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Moving to the UK...need advice on a nice family-friendly place

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isabeau73 | 03:27 Sat 24th Jan 2009 | People & Places
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Hi! My family n I are planning on moving to the UK from New Zealand in about 2/3 years and was wondering if anyone could give us some starters on our research on where might be a good place for people like us.
I'm a doctor and my hubby's a teacher, my kids are 17(he's started looking tertiary ed options there), 12 and 8. (also a german shepherd and a westie).
We are quite outdoorsy and used to living on a small lifestyle block(not too rural though-we lived just 30mins from Auckland city).
I'm looking for a place with a good education, transport systems(i.e. easy to get around to explore the country), employment, and some friendly, easygoing people.
My husband and I fell in love with the charming country during our O.E over there but we never got to see the 'home & living' over there - we saw mainly the cities of london for him and edinburgh for me.
My British immigrant friends are from Lancaster and Shropshire but neither of them liked it very much there apparently.
Others have been telling us that somewhere round the Cotswolds or just outside greater London would be nice.
Anyways, it'd be awesome if some people could just point us in the right direction.

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have you thought of Ireland instead
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could u maybe tell us a bit more about ireland?
The Cotswolds are lovely. It's very hard to suggest, as there are many places in The UK, that are beautiful and all towns and cities have areas that are not so nice.

Having lived in London for over 20 years (now in Surrey) I personally wouldn't like to raise my children there. The only place in London I like is Central, but of course, those areas are incredibly expensive.

I now live in a Suburb of Croydon, which is ok, but there are much nicer places to live in Surrey. If finances permit, then you always have the option of choosing the nicer areas of any city and perhaps job placements for you and your husband, may dictate the place you live.
Bless.
Well isabeau - you'll find some lovely parts of the country, whether north or south - and the people in the midlands seem very friendly. I live close to the peak district, and it's gorgeous in any season, but why you fancy leaving NZ baffles me!! We have lots of cold, damp weather here, jobs aren't easy to come by at the moment, and in general, the country's in a miserable mess. Sorry, but it's true. Whatever, it could be worse, so if you decide to come here, hope you find what you're looking for. It's impossible to say which are the nicest places without a good scout round, but Lincolshire's not bad from a rural point of view, but with good transdport links to London, etc. Best of luck.
bradford. u wont even feel like u r in the uk
Ice, I really hope the state of the ecomony will be well and truely recovered, by the time Isabeau moves here in 2-3 years.
ireland is an island off britain. It is full of green lush lands with farming a good feature. People are very friendly with a good neighbourly attitude in rural areas. Some lovely quaint villages. Folk who are easy and laid back. Good links with Aus and NZ. Excellent academics good levels of education and colleges. Lots of vacanies for Dr's
Not so sure about the doctors' vacancies over there pink, although iIagree with the rest of what you've said. My brother and one of my sisters are doctors, and they were shaking their heads last August, about the quantity of grads leaving uni and all applying for the few vacant positions. I would've thought that'd been the case in Ireland as well? having said that, the job situation's poor throughout the whole of the UKat the moment.
Velvetee - I hope so as well, but won't hold my breath. Just hope that things improve before my children leave school.
We live in Chepstow and are very happy here...it is on the border of England and Soth Wales and is inbetween Cardiff and Bristol (30 mins drive to each)...big hospitals in both places...lots of schools. Chepstow is very close to The Forest of Dean...lots of walks and cycle trails and beautiful areas. Train station and bus station in Chepstow.
2 hours or so from London...great shopping in Bristol. Worth a look. xxx
I used to live in Surrey and would move back there like a shot if I had enough money! Several lovely towns, good connections to London and lots of rural places within a few miles - but rather pricey!
Leeds in West Yorkshire.
It has a perfect mix of country/city life depending on where you go, lots of established health facilities.
I think it could actually be perfect for you
:) xx
I didn't think much to Beeston when I went!
education and health services are heavily dependent on staff from abroad, so those are pretty good skills to carry to the UK. But you will find much less outdoor living, partly because of the unreliable weather and partly because (as you'll have noticed on your OE) the whole place is so crowded. I don't think there's anything much like lifestyle blocks to be had, people just don't do it. (A friend of mine lives on one near Raglan and I'd go mad if I had to live there.) Public transport is much better than in NZ, though often subject to overcrowding and delays. Lots of motorways, railways and airports. If you fancy travelling abroad from the UK, it's useful to be near an airport. The nicest places are always the most expensive ones, but property prices are finally falling now so if you were abole to buy something in the next year or so, it would be as cheap as it's ever likely to be. The Cotswolds are pretty; so are the counties of SE England. Wherever you go, consider what your travelling needs are likely to be: the Cotswolds, for instance, aren't very near to motorways.

As for your kids' education, perhaps your husband could ask colleagues who've had UK experience what would be the best area for them? There are thousands of schools but it pays to find yourself a good one.
Have you considered Norwich? It's a beautiful city with a university, good night-life, a wonderful hospital, a direct train service to London (just under 2 hours) and an airport! The natives are very friendly and house prices are reasonable. There is terrific scenery all around including award winning beaches. If it's good enough for the Queen (Sandringham is not far away) it's good enough for us Norfolk dwellers!

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