Relocating is a big deal. It takes a lot of consideration, discussion, planning and organisation. Two families have kindly shared their honest views with me about relocating from London to Yorkshire and how this has impacted their lives.
We relocated from Fulham to Hull seven years ago. My husband was studying in the area so he knew Hull quite well, where as I had no idea what the area was like. When I first joined him, we contacted local estate agents and initially rented an apartment but it was so difficult trying to find somewhere to live. We both work as Health Care Professionals and were working long hours so we were looking at flats late at night, in the dark, and not really getting a sense of what the property and the location was like. Eventually, we did find somewhere and have since bought our own place (as we needed something bigger when our two children came along). We didn’t use a relocation agent but in hindsight we should have done as this would have take all the stress out of finding somewhere suitable, as well as helping us with removal companies and all the legal stuff.
I had real mixed emotions about leaving London. I had lived there all my life and left behind all of my friends and family. At first, I spent every Friday catching the late night train back to London, but as time went on this became exhausting and unsustainable. I started meeting more people through work and through church and in time through mother and baby groups once my children were born. Gradually, the emotional pull back to London lessened and I began to think of Hull as being my home.
I am sometimes asked if I would move back to London. Although it took me a while to settle in, I much prefer the slower pace of life in Yorkshire; I’m even a calmer and politer driver here! It is so much cheaper to live here and such a good place to raise a family. I can’t image how I would have done that in London! The transport links are great so we get to see family and friends often, it feels so spacious and safe. So, in answer to the question, No. I won’t move back to London. I prefer my Yorkshire life!
We met at Leeds University 20 years ago. After graduation we both got jobs in London so moved to East Dulwich (via Blackheath and Clapham) but we always knew someday we would move back to Leeds, especially as some of our best friends had remained there after University. London was great but after having children we started thinking about when the right time to move was. When our eldest child started to complain about how busy London was we knew it was the right time; time for a change of location and a change of pace.
After city living for the last 15 years we knew we wanted something completely different, something quintessentially Yorkshire! Fresh air, less traffic and most importantly, more space. Time was a huge factor when searching for properties. We both work long hours and have the children to look after so we knew we only had a maximum of two weekends to find the right property and thankfully we were able to achieve this. We sold our mid-terrace property with an 80ft garden in London and bought a 6 bedroom, 4 bathroom detached house with 2.5 acres of land overlooked by cows and hills in Pool-In-Wharfedale. Certainly more bang for your buck!
So far, the move has been everything we expected and more! Given the constraints of Covid, we much prefer being here than where we were. Even in the surreal world of lockdown, we’re already enjoying the benefits of having more open space on our doorstep. Our children also both go to the same school now, which they weren’t able to before, so that makes our life a lot more logistically simple; not to mention increasing the bond between our kids. Ultimately, we have less stress and more time together as a family, which can only be a good thing (at least, as long as they don’t close schools again!!)
Kay France is the founder and owner of Move to Yorkshire, a relocation service working with families who want help finding their perfect home in Yorkshire and with businesses who are bringing talent to our glorious county.