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Marisawright

Southampton anyone?

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We've been here barely a couple of weeks but I thought some initial reactions were in order.

 

As I posted on the Bournemouth thread, it looks like Bournemouth was a big mistake. The challenge now is working out where else to go, and how to go about it. We're unusual in not being tied to any particular part of the country by family or home ties, and in some ways that makes it harder because I don't know where to start! We are townies through and through and don't want to live in a picturesque village or distant suburb.

 

I'm almost afraid to say that we're wondering about Southampton and we're driving up there today to have a look. The city seems to have a dreadful reputation but surely it must depend what area you live in?


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Sorry that Bournemouth isn't floating your boat. I guess it all depends what you're looking for in a town! Not sure that Southampton would be my choice either but I've only been there a couple of times. Any chance you could hire a camper van and go around the country and see what gels with you? Does it have to be coastal? I can vouch for Cambridge but it is expensive!

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I'm pretty familiar with Southampton. Lived there many years ago. The nicest suburbs are the leafy ones to the north of the city around the Uni. Ocean Village is OK if you like new waterfront apartments. It is good for shopping; they even have a reasonably modern shopping mall (sadly not a patch on Bondi Junction) but not bad for the UK :wink:.

 

But to be honest - Southampton's not really that flash. And if you didn't like the traffic around Bournemouth you will be horrified at the traffic around Southampton. The M27/M3 is practically at a standstill for great chunks of the day.

Edited by NickyNook

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Hi Marissa,

 

Southampton may be for you as it is reasonably cheap to live there, quite lively for all ages and is 2 hours from London. It has the New forest nearby if you like walking. The Hamble is great for sailing and the pub there 'The Jolly Sailor' is lovely for a meal and a drink. I lived and worked in Southampton for 5 years. Southampton General is a good hospital and there is an IKea there for cheap houshold stuff and an Aldi and Lidl for reasonably priced groceries.There is a large Marks and Spencers on the outskirts which is great for clothes and home furnishing shopping. There are plenty of 'Meet Up' groups to access and Salsa dancing classes. Nice places to live are Upper Shirley,Ocean village and the area around the University of Southampton all of which are near the city centre.Maybe rent a holiday home for a few weeks and do a reccie?

 

Good luck

:smile:

Brit Girl

Edited by Brit Girl
added more info

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I used to live between Southampton and Portsmouth and wouldn't rate either one personally. They are also cities rather than towns with all the traffic issues associated with cities (made worse by the fact that the sea hems them in). Most of the better towns to live in the south unfortunately come with a hefty price tag. Not knowing what your budget is but something I am sure will be a major factor.


Timeline: 309/100 Sent 7/8/13, Money Taken 9/8/13, CO appointed 3/9/13. Med 3/12/13. Police check 4/12/13. VISA GRANTED 8/4/14, Subclass100. Recce August 2014. Arrived 30 July 2015.

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I'm southampton born and bred, there is nothing wrong with it per se, but it's not a patch on bournemouth in my and a lot of people's view. If you don't like bournemouth I can't see you would like any of the other south coast cities

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I am not a big fan of Southampton but I have friend who live in Hamble which is close to the water and definitely more villagey. I like Portsmouth but you would have to be away from the student areas or Chichester but that is more pricey. But other possible options I know that are on our radar are Salisbury and a little further Taunton. Good luck

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Brighton. Start saving!!

 

Actually there are places very close to Brighton (e.g Portslade Saltdean) where costs are still relatively (relative to central Brighton anyway) cheap..... Grew up in Brighton, so absolutely biased but for city lovers it's hard to beat......

Edited by Chortlepuss

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Cotswolds....go north grasshopper.

 

the-cotswolds-bourton-on-the-water.jpg


Drinking rum before 11am does not make you an alcoholic, it makes you pirate..

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According to my lists (I have a few for this and that researched on UK), a bigger town in England that comes out tops to live in is;

 

Guildford, South East / Sevenoaks, South East / Tunbridge Wells, South East

 

Bigger towns nice to live in listed are:

 

Cirencester

Bury St Edmonds

Windsor

Bath

Guildford

Wimborne (Dorset)

Ipswich

Salisbury

Amersham (Buckinghamshire)

Tunbridge Wells

Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire)

 

Top places in general to live:

 

Hart, South East

Winchester, South East

Rutland, East Midlands

Chiltern, South East

Uttlesford, East of England

South Northamptonshire, East Midlands

Rushcliffe, East Midlands

Wongingham, South East

Waverley, South East

Warwick, Warwickshire

St Albans, East of England

 

May be many differing opinions on the above. But all above come out consistent with being rated as good, including general chit chats and forums. Good luck.

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I have lived around the Southampton area since I was a child, not in the city but there are many lovely villages in the area and the South Downs, we are heading back to a place just outside of Winchester (Southampton side) which is a lovely city but close to everything going on and an hour on the train to London.

 

Guildford is lovely too having lived there but very pricey, although Winchester is not cheap either.

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I've read on here Stratford is heaven.

 

Southampton looked horrible based on a couple of hours visit once

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We've been here barely a couple of weeks but I thought some initial reactions were in order.

 

As I posted on the Bournemouth thread, it looks like Bournemouth was a big mistake. The challenge now is working out where else to go, and how to go about it. We're unusual in not being tied to any particular part of the country by family or home ties, and in some ways that makes it harder because I don't know where to start! We are townies through and through and don't want to live in a picturesque village or distant suburb.

 

I'm almost afraid to say that we're wondering about Southampton and we're driving up there today to have a look. The city seems to have a dreadful reputation but surely it must depend what area you live in?

 

Best place to live in that area, taking lifestyle schools etc into consideration is stubbington or Lee on sea. Only disadvantage is a bottleneck in and out.

 

I had a friend who moved into a flat in Southampton. Took one van load of stuff, went back for another, and was burgled in between. Parts can be pretty rough, but there are posh bits.

 

Winchester is also nice, and villages around.

Edited by newjez

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I lived in Netley Abbey for the better part of my life; it's only about 3 miles from Southampton city centre but a whole different world (next village along from Hamble). I miss the village immensely - though it became way too expensive for me to ever consider buying a house.

 

I'd live there easily again though. My parents were in Soton a few months ago when they visited on holiday and said it was getting pretty run down, but if you're not in the town centre It shouldn't bother you too much.

 

Having been brought up on the brown, ship-strewn water of the Solent, this blue stuff with surf and reefs and stuff freaks me out in a weird way.

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According to my lists (I have a few for this and that researched on UK), a bigger town in England that comes out tops to live in is;

 

Guildford, South East / Sevenoaks, South East / Tunbridge Wells, South East

 

Bigger towns nice to live in listed are:

 

Cirencester

Bury St Edmonds

Windsor

Bath

Guildford

Wimborne (Dorset)

Ipswich

Salisbury

Amersham (Buckinghamshire)

Tunbridge Wells

Beaconsfield (Buckinghamshire)

 

Top places in general to live:

 

Hart, South East

Winchester, South East

Rutland, East Midlands

Chiltern, South East

Uttlesford, East of England

South Northamptonshire, East Midlands

Rushcliffe, East Midlands

Wongingham, South East

Waverley, South East

Warwick, Warwickshire

St Albans, East of England

 

May be many differing opinions on the above. But all above come out consistent with being rated as good, including general chit chats and forums. Good luck.

 

The problem is that you have to be seriously well-off to consider most, if not all, of those places. And certainly if you want a half decent home in one of them as they all have their down-at-heel neighbourhoods.

 

PB mentioned the expensive Cotswolds but otherwise made a good point. The further north in the UK you travel, in general, the further your money will travel.


Timeline: 309/100 Sent 7/8/13, Money Taken 9/8/13, CO appointed 3/9/13. Med 3/12/13. Police check 4/12/13. VISA GRANTED 8/4/14, Subclass100. Recce August 2014. Arrived 30 July 2015.

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I lived in Netley Abbey for the better part of my life; it's only about 3 miles from Southampton city centre but a whole different world (next village along from Hamble). I miss the village immensely - though it became way too expensive for me to ever consider buying a house.

 

I'd live there easily again though. My parents were in Soton a few months ago when they visited on holiday and said it was getting pretty run down, but if you're not in the town centre It shouldn't bother you too much.

 

Having been brought up on the brown, ship-strewn water of the Solent, this blue stuff with surf and reefs and stuff freaks me out in a weird way.

 

 

There are plans for the Southampton city centre to be transformed, there will be a new waterfront area built called Royal Pier http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/future/city-centre-masterplan/royal-pier

 

and a new area for resturants and bars adding to the side of the West Quay area http://www.discoversouthampton.co.uk/future/city-centre-masterplan/heart-of-the-city so hopefully it will have a fresh new look in a few years time.

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Brighton. Start saving!!

 

Actually there are places very close to Brighton (e.g Portslade Saltdean) where costs are still relatively (relative to central Brighton anyway) cheap..... Grew up in Brighton, so absolutely biased but for city lovers it's hard to beat......

 

Shoreham is on appearance none too bad and comes at a cheaper price tag than Brighton. Even Worthing where I have lived is passable. Depends what the Op is seeking.

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I can vouch for Salisbury (I live in Wilts,and was in Salisbury 2 weeks ago,been there a few times before that)and I love the place!Bath is also a beautiful city.


When the power of love overcomes the love of power,the world will know peace ~ Jimi Hendrix

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I live in Portsmouth work southampton, imo I would give both a miss. traffic is awful and getting worse and cramped, though I live in a better part of Portsmouth

near a large pond and the sea I am off back to Perth. North of either would be better but depending on funds, or even cornwall I been told, my pal moving from Portsmouth to hastings seems ok.

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Sorry that Bournemouth isn't floating your boat. I guess it all depends what you're looking for in a town! Not sure that Southampton would be my choice either but I've only been there a couple of times. Any chance you could hire a camper van and go around the country and see what gels with you? Does it have to be coastal? I can vouch for Cambridge but it is expensive!

 

Cambridge was originally on our list but the cost of rentals is prohibitive. No, it doesn't have to be coastal but we do want to be in the South and going further inland just gets closer to London/more expensive so it doesn't help!


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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I used to live between Southampton and Portsmouth and wouldn't rate either one personally. They are also cities rather than towns with all the traffic issues associated with cities (made worse by the fact that the sea hems them in). Most of the better towns to live in the south unfortunately come with a hefty price tag. Not knowing what your budget is but something I am sure will be a major factor.

 

"Cities rather than towns" - yes exactly, perhaps I should've said I'm a city girl rather than calling myself a townie!


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Rightly or wrongly, we've taken a flat in Southampton for six months. The deciding factor was the rent - for the same price as a dump in Bournemouth, we've got a nice modern place. It probably won't be our forever home but it's a good base to research the rest of the South.

 

It's funny how different we seem to be from the average Brit- which we already knew, really, from watching shows like Escape to the Country. I simply can't see why people (like my sister) would rather live in a wonky old 16th century cottage than a nice fresh contemporary house. We love looking at history but couldn't contemplate living in it!

 

Within minutes of arriving in the "charmless" Southampton city centre I felt far more at home than I had in Bournemouth! It certainly has its share of dubious architecture but it's clean and in good repair at least. As for traffic - yes the M27 was bumper-to-bumper on the way back to Bournemouth but I wonder, how often would I need to use that road at peak times? Traffic in the city itself didn't seem too bad and there seemed to be a lot more buses in evidence than in Bournemouth.

 

I am a bit disappointed as there seem to be very few dance classes in Southampton, which is our main hobby. I'm hoping it's simply that they don't have a web presence (not unusual for small dance schools)


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Good on you. You have done the best you can, don't judge just enjoy. With time those "dance classes will appear". A six month breather is very sensible. All the best.

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