Moving out of London - Why we Left the Big City

It’s been three months since Simon and I packed up our lives and moved from London to my home city of Newcastle in the North East of England. As soon as we found out we were going to have a baby we knew that we would be leaving London, so how have we adjusted and why did we move in the first place?

Me at our local antiques shop, looking very round!

Me at our local antiques shop, looking very round!

Why did we move?

Simon and I had a fantastic life in London but it wasn’t London that made it fantastic. In general, I did really enjoy our time there but found that we were becoming increasingly frustrated with living in the capital. We hated how expensive our rent was (our flat was absolutely tiny), Simon hated his stressful commute into Soho everyday, I hated how rude people were and really didn’t feel safe as a pregnant woman when I was on my own outside.

I realised that we mainly stuck to our lovely neighbourhood of Stoke Newington as it offered all the things we love. Great places for coffee and food, a beautiful park, lots of greenery and amazing independent shops. It felt weird to be living in London but to not really “use” it. I think we just grew out of the exciting big city.

I began to really asses our core values as a couple, what do we love doing and what’s important? We soon realised that Newcastle could offer us so much more and living in London actually got in the way of doing the things we truly loved. We really enjoy the countryside, long walks, forests, beaches, little coffee shops, sitting in a cosy pub with our books and most of all SPACE! Something that is so hard to achieve in London if you’re not wealthy.

Saying goodbye

We did consider staying in London to move to a different area which could offer us a larger home, however we soon realised that we were not willing to sacrifice living in an beautiful and interesting area just to gain a bedroom. We’ve always lived in zone 2 and the idea of moving much further out just to live in London seemed silly. I feel that a lot of people live in London just for the status of it which feels really weird to me.

It became pretty clear that Newcastle would be the best option for us. I lived there until I was 19, it has absolutely everything we need, an amazing food scene, culture & history, loads of gorgeous countryside, inexpensive homes plus it’s a small city so we can walk into town in 15 mins rather than get a tube for an hour!

The moving process wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but saying goodbye to all our London friends was so difficult. We hosted a baby shower / leaving party when I was 28 weeks pregnant and it was such an emotional party, the next day I ran myself a bath and cried and cried in the tub!

Our bedroom complete with baby Straughan’s first bed

Our bedroom complete with baby Straughan’s first bed

Where are we living?

After months of packing we organised for a company to do all the moving for us and Simon and I treated ourselves to a one way first class ticket up to Newcastle so we could feel a bit more relaxed about the whole process. I highly suggest doing the same if you can! We woke up the next day at my mum’s, met the movers at the storage unit and said goodbye to all our lovely things for a while. The first week was a blur of cleaning and sorting the top floor of my mum’s house, out which is where we’re living. We have two rooms in the attic, my old bedroom and my brother’s which we’ve made into a living room and office.

The plan is to stay living with my mum until the baby comes so we can save money and to give Simon time to find a job up here. It’s massively eased off any pressure and we’re so lucky that we can comfortably live in my family home. It’s been a huge change but after a few months I can safely say that it was most definitely the correct decision.

The fireplace in our bedrom

The fireplace in our bedrom

Our lives now

To be honest we haven’t really had to adjust much. This might be because I’m so heavily pregnant (39 weeks now eeek) that I wouldn’t be trekking into Central London very regularly anyway. The only thing we haven’t really done and something I’m missing is exploring more of the countryside. Again, I’m so pregnant that I can’t walk far but being nearer beaches, clean air and forests was a huge draw for us.

Newcastle has an absolutely amazing food and drink scene, something that is really important to Simon and I. One of our biggest pleasures is eating out and having access to great produce and farmers markets. I feel like the North East is a fantastic place for foodies and I haven’t missed the London restaurant scene at all. We’ve spent the past three months slowly settling in and in all honestly the only thing I’ve missed are our friends.

I feel so lucky that we’ve been able to adjust so quickly and easily, something I attribute to Newcastle being such a great city to live in. I’m honestly shocked at how great it’s been!

A little corner of our bedroom.

A little corner of our bedroom.

The nest big thing we have to face is having this little baby girl! I cant wait to bring here up in the very same area I grew up in, I know she’ll have such a happy and relaxed childhood here. I really couldn’t imagine raising kids in London, it’s just not for us. Our values don’t match the big city any longer and we’re much happier taking it easy up in the North East!


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Hi I'm Nancy!

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