Fantasy move to the country

Where do you reckon is nice if you need :

access to good state schools ideally (private at a push)

Access to some kind of nice chic village ie bruton or fun town 

Vaguely connected to london

Some fun people - maybe a bit of diversity 

Kingston Upon Thames or Richmond Upon Thames in one of the small villages just outside.

Must be south-ish.

I don’t know any of the names of any other villages Hoolie round there apart from bruton and froome 

No I mean why not just move there if you like it?

there are also a lot of nice villages to the south of Bristol around the chew magna area and down towards Wells but might be a bit sticks for your purposes 

I don't know if you'd like the cotswolds tbh. Full of London weekenders and people like my ex husband who likes stalking about in shooting gear pretending to be county

It's also not really even vaguely connected to London

Cotswold sounds as grim as hell to me, every time I see programs and documentaries about it I can’t ever see the attraction! How much do cottages cost ?!!

all looks a bit curtain twitcher area to me .

Houses in the Cotswolds are pretty but insanely expensive and it's basically a weekend home for the residents of Notting Hill.  

OB I know that place as it's a running joke that they give the address as Merriments Lane despite being several hundred yards from the start of the lane itself.  It's actually pretty handy for the village as think there's a short cut through the fields into the village and the neighbours are nice and one of them does excellent catering for any parties you might have.

Cranbrook is a weird grammar type arrangement so it's private and selective but also free if you live in the catchment area which I just fall into.

That’s the good think about the south you can genuinely have proper country living if that’s what you want , whilst living nearer enough to shops , pubs, restaurants, pharmacy,theatres , gyms and public transport. Best of both wields really .

Yeah we know some right nobs who weekend in the cotswolds 

Thanks. I sent it to nev who said ‘where the hell is that’ 😂.


South Hams in Devon - Totnes, Kingsbridge, Dartmouth and the surrounding villages. 

Depends which bit of the Cotswolds. Closer to Oxford is more expensive because Oxford itself is expensive. It's not that spenny further north - Broadway, Chipping Campden etc and every bit as nice. Good location too - close to the RSC, a bit more than an hour to the Welsh mountains/Hay. Same to Bath/Brissle/Marlborough. 

We are down that way this weekend snip :)

i find the cotswolds really confusing rufty. What is and what isn’t 

there are lots of great places to live - when you say “fantasy” OB is that because you know that’s what it is?!

my guess is that lots of London types who have or are planning to upsticks to semi-countryside are going to regret it pdq. life outside London - even in semi urban areas in the south east - is VERY different from pre and post Covid London.  

There are some very nice villages in East Sussex near Alfraton,

yeah - it’s pretty round there. would love a house tucked away at the foot of the Downs. keep dreaming!

I grew up in small town Kent and moved to london age 18.

nev and I looked at houses in my home town in 2016 when I was pregnant and then brexit happened and we decided to stay in London for the diversity + London life

covid and the London we stayed for doesn’t really exist + small kids + ridic mortgage + me possibly stopping working + remote working and I keep wondering if a move outside of London would be feasible / a better bet / better for the kids.

i definitely wouldn’t change where in London we are as it’s about as country as it gets for town. But I do keep wondering why we are making a pseudo country life in z3 when we could just have one at a better price with more land 

Chipping Campden and Moreton-in-Marsh are as far north as it goes OB but are deffo inside the boundary. Both are really pretty, espec CC. You can tell you're outside when the Cotswolds stone gives way to brick. 

But yeah. It’s fantasy country as I don’t really know where to start when looking to get something that would appeal long term 

I worry we would get quite bored which is why Margate / Kent coast appeals 

nearly bought a lovely cottage right next to a lovely pub for about 250K around there about 15 years but had a relationship meltdown instead.

What is the boundary rufty - is it about the type of stone used? I’ve never really understood it. Experience of the cotswolds being jilly Cooper and a weekend in lacock

Lewes (or the villages around it if you don't mind a drive to the station) seems to work very well for a couple of my friends.  Lewes is sort of fun and you have access to Brighton as well if you want something more urban. Diverse would be pushing it... but it's not quite as rammed full of bankers, lawyers and accountants as, say Esher is and there is proper countryside on your door step.  I met a few of their neighbours and they are a mix of moderately successful media types (an author, some telly producers etc), city types and local family business folk.  

A big problem with living in the countryside is that teenage kids will utterly hate it unless you are a very short hop from a good sized village or town.

I moved to the countryside when I was 11. We were 10 miles from the town where we had previously lived, which was much too far. We were reliant on our parents driving us everywhere. Yes, we could pootle around low-traffic country roads and paths on our bikes, but cycling to see friends was a rare expedition and needed planning - you couldn't ever pop round to someone's house or just hang out.

It was OK for me, as we had a golf course nearby here I spent most days in summer hols, but my brother hated it (and golf). For him, it was like being in an open prison.

If London suburbs (e.g. on edge of green belt) are not country enough, to me the best-of-both option is living just outside a market town.

Brighton has always been a destination for arts and media types leaving London as it's always had a reputation for being rather alternative and liberal.  The TV producing side of my family live in Eastbourne and love it.

We are actively trying to earn less but thanks hugeh

dittisham snip 

Thanks Nev for dissing the centre of civilisation.  I'll have him know there are nearly 1,500 people in the thriving metropolis of Hurst Green these days.

Brexit has REALLY put a downer on the quality of food and hospitality in the Scottish countryside

England has probably survived better because you were much less "what are you doing in my cafe that I run how dare you bother me" to begin with

but I do wonder if things will change

Nice. You can hire a little motor boat from there and head to Dartmouth along the dart. Sup some sharphams wine. Love it there -  great place to explore from 

Nice. You can hire a little motor boat from there and head to Dartmouth along the dart. Sup some sharphams wine. Love it there -  great place to explore from 

Eastbourne is god's waiting room though Sails, hardly comparable to Brighton. 

Depends what you mean by South. Some very nice places in Essex/Suffolk/Cambs and much more reasonable price wise.


Somewhere like Newport or Saffron Walden for the schools/countrified living mix.

Rue you're confusing Eastbourne and Bexhill.  Easy mistake as they are kind of next door to each other.

A lot of my friends lived in the local countryside and relied on dad’s cabs. It wasn’t a particular issue.

There's a district in Eastbourne (Mead?) with an average age of 70. Average. 

When I was living in Brighton in 2006 loads of the younger people were moving out to Eastbourne as Brighton was getting to expensive. It certainly looked as if it was probably going to transform from being Gods waiting room to quite a fun place.

Also parts of Eastbourne have a number of nursing homes which will skew the average age of the area.

That rather proves my point Sails. Lewes is a good shout. What about Hassocks? Or get into Kent so you are in the grammar system. 

"maybe a bit of diversity" - if this is what you are looking for, it isn't in the Cotswolds.  It's also stupidly expensive property wise, and I am also struggling with "chic village" or "fun town".  I love living here (ten years and counting), but I do not necessarily equate much on your wish list as being synonymous with the Cotswolds, other than schools.

that first one looks like it’s on a flood plain jelly….

Stratford upon Avon. 

Best market town in England, you have all the obvious Bard stuff, but the people are lovely. Bit freaky at first when you move from London how nice people can be.

River, green hills, accessible to London - would/should be better trains thanks to Chiltern Railways being crap. But its worth the hike.

Don't buy in Margate - Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Herne Bay, Westgate all good. 


Arlesford is a fantastic shout, you'd love it OB (tho' Nev might be The Only Jew in the Village), and awesome schools. Much cheaper places the further south you go towards Soton of course. So - villages S of Winchester?

The prep school id send the kids too if we moved to Thanet (I know total class traitor) is £6.5k per annum lunch included 70% onto grammar schools - is that a good deal? 

bobs I think he’ll be the only Jew in the village wherever we go, one of the reasons we got put off Whitstable in the first place 🙄

I’ll do a Rightmove stalk on arlesford. Am having such a fun sick day Googling countrypiles thanks rof 

I have three properties in Broadstairs/Ramsgate - one I'm developing to move into (selling the other) and one that we rent out. Have been here since 2007 so know all three towns incredibly well. Lots of people now regret buying in Margate and the market there is overpriced. The main old town looks great in the day but is hugely subsidised and patience is wearing thin so that will cease. I have young children - after about 7pm I would feel uncomfortable out and about in Margate which defeats the object of being here - can't say the same for the other places. Also the OK/better schools are all in Broadstairs and Ramsgate (surrounding areas - Monkton, Acol etc.) and catchment areas are everything - struggling to think of a good school in Margate that isn't in one of the surrounding villages to be honest.. Lots of HMO's in Margate and lots of people who just have holiday lets and they are coming less frequently as the novelty has worn off. Cliftonville is essentially a no-go area sadly as beautiful architecture but packed full of overfull HMOs - very depressing. There is a reason the Turner Gallery has to be free! Everywhere has its issues but Margate is definitely worse than the other two towns by a long way for a young family - the town centre in particualr. Moving to Broadstairs as have found a house with a huge (1/3 acre) garden but love Ramsgate - gritty, art galleries, good restaurants and people are slightly more friendly than Broadstairs but both lovely. If you begin to look seriously at Thanet (the three towns - Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate) then happy to advise. Lots of shops have closed as there is a large retail park close by but Ramsgate and Broadstairs still have lots of shops relative to Margate town centre. The other areas I mentioned are nice but not on the fast train service to St Pancras which we need as we don't drive and commute to London. I'm sure there will be people who love Margate here and who refer to it as Shoreditch on Sea etc. but I would be surprised if it is someone who lives locally or has done for any decent period of time. Hope that helps!

Bet there is a house in Deal which might go on discount quite soon. 

Thanks mummy bunny really helpful stuff.

i went to secondary school in Thanet - Cliftonville had a lot of same-same issues then due to the Balkan stuff and general Thanet deprivation.

my knowledge is really out of date and I’m looking at it differently now than I did as a teen (I didn’t live in Thanet then, but it was always seen as a bottleneck that was really hard to get out of once you got in) primary schools were always deemed a bit shite and lots of the Thanet kids at my school had been at private junior schools which wasn’t a thing in my hometown where everyone was at a state school.

I don’t know much about the little country villages ie st Nicholas at Wade, I always liked Marsh side and bridge and the Canterbury countryside but can’t really remember all the names / locations 

Nev has also solidly vetoed Kent (too close to my parents) and country life (not enough diversity) - I have pointed out that we have basically created a very expensive village shop experience out of London the last 2 years due to covid.

what’s the name of the place you suggested bobs ? You know good country. I want somewhere that has a hot yoga studio and a good mani pedi.

my cousin used to live in hamble-le-rice but I found that a bit twee  

Hamble you have to watch out for the Hamble mafia.  Lots of nice villages inland east and west of Winchester.

You know good country. I want somewhere that has a hot yoga studio and a good mani pedi.



Arlesford. Easy access to golden goose trainers and ofsted outstanding schools on the state plus a wartercress train. Beautiful housing stock too

not East Yorkshire - I am back for a while and it is still mostly a dump and full of twats

Rightmove is giving me nothing on that search bobs :(



Wincanton is not the poshest but it's near Frome and Templecombe and Bruton and other nice places. Easy onto A303 or mainline to London 

or come and live near me, North Somerset coast. Main line station nearby. Beach, countryside, chi chi cafes and pubs abound not far, Bristol 40 mins 

Alresford ob


it is lovely, wallers is right.

however I know 70 year old that moved out cos its dull

I am a fool who cannot spell - it's Alresford. Go a few miles out and enjoy the thatched one with the round master bedroom.


If you want to live in a former convent. 

Could get it for a lot less at auction.

But what are the other buildings right by it?

Looks like they’ve run out of cash mid-refurb and also looks like the classic old farmhouse that has farm cottages and the like right next door so you end up with a big expensive house but still have your neighbour 20 feet away.

Gosh some of these properties are the price of a average(ish) flat in London. Madness.

Sails 99% of homes are within 20 foot of a neighbour.

The story of the convent is great.

Plus there’s a disused volcano down the road

Tales of the unexcavated.

It is never an easy issue, where to live. Zone 5 has been fine and I will probably be happy here until death. Teenagers are often not that keen on the countryside though. Mind you it might help get rid of them after university as it will not be convenient for first jobs I suppose  (3 down 2 to go...... in my case)

Guilty as charged. I moved from EC4/SW6 to the Cotswolds (GL54).

I used to spend 2 days each week in the City office which was fine.

Kids all went to a prep school which I like not so far away. Subsequently to a senior school nr Oxon which I can’t complain about.

Would I move back into Town? No. It’s an hour on the train which is close enough. Horse, dog and children seem happy enough out here...

Because I love the freedom and the peace and quiet.  I don’t have to worry that someone next door is going to object to me doing something in my garden.  Similarly don’t have noisy neighbours keeping me awake.  No arguments over parking spaces and maintenance of shared fences.  Nobody doing building work at anti-social hours like the neighbour in Clapham who had people with pneumatic drills excavating a basement six days a week including Saturday.

Nah you just need better neighbours. I don't get any of that .

There’s an Alresford just outside Colchester. Don’t move there by mistake.