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City mouse or country mouse

(26 Posts)
MoBrown Thu 08-Feb-18 16:23:22

After years in a busy city, my husband is finally retiring and we're thinking of moving to the countryside. He has had a very high-pressured job although it has been slowing down the past few months. We exploring our options at the moment but I'm very interested to hear from others who might have done the same how you found the transition? We're both in fairly good health and have family nearby us now but we're really craving a slower way of life. Will we be bored in a few months though?

yggdrasil Thu 08-Feb-18 16:35:00

Don't go right out in the countryside, there are no buses and you won't always be able to drive. Find a small town which has a bank, post office, a reasonable array of shops and as such places always do, a whole range of societies which you will soon get so involved in you will wonder how you ever found time to go to work smile

I'm with the U3A

Luckygirl Thu 08-Feb-18 16:38:10

I am a very strange creature - I HATE towns and cities. If I am not surrounded by some green with my feet in the earth, and preferably a view, I feel utterly miserable. I have been very lucky indeed to have spent most of my life in the country. I am always watching programmes where they talk about villages that to me are small towns!

Villages do have a sense of community and lots and lots going on.

mollie Thu 08-Feb-18 16:40:32

I’m a Londoner married to an Oxford farmboy who I met living when we both lived in a north Bucks. We took the plunge and moved to a little village in darkest Norfolk 18 months ago. Neither of us regrets it. He is so much more relaxed although still working, and says he feels likes he’s back in his ideal habitat. I’m getting used to having to drive miles to do anything but I wouldn’t go back to a town or a city now.

Will you be bored? Depends on what entertains you? Some need to be entertained so look for villages with a social element in them. Ours doesn’t even have a pub now but that’s fine with us. We aren’t joiners so the absence of clubs, groups etc doesn’t matter. You need to consider what you want to do in your retirement and match that with the area you're considering (probably stating the obvious, forgive me smile). It’s been a success for us. Good luck!

mollie Thu 08-Feb-18 16:41:07

Excuse typos

OldMeg Thu 08-Feb-18 16:46:38

I’m not any kind of 🐁 🐭

Nonnie Thu 08-Feb-18 16:48:08

You obviously have doubts so our experiences may not be helpful. Can you rent out your home for 6 months and go to your chosen bit of the countryside and rent there? Then you would get a real test of what life is like and a better idea of whether it would suit you.

I wouldn't worry about the lack of a bank, you are IT literate so can do online banking. A post office is imo much more important. Twice a year we receive a cheque and I go and pay it in at the PO but much more often I need to post something other than normal letters so a PO is important to me.

Make sure the area you choose has good wifi so you can Skype/Facetime your family and keep in touch with everyone.

Good luck

Florence64 Thu 08-Feb-18 16:56:36

When I was a little girl my parents bought an idyllic cottage right in the middle of the country. It really was chocolate box perfect with loads of fields and bridle paths for us children to explore. Trouble is my mum (a city girl from birth) absolutely hated it. She had a car, but she liked to be able to walk to the shops, which was impossible from where we lived. My dad then bought a house in the town, just off a main shopping road with a tiny garden and she was much happier! I like a compromise. I've lived in a busy city with virtually no greenery and felt depressed looking out of the window and not being able to see a single tree. Where we live now is a small town, which is lovely, except for the main road behind us which is much too noisy. However I love the fact I can see distant fields and trees from the front. I would say move to the edge of a village, but don't distance yourself too much. Find somewhere secluded and peaceful, but within walking distance of (say) a church, pub and shop and the possiblity of joining in with village life, if you want to.

Fennel Thu 08-Feb-18 17:02:17

We moved out to a very quiet part of France in 2002 for similar reasons, MoBrown. We've had 17 lovely peaceful years.
Moving back now because of problems due to old age, language etc.
But we've seen many other couples here having problems, because one loves it, the other one is lonely, misses the family etc. I think, to make it work, you both have to have the same idea of what kind of life you want in retirement.
And you need to have your family behind you.

Christinefrance Thu 08-Feb-18 17:10:07

Good idea from nonnie try it for a few months and see how you go. We moved to rural France and its so quiet, we love it but we do know of people who have returned to the UK because they were bored. You have to be able to fall back on your own resources, hobbies, interests, etc. We have animals and do voluntary work which takes up a lot of time but its not for everyone.

grannyactivist Thu 08-Feb-18 17:10:47

I have lived in cities, villages and towns and am now settled in a small town by the sea surrounded by wonderful countryside. The nearest city is only a half hour drive away, but I rarely have need to go there as I have plenty of amenities nearby. In two minutes on foot I can be in the countryside and in ten minutes I can walk to the nearest cinema, pub or cafe. I genuinely think I have the best of all worlds.

kittylester Thu 08-Feb-18 17:19:12

I'd say a largish village near a smallish town with a city within reach.

Our village is about 6000 and we have a library, a Co-op, PO, pubs, couple of restaurants, a GP, dentist, hairdressers, bus service, train line but also lots of walks in the village and in the surrounding area. The village is small enough to be friendly but not so small that everyone knows all about you.

There is lots to do if you are a joiner and plenty of volunteering opportunities.

Not trying to 'sell' our village but there are lots like it.

I would think it might be too big a leap to go from a city to a small village and agree that renting for a while might be the way to go.

paddyann Thu 08-Feb-18 17:22:23

I'm 20 minutes from the city centre and 5 minutes from Loch Lomond and Trossachs country park ,as I'm not a country girl at heart this suits us both ,OH was brought up in a very isolated place so he likes that we're surrounded by hills ,I like the short walk to shops and the short drive to the city

Tegan2 Thu 08-Feb-18 17:34:07

Might be an idea to watch that Village of the Year programme on Ch4. 3.0.Finishes on Saturday but it's been on for several weeks and should be on catchup. There have been some really interesting villages in it from all parts of Britain. Sometimes villages have far more happening in them than if you lived in a town. The S.O. would move to Bamburgh tomorrow but I wouldn't move away from my children and grandchildren in the East Midlands. I also would miss going to the theatre and cinema on a regular basis.

NanaandGrampy Thu 08-Feb-18 17:42:10

We’ve done exactly what you’ve described, including moving 90 minutes away from our children and grandchildren.

We live on the edge of a village of 2800 people. We have a butchers, bakers, one pub , a village stores , doctors and dentist , couple of tea rooms etc.

On the main road there is a regular bus service to all the larger surrounding towns .

The peace and quiet is amazing, so much so we comment on it daily. I can honestly say we don’t miss our old lives one bit. Our days are filled with walking our dog, exploring the countryside , going back to see the family.

We are never bored , the slower pace of life means we stop and chat everywhere we go , it’s wonderful. I think it’s a good idea to try before you buy. We knew the area well , and I think that’s key .

Good luck !

Jalima1108 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:34:10

I've never lived in a city but used to enjoy the 'buzz' of visiting sometimes, but not much any more.

Villages do have a sense of community and lots and lots going on.
I will agree with that, in the best villages of course but the outskirts of very small towns could be preferable; don't forget that one day you may not be able to drive for one reason or another and will have to rely on other people or taxis.

But, should you decide to move to a small town, do check because some small towns are becoming much larger towns very rapidly with all the building that is going on now.

Jalima1108 Thu 08-Feb-18 18:36:34

That is quite a large village N&G and you have very good amenities by the sounds of it.
One village which was featured on the Village of the Year programme, which we know, has a population less than 400.
Two very good pubs though grin and a shop.

BBbevan Thu 08-Feb-18 18:53:06

We moved a year ago from just north of London. The town was beginning to resemble a car park and green belt land was about to be built upon. We now live in a rural area but within walking distance of two villages , with lots of independent shops Also just a twenty minute drive to the county town . Absolutely love it. Lovely neighbour's too. Wish we had done it years ago

grannysyb Thu 08-Feb-18 19:21:07

Suburban Londoner here, moved south with exh in the 70s, lived one one part of the borough till our divorce and then DH and I moved here in 1993. We love it, down the road is Bushy Park and station 2 minutes walk away. We get free transport for Greater London, doctor round the corner, library near by. I grew up in a small town on the north and yes I love our beautiful countryside, but dont want to live where I have to drive.I've heard of too many who have problems with the lack of public transport when they can no longer drive

varian Thu 08-Feb-18 19:24:40

It seems to me strange that someone who lives in a settlement of 6,000 people refers to it as a village. Our village has just over 100 inhabitants but we have an active community, a pub, church and village hall.

A nearby large village has about 500 inhabitants and better facilities including a shop and a primary school.

Our local town has splendid facilities, including about forty shops, doctors surgery, vets, dentists, solicitors, accountants, large post office, several hairdressers, pubs and restaurants, market hall, museum, fire station, main line railway station, primary school and secondary school.

How can a place with 6,000 inhabitants be a village? Surely that's a town.

varian Thu 08-Feb-18 19:26:21

Our local town has a population of about 3000 people but is due to grow as new developments have been approved which will take it to nearer 4000. We may get a new primary school.

Synonymous Thu 08-Feb-18 19:30:22

When we downsized to properly retire we listed all the things we were interested in and some things which were essential to have easily accessible for when we became older and less able. Things like doctors, local cottage hospital and a good general hospital not too far away, chemist, dentist, eateries, small shops which cater for hobbies and a supermarket or two and a good bus route as well as access to main trunk routes, national railway and bus routes. Just as well we did as DH was injured in a crash a year ago and subsequently we have managed pretty well. That was something unforseen but age and age related problems are inevitable eventually.
We now live in a small town which has a few shops which cater for just about anything you are likely to need but I have to confess to shopping on the internet and grocery shopping online with home delivery as it is difficult otherwise. (Good idea to check that your chosen home is in a home delivery spot as not all country places are within the set mileage limits.) There are a good many clubs and activities available here, allotments, men's shed, local theatre groups, choirs and orchestras, photography groups and walkers etc etc so there is plenty to do. Beautiful scenery all around us and from my armchair I have a bird's eye view and can see for miles across the hills, fields and a farm, a school (in the distance so no noise) and playing fields. We use binoculars and can watch birdlife and wildlife a long way off and feel very fortunate to be in such a beautiful spot.

You will rarely find a new home with everything on your list but be sure that you don't compromise too much as head over heart is best in the long run.

kittylester Thu 08-Feb-18 19:38:33

I said it's a large village varian and it is classed as a village.

varian Thu 08-Feb-18 19:44:50

I suppose it depends on which part of the country you live in whether a settlement is a town or a village. In densely populated areas a settlement of 6000 people might be called a village but in other areas that would be a town.

Our local town, with 3000 inhabitants, is a historic market town, granted a market by royal charter, I think in the twelfth century, and has all the facilities of a town. Our little village was mentioned in the Domesday Book but the population may actually have shrunk.

M0nica Thu 08-Feb-18 21:00:47

It is not an either/or decision. Country living can be anything from living only a mile or two from local town, or even city, to being out in the sticks needing two buses and a ferry to get to the nearest corner shop.

I have lived in both town and country, and my preference will always be urban living in a rural atmosphere. I live in a village with good bus services to three or four local country towns. A city with all the medical facilities of a University hospital is a 12 mile bus ride away, it is 4 miles to the surgery, community hospital and small injuries clinic. The mainline station is 4 miles away and there is a bus service linking it to the village.

At the same time we live in an old house in a quiet road in the centre of the village. Our house is surrounded by trees and our garden is completely unoverlooked. Every day I go for walks up and over the downs, where in spring and summer larks sing and primroses snuggle in hedges. In Autumn I pick blackberries and sloes. We have a decent garden where I can grow fruit and vegetables. I must confess we do not do a lot within the village, we attend events in the village hall, are friendly with our neighbours, but we can get into the city easily for cultural events, we both follow our own special interests still with the groups we were active with when we were town dwellers.

We did once consider really remote country living, but realised in time that while our friends may have been idyllically happy with the parochial church council, WI and allotment society to fill their lives, that really wasn't us.

I think the ideal situation is a village in the green belt of a big town, if you can be sure it is safe. Here you get 1930s villages and countryside with few modern developments but close to a city and its amenities