For many of us living in UK cities, there comes a time when we realise that we’ve had our fill of the hustle and bustle and we look to move on to greener pastures. But if you’ve become accustomed to city living, the prospect of moving to countryside can be a daunting one, especially as the great ‘fear of missing out’ sets in. Life in the countryside is not as disconnected as you might think, though, and in fact there are many benefits that come with leaving the city behind.
With so many misconceptions surrounding modern country living, it is easy to be put off for fear of becoming isolated or missing out on opportunities that the city provides. But with constantly improving facilities, greater access to nature and green spaces and the chance to become a part of a thriving community, leaving the city in search of a rural lifestyle could be the best decision you ever make. This guide will attempt to debunk six of the biggest misconceptions about life in the country today.
You’ll have to live completely off-grid
When most of us think of country living, we picture something akin to the BBC sitcom ‘The Good Life’ (originally broadcast in the 1970s) - chicken coups, vegetable patches and chopping your own firewood. While all of that is certainly possible if you have the land to do so, life in the countryside has moved on in the last half century and the majority of homes in the country today are just as developed and connected as those in most towns and cities.
Perhaps the biggest difference between having a home in the country and the city is the opportunity to live more sustainably. Depending on the size of your property, living in a more remote area may allow you to seek new forms of renewable energy, such as installing solar panels to the roof of your home, as well as considering improved home storage solutions, such as bunded oil tanks for your central heating system.
You’ll be miles away from everything
While for some of us the prospect of living in a detached property away from others is an attractive one, such homes are harder to come by in the country these days and it’s far more likely that yours will be much closer to a small town or village. You’ll always be just a short drive away from important facilities like supermarkets and medical centres whilst also being a stone’s throw away from green spaces and natural locations, which are perfect for exercise, fresh air or giving yourself a vital mental health boost.
Your children will miss out
Making the move to the countryside can be a concern for parents when it comes to choosing the best options for your children’s education, but you needn't be worried that your children will miss out. Schools in rural areas offer a similar standard of education, additional support and extracurricular activity as those in urban areas. According to a 2020 article from Rural Services Network, students in rural schools are actually outperforming their city counterparts, achieving better grades in English and Maths overall. And if you’re worried about how your children will travel to and from school each day, most rural schools offer bus services that operate in even the most remote locations.
Your internet connection will be terrible
Slow, unreliable broadband is less of a problem in rural areas than it was 10 or 15 years ago, with most local authorities having overseen the rollout of cable and fibre broadband to the majority of countryside properties in recent years. Less densely populated areas may even benefit from a faster broadband connection than you would get in the city due to less people using up bandwidth. There are, however, still areas where the faster broadband rollout has yet to be completed, so it’s important to do your research before you move and consider other options, such as mobile and satellite broadband.
You’ll love every second
Moving to an unfamiliar place is always tough whatever the circumstances, let alone having to adjust to the contrast between the city and the countryside. You may find it a struggle at first, especially the lack of noise, having to travel a little bit further to go to the shops and not being in close proximity with your friends and family. But over time you will likely come to appreciate the quiet nights, fresh air and open spaces surrounding your new home, and all of this will help you to forget about your initial struggles to adapt.
You’ll immediately get welcomed into the community
Living in the countryside offers the chance to become a part of a much more inclusive community when compared to life in the city, but it won’t happen on its own. It’s likely that your neighbours will give you a warm welcome to the area and you may even be invited to join in with local events, but such friendliness will need to be reciprocated if you’re going to become an active member of the community long term. Doing so will help you to make new friends, which can be key to living happily in your new home.