According to Heather, the move has really paid off. "The scenery is just amazing, it’s so beautiful here. We spent months having to pinch ourselves when we woke up because it felt like being permanently on holiday. The friendly people and the community spirit are fantastic.
It’s nothing like living in a big city. People smile and wave when you see them, we’ve had so much help and support from people who barely knew us to begin with but have since become good friends. You really feel part of something special."
Since they moved, Heather has been inspired to set up a small business called Ollie Collie. "We design and make gifts, homeware and clothing inspired by our pet Border Collie. We’ve had lots of amazing support from various local organisations to get us started and the local community have also helped either by buying items, stocking them in shops or helping to promote them. It encouraged me to join the local Chamber of Trade and now I’m quite involved with the local business network."
Obviously living in Sedbergh isn't without its challenges as Heather explains. "You have to be more organised! Realising you’ve run out of essentials like bread and milk at 11pm on a Sunday is no longer an option unless you want to drive a long way to somewhere that might be open. We have some amazing local shops though, so it’s worth the extra thought and planning to support them."
Heather has three more tips for anyone planning to move to the Yorkshire Dales:
- Don’t automatically assume you need to buy a house straight away. Consider renting so that you can get a feel for an area without committing.
- Be prepared to get involved! Small communities need people who are willing to support their local shops, schools, businesses and services. Volunteering for groups and attending community events is so rewarding. You can really see how you can make a direct impact in the place that you live.
- Don’t forget to think about all of the people who are going to want to come and visit you once you live here!
Depending on how far you are moving you may need to consider if you need to have space in your home for people to stay or will they be able to afford hotels? What accommodation is nearby and what does it cost? If you’ll be putting people up, consider costs like the extra food and build it into your budget. Also factor in the fuel costs for going back to see people you’ve moved away from. We love having friends and family come and stay but you do have to make it easy for them to prevent you ending up being miles away and rarely seeing anyone from your old life!