One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given is that if you don’t go away you can’t come back, and Norwich, as my home city, has always been the place I’ve wanted to come back to.
And that’s exactly what my wife and I did permanently in 2011 with a one-year-old daughter in tow. It was quite a risky move for us at the time – neither of us had jobs to go to at the point we moved back from London, but we’d fallen for a house and our parents did a good job of persuading us they’d be on hand for babysitting duties.
We’ve not looked back since, and ten years on the thing I still love about this place is its peculiar ability to feel small and safe, at the same time as feeling like there’s plenty going on. Being so close to so many fantastic beaches is also a huge plus point for the kids.
After working and living in Canada for a number of years my wife and I were looking to return to the UK.
We wanted to relocate to an area that was close to London, close to the sea, not crazily expensive in terms of house prices and offered a good mix of family activities. Norfolk fitted the bill and 12 years on we've never regretted moving here. It has a great pace of life and we've been impressed with the county's improving transport links, independent shopping and eating out culture and its growing list of things to do.
Employment wise it offers a good mix of creative and tech opportunities and an excellent work / life balance. And having enjoyed the Canadian way of life, Norfolk in some ways is very similar with a relaxed way of life and abundance of social and job opportunities.
So, if you're looking for something a little exciting but with a relaxed vibe I'd check out Norfolk.
I moved to Norfolk in 1990 to become a student at the University of East Anglia. I had a fantastic three years at the University and got “hooked” by Norwich and the coast of Norfolk.
There is plenty to do in the city – great retail and leisure and then within ten or 20 minutes you can be hitting the country roads and wide open skies to enjoy our lovely countryside. I often escape to the beach for fish n chips after work and I know some of my colleagues are able to paddle board on the river outside of the Birketts’ office at lunch time or after work. The quality of work and life in Norfolk and Suffolk is second to none. I enjoy a good career and feel like I am bringing up my 10-year-old twins in a safe and inspiring place.
After 27 years in Hong Kong, I moved to Norfolk in 2013 as my youngest daughter would be attending school near Norwich.
We have always loved the county, and still do. Lovely little villages and towns, lots of country walks, and the coast is less than an hour's drive away. I make silver jewellery using seaglass, so we love searching the beaches for treasure! You get such a great quality of life here.
Evie Fane De Salis
I grew up in Norfolk before moving away for University, and spent five years working in London agencies.
I returned to Norfolk last year during the pandemic for work because my family are all here, I missed the countryside and the glorious beaches.I love Norwich as a city, it has a great mixture of history and a contemporary culture.
There are loads of independent cafes and restaurants; the beautiful river; plenty of parks and green spaces; and is less than two hours from London. I like the diversity of Norfolk and I’m quite a sporty person so it’s brilliant for cycling, paddleboarding, or even a sea swim! You get the best of everything in Norfolk, a diverse city life, some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, exciting events happening all the time and plenty of nature, right on your doorstep.
By 2018 London began to feel crowded and exhausting. I no longer needed to stay there for work…. But where to move? We had a holiday home in Cromer for the last 18 years and friends in Norwich, so that suddenly felt the right place to relocate.
It’s proved wonderfully right. I now work mostly from home, walk into the historic city in 10 minutes, sing as a deputy in the Norwich Cathedral choir, have friendly neighbours and a slower and more enjoyable quality of life. The sea is a train ride away, I cycle out into the countryside. What’s not to like?!
I moved to Norfolk from London in September 2016, joining Birketts as a newly qualified solicitor after having just finished my training contract at a firm in London.
The move was driven by personal reasons as my then fiancée (now wife) already lived in Norfolk and had a job teaching in a school in North Norfolk. We had been doing long distance for a few years and ultimately decided the pace and quality of life in Norfolk was going to be better for us than London, as well as being near to the in-laws.
I have been here 5 years now and our decision has certainly been vindicated. We live on the North Norfolk coast and my weekends are often spent either on the beach or visiting one of the many National Trust locations nearby. We have a dog and a toddler and so having so many great outdoor activities on our doorstep is ideal.
I love the outdoors and being in the countryside. Our village is a great place for our young children to grown up. Village life, and the chance to be outdoors, along with the pace of working life remind me of my earlier days in South Africa, people are very relaxed here in Suffolk.
I was offered a relocation package when a previous firm moved people from its London offices and came here because most of my internal customers were based in Ipswich. There are so many options for people thinking about moving here, large towns, suburbs and beautiful villages.
I moved to Suffolk in 2000. The decision at the time was based on some pretty simple things - property prices I could afford, access to London for my work and good schools for my son.
Now I am 20 years older (and wiser) I thank my lucky stars I made the move here. Life in Suffolk has met all my expectations and more. I live and work close to Ipswich town centre but spend many an evening or weekend at the coast either walking, swimming in the sea or cycling through glorious countryside and along our beautiful coastline. Equally I can be in London during the day for client meetings, at our Head Office off Regent Street and yet can be in the sea in the evening or having fish and chips at our family beach hut on the same day.
Suffolk also punches way above its weight in the cultural stakes. We have an International Dancehouse, nationally renowned theatres and museums with exhibitions constantly changing. We have a vast array of super independent, entrepreneurial retailers and Ipswich has a beautiful marina lined with independent bars and restaurants. It has a little bit of everything within super easy reach.
The Suffolk business community is also strong and hugely supportive of each other - there are so many ways to get involved and connect with other like-minded businesses.
If I was advising my younger self on where to live - I would recommend Suffolk immediately.
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