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Would you move to the country?

(109 Posts)
SueSocks Tue 14-Jan-20 20:27:24

We live in a small town on the south coast, the area is becoming increasingly developed and crowded. We have thought about moving. Husband likes Derbyshire, we have seen a couple of properties both in small hamlets. They will be fine now, we are in our 60s & both able to drive. My worry is about what happens when we can no longer drive. I think that maybe we have left it too late to make this move. Has anyone moved to similar places at a similar age? Any problems or recommendations?

GagaJo Tue 14-Jan-20 20:36:22

I am only in my 50s and am already thinking about where I should be for my older years. Somewhere near public transport, near a GP, with shops easily accessible.

I have always wanted to live off in the deepest countyside, no neighbours, very deeply rural, but too late for me.

Not all of our dreams come true.

SueDonim Tue 14-Jan-20 20:47:10

I live in the countryside now. Or more precisely, on the edge of a village which now has no shop/school/post office, unlike when we moved here. Also no public transport. Some older people do stay here, relying on neighbours and family to help out. Others want to ‘futureproof’ their lives so have moved to towns.

We’ll move eventually as the house will become too big and expensive for us but I’ve no idea where we’ll go. confused

merlotgran Tue 14-Jan-20 20:49:34

We live in the middle of nowhere so are facing the opposite problem. DD would like us to move back to Hampshire so we can be near her and I don't have a problem because it's my old stamping ground and we'd be back near the sea again with a short hop across to the Isle of Wight where we have friends.

I don't know how we'd cope with how crowded the area is now. Yes, it would be nice to have shops and medical centres within walking distance and we must think about DD and her family who want to support us so it would be unfair of us to expect them to travel long distances. DH's health is poor so we mustn't leave it too long.

With the summer coming my head is going back down into the sand. I so love living here.

GrandmaMoira Tue 14-Jan-20 20:52:55

I don't drive and I'm on my own so country living is not for me.

Hetty58 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:58:57

I've never driven anyway. I live in Greater London but plan to move to the countryside. It's just not a problem so long as I'm within about about ten miles of a town or station.

Regular shopping I order online. For trips out I call a minicab. I'm used to using buses and trains.

As I'm only 66 and have walked all my life I can easily walk two or three miles and cycle ten to fifteen. Should I not be able to in the future, it'll be more cabs!

jura2 Tue 14-Jan-20 21:05:09

We have- but to a place where we have excellent public transport. Very regular buses from very early to very late in two directions- with great connection to Swiss and French train services, including TGV fast train to Paris in less than 3 hours.

DoraMarr Tue 14-Jan-20 21:06:51

No, I like the countryside for short visits, but I love living in my big city (Birmingham.) There are so many things to do and everything is on my doorstep or a short bus or taxi ride away. Plus, I live next door to a lovely park and an arts centre. I think I have future proofed my life- if I gave up my car I would still be able to get around easily, and it is easy for my children to visit me.

lemongrove Tue 14-Jan-20 21:07:47

Having lived in cities, towns, large villages and hamlets at various times in our lives, we have now settled on the edges of a large village, with regular public transport/pub/church/ shops/clubs etc.Towns about 8 miles away.It seems a pretty perfect location to me ( we came here from a hamlet, just two lanes of houses and nothing else!)
This move had to be a future proof move for us, and is also very near to all the family.
Think hard before moving to a small village.

vampirequeen Tue 14-Jan-20 21:08:31

I've lived in inner city, suburbia, small town and now I'm in a village with no shop although it does have buses every hour if you need them. Of all the places I've lived the village is the best. I love living in the country.

ExperiencedNotOld Tue 14-Jan-20 21:25:24

Don’t underestimate how hard it is to make a life in a new place when you’re older. Look out for somewhere that has coffee mornings, clubs, etc. Bowls is good. I’ve lived in a rural area for 28 years (my husband is a local) and I’m still a bit of an incomer it seems. When a village is interconnected through school, family and work there is a subliminal distrust of those that don’t have that background.

NotTooOld Tue 14-Jan-20 22:17:05

If you move to a village you do have to make an effort to get to know people but we have moved around a lot and have always found people to be friendly and helpful if you make an effort. Do check out public transport and remember that local bus routes can and do disappear so be prepared to use taxis if you find at a later date that you can no longer drive. Find out also about GP surgeries and hospitals and if your potential village has a shop and a pub so much the better. Most villages have a newsletter or similar which is sometimes on-line and you can check what activities and clubs are thriving in the village. My advice would be to join everything and then jettison the ones you find you don't like. Good luck if you do decide to move.

Nannytopsy Tue 14-Jan-20 23:18:52

We moved from a city to a small village four months ago. We love it! There are 5 buses a day from the village, shops about two miles away and a brilliant medical practice 4 miles away. It is much better than the service we got at a busy city practice. People are friendly and welcoming, there are coffee mornings, WI, garden club ( January meal tomorrow!) and a fun choir. Online shopping is something we could use if we needed to.
We enjoy our own company, have family nearby but will get to know people around us.
Only you will know if you have the confidence to go out and start afresh.

Ellianne Tue 14-Jan-20 23:25:49

A couple of posters have replied to the OP's concerns about being no longer able to drive with the suggestion to get a taxi. Unfortunately it isn't always that easy in the countryside. On two occasions, one in Somerset one in Cornwall, we were unable to get taxis to transport us. There just isn't the volume of customers for them to be readily available in every village or small town.
If moving to the countryside a passing bus service is a must if you can no longer drive.

merlotgran Tue 14-Jan-20 23:47:34

Taxis cost a fortune where I live. If I could no longer drive we'd be stuffed. Dial a Ride would probably only pick up at the bottom of the farm road which is one mile long and full of potholes at this time of the year.

We thought we were future proofed but when DD died last year (she lived next door to us on the same property) it made me realise that you can't take family support for granted. There has to be a back up system.

Grammaretto Tue 14-Jan-20 23:47:48

If you really want to try country living, you should! 60 is young these days. As others have sensibly said, think about the proximity to services but you already know that.

I like the idea of the country but my DD is very rural and they spend such a lot of time in the car on those narrow, fast dangerous roads. They don't have a mobile phone signal either so it's like the old days when you break down.

A village or small town with walks and views and easy access to countryside or seaside and the city is my ideal. Too much watching escape to the country. Actually, wait a minute I live here already.

Sussexborn Wed 15-Jan-20 00:11:21

Most councils have a list of licensed taxis and private hire drivers so it should be possible to check out what is available in your locality.

OH is slowly coming round to the idea that we need to move. We are in an end terrace house with outside steps down to the front door. Our last neighbour moved following a heart attack as the outside steps held up his recovery as getting out to exercise was difficult. I took a header down the steps a few years ago and don’t want to repeat that!

My in laws were in the process of moving when he needed urgent heart surgery just as MIL was having a hip replacement op. Unfortunately he had a stroke and died a few weeks after and sadly in her grief (and insistence on independence) she made some choices that didn’t work out too well.

My Dad seemed fit and healthy but suddenly had a stroke. Ironically my stepmother was the invalid but outlived him.

I am wary of not being in control if things should suddenly go pear shaped so need to get the house ready to sell hopefully in the spring/summer. Having ongoing health issues I am unsure about moving to a new area and starting anew with doctors and hospitals etc but it would be exciting to live somewhere different. We have gradually moved up the country from the Sussex coast to the West Midlands.

welbeck Wed 15-Jan-20 02:47:08

I think people tend to take their health and mobility for granted while they have it.
that is maybe why some younger generations cannot fully appreciate or accept how difficult their parents' lives are.
I see this with a neighbour.
cabs are not readily available in rural areas; and are much more expensive as they have to come further to pick you up.
hospital transport services have become much more restricted, very few people who are not seriously impaired can get hosp transport.
many people have mobility issues, or weakness etc that makes using public transport imposs; and that's assuming there is any public transport.
I know Derbyshire quite well. beautiful country. good for holidays. unless in main towns, would not move there. much of it, the most scenic parts are subject to flooding, an increasing problem, and often get cut off by snow.
stay near a hosp.

welbeck Wed 15-Jan-20 02:53:42

also, remember dial-a-ride do not take people to hosp appts.
the slightest injury / illness can render someone unable to drive. a twisted ankle. some medications. funny turns.
declining eyesight.
am just trying to be realistic. and from much experience in supporting someone with multiple morbidities, wrestling with the health service, almost like a black comedy at times. some good experiences too, of course. but often its the less dramatic, everyday problems that wear you down.
being sent a letter, received 4 days after appt date; then crossed off for non-attendance. trying to sort that out.

DoraMarr Wed 15-Jan-20 07:08:01

I think it depends on your interests. Mine are theatre, galleries, concerts and cinema, so the city is best for me. If you can overcome the lack of amenities, and are fit and able to drive, and can find enough to interest you locally, then the countryside may be a good fit. My mother lives in a pretty village, with no shop or other amenities . She drives, at the moment, but relies on family to fill up with petrol, and has called the AA out for minor problems most people could have solved on their own. The local bus is geared to school times and is often full and noisy, and taxis are few and very expensive. I worry that once she stops driving she will be very isolated.

Calendargirl Wed 15-Jan-20 07:09:55

I used to work in a bank in a pretty, bustling village, shops, GP’s, etc. There was a popular golf course nearby, and the number of retirees who moved there from ‘away’. Property was cheaper, and they enjoyed the golf and other social life.
Fast forward a number of years, maybe a spouse died, the remaining one couldn’t drive say, or their own health declined. So often they came in to give me a change of address, they were moving back to where they came from to be near family.
Should also point out no hospitals nearby, an appointment there entailed a quite lengthy journey.
Country life great when you’re fit and well, perhaps not so convenient as you age and alone.

Sara65 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:24:08

We have always lived in villages, some with more amenities than others, and with both of us driving, we have no problems. Nevertheless, I’m definitely leaning towards moving to a small town, I’d like to be literally in the town, so that I can walk out of my front door and be in easy reach of shops.

Last year, my husband was away and I had a problem with my car, village cabs charged £25.00 to take me to work, so £50.00 a day. You couldn’t keep that up for long!

I also tend to think it’s seasonal, in the winter I think I want to move into town, but in summer I love being in the country.

NannyJan53 Wed 15-Jan-20 07:37:15

I live in a small town in the West Midlands. The bus and train station are literally a 12 minute walk away.

I am 66 and still drive, but use public transport more now I have my senior pass.

My daughter lives in a Staffordshire village, 5 miles from Wolverhampton. The buses to there are infrequent and none at all on the weekends. So although I would love to move there to be nearer, I would be trapped once I couldn't drive in the future.

Witzend Wed 15-Jan-20 07:38:51

I used to think I'd like to, years ago - but that was before we started visiting friends who'd moved to rural North Devon. Yes, lovely for a break, but it was a case of needing the car for everything, nearest shop was a 25 minute walk away - uphill - and very limited opening hours.

They even had to get into the car and drive 10 minutes to walk the dogs anywhere it was safe to let them off the lead - very narrow lanes, obv. with no pavements - mostly quiet but the odd boy racer made them hazardous.

If I had to live in the country, I'd pick somewhere like my sister and BiL's house in a small Yorkshire Dales town - quietly tucked away a 2 minute walk from the high street, but just a very short walk from the fells. Best of both worlds IMO.

craftyone Wed 15-Jan-20 07:51:59

I have lived in the country for around 40 years, one in isolation and that did not last long, two years. The rest in 3 quiet villages. Villages are lovely if the community is lovely. Villages generally have no shops or pubs any more and lucky to have 3 bus services a day, finishing around 5pm, 2 of my villages had no bus service.

I could not live in a town, so I moved 8 months ago to a very friendly market town, which is a compromise. Artisan shops, buses, U3A etc. I tested the area before I moved here and got that friendly vibe on my first visit. Nearest theatre is 20 minutes by car, doctor is 15 minutes by car.

I am prepared to use savings to get around by taxi if need be but there is no taxi rank and I would be lucky to find a taxi to take me anywhere rural in my county of somerset. All the buses again finish at 5 ish. Living in a market town is definitely a compromise, I have peace and quiet and feel very safe but facilities would be curtailed to the minimum if I could not drive. I am aware of that, hence have kept up with all my hobbies and will be joining that wonderful self-help group of U3A