Whether you’re moving to get more space, give your children a different kind of life or you’re simply curious about what it’s like, life in the country is going to pull a few surprises on you after life in the capital. Once you’ve jumped the main hurdles – choosing an area, choosing a house, finding a new occupation (unless you’re commuting) – there are all kinds of day-to-day differences that might initially prove challenging. Here are some our tips for getting through the process from start to finish:
Don’t hold on to the idea of a dream country house. You could postpone the actual purchase indefinitely if you search for this mythical idyll. Every home you see will live up to your dream in some ways but not in others. Perfect doesn’t exist and you’ll be looking forever.
Prepare for completely different kinds of house-upkeep. For example, you may be moving into a quaint, picture-perfect thatched cottage – but it will bring with it very different maintenance demands, especially with regards to the roof. Visit the Thatch Advice Centre to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
Don’t forget your Wellington boots. The country has an abundance of mud and your normal shoes won’t last a day in it.
Embrace some of the newfound benefits of country life. Get a dog and, in the absence of a city’s light pollution, gaze at the stars when night falls. Breathe in the clean air and let city stress fall away.
If you have an abiding love of all things urban, then be sensible and move to a part of the countryside from which getting to London is still easy and fairly quick. Counties in the Midlands and beyond may be too much countryside too soon.
Prepare for less anonymity than you might have enjoyed in London. If you’re the newcomer to a small village, you’re going to be the object of friendly curiosity at first. People keep up with each other in a different, perhaps more involved, manner than in London.
Be a driver. You don’t want to be reliant on a village bus that comes twice a day. If you’re not a driver, you need to become one.
Take a last chance, before your move, to enjoy the things you can only reliably find in London. There’ll be a dearth of sushi in the sticks (but plenty of country pubs), so in your final phase in the city, make the most of the international restaurants, theatre and museums. You won’t find similar once you’re in your rural idyll.