If you have been thinking of immigrating to the UK, you have probably spent a bit of time trying to find out where the biggest South African expat communities are. It’s no real secret that SA expats love England’s countryside and that’s for good reason. The English countryside features alluring dramatic dales, patchwork hills, winding country roads and ancient woodlands. What’s not to love! The UK countryside offers rural living at its best, but what does that mean in terms of lifestyle? English countryside towns offer both born-and-bred Brits and SA expats a variety of benefits that come along with living outside of the big cities.
Let’s take a look at why so many South Africans move to the UK countryside instead of the city.
- The cost of living is lower on the UK countryside.
Living in the country provides expats with the opportunity to get on their financial feet so to speak. Living in the city presents high expenses, but living in the country ensures that an expats salary can stretch a bit further. The cost of property, entertainment, and groceries are less out in the countryside. In the UK, some supermarkets adjust their prices according to location and the affluence of the area.
- There’s extra space to relax and live comfortably in the UK countryside.
Having additional space that isn’t jam-packed with people and traffic can be really good for your overall wellbeing and quality of life. Homes and gardens in the countryside are typically more spacious. And even those homes with minimal garden space have easy access to the various tracks that are ideal for walking, running, and cycling. Statistically, people who live in the country are happier and calmer because of the space, relaxation, and comfort at hand.
- When you live in a rural UK town, you experience a sense of community.
Small and eccentric English villages are a major draw for South African expats because they are typically warm and welcoming. If you are looking for evidence of old English character and charm, you will find it lurking in a rural English village. Most residents know each other and are more than willing to lend a helping hand when required. Because there are fewer people in the UK countryside, communities are generally friendlier and more open to newbies settling in.
- You are exposed to far less pollution when living in an English countryside town.
Some of the best English countryside towns are far from the beaten track. This means that traffic is limited and so is industrial process. Living in the countryside means that you are exposed to less pollution from cars and transport as well as from industrial factories. This is far better for your overall health than living in a smoggy, polluted city.
- Living in a rural town is better for the kids.
Kids can benefit greatly from playing outdoors and being close to nature and this is something that England’s countryside offers.
Best Villages in England to Live
If you are looking into the best rural places to live in UK, just take a look at where the South African expat communities are growing. Keen to head to a rural village in the English countryside? Here’s our top choice.
- Countryside village living in South West London: South West London is popular for SA expats and the reason will be obvious to you when you hear its nickname; “mini SA”. You will find thriving South African expat communities in specific areas in South West London including Southfields, Surbiton, Raynes Park, Twickenham, and Woking.
- Living in the countryside in Southern England: If you want to head closer to the shore to find South African staples like chutney and flings (along with other expats too, of course), head towards these places in Southern England: Brighton, Bristol, Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire
- Living in the South East England countryside: If vineyards are your thing, then heading to Surrey or Sussex in South East England is a good choice for you.
Best countryside in UK
Tips for Living Comfortably as Expats in English Countryside Towns
It doesn’t matter if you choose to live in a UK city or village, fitting in and becoming part of the community should be a top priority for you. Below are a few tips for expats to quickly fit into their new rural community:
- Make an effort to attend community events and actually participate.
- Get up to date with local news and information (radio and television) so you can converse with the locals about topics that are relevant and important to them.
- If you have children, encourage them to invite friends over after school.
- Get to know your village – be a tourist for a bit and explore.
- Be friendly to the neighbours. Go over and introduce yourself and exchange numbers. Neighbours are always friendly to each other in UK countryside villages.
Choose FinGlobal for a Smooth Transition to UK Countryside Living
If you are ready to take the next step and move to the UK countryside, it’s time to think about a few of the processes that need to be actioned before you go. Most South African expats get wrapped up in the excitement of the move, without thinking about their tax emigration, financial emigration, or how they will access the funds in their SA retirement annuity. At FinGlobal, we can take care of these processes for you. With almost a decade of experience in providing premier advice and guidance to expats the world over, we are confident that we can assist you with your emigration’s financial needs. For more information and advice, simply contact us. Give us a call or send us an email at FinGlobal today.