Moving out of the city into the fabulous British countryside is a dream for millions. But there are a few things you should know before you take the plunge.
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1. It gets dark. VERY dark.
Think you know what darkness looks like? Think again. Without bright city lights to guide the way, your walk home from the local can quickly develop into a game of ‘dodge the tree’. A good torch will put paid to that. On the plus side, you’ll never see the night sky looking more beautiful – the stars are incredible.
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2. Making it into work on time (or at all) is a bit of a lottery.
So you think you’ve got the commute nailed. A short drive to the station followed by a 40-minute train journey, two tube stops and you’re at your desk by 9am – easy! Ahhhh denial. Living in the country means preparing for a host of unforeseen hold ups. Think slow tractors, fallen trees and snow-ins (not to mention train delays!), to name a few. Great excuse to create that beautiful home office you’ve always wanted though.
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The urban culture of anonymity is unheard of in rural villages. You’ll have no problem making new friends, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Popping out to the corner shop for a pint of milk is a chance to debrief on local news and catch up with the latest gossip, so leave at least an hour to be on the safe side.
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4. When deciding on any outfit the answer is always wellies.
Make your life easier and ditch the high heels, you’ll thank yourself for it. Keep it stylish with Hunter boots set off by a classic Barbour jacket. Whilst we’re on the subject of country fashion, anything white is a no-go. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, mud will strike. Trust us.
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5. You won’t need an alarm clock.
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6. You will happily risk life and limb to find phone signal.
It’s amazing what shapes you can contort your body into when trying to make a call or send a simple text. Crouched into tiny nooks, balanced on rickety table tops, hanging out of top floor windows… we’ve all been there. Avoid defying death on a daily basis by sorting out your WiFi ASAP.
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7. Your driving skills will need to improve. Quickly.
Narrow country lanes filled with skittish cattle and large tractors do not make for a peaceful car journey. Particularly if spatial awareness is not your strong point. Give it a few months and you’ll be manoeuvering past one-handed as you wave cheerily to the farmer who’s just held you up for the past 10 minutes (we refer to point three -everyone’s friendly in the country!)
8. Your local pub will become your second home.
9. You will end up with dogs (or chickens).