Moving to Nottingham

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Moving to Nottingham, UK

June 2010

We are considering moving from the East Bay to Nottingham, UK. Any advice on schools, neighborhoods and people? Is the weather depressing? Are people reserved or rather open? Are there public libraries? I would appreciate any information! Thank you so much.

To Berkeley or Not To Berkeley That Is The Question

Hi-- I'm a native Californian who spent 5 years in Nottingham, both without and with a child. Please get in touch, as there's a lot to consider before making your move! I can give you an idea of what the city is like, what to avoid (there's plenty) what to take advantage of (also plenty). It's a very different world, but may be worth considering, depending on your priorities. Feel free to email, and I'll give you my number for a chat. shamps

I haven't lived in Nottingham but I lived in Loughborough for a while which is fairly close to Nottingham. The countryside around there is pleasant but nothing special and the weather is like most of Britain i.e. temperate but totally unpredictable. The British public libraries are extensive and good. As for education, you don't say how old your kids are but here's a general comparison of British v. American schools.

1. Children start formal schooling a year earlier in Britain, at 4 yrs old.

2. Almost all schools have a school uniform and the discipline is stricter.

3. Once kids reach high school the education is much more exam based than in the US. This is great if you are good at exam taking and it removes the constant burden of the GPA, but not so great if you hate taking exams.

4. In high school kids specialise earlier than in the US, so that by age 16 they are taking only 3 or 4 subjects.

5. I would say that public schools are less well funded than the US, but there is more accountability because of frequent inspections - each school has a detailed OFSTED report every few years which should be available online. As for the people, that's hard for me to judge as I'm British but I think we're friendly! Berkeley Brit