West vs south

How does the west compare to the south in terms of living? I have lived in the south all my life and would like to move out of this place and move towards a more village setting.

I don’t think I can advise you on the basis of points of the compass
I was born in the valleys and stiil frequently visit family there. I now live 14 miles from the coast in West Wales.

Both areas have some great villages. There is perhaps more day to day Welsh spoken as you move North and West, if that’s important to you. The countryside in mid-Wales is largely agricultural with rolling hills. North of Machynlleth you have the more “rugged” Snowdonia mountains. Check out a Geological map. Apart from the change in terrain, you can spot the many Welsh influences in Geological naming such as Cambrian, Pre-Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, even to the smaller divisions of Llandovery and Llandilo.

My best advice, however, is to go on a walking holiday to find out where you feel “at home”. If that fails, contact Phil and Kirsty, :smile:


Or Nicky :slight_smile:

I’m guessing that you’d need a job before you move. If so, the cost of living could be a bit higher, but housing (might) be a bit cheaper depending on where you are moving from. If it’s a government type job, the salary should be on the same basis as anywhere else in the UK, except inner London.

Not related to the Welsh language, but just the move - I have a customer “contact” who made the move from the Rhondda to Narberth. He really loves it and has become more positive. He finds that it suits his family too.

Edit: Saying that, I’ve lived in Cardiff and also some Valleys and South Powys villages and I loved them.


Where i am at now i have a wales/west housing studio flat, i can do a transfer to west any time which covers most areas. it’s a relatively cheap, around £290 per month…maybe it’ll be near that throughtout west if it’s a studio flat…

also what’s the crime like, any yob nonsence, heroin hooligans around?

Unfornately you cannot avoid drug misuse/crime anywhere in Wales or, I suspect, the rest of the world. But I have never been confronted by it in the quarter century I have lived here. Crime is very low in mid Wales and I am sure this is reflected in insurance premiums. There is a bit of yobbery (occasionally violent) in my nearest town, Aberystwyth but I have never felt threatened there.

Reading between the lines, I’d guess you felt unhappy with the levels of crime, yobbery and drugs around where you live. I sympathise with you absolutely but I feel confident that you can find a more comfortable environment without moving too far.

If you’re reassured by statistics, try entering selected post codes here .

Pob lwc


I feel I can take part in this one. :smiley:

In my mid 30s, I spent at least 95% of my life living within 10 mins of either Cardiff or Swansea - but now have retreated to “Y Canolbarth” for the last (almost) two years.

While I absolutely loved living in the south, moving to mid/West Wales has been one of, if not the best decisions I have ever made.

There are pros and cons of everything, and here were both for us.

Lots more Welsh being spoken than where we lived previously.
Aberystwyth is a very liberal town, with lots of nationalities, which suited us to the ground.
Aberystwyth as a town punches well above its weight in terms of culture, shows, things to do.
The surrounding areas are beautiful.
Although Aber probably has the most in the area in terms of crime, compared to where I used to live in Rhondda there is literally no crime here.

Can feel very far away from some things. For example, the nearest Pizza Hut to us is nearly 2 hours away. The nearest Asda is 1hr 30m away in Pwlhelli.
Aber is a good town but going to a real shopping town centre can be tiresome (Carmarthen 1hr 15 Away. Swansea 1hr 45. Cardiff 2h 15. Shrewsbury 2h 15)
You occasionally have to use map co-ordinates rather than Street names to visit your friends (ahem… @HuwJones).
Public transport is surprisingly good but still very poor (if that makes sense!)
Job opportunities are limited.


You occasionally have to use map co-ordinates rather than Street names

Very true - even post codes can leave you lost. :smile:

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Yes, they must have had to severely exaggerate it for “Y Gwyll”! :slight_smile: (Just like Henning Mankell did for Wallander…being fans of the books and all the TV versions, we visited the small town where it is set, and at the time, they had had about 1 murder in 25 years…not the seemingly one a day as in fiction! :slight_smile: ).


Haha! To us, Aber is a real shopping town centre! It has clothes shops and everything!


Yes, but it’s very difficult to find quinoa, or authentic hummus. :grinning:

I have experience of both. It depends what you mean by West though. South West, or North West? Some things in either will be the same, and some things will be very different. Certainly in the North West the biggest difference you will see is language, and possibly a certain level of segregation amongst speakers of the different languages. Things might have changed since the late 90s and early noughties though.

The biggest issue you will face in either is employment. Then there is something that affects many rural regions across the world - the brain drain effect. A lot of creative, intelligent, restless, talented, ambitious people leave rural areas for cities, either because they want to or because they have to. This leaves behind an odd mix of characters. I’ve lived in rural North Wales, so the mix of characters are -

Locals who have never wanted to leave the area because they are very family orientated, traditional, love the countryside, or were simply lucky enough to find the job they wanted locally. Others may have had to stay because of other circumstances. Some of them are lovely and others are unpleasant. It depends a lot on where you live. It can even vary from village to village.

Boomerangs - they’ve been there, done that, got educated but also got fed up with houseprices. Some of these people are pretty interesting for various reasons. They often come back to start families.

Settlers - Mainly English people who love the landscape. Although this does not apply to all of them, maybe will have been to Wales as children and wanted to live there permanently. Some of them like the landscape (but wish the language and people weren’t there lol), and will end up living in streets amongst other senior English folk in somewhere like Beaumaris in Anglesey. Others are educated, intellectual, left leaning hippies who love anything Welsh or Celtic. They usually hang about libraries, attend folk music nights and are pretty enthusiastic about the language. Then there are those who came here for work and are doing their best to fit in and just have a good life and don’t fit the extremes I just mentioned.

Prepare to travel a lot for just about anything. Expect to find beautiful, stunning landscape on your doorstep. Bus drivers maybe kinder but are also more ‘relaxed’ in their timekeeping. It is usual for buses to be late. Sometimes 30mins or more to my memory. Sometimes really naughty driver miss out certain villages if they can’t be bothered, and I’m sure they’re technically not allowed to do that.


I loved this :smiley:
To be fair, most of it is also true of the city where I was brought up (a good distance from Wales). In fact, our city buses were well known for catching up on their time table by “accidentally” turning around at some random junction, rather than venturing to the terminus to inconveniently collect more passengers.

Haha. Yes. I guess that’s true. The stayers vs the explorers thing can definitely be found in large cities too. The main difference I would say is that it doesn’t take a lot to stand out in smaller vilkages. Just wearing a long skirt might make people stare. I think that’s slowly changing now as a it’s more accepted and fashionable for young people to do things like dye their hair blue. Howeverm I think it’s easier to blend in large cities if you are tiny bit different.


Yeah I’m in cardiff currently and over the past 10 years there’s just been a massive increase in drunks, drug addicts, homeless hooligans and it’s just getting worse. It’s time to get out now as i have had enough,.so was looking to relocate somewhere outside of the city,.

Shame about that :frowning: I left three years ago, and at that point I remember thinking that homelessness had definitely gone up in two years compared to what it usually used to be like. You can tell when the cuts hit. You should see how bad it is in Manchester though!

It was never like this before. In my opinion it’s out of control now, there doesn’t seem to be anything done about it!..im looking to relocate to near by village, im done with city stuff!!!

anybody had any experience with near by villages such as Dinas Powys etc, any crackheads running around stabbing people? lol

Shouldn’t they be under pros? :wink:


A new Pizza Express is going to open in Aber when they’ve finished converting that old school by the station. I don’t know how Pizza Express compares to Pizza Hut though.

I am always amused by the fact that when I went to Aberystwyth University umpty-mumble years ago, I chose it because it was a small place and very different to Manchester where I grew up. Now it’s our local Big Place where we go to buy clothes and things we can’t get locally. :laughing:

Also I’ll bet people who “keep themselves to themselves” stand out in a different way, even though the last thing they are doing is trying to stand out!