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  #1  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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Moving to UK, Where to Live?

Hey all,
I'm currently in Chicago (originally from India) and been in the States for about 10 years and am ready for a change. I've always wanted to live in Europe and after doing bike trips to Mexico and Alaska, I'm planning to do a trip through South America next year and move across the pond at the culmination of that trip (as I wont be allowed back in the US, work permits expiring and all that...).

I'm currently researching what it would take to move to the UK and what kind of jobs I can find there (I'm a mechanical design engineer). And as I'm seeing job postings, I'm curious as to where to choose to live in the UK.

I'm wondering if you could chime in on what the character is of different regions and maybe suggest some places that meet some of these needs:
- access to good motorcycling roads (Does living in London really hamper how much you can ride/drive?)
- close to the sea or other natural formations (the flatness of the Midwest is getting to me )
- I think I prefer smallish cities (< 80K pop.), but still require a large enough city to have some good engineering jobs
- I know the weather's generally damp, but are some places better than others? like the south-west?

- What's different about living in Scotland vs England? I've seen some good opportunities in Edinburgh and hear it's a great place to live.

- What's the consensus about Greater London?

I presume the further you are from a big city, the easier it would be afford a place with a garage, right? I currently live in the burbs so that I can afford a garage for the bikes
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Last edited by Jammin; 19 Sep 2008 at 17:15.
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  #2  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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OK, so I'm biased, but, if you can get a job here, it has to be Scotland. I live in Edinburgh and in no time you can be in the highlands on the UK's best, least cluttered roads. As a lover of wild, open spaces, I couldn't live anywhere else in the UK.

The major downside? The weather, it's pretty crappy, particularly this summer!

The upside? Too many to mention, but the main two for me are 1) the beautiful, wild mountains, lakes and beaches and 2) it has a FAR lower poulation density than the rest of the UK, with all that entails. Look at a map of the UK. England/Wales combined are a bit bigger than Scotland, but not much. Down there: 55 million people. Up here: 5 million people. It just makes for a much nicer place to live in my book.

This is not to say I'm one of those sassenach bashing jocks, my Dad is English, as are many of my friends, I have even lived down there. (Sheffield-not bad actually)

Edinburgh is a great place to live. Nice architecture and history, easy access to the north, nearby beaches and country, good places to eat, more culture than you can shake a stick at.

As for London, I have friends who live there and nothing (and I mean nothing) would induce me to join them!

Matt
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  #3  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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Thumbs up Edinburgh

I loved it so much I moved to Colombia.No seriously it,s a stunning city architecturaly and historicaly,where so much science and engineering began.
I did a tour of Europe a few years back taking in Paris,Florence,Vienna,Prague,Munich,Lublijana and Budapest.The last city visited and the one I known best from my childhood was Edinburgh.
Edinburgh stands shoulder to shoulder with any European city.The Scots are a great and noble race and the modern world owes much to our hard work and inventivness.
Yep I,ve even convinced myself.
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but there are more hot chicks in Colombia!!!
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  #4  
Old 18 Sep 2008
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I'd echo what Matt said. You could also look at Aberdeen. There are plenty of oil related jobs up there. The roads in Scotland are less crowded than England, although there are some great roads down there for a bike.
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  #5  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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Well Im English and got to add my tupence worth. Many places in England, wales and Scotland have the bits you listed. But I would agree with everyone else so far avoid London, it does not tick any of your boxes. Edinburgh ticks almost all except it is quite a bad spot for the weather. The West of the country has a lot more rain than say the east side, A lot of the south of england is more heavily populated than the north and as such very busy roads higher living expences etc (Mind you Edinburgh is pricey) Yorkshire (Dales and Moors area Outstanding English countryside but again pricey and slim on the job front, North east / Newcastle / Northumberland has a lot of what you ask Jobs in Newcastle, good roads Northumberland /lake district and Scotland all in easy reach, Dry climate. but like everywhere it has its downsides. For me your best to come ride around see what appeals look at Edinburgh a lot and Scotland and Wales (For the scenery) then get the boat to Norway and see the full scale finished product (scenery that is). If i could do it my choice would be to live summers in Scandinavia and split that with a winter job in central Europe - Germanys a good choice for high living standards , engineering excellence etc. The Uk has a lot of problems that will be getting worse in the future so it would not be my first choice if emmigrating from abroad.
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Old 19 Sep 2008
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you want to move to europe i want to move to usa, take my place and job in ireland and i will take yours.

Fair trade or what?
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  #7  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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South West

As far as I'm concerned, it has to be the South West...Somerset, Devon or Cornwall. If you want a city, try Bristol or Exeter, if you want more rural then there are dozens of options. Amazing pubs, superb coastline and London 2-3 hours on the train! Good luck.
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Old 19 Sep 2008
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I'd say look at the north-west, and my favourite city would be Lancaster (well I lived there for 7 years so I would). It's small enough to be friendly, but has a huge student population so there's plenty going on. There's also all manner of theatre, art, art-house cinema, sports, and strange weird groups meeting in tiny pubs. Property still isn't that expensive, you're ten minutes from Morecambe bay, one of the finest there is as far as I'm concerned with the veiws across to the Cumbrian fells which are 40 mins or so up the A6, then there's the Fylde coastline down to Blacpool, very flat, but fantastic roads in their own way, and the Forest of Bowland is just out the back, with yet more great roads. There's also (or there was) a big biking scene with plenty of people riding out on Sunday mornings to various watery places.

Mancester's not far away either if you want a big city, Scotland's a couple of hours away tops and Yorkshire is just across the border, but we don't talk about them.

The only downside, it can be a bit rainy, but when it's not it's often sunny (Morecambe Bay has it's own microclimate).

Oh and you can get a ferry from Heysham to the Isle of Man for the TT
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  #9  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
OK, so I'm biased, but, if you can get a job here, it has to be Scotland. I live in Edinburgh and in no time you can be in the highlands on the UK's best, least cluttered roads. As a lover of wild, open spaces, I couldn't live anywhere else in the UK.

The major downside? The weather, it's pretty crappy, particularly this summer!

The upside? Too many to mention, but the main two for me are 1) the beautiful, wild mountains, lakes and beaches and 2) it has a FAR lower poulation density than the rest of the UK, with all that entails. Look at a map of the UK. England/Wales combined are a bit bigger than Scotland, but not much. Down there: 55 million people. Up here: 5 million people. It just makes for a much nicer place to live in my book.

This is not to say I'm one of those sassenach bashing jocks, my Dad is English, as are many of my friends, I have even lived down there. (Sheffield-not bad actually)

Edinburgh is a great place to live. Nice architecture and history, easy access to the north, nearby beaches and country, good places to eat, more culture than you can shake a stick at.

As for London, I have friends who live there and nothing (and I mean nothing) would induce me to join them!

Matt
Matt,
That's what I thought about Edinburgh and after seeing numerous gorgeous views of the Scottish Highlands, I definitely want to visit them and maybe live there. I also checked out your website for your trip to Nepal. Too bad it ended short, but hey, it's an adventure.

When you say crappy weather, what exactly do you mean? Does it rain every afternoon? What kind of rain is it? Light constant stuff, or heavy downpours? In India, I've experienced Monsoons - non-stop rain for about 3 weeks at a time. Does it hail? (I experienced that in Montana this summer on the bike) I enjoy riding in the rain while I'm out touring, but it might be a drag if it's raining everyday at home for simple day trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by albert crutcher View Post
Edinburgh stands shoulder to shoulder with any European city.The Scots are a great and noble race and the modern world owes much to our hard work and inventivness.

but there are more hot chicks in Colombia!!!
Haha, I can't wait to find out for myself when I visit Columbia next year
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  #10  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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The West of the country has a lot more rain than say the east side, A lot of the south of england is more heavily populated than the north and as such very busy roads higher living expences etc (Mind you Edinburgh is pricey) Yorkshire (Dales and Moors area Outstanding English countryside but again pricey and slim on the job front, North east / Newcastle / Northumberland has a lot of what you ask Jobs in Newcastle, good roads Northumberland /lake district and Scotland all in easy reach, Dry climate. but like everywhere it has its downsides. For me your best to come ride around see what appeals look at Edinburgh a lot and Scotland and Wales (For the scenery) then get the boat to Norway and see the full scale finished product (scenery that is). If i could do it my choice would be to live summers in Scandinavia and split that with a winter job in central Europe - Germanys a good choice for high living standards , engineering excellence etc. The Uk has a lot of problems that will be getting worse in the future so it would not be my first choice if emmigrating from abroad.
Thanx for that macro-level description. Yeah, I've been reading climate plots of the UK trying to understand general climate trends and that's what I saw too - the mountains in the west cause a lot of rain there and then there's generally a big rain shadow on the eastern part of the island, but it still rains there too...

I hear you on the problems in the UK and initially I was looking into moving to France (speak the language) or Germany but after research into their immigration policies, I found the UK to be the best to work with my trip to South America. France is just not looking at welcoming immigrants (non-eu) these days and I was really into Germany (the auto industry and location to tour eastern europe), but they require you to be in your current country of residence for 3 months before moving over and that wouldn't work for me once I left the US.

The UK has this high-skilled migrant program, where they're looking at attracting young high skilled labor and I qualify for it and it takes only about 5 weeks to process. I could easily spend 5 weeks in Brazil...

And then I got thinking that working in a non-English engineering environment would actually be quite difficult unless I got into one of the big global multi-nationals and I'm kinda done with the big corporate environment.

So, when the UK started looking like the best option, the more I read about it, the more I figured it's the better choice regarding jobs, motorcycling community, travel access, etc. But I'm aware of the downsides (weather, high cost of living, increased governmental oversight, traffic cameras, clampers, high cost of petrol, red tape, etc.).
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  #11  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by john_aero View Post
you want to move to europe i want to move to usa, take my place and job in ireland and i will take yours.

Fair trade or what?
Sounds good, mate I've got a close friend in Dublin/Kilkenny and once I'm across the pond, I'm definitely touring around Ireland for a while. I hear it's really beautiful and of course, then there's Guinness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainboy65 View Post
As far as I'm concerned, it has to be the South West...Somerset, Devon or Cornwall. If you want a city, try Bristol or Exeter, if you want more rural then there are dozens of options. Amazing pubs, superb coastline and London 2-3 hours on the train! Good luck.
Great, that's what I've been reading too. That's like the real countryside of England, right? How's the weather generally there? And I presume it would be less crowded than slightly east of there, right? Been reading great things about Exeter.
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  #12  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by Alexlebrit View Post
I'd say look at the north-west, and my favourite city would be Lancaster (well I lived there for 7 years so I would). It's small enough to be friendly, but has a huge student population so there's plenty going on. There's also all manner of theatre, art, art-house cinema, sports, and strange weird groups meeting in tiny pubs. Property still isn't that expensive, you're ten minutes from Morecambe bay, one of the finest there is as far as I'm concerned with the veiws across to the Cumbrian fells which are 40 mins or so up the A6, then there's the Fylde coastline down to Blacpool, very flat, but fantastic roads in their own way, and the Forest of Bowland is just out the back, with yet more great roads. There's also (or there was) a big biking scene with plenty of people riding out on Sunday mornings to various watery places.

Mancester's not far away either if you want a big city, Scotland's a couple of hours away tops and Yorkshire is just across the border, but we don't talk about them.

The only downside, it can be a bit rainy, but when it's not it's often sunny (Morecambe Bay has it's own microclimate).

Oh and you can get a ferry from Heysham to the Isle of Man for the TT
Hmmm, the Lake District... I've read quite a few Jack Higgins' novels that involve that area. Student population definitely a plus - adds some vibrance to the location. I'll look into more.
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Old 19 Sep 2008
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Can someone explain how when England, Scotland, Wales and NI are all considered countries, the UK is also considered a country...?

It's terrible on my part, but I learned from Braveheart that the Scots don't like to be associated with England or maybe even Britain, so how is it all working out these days? Is there some dissent? I hear there's some breakaway rumors...

So everyone in the UK is considered British first, then they're either English, Scottish, Welsh or Northern Irish, right? But I guess the Scots done like to be called British, right? How do the passports work? Does everyone get a UK passport?

I love history and I'm definitely going to be reading up a lot about how the UK came to be and I figured I should know more about the British Empire, since it directly influenced life in India and the rest of the world for better or for worse.
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  #14  
Old 19 Sep 2008
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suck it and see!

It's a lovely idea asking people where to live and work, but it's like asking a crowd of people which bike to ride or which watch to wear. Each country/city has its own charm. Find a town, find a job, if you don't like it after six months, move on somewhere else. Yes, most people see themselves as Brits on the world stage; some people are more fussy about exactly where they come from ie.Londoners/Bristolians. Don't worry about it. Just enjoy!
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Old 22 Sep 2008
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Sounds good, mate I've got a close friend in Dublin/Kilkenny and once I'm across the pond, I'm definitely touring around Ireland for a while. I hear it's really beautiful and of course, then there's Guinness.
ah ya its not bad spot at all, just weather is a bit un predictable lately and npt the best but still good social life so drop on over
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