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–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...

7 Things I Learnt Whilst Moving Out of London

A while ago I was introduced to a Facebook group called Mummy's Gin Fund.  As someone who runs a local Facebook group myself, I was fascinated by the growth and the usefulness of the group - and inspired by the lady in charge.  I was really proud when Helen agreed to share her story with our readers!  Helen is pretty well known for her work with her website and Facebook group and her honesty in this article is so refreshing and her advice so useful and I want you all to read it, and take it on board! There is so much good information here like worry less about your children.  Really they do bounce, although a little heartfelt additional point from me on that note is to remember children listen to everything, so do try to keep your chats with friends positive - they have no reason to be concerned about a move unless they hear you endlessly stressing about it with your playground buddies. Also embrace the changes - for you and your life. It's a great opportunity for a little reinvention but don't forget who you are.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - if you're a super fashionable, matcha latte drinking, pilates devotee don't assume you're going to morph into a welly wearing, Nescafe loving, pudding baking Mamma.  Don't ignore who you are but embrace who you want to be. I'll leave it to Helen; she says it all so much better than me and I'm excited and proud to be hosting her article on our website.  Thanks Helen for being with us.   7 Things I...

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...

Staying in (the M25) is the new going out! 

Going out….but not out out A year into our marriage we were enjoying a life in London, desperately trying to be cool, hip and young (ish). I worked for a design company in Soho and my husband had an enviable job in the music industry working in Kensington. We began to ask ourselves the question on how the ‘Hell’ were we going to afford to buy a flat/house in the Battersea area that we lived and loved. We started by looking at London maps that got bigger and bigger. We’d already agreed we had no desire to go north of the river so that helped to halve the map but going deeper into the unknown , the south felt daunting. Being at the height of our social whirl within our chosen professions, we were scared the travel options were going to cripple many of our relocation choices and it did. Being in the music industry, late nights were an accepted part of the deal for both of us going to gigs and socialising. We had to be able to get home all through the night and going too far from the centre was going to mean 'Taxi Hell’. We started examining the train routes closely around London and came upon the London Gatwick Airport trains that run all night. Eureka!! This Eureka moment gave us a whole train line that opened up new locations running straight out of London, whilst leaving one proverbial ‘foot' still in London that we needed for our jobs and other after hours commitments. We now had the dilemma of what kind of property we...

A Real Life Story of Leaving London for Tunbridge Wells

A Bit of Backstory: I moved to London from the northwest in 2000, I knew 2 people in the entire city (what was I thinking? I was 23 years old & had subscribed to the ‘streets are paved with gold’ theory). I rented a 2 bedrom flat on Grange Rd SE1 for 12 months whilst I worked for a PR company on Bermondsey Street. I had the opportunity to purchase said flat for £250,000 but as this amount could’ve acquired an entire street in Warrington, my calculation was that this simply wasn’t value for money (let’s file that under ‘stuff I should’ve done’). At that time, believe it or not the area was a bit of a ghost town at the weekends & after meeting my ‘tribe’ a few of us took the plunge & found a house to rent in Clapham Junction. Cut to 9 years later, I’ve met, fallen in love with and married my husband (a fellow northerner who unbeknownst to us both, grew up 10 miles down the road in Cheshire). We’ve bought a do-er upper in Kyrle Rd SW11, decided to get a puppy and have our first child on the way. It seemed like overnight, right under my nose the landscape had changed. The years spent hanging out in cool bars, then stumbling into less hip (ok, grotty) clubs [Crazy Larry’s, Clapham Grand, Infernos, yes, I’m looking at you] were now a distant memory as I, quite frankly, battled through the first year of motherhood like a stunned hamster on a ceaseless, tedious, nappy-strewn wheel of exhaustion & emotion. Not that it wasn’t a wonderful, amazing time, but I guess looking back, my old childfree life...