The white picket fence isn’t just an American dream. For decades, young Brits have plotted an escape to the country in search of space, greenery and clean air in which to raise a family. However, recent trends suggest the move is well and truly up for debate: many cities are now touting surprisingly family-friendly credentials.
You might get more for your money when you’re looking at properties in the countryside and the suburbs, but cities still prove smart investments, particularly for first-time buyers. What’s more, affordability hinges on your ability to pay. That means ensuring you move into a stable work situation. If you’re considering going part-time, for example, it’s likely you’ll find far more city-based employers ready to accommodate you.
Want to know the best place to live in the UK for young families? According to Which?, it’s Peterborough, and the main reason is momentum. More and more new families are setting up home there. This makes it easy for fresh-faced parents to make friends, find a babysitter and spot businesses tailored to their lifestyle. Peterborough isn’t the only haven, however. It’s simply a matter of finding the right spot for a kid-friendly community or creating your own by staying close to your family and loved ones.
Schools, parks, museums and shops are as integral to a happy childhood as greenery and nature. In fact, it’s amenities like these that have carried cities like Newcastle and Derby to the top of the Family Living Index. Whether you’re sticking to a city centre or heading to the suburbs, it pays to find a place where you can reach these essentials without spending large chunks or your day (or income) to get there.
Improvements to city transport links aren’t just boosting house prices, they’re a big bonus when you have a family, too. After all, you don’t have quite so much time to enjoy your rural idyll if you’re spending two hours a day on the school run. Good transport links also mean access to all those activities, amenities, work opportunities and support networks.