England’s Lake District takes one of our "make us move" criteria into new territory
Great story Tom, I love your idea of "window shopping" for homes. I have never focused on walkability, but some of the places I visited on my motorcycle and car trips I like are The Finger Lakes, anywhere along the Chesapeake Bay (many good towns there), and numerous small towns in the middle of nowhere.
We also have our house exactly as we like it but it will probably not be our last house. My wife and I are both retired and someday will on the search.
Gorgeous photos, Tom! Thanks for sharing. Walkability has been important for us as well, and we're in an area that ranks pretty high. However, the negative noise is also high. The main paved trail runs parallel to a road, and the freeway is just close enough that you can hear the faint hum of trucks on the quietest of nights. It's a constant reminder to go elsewhere, away from it all and enjoy real freedom, but I don't think we would ever move. At least not until the kids are out on their own.
What a brilliant metric. We are likely to move in a year or two somewhere more permanent, so I’ll take your database advice! Our walkability is great in Basel, but I think England in general has so many wonderful walks that are beautiful and challenging but not quite hikes that need preparation or tents (eek). As I mentioned before, I’ve encountered this area and can’t wait to really WALK it.
In 2007, I took a picture of you and Sara walking in the sunshine of our Riverfront Trail as a Repeat Photograph of an historic image in a series titled "Snohomish Then and Now" -- a series happily moved from WordPress to Substack -- https://warnerb.substack.com/p/riverview-looking-west -- it's good to "bloom where you're planted," as the saying goes.
Sometimes you have to jump feet first and just do it. That's if you're “serious “
Beautiful pictures. Makes me want to go there as I love to walk.
That said ,as a permanent place to live, Manhattan, uptown, near Central Park, is hard to beat, because I can walk to 90% of the places I want to go, often going through the park.
Walkability at night has always been important to Liz and I. As you know Tom, our little town provides walking routes on street lit sidewalks with low vehicle traffic. That scores big during long winter nights.
Hey! You could create another spreadsheet with categories just on walkability.
It’s why I bought an RV. Instead of settling on one place, I can move around (though I still have my farm as home base!). I wanted a sailboat, (imagine the destinations) but cats don’t like water and I, and they, are too old for that much work to change them!
Great photos and description of what seems to be a magical place! Thanks for sharing!
Glorious words and pictures, Tom - such a treat of a post! 🙌
Stunning photos, looks like a wonderful time! I might need to cop that spreadsheet trick, as we start to toy with selling our place.
Stupendous pictures, Tom! I can see how the miles might have melted into nothing (until the next morning, anyway.)
Glad you enjoyed yourselves. As you say, the Lake District is not perfect (far from it in many ways), but it is rather wonderful all the same.
I've enjoyed living in Hoboken, NJ, San Francisco, and Chicago, which are all imminently walkable cities. But that's in the truly urban living sense. Finding nature in those cities requires a car, and public transportation leaves a lot to be desired.
Since moving to Chicago we've become a major biking family, which we find superior to walking from an access standpoint. We can make our way 7-10 miles on bikes around Chicago, even during winter, which has redefined our relationship to the city.
I'd add bikability to your spreadsheet and see how that might change your outcomes.
Sure, I live in Kilsyth, Scotland, and the walking here is so good, that we have been awarded the coveted 'Walkers are welcome' award. The main advantage of the Campsie Fells is that house prices here are much more sensible, and tourism is less frenzied.
All four of us are ready to move to the Netherlands. Just waiting for that lottery win. You can drive the entire country in a couple of hours, which means you can literally bike between cities. And you can walk to everything you need in most places. Real estate is very different over there. Not many single-family homes, but the town house style communities offer so much in terms of shared green space and access to services, shops, recreation, etc. We love it there.
I'd like to know what score we would get on your sheet. Maybe on next visit. There is something very magical to me about those parts of England. Old, charming, and almost mystical that they are "original" for hundreds of years.