Swapping urban madness for the calmness of the Yorkshire Dales

Sedbergh from Holme Fell © Bill Lowis
(Click image to enlarge)

Ours is a familiar tale. After years of travelling on the overcrowded London underground with my face crammed into the sweaty armpits of total strangers, something eventually snapped, and I knew our lifestyle had to change. So, we put our house in Surrey on the market and started looking for somewhere to start a new adventure and a new chapter in our lives.

Initially, we started looking at places in Windermere, Ambleside and all the areas we used to visit during our holidays. But somehow the thought of all those tourists and traffic felt like we would be moving from one gridlocked part of the country to another.

Then an estate agent sent us the details of the house in Sedbergh, which I have to admit neither of us had ever heard of. But as soon as we saw the Howgills as we were driving down the hill from the motorway, something told us that we had found our new home.

We had to get used to things like septic tanks

Country living after city life was a bit of a shock to the system. We had to get used to things like septic tanks, very little public transport and the fact that most restaurants stop serving food after 9pm. But, before too long these things became unimportant, and we got into the groove of stopping for little chats with passers-by in the middle of the day, rescuing lost sheep and going for long leisurely walks along parts of the Dales Way which is right outside our house.

Twinkly starry skies on a clear night

Our favourite things about living in Sedbergh are: the twinkly starry sky on a clear night, the bluebells and lambs in the spring, the golden hues of autumn, the way the Howgills always look dramatic and beautiful even when the weather is awful, the sweetness of the air – particularly when returning from somewhere urban, and being close to wildlife and nature.

We’ve been in Sedbergh for 16 years, which is the longest either of us has lived anywhere. It’s a beautiful place to live. So if a move north is something you are considering, we’d recommend it. It’s tempting to think the honeypot areas of the Lake District are the best choice, but Sedbergh offers community and beautiful surroundings without the crazy crowds. It’s 20 minutes to get to Oxenholme for the West Coast mainline train service, and easy to have a night out in any of the main cities in the North West.

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