Thinking of going full rural and moving to the country, real world experience?

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  • Thinking of going full rural and moving to the country, real world experience?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas

    We spent a week in February staying in a lovely cottage at the end of a 5 mile long lane.

    There was no power for 4 days following a storm. I’d imagine broadband would be patchy at best (the phone was disconnected).

    No idea if you plan to have children but also consider how isolating it might be staying at home for long periods of time with difficulty travelling if you have young children + proximity to local schools (primary and secondary).

    Premier Icon jimdubleyou

    Has it got broadband?

    Whilst I’d love to work from home at the top of a mountain, if I can’t work effectively I’m going to have a hard time paying for it…

    From my parents perspective, moving to the middle of nowhere has been nice for them but my dad had already semi retired when they did it.
    It’s a pain in the arse for us going to visit them – especially now they are needing more support in their old age.


    Hey y’all, we currently live in north Cardiff, the Mrs works in Cardiff bay and I work from home and in Newport a few days a week. We’ve been considering going semi rural but have found a lovely property on top of a mountain with spectacular views, it ticks all the boxes and has the possibility of converting an outbuilding in to a holiday let for some additional income. The day we saw it we were pretty much ready to make an offer but there were the obvious things to consider such as the isolation, bleak winters, getting snowed and the extended commuting time.
    Anyway that night I was doing some research and happened upon some reviews for the local pub, a real mixed bag some saying a lovely spot in the country and others were a bit Royston Vasey, so Sunday we stop in for a quick pint to scope out the clientele and it was like going back in time, not a problem as such but my slightly better half being of Chinese ethnicity was like the main attraction in the village freak show. We’re not looking to go there to mingle as such so not sure it’s such a big problem, would it put you off?


    Maybe try renting somewhere remote for a while?
    contracting somewhere remote or different?

    Access to quality healthcare was a challenge, and often entailed multiple different long journeys to widely-dispersed clinics in different counties.

    If you have excellent health or the area you choose is particularly fortunate for these considerations the. It may not be an issue. Worth checking.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    Rent first….

    I grew up about 7 miles out of town, it’s isolating in a lot of ways and that was on good roads.
    You get out and internet will go off a cliff, bad phone reception etc.
    Last place I lived in the UK was a couple of miles out of town, really nice in many ways but when every journey in winter was by car it did make a few things less enjoyable.


    Conversely I moved to the city from a small town and hated it.

    Moved to 5miles from a road and 40 miles from city and i loved it the wife not so much.

    We now like 10miles from the city and 3 miles from a village.

    Best of both worlds imo.

    Our broadband cable was strung through the trees, regularly not available during/following bad weather.
    What’s the water situation? We used a private supply, often contaminated or not available following heavy rain. Never drank tap water, bottles only, but having to use bottles to flush the toilet gets expensive.
    What happens to the roads in winter? OH was snowed in for 10 days about the time I met her. One house I stayed in was rented to me by the farm who had the contract for snow clearing with machinery in a barn net to the house so roads to my house were amongst the first to be cleared.
    Fancy a night out?

    Premier Icon stilltortoise

    would it put you off?

    Did it put you off?

    Translating your OP as “We went to the local pub and felt a bit uncomfortable” then yes, it would put me off. Unless you want to live your life as a recluse, I’d suggest that friendly and sociable neighbours are a must. Some sound advice above too.


    Amer is brilliant in rural locations winter sucks. As long as it is not too far from a small towns most things are ok but the darkness and mud everywhere sucks horribly.


    The regulars at the local pub may not be the finest representatives of the community.


    Whilst i don’t live up a mountain, i do live in very rural North-West Norfolk, it is 14 miles to nearest town and 30 miles to Norwich where i work, village has about 30 houses in all, surrounded by lots of pig and arable farms and a dairy farm.


    – My daughter goes to a great small school with 80 pupils who have been brilliant with her t1 diabetes care, i think she’d get a bit lost in a big school.
    – Very much a sense of community, single small shop in village, everyone says good morning and chats to each other, car and front door often left unlocked, had friends and neighbours at mine for BBQ this weekend and we are others most weekends, and my daughters friends are round each others houses all the time.
    – i can jump on my bike and if i pick certain roads i can barely see any traffic for 50 miles.
    – Access to countryside and to great beaches down the road.
    – Good relationship with neighbours, i do the gardens of a few elderly neighbours and take their recycling, in return we know that they look after our house when we are out and about and they dote on my daughter often turning up with books for her.
    – Find i’m very much more in tune with seasons and nature around me when you are living amongst it.
    Feel like my daughter is getting a healthier upbringing, often playing in fields behind and pedals or scooters to friends houses, every village has an active hall you can hire for £20 and a playground.
    – Most of our meat comes from local farms and is bought from a proper butcher, eggs come from 4-5 stalls outside houses with a “trust box” for payment as does a lot of veg. Plus i grow a lot of fruit and veg and there is always someone to advise me on doing it.
    – People tend to give each other help, i helped a friend move house over weekend, neighbour helped me hang new garage doors, another neighbour fitted new outside tap and other plumbing for me, this tends to be paid for in beer/ veg/ returned favours (i must have fixed every bike in the village twice!)


    – No mains gas, have to have heating oil, although we tend to use wood burner most of the winter for actual heating.
    – No mobile reception in a 12 mile radius outside of house (box off broadband supplies reception)
    – Broadband is less than 1mb most of the time, and many surrounding villages don’t have it at all unless they pay for “wi-spire”
    – There is no public transport other than a minibus twice a week for pensioners to go to nearest town, so we’ve had a lot of elderly neighbours move out when they could no longer drive.
    – Rural roads and having to drive up bank a lot of let other cars pass means car get through a lot of tyres/ suspension and we’ve had 4 punctures in last 18 months
    – Distance to travel to work, i have to travel a 64 round trip to work, mostly on country roads which are very dependant on weather, we had flooding on roads with the recent heavy rain, get a lot of trees down when windy etc, plus no motorways in the county
    – A lot less work here, got made redundant twice in the space of 3 years as insurance companies i worked for decided the small “satelite” offices weren’t needed anymore and due to transport links to county.

    So all in all i’m happy here, i grew up in Portsmouth lived for years in London, but now really like the quieter life, funnily enough a lot of the guys i ride bikes and drink with came from Ireland, Manchester, Stoke on Trent etc, but we all married Norfolk girls and it seems you can’t keep them to far away from home, but all say they are happy living here.

    Mountain biking is a bit poo though…


    You need a 4×4 car if truly up a mountain. You dont have gas (mains) most likely you dont have mains sewers. It costs more unless you are prepapred to leave behind modern conveniance / everything on the doorstep. Access to quality Healthcare is an issue.

    The local pub is what you make it. My own experience is that rural pubs are made up of inbred alcoholics who think the world is their 4 walls and anything outside that is irrelevant/not normal. The pubs stay open based on the income from the alcoholics, and the landlord doesnt really want to be there.

    Unless its a country tourist pub, at which point you get fed up of families turning up and disturbing your peace.

    A pub wouldnt even be on my wish list for living in the countryside.


    I find the pubs near me tend to fall into two categories, the “gourmet” pubs which are restaurants with bars and alright for the occasional visit, but most in there will be tourists, or the locals pubs, i’ve lived here for 5 years now, and i am still an “interloper” in the pub but it is just a bit of joshing and actually after a few beers you tend to learnt quite a bit as most small communities love a good gossip! Most conversations tend to start with “….did you know so and so did…..”


    We have moved to a rural location in the Blackdown Hills.

    We have no mains gas or water, so rely on oil for heating along with woodburners, and share a well water supply.

    No main sewerage either, so share a septic tank.

    It does mean monthly outgoings are less, but we have to always put a bit aside for when purchasing more oil, emptying tank and maintenance for water.

    Well water tastes amazing, much better than the SE treated water we had.

    Broadband is awful.
    Local pub is great
    Roads never gritted in winter
    Local village does have everything we need (PO, pub, school, Drs, plenty of community clubs)

    I’d say make sure there is an active community nearby, as that feeling of isolation could easily set in. Be active in making friends in the area, getting locals to help with jobs such as small building work etc.
    There are so many perks to this, such as finding out who to speak to about cheap wood, or local shoot and getting pheasants.


    Rural is ok provided you have easy access to a shop and public transport. You might want milk and bread, and may not always be able to drive everywhere.

    We lived in rural Oxfordshire for 15 years. Was a very pleasant commuter village, and I enjoyed riding into work for the first five years. Internet broadband took 10 years to arrive. Cable never came, despite it running along the by-pass. Then we had kids and they had a great upbringing, small village school etc. When the youngest became a teenager we moved to a village close to Windsor. It was a good move for the kids, who have a lot more independence.

    Curiously, we have access to more open space now than when we lived in the countryside!

    Premier Icon brassneck

    I live 5 miles from nearest shop on an unclassified road – about as rural as central Southern England gets.

    All the above applies – broadband is too pony for HD or SD at times, mobile signal is dodgy (as in 4G one day then off for a few days .. just not reliable). Village schools are not necessarily the utopia of education many think – go in with a critical eye and an open mind (speaking as a governor of one). No gas here, no mians sewage, but neither even register as an issue to me now (12 years in, 10 yeas before in a slightly better connected village).

    The worst bit is car dependance. And when said car breaks down. I now have a van as a weekend ‘fun bus’ and backup .. for what it costs me to run, its worth every penny. Worked out how to get to work purely on public transport and I can cycle the 40 miles quicker.

    Valley floods every 10 years or so, and everyone looks surprised. A dusting of snow makes the road impassable without winter tyres.

    That said, I love it here and have great cycling on my doorstep. The kids cope, but the eldest is just off to secondary in the big town, so things will likely change.


    It’s easy to feel isolated in a big city too.


    Halfway up a mountain in the middle of nowhere? Sounds like my idea of Heaven 😀

    I grew up semi-rural and now live in Cardiff for work reasons only. The constant traffic and people is very tiring, it’s getting a lot busier here than it was 8 years ago when I moved. If I could find somewhere with reasonable rent within 5-6 miles cycling commute from work I would jump at it in a second! As long as I have a decent broadband speed (5meg+) and it was only a few miles to a shop or bigger place I wouldn’t have a second thought.

    I don’t have to think about stuff like schools as I have no kids and don’t have any plans to start so that makes it a much easier choice for me. For winter preparations I would just look at what access would be like if it snowed or was icy. Is the access route mainly flat or a main road? Could you leave a car near a better road and walk to it if it did snow heavily? I used to have a winter car with winter tyres as work could be in the sticks, something cheap with a decent MOT that didn’t matter if I stuck it in a ditch.

    I’d be happy knowing I would have to travel for social stuff as I have to do that now anyway. Most of my friends live away from me and I have to drive to go MTBing so that wouldn’t change if I did move, I may even end up with trails on the doorstep! For shopping trips look into what supermarkets deliver to your area, it’s usually cheaper to do that than go yourself.

    With reference to your wife being of Chinese ethnicity, don’t worry about it. The locals will see you both as the new entertainment in the area for a while but once you have integrated a bit it won’t be an issue. If one rogue person does take offence the other locals will quickly sort them out, troublemakers are rarely tolerated if it’s a reasonably close community.

    EDIT: easyrider sums up how I feel in a big city in one sentence, I need my breathing space!


    Despite having lived in London, i have been down a couple of times in last few months for gigs, and i can’t stand city life now, too many people none of whom have time for each other and i missed clean air!


    Lucky for me I’ve got a little spot of the country on the outskirts of a big city, but like the OP hanker for more wilderness locally.
    Depends but if it was me I’d ‘go large’ or ‘no half-measures’ : if you think you like wild places & can work from home or adapt than how about the Hebrides for example?

    some other things :

    Check out local drainage such as storm drains, they can block and cause a nightmare.

    Trees will rain down leafy sh1t and sycamores will self seed everywhere they can.

    Singletrack roads can be tricky to cycle on.

    Not much in the way of garages or choice so you may be stuck with what’s local.

    On the plus side you could have ferrets and things like that.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1

    Have you considered the house location and the coming zombie apocalypse?


    I’ve lived in the countryside most of my life (a few years in a village in N. Wales being the exception). Like anywhere it’s what you make of it.

    We are a couple of miles from a village with small supermarket, PO, takeaways. Nearest train station is similar distance.

    Water from spring.

    Septic tank shared between 3 properties, needs emptying every couple of years. The last bill was £150 between the three of us.

    Oil central heating with woodburner as top up. 1000 litre tank, usually order a refill 3 times in two years but it’s rarely the full 1000, usually around 800 – 850 litres.

    Broadband via microwave WLAN, on 10Mb package which is enough for us (I think they do up to 30Mb). We don’t do much video streaming like Netflix, etc., just a bit of Vimeo/YouTube/iPlayer from time to time.

    If we know it’s going to snow we’ll leave the car at the end of the lane (25% gradient) – hardly a problem to have to walk. Usually this is only one or two days a winter.

    Getting to, but especially from, the pub is more problematic. Probably 30mins walk from the one in the nearest village (which isn’t the one with the shops) but the landlord’s appalling and we haven’t been in ten years.

    Noise. Well there’s a bit when the farmers are getting the silage in. Other than that we will occasionally hear the main road about a mile away if the atmospherics/wind conditions are right.


    my slightly better half being of Chinese ethnicity was like the main attraction in the village freak show. We’re not looking to go there to mingle as such so not sure it’s such a big problem, would it put you off?

    thats the trouble with the shires, it’s lovely and all that but all of sudden the casual racism rears it’s ugly head.
    a lot of the time it’s small minded ignorance not outright hate but it’s 2017 and it shouldn’t be accepted as the norm.

    i grew up in the countryside and love it dearly but the closed minds of the never lefts would start to grate.


    The Pub wouldn’t bother me, but then I do really go to pubs – anyway the attraction will wear off for them.

    What sort of area are we talking about? I’m from Cardiff too.

    Broadband wise, if it’s within a reasonable distance of Cardiff it won’t be bad, we were one of the first areas to get widespread fibre, ironically Cardiff City Centre and the Bay has appalling connectivity – but the suburbs and beyond mostly had a good fibre connection.

    For me the downside would be the commute – Cardiff is hellish to get to and the Bay not much better -it used to take me 45 mins to get into Cardiff from Wenvoe by Car, its about the same from Whitchurch now, but I could get to Bridgend in 15 mins when I worked out there.

    The other big issue, and I have to be delicate here – if you’re from Cardiff you already know – there’s Cardiff and The Vale and there’s ‘the Valleys’ and sometimes I’m not sure they’re on the same planet let alone neighbouring areas of the same little corner of Wales.

    Working in Taffs Well and living in Whitchurch I find myself wondering, “why the hell don’t I move to Pontypridd?” it would save me an absolute fortune – then I go there and I remember why.


    thats the trouble with the shires, it’s lovely and all that but all of sudden the casual racism rears it’s ugly head.
    a lot of the time it’s small minded ignorance not outright hate but it’s 2017 and it shouldn’t be accepted as the norm.

    Unfortunately I think you are correct. A lot of people claiming to be “straight talking” but actually just narrow minded and never been out in the wider world. To be honest I think it just gets covered up more in London and big cities because it is known not to be socially acceptable. Head outside of zone 2/3 and there is still plenty of the same bullshit. You just have to choose your friends, educate and be prepared to fall out with some people.


    I live in the middle of nowhere on a Welsh mountainside.

    It’s much like you’d imagine. Broadband and Amazon prime makes it a more civilised experience than it may have been a decade ago.

    The only surprise (was to me atleast) is you’ll know all your neighbors within a week (by neighbors I mean everyone within a two mile radius). They’ll turn up on horses or tractors at any time of day. Sometimes the horses turn up without the neighbors.

    EDIT: Ignore the racism bollocks. It’s bollocks.


    schrickvr6 – Member
    The day we saw it we were pretty much ready to make an offer but there were the obvious things to consider such as the isolation, bleak winters, getting snowed and the extended commuting time.

    Get a Toyota Landcruiser or snowmobile, build large storage for fire wood etc and cold storage for food, solar power unit … there you can survive winter Canadian style. 😛

    … but my slightly better half being of Chinese ethnicity was like the main attraction in the village freak show. We’re not looking to go there to mingle as such so not sure it’s such a big problem, would it put you off?

    No, not a problem at all. It’s natural for people to stare or to talk a bit about someone different like your OH but after a while they will be bored.

    It’s the same in every part of the world as we are curious of different things. We like to stare at them. As the saying goes if you can see smoke coming out from a chimney then you will find a Chinese person nearby … 😆 I have always been the odd one out so never bother me at all.

    edit: Ya, you need internet too … now you can survive nuclear winter. :mrgreen:

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    We’re relatively rural. Nearest village is just over mile away and has two pubs.

    Bus stop about a mile away in the other direction.

    Nearest village shop, 3 miles and towns 6 miles away.

    Broadband is slow, 2mb ish.

    Great having no neighbours!

    Premier Icon metalheart

    I’d try semi rural first. I’m a country boy, spent most of my life in the sticks (to varying degrees).

    after about 10 years in flats I moved from central Aberdeen out to a village 25+ miles out of town (with half decent rail link and amenities) and the (now ex) missus hated it, I loved it…. hey ho. Commute wasn’t too bad (once I moved jobs so didn’t have to venture in to central ABZ) but two bad winters in a row was testing

    I’m now in a farm cottage 3 miles from a village (mini supermarket and a pub) and 12 from a town/city, proper single track roads the last part. 20-25 minute commute by car, still to try the bike…

    Broadband reputed to be pish .0-2.5 mbs but fortunately decent 4g (using an EE wifi router thing) is fastest b/b I’ve had….

    I’ve become ever more reclusive though….

    With modern technology, I’d imagine that living in rural areas is a lot easier than it was before the internet.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if on the law of averages, mobile broadband is better in rural places than landline broadband. Does this ring true?

    Premier Icon metalheart

    It wouldn’t surprise me if on the law of averages, mobile broadband is better in rural places than landline broadband

    As my edit, better for me (north of Inverness)


    Depending on your outlook a lot of the negatives mentioned in this thread can be positives (not picking on anyone, just a matter of perspective). For example if you know you’re definitely going to get snow then you don’t have to worry whether or not you need winter tyres, you just need them. Or, unlike most people you can justify owning a 4×4.

    Oil deliveries are the norm here and I’d much prefer it over mains gas – you can always shop around on price. We have ofch, but also two boiler stoves, all of which can heat the house. I enjoy messing around with logs and firewood etc so that’s not an issue either.

    If you have kids or plan to then having space to run and walk and explore in nature is the best way to grow up.

    Regarding racism, it’s probably just the novelty of new people. The bar for what constitutes “racist” has been lowered to the point where the word has lost all meaning and isn’t helpful in most instances. You could be as white as the driven snow and still get gawked at in virtually any proper local pub, all you have to do is be an outsider. Happened to me on plenty of occasions. You’ll certainly find ignorant people, but people who would actively be discriminatory or aggressive based on someone’s skin colour or ethnicity are no more common in the country than anywhere else imo.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    I doubt the OP is going to be really remote.

    The only thing that puts me off is having to drive everywhere – can’t walk down to the local or the shop to pick up milk. Althogh if everyone rides, you could maybe do it by bike.

    Premier Icon metalheart

    Or, unlike most people you can justify owning a 4×4. winter tyres


    The really bad winter (09/10?) saw plenty 4x4s struggling, a Range Rover with trailer jackknifed across the road, and another thinking he could bomb along the ‘fast’ lane on the A96 until he hit, oh 40mph, and almost binned it….


    Oh jesus christ not this bullshit again.


    No idea where your potential hill is, but is your wife aware that half of Wales tries to get into Cardiff on the A470 of a weekday morning. My wife is glad not to be doing that anymore.
    If it’s a hill above one of the valley towns, train would be a better bet.


    Well as you are going to make changes and live without neighbours why not go one better and ditch the junk in modern life.. I don’t mean going all Richard Briars but life does go on with a mobile. I don’t even know where mine is. One of half a dozen schools I go to probably.
    Broad band? We did manage without it. Unless its for work, its no big deal.
    Cost will be higher eg no mains gas. Occasional power cuts are no big deal, buy candles and light the fire. Your car will become important and you’ll become thoroughly pissed off with our society that says that the city is important and rural dwellers are second class citizens. In time you may well slow down a bit. Hopefully you’ll bugger up the world less by riding from your door rather than taking the T5 to some trail centre.
    Are you tolerant of others?
    Not much good objecting to farmers farming, shooters shooting and the local green laners doing as they always do. Once you prove that you are not some interfering outsider who has bought a house and stopped a local youth doing so life will be fine and you’ll fit in.


    Whereabouts is the place? Will your wife still be commuting or are you hoping your work from home income and holiday let will be enough?

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