It has been 15 years since my husband and I made the move from London. Since then a lot has happened, including the addition of 3 children and a few years abroad. I thought the move to the country would have me quaffing G&Ts as a result. We don’t, not every day at least, and we haven’t looked back since.
The decision was made when I became pregnant with our first child. Our tiny 1 bed flat in Fulham was going to be too cramped for all the paraphernalia that comes with a new baby. So we popped our beloved flat on the rental market (my first and very emotional experience in renting, which I will leave for another blog) and headed to look for a larger more family friendly home, somewhere bikes, kayaks, surf boards and alike could be stored.
At first, we found ourselves in Teddington, clearly not ready to take the full leap out of London and into muddy boot territory. But from here we started our search for that all important place for family adventures to begin and new friends to find.
We spent our weekends visiting various cities we thought we might like and ones my husband could possibly commute from (his job remained in London). We finally decided on Salisbury which hit the mark in terms of a vibrant city, good rail links and some positive schooling options. Now began the search for a house in the surrounding rural area.
We found our ‘forever home’ in Chicksgrove and our family grew to include 2 more children, a cat, rabbits, gerbils, chickens, many unfortunate goldfish and 1 bee hive…we need a dog!
The move out of London for us was the right one for many reasons:
- I couldn’t imagine heaving around public transport with a baby or little person in tow, plugging into the car seat and letting them snooze through the journey is a far more peaceful option.
- We could afford a more suitable house for our growing family, OK we left our ‘forever home’ and squished into a much smaller one overseas for a stint, but for the sake of all year-round sunshine, and making new friends, it was worth it!
- You can get an appointment with doctors either the same day you call, or close to the day.
- Schools are for the most part “Good” or “Outstanding” and it is far less stressful with entrance to your chosen school. If you are in catchment, voila! If it’s an independent school you are interested in, you are spoilt for choice, we have an abundance of fabulous options.
- It took some time to get used to the dinner party scene, I had to stop thinking ‘Abigail’s Party’, buy a decent cook book and invite friends over.
- Happy to report wine Wednesdays and thirsty Thursdays can still happen, but most likely you will car pool to the destination.
- A log pile! Because we have ‘space’, we are ready for the cosy winter fires.
- Long valley views and woodland walks, what’s not to love?
- London is still only a short train journey away. When we go, we make the most of our time and enjoy the buzz of the city, but we get to leave the hubbub and return to tranquillity.
- It’s just more chilled out!
We are now nestled back into our beloved ‘forever home’ on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.
Due to my own history of being a landlady for 15 years and leaving my homes to be poorly managed while I lived abroad for a few years, I have hung up my teacher hat, and now run my own business called Night Owl Properties Ltd. I can either help you find your special forever home, or a second home, and can look after it while you are away (tenanted or empty).