I and most of my friends moved to London to start work; living the life, dancing, drinking and mooching round town in our free time. It was fantastic, exciting and exactly how I had imagined my twenties to be. Then came the family I had always wanted and suddenly London seemed cramped and the countryside with space it offered, became the dream. Our two young boys were like lion cubs, they fought, roared and tumbled around making a lot of noise. Our small garden and cramped house seemed to cage them.
Eight years ago, my family and I moved from West London to near Winchester. We found a lovely village with a great primary school and a duck pond and 2(!) pubs. At first I found it tough. Country living was muddy, a bit dull, sometimes lonely and very quiet. I threw myself into every group in the area just stopping short of bell ringing club at the village church, but after 6 months I looked at my two boys, playing loudly in our big garden and realised we had made the best decision for us all – they have had a wonderful time growing up in the Hampshire countryside. They are freer to make noise, explore and can go off into the woods with their penknives to carve sticks or fish in the Test river for trout.
In the words of a new friend “I have found my people” and can’t imagine living in a place where no-one knows their neighbours. There is a John Lewis in Southampton and rumours or another opening in Winchester. Rick Stein and River Cottage have realised Hampshire is the place to be. I can get to London in an hour on the train or not much longer in the car if needed and I realise I ‘need’ London less and less! Yes we have to use the car much more and keep an eye on milk supplies as there is no longer a shop at the end of our road, but living in Hampshire with stunning countryside all around us, great schools and lots of likeminded people we value and love has been the best move we could have made.
If like us, you are thinking about pro’s and con’s of escaping to the country, why not call or email me and I will tell you why moving from London to Hampshire is the right thing to do.