers as long as they pitch in socially and don't bring too many of their noisy London habits with them. Just follow the Country Code and don't rock up in a crew-cab with 150 watts coming out of the stereo, and you'll be all right. :D

Oh, and it can be expensive. Half a mill gets you three bedrooms in our village, which is very tough on the young'uns, although there are cheaper locations nearby, and five beds will be (ahem) somewhat more. We only afforded our house because we were selling two smaller houses to buy one big old wreck that needed total restoration. Frome, to the south, is somewhat cheaper and was recently voted the best place in the south-west to live by the Sunday Times. Coming up fast, and has a decent rail link to London too.

I don't ever really want to be anywhere else than around here. But I expect you've gathered that. ;)

BJ

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50015

Postby ElectronicFur » April 29th, 2017, 10:04 pm

Hi DiamondEcho,

For us it is a bit different as being near arts & culture aren't such a big issue for us. Currently we live in Surrey 35 minutes by train from London. But now that we're older we find we hardly ever go there. Just the occasional trip to a museum or activity with our son, or meeting friends for food or drinks. So we're only near London because my clients were all there. It's also why I slowly moved further out of London over the years.

We have hobbies that we could do anywhere, and some like cycling, running and hiking that make a countryside location ideal. Like Bungeejumper the big outdoors does it for me, and my partner is not too fussed as long as she has a nice house, the commute to her hospitals is not too long, and can put down some roots. I would choose totally rural myself, I love total lack of noise, apart from my own noise. But being near a small town or part of a large village would be a requirement for the other half. If it was just me, I'd probably be in the mountains, or on a rural island in Scotland somewhere. Or maybe one in the Far East :D

I hear what you're saying about having to fit in, but having moved 15 times now I'm used to it.

At the moment the problem we have is that our search space is too large, as we don't have too many restrictions.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50084

Postby DiamondEcho » April 30th, 2017, 10:41 am

ElectronicFur wrote:For us it is a bit different as being near arts & culture aren't such a big issue for us. Currently we live in Surrey 35 minutes by train from London. But now that we're older we find we hardly ever go there. Just the occasional trip to a museum or activity with our son, or meeting friends for food or drinks. So we're only near London because my clients were all there. It's also why I slowly moved further out of London over the years.


I had to chuckle, it reminds of asking a Londoner when was the last time they visited to Tower of London or Changing of the Guard. IME you get a puzzled look usually followed by '[x]0 years ago on a school trip when I was 14' or similar. I used to work within 100M of the TowerOL, and we had frequent visitors from abroad. They were amazed that we were so close to it but most of us hadn't visited for decades. There's truth in the idea that if you can simply go somewhere, then you have little reason to as you can always go another time :)
Later I worked on Grosvenor Place with views into the rear grounds of Buckingham Palace (QE2's butlers walking her corgis+'dorgis' was almost a daily sight). Last time I went to Changing otG? About 1975 :)
Perhaps it's a bit different for me having spent 9 years abroad now. I really miss certain aspects of UK culture, museums, exhibitions, concerts, the F+B that I grew up with. After time away you are inclined to romanticise what 'home' is to you, what it'll be like when you return. There is a trap though, your memory of a place is frozen in time, and when you return the place you knew will to a varying extent no longer exist. I've gone through this reverse culture-shock on returning home after living abroad twice before, and this time, next year, after so long away I know it's going to be bad.

ElectronicFur wrote:We have hobbies that we could do anywhere, and some like cycling, running and hiking that make a countryside location ideal. Like Bungeejumper the big outdoors does it for me, and my partner is not too fussed as long as she has a nice house, the commute to her hospitals is not too long, and can put down some roots. I would choose totally rural myself, I love total lack of noise, apart from my own noise. But being near a small town or part of a large village would be a requirement for the other half. If it was just me, I'd probably be in the mountains, or on a rural island in Scotland somewhere. Or maybe one in the Far East :D


I can see how a rural location works for you, good for you, it allows you a more objective perspective. It reminds me somewhat of the TV programme 'No going back', where people follow their dreams abroad. It works for some, but others get a rather blunt shattering of their dreams.
The Far-East... I've lived there on three occasions (SEAsia) + once (NEAsia). It has virtues, but there are many challenges and expectations for a foreigner wishing to live there that you wouldn't become aware of if simply passing through the region. After-thought: In fact much like a city-dweller moving to the country and vice versa. We're on our last stepping stone, currently half-way between S-EA and home.

ElectronicFur wrote:I hear what you're saying about having to fit in, but having moved 15 times now I'm used to it. At the moment the problem we have is that our search space is too large, as we don't have too many restrictions.


15 times, wow, you certainly are an expert then! I understand re: having options itself bringing challenges. What is that philosophical observation: 'There is no one as liberated as a slave, as only he is free of striving to fulfil his dreams. (...or something like that)

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50297

Postby DiamondEcho » May 1st, 2017, 11:15 am

On the perennial matter of town v country life, the following caught my eye today:

'Throughout the history of civilisation, town people have dreamed that country life is simpler. The opposite has always been true. A friend, who worked in cities for many years and now grows vines in rural bliss, laments that everything in London is easy and everything in the country is tricky. He is right. Very few things – fast broadband, mains gas, public transport, schools close by, policemen, copies of the Guardian – can be assumed.
Being rather closer to nature means being more vulnerable to it – cold is colder, wet is wetter, mud is everywhere. And although country neighbours are generally kinder than urban ones, a quarrel in a village tends to be much longer-lasting than one in a metropolis. If you want the simple life, choose a tower-block. In country life, the reward - which can be very great - is not one of ease, but of difficulty constantly overcome.'


'Want to know how to just about manage? Watch country folk - Charles Moore'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04 ... ntry-folk/
[It's a Premium article, so I believe there is a form of quota of such articles you can read per month before you hit the subscription paywall]

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50348

Postby bungeejumper » May 1st, 2017, 2:03 pm

DiamondEcho wrote:Being rather closer to nature means being more vulnerable to it – cold is colder, wet is wetter, mud is everywhere. And although country neighbours are generally kinder than urban ones, a quarrel in a village tends to be much longer-lasting than one in a metropolis. If you want the simple life, choose a tower-block. In country life, the reward - which can be very great - is not one of ease, but of difficulty constantly overcome.'[/i]

LOL, I like it. The countryside's not for everybody, that's for sure. I've been out in the garden this afternoon, planning to clear away an advancing jungle of ivy on ancient wall, and was stopped in my tracks by a blackbird singing its heart out, while also staring anxiously at my shears. Yes, there was a nest right in the middle, so bang goes that idea until August. And any time now the wild honey bee colonies in the chimney will start swarming and I'll have to call out the beekeeper man to fish the swarms out of the tree and take them away. Distractions,distractions. It never stops. ;)

The author is absolutely right about how your exposure to the weather is so much greater out in the sticks. I think he's probably overdoing it about the village feuds, though - I've only ever known one proper one in forty years, and that was because a bunch of very wealthy townies moved into my last village and closed a couple of the local footpaths. Otherwise, differences tend to get submerged pretty quickly IME (with the possible exception of parish councillors, who tend to be early-retired civil servants and who can hold grudges for decades). There was once a lively wife-swapping circle in our village (or so I'm told), but the traditional cousin-swapping is long gone. :lol:

The author might have added that there are reasons why country dwellers tend to drive battered old estate cars. You need the room in the back for the straw bales and the horsey gear, and there's no point in buying a new one because in no time it'll be covered in the same mud and scrapes as everyone else's. Range Rovers are more at home on the double yellow lines in Notting Hill. It takes all sorts.

BJ

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50406

Postby DiamondEcho » May 1st, 2017, 5:22 pm

bungeejumper wrote:... I think he's probably overdoing it about the village feuds, though - I've only ever known one proper one in forty years, and that was because a bunch of very wealthy townies moved into my last village and closed a couple of the local footpaths. Otherwise, differences tend to get submerged pretty quickly IME (with the possible exception of parish councillors, who tend to be early-retired civil servants and who can hold grudges for decades). There was once a lively wife-swapping circle in our village (or so I'm told), but the traditional cousin-swapping is long gone. :lol:


I've known a few. We had two with one neighbour that arose out of the blue. He was a 'weekender', a QC who lived in a $$$ area of London. [Yes, I'm being intentionally vague]. Within a year of him buying the place he'd started legal disputes about both access to our property, and a small patch of OUR land that he claimed should be his. Put another way, he tried to grab a piece of our land and when we didn't roll over then threatened our use of a shared access lane from the road to our drive-way. Imagine starting retirement in the country, an area you've lived in for 30+ years, then some flashy-gob turns up and you have to instruct your 'village solicitor' to defend yourself against this top-rank QC. You don't endear yourself in the community to behaving like that; as a 'weekender' he didn't care as he had no wish to become a part of the community.
The other thing I've seen is the unspoken hierarchy. Perhaps call it the 'Lord of The Manor thing'. The suggestion that 'My family have lived in this village for 300 years, [so you'll do as we wish]'. Meritocracy has now even just about arrived in village life. I know one family who were still pulling such inappropriate inherited presumption in the 1980s, and it caused a lot of trouble, divided the village, until most of the village finally turned against them.

bungeejumper wrote:The author might have added that there are reasons why country dwellers tend to drive battered old estate cars. You need the room in the back for the straw bales and the horsey gear, and there's no point in buying a new one because in no time it'll be covered in the same mud and scrapes as everyone else's. Range Rovers are more at home on the double yellow lines in Notting Hill. It takes all sorts. BJ


How we used to laugh at that QC-neighbour. He did indeed have a Range-Rover, and he took to careering around his small garden on Sunday afternoons so his immaculate car had sufficient quantities of mud on it, such that back in NW3 all his neighbours might envy him having been 'hard at work out on his country estate' - or idling at his country cottage as it actually was :lol: I met him and his family on a few occasions and they could be very nice, charming even, but they brought too many 'spiky habits' [like aggressive litigiousness] and demands to ever have a chance to fit in, or even, be well tolerated.
Maybe that's it, you might not see it from the outside, but each village has it's ways and if you wish to live there and thrive you have to recognise and accept them.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50457

Postby Imbiber » May 1st, 2017, 8:08 pm

Slarti wrote:Somewhere close by Canterbury which should have all you require, including easy access to most of the rest of the country.

It is not as dry as here in Essex, but does have at least as good weather as most of the rest of the country.

Slarti



Source ?

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50461

Postby Slarti » May 1st, 2017, 8:32 pm

Imbiber wrote:
Slarti wrote:Somewhere close by Canterbury which should have all you require, including easy access to most of the rest of the country.

It is not as dry as here in Essex, but does have at least as good weather as most of the rest of the country.

Slarti



Source ?


Nowhere is as dry as here in Essex as we are the driest part of the country, Mersea Island being the driest spot in the country.

As for at least as good as most of the rest, well, it is further south than the majority of the country and so is automatically better, in my experience.

Slarti

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50623

Postby DrBunsenHoneydew » May 2nd, 2017, 2:44 pm

The Met Office Has some useful maps at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate/. Click on the Averages Maps tab.

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50626

Postby AleisterCrowley » May 2nd, 2017, 2:53 pm

April seems to be warmer than May/June in the south east , unless I'm reading it wrong

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Re: If you could live anywhere in the UK where would you choose?

#50690

Postby pbarne » May 2nd, 2017, 6:10 pm

ElectronicFur wrote:I finally decided to move away from the rat race, and so we can move away from living near London.

Where would you choose and recommend?

We are still weighing up all our requirements, and what we're willing to trade off, but our only restriction is that it needs to be near the major hospitals, for partners work, and near a school for our 3 year old.

From our initial research, scenery and value for money seem to make Wales the most attractive.

Cheers,
EF


Hi EF,

Have you considered Monmouthshire / Wye Valley just in to S Wales?
Cardiff, Newport, Abergavenny and Bristol hospitals within reach (Severn
Bridge tolls reducing soon). Many good rural primary schools around.

We moved here seventeen years ago and have not regretted it!

Cheers,
P


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