This time a year ago we had no plans for change. We loved our Victorian house near the sea that we had gradually renovated (and just finished!), the kids were settled in a local school and we were embedded in the community. No reason to rock the boat right…
Despite living a pretty urban lifestyle we found ourselves increasingly heading to the countryside whenever we could.
Fast forward 6 months and we had started to look into secondary school options for our eldest. We came across a Montessori school that educated all the way through to school leaving age, was set in the woods and followed all the educational values we believed so strongly in. The decision was made. The new school involved a 40-minute drive every morning and afternoon with the kids and of course double for me to get back home in between.
We are a family of committed vegans and have co-owned an allotment growing our own veg for the last two years. The idea that we could move somewhere in the countryside, closer to school and with the land we would need to work toward self-sufficiency became more and more appealing.
We quickly found a lovely property and our sale and purchase were initially going well. As time went on the vendors were dragging their heels and making unreasonable demands about exchange and completion. It was starting to feel like it just wasn’t meant to be. Out of frustration and on a bit of a whim, we decided to go and view another property that had just come back on the market. A smaller house with much more land, a true project.
The house sits on the corner of a quiet country road on the outskirts of a village. As we drove to the viewing we passed just one walker and one car in the final few miles. I think we knew that this was the one as soon as we headed up the driveway towards the house.
From the outside, it has a classic farmhouse look. Wooden doors and porchways and a beautiful tiled roof.
To the side of the property sits an annexe with its own little garden. Apparently many many years ago the annexe was a bakehouse for the nearby village. Having been rented out for the previous twenty-five years by the current owners, this has great potential for a side business as a holiday letting or bed and breakfast.
The house sits in the corner of a plot that’s around 2 acres in size, It’s a combination of woodland, outbuildings, a vegetable garden, lawned areas, and an orchard. It’s more than enough for what we need.
After looking around the property and grounds we very much knew that this was where we were supposed to be. This was where we needed to bring up our family. We came away more excited and inspired than we ever had about the previous property. I guess some things are just meant to be.
We can’t wait to move and get started on creating our own little rural idyll. This blog will act as a record of our journey on running a smallholding and trying to lead a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.
As of right now, this is not a done deal. We’ve not yet exchanged, but thankfully everyone is on the same page this time and are pushing for it to happen quickly.