Life in the countryside is very different to a city…..
Get ready to do lots of entertaining!
Initially, you will find life in the countryside is all about house parties and entertaining your friends at weekends, those desperate to escape the city and visit you and you will be desperate for the company. It will be a novelty so you will welcome them with open arms ready for long country walks, log fires etc.
Make sure you have a good size freezer and if possible a spare room.
Buy blow up mattresses
Blow up beds and sleeping bags (for kids) are a godsend to keep washing to a minimum.
Book a babysitter for one night at the weekend
This works especially when you have little children. Its exhausting (and expensive) entertaining so go to the local pub on Saturday Night, its also a great way to get to know the locals.
Where to find a babysitter?
Generally local babysitters advertise on village shop notice boards, or school notice boards. ‘ Sitters’ is also a great website to use and cover most of the countryside. Make sure whoever you book drives, its annoying having to drive them home after your night out.
How much to pay a babysitter?
This entirely depends on the sitter and if they are qualified or not, generally between £7 and £10 per hour.
People are very protective of their home help as good ones are hard to find. There are agencies who source people. I would book an agency person until you have met a few people and asked around.
How much to pay home help
…. more than a babysitter – around £12.00 per hour.
Be careful if you use a company as lots of them charge by weight and have a minimum load. I didn’t realize and ended up paying way more than I should have to a few shirts!
Organize trips back to London
At first, life in the countryside can be quite lonely, we were lucky that my husbands best friend had a spare room! I found myself heading towards London every Thursday to see friends and have a life!
Until you have made local friends and found your way around, go back and visit if you can. It keeps you sane.
We enrolled our daughter in the local independent school but realized that the local village school was equally good. When we moved to Berkshire we enrolled our daughter in the local village school and haven’t looked back! Local village schools are generally very good in the countryside. See Ofsted for latest reports.
Planning laws are very different in the countryside to London, do your homework. We bought a small redbrick cottage with a large garden and believed we would be able to do all sorts of renovations to it – how wrong we were! See County Knowledge Planning article for more information.
When we lived in London I ‘share-cared’ a Nanny with local friends, which worked really well. I suggested it when we first moved to the county and the look of complete horror from one woman made me wonder I had asked her…
The person you become friends with when you arrive probably wont end up being a friend for life….there is a saying with friendships, they come in 3 categories – they are for a reason, season or life.
If you have kids there are lots of clubs that happen either after school or in the holidays – usually at your local gym…do your research and make sure you book in early.
There are tons of holiday clubs, at the local gym and at the local Schools.