Things to Remember–A Real Story of Leaving London for Saffron Walden

    I've known this family for quite some time - they've been regular and active members of Life after London as they've explored their different areas and plans so it gives me so much personal pleasure to be able to share their experiences with you, now they have made the move.  They have so much good advice to share as they had more than their fair share of 'experience' during the whole process - tips such as getting your house on the market, focus on what you want to achieve, get to know your estate agent - all such great things to remember.  May I introduce the Family May....   So we’ve finally done it.  We’ve actually made the move out of London to Saffron Walden, with three kids (aged 7, 6 and 2) in tow and after almost three years of “shall we, shan’t we?”, including two aborted attempts.  It all started, as I’m sure most of these things do, with a casual flick through Rightmove just “out of interest” to see what we could get if we sold our slightly cramped terraced house in Chiswick and made the big move out.  Georgian Dreamers Turns out you could get quite a lot, and we stumbled across a gorgeous looking Georgian farmhouse in the middle of Norfolk.  It ticked all the fantasy house move boxes:  beautiful, massive, lots of land, outbuildings, a small lake, cows in the field next door. And a tennis court.  Yes, a tennis court.  My wife grew up in Norfolk so we thought we might as well have a look at it, in the...

Living in Northamptonshire–Quotes from the Locals

  "The transport links, great little villages, most stately homes in the country, and the beautiful stone houses ( I might be biased!)"--Instagram user @katy_at_the_manor   "Great country parks and has the most stately homes that have events on throughout the year, ideal for families. Northamptonshire has great transport links with easy access to M1 and M40 making it ideal to travel to London, Birmingham and Cambridge with ease. Housing prices are low compared to down south and get a lot more for your money!"--Instagram user @northamptonfamilies     "It has the name 'The Cotswolds without the crowds' and that's so true! Beautiful stone villages, miles of footpaths, country parks, so many big houses, Althorp, Rockingham, Boughton and so many more. It has some of the most historic churches in Britain, perhaps the best, and the countryside is just incredibly beautiful. We have a new shopping centre at Rushden Lakes which has been built to fit in with the rural environment. There's just something for everyone! I know I'm biased because I was born in the county but it's simply a wonderful place to live."--Instagram user @sunchild57   "We moved here 7 months ago and I’ve fallen in love with the area and the people. I’ve worked as a travel guide for the past decade and this place is a hidden gem. An unexpected surprise that I am in constant awe. I agree with @sunchild57 - gorgeous villages, beautiful historic churches, stunning countryside.. and there is always something going on. It feels very genuine. A space respected by the people."--Instagram user @suddenjourneys   "Love the countryside and villages of...

Real Story of Leaving London—The House Hunt

  Sometimes finding the right house is not an easy proposition. Jo kindly shares her story of the trials and tribulations of the house hunt.    London life My husband and I both moved to London for work almost twenty years ago, with no other ties to the city. We met through a mutual friend 13 years ago, bought a house in 2008 and married in 2014. Although we had great intentions, our house was never truly 'home'. We lived in a fabulously green corner of the capital with a relatively tight community but our jobs meant that aside from a weekend walk we never really made the most of it or joined in. Truly in a rat race rut! Our catalyst for change was paying off our mortgage in 2015.   Flexi working   Suddenly our reason to work so hard melted away and we began to resent our roles. We experimented with flexible working, but our living space and proximity to neighbours didn't make for a productive work environment - plus we were also still fitting life around work.   Goodbye work   It was another good few months of just talking about relocating before we made a definite plan. Deciding not to have children was a positive breakthrough because it helped us to agree on house style, size and location. Then came the hard part about where to move to. While we were at that research stage we did some sensible financial planning - boring but this gave us the confidence to both quit our jobs, removing our very last excuse to stay. Game on!  ...

Real Story–10 Things I’ve Learned About Moving to the Country

Instagram is a bit of a time sap for me, so many beautiful pictures just begging to be liked!  The negatives are far outweighed, however, by the positives, and that is the people I've met.  Many people looking to move out of London but also people who've made the leap and are willing to share their stories with you.  We know there is so much to be gained by listening to the experience of others - and not just friends.  We love asking friends but they have a habit of giving us the answers we want (instinctively we're all guilty of 'choosing' the friends we ask - those who will tell us what we want to hear!).  So instead you can read from 'a stranger' who has no invested interest in your move.   I am thrilled to share Catherine Hackett's story and I'd strongly recommend you pop by her Instagram account if you're on there, or visit her blog and enjoy her journey. Four months ago we left our Victorian terraced house in South West London for a draughty farmhouse on a rural three acre smallholding in Hampshire. Having spent years trying to grow as much food as we could on a tiny patio and becoming frustrated at the lack of space for our son to play in, we wanted to go somewhere with beautiful views, where we could grow or raise a significant amount of our own food and where we could swap gym membership (well, we would have swapped it if we had it…) for digging our own vegetable beds. It’s been wonderful, but a paradigm shift, so...

Moving out and back…and maybe out again!

I love sharing stories of our members who have experienced the move - their insight is so helpful for you.  Perhaps even more useful are those who moved back.... I hope you'll enjoy this story, shared by the wonderful Megan from Rubbastuff. This is a really useful article - with LOTS to take on board.  Remember everyone is unique but there are issues that need to be considered before making the leap.  One of our most important roles is making sure you've considered many of these aspects.  I know Megan won't mind if I say that so much could have been avoided with the right research - we don't let them make the same mistake again!  Why did we consider leaving London? Schools (at the time we first started thinking about it) Animals and countryside. I’d grown up in the pony club with dogs and wanted the same for the kids. Space Finance. We run our own company together. Things got quite tough in 2009 and we had another startup we needed time and funds for too. Family - My parents lived in Dartmoor (6 hrs away), and we were close to my grandparents, aunt and uncle. The logistics of moving out of London   Despite our best efforts, we weren't able to find a house to buy before moving so we gave up on trying to find somewhere before our house sold and decided to sell it so we could rent in Somerset. However, our buyers pulled out the week we were moving. We were already tied into the rental contracts with removals and everything packed up so in a panic we rented...