moving to UK - Mothering Forums
Finding your Tribe Archives 2008 > moving to UK
aneta's Avatar aneta 02:13 PM 07-19-2007
Hi mamas,
We are thinking of moving to UK, somewhere around London, DH will have a job in the city.We are still in the state of making a final decision there are few things that make as worry a little bit, first of all food.Well, we are vegetarians and from what i remember getting good quality fresh produce might be tricky, at least in London.And what about organic food?I couldn't find too many organic stores there.Is it sill an issue?One of my friends is from Italy and he always complains about food... ...Please, tell me that's not true.
The second issue is weather, is it really that rainy and grey?We just went there in november and it rained a lot...but that what is fall about anyway...my dad keeps telling me that climate is changing and it's much sunnier there...is it?
And also one more big question- housing,I know that London is out control with real estate.How about suberbs?We have 3 kiddos so we need something little more spacey ( 3 bedroom will work, so far we have one family bedroom ,2 beds king size and queen size make a perfect sleeping nest .
Thanks for help
aneta

NW6Londonmum's Avatar NW6Londonmum 06:30 PM 07-19-2007
I live in London and my husband works on the City. I used to live in NW6 but now I live in Muswell Hill – a great neighbourhood; Northern line underground straight into the City, lots of green space, good schools, good local shopping.
I’d also recommend looking at the communities along the Thameslink rail line (now called First Capital Connect)
http://www.google.co.uk/url?q=http:/...jyCJGSSCGyFZDg
(check out the Bedford to Brighton timetables)
And also buying a book like:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Commut...4876180&sr=1-1
which discusses all the commuter routes into the City and all the villages and towns that fan out.
(Prices are insane at the moment but you can find gems.)

Organic food - I really wouldn’t worry. There has been a massive explosion recently. I live 20 minutes from a massive Sainsburys with a huge range, a medium Sainsburys with a fair range, 2 large Waitrose supermarkets with a good range. Plus several local organic shops e.g. That Organic Place in West Hampstead. And there are plenty of box delivery companies like this one:
http://www.abel-cole.co.uk/

I think food in London is world class – restaurants, cafes, farmer’s markets, shops. But it’s not cheap (surprise, surprise).

Weather is sadly pretty rubbish though. We have had an unbelievably shocking Summer. The last few years have seen some hot Summer but generally we are pretty grey.
UK Mom's Avatar UK Mom 09:09 AM 07-20-2007
Hi. I am an American living in Cambridge.

I would second NW6Londonmum and say that organic is no problem. Every large grocery store sells organic products, and locally we have some small specialty shops that just sell organic. I am sure that London would be the same! In fact, I find it easier here than back home (in Atlanta) to find organic stuff in the mainstream grocery stores. Produce is no problem, and there are whole brands of baby food that only sell organic.

About the weather.... there is a reason why Brits have so many different names for rain! (My favorite quote from the weather forecasters: rain clearing leaving showers. Doesn't that just mean rain?!?) Some months can be beautiful, but I am sitting here at noon with a rain storm outside and about 62 degrees - in July! But trust me - you do get used to it. I have been here for 13 years, and although I would prefer better weather, it is just normal to me now. When it is sunny and nice, however, it is gorgeous! After hot, humid Atlanta summers, a beautiful summer's day in Cambridge cannot be beaten!

The one thing I found hard to get used to is how dark it is in the winter. It is dark by about (no joke) 3:30 in the afternoon. But summer days last forever!

I am afraid I can't help with London house prices, though. But they are outrageously expensive. Lots of people live quite a long way out - my neighbour commutes every day on the train to the City - so you may just have to decide what your priority is: living closer to London in a smaller house and yard, or a longer commute for your DH but more house for your money. But nowhere in Britain is cheap.

Also, be aware that houses here may not accommodate a US king size bed. A UK king is approx a US queen. If you do bring your beds, you *may* not be able to get them up the stairs. And you probably couldn't get sheets here, but you could always buy them on the internet.

Sorry for babbling on so much - good luck with the move!
arnoldpdx's Avatar arnoldpdx 05:44 AM 07-21-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by aneta View Post
Hi mamas,
We are thinking of moving to UK, somewhere around London, DH will have a job in the city.We are still in the state of making a final decision there are few things that make as worry a little bit, first of all food.Well, we are vegetarians and from what i remember getting good quality fresh produce might be tricky, at least in London.And what about organic food?I couldn't find too many organic stores there.Is it sill an issue?One of my friends is from Italy and he always complains about food... ...Please, tell me that's not true.
We're also moving to the UK, most likely Norwich and like Aneta, we are Vegetarians. I'm glad to hear from others that access to organic produce is good. We're concerned about shipping our stuff overseas. Can anyone recommend a shipping company specifically one from Portland, OR? We're most likely financing most of the move ourselves so we're worried about costs.
lakshmi*mama's Avatar lakshmi*mama 06:27 AM 07-22-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnoldpdx View Post
We're also moving to the UK, most likely Norwich and like Aneta, we are Vegetarians. I'm glad to hear from others that access to organic produce is good. We're concerned about shipping our stuff overseas. Can anyone recommend a shipping company specifically one from Portland, OR? We're most likely financing most of the move ourselves so we're worried about costs.
I don't have any recs for shipping companies (we basically started over here except for a few things we sent USPS ground - and that took over 3 months to arrive! : ) but I wanted to give you a shout out - we are from Portland, OR and moved here 2 years ago! We are in Forest Row, East Sussex which is more or less about half-way between London and Brighton. We made the move so my dh could attend the biodynamic agriculture program at Emerson College ( http://www.emerson.org.uk/ ). He has since then finished the program and is now the farm manager at a biodynamic medicinal herb farm / herbal medicine producer up in the East Midlands. I am staying down here with the kiddos until the end of the year while I get some stuff sorted out with the kids schooling. (my two olders are in a point in their school where they can't just up and leave so easily)

Anyway.... Hiya! Good luck with the move and LMK if I can give any helpful advice. Not sure I can since we did our move totally on the cheap (BD farming students are not known for rolling in the dough, lol!) but I can give my perspective for what its worth!
arnoldpdx's Avatar arnoldpdx 03:39 AM 07-24-2007
Do you miss Portland?
flapjack's Avatar flapjack 04:59 AM 07-24-2007
Generally, the best sources of organic food over here are to buy direct from the producers. If you go down to Borough Market once a month and stock the freezer (we used to use Spitalfields, but I expect it's closed by now) get your dried goods in bulk from www.suma.co.uk and a box scheme, you're sorted. We eat 90% organic and for a family of five, it costs us about 350 GBP per month. We're not vegetarians, but we don't eat a lot of meat either. One thing I would mention with abel and cole, however, is that they aren't a London company- they're Oxford. So there's food miles involved If you get talking to people, you'll find out what's available in your neighbourhood.
I'd look seriously at the commuter belt and decide how far you're prepared to commute in order to have that extra bedroom. DH used to do 50 minutes into London and then a 20 minute walk from the north end of Essex to the heart of the City.- to put this in perspective, it can take that long to get down from Hampstead or Highgate to central London by tube. If you're working in the west end, you really want to be looking at going south of the river or heading out to the M4 corridor.
UK Mom- I grew up in an area which was legendary for it's weather (No Place, up in Durham.) We had six months rain, six months foul weather Couldn't put it better if I tried
orangefoot's Avatar orangefoot 03:14 PM 07-24-2007
On the weather

"Scattered showers becoming more organised as the day goes on"

Organised showers :
aneta's Avatar aneta 03:49 PM 07-24-2007
Mamas,
Thank you sooo much for a great info...we are really excited about moving, not sure yet about when, most likely spring, next year.That will give us some time to fix our house, and hopefully sell it for a good price.It's a pitty that $ value is so low...
Anyway, i don't think that i will care too much about the weather, originally i'm from Poland so i know something about rainy and cold days, my dh is a big issue.He is in love with sunny days...
aneta
aneta's Avatar aneta 03:50 PM 07-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangefoot View Post
On the weather

"Scattered showers becoming more organised as the day goes on"

Organised showers :
i love that...
lakshmi*mama's Avatar lakshmi*mama 06:43 PM 07-24-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnoldpdx View Post
Do you miss Portland?
I miss certain things about Portland, primarily my friends. I miss the big trees and the mountains being so close, but England has its own unique beauty that I love too. For the most part I don't miss it.
AlexisT's Avatar AlexisT 09:22 PM 07-24-2007
One thing about British houses--unless you're lucky, the bedrooms are small. Most bedrooms won't fit a 6' bed unless you've got almost no other furniture in there (and remember... British houses don't usually have closets!). So you're going to have to rethink sleeping arrangements. I don't know anyone who could fit a king AND queen bed in a British bedroom.

I would say that the food situation isn't quite as good as NYC but better than a lot fo the US. Organic is big, but quite a lot of it is flown in. The quality of produce isn't as good as what you get in France or Italy (or even in the NYC greenmarket) but is as good or better as American supermarket stuff.

Pretty much anywhere in or near London is expensive unless it's somewhere you probably wouldn't want to live I would actually say M4 corridor is tricky, because their trains go into Paddington--least convenient station IMO. If by city you mean "The City" (Square Mile) the ideal places would be north and east--trains go into Kings Cross/Euston/********* Street. All ideal. The parts of south London that go into London Bridge would also be good.

It definitely doesn't take 1hr to get from Hampstead to Bank by tube... oh wait it's the Northern Line I live in Finchley. It takes DH half an hour to get to his job.

It also depends what sort of atmosphere you want--more city, more country, more suburb.
flapjack's Avatar flapjack 05:01 AM 07-25-2007
I said NEARLY an hour (but I was actually thinking of Highgate...) I'm with AlexisT, though, stay FAR away from the M4 corridor if you can. 70 miles west of London is about 100k more for a 3 bed house than north-east of London, and the new towns are somewhat lacking in basic amenities (like independent book stores, a good independent health shop, box schemes that do doorstep delivery, stuff like that.)
artparent's Avatar artparent 03:09 AM 07-11-2008
this is fascinating, thanks for all this great information? we're leaving in vancouver at the end of summer, to live in london, my dp will mostly work right in the center, oxford street. we've heard about muswell hill so i'll be pming you, nw6!! we've spent springtime in england for several years now, and i found organics no problem.

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