Moving to The Countryside. The Verdict.

Here is our little story of how we moved from town, to the countryside in search of a rural idyll to call our own.

7 years ago this month, we moved from the wonderful hustle and bustle of Brighton, to here: A tiny ‘hamlet’ in the middle of …well… not much really. We don’t have a shop. We don’t have a pub. We don’t even have many pavements to speak of. And anything of any importance seems to be atleast a 30 minute drive away in any given direction. Round here, It’s all about the narrow lanes and the bushes; Some trees’ and some very big fields. But if you look very closely, behind its quiet façade, actually lies one of the most fabulous communities in which to raise a family in. Ever.

I totally loved Brighton – and still do – but both my husband and came to a point where living slap bang in the middle of a busy town, with all its noise, and traffic, and bins (and seagulls!) had started to make us feel really quite cooped up and hemmed in. We started to lust after greenery … and tranquillity (possibly to offset our own noisy household of children) … and parking spaces within a stone’s throw of our own house seemed like a joyous prospect to us then, too.

I guess we both just, sort of, grew up. And the clubs and pubs just didn’t hold the same allure to us anymore.

So we came to the countryside in search of the classics: better schools, a safer environment for our children, more space (both in and out of our home) and a more outdoorsy way of life too. Thinking back, I’m aware of just how bold a move it was for us to take. We were taking our family into completely unknown territory literally, and truthfully, we really had no idea if it would work out or not. Good job we’re a ballsy pair!

Although it was VERY HARD to leave our dear friends (and did I cry that day!) it made perfect sense.

Because back when we lived in sunny Brighton by the sea, we used to spend all of our weekends driving as far out of town as we could get, deep into the countryside for long walks ; to visit country pubs with roaring log fires. I remember I used to buy Country living Magazine. And I used to pour over the ‘Grow your own veg’ section, making notes and dreaming of one day gardening more than just a courtyard of slabs. I used to buy Practical Poultry magazine for god’s sake. Practical Poultry.

I wanted a dog too. You know, one of those countrified, scruffy ones that would typically go around with some kind of a pheasant slash game bird in its mouth or something, whilst scurrying about on a beautiful gravel driveway before loyally leaping into the back of the muddy car. My husband wanted a Land Rover so to pick up big “Logs” and stuff (Because I think an act such as that makes him feel just a tiny bit stronger and more manly. Grrrrr.) I think he did, and still does, like to pretend to be an actual farmer.

(we don’t have a farm)

I dreamed of having welcoming welly boots standing proudly by my front door. I wanted one of those fun boot scuffers outside too. For the mud. I reeeeeally wanted the mud. I remember thinking that the notion of keeping ‘stuff’ outside of ones house was such a novel and charming idea. We once kept my sons scooter outside the front door in Brighton for about 4 minutes. It got stolen. You cant keep stuff outside when you live in town. Not if you want to ever see it again anyway.

In my minds-eye, In our new countryside world of birdsong and dragonflies, I envisaged our children running through meadows of wild flowers, before returning home to a freshly baked Victoria sponge cake or something. Yep, I’d be wearing an apron. Probably sporting a poultry theme …

Yes, this was a full on, no holds barred countryside fairy tale dream that we were chasing.

And did we find it?

Yes!

Actually, we have ticked all of those – frankly daft and silly – boxes of ours and so much more. SO much more!

I remember the first day that we woke up in our new, seemingly huge house (you definitely get more for your money out here) and on that very first morning, I watched as Mr posty arrived, he walked up our pathway with an interesting and cutsey looking publication in hand. Then I remember fondly as I picked up that first ever copy of the local ‘parish news mag’ from the doormat. As you can imagine, this was very exciting. A “parish mag” I shouted to my husband, hardly able to contain myself “Its just like Vicar of Dibley” I exclaimed as I browsed its, frankly awesome range of topics covered: from local stargazing to suggested hikes and cream-teas. This was all shockingly up my street. My new street. My new villagy street.

So, eager to learn more about this brand spanking new neighbourhood of ours, I did what most Mums would do and cut the crap and leafed straight to the crime section. ‘Gardeners Corner’ could wait …

And what did I read? What horrors awaited us?

Man breaks into shed and steels garden secatuers” Ha! oh bless.

I mean, how sweet is that theft?

You see, the day we left Brighton, there had recently been yet another murder nearby. Which was of course very normal for a large metropolises. Murder shmurder. There was often ALL SORTS of nasty things going down, often within a block or two of our family home. We were just so used to it that crime just seemed completely normal.

So no, we weren’t too alarmed by such things and both agreed that yes – this was to be a great place! (so long as no-one is using a crack pipe before doing the school run, or after the school run for that matter, or taking part in sex slavery and trafficking then I really don’t mind the odd ‘shed’ break in. Its not going to stop me from leaving my mud scraper out, anyway.)

Well, horticultural crimes aside, since moving here, how has it turned out?

Yes, I’ve learnt to bake. Yes, I’ve got my chooks and my working dog (he never works though), I’ve got my lovely garden. My husband has his beaten up old LandRover (it’s horrible!) he picks up logs in it. In fact he doesn’t stop picking up logs. Guys: he’s obsessed with logs. I’ve got the gravel driveway that dreams were once made of (god, gravel needs a lot of weeding, doesn’t it?) and I’ve got my Vegetable patches

Ok. So I am absolutely shockingly bad at growing veg, but my cakes are to die for.

What can I say? I get the blight. EVERY YEAR!

And well, I used to keep my welly boots by the front door, standing all proud like the Queens Guard, but the spiders kept moving in, so I just bring them in now.

Otherwise, apart from my fairly shitty courgettes, it’s all turned out to be really quite dreamy here. It really has.

You see, when we picked our house, we did it solely based on the property itself, and the school nearby. We never dreamed in a million years that we would move into one of the most wonderful communities ever to be found.

There are lots of other young families living here too. And we’ve all made friends and have in turn had some truly amazing times together.

I know it sounds a bit mushy, but our friends in the village have become like family. And I love them all dearly, and their children. And their parties!

And my gosh have there been some parties!

Over the past 7 years there have been hen nights, weddings, babies, christenings, more parties, dinner parties, play dates, sleepovers, more parties, sledging, Trick or treating, school plays galore, fancy dress, carols, fetes, tears, Christmases, new pets, pub crawls, long walks, wedding dress shopping, lots of dancing in kitchens, building work and a fair few hangovers!

We are all very, VERY lucky to have landed in this wonderfully magical place. And I am super honoured to be a small part of it.

So to surmise, Do I recommend country living with a family?

Absobloodylutley.

How about you – Do you like living in the town or countryside? Maybe you’d like to move to quieter parts with your family too? or maybe you LOVE living in town? do share in the comments box, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.

Anna x

23 comments on Moving to The Countryside. The Verdict.

  • Bec

    That was a great read Anna! We don’t regret moving one bit. I have always thought how lucky we are to have moved into a beautiful place surrounded by genuine friends who have, I agree, become like family. It could have gone the other way but I do find that people in the country have more time for one another and want to help where they can.
    On a completely different tact, whilst walking the other day I picked lots of big juicy blackberries, came home and made a fresh smoothie for breakfast. That’s another element I love about the country, connecting with nature daily. God I missed that in London! Country living has the ability to ground you and make you feel thankful somehow. Won’t ever look back!

    • Anna (author)

      Bec, you have picked up on something that I totally forgot to touch upon. Nature. I love it. And you are right, there really is something rather grounding about being in amongst it. Its almost spiritual sometimes … I think I might be a secret Tree hugger or something, but you cant fail to be affected by it when its all around you. I love that our house takes on a totally different light depending on the time of year, and the leaf colour reflections etc. And I love getting free food whilst out with the dog too!
      Right, I’m off to chant with the leaves!
      Thank you so much for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

  • Catherine

    I live in the countryside in Surrey but work in central London, and every time someone asks why I don’t live in London it’s always the same answer – I really love the countryside. Where I live in Surrey is just as expensive as London, so that doesn’t make a difference, but what I love is getting on the train at Waterloo and passing through all of the fields and feeling so much more at peace and instantly relaxed. It’s so wonderful having so much space between home and work!
    Catherine recently posted…Palm Island Resort, The Grenadines.My Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Catherine, I love that bit when you are on the train from busy London, and it rolls into your hometown/village sleepy train station and everything instantly feels calm as you step off the train. Like a totally different world. I adore London, but I also adore leaving London!
      Thank you for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

    • Anna (author)

      Spencer! For a split second there I even considered that! I may be good, but I am not that good. Sadly. Maybe one day …
      Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful suggestion!
      Anna x

    • Anna (author)

      Thank you!
      Thanks for reading and for your kind words
      Anna x

  • Mudpie Fridays

    Sounds idilic 🙂 randomly we moved out of Brighton too 8 years this month to the country. Although we didn’t have the guts to go quite as far out as you as we have a shop, pub and a post office. Plus our village is on the edge of a bigger town, but our road is a dead end, surrounded by fields and single track. Its wonderful. I too had the same excitement over a parish magazine! However we are not quite satisfied and plan to move again – further out this time and will need a landrover if it snows kind of place. I hope your pile in the country continues to excite and that one year you do not get blight! if it helps we do as well!! xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Orchard Toys New Shopping List Game & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Ahh, another Brighton girl – Yay, high five!
      Your spot sounds fantastic too but good luck with the move. Yes, My husband has his landrover in case of snow. He hopes to save people or something the next time we have heavy snow and has visions of saving stuck vehicles and buying old ladies their milk when they are snowed in!
      Thank you for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

  • Sarah

    Wow. I could have wrote this post myself! We have so much in common.
    Firstly, I grew up in the countryside. I moved to a town (one of the worst towns in East Anglia, constantly stabbings, murders, theft rate was high etc- WHAT was I even thinking?! Young and naive, that’s what!) the best part of 9 years ago. I missed country life SO much, I was depressed, anxious and darn right miserable. In April this year, after 9/.5 years of waiting, I was able to move back to a little village, in the middle of nowhere and my god! I LOVE it! The kids love it! We are all SO much happier and I can leave the scooters outside without them getting pinched. There’s practically no crime, it’s peaceful, the people are friendly and have become family, the schools are amazing. Just everything is amazing! So yes, I can relate to this post so, so much! (I leave my welly boots outside and yes, I’ve had to chuck them across the garden a few times in hopes the spiders fall out, haha)
    Next mission… veggie patch… next summer! 😀
    I never want to live in a town again. Ever. I HATED it. I freakin’ loved this post! xx
    (Following your blog)
    Sarah recently posted…This weeks goals.My Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Good luck with your veggie patch. I will endeavour to persevere with mine, hopefully next year will be better. Here is to great croppage!! ( that’s not a proper word obvs but it works)
      thank you for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

  • Emma T

    I love being in the countryside, but I do miss being able to walk for a paper or to the pub. Unless we want to spend an hour on a round 2.5 mile trip down and up a huge hill to the nearest shop, it’s a 7 mile drive to the supermarket or nearest decent sized village. We’re just outside 3 villages so it’s a bit weird because we’re part of it, but not really. I’m hoping now N’s at school, we’ll feel a bit more part of it.

    I do feel a bit claustrophobic being stuck at home sometimes though. I love being out and about in the countryside, and visiting country parks etc, but I find it boring walking round by us. It’s not a walk, it’s a hike to get anywhere. For me I prefer walking and seeing everything in towns. But maybe that’s because I’ve mostly lived in villages and middle of nowhere.
    Emma T recently posted…Starting Zumba classes to ease back into danceMy Profile

    • Anna (author)

      I have to say, I do miss not being able to walk to places. Our roads are not at all safe to walk along as they are so narrow.
      I guess you cant have it all. Thank you for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

  • Cliona

    Oh I loved this post! It really sounds so gorgeous where you live. We moved from Dublin city to a small country town over 10 years ago and it was the best thing we ever did. We live on a little housing estate so not quite as idyllic as your setting but like you, we have the nicest community of people and have made so many friends. I have never for an instant regretted our move.

    • Anna (author)

      Isn’t it just wonderful Cliona. I am glad you have found your happy family place too.
      Thank you for reading, and for your comment
      Anna x

  • Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    I’m so happy that moving to the country has met your expectations & ticked the boxes you were hoping for! It’s funny how the wellies at the front door have been moved due to practicality – you are a real country family now 🙂 I moved to rural Ireland from NYC – that was a big change! But, I adore living here, it’s such a wonderful place for kids to grow up x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…foodpornthursdays #22My Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Wow! that is a big change. I’m glad you like it, you are right it is wonderful for children to grow up in the countryside.
      Thank you for reading and for commenting
      Anna x

  • Blogging Mummy

    I feel so happy for you that making this move has worked out for you. I would love to live in the country side. It looks amazing, its so peaceful and the amazing outdoors things you are able to do on your doorstep. We live in a big city and i hate it. x
    Blogging Mummy recently posted…Our friends can’t have a baby naturallyMy Profile

    • Anna (author)

      Wherever we live, we have to make the best of what we have I guess. Think yourself lucky that you can walk to get a paper, or easily walk home from the pub without wellies, High vis jacket and headlamp!
      thank you for reading and commenting
      Anna x

    • Anna (author)

      Great plan Linda, you have the best of both worlds in that case!
      Thank you for reading and commenting
      Annax

  • Ickle Pickle

    Lovely post – I am so glad you are happy. I am lucky to live in the country, but by the sea too and I wouldn’t change it for anything 🙂 Kaz x
    Ickle Pickle recently posted…Your Computer is still CoolMy Profile

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