Do you live in a village? Or a town? Or perhaps you live in a city… we all have our preferences don’t we? Although I’m not sure we all live exactly where we want to live – it’s usually down to money, family, work and circumstance.
I live in a village in Surrey in the southeast of England. I’ve lived here for about four and a half years, it has a population of about 6000 and I must say I quite like living here. To be honest I’ve only ever lived in villages (two) and towns (two) so I don’t have much to compare it to! Our village is fairly traditional and is probably semi rural rather than really rural. I think I’d prefer to live here than somewhere completely in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbours, no shops and no lights.
Living in a village is pretty different to living in a city or town, I think. Some of the things I know about living in a village are:
There isn’t a great deal of night life. Don’t get me wrong, we have a pub, two pub/restaurant type places and a restaurant which is also a hotel. However we don’t have any bars, wine bars or clubs. Oh sorry yes we do have a village club where you can play snooker or join the fishing club if you want to, but you know what I mean! We also have two cafes, one is posh and one isn’t, we’ve had takeaway sandwiches from the one that isn’t posh before – they do lovely bacon sandwiches. We have a few clubs and societies so there are always things to do if you’re that way inclined. There are two WI groups – one daytime and one evening one – apparently the evening one is for younger people. I remember when we first moved here someone told me about the WI, and said the evening one is better, they all meet up for a chat rather than my perception of the WI which is ladies discussing jam and cakes, perhaps I’ll wait another 20 years for that! I think we also have a gardening club, a craft club and a walkers group.
We don’t have a train station but we do have bus stops so you can still get to where you want to be, if you want to be elsewhere. We have quite a few shops, probably everything you really need for essentials, we have a general store with a post office, a bakers shop that does lovely bread, a craft shop that sells, well, craft stuff and wool, we have a chemist, hair dresser, builders merchant and an estate agent. See what I mean? You could stay here all day!
Actually quite a lot of people do choose to come here for the day, there are some really lovely walks around and some pretty sights to see, there is a pond that is owned by the British Wilflife Trust where you can see quite a few different types of birds: you will often see swans, geese, grebes, mallards and recently we have had swifts and swallows flying around. There are often green parakeets chattering around and you can sometimes see buzzards and red kites above. There is a lovely old church which is open every day for visitors with quite a nice churchyard to walk round, some beautiful almshouses to look at and a chapel you can go inside.
Open countryside is within about five minutes walk of the village green, whichever direction you walk. I really like the fact that you can get to open fields or woodland as we can take the dog for a nice walk without having to go out in the car. Since moving here, touch wood, I haven’t had asthma and haven’t had to use my inhaler at all, I think this might be partly to do with the fact that there aren’t that many roads around here, but there are lots of trees and fresh air. Contradicting that! we are pretty close to the M25 – fortunately and unfortunately if you get what I mean! We are also close to a couple of A roads. Another thing I have noticed is that on a clear night you can see so many stars because there is no light pollution. Even a couple of miles away you can’t see them as brightly, I might sound a bit sad but I really like to look at the stars on a warm evening – not when it’s cold – I’m not that sad!!
People seem friendly although that might be because we have a dog – to be honest I think if you have a dog most people tend to say hello to the dog and then take a glance at the person on the other end of the lead. We say hello and pass the time of day with our neighbours, rather than it feeling like people are awkwardly trying to avoid each other., which is what it was like where we lived before. We only knew the names of the neighbours either side at our old house but here we know the names of most the people in our road.
Oh yes we have a village green which I do think is nice, there are cricket matches on the green in the summer and football in the winter and in the summer there is a village fete which loads and loads of people go to. They raise money for charity and if it’s a nice day they usually raise a good amount. We also have a red telephone box which I really love to see as there aren’t many of them left are there?
I really love living here but I can also see the different appeals living in a city and a town have too, I think we’re all lucky aren’t we but in different ways…
It was really nice to be able to include all my own photos for this post 😊
Do you live in a village or a town or a city? What things would you miss if you had to move?