Lifestyle York

Looking Back on 1 Year in York

york minster black and white

On Saturday, Sam and I celebrated our 1 year in York anniversary. Prior to that, I’d been living in London since 2011 and Sam had been living in London for 12 years before our move. You can read my entire post on why we left London here. (Sam also guest posted on his leaving London thoughts)

And to be honest, I’m so happy with that decision. I’m head over heels with York. It’s one of the best places that I’ve ever lived. There’s always something going on in the city, the food is great, you’re extremely close to some beautiful bits of nature and you can hop on a train and be in London or Manchester in less than 2 hours (or Leeds in about 25 minutes). 

Whilst I’d love to say that York will be our forever home, rental prices are fairly reasonable in York, but buying a house is ever approaching Southern prices. So realistically Sam and I won’t be here in York and we’ll have to say goodbye to this city that I’ve rapidly fallen in love with. (York has now been listed as one of the most expensive cities in Britain to buy a house in, sadly – houses cost well over 6+ times the national buyer’s earnings.)

Leaving London allowed Sam and I both more scope to explore our own interests. It allowed Sam the opportunity to expand his amazing photography business – both his production and wedding shots are becoming insanely beautiful. (His work has now been featured in: The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, The Independent, The Financial Times, The Evening Standard, The Stage, What’s On Stage and Time Out.) And that probably never would have happened had we been struggling to pay our London rent at the same time. It’s allowed me to find a job in York that wasn’t running me into the ground like my London position was; it’s given me the ability to follow my dreams as a doula and I’ve been able to spend the money that I’m saving on rent to travel more. 

We know our neighbours and have excellent friendly relationships with them. One even gave us a gift for Harold. (Our neighbours actively avoided us in London.) I can walk and cycle to work. I see historic sites every day. I have access to absolutely incredible food and coffee, and a great sourdough focused bakery is on the end of out street. A 10 minute run down the road and we’re out in glorious Yorkshire countryside. When I see women from my yoga class out and about in town, they smile and wave. (Have I sold you on York yet?) 

All in all, it’s been a really great decision and I haven’t ever regretted it. Honestly, I don’t really miss London very much. This past year has been one big adventure and I can’t wait to see what else the future will bring. 

This successful move makes me confident that even if York isn’t our forever home, we’ll be able to build our community, to find like-minded people and pursue our interests no matter where we move. 

If you’d like to read more about York, I have a whole York tab above! But for some specific posts that might interest you, I’d recommend: 

The Best Independent Shops in York 
15 Things to Do in York
10 Best Coffee Shops and Cafes in York

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  • I can’t believe it’s been a year already! I need to make a trip there soon.

    • You definitely do – it’s such a lovely place. It does have a very Cambridgey vibe πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Love this. York is very much top of our list for where to go when we leave London (probably in a few years or so) and I’ve LOVED seeing the city through our eyes! Can’t believe it’s already been a year! xx

    • I’d love love love to stay in York and rent prices are so reasonable but buying (in okay areas) is just so damn expensive. (There’s a two bed on our road that’s going for over half a mill. –
      disgusting!!!!) Ultimately, hopefully we’ll have kids and we’ll need to be able to afford something slightly bigger than for just the two of us. xx

  • This was so lovely to read, Amanda! I am forever trying to sell people on the merits of the north, so it’s great to hear that you have enjoyed the transition so much x
    Sophie Cliff

    • It definitely helps that Sam’s Northern and that most of his family is in the area. I’m sure it would have been much more of a struggle tranisiton-wise if we didn’t have that kind of support network around us! x

  • You’ve made me fall in love with York from your posts over the last year. I only spent a few days there back in 2014 but it was so beautiful and the city has this really inclusive vibe mixing progressiveness with history that I really appreciate. I’m sorry that you aren’t able to find a house for a reasonable price (I realize more and more every year how ridiculous the UK housing market/salary ratio is), but you have such a great attitude that I’m sure you’ll be able to make the next place home, too. And I can’t wait to read about it!

    • Thanks so much Sarah! York really does have so much going for it – it’s a phenomenal place to live or visit. xx

  • how has it been a year already! I’ve loved seeing your photos of York Life. I can’t tell if I’m in a funk with London, or if I just wish I had nicer neighbours (probably both!) x

  • I can’t believe it’s been a year already, I remember you leaving London so clearly! I’m glad you’re so settled in York, it’s so scary leaving London and it’s nice when you find your feet elsewhere! You’ve totally sold me on York and I desperately want to visit but it’s just SO far from Bournemouth! xx

  • York is so beautiful. My husband was at uni there and he introduced me to it before we had children. What an amazing place to live. We live in London but sometimes I do long for a bit more greenery and fresher air! x

    • Sam and I lived in Crystal Palace before we moved (an area that I definitely still love). It was the right move for us at the right time in our lives, but I’d never say “no” to time in the capitol! x

  • Ah this so makes me want to move out of the big city! York sounds like a dream x

  • I’m so glad that you’re loving York!

  • Hi! I’m new to your blog, just followed by comment on another blog. I know the moving/new city feelings well. My boyfriend and I moved from Seoul, South Korea to Denver, Colorado in 2016. It takes some effort, but I’ve found that making friends/building a community is super important to making a home anywhere. I’m glad it’s going well for you! As much as we’re loving Denver, we also probably won’t make our permanent home here because of house prices. It’s ridiculous! I work in residential permitting here, and I recently saw a house that was sold for $1,300,000 only to be scraped and rebuilt as a duplex for $1,500,000. That’s obviously on the higher end of examples I have, but I honestly couldn’t afford a house at the lower end of what they’re going for w/ my student loans and all. Sorry to blabber on! Good luck w/ life in York, and I’ve added you to my Feedly feed. πŸ™‚

    • You weren’t blabbering on at all! I actually grew up in New Mexico so I love Colorado. (In fact my best friend lives in Denver- I’m only sad that the ocean keeps us apart!) it’s gotten so expensive though, hasn’t it!? Hope you have a good community around you now. Thanks for following! Xx

  • it sounds wonderful!

  • Oh Amanda, I’m so glad you’re loving York! It’s such an incredible city and a wonderful place to live too. Even if it isn’t your forever home it sounds like it’s allowing you and Sam to both a live a life you’re enjoying more πŸ˜Šβ€‹

    • Thanks Emma! I love living in Yorkshire. so hopefully we’ll always stay fairly close by. PS we still need to meet up! x

  • BAH York seems so lovely in your posts, but by the time I get this writing stuff finished and actually come to visit you in York you’ll be living somewhere else. The house price thing is insane and pisses me off so damned much. See also: 30 year mortgages. Those are also insane. 😑

    • Well luckily for you because house prices keep going up Sam and I will probably be renting forever. In which case I will stay in York until I die. X

  • York sounds like a great balance between a big city and lovely town. Glad you’re enjoying your life there πŸ™‚