Urban v Rural


Hello folks,
Long time reader of this site.

Quick question on what people feel about urban v rural living?

Not really interested in the financial impact of one or the other. More so the quality of life aspect.

Is it something people would aspire to or be completely opposed to.

By rural, I mean 15-20 min outside a town in the open countryside, but close to schools, pubs, shops, work etc. Still, no streetlights and a drive to wherever you want to go. No staggering home from the pub.

Anybody moved from one to the other? How did that work out?


Grew up in the country side living in Dublin now definitely would prefer to live in a town or city to the country side.

In urban areas the car for many tasks is optional not essential. The amenities are better and closer and there more public transport options. Having to drive everywhere and pay through the nose for a taxi to get home gets old real quick.


The answer will be different for people. It is down to personality & lifestyle really!


I honestly can’t understand the desire to live in any location where they only way you can get anywhere is by driving.

It restricts your lifestyle completely - taxis whenever you want to go out at night (often in both directions), you become a full time chauffeur for 17 years if you have kids, you miss out on dozens of casual social interactions, you end up killing local enterprise since you end up shopping in larger towns further away, as you become elderly you become extremely isolated, and if for some reason you ever lose the ability to drive you’re absolutely fuckered.

What ever happened to the idea of living in a village?
It’s rural, you can have some space, you can be within walking distance of schools, local shops, pubs, your kids can walk places and easily meet their friends.


I grew up in the city but often visited the countryside. The city is great as closer to amenities better social life etc but I love the countryside for its peace and quite.

Also urban life is much cheaper and enviromentally less damaging than country life.


Some people thrive on green fields, bucolic bliss, nature etc. Others thrive on the very close proximity of a multitude of neighbours/buzz/brightness of streetnights in the dismal winter evenings.

Ask yourself the following question:

Which of the following categories of holiday destination would you chose:

A) New York city/ London/Paris/a week-end break in Dublin or Prague.
B) A stay in a holiday home in Connemara/ a chalet in the Swiss Alps/ a cottage in beautiful countryside in England or Kerry/driving around some country in a camper van but avoiding the cities for the most part.

If you’d prefer A, then chances are you are best suited to urban living. If B, then chances are you are best suited to rural living.


+1 (notwithstanding my last post :slight_smile: )


I too grew up in the country side. Lived in Dublin for 6 years… I really appreciated having amenities on the doorstep (cinema, pub, gigs), better services (broadband, waste, no more 2 mile trek to the shop etc.). I didn’t have the cost of running a car and if I wanted a bottle of wine (or even an ATM!) I could just take a walk down the street. Getting to the airport didn’t involve leaving the house 6 hours before the flight.

I’m in the process of moving back home to the country now though. I won’t miss street lighting, traffic and the sound of traffic, Dublin Bus, housing estates, surly teenagers, the worry that the new neighbour will be a bollix, dog shit. From my own experience I’d also like to raise kids outside of an urban/suburban environment, for their benefit as well as my own.

I think whether you prefer one or the other depends on your own personality, hobbies, outlook on life.


I could only live in an urban area, would hate to be over reliant on a car, prefer a quick walk/cycle to shops etc and to commute to work. Also an other major problem I would have with rural living is the lack off street lights at night time, could never go for an evening run/cycle in winter.


If it’s something you want to try then rent for a year or two, especially through the winter. I did it once but found I couldn’t bare having to get into the car in the dark evenings just to go into town to do something. Probably better to live on the edge of small town so you can have the country for your back garden but be able to walk without fearing being hit on the backroads.
Another thing to note is if you do view somewhere isolated make note of the fields around you. What can seem blissful one evening can turn very unrelaxing when the noisy harvesters with very strong lights rattle on into the small hours.
I was glad to be back in urbanity but at least I got the good life out of the system. As I said try renting, it might suit you, it may not.


But also, I think some Dublinites need to ask themselves whether it really is worth all the stress, the hassle, the financial strain of buying a house in South County Dublin, when a more affordable life in rural Kildare might ultimately result in less strain.


What happens when the kids grow up (assuming there are kids) the partner pops his or her clogs (assuming there is a partner) and, at age 77, you find yourself living in an isolated area with the only tolerable option being to start again from scratch, in a city where you have no friends but where your grandchildren are living?

Plan ahead well, I say.


Thanks for all the replies.

I think doubleglaze hit the nail on the head, asking where it is you are drawn to.

I don’t have a particular view either way, but am very interested to hear people’s reactions to one or the other.


That’s actually not a bad scenario at all. I still wouldn’t do it though - I’ve done both.

I think if anyone has a tendency towards SAD in the winter, then street lights in winter are a definite help.

Now, I’m off for a coffee with a friend in a Galway City café - just 10 minutes door-to-door. Toodle Ooo!


When you put it that way - it’s definitely worth it!! (The very thought of my kids wearing the “County colours” is just too much to bear!)

  • 100%

Had elderly relatives who bought just a teeny bit outside a good town. The teeny bit of distance became a major problem in old age. I’d say they made a huge mistake in not buying closer to town.

I regard their situation as the best lesson I ever got in housebuying.


A fire or stove will sort that out for you


15-20 minutes outside a town? At a speed of 80km/h that’s about 25km. There really aren’t that many places that are so isolated. I’m 10 minutes from the nearest town, but there are pubs 1km away, schools, a church, loads of neighbours etc. School bus, Tesco deliver groceries if you don’t drive. Fairly typical rural living. I have lived with no neighbours for 5km, and that eventually drives you mad. Not recommended. I spent more than half the 1980’s living in the inner city. That’s not recommended either. And I spent a fair few years poncing around coffee shops too. That gets fairly dull aswell.

I recommend rural living, but only if you are prepared to contribute to building your local community.


1km from pubs/schools/church with neighbours isn’t the classic conception of Irish rural living.
You can walk to places, essentially it’s village living, which I really really really wish Irish planning would re-emphasize.
(ok ban the one off thing in its favour)

I could live like that fairly happily.
Building/Buying/Living somewhere that I needed a car for EVERYTHING on the other hand, I’d go stir crazy in six months.


Would you mind expanding on this a little?

What prompted me to ask this question was one of the threads about SCD and price rises, etc. The sums involved are fantastic in some cases. Comparing the 600k house there and its equivalent in rural Ireland means looking at a period house set on some land.

The urban living I have in mind are the people living in standard semis all over urban Ireland, with ball park prices of 130-200k. Against that, there is a whole other world out there of people living in relatively rural settings, with 100-200k mortgages and I am curious to know how it works for them.