June 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm #5346
We moved to Surrey from London 1yr ago and I have regretted the move every single day. Wondered if anyone else feels the same?? I am desperate to move back but having a 5yr old settled in a great school I feel trapped. I find country life terribly dull (and I am a born and bred surrey girl but lived in London 15yrs). Anyone else find the change just too much???June 5, 2013 at 6:03 pm #5347
I’m new here, but just wanted to respond as no-one else has! I was brought up in north-west London and have lived all over the place, including Surrey. I do understand what you mean about missing ‘the buzz’. However, is it partly lack of friends in your new area that you’re finding difficult? And, if you are happy to say, whereabouts in Surrey are you?June 5, 2013 at 6:12 pm #5349
Thanks for the reply! Think it’s the realisation I have become dull and middle aged! I am in bookham. I have realised space is overrated and for me feeling ‘the buzz’ is what makes me feel alive. Have met some nice people, but it’s just dull beyond belief. I worried before about my son mixing with the ‘wrong’ people wherewe lived before, now I worry he only sees white faces and has no idea of what it’s like living and mixing with the melting pot that is London. We have a lovely big garden, views and a big house but I would swap it for my 2 up 2 down terraced house with a patio for a garden anyday!! Can you ever move back though?? Are you still in surrey?? How long has it taken you I settle??June 5, 2013 at 6:41 pm #5352
I think you have to give it two years… we moved out of London and a year later I still wasn’t convinced but we moved villages (only 15 minutes down the road) and it made the world of difference… now have a better social life then we did in London (where I had lived all my life!) But that said don’t stick it out for the sake of it, it’s not for everyone and if its making you miserable than there is no shame in going back to the big smoke!June 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm #5353
Hi, I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling with moving out of London but here are a couple of suggestions which might help. Firstly, get involved with your son’s school – they always needs helpers and you’ll not only get to see what happens in his school, you’ll meet loads of other parents. I’m sure not all of them are boring!! You’ll probably discover loads of online entrepreneurs and people who’ve left fabulous commuting jobs to enjoy family life a bit more (which is a much bigger lifestyle change than moving out of London!). The other thing to bear in mind is that, in my (extremely limited) experience, it takes at least 2 years to settle. I used to miss walking to shops & restaurants etc at all times/days but now I wouldn’t swop my children being able to see the changing seasons for all the world. They can enjoy city life when they’re older and will no doubt love it but a childhood in the country can be magical. Try to discover more about what your area does have to offer, maybe start a business or group yourself which you might have enjoyed in London, and remember the reasons you wanted to move out in the first place. Nowhere is perfect – good luck!June 5, 2013 at 7:03 pm #5354
Hi, we are thinking of moving 10mins down the road to cobham which is much more buzzy than here…maybe that’s a good compromise as there’s a little more going on there. I think I would struggle with 2 boys and a puppy with no garden but on the other hand London has so much to offer!June 5, 2013 at 7:16 pm #5355
Hi Bridget! Thanks for your reply. I do help out at his school, and there are lots of lovely mums. You are right…not all of them are boring!! I think I came here with the wrong attitude tbh. I have a 15 month old too so starting my own business isn’t viable at mo but am actually in the process of becoming a childminder. I just feel this void in my life which I never had living in town. But I totally agree that for my children, it’s the right decision! This only makes it worse!! Knowing I really cannot move my family back because of me despite that being exactly what I want to do!!! I so miss walking to restaurants and cafes!!!June 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm #5356
Hi Eleanor. Have you been to The Medicine Garden in Cobham? Take the kids there one sunny day and have a coffee – you’ll love it and the place has a knack of making everyone feel better 🙂 Its a beautiful walled garden, with a small restaurant/coffee shop and playground – they also hold several annual events which are worth going to like the Halloween Party. I miss London too, but I make it a priority to get myself up there for my ‘fix’ of galleries, bars, restaurants etc on a regular basis – Waterloo is only 40 mins from Guildford for me. I also try to remember why we came here (almost 5 years ago!) – for the kids (!). And I try to make sure we make the most of our surroundings – so I don’t feel like the move here wasn’t worth it. So we go walking through bluebells in the Spring, take bike rides in the woods in the summer, climb trees and pick berries in the Autumn, sledge in the fields in the winter… No I cant walk to the shops or get a Stabucks whenever I fancy it, but I go for a run in the beautiful countryside at dusk once they kids are in bed, I can enjoy sitting out in my garden on a sunny day without the claustrophobic air of the city, I can sleep with the window open and hear the owls. Try to make the most of the change in environment, accept that it’ll take time to adjust – and remember that London is never far away!! 🙂 X PS the majority of people living out ‘in the country’ are just like you – we’ve all moved out from London too (it took me a while to figure this out!) so we’re all in the same boat. That made me feel SO much better, and see people ‘out here’ a little differently! All the best XJune 5, 2013 at 7:58 pm #5358
Hi Eleanor, I think you’re right about Cobham, it has a totally different feel to Bookham and it’s just a hop up the A3 to get your London ‘fix’. Cobham has more of a cafe culture thing going on, some decent shops and there are lots of restaurants so it might be better for you. Try the Medicine Garden too – it has a nice outside play area and cafe/restaurant, really lovely place to visit and there are always groups of mums there. Sounds as if you really have your hands full at home as well, can’t be easy. It took much longer to settle in the sticks than I thought it would and was harder than I expected – you’re right about the void thing, but now it’s really home. Keep going, you’ll get there in the end!June 5, 2013 at 8:12 pm #5359
I so appreciate your replies! I have been to the medicine garden but it was a while back so maybe I should go back!! I did like it there.. My best mate moved to cobham about 10 months ago from London and she loves it. I do think we perhaps chose the wrong place but my priority was schools, and for some reason the schools here are amazing. Thank you for taking the time to reply…I will keep on trying to rebuild my life here and know that what makes it better is seeing my boys and puppy running around in the garden I wouldn’t have in London!!June 5, 2013 at 10:42 pm #5362
I used to live in Bookham and, although it’s very sweet, there’s not a lot there! Thinking about the general area, if you want more of a mix of cultures but to retain access to the countryside, Epsom might be a good compromise.June 6, 2013 at 7:18 am #5363
Hi Eleanor, I live in Effingham on the Bookham border. I have to say that I love it, although that is not unconditional! I recognise some of the issues you have, and the ‘incomplete’ picture and some limiting attitudes that go with that, was one of mine too! But don’t forget how close to London you still are! My husband goes there every day! I really don’t want to generalise though, because it is not all like that, and I mix with a few out of Londoners here who have a great balance. Why not organise regular days out to London so your kids will experience the richer mix of people that we don’t have locally, and see this as normal as they grow up. I think the beauty of this area is the quiet Surrey life, with the easy access to London. I wouldn’t want to go further away from London. I must admit that some of the things you are experiencing and I had put down to not having children – a vital accessory for this area, in my age group! I still don’t have a great social life and don’t feel I really fit in socially as I did in London, and the Mums (who are lovely) are all very busy with their families and other Mums and families. I also miss the spontaneity of London life, as it now takes more planning. But having said all of this, I love living here, and the benefits outweigh the downsides for me. Personally I think Cobham is a bit overrated – that will bring a response or two I am sure! I go there for the things I like – it is so close – but having intended to live there and having looked at 20+ houses there, I am glad we didn’t settle in Cobham in the end. I think it has always taken me more than a year to put down roots and love where-ever I have lived. If you fancy a drink with an out of Londoner one night, please let me know! Good luck, and I hope you find the key to your happiness for you and your family.June 6, 2013 at 8:52 am #5365
Hi Eleanor, Everyone else seems to have given you lots of good advice – I thought I’d just add an extra bit in to the mix. Don’t forget Dorking is just 15 mins down the road from Bookham and there is loads going on here, plenty of cafes, some lovely shops & a great sports centre. You might want to bear in mind when you are considering a move to Cobham that we’ve recently sold a house here to a young couple who wanted to move out of Cobham for a more lively environment!! I moved here from London 14 years ago and have never looked back. I’m not suggesting that you up root from Bookham and head permanently to Dorking but how about checking the restaurants and cafes out as a start, perhaps book the kids in to some swimming lessons at the Sports Center or sign them up for some clubs/activities here during the school holidays. Good luck & enjoy the weather.June 8, 2013 at 8:51 am #5406
I’m happy to say I didn’t regret leaving London at all – I’d been there 15 years and also didn’t want to bring children up there. We moved to Bristol, which my husband hated, and 4 years later to Cumbria, which we all love. However I know that a really rural lifestyle (and Cumbria really is – it’s wrecked my career!) isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, though I have to say I’ve never been so busy nor felt so much part of the community (maybe going to the extreme in terms of rural life is easier than being ‘so near and yet so far’ in the South East generally). It might just help you feel a bit better to read Wife in the North (she has a blog too) – a woman who moved to Northumbria and hated it to start with. I also have a friend in Cumbria who still misses London desperately – probably not helped by the fact that she and her husband still have a house in London and her husband works in London 3 days per week. I hope you manage to settle down and feel happier about suburban life.June 10, 2013 at 11:04 am #5416
We (my husband and I, and our two children) are moving from South London into a rental house in East Horsley over the summer holidays and looking to buy as soon as we can find something. Hoping for state school places for my daughter for year six and my son for year three from September, but most schools seem chocca, so we may have to stretch ourselves somehow and go private.
Biggest worry (particularly for me, and for my daughter) is friends – the lovely ones we’ll leave behind, and how easy it will be to make new ones, whether through school or by joining clubs etc.
Just wondered if anyone else is in a similar situation, or has similar age children and might like to meet up? Daughter is arty, slightly tomboyish, son is a sporty clown. I’m a fairly easy going person, more of a slummy than a yummy mummy, though my inner 50s housewife sometimes emerges and makes me put on something nice. I can be irreverent and cynical, but I am a good and supportive friend.
Do I sound desperate enough yet? I feel a bit like I’m internet dating…
On another note, does anyone know if there is an independent cinema or film club in the area. the nearest I can see in the Everyman in Reigate. Maybe starting a film club (with wine) would be a good way to meet people!
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