Where to live in Northern Ireland?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
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sugarfreesugarfree Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in N. Ireland
I've been living abroad for the past 20+ years and am planning a move back to Northern Ireland in the next couple of years.
I am driving my husband - who is not from Northern Ireland but willing to make the move with me - mad. I cannot for the life of me decide where to live. One minute I'm thinking it would be good to be in the hustle 'n bustle of the city and the next I'm fantasising about the beaches up around Ballycastle or Portstewart. Doubtless the solution is to put our stuff in storage and rent furnished accommodation for a few months while we get our bearings but in the meantime, if you could live anywhere in Northern Ireland, where would it be and why? We'll be retired so won't need jobs. We hardly know anybody so -socially speaking - will be pretty much starting from scratch wherever we end up.
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  • BigAl94BigAl94 Forumite
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    I really think you should think very seriously about what you are proposing to do. This place is a mess and getting worse by the month. Do you have private medical insurance or deep pockets? If not have a read here https://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/08/31/news/waiting-times-on-the-rise-again-figures-show-1420879/. Then there's the political impasse.
    With respect you appear to have no real thoughts of preferences and having no friends or family will not make this easy. No idea of your circumstances but I'm sure you are aware that in NI factors can come into play as to where or where not might be acceptable.
    People will come on and give you all sorts of opinions on the best place to live but it's all subjective, North Coast beautiful but a nightmare in the summer season. Greater Belfast area probably best in terms of access to services (important later in life) better public transport etc.
    Please think this through very carefully. I wish I had the courage to leave!
  • C_MababejiveC_Mababejive Forumite
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    I have family who live in NI. When they moved house a couple of years ago,religion was still an issue as to where you moved to in some areas.
    Feudal Britain needs land reform. 70% of the land is "owned" by 1 % of the population and at least 50% is unregistered (inherited by landed gentry). Thats why your slave box costs so much..
  • TammykittyTammykitty Forumite
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    Where are you from - do you still have family in the area? If so why not move near them?


    Also, what type of things do you like


    Walks on the beach, forest parks, mountains, shopping, restaurants and bars etc?


    Also - is budget a factor?
  • qwert_yuiopqwert_yuiop Forumite
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    BigAl94 wrote: »
    I really think you should think very seriously about what you are proposing to do. This place is a mess and getting worse by the month. Do you have private medical insurance or deep pockets? If not have a read here https://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/08/31/news/waiting-times-on-the-rise-again-figures-show-1420879/. Then there's the political impasse.
    With respect you appear to have no real thoughts of preferences and having no friends or family will not make this easy. No idea of your circumstances but I'm sure you are aware that in NI factors can come into play as to where or where not might be acceptable.
    People will come on and give you all sorts of opinions on the best place to live but it's all subjective, North Coast beautiful but a nightmare in the summer season. Greater Belfast area probably best in terms of access to services (important later in life) better public transport etc.
    Please think this through very carefully. I wish I had the courage to leave!

    Where would you suggest moving to that’s so much better? In an earlier discussion I believe we’d narrowed it down to Switzerland and Barbados. Any other ideas?
    “What means that trump?” Timon of Athens by William Shakespeare
  • sugarfreesugarfree Forumite
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    BigAl94 wrote: »
    I really think you should think very seriously about what you are proposing to do. This place is a mess and getting worse by the month. Do you have private medical insurance or deep pockets? If not have a read here https://www.irishnews.com/news/2018/08/31/news/waiting-times-on-the-rise-again-figures-show-1420879/. Then there's the political impasse.
    With respect you appear to have no real thoughts of preferences and having no friends or family will not make this easy. No idea of your circumstances but I'm sure you are aware that in NI factors can come into play as to where or where not might be acceptable.
    People will come on and give you all sorts of opinions on the best place to live but it's all subjective, North Coast beautiful but a nightmare in the summer season. Greater Belfast area probably best in terms of access to services (important later in life) better public transport etc.
    Please think this through very carefully. I wish I had the courage to leave!



    Hi Big Al. Thanks for the warning! The state of the health service is indeed very worrying. I will certainly have to look into the possibility of private health insurance but am assuming the premiums would be exorbitant as we're no spring chickens.
    As regards the rest, ie your general sense that we're all going to hell in a handbasket, I don't think this is something unique to NI.
    Here in France there is a similar deep malaise among ordinary people. And even across the border, you only have to engage a German in conversation and within 5 minutes they'll be complaining about the state of Deutsche Bahn railways or the cost of housing in Munich.
    Maybe it's grumpy-old-git syndrome. As I said, I'm not young and we don't have kids so most of my conversations these days are with people around my own age, who possibly have a more negative outlook and a tendency to think things were better before.


    I've lived in a few different places since I left NI at 18 and have enjoyed all of them. With the possible exception of Lincolnshire.
    Maybe you need to leave NI to appreciate what it has to offer, but I do travel back regularly (my old ma is there) and have to say, the more time I spend there, the more I like it. Yes, there are problems with the health service and yes, it often feels like the place is run by a bunch of morons but there is a warmth and openness about the people that you don't find everywhere.
    I even like the weather.
    So I will think carefully about what you said but at the end of the day, we'll probably just jump in and if it doesn't work out, well, there's always Wales or, God forbid, Norfolk.
  • edited 20 November 2018 at 9:59AM
    sugarfreesugarfree Forumite
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    edited 20 November 2018 at 9:59AM
    I have family who live in NI. When they moved house a couple of years ago,religion was still an issue as to where you moved to in some areas.



    Hello!
    That's a bit depressing but not really surprising.
    Neither of us is religious - unless there's a religion out there that just says be kind to people & animals and buy less crap - so we would definitely be looking to live in a "mixed" area or at least a very tolerant, open-minded one.
    We're screwed, aren't we?
  • sugarfreesugarfree Forumite
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    Tammykitty wrote: »
    Where are you from - do you still have family in the area? If so why not move near them?


    Also, what type of things do you like


    Walks on the beach, forest parks, mountains, shopping, restaurants and bars etc?


    Also - is budget a factor?



    Good morning Tammykitty!


    I'm from East Belfast originally but - although it's very nice - would really rather live somewhere else as I want this to feel like a whole new adventure.


    My old mum lives near Bangor but to be honest, compared with where we live now, anywhere in NI will be much closer to her - even somewhere like Fermanagh or Tyrone - so that's not really an issue.


    We love the Great Outdoors. Very keen cyclists. I am very fond of animals and would be keen to do some volunteering work at an animal shelter. Other interests: nature conservation, reading (wouldn't mind doing some voluntary work in the field of adult literacy). Hate shopping.


    I know - as Big Al pointed out - that any opinions people might have about the best place to live in NI are necessarily going to be very subjective, but just out of idle curiosity, if you could live anywhere in NI, and didn't have to consider healthcare, employment or kids' education, where would you choose?


    As regards housing, budget isn't really a consideration for us as we have no interest in living in a big house and would be happy with something small and very well insulated. A little prefab house would be ideal but haven't seen many of those in NI yet.
  • sugarfreesugarfree Forumite
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    Where would you suggest moving to that’s so much better? In an earlier discussion I believe we’d narrowed it down to Switzerland and Barbados. Any other ideas?





    I don't want to start any arguments but could we perhaps just talk about places in NI for now? I'm genuinely interested to know which places on your own doorstep would - in your opinion - be good to live in.

    I dare say if a person has never left home then these other countries all sound very glamorous but in my view, Northern Ireland is seriously underrated. Take Switzerland, which I know well. Splendid mountains and all that but I wouldn't want to live there. A mate of mine in Zurich had been living in her apartment building for weeks before any of the neighbours deigned to speak to her. And even then it was to tick her off for using the washing machine in the communal basement on the wrong day.
  • steveympsteveymp Forumite
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    Portstewart/ Portballintrea/ North Coast would be the go to destination for retirement, lots of other like minded folk there in similar situations, plenty of bowls/golf clubs, tea dances etc.....

    Great scenery all year round with lots of beach/ coastal walks, forest walks. Plenty of National Trust sites too to get involved in volunteering.

    Road links aren't too bad, a bit congested in summer months, but regular bus routes and times.

    Having spent sometime working and living away from Norn Iron myself I have to agree that you really miss the friendliness of the people, the only other place I have had such a welcome is the Netherlands.

    With roads and transport links slowly improving here you are really never more than 90mins away from anywhere.

    Good luck with your choice :)
    I am trying, honest;) very trying according to my dear OH:rotfl:
  • guirimanguiriman Forumite
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    Maybe Comber? You have the Greenway if you want to cycle to Belfast and they're proposing further Greenways, also you cycle down the coast of Strangford or up to the North Down coastal path. Also close to Bangor for your Mum and Assissi animal sanctuary is half-way between Bangor and Newtownards (Conlig).


    For sure that part of the country is more of the protestant persuasion, however if you aren't religious that won't be an issue. Our experience is that half of the 'protestants' don't go near a church anyway, so unless you're going to start openly opposing things or are particularly bothered by flags going up at certain times of the year then I doubt you'll have any issues. I have no idea how many flags they put up in Comber by the way, I've never noticed because I don't pay attention to it
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