So, I'll potentially be looking to buy a property (house, not flat) in the next year or so. Buying alone, but with an alright deposit - budget is looking to be around £250k. I've narrowed down a couple of options, but would like the hive mind of UKC to weigh in! Things I'm looking for:
- < 30 minutes to some half decent cragging
- < 3 hrs to London (will need to head to London every couple of weeks for work)
- <1 hr to some surfing
- < 30 mins drive to mountain biking
- < 30 mins to a city
- Prices that allow for somewhere that isn't a wreck
- Good climbing/outdoors community
Currently South Wales is my preferred choice (spent 3 years at Cardiff Uni and another 8 months living in Cardiff), but also considering the midlands. I'm not looking for a DS/textbook answer here, just some more suggestions of places I haven't perhaps considered!
Thanks in advance.
(Edited to remove the heart symbols that come when you type )
We asked 100 UKC'ers in a survey, and our top answer was... Skoda Octavia! Oh wait, I mean S7.
Sheffield meets a lot of those requirements.
No surfing within an hour
Every other requirement met.
250k would get you a great place if it's just for you or you+partner. Even a good family sized home in a decent area too.
I live just outside Fontainebleau:
- more climbing than you could imagine
- direct trains to Paris, then Eurostar to London
- it's 4 hours to the Atlantic coast, but the surfing is excellent (and warmer)
- forest full of bike tracks
- nice town with all you need
- prices are affordable
- huge outdoor scene + loads of Brits
Only issue would be paying tax, so this is probably not an option - next choice is Port Talbot....
Quite the jump from Font to Port Talbot! Thanks for the suggestion - I've contemplated buying overseas but not sure if it's feasible or not. Especially buying for the first time, seems complicated enough without doing it in another language!
In terms of surfing don't forget the East Yorkshire and Northumberland coasts. Some amazing conditions if a bit less consistent that South West England and South Wales. You can get to places like Filey, Cayton, Scarborough etc within 1.5-2 hours from places like Sheffield, Leeds and even quicker from places like York. You then get quick access to climbing and pretty quick access to surfing on the days when their is surf.
I'd go with South Wales, not part talbot, but I am a bit bias.
It ticks all your box's, you might even be able to get one of those 30 mins down to walking or riding distance.
As I was reading through your OP, I was thinking Swansea....but you’ve pretty much answered that.
More than 3 hours to London though
You could get a substantial detached property and gardens in County Durham for that, London 3 hours by train, Northumberland and North Yorkshire a short drive away and plenty of coastline. Hamsterly forest for biking and maybe The Stang.
> More than 3 hours to London though
Depends whether you mean door to door. Trains from York and Leeds to London within 2 hours and Sheffield to London just over 2 hours. So 3 hour definitely doable depending on where you live relative to stations and where you are going in London.
Dorset, near Swanage? Trad and sport, often good weather. Magicseaweed shows various surfing along south coast but may not always be in condition (I don't surf).
Also Bristol area, lots of climbing, possibly N. coast better surfing.
> More than 3 hours to London though
Just over 2 hours on the train.
If my semi-retirement plan works out then in about 6 years i'll hopefully move to North Devon, Croyde, Braunton, Georgeham way.
Slightly more than 3 hours to London but if you're travelling 3 hours every couple of weeks you might as well travel for 4 hours.
Newcastle is three and a half hours from Kings X on the train, reasonably close to lots of Northumberland crags and the Lakes are easily accessible for day trips.
Lots of nice beaches but being on the East coast I guess the surfing would be rubbish.
Houses are cheap.
> Lots of nice beaches but being on the East coast I guess the surfing would be rubbish.
Some of the best surfing in the UK, just not very consistent. People regularly travel from Cornwall to East Yorkshire and Northumberland it is that good.
They really don't.
on the Wirral you can buy decent house for that money, and not far from snowdonia/lakes. and can get to london in about 3 hours on the train.
Wye Valley / Forest of Dean?
Somewhere around Edinburgh for a wild card answer.
Depends if you would consider flying to London.
I too had a little snigger and thought about writing something involving a flight every 2 weeks. But lets be honest, there's being a little uncaring about the environment and then there is actively trying to be as reprehensible as possible. I'd put flying every 2 weeks under the latter category and file anyone deciding to do that without a pretty good reason under "asshole". (I was going say that this comes off as sounding rather judgy then I remembered that I'm posting on UKC forums!)
In reply to the OP:
While not advocating the aforementioned aerial commute, I'd say that in general terms there is no reason to avoid buying a property abroad on account of the language, there are solicitors who are bilingual and specialise in buying property in anywhere you might want to in London, it might cost a bit more money and you'd certainly want to pick up the local language sharpish after you arrive, but the actual conveyancing part should all be taken care of without you needing to get all legalese in a 2nd language.
Here! (In Hebden Bridge)
It's been a real blessing in lockdown with the densest network of rights of way anywhere + access land making it really easy to get out somewhere different most days.
Local cliffs within 5-15 minutes. Yorkshire Dales about an hour. Improved train service easy for Manchester and Leeds. London c3 hours.
Is the Rochdale canal good for surfing? ;-)
I’m not claiming it’s better than the other suggestions as there is no Gritstone but I now live in North Somerset and I think that ticks every box... although the surfing on the Severn is probably not what you are thinking... 90 minutes would get you to the south coast though...
Swansea area been mentioned, climbing and surfing in the Gower and Pembrokeshire 45 mins away and Brecon beacons on your doorstep. Also £250.000 will get you a really good property.
Our house cost that in North Wales. 3 bed. Small cottage. Sits on approx 3/4 acres so loads of garden. Edge of Cardneddau. Train to London 3.45hrs. Ogwen Valley in 15 minutes. Pass in less than 30. Hells Mouth in about an hour, Rhosneigr in 30 mins etc. There's a mtb trail behind the house...
No decent city though. Chester is closest at 1hr?
> Somewhere around Edinburgh for a wild card answer.
Ratho village. Walking distance to EICA and the quarry, mile or so from the Airport, close to motorways to get to Highlands.
Mountain biking in Pentlands.
Reasonably close to the water at South Queensferry but not really surfing. Windsurfing maybe.
Union canal towpath through village, good for cycling.
> although the surfing on the Severn is probably not what you are thinking...
I've heard that's a bore. (I'll get my coat.)
The reprehensible way I could look at it is that the planes to and from Edinburgh and London will still be flying regardless of whether any particular person is onboard or not. But I also know that isn't the way to look at it.
Surfing is a bit further down the coast towards the border.
I was going to say south Wales before o read that far down your post.
Swansea area if climbing and surfing is most important, Cardiff area if city life and quicker to London is more important.
> Surfing is a bit further down the coast towards the border.
To be honest Edinburgh doesn't really hit the mark on the surfing or the cragging and it only gets you to London in 3 hours if you fly. Also, Ratho village is fairly expensive.
But apart from not hitting any of the criteria it's a great location.
I moved here 3 years ago & love it, I could easily afford a house here, my business is growing constantly, very friendly people, North Wales is just over an hour away, Peak District a little further but still easy for a day trip
> Here! (In Hebden Bridge)
I love the smell of patchouli oil in the morning....
North Cumbria, all the climbing and mountain biking you could want. Coast isn't far away but no idea what the surf is like. Carlisle isn't too far away (45mins for me) and train from Penrith will get you to London in 3 hours.
> North Cumbria, all the climbing and mountain biking you could want. Coast isn't far away but no idea what the surf is like. Carlisle isn't too far away (45mins for me) and train from Penrith will get you to London in 3 hours.
Great for kitesurfing, the other type not so good.
Is there really no climbing within an hour?
Ah, it was supposed to be half an hour for the climbing. Ah well.
If you only need to be in London once a fortnight, try abroad. Sagres, Portugal, climbing and surfing galore and much less of your fortnight spent bemoaning the weather. A bit longer than 3hrs once check in etc is included but it is only once a fortnight. I would imagine flight prices are favorable compares with train fare within the UK too.
Little Greta will scowl at you but you will be in the sun.
Or that little bit closer to Chester....
Ruthin or surrounding villages in the Vale of Clwyd
Ticks the boxes as far as I can see RE sports/outdoors
30 mins from chester
chester to Euston is quick
Lovely houses for the money
lovely place to live
> Is there really no climbing within an hour?
There's a huge amount of climbing inside EICA within 10 minutes and some sport and trad in the quarry. Eden Rock isn't that long to get to round the bypass.
Could get to Auchinstarry quarry in maybe half an hour, some sea cliff stuff over the bridge in Fife within an hour if the traffic is OK.
Central Scotland has plenty of indoor climbing but isn't great for outdoor crags.
I managed that about 9 months ago. Best decision I ever made, don't leave it too late...
I have to visit London for 1 week a month - takes me 4 or so hours to get these but I used to spend 3 hours a day commuting from the suburbs. Puts in into perspective
> I've heard that's a bore. (I'll get my coat.)
‘90 minutes would get you to the south coast though... ‘
We are so on the same page! (I’ll get my Rab)...
> Is the Rochdale canal good for surfing? ;-)
If you open the locks right!
Thanks for all the responses - definitely some areas I hadn't really thought of and will need to visit (UK house hunting roadtrip!)
If I can convince work to switch me to 100% remote work, Portugal/Spain/France may be on the cards.
Here's a long shot,
Aviemore, can't say Inverness is a city BUT we've a shiny new overnight sleeper which would satisfy the London requirement.
Montain biking everywhere
not so sure abut the surfing....
'I'm much better than people understand. I'm a much better climber than they realise.' It's only with hindsight that Johnny's statement, despite being mildly tongue-in-cheek, was proven to be correct. Rarely has anyone moved on rock like the...