Leaving London: we swapped ‘soulless’ Canary Wharf for a stone cottage and studio in the Peak District

Rosie Kent never felt so isolated and lonely as she did during the pandemic lockdown. She lived in the middle of a capital city. Her only freedom was a daily stroll around Canary Wharf. Rosie said, “It was such an empty place to be.” “My boyfriend was still at work, so I would go on my own for a walk. I was never even noticed by anyone. I felt so alone and miserable. “Rosie, 36, was raised in the country. She and Christopher Nelson (who everyone calls Nelson) both love hiking, mountain biking, and being outdoors. They decided to leave London for a village with a Londony feel, two train stops from Brighton. They were able to accelerate their plans when the pandemic caused them to give notice on their GBP1,400pcm living space in Westferry, north of Canary Wharf. They hired a van and headed north to Chris’s home in Romiley, near Stockport. They were able to save enough money and get help from their families to pay a deposit of about ten percent. Rosie now rents a studio in Lockside Mill to do her work. Nelson, a bicycle mechanic, has found a job in a shop. Rosie, a jewellery designer, is now able to rent a studio in Lockside Mill / Handout. “I am fortunate because I have my business, and I have met people via Instagram after I moved here,” she said. “I also did a few pop-ups, more to make new friends and meet other small-business owners than anything else. It’s not fast and I need to do more. However, I am finding many ex-Londoners up here who are looking for something in common. It seems to be organic.”