Guest rivmum

Advice for family looking to move to the uk?

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    Guest rivmum

    Hi All,

    I am after some advice and direction from some people in the know. My husband has been offered the opportunity to work in the uk for 2 yrs. We are a young family and think it would be a great experience for all of us. It does mean a pay cut though so a little worried about the cost of living, finding suitable accommodation and most importantly a good primary school for our 3 children. I am over 30 so cant apply for the regular visa but have an education degree so was hoping to find some casual part time work, not necessarily in teaching.

    We are very excited about the possibilities but after reading other forums am a little unsure at it sounds like a LOT of paperwork.

    We are usure of the location my husband will be working but london and surrounds is all the info we have so far. We have been told the kent area is nice. We would not wish to live in london and happy to commute to work if we could find a good small country area and school for the kids.

    Any advice at all? Is it something you would recommend with a family of 3 kids aged between 7-10?

    Are there any other forums i could try that may have some advice?

    Thank you in advance :)

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    Guest wen66

    I've lived and worked in Surrey for the last 15 years, so if I can be of any help, pm me when you know more details.

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    . We have been told the kent area is nice. We would not wish to live in london and happy to commute to work if we could find a good small country area and school for the kids.

     

    Wow! How exciting!

     

    We came from Tonbridge, in Kent, and I would thoroughly recommend it!

     

    We didn't leave because there was anything wrong with it, but because my OH had always wanted to emigrate.

     

    Tonbridge (as opposed to the larger Tunbridge Wells) had become a popular place for commuters as the railway line runs straight into London. The town is relatively small, but has a few excellent schools - both primary and high - has a river, castle, indoor-outdoor pool, etc and is surrounded by countryside. There are some smaller towns close by such as Hildenborough, Leigh, Hadlow, Shipbourne (oronounced 'Shibbam' lol) although they used to be more expensive. Tonbridge is about an hour from a great sandy beach, Camber Sands, as well as half an hour from a huge shopping mall, Bluewater.

     

    I would stay away from the Medway towns though as they could be pretty feral. The top of Kent meets Sussex and Surrey, and there are a fair few really nice places around. Not as good as Tonbridge, but good :wink:

     

    Here is a tourist-y take on Tonbridge:

     

    http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/LocationPhotos-g503920-Tonbridge_Kent_England.html

     

    :wubclub: LC

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    Tonbridge looks lovely LC. I really love living in Adelaide but you have to give it to the UK with all those beautiful old buildings and charm. The food doesn't look bad either. Looks like a great place to live (or visit).

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    Hey LC, is Tonbridge where the very posh boys public (for Aussies reading, this means private!) school is?

     

    To the OP, I think you will find the cost of living generally a lot cheaper than it is here, apart from petrol and housing of course. You could also look at Essex - there are very good commuting trains from there - we used to live near a place called Hatfield Peverel which has a trains station - commute about 40 minutes into London - and our kids went to a fantastic small village school in a place called Woodham Walter. The headmistress there is now the teacher that had my kids for the first three years of their schooling and is absolutely wonderful!

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    Hello and welcome :)

     

    London and the surrounds is a big area housing wise. Personally I prefer north of London, places like Bishops Stortford, Harlow and so on. Sort of north from London and heading up towards Cambridge. Its a nice commute route also and I've friends that do it daily in the week. Lovely (albeit) flat countryside out that way.

     

    Of course, depending on where the job is it may make more sense to look west or east of London. I'd avoid south towards Brighton but that is just me. I think its silly expensive that way. The downside of east-ish and south east of London for me is that to then get pretty much anywhere else in the country you have to go round/across London and that can be hellish. Of course, its not like you do that often but a weekend away to the west country is a bit of a slog. Being west or north of London means other areas are more accessible for trips, all IMHO. But then better access for Europe if using the ports. And also Eurotunnel. Its all swings and roundabouts :)

     

    Anything inside the M25 loop is a big no for me.

     

    I'd perhaps post over on our sister site Poms In Oz as there is a much larger pool of people to reply.

     

    If its a couple of years and your hubby (hopefully) has a job to come back to then I'd say go for it. It would be an amazing opportunity to see a bit of the UK and Europe.

    Edited by snifter

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    I come from the Bishops Stortford area mentioned by snifter above. I am assuming you are Australian. We used to live in a small village and whilst there an Australian family arrived in the village with 2 boys of primary school age. Theye were there for about 2 years (with husband's work) and they thoroughly enjoyed their time and it was a fantastic experience. We obviously got to know them with my husband also being Australian. They were out and about every weekend visiting places all over the country, they loved all the history and culture, they joined the national trust, got involved with village life (villages tend to have a good community spirit) and everyone was really sorry to see them go. We have met up with them a couple of times since (they live in Brisbane). The boys did well at school too. I would grab the opportuity whilst your children are young, and would recommend a village or a small town rather than a big city, which tends to more impersonal.

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    Hey LC, is Tonbridge where the very posh boys public (for Aussies reading, this means private!) school is?

    !

     

    Yes, Diane, it is!

    It's a beautiful looking school, facing onto the high street so you get to see it, and the schoolboys, every time you drive down.

    It co-exists wonderfully within the town, and used to share some of their facilities with the community, but it is so far removed from 'normal' life!:cool:

     

    Toni, it was a fabulous place to live. I used to walk the kids across the river, over the huge sportsground and past the castle, to get to school / playgroup each day. Happy memories. Looking at the photos brought it all back. I've been very lucky. :wubclub:

    Edited by Lazy Cow

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    It co-exists wonderfully within the town, and used to share some of their facilities with the community, but it is so far removed from 'normal' life!:cool:

     

    Hahaha I used to work with a group of guys, one of whom had been to Harrow, one to Eton, and the third to Tonbridge. You are SOOO right about being removed from 'normal' life - we used to have great office discussions, and if it looked like I might be winning an argument their comment to me was "We haven't all had the benefit of your 'Comprehensive' education, Diane!" When I had to explain to them what a mortgage was, and disabuse them of the notion that the debt would be paid off once a year over five years, explaining it was more like once a month and over 25, I realised what different worlds we lived in! Nice guys though....

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    I used to work with a guy who was 'only' a day boy, not a boarder, at Harrow. He fitted in really well with the rest of the team, one of whom was a real east ender from West Ham, but he was just so incredibly well mannered, polite and well spoken. My Mum was so impressed if he answered the phone when she rang, because he sounded like such a nice young man!. He was a bit like Alistair Appleton (from Escape to the Country - except not gay!). Just terribly terribly nice!

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    Toni, it was a fabulous place to live. I used to walk the kids across the river, over the huge sportsground and past the castle, to get to school / playgroup each day. Happy memories. Looking at the photos brought it all back. I've been very lucky. :wubclub:

     

    It sounds magical - you have been lucky

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    It has some funny rules too, the head is allowed to have a beard and graze sheep.

     

    I was not aware of those rules!

     

    Ii have to say, I never noticed any sheep directly next to the school, although there were a couple of flocks further up the road...

     

    Bizarre!

     

    Thank you, adelaidenow - and wikipedia!

     

    :cool: LC

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    It sounds magical - you have been lucky

     

    The kids were looking at push/pull factors of migration, in Hums, a while back, and I was pretty stuck on the push side of it.

     

    We had such a nice life in Tonbridge there was no particular push away from there - other than a desire for adventure. South Australia provided the pull in terms of weather, etc and has not let us down.

     

    :wubclub: LC

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    Bedfordshire is nice. Somewhere quaint like Woburn or Toddington which are villages. Avoid the bigger towns like Luton/dunstable. Also Hertfordshire is a beautiful part of the world. Both are about 30/40 minutes from London. Good luck :)

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