9 things we wish we’d known before moving to the country

Dreaming of a rural idyll? Make sure you’re well prepared…

1. It gets dark. VERY dark.
Think you know what darkness looks like? Think again. Without bright city lights to guide the way, your walk home from the local can quickly develop into a game of ‘dodge the tree’. A good torch will put paid to that. On the plus side, you’ll never see the night sky looking more beautiful – the stars are incredible.

2. Making it into work on time (or at all) is a bit of a lottery.
So you think you’ve got the commute nailed. A short drive to the station followed by a 40-minute train journey, two tube stops and you’re at your desk by 9am – easy! Ahhhh denial. Living in the country means preparing for a host of unforeseen hold ups. Think slow tractors, fallen trees and snow-ins (not to mention train delays!), to name a few. Great excuse to create that beautiful home office you’ve always wanted though.

3. A quick ‘pop to the shop’ nearly always turns into a social event.
The urban culture of anonymity is unheard of in rural villages. You’ll have no problem making new friends, everyone is so friendly and welcoming. Popping out to the corner shop for a pint of milk is a chance to debrief on local news and catch up with the latest gossip, so leave at least an hour to be on the safe side.

4. When deciding on any outfit the answer is always wellies.
Make your life easier and ditch the high heels, you’ll thank yourself for it. Keep it stylish with Hunter boots set off by a classic Barbour jacket. Whilst we’re on the subject of country fashion, anything white is a no-go. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, mud will strike. Trust us.

5. You won’t need an alarm clock.
Dawn in the countryside brings with it a cheery chorus of birdsong, as well as an enthusiastic cockerel, perhaps a chugging tractor or two… it can be a noisy place in the mornings! You’ll get used to it in no time, but it might be an idea to invest in a set of earplugs to ease yourself in gently.

6. You will happily risk life and limb to find phone signal.
It’s amazing what shapes you can contort your body into when trying to make a call or send a simple text. Crouched into tiny nooks, balanced on rickety table tops, hanging out of top floor windows… we’ve all been there. Avoid defying death on a daily basis by sorting out your WiFi ASAP.

7. Your driving skills will need to improve. Quickly.
Narrow country lanes filled with skittish cattle and large tractors do not make for a peaceful car journey. Particularly if spatial awareness is not your strong point. Give it a few months and you’ll be maneuvering past one-handed as you wave cheerily to the farmer who’s just held you up for the past 10 minutes (we refer to point three -everyone’s friendly in the country!)

8. Your local pub will become your second home.
With open fires, real ale and a friendly welcome, cosy pubs are the heart of village life. The happy atmosphere encapsulates the meaning of community spirit and you’ll find yourself making any excuse to drop in.

9. You will end up with dogs (or chickens).
However adamant you are that your home won’t play host to a pet pooch, it will undoubtedly happen. Be prepared for at least two *cough*… three. Probably Labradors. Oh, and not to mention the cats, chickens, horses and pigs that will shortly follow.

Ideal Home loves...