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Help me find somewhere to retire

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 RobertHepburn 18 Aug 2021

Hi UKC,

It turns out that we are retiring earlier than we thought (I am being made redundant) and we can't really afford to stay in our current house long term. We are looking to retire somewhere in England in about a year and could do with some thoughts from the UKC hive-mind on how to go about finding the right place(s) or even where to go. It turns out that England is reasonably big and I haven't visited it all, so we are going to need some help in narrowing it down a bit. We are still pretty young really, and want to have an active life whilst we still can. Currently we live south of London but the house prices are high and there isn't much climbing. The mountain biking and train service are both excellent though.

The important factors for us are:

  • House Price (Anywhere outside London and South East and the big cities should be fine)
  • Weather (Dry, Sunny, Warm)
  • Bouldering (Within an hours drive, lots of variety, short walk-ins)
  • Natural Countryside (Forest, moors, beaches, marshes etc)
  • Fairly quiet (Small town or out in countryside)
  • Mountain Biking (From the door, forest and moorland, cross country style)
  • Road biking (Flatish, lots of small quiet roads)
  • Train stations (Good service in lots of directions)
  • Environmental views (Green party voting?)
  • Culture/Big towns
  • Access to sea a bonus

One way to get suggestions is to load maps of all the factors into a GIS and create a combined score. I am fairly good technically and have managed to load some weather and house price data into qgis. Thoughts on where to get data that can be loaded into a GIS on the other factors above (esp bouldering and biking) would be really useful.

At the moment I have the following list, in no particular order:

  • Great Ayton
  • Thirsk
  • Hathersage
  • Ilkley/Otley
  • Hebden Bridge
  • Matlock/Derby
  • Mansfield
  • Church Stretton
  • Lydney
  • Wareham
  • Bovey Tracy
  • Cambourne

Any thoughts on these places, or any that are missing but I should consider are welcome!

Obviously once we have narrowed it down a bit we will be going to visit them.

Thanks for all advice and thoughts,

Robert

1
 Phil1919 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Church Stretton/ Welsh Borders would be of interest to me. Not sure about the bouldering. I'd certainly want to live in walking range of shops and services.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

If I had the money I’d retire to Dorset but I don’t think we could afford the sort of place we want, as it is it looks like we are retiring to Norht Wales (I know you said England) which is better in most respects apart from the weather. 

1
 C Witter 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Obviously the South of England is strictly for the damned. The M25 is actually the first circle of hell (Limbo...).

Lancaster, Grange-over-Sands, Silverdale, Arnside, Kendal - all good places. Sort of like those places you list, but better.

2
 neilh 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Wareham is a bit dead imho for culture/big towns etc.But otherwise is not bad, at least the weather is better there than in the North if your requirment is sun.

Dorset is certainly a good area ,ticking most of those boxes.

Its  on my list of where I would go.

Post edited at 15:53
1
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I'd be all over the Peak District, but I'm from t' north (actually too far north to say "t'" north) and feel most at home in the Peak of anywhere in the country. It's located superbly for outdoor adventure even from your doorstep; obviously you have all the climbing and biking of the Peak, but North Wales and the Lakes are also easily accessible. Trains through the Hope Valley to Sheffield or Manchester, and good connections onwards from there. The downside is that it can be very busy, but if you know where to go you can always find solitude. And that's no different to any other attractive rural area really.

Ultimately though, you'll obviously need to make home where you most feel at home. The vibe in Dorset is completely different to the vibe in Derbyshire, as lovely as they both are. I don't think there are any places on your list that would be bad, except that moving to Cambridgeshire might be an error if you're quite attached to climbing?

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Hebden Bridge is awesome but make sure if you move there that you move on top of  a hill. They've had savage floods recently. 

1
 ScraggyGoat 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

If it has to be England.  I lived for a year in Chester. Clwyd limestone and Cheshire sandstone in the evenings.  North Wales easy drive, lakes for weekend.  Peak possible for a day trip. River walks, towns nice but might be expensive.  Good rail. Reasonable cycling.

 Lankyman 18 Aug 2021
In reply to C Witter:

> Lancaster, Grange-over-Sands, Silverdale, Arnside, Kendal - all good places. Sort of like those places you list, but better.

Stay clear - far too many old gits as it is. And it pisses down all the time.

1
 Phil79 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I live in Devon. Bovey Tracy and surrounding is nice area, good diversity of climbing styles and rock types, bouldering on granite is an acquired taste, but plenty of coastal blocs to go at and lots of esoteric locations. 

Pretty countryside, easy access to moors, Cornish and Devon beaches etc, and some of the best coastline in the UK.

Not very flat, but good road biking (if you don't mind constant hills) and MTBing.

Well served by A38/M5 to escape elsewhere (although 5-6 hour drive to other major climbing locations in Peak/Wales, 2+ hrs to Cornish Granite, 2 hrs to Portland). Closest train station 15/20 min drive away, mainline station 2.5/3 hrs to London. 

House prices probably pretty high, as is everywhere in SW.

Rains a lot, at least compared to where you are now.  

Marginal Tory seat, if you want Liberal/Green try Totnes!

Post edited at 16:52
 Tony Buckley 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I've got family in Knaresborough, which is a place that would tick most of your boxes.  Not far from Thirsk, which you already have on your list.  Skipton might fit the bill too.

T.

 Iamgregp 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Tony Buckley:

But surely anywhere above around, well Nottingham really, is going to fail on the second criteria of Dry, Sunny, Warm?

To the OP as an ex-northerner now happily ensconced in "that London" I can attest you will notice the difference in climate down here to up there.

But then you do get longer summer evenings in The Up North...

Post edited at 17:13
 nniff 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Chepstow maybe?  

 Tony Buckley 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

All things are relative.  It's less damp than the other side of the Pennines, though the trade off is that's it's more prone to snow come winter.

T.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

A fair bit of West Cumbria meets your criteria!

 profitofdoom 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> A fair bit of West Cumbria meets your criteria!

Yes, but much of Cumbria falls down just a bit on "Weather (Dry, Sunny, Warm)"

1
 RobAJones 18 Aug 2021
In reply to profitofdoom:

> Yes, but much of Cumbria falls down just a bit on "Weather (Dry, Sunny, Warm)"

Although with better forecasting, when you are retired, that is less of a problem.

I was struggling to suggest West Cumbria as culture was placed next to big towns. 

 Trangia 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Hastings has got (in no particular order) :_

Way up there when it comes to best weather in England

The Sea

Affordable house prices - if you sell your house in south London, like for like you'll have plenty of change left over

Some of the best and varied walking in the South in the Downs and the Weald rolling hills and lots of forest/wood land, outstanding footpath network

Lots of culture - theatres, concerts, galleries etc. Thriving music scene.

Southern Sandstone easily accessible 45 mins, Swanage/Portland 2 hours drive, Avon Gorge 3 hours drive

Rail and road links to London and the Continent. Channel Tunnel about an hour away

Historic Old Town and 1066 Country on your doorstep

Good choice of eating out venues

I've lived here for over 40 years and love it.

2
 Morty 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Looking at your list it seems as though North or South Wales seems to fit your bill.

Edit: just seen you said it should be England.  Somewhere in the NW would probably suit you.

Post edited at 18:14
1
 Morty 18 Aug 2021
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

> If it has to be England.  I lived for a year in Chester. Clwyd limestone and Cheshire sandstone in the evenings.  North Wales easy drive, lakes for weekend.  Peak possible for a day trip. River walks, towns nice but might be expensive.  Good rail. Reasonable cycling.

Probably this.

 mrphilipoldham 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I was going to suggest Hebden Bridge then saw it on your list. I’m at Blackshaw Head and have a life time of climbing within an hours drive. Then relatively easy access in to North Yorks, Lakes and Wales. Getting to the Eastern Peak is pain but I’ve done it to death so quite happy in limiting my visits these days.

Outside of climbing there is an incredibly dense network of both footpaths and bridleways, more than I’ve ever come across before despite living around the Peak all my life.

Trains to Manchester and Leeds for onward travel elsewhere. 

Weather wise I’ve been here a year now and have been quite surprised at how often it’s dry. Thought it’d be much wetter! Even when it is damp in Hebden, you can go to Halifax and it’s bone dry (today being a prime example). 
Access to the sea.. Blackpool is an hour away
 

 nikoid 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I think you must mean Camborne not Cambourne near Cambridge!

In reply to nikoid:

That would make far more sense

 plyometrics 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Kendal pretty much ticks all but your nice weather box. 

 Forest Dump 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Somewhere along the borders, access to Wales (N+S) for the outdoors, and West Mids for city life

Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Ludlow etc

 Forest Dump 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Or just be done with it and move to Machynlleth, Dolgelleu, Barmouth and have the bright lights of Aberystwyth as your cultural mecca 😂

3
 artif 18 Aug 2021
In reply to C Witter:

> Obviously the South of England is strictly for the damned. The M25 is actually the first circle of hell (Limbo...).

> Lancaster, Grange-over-Sands, Silverdale, Arnside, Kendal - all good places. Sort of like those places you list, but better.

Agree on the M25 but the M6 is a very close second.

Having just spent the last four months in Lancaster with work, I'm looking forward to never returning. 

2
 Siward 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Iamgregp:

> But surely anywhere above around, well Nottingham really, is going to fail on the second criteria of Dry, Sunny, Warm?

> To the OP as an ex-northerner now happily ensconced in "that London" I can attest you will notice the difference in climate down here to up there.

> But then you do get longer summer evenings in The Up North...

Nah. Derby, Nottingham etc, all pretty dry. The rain from the west has usually dissipated by the time it gets here which gives the sun a chance. 

 Siward 18 Aug 2021
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Blackshaw Head, do you frequent the New Delight? Do you know Mark, Becky and Rich by any chance? Small world... 

 Boomer Doomer 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Somewhere around Bristol sounds like it would suit you. There are lots of small towns just outside of the city, which is vibrant and has a very good transport infrastructure which links to the whole of the UK. Price might be an issue, especially if it's close to Bristol. The area isn't stacked with bouldering, but there is some and Dartmoor isn't that far away... and hour or so... where there's loads. There's plenty of limestone crags close by though. The seaside (North Somerset and Devon) is also relatively close by and the weather is about as clement as it gets in the UK with the possible exception of the English Riviera (which may also be an option for you). There's some great cycling in the Bristol area and there are lots of dedicated cycling routes. It's mostly flat if you stick to the Severn Vale or Somerset Levels area, though south and west is quite hilly (Cotswolds and Mendips), but even these aren't too brutal on a bike.

I see you have listed Lydney... it's nice but a bit out of the way and the only flat bit for cycling is the A48 which isn't too pleasant... north of Lydney is quite hilly, but very good for MTB (Forest of Dean).

 Seymore Butt 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Ever considered the Ribble Valley Lancashire , Clitheroe,/Whalley area in particular. Easy access to the lakes, Yorkshire dales, North Wales, Peak District and Lancashire quarries. Loads of Mountain biking and walking on the door step. 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Mansfield- you are brave 🤣🤣😉

 kevin stephens 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I was brought up in Church Stretton and I still have family there. It ticks most of your boxes except bouldering; there is nothing near by.

 Kalna_kaza 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Another vote for Kendal. If you are retired you have more opportunities to dodge the "odd" wet day.

 profitofdoom 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Best place I know which ticks many/ most of your boxes, the Darlington - Durham corridor*

*Edit, not so great for "Culture/Big towns" though, especially bigger towns (or cities of course)

Post edited at 20:44
 spenser 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Siward:

Derby is pretty dry but fails abjectly on the culture front. The most noteable thing about it is that young people move here for work, spend a couple of years here and realise it has nothing to offer beyond the A38 and the A52 so they head up one or the other to somewhere which has more to offer.

 stevieb 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Huddy:

> Mansfield- you are brave 🤣🤣😉

Yeah, Mansfield ( and Derby) is a bit rough and ready compared to the rest of the list. But some places nearby like Edwinstowe or Belper are pretty nice. 

 Andy Hardy 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Frodsham /Helsby ticks a few boxes for you.

Or the Milnthorpe area (not too sure about mountain biking from the door there, and its further from major cities)

 mrphilipoldham 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Siward:

Haven't so much yet with it being forced closed more than half the time I've been here but the frequency is increasing.. terrible with names so possibly?!  

 Allovesclimbin 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Northumberland 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

If you weren't restricting yourself to England then the Inverness area would probably be a pretty good fit. It is possibly the only area I think I would consider moving to for retirement.

1
In reply to stevieb:

> Yeah, Mansfield ( and Derby) is a bit rough and ready compared to the rest of the list. But some places nearby like Edwinstowe or Belper are pretty nice. 

Yes, I live in Belper and it ticks ALL the boxes. Derby (well, north side of) - where I lived previously - is very pleasant, but it's that much further away from all the climbing. Belper is a very attractive market town in an unusually aesthetic, one-side-of-a-valley setting, with a complete mix of all types of nice people, i.e. it's a working, not a retiring, place. Stupendously good for travelling to all parts of the country, radially. Train service very good to anywhere, e.g. a return business trip to London (St. P) is very comfortably done in a day. Very good bouldering in under an hour at Harboro, Robin Hood's Stride etc. Black Rocks, High Tor, Willersley, Wild Cat, etc. all close by. Climate excellent, sunny - it has literally HALF the annual rainfall of Glossop diagonally to the N/W on the other side of the Peak. Culturally excellent: particularly the Ritz Cinema. Derby only ¼ hr away by train. Some of the very best pubs in Britain in walking distance. Very quiet: it's all steeply terraced with gritstone houses that act as a sound barrier. Where I live, near the top of the hill, might as well be the quietest country hamlet, even though it's so close to the Nottingham Road and the A6. Best place by far that I've ever lived in in the UK.

Post edited at 21:40
In reply to Andy Hardy:

> Frodsham /Helsby ticks a few boxes for you.

?????... If you like the sight of massive windmills, and the stench of chemical clouds? 

 Hooo 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Trangia:

You can drive from Hastings to Swanage in 2 hours? That's not possible, at least not without some extreme speeding. It's about 2 hours from Worthing.

 Andy Hardy 18 Aug 2021
In reply to Darren Jackson:

> ?????... If you like the sight of massive windmills, and the stench of chemical clouds? 

The chemical clouds strip the lichen off the crag and lower the price of houses. Win-win.

 C Witter 18 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

> Agree on the M25 but the M6 is a very close second.

> Having just spent the last four months in Lancaster with work, I'm looking forward to never returning.

If your idea of Lancaster is the M6, I can see your point. Otherwise, it's just a shame you've spectacularly failed to appreciate far and away the best place to live in the UK.

Post edited at 21:41
2
 C Witter 18 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Ignore all the nesh bastards in this thread complaining about the weather in the NW.

2
In reply to spenser:

Yeh I grew up not far from there and some of my family live in the Mansfield area so I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Helper is a good shout tho. 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

I like Hebden Bridge, not as much as it likes itself, but I like it. It is quite a wet place though, wetter than Manchester.

Like someone else I'd suggest the Lancaster area. A nice small city, cultured with good transport links, close to the coast, the Lakes and the Dales. It rains there, but not as much as Hebden Bridge.

 artif 18 Aug 2021
In reply to C Witter:

I've been staying in the centre of Lancaster, in a reasonable hotel, opposite a Thai knocking shop, whose pimp had a go at me because he was in my allocated parking space. 

Police and ambulance sirens constantly racing around the one way system, closely followed by  a**holes in euro boxes with big bore exhausts.

Security guards with body cameras in the local convenience stores, for good reason. 

Then you have the delights of Morecombe just up the road, junkie and alky paradise, mixed in with the waiting for god, nursing homes on the sea front. 

Its great up here. 

To be fair, you only have to travel a few miles in land or down/ up the coast to find some beautiful areas. 

But not for me. 

 Forest Dump 18 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

Cheap and with plenty of local character

In reply to RobertHepburn:

One thing you perhaps need to bare in mind is that there has been a fairly substantial hike in house prices in the north. Lots of people with the ability to work from home are abandoning the ‘smoke’ for rural idles up here, a quick look at Rightmove, OnTheMarket etc you’ll see that half decent property goes under offer within days! Scotland and the Southwest are affected the same!

Post edited at 23:09
 C Witter 18 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

> I've been staying in the centre of Lancaster, in a reasonable hotel, opposite a Thai knocking shop, whose pimp had a go at me because he was in my allocated parking space. 

> Police and ambulance sirens constantly racing around the one way system, closely followed by  a**holes in euro boxes with big bore exhausts.

> Security guards with body cameras in the local convenience stores, for good reason. 

> Then you have the delights of Morecombe just up the road, junkie and alky paradise, mixed in with the waiting for god, nursing homes on the sea front. 

> Its great up here. 

> To be fair, you only have to travel a few miles in land or down/ up the coast to find some beautiful areas. 

> But not for me. 


I don't recognise your cynical portrait or your racist stereotypes.

24
In reply to RobertHepburn:

locations east of M1 in the S Yorks/ Derbyshire area are generally more affordable.

 artif 18 Aug 2021
In reply to C Witter:

Racist stereotypes?????

If you're referring to the "Thai knocking shop" comment. 

The sign outside states "Thai massage" the clientelle are obviously not visiting for a massage, and the near assault by the known pimp, was certainly not made up.

No need for stereotypes, I have just stated facts.

Post edited at 23:26
1
 mrphilipoldham 18 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Have a look at my logbook.. I climb most days, having rock within walking distance, and there have been days when I could have climbed but didn’t (damned work, exhaustion etc..). It’s actually surprisingly dry! 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I'll trust the Met Office and my own experiences over your log book as an indicator or rainfall. As I say, I like the place, but rainfall is nearly double that of London and significantly higher than famously rainy Manchester.

1
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Dorset - perhaps not Wareham as it's a bit removed from the culture / town part, but move a little towards Bournemouth and you'll be grand. Wimborne maybe or one of the villages in that area.

Good access to the Poole / Bournemouth conurbation one way, straight into countryside the other, plenty of cycling both on and off-road (Purbeck is great but some sharp (if short) climbs or plenty of flatter lanes inland), Swanage 30mins / Portland an hour, New Forest < 30mins, easy access to stunning coastline both beaches and Jurassic cliffs, south coast weather.

House prices vary massively depending on how close you want to be to a town, Wimborne itself is extortionate within walking distance of the centre, the outskirts of Wimborne or the Broadstone / Corfe Mullen / Colehill areas are a little better, the slightly more outlying villages are reasonable by southern standards.

Main downside is transport infrastructure, train links to Southampton / London are fine from Poole / Bournemouth but no local line in Wimborne, roads can be busy especially with summer tourism. Okay heading London direction (A31/M27/M3) but towards Exeter / Bath / Bristol there's no 'good' route.

I was drafted here (military) in 2009 and never left when I came out, perfect mix. Wife loves it, family always want to come stay.

Post edited at 00:27
In reply to The New NickB:

>... famously rainy Manchester.

It isn't rain: it's merely God crying because he left it six days before creating the gaff, our kid.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:...And_on_the_sixth_day,_God_created_Manchester.jpg

 Lankyman 19 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

> I've been staying in the centre of Lancaster, in a reasonable hotel, opposite a Thai knocking shop, whose pimp had a go at me because he was in my allocated parking space. 

> Police and ambulance sirens constantly racing around the one way system, closely followed by  a**holes in euro boxes with big bore exhausts.

> Security guards with body cameras in the local convenience stores, for good reason. 

> Then you have the delights of Morecombe just up the road, junkie and alky paradise, mixed in with the waiting for god, nursing homes on the sea front. 

> Its great up here. 

> To be fair, you only have to travel a few miles in land or down/ up the coast to find some beautiful areas. 

> But not for me. 

Do you work for the Lancaster Tourist Board?

 Dog Dave 19 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Hebden Bridge will mean you paying over the odds to live in a tourist trap. Have a look at Todmorden, only 5 miles up the road but house prices much better, more facilities and not a permanent traffic jam like Hebden on a weekend. I have lived in both and your just paying more money for a trendy tag with Hebden Bridge imho.
 

can’t lie, it rains a lot anywhere in the Calder valley so if you want warm and sunny it’s not the place. much as I love Todmorden as a place to live as long as I have to work, I hope to retire to somewhere a lot warmer and drier when it’s my turn.
 

 C Witter 19 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

> Racist stereotypes?????

> If you're referring to the "Thai knocking shop" comment. 

> The sign outside states "Thai massage" the clientelle are obviously not visiting for a massage, and the near assault by the known pimp, was certainly not made up.

> No need for stereotypes, I have just stated facts.

Oh, sorry - I didn't realise you knew for a fact that the guy was a pimp. If I'd realised you had such intimate and extensive knowledge of brothels, I wouldn't have questioned your assumption that a Thai massage parlour, being a Thai massage palour, must therefore actually be a brothel. It was just that, fresh on the back of you thinking the late night ambience of The Beer Store (i.e. the latest opening off licence) was representative of "convenience stores" in general in Lancaster, I presumed you were talking out of your arse rather than from your extensive experience of the facts of the matter.

23
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

I live here and grew up in Manchester, I wouldn't trust the Met Office.. it often rains when it says it won't, and doesn't when it says it will. Manchester isn't actually as rainy as it's famous moniker makes out, that's been debunked over and over. Total rainfall is also a poor measure of overall weather patterns. 

Fact of the matter is, is that I could have climbed on at least 75% (practically 100% if you enjoy esoteric overhanging quarries...) of days this year, never travelling more than 10 or so miles from Hebden. Whether or not you like to climb on grey windy days is another matter.. but that doesn't mean it's not possible. Yesterday for example, I sat belaying on perfectly dry rock at Woodhouse Scar, watching it rain up the valley in Hebden. It stayed like that for four hours, and I gave in with exhaustion well before the rain eventually arrived. If I'd ventured as far as Bradford I would have been climbing in sunshine.

This isn't to say that there aren't drier, or sunnier places to live. But to continue the 'rainy' myth is doing the area a severe disservice. 

Post edited at 09:20
 neilh 19 Aug 2021
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Dry, sunny and warm is a leading criteria. Not dry,windy and cold days....lol.

Even though I live up North, it is noticable how much drier and warmer it is the closer you get to the South.

Dorset on that basis wins hands down and also ticks a very good number of the posters own identified  "needs". Its a beautiful part of the UK with a surprising amount of rock climbing etc.

Happily move there myself.

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I’m not talking about weather predictions, I’m talking about measurement.

I’m not just relying on that either, I’ve lived half way between Manchester and Hebden Bridge for over 40 years.

The bare facts are that London has less than 600mm of rain a year, Manchester has around 950mm and Hebden Bridge has 1100mm.

Wouldn’t put me off, but the OP specifically said “dry”.

1
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to neilh:

Who mentioned cold? Given Robert himself listed the area as a potential then I would assume he's vaguely familiar with the climate.

I don't know enough about Dorset to comment beyond saying it's a pain in the arse to get to anywhere but Dorset and for the price of a suburban 2 bed semi there you could get a rural idyl in West Yorks.. I'm only here to sing the virtues of an area I love, and for pretty much all the same reasons that Robert's laid out.

 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

He also said 'outside London' so comparing rainfall in the north to that of the capital is completely and utterly pointless.

If you're keen to be talking about measurements then you'll know that Plymouth receives more rain annually than Manchester.. so it'd seem that the south isn't that 'dry' either. Maybe Cambridge would be a great recommendation?

Post edited at 09:46
In reply to RobertHepburn:

We live in south Shropshire, right on the Welsh border, between Ludlow and Knighton, about 30 minutes south of Church Stretton.  Ended up here by accident 12 years ago, but it turned out to be a very happy accident, we're firmly settled and loving raising our kids in the area.

It ticks pretty much all your boxes, the notable exception being climbing which is a bit limited for short trips out, although for full days Nesscliffe and Llanymynech are very do-able as are the Wye Valley and Clywd limestone.

Walking and cycling are fantastic, endless route options on and off road.  Overall I think the area is still a little undiscovered, sees far less tourism than it deserves with most people driving straight through to various parts of Wales.  As a result house prices are relatively sensible.  The one group it does attract in significant numbers is retirees, they seem to get involved with lots of local organisations and help avoid the area feeling too insular.

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> He also said 'outside London' so comparing rainfall in the north to that of the capital is completely and utterly pointless.

The OP currently lives in London, it is a point of reference. Rainfall is as much an East / West things as it is North / South. The Yorkshire coast gets 25% less rainfall than the Lancashire and Cumbria coast. The Pennines are also a factor, which is why Hebden Bridge gets more rain than places both east and west.

1
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Yes, I learned that in GCSE geography too. The point I'm trying to make is that overall rainfall is a poor measurement for gauging how 'wet' a place is. If it rains 1000ml a year over 150 days, that place is 'wetter' than somewhere that gets the same 1000ml over only say 100 days. The original point with referencing my logbook to see how often I climb locally is to show that yes, it could be considered 'wet' in one sense, but it's actually not as 'wet' as one might imagine from that description of a place. 

The rain in Manchester and the rain in Hebden are two very different beasts. 

Regardless of a the vague difference in rainfall, everywhere on his list is going to be noticeably wetter than Dorking.

Post edited at 10:20
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Yes. Sometimes Hebden will get Dorking’s annual rainfall in a day!


 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Exactly  

1
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Looks quite wet to me.

1
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

Yes, and therein lies my point. A lot of rainfall comes over very short periods of time. Leaving the rest of the time surprisingly dry. It’s quite simple to understand, no? 
Robert, as Nick has pointed out, it might be worth considering researching the EA flood reports if you’d be considering a valley bottom property. 

In reply to mrphilipoldham:

There's a cartoon in there somewhere.

[Scene: Estate agent showing man and woman a living room of a house for sale, seemingly oblivious of the water lapping round their waists and the neighbour canoeing past the front window]

Estate agent: Well yes, but it comes over a very short period of time, leaving the rest of the time surprisingly dry.

 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Ha Nobody buys a property in Hebden Bridge without being aware of the potential flooding, which is very well evidenced and avoidable. I'd be surprised if it's news to Robert.

Post edited at 10:47
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

It’s about 130 days a year for Hebden Bridge, compared to 140 for Manchester. As you say though it often rains more heavily in Hebden. I wouldn’t advocate either for somebody moving from one of the drier parts of the country and specifically mentioning wanting somewhere dry.

1
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to The New NickB:

I think that brings about an agreeable end to the chat then.. I'm off out bouldering! Looks like rain in Rochdale? 

 Jon Read 19 Aug 2021
In reply to artif:

The M6 around Lancaster only used to be busy on Friday evenings in the summer. Now, in the new brave world of holidaying in the UK, it's busy all day on Friday (in particular) and the weekend. Whether this will be sustained as we move into endemicity is anyone's guess...

Edit: and this applies to the traffic lots of other places too!

Post edited at 10:58
In reply to Andy Hardy:

3.5 good crags a few mins from home, tons of stuff within an 1h+. Tons of stuff within 30 mins would be better though
Fails on the beach criterion though. Controversially I'd move back to Lancaster happily.

 timjones 19 Aug 2021
In reply to Forest Dump:

Church Stretton, Ludlow and that stretch of the A49 are not particularly good for the rail service in lots of directions.

Travelling eastwards is a real pain and almost impossible if you want to return home later in the evening.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

My choice would be Hathersage but I’m not sure it fits your dry, sunny and warm criteria, though there is nothing wrong with Mansfield............... 😉

In reply to Levy_danny:

As a resident I like it here a lot but think I'd like to retire somewhere sunnier and less remorselessly wet! 

I'm currently wondering about the South Lakes outside National Park area

 deepsoup 19 Aug 2021
In reply to Christheclimber:

> My choice would be Hathersage but I’m not sure it fits your dry, sunny and warm criteria..

Slightly sunnier and less rainy than the other side of the Penines (but no, not really, would be my verdict).  More importantly perhaps, as a tourist trap it's a spectacular failure on the peace and quiet front especially during the summer.  You'd honestly be a lot better off in one of Sheffield's leafy suburbs from that point of view.  Beauchief, say, if ready access to a railway station is important.

 Offwidth 19 Aug 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I think a dedicated green voter might deal with being busy as a trade off compared to being in the suburbs and travelling more. You don't need to walk or ride far from Hathersage to escape crowds.

 deepsoup 19 Aug 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> You don't need to walk or ride far from Hathersage to escape crowds.

But you do need to leave.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

A suburb of Sheffield fits some of your criteria, albeit while not being a small town. Happy hunting.

1
 peppermill 19 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I've not trawled through the whole thread and apologies if this has been mentioned but my parents village  (Eden Valley area) has multiple couples that have "Retired to the country" so to speak

There's been a couple of serious medical emergencies (thankfully both patients survived) lately with their neighbours and what struck me at a village barbecue a couple of weeks ago is how surprised a lot of the incomers from major cities were that it took so long for an ambulance to arrive. It genuinely hadn't occurred to them that services like this (and others) are very unlikely to be as rapid as Manchester or wherever they've come from, simply due to the distances involved and how large and area resources have to cover.

Obviously not suggesting this should put you off doing what you want and enjoying retirement and I'm sure you're well aware of certain risks of getting older and living rurally but it's surprising how many are completely oblivious to this!

Post edited at 15:50
2
In reply to Jeremy Ashcroft:

> One thing you perhaps need to bare in mind is that there has been a fairly substantial hike in house prices in the north. Lots of people with the ability to work from home are abandoning the ‘smoke’ for rural idles up here, a quick look at Rightmove, OnTheMarket etc you’ll see that half decent property goes under offer within days! Scotland and the Southwest are affected the same!

Yep, professional people in the cities have learnt that they can work from home most of the time, so prices in nice places which were previously unattractive due to a lack of jobs (e.g. Cornwall) have rocketed; as have places in the countryside within commuting distance of the big cities due to people wanting to live in a house with garden instead of an apartment in the city. This means as far west out of London as Southampton and north as Cambridge (both about 1hour on the train).  Buying in the current market could be something of a gamble in terms of equity retention - are all these townies going to want to move back to the cities in a couple of years once they realise the countryside isn't 'exciting'?

In reply to Toerag: Hopefully it's a temporary explosion in house prices in house prices outside of the South East,

1
In reply to peppermill:

> There's been a couple of serious medical emergencies (thankfully both patients survived) lately with their neighbours and what struck me at a village barbecue a couple of weeks ago is how surprised a lot of the incomers from major cities were that it took so long for an ambulance to arrive. It genuinely hadn't occurred to them that services like this (and others) are very unlikely to be as rapid as Manchester or wherever they've come from, simply due to the distances involved and how large and area resources have to cover.

There’s a handy map here with ambulance wait times: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47362797

Something for the OP to add to the scoring system?

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Walking on moors, and climbing on tors?

https://www.rightmove.co.uk/house-prices/tavistock.html

EDIT: This is awful, wish I'd never read the thread, just been looking at beautiful pictures of Dartmoor, boulders, crags on tors and thinking since I work 100% remotely now and next job is likely to be remote. Why the ***** do I live where I live now? Looking at how nice it is there is making me feel sad. Wonder about moving the kids schools. I should have a long hard think about taking my own advice above!

Post edited at 17:33
 Marcus 19 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn: The 400 or so extra sun hours that the Dorset coast gets over Hathersage (which was where I was originally looking to retire to) did it for me. Been extremely happy here ever since. Plenty  of climbing and bouldering on the doorstep, beautiful countryside to walk in and beaches and water sports to boot.

 greg_may_ 19 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Another Hebden Bridge local - definitly a "not-shit" place to live. We moved here because of the running, biking and climbing. Have regretted none of it over the past 8 years! 

Rain isn't that bad. No worse than anywhere in the Northwest. Easy to get to many other places. 

As others have mentioned, the access to footpaths and bridleways - unbelievable density here. 

 neilh 19 Aug 2021
In reply to greg_may_:

Just remind us how long it takes to drive to the M62 from HB. It’s seems to take forever ……….   …….  

 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to neilh:

There is that, to be fair. But all the best places are to the north of here so it’s not alL that important!

 artif 19 Aug 2021
In reply to C Witter:

> Oh, sorry - I didn't realise you knew for a fact that the guy was a pimp. If I'd realised you had such intimate and extensive knowledge of brothels, I wouldn't have questioned your assumption that a Thai massage parlour, being a Thai massage palour, must therefore actually be a brothel. It was just that, fresh on the back of you thinking the late night ambience of The Beer Store (i.e. the latest opening off licence) was representative of "convenience stores" in general in Lancaster, I presumed you were talking out of your arse rather than from your extensive experience of the facts of the matter.

Just a couple of notes.

The massage parlour is opposite our hotel and well known, and the manager of the hotel we are staying is well connected and very well informed. 

The pimp was definitely the pimp for the massage parlour and also well known. 

Your other assumption on the convenience store is way off, as I was referring to the Tesco express up the road, beer being useless to me as a lifelong teetotaler.

Obviously I've touched a nerve, so I'll leave it here, without resorting to personal insults. 

You can explain the good stuff about lancaster. 

3
 Doghouse 19 Aug 2021
In reply to Marcus:

> The 400 or so extra sun hours that the Dorset coast gets over Hathersage 

I'm probably being a bit thick here, but 400 hours, is that a year? That's over 10 hours a day, how does that work?

2
 mrphilipoldham 19 Aug 2021
In reply to Doghouse:

One hour a day..

In reply to Doghouse:

> I'm probably being a bit thick here, but 400 hours, is that a year? That's over 10 hours a day, how does that work?


have a like for your self-awareness

In reply to RobertHepburn:

I'd vote for shropshire - near Shrewsbury you have easy access to a few nice crags, decent town, can get to North Wales, the Lakes or the Peak easily - and with the sleep train calling at Crewe you can do some amazingly time efficient Scottish trips.....

mind you i've lived Notts/South Yorkshire, Bristol, Exmoor, Dorset, Shropshire, North Wales, Bristol and its all good .

I've also spent some time in Lincoln - its pretty shit.

 BrendanO 19 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Northumberland…lots to climb, not busy, E coast so dry, not too expensive.

Or various bits of Scotland, balancing cycling (Galloway, 7 Stanes etc) vs dry (Royal Deeside, Borders) vs price (er, Galloway again!) vs climbing location (Fort William?) round about Dundee? Whole country has brill legal access for camping cycling and climbing…and may even rejoin EU in next few years.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

There are so many nuances and personal likes/dislikes involved in making such a decision that it is difficult for others to recommend particular locations. May I strongly suggest that you pick an area and rent a house there for six months or a year, to find out whether the location/area really suits you. (I did that for some years in a small village and found it was too parochial, for me.)

In reply to greg_may_:

> As others have mentioned, the access to footpaths and bridleways - unbelievable density here. 

Highest in the the UK...and therefore the world! 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

As others have mentioned, when retired you don’t need to make use of weekends. In fact you can choose to stay at home then and enjoy the quieter days. Equally, you won’t probably want to be out every day so just make use of the best weather. We’ve lived near Milnthorpe for 20 years having been in the drier and sunnier south Derbyshire previously. It doesn’t really matter as we get plenty of good weather amidst the wetter spells. With the climate emergency to contend with there is no way I would want to live any further south. Gets quite hot enough here, thanks. The pace of life here is also more agreeable, and living close to but not in the Lake District has been the best choice we made. House prices lower, traffic snarl-ups rare, weather better than in the Lakes. Total rainfall varies greatly over short distances - Milnthorpe’s noticeably drier than Kendal and Kendal drier than Staveley. Silverdale & Arnside AONB has great microclimate as well as a delightful ambience. Ingleton on the edge of Dales NP only 25 minutes drive, lots of lovely local bike rides and walks. Plenty of crags locally from hundreds of bouldering routes to the Trowbarrow classics and almost all the Lakeland crags about an hour or less away. And there’s a far bigger and better cultural scene here than there was in the cultural desert of Derby. Not sure why I’m not keeping all  this to myself…..

 GCO 20 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

It’s not England, I know, but I have semi-retired to rural Carmarthenshire which puts me within striking distance of the Gower and Pembroke. The cycling here is fantastic: off road in Brechfa forest etc, road cycling in the Towy valley (see the Tour of Britain stage three on 7 September). Hill walking in the Brecons - Picws Du, for example.

House prices are currently rising but still very affordable. 

2
 Sean Kelly 20 Aug 2021
In reply to CantClimbTom:

Tavy is on the wet side of the Moor. Ashburton (foodie heaven) ticks lots of boxes being minutes from Dartmoor with bouldering at BoneHill and good crags nearby. Even more rain-shadowed is Torbay, with climbing in shorts & T-shirts in December.  Cornwall & North Devon coast is not so far for a day trip. Only downside is the trek up to N Wales & the Lakes. But hey I ticked most of the Munros from living down here. You can never tick every box

 greg_may_ 20 Aug 2021
In reply to neilh:

> Just remind us how long it takes to drive to the M62 from HB. It’s seems to take forever ……….   …….  

About 20mins if you go via Sowerby Bridge, it's not that far!  Not that I'd choose to get on the M62 unless I need to

 neilh 20 Aug 2021
In reply to greg_may_:

But do you not have to change to a horse and cart and go back in time when you drive along the A646........

Post edited at 16:04
OP RobertHepburn 20 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Thanks to everyone who commented, you have all given me a lot to think about, even if it got a bit strange sometimes (Thai massage?!).

Currently I have narrowed it down to:

  • Great Ayton
  • Thirsk
  • Hathersage/West Sheffield
  • Hebden Bridge
  • Wareham

Some suggestions seem to have ignored the mountain biking bit, which is very important to me.

Scotland is a bit cold etc (my parents are in Aberdeen), and my wife does not want to go back to Wales or I would consider Swansea (The gower and Afan).

Not many comments about Great Ayton (north edge of North York Moors), but maybe that means no-one lives there?!

Next up is seeing what my wife makes of it all .

 RobAJones 20 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

> Not many comments about Great Ayton (north edge of North York Moors), but maybe that means no-one lives there?!

Friend of mine has lived in Stokesley for the last 15 years or so. We prefer longer mountain routes so he usually visits me for climbing, but we have had some pleasant days at wainstones /scugdale etc. Not sure if it's the routes he has chosen when I'm there but the biking hasn't ent been particularly relaxed. The road ride to Whitby is quiet and  hasn't any major climbs but virtually none of it is flat, on a mountain bike regularly ascending the Ingleby incline will certainly keep you fit. Weather wise, he has also struggled to get the car onto a main road due to snow and ice far more often than I have over the last few winters. 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

At lot of typical responses.

A bit of a left field option - Lincolnshire Wolds. Close to the sea, fab rolling countryside, Lincoln is decent, good road/rail, not far from York (which is another good shout but more pricey). Brilliant road bike country, some decent mountain biking. Very good weather, some lovely villages, some lovely pubs. You'll get a lot of house for your loot.

Bit shit for climbing, mind.

1
 Joel Perkin 20 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Launceston, Cornwall

I’ve just moved here from Bude, as I couldn’t afford to buy in Bude. Easy access to the North Cornish Coast, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and within an hour of all the cities in the South West! Not fair from West Penwith or South Devon either…

Post edited at 19:23
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Despite my comments about the weather in Hebden Bridge, it is a nice place. Got its own cultural scene, between Manchester and Leeds (nearer to Leeds, but the train line to Manchester is better). Lots of great climbing, fell and trail running, walking, mountain biking, road biking (hills though, that might not be your thing). The town itself is fairly busy, but not outrageously. Politically there is a significant green fringe, although a lot of the hippies have been pushed to cheaper locations along the valley, they have Tory MP though.

 GDes 20 Aug 2021

Another vote for South Devon (but not necessarily Bovey!). Excellent road and mountain biking, climbing, dws, beaches, Moor... 

If you want a fairly interesting small town close to all that, Totnes probably fits your bill. Decent climate too. 

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Great Ayton - excellent pork pies, Roseberry Toping, access to Middelsborough - it really does tick all of your boxes I think?

1
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

> A bit of a left field option - Lincolnshire Wolds.

There are certainly plenty of those  

In reply to Allovesclimbin:

> Northumberland 

I was amazed how far I had to scroll down before I found this!

Seconded.

In reply to The New NickB:

> Despite my comments about the weather in Hebden Bridge, it is a nice place. Got its own cultural scene, between Manchester and Leeds (nearer to Leeds, but the train line to Manchester is better). Lots of great climbing, fell and trail running, walking, mountain biking, road biking (hills though, that might not be your thing). The town itself is fairly busy, but not outrageously. Politically there is a significant green fringe, although a lot of the hippies have been pushed to cheaper locations along the valley, they have Tory MP though.

My memory/multiples memories is of a very dark, damp claustrophobic place with very poor road access from either direction (that's right: there's just the one road through it).

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

As a proud Lancastrian, I can say with some certainty that your memory is being very unfair about Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

 Mike-W-99 20 Aug 2021
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Great Ayton - excellent pork pies, Roseberry Toping, access to Middelsborough - it really does tick all of your boxes I think?

Admittedly it was nearly 30 years ago since I visited but is access to Middlesborough a tick?  The staff at the chippie couldn't understand my very soft scottish accent or my friends very soft Welsh one. Not to mention the sulphuric acid factory down the road.

Its a very nice area otherwise.

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Lancaster.

We live just to the east, at Caton in the Lune valley. Ideally, I think I’d live just to the north in the Silverdale AONB. It rains less often, but the house prices are higher.


Travel links are really good. 20mins to the Dales, 45min to Langdale. Even train to London is only 2.5hrs. 

I don’t cycle, but lots of Lycra clad dudes come flying though our village on the weekend. 

The city is actually quite small, good pubs and restaurants. This may be debatable but I’d describe it as a smaller version of Nottingham or a half&half mix of Preston&Harrogate. Old bits, rough bits, middle class bits, loads of student digs.

 steve taylor 21 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Having lived in Wareham for most of my adult (?) life, I'd thoroughly recommend it. However, the bigger towns nearby have a bit more life - Dorchester, Wimborne and Ringwood are all good and still give you easy access to climbing at Portland and Swanage. They also have slightly better transport links (Wareham traffic in the summer holidays can be grim).

Edit: the weather is also much better in Dorset, and yiu can climb outside right through the year.

Post edited at 08:55
 kevin stephens 21 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

i think you will need to to prioritise or prune down your “important factors”. For example if you need culture and are currently living in London then most options are going to be  big disappointment unless you are in striking distance of a major city like Birmingham or Manchester, even then they will be far short of London. The Sheffield options do have very good rail access to London, it’s possible to do a show in London on a day trip. Sheffield trains go to Kings Cross so direct access to Eurostar, also fast trains to Newcastle and Edinburgh. 
 

My own location of Grenoside on the Northern edge of Sheffield has a nice small village feel to it and marks the line between urbanisation and open country, it seems to avoid day tripper crowds. Masses of woodland on my doorstep with nice mountain biking on fire roads and former rail tracks plus a range of downhill options. I really enjoy the road cycling, very hilly to the west, flatter to the east . There are some very nice villages within 15 miles to the north and north east with higher house prices. 

 neilh 21 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Just do not visit Hebden Bridge on a wet day …. Lol. It will bring out the dark satanic mills complex in you. 
 

I would be off to wareham as ticking your original list. 

 Mark Haward 21 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

We moved from the South East to East Devon 20 years ago:

House Price (Anywhere outside London and South East and the big cities should be fine)

Not especially cheap but lots of economical pockets and much cheaper than the South East

Weather (Dry, Sunny, Warm)

Yes, we are in the Dartmoor rain shadow so avoid most of the rain. Year round climbing on the South and North coasts.

Bouldering (Within an hours drive, lots of variety, short walk-ins)

40 minutes to Bonehill ( 20seconds walk in )  / Hound Tor ( 3 minutes walk in ) and many other superb bouldering locations. 

Natural Countryside (Forest, moors, beaches, marshes etc)

5 minutes drive or 20 minutes cycle to woodland, sandy or pebbly beaches, estuary. 40 minutes drive to open moorland - plenty of marshes and bogs! Lots of wild camping opportunities. Rivers and estuaries.

Fairly quiet (Small town or out in countryside)

Lots of choice of town or villages

Mountain Biking (From the door, forest and moorland, cross country style)

20 minutes cycle to woodland and heathland mountain biking; lots of jump / cross country circuits

Road biking (Flatish, lots of small quiet roads)

Several long distance biking tracks, local 'commuter' tracks but best road biking is probably on Dartmoor but others will know better than me

Train stations (Good service in lots of directions)

Direct trains to Bristol, London, Penzance. Even a special Wimbledon tennis train if you fancy it. Coaches to London, airports etc. Local airport too, great for Scotland!. M5 is close and provides quick access to South Wales, North Wales ( just choose your travel times carefully - we are usually going the opposite way to holiday traffic ). Access easy for Cornwall, Lundy.

Environmental views (Green party voting?)

Lots of activists and people quietly ( and not so quietly ) getting on with a 'green' lifestyle

Culture/Big towns

City of Exeter a cycle, train, bus or 25 minute drive away. Great amateur and professional theatre, lots of climbing 'shows' such as Banff and guest speakers ( Eg; Conrad Anker ). Bristol is an hour away. Central London is about 3 hours by train.

Access to sea a bonus

20 minute walk, 5 minute cycle or drive to local three mile long sandy beach. Lots of other beaches readily accessible. Visitors include dolphins, seals, basking sharks. Great snorkelling / diving / sailing / Supping, Kite surfing, kayaking etc.

Have fun choosing

 Tom the tall 21 Aug 2021
In reply to Mark Haward:

Sounds great Mark, where abouts are you in east Devon? (Also retirement planning….)

 HakanT 21 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

This map may help. Most major climbing areas seem to be marked in blue. Except the Dorset coast.


 Tom Briggs 22 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I’d put Cockermouth on your shortlist. Or if you want villages between there and Carlisle (around Wigton).

 greg_may_ 22 Aug 2021
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Memory is poor indeed.  The lack of road access is no worse than many other places in the NW of England. 

OP - the mountain biking around here is excellent, the main reason we moved about 10 years back. IF you like it steep and techy and you don't mind being a bit cheeky with your route choice. 

From my door I can be on footpaths to start fell running in <20seconds, a bridleway to start a ride in <1 min, walk to cragging at Heptonstall in 15mins, or bouldering in 25mins. I can drive to a lot of bouldering in <20mins. But why drive when you can walk One of the benefits to the Valley is that you can access most things bike foot or bike. 

BUT - it's not a cheap place to buy, you don't get a lot for your money any more. The town can be dark during the winter, but that's why you walk/run/bike up onto the moors. Having lived in S.Manchester for 5 years and N.Wales before that it's no worse in winter, but glorious in spring/summer. 

Post edited at 16:39
In reply to Tom Briggs:

> I’d put Cockermouth on your shortlist. Or if you want villages between there and Carlisle (around Wigton).

Much as I like living up here, (NW of Cockermouth), outside of Cockermouth the villages are pretty quiet, not many decent pubs and certainly not much in the way of culture.

I posted upthread that parts of West Cumbria tick a lot of the OPs boxes, but someone quite rightly pointed out the lack of culture/entertainment. (Silloth does have a Pride weekend though, and an amusement arcade).

Plus there's a right pong from the chemical plants in Wigton, I wouldn't fancy any of the villages round there.

 Tom Briggs 22 Aug 2021
In reply to Ridge:

I wouldn’t argue with any of that, but on all the activity stuff it scores highly. And it’s got the sea, which Kendal doesn’t have. I grew up in West Cumbria, I wouldn’t live any further south than Cockermouth apart from the villages between there and Ennerdale. Just back from a few days in Ireby. I’m not much of a cyclist but the roads around there are quiet and it’s not too much of a mission to Eden Rock. Interesting area I thought, but didn’t notice the pong! 

Post edited at 19:18
In reply to Lankyman:

> Do you work for the Lancaster Tourist Board?

Come to Lancaster, it's not as shit as Bradford.

In reply to Tom Briggs:

Agree completely. I'm not a road cyclist, but there are miles of quiet roads 'out west'. It's a great place activity wise, but falls down on the culture side, has woeful public transport and taxis are either horrendously expensive or not existent. Outside of the Lakes there are also very few public footpaths, nothing like the density you find in West Yorkshire for example.

I love living here, but once we start approaching 70ish, we'll probably be looking to move elsewhere.

 neilh 22 Aug 2021
In reply to HakanT:

And Cheshire sandstone. Excellent acces to all major climbing areas. Better climate than……..hebden bridge ……..

In reply to RobertHepburn:

Don't even think about Northumberland. Everything about it doesn't meet your needs. Stick with something more southerly. There's no worthwhile climbing here, the grades are far too soft, its not warm, ever, house prices are outrageous, no bouldering to speak of, no big towns, sea is miles away from the land, the few train stations only go north or south, its too far from anywhere, just retire in one of the places others have mentioned, or use your GIS analysis. Enjoy retirement.

 matt3210 22 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Settle or Ingleton?

In reply to Ridge:

> Come to Lancaster, it's not as shit as Bradford.

From my experience, it is an awful lot nicer than Kent. Which is sort of relevant.

2
In reply to full stottie:

> Don't even think about Northumberland. Everything about it doesn't meet your needs. Stick with something more southerly. There's no worthwhile climbing here, the grades are far too soft, its not warm, ever, house prices are outrageous, no bouldering to speak of, no big towns, sea is miles away from the land, the few train stations only go north or south, its too far from anywhere, just retire in one of the places others have mentioned, or use your GIS analysis. Enjoy retirement.

Yes, Northumberland is really just an honorary part of Scotland. 

1
In reply to matt3210:

> Settle or Ingleton?

Settle

 RobAJones 23 Aug 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> I love living here

Same here, but I agree with you, based on the OP's criteria, we are closer to the sea, (don't think the areas with cheap housing apply) on every other measure Kendal/Penrith is equal/better. 

 Mark Haward 23 Aug 2021
In reply to Tom the tall:

Exmouth, Devon.

In reply to RobAJones:

Penrith always strikes me as horribly congested and claustrophobic. Maybe that's just me.

 HakanT 23 Aug 2021
In reply to Ridge:

> Penrith always strikes me as horribly congested and claustrophobic. Maybe that's just me.


You should come to London and ride the Northern Line in the morning. Just to remind yourself what congested and claustrophobic really looks like

 Ciro 23 Aug 2021
In reply to BrendanO:

> Northumberland…lots to climb,

There is, but it's all quite samey unless you're going to drive 2 ½ hrs plus. 

> not busy, E coast so dry, not too expensive.

all very true and a beautiful place.

 wintertree 24 Aug 2021
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> Great Ayton - excellent pork pies, Roseberry Toping, access to Middelsborough - it really does tick all of your boxes I think?

It was looking mighty fine yesterday. 


 Marcus 26 Aug 2021
In reply to Doghouse:

Largely weighted towards the summer so several more hours of sun per day late spring to Autumn. And, of course, it’s possible to climb in t-shirt and shorts on sunny days in the winter with the wind in (roughly) the north.

In reply to wintertree:

Many of my best memories in that place, and around beadnell.

 Arcturus 26 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

Sheffield....west of the city centre.

Not that I'm biased or anything.

Andy Gamisou 27 Aug 2021
In reply to Ciro:

> There is, but it's all quite samey unless you're going to drive 2 ½ hrs plus. 

Not sure I'd entirely agree with that.  The Wanneys and Bowden Doors might both be sandstone (for example) but they're certainly quite different.  And the stuff around Crag Lough and Peel couldn't be much more different.  Then there's Trapain Law which is another rock type and again different.  And if you do get bored there's always the sea cliff climbing at Cullernose Point, which might not have the greatest climbing you ever do, but might have the last

 DalesClimber 27 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I'm surprised Skipton/Settle/Ingleton haven't been mentioned more. Near to a few cities for culture (Leeds, Bradford & Manchester); lots of climbing (gritstone and limestone in the Dales, and not far at all from the Lakes); lots of MTB and road biking options.

The Settle-Carlisle railway gives excellent public transport access to the hills, and direct trains into Leeds/Bradford going the other way.

Housing isn't cheap by Yorkshire standards, but compared to the south east it will seem a bargain.

The main downsides are the lack of coastline, and the weather.

 Tom Last 27 Aug 2021
In reply to RobertHepburn:

I can address Camborne for you, sort of. I presume you mean Camborne and not Cambourne, not being sarky, but different places.

I don't live in Camborne but have worked there a lot in various capacities and live in a similarly maligned town in Cornwall.

As far as towns go, Camborne is, along with I suppose Bodmin, the least favoured and probably ugliest Town in Cornwall. A few reasons for that I suppose. Post industrial town with associated socio economic problems, relative high rates of drug usage, crime etc. Its not a pretty place, predicated on dilapidated (some, like Heartlands, redeveloped) industrial brown field sites, roads that just seem like conduits to other places like neighbouring industrial area Pool and just beyond, neighboring town Redruth. The town centre leaves a bit to be desired, particularly in relative terms to some of the other potential towns on your list.

What the born and bred locals don't always get though is that if you are coming from somewhere like South of London or in my case North of London, again in relative terms the urban sprawl and occasional bit of criminality pale into insignificance compared to what you might find in the Greater London area.

The main problem levelled at where I live - St Austell - is that the town centre is crap and that there are a few highly visible smack heads about there. Both these things are true but I quickly realised that a rubbish town centre is a pretty good trade of against having about twenty beaches withing twenty minutes drive, good local climbing, the moors just half an hour away, and all the water sports I'd ever want etc. I guess if you've grown up in the place and seen it change its different but personally I'm fine with it. Camborne is a pretty similar picture.

To your individual points.

Pices - Camborne, still pretty cheap - for now.

Dry, sunny, warm? No, not really! Well, sometimes...

Bouldering - yes. Lots in Cornwall. Classic bouldering venue a walk away up the hill behind the town.

Fairly quiet - fairly

Natural Countryside - almost too much

Mountain biking - yes, mtb parks/pits and moorland trails etc

Road biking - see many so I assume so

Railways - yes fastish trains to Paddington from  Camborne

Green views - well Cornwall is mostly hippies and Tories. Big and small C Conservative all six constituencies. Greens and Mebyon Kernow have basically same manifesto so if Mebyon Kernow could just disappear, that'd be nice. 

Culture/Big Towns - ha ha ha

Access to the sea - This can't really be overstated. I've been to a lot of beaches throughout the world as I'm sure many have. Carribean, Polynesia and New Zealand, South America and Eastern Med. Tbh, Cornwall does have world class coastline, especially if you consider the IoS too. All of this is immediately local to Camborne. The climbing isn't world class but it is very very good and enough for serval lifetimes.

Good luck with the relocation. 

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Post edited at 11:51

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