I never considered myself a country girl, but rather always thought of myself as a city dweller. My style and interests are mostly suited to urban living and growing up in a small seaside town I liked the idea of living in a place that was happening! I guess I always wanted to be somewhere rich in opportunity, culture and things to see and do day and night. I love to explore museums, shop, see cool architecture and eat out, and I couldn’t wait to break out into life and live in the big city.
I think Nathan found that all attractive too, and it was great that years down the line, what started as housemates and friends between 2 small town people, turned into dating, marriage and us creating a lovely life together in Leeds.
For possibly about 9 mostly great years (more for him), I lived in Leeds and found it to be a brilliant life in a fab Yorkshire city that I love. But then our kids started to grow up, and a fog of grief and tear stained memories hung over our home and the city we once loved and thrived in, held to much pain and bad memories. We felt trapped in someways and we both realized that the dream shifted. We fell out of love with city living and I suddenly found myself craving a slower pace of life surrounded by nature. We discussed at length where we might like to live next, and some days we felt drawn to the coast, on others it was smaller towns around Leeds… but in the end, and after several months of viewing houses all over Yorkshire, we both decided (and felt right about) a village location in East Yorkshire. The wolds are beautiful, the little market towns charming, and the coast and family are close by – it seemed the most appealing choice for what we wanted in this stage of life and so we headed home.
Last Summer we packed up and headed over here to start our new “Village Life” Chapter!
I of course then feared I might not like it. It was such a vast change, and whilst the idea sounded fabulous, I couldn’t help but wonder what life might be like going from such a bustling town on the edge of a City, into living in a small village surrounded by fields! Would we feel cut off? Would it be cliquey? Would we fit in and would it fit us? How would we get to the shops? What about emergency’s? Would a new school be good for the kids? Would we be bored?!
But now I see that all of that was minor because our neighbours are great and the village has a train line which means I can get to local towns in anything from 5 to 10 mins. I can get to the coast in about 25 minutes, and the City of Hull in about 40 minutes. I am surrounded by lovely people, there are local toddler groups, a farm shop and SPAR, and I do not feel cut off at all. Surprisingly I have actually found that since being here I enjoy not having shops nearby me or busy things. I like to be able to just wander – be that wandering home… wandering around the village green… wandering up to the farm shop or wandering over fields. I like that I have the option to stay in our village bubble enjoying the beauty and chilled pace, or venture out and be busy. I love the freedom to step out into fields within a couple of minutes and see little old churches, tractors and farm animals. I love to see the kids en mass riding their bikes to school and horses passing by our window on occasion. I love how everyone smiles and greets you, and how many birds we can hear 24 hours!
Yes it is lovely, and nothing to fear! In fact when we first drove into this village and onto this street I simply felt at peace – I knew this was where I wanted to live and that we could be happy here. Now after a whole year since leaving Leeds to start this new life in the country, I have to say it has been such a great and wonderful adventure, and we are happy here!
We have seen the village in all seasons now, and each one has brought with it excitement, beauty and joy. I love the traditions the village have and I love that because we are out in nature more we really get a feel for the season and can embrace it in its fullness! I have loved this huge change to our lives, and how we appreciate and find beauty in the smallest things around us now.
With 3 young nutty children and grief in our hearts, we desperately wanted somewhere that felt healing and peaceful to us. We wanted a place we could explore and enjoy in all seasons, and we wanted an adventure. We imagined a slower pace, less traffic and stress, and whilst some of that is still present (stress and busy lives), and we have a few things still to sort to fully live our dream here, overall life is just what we wanted and needed – slower, more peaceful and that wonderful feeling of being free in the outdoors!
Here’s what we love most about Village life in the 12 months we’ve being here –
Peace – Despite the normal stress and craziness of being parents and having a busy family life, the first and biggest thing we noticed from living here was peace and quiet! We love the peace of village life – the sounds of nature and children playing, and we love the peace in our hearts that we have found somewhere to raise our family that feels so right!
Community – The community spirit and incredible friendliness of the people here caught me off guard initially – people in cities just aren’t so chatty and I found it odd that so many people wanted to know about us! Immediately we had lots of smiles, chats, welcome cards and invites to local events and it was lovely. People would talk to us at the park, in the street and at school and still even now this is the norm. It was so weird and a huge change to let our guard down, but now I love taking interest in others too and we love belonging to a community and living in a place where people genuinely care for one another and look out for each other and their kids. All the kids play out all together like we did when we were kids, and the village has so many lovely traditions each season and holiday to bring everyone together.
Our favourite has been seeing the little lit up nativity scene on the island of the village pond at Christmas, the daffodils that fill the green in Springtime, and the village show and music festivals that all sound great too.
I love how everyone smiles and greets you each day – I love how trusting and kind everyone is, and that we have discovered that village life means living in a place with great community spirit. It restores faith in the goodness of people and makes life very joyful indeed!
Wide open spaces – I think this was the most obvious change and thing that we wanted from village life and it hasn’t disappointed. Whatever the weather we love the wide open spaces all around us – it is so pretty and we thoroughly enjoy our wanderings, hikes, adventures, and the opportunity to rejuvenate and heal via all that await us in nature!
A Little school – Thankfully when we lived in Leeds we were able to have our kids in a little faith school, but I would say this one is definitely a little smaller. I love that too about living here – and we have found the school and parents are lovely, and they run some fantastic free clubs too (gardening being a fave). The kids have settled well, and especially love ice cream fridays, parents being able to go for school lunch, and stepping out of school on to the green and playing with friends.
I never considered myself country girl, and elements of my style and interests still aren’t particularly country girl, but I do love an adventure and being outdoors and this move has helped me discover new things I love to do. I now own a pair of joules wellies and am mostly rocking life in the country!!!
Overall I would say that village life is wonderful though and is far less about style and more a new lifestyle with a young family. Life generally could do with a couple of improvements here and there, but that is life isn’t it?! And I often say to Nath that I would prefer to deal with life’s challenges here in such a beautiful chilled place, than in a busy city with some bad memories, because when it comes to where we live, I couldn’t have imagined how blessed we would feel to live here!
I didn’t realise how much my soul needed to live in such close proximity to nature and the coast and how it would help me discover more about myself. We each love the peace, the sound of the birds, the people we live around and are getting to know, and we love how right it feels to live here. The kids often say we live in the best place (they love it), and I suppose for us right now it is.
I feel so grateful everytime I take a stroll around the fields, up to the farm shop, or across to the neighbouring village that this is our new home. I love to see the joy of the kids playing out with friends and having independence, and having a childhood chasing nature. Even the school run is pretty, and I am thankful in all of these little moments that this is our life now. I love how close we are to the beach…the ocean, seaside and family – it really is so fulfilling and I love that we all feel settled and happy with this move. We have slotted in seamlessly, and are enjoying our new village life in the country – it is pretty, and just what we needed!