Kia is a published novelist and travel writer and runs the outdoor blog, Atlas & Boots. Peter is a photographer by trade who also works for Atlas & Boots. They moved to the Yorkshire Dales from London for a better quality of life and now live right on the edge of the Yorkshire National Park in Richmond.
They reckon that for a quarter of the year they’re travelling, and their aim is to “write blog posts we wish we’d read before we left”. They end up travelling to remote destinations in order to show other people how to. Neither of them can imagine working in an office and having a boss again!
Kia initially encountered a degree of scepticism when initially discussing her move. “People say that you’re going out to the sticks, how are you going to survive, but we found that not only is the quality of life better – better food, better access to the outdoors, access to nature – your access to amenities is also better. We can walk to the gym, to the cinema, to the market place. In London the last time I went swimming was in the 1990’s, now I go every week. It has lived up to expectations”.
Kia and Peter work from home. There’s no commute, they don’t have to get in the car every-day. But they did have initial concerns about whether they would make friends. “I was always a City girl through and through and so there was a little bit of a worry about whether I would come here and be bored, but I haven’t been. We have certainly kept ourselves busy”. Find us at: https://www.atlasandboots.com/
Running an outdoor travel blog from home requires first class connectivity, and Peter quickly discovered that their broadband speed was faster here than in London. “We go back to London and curse, I was there last week and we ended up complaining about the speed of the broadband”. We have fibre optic here which I don’t think we had in London. So as far as connectivity goes it’s fast and easy”.
Kia writes a lot, and has really noticed the different soundtrack. “It’s quiet here, whenever I’m in London there’s always noise and construction and it’s very difficult to work from home, but here it’s peaceful. While we were waiting to complete on our house move here, we went and house sat for a friend in Hackney. I had a move the chair to the hallway, outside the toilet, because it was the only place in the house where I could work in peace”.
For Peter, the main criteria for moving to the Yorkshire Dales was access to the outdoors: “and with that comes a better quality of life. I used to spend most of my working week in London thinking about when I could escape again, and often that was down to Dartmoor or the Lakes”. For Kia it was about the fresh air, the peace and tranquillity of the landscape and peace of mind. “We wanted to move somewhere where it’s not so strange to say Hello. You walk down the street and you see your neighbours and you know their names, you’ve been round for a cup of tea and they’ve sent you marmalade and chutney and hang lettuce on the door from their allotment. It’s an idyllic life and that just wouldn’t happen in London”.
“We chose the Yorkshire Dales because we know the National Park is so beautiful. We came up, fell in love, and thought this is where we want to be”.
There are also mental health benefits to consider. Kia noticed the calmness, the peacefulness and the ease with which they can be up and into the hills. The Coast to Coast footpath crosses the end of their road and they love getting over to the Howgills and Sedbergh. It makes a real difference to their lives.
What advice would they give to anyone considering moving to the Yorkshire Dales to live and work?
“Just do it. It’s not as hard as you think, and it’s not as big a change as you’d think. We were in London and there were always worries about, are we going to be cut off, are we going to be in the sticks, will our careers suffer and these sorts of things. None of that has happened. Plus, you get more for your money here, we have a spare room now! The flats we had in London cost more than this house, were half the size, and had views over the bins and the A12. We live in a 300 year old cottage that is listed and our street is literally cobbled. We have no complaints”.