Leaving London: ‘We swapped a rented two-bed in Bounds Green for a house by the sea in Devon’

Claire Willmer loved everything about her London life. She loved her job as a primary school teacher and her urban family of friends. She also loved the vibrancy of living in London. After having their first child, Eddie (now seven years old), they started to question their London lifestyle. By 2017, Claire was expecting Max (now four). It became increasingly clear that their home was no longer sustainable. Claire said that although they didn’t initially plan to move to London, they tried to buy the flat above theirs when it was up for sale. “The asking price for the flat was GBP350,000, which was quite a stretch for us. But it ended up selling for much, much more. We realized that we wouldn’t be able afford to live in London. “Claire, 39 years old, was raised in Devon. The idea of raising her family near the sea was appealing to her, as well as the support from her parents. Kevin, a 43-year-old graphic designer, was her husband. They settled in Barnstaple, near the north Devon Coast and Exmoor. He found a full-time job at a Barnstaple graphic design firm. Claire was initially reluctant to return to her Devon roots. She said that she was “really, really unhappy”. “I felt that we had made the wrong decision. “READ MORELeaving London: Meet the family who rented in London and Surrey before settling in Thame. “READ MORE” Leaving London: Meet the family that rented in London and Surrey, before setting up home in Thame. Why one couple decided to leave Peckham to open a holistic retreat in Spain. Homebuying budgets in popular commuter areas are not affordable for many. Claire is busy with her two chickens, Robin and Batman. She said that she misses London and the excitement it brings, but that she is happy to be able to enjoy the sea swimming and paddleboarding here.