Monday, 8 March 2010

City limits

A trip out of London to see family saw us admiring some nice green views.

Over the years, dear friends have left the big schmoke for a quieter life, more house for less money, and just simply because they had had enough.

It got me and The Boy talking about whether we could really live outside of the M25.

Now I love the countryside. Rolling hills, fresh air, the wildlife, the relaxed way of life. What's not to like?

Grandma lives here in the French countryside and when we visit we love the fact you barely see another person for weeks.

But, could I live away from the city for real?

I'd like to think I could, but whether I want to right now is different.

There's nothing wrong with raising a family in the city. People always worry about the crime, the schools and the lack of open space, but I argue that kids can have just a good a childhood here as those raised elsewhere.

And when they're older it makes no difference. Besides, teenagers get bored regardless of where they live.

I'm in the suburbs anyway, hardly Soho.

The case for London life:

There's tons to do for families.

It's multi-cultured and there's a diverse range of people.

You're only a tube ride away from adventure.

The shops are open most of the time.

The case against:

The cost. Everything is so darn expensive.

Er, that's it.

Ok, so I'm biased. I was born and raised here, so I don't know much else.

I love the coast too, so if I had to leave the capital, I'd head to the sea in a shot.

Where do you live and do you think children have a better life outside of the city?


  1. I think that London is greta, but then I am a country girl and couldnt live there. We relocated back to the North East of England when we had the boys from Berkshire. Mainly so that I didnt have to return to work!

  2. When hubby and I decided to breed we moved from an apartment to the suburbs close to my parents. With one child in tow moved accross the world to Oxford then moved back to NZ when 2nd child was 3 months old.

    Back in NZ bought large 4 double bedroom house in semi-rural area with annex for my parents. Was on a half acre plot surrounded by farmland and livestock. By car was 10 mins to beach in one direction and 15 minutes to forest in other direction. Thankfully was only 20 minutes from large town for GP and shopping. Loved the space, the kids were outdoors loads more, made dens and climbed trees and enjoyed the green spaces and freedom. Mind you the weather is definitely not as cold in NZ, no snow where we lived. :)

    Moved back to UK (Cambridge) when 5 months pregnant with 3rd child. Live in 3 bedroom terraced house with small garden (20ft square). We do not have a car as cannot afford one. Thankfully there is a large park with playground near by, supermarket and kids school 5 mins away, GP 10 minutes away. Buses into central Cambridge 10 minutes walk away or 45 minute walk instead.

    Miss the open spaces and the kids not getting out as much. Visit the park often. Walking is good for fitness but not enough greenery and less chance for kids to make their own fun outdoors unless at park or at friends with slightly bigger backyard.

  3. I'm with you. Coming from Brazil I feel more at home in London than any other town/city in England because of it's diversity.
    My children go to a lovely comprehensive local schooI.
    I also love the cultural side of it, the parks, the river, the food, the people.
    Yes, the country side is pretty, but I wouldn't change London for any other place in England.

  4. Ouch. You really hit a nerve here. I still don't know. We are trying to decide between Pimlico and Richmond at the moment. Or maybe Lewes (near Brighton)? I really don't know.

  5. Oh I know what you mean! I was born in London and love it here but it's nice to escape for a bit - I like my daughter to see a bit of countryside every now and then! But if I'm in the sticks for too long I go a bit crazy.