Inspire

Home of original thinking

Take 5… Family-friendly places across the UK

What are your fondest memories when you were young? Is it the quirks of your family home like the flocked wallpaper or lino floor? Or the places you used to hide in, the parks you used to play in, or the school you spent your early years in? After all, where we spent our younger years shaped us into the people we are today. When many of us start thinking about our own families, where we choose to live can weigh heavily on our minds. And with young children you might end up with a long list of location must-haves.

Recognising the needs and priorities you have right now, as well as those you might have in the future are all factors to think about. Education forms such a critical part of any child’s future so school catchment areas, OFSTED ratings and league tables are important to research. You might even organise school visits prior to your move. But, despite being high up the list, schools shouldn’t be your only priority. Green spaces will mean your child can play outdoors, a thriving community often means there are after school activities or sports clubs, while connectivity can be important as children get older.

To find that sweet spot for your family to live can seem like an overwhelming task but the good news is, across the UK, we are fortunate enough to be spoilt for choice. Whether you opt for wild countryside, an old-fashioned market town, windswept coastline or a cultural city, there’s an abundance of options so make sure you have a list of requirements to narrow down your search. You’ll want to think about what factors are more important than others and marry this up with the type of property that would work for your family, and how it might change your lifestyle for the better.

There are lots of places which tick many of the boxes – we’ve picked just five and properties to go with them:

North Norfolk:

With beach days across the warmer months and cold woodland walks in the winter, North Norfolk has all the components for a childhood full of adventure. There are some excellent schools in the county too, including Gresham’s School, and the cultural city of Norwich is also close by.

Manor Farm, just a short distance from the coast, would make a perfect family home:

#

Chichester, West Sussex:

With its Blue Flag beach at West Wittering, opportunities for sailing, canoeing and kayaking, and family walks across the South Downs, Chichester is a great place to raise children by the sea. Its city centre is steeped in history and culture too so you won’t be short of activities to keep them occupied on a rainy day.

If you’re looking for a property a short distance from the centre, this terraced family home is the perfect place to start:

#

Weybridge, Surrey:

The countryside that surrounds the town of Weybridge is truly beautiful and there are plenty of good schools and leisure activities. You’re just outside London too so it could be a great location if you’re planning to relocate out of the city.

Wey Meadows Farm is a great property to raise a family in:

#

Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire:

Practical and pretty is how many have begun to describe this bustling market town. Sitting at the very top of the Cotswolds, its streets are full of independent shops, while the schools, sports clubs and hospital make it even more family friendly.

Cobblers House sits just outside the market town in the village of Cherington:

#

Torbay, Devon:

If your children are slightly older, why not try Torbay in Devon? Known as ‘the English Riveria’, you won’t be short of coastline, with cliff tops, beaches and hidden coves to explore and it is also home to some impressive secondary schools. The Torquay Girls’ and Boys’ Grammar Schools top many families lists.

To top it all off, you could live in this impressive Victorian property with beautiful landscaped gardens and sea views:

#

You may also like...