After over 2.5 years of house hunting (including having one house offer fall through after waiting over a year for the house), we did it and moved to the English countryside.

It’s now been just over three months since we have moved and so much has happened – not only did we make the house move, but two weeks later our little bundle of joy Oscar was born. Being a mum of now two little ones and moving away from London and city life which is all I have known, has been a huge transition for me.

Why We Decided To Move To The English Countryside

Taking a step back, I thought it would be important to share why we decided to make the move out of London where we had a fantastic base, network of friends and a life full of all the best amenities, restaurants, shopping, food and transport links that an amazing city as London has to offer. And it came down to three things:

  1. More space – we lived in a lovely but tiny 50 square metre flat in West London and we were running out of space for Andy, myself and our four year old daughter Willow. With Oscar on the way, we did not have a room for Oscar. If push came to shove, we could have survived another 6 months in the flat as babies for the first 6 months can sleep in the same room as parents but after that, we literally had no place for baby number two unless someone slept in the lounge/kitchen.
  2. Outdoor living – Andy grew up in the countryside and loved playing in the woods and a big garden and wanted a similar childhood for our children. Although a different experience to Andy, having grown up in Australia, I do understand what he means about having more space to be outdoors and in nature.
  3. A more simple life – As much as we love the hustle and bustle of London city life, Andy and I are now in our 4th decade of life, and we wanted to slow down a little bit.

Now three months in, we are so happy to have made the move. We now live in a house and have SPACE for Willow to play in her room and a large garden; Andy can go for walks in the woods (and spend time in nature which is so important to him both physically and mentally); and we live a more simple life – where we eat better (okay except for some sweet treats at the moment as we are sleep deprived with a new baby but this is a work in process to cut down the sugar!), and our activities are more centred on family centric activities, farmers markets and country living.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To The English Countryside

But for those that are deciding to make the move from city to countryside, here are 5 things that I was surprised about with our move to the countryside:

  1. Sense of community – My biggest worry was that moving to the countryside would be isolating as it would be hard to make friends and get to know your neighbours. I could not have asked for a more wonderful experience – two of our neighbours have been FABULOUS, introducing themselves to us on day 1, coming by to meet Oscar, and have been reaching out to see if we needed help with anything. Their warmth, kindness and inclusiveness has been so wonderful, it has made such a difference. I also have joined some community and village WhatsApp groups (including a toddler group in my area) which has been so great for me, and I’m looking forward to meeting new mums in the area.
  2. You are car centric – If you don’t like to drive, then country living is not for you. Unfortunately, you are heavily reliant on a car if you live in the countryside and it’s super important to have a car to get around as buses, trains, tube etc are virtually non existent. We now are reliant on two cars to get by for the school pick up, driving to the train station for work, and general life. We took the plunge and got an electric car which has been awesome.
  3. You have to be super organised about your food and general grocery shop – mini Tesco/Waitrose which is a 5 minute walk around the corner? Say goodbye to the modern convenience of living in a big city. This is tied to being car centric – you have to drive to get anything even if you are low on milk and you have to be incredibly organised so you do not suddenly run out of toilet paper and milk.
  4. Life becomes more local and you support local businesses and communities – we are starting to get more hyper local with our food – we subscribe to a milk club which delivers our eggs, bread and milk twice a week, and we get our veggies from the local community farm. Who would have thought this city girl would go so local? All I can say is love love love, and the produce is super fresh and I feel better that we are doing a little bit in reducing our carbon footprint.
  5. Life can be lonely if you don’t make an effort to make friends – like moving anywhere new, it’s important to make an effort to make social connections and new friends. I’ve been so fortunate that some of the mums in Willow’s school have been so warm and friendly and I’m already making new friends. I also took the plunge and went to a mum meet-up group and mum and baby yoga class and met new people there too.

So far this move to the countryside has been awesome and I can’t wait for more great things to come our way with Spring around the corner and the garden coming into bloom.

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