Between the mountains & the sea:

Living in North West Wales

 

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If you are looking to maximise your quality of life, you can’t beat living in North West Wales.


For a start, the surrounding area is just beautiful: the dramatic scenery of Snowdonia National Park and the beautiful beaches and coastline of Anglesey are just a few minutes drive from the hospital. So if you like the countryside, whether it be just for walking the dog or more energetic pursuits, you’d love it here.

NOT ISOLATED....


Whilst living here feels a million miles from the rat race of the city, it’s quick and easy to get to the rest of the UK: Bangor is only a one-hour drive from Chester along the A55 dual-carriageway, and you can be in London in 3 hours by train. Manchester airport is about 90 minutes drive.


Even Ireland is easily accessible: Holyhead port is about 20 minutes drive from the hospital, from where you can be in Dublin in as little as 90 minutes by ferry.

AND DEFINITELY CIVILISED!


The practicalities of day to day life are important too..... the bits of urban life that most people wouldn’t want to give up are all within 5 minutes drive of the hospital, for example:


  1. 24-hour Tesco Extra

  2. Waitrose

  3. A good gym with swimming pool

  4. The usual out of town shopping (e.g. Next, Pets at Home, B&Q, Laura Ashley, Dunelm)

  5. Excellent GPs (and vets!)

  6. Decent broadband speeds in most areas


HOUSING


House prices are very reasonable here: you can buy a small-holding or huge Victorian house for a similar price to a city flat. The rental market is also well catered for, with a spacious family home for £750-900/month, or a modern 2-bed flat or house for £500-600/month.

THE WELSH LANGUAGE


We sometimes hear doctors saying “I’d love to work in Wales, but I don’t speak Welsh, so I can’t, can I?”.


Well, North West Wales is very much a bilingual area: road signs are in both English and Welsh, official documents are published in both languages, and you will hear Welsh spoken just about anywhere. However, whereas speaking Welsh is obviously useful for doctors, it is not essential.... none of the current ED middle grades or seniors speak Welsh (although some are learning) and quite honestly, not speaking Welsh doesn’t cause any problems.


The official language for medical notes is English, and on the rare occasions when someone doesn’t speak English (usually pre-school children from Welsh-speaking families and occasionally confused elderly patients) there are always Welsh-speaking staff around who will help out.


In fact, being brutally honest (and very un-PC) you will find fewer patients here who don’t speak English than in a typical UK inner city Emergency Department.


So - if you don’t speak Welsh, don’t worry about the language, although there are opportunities to learn Welsh should you wish to do so. On the other hand, if you do speak Welsh, that’s fantastic: come and join the team and enjoy working in a bilingual setting.

GOT A FAMILY?


Wales is a brilliant place to bring up a family: low pollution, low crime, and good schools both state and private.  


If moving to North Wales with pre-school children, you’ll end up with bilingual kids, which has a host of benefits ranging from ease of making friends in the playground to protection from dementia in later life!


If your kids are already school age, and attend a state school, then you’ll need to consider picking a school that has a language policy that would suit your children, be that  predominantly Welsh or predominantly English. 


Like any other part of the the UK, many families choose to live in the catchment area of a school that they want their kids to attend. The only difference here is that language policy is something to consider alongside OFSTED reports, subjects offered at “A” level, etc etc. If you are thinking of moving here with a family, we’d be happy to talk you through all this.

DOGS & HORSES


For many people, moving to the country is the trigger to add a pet dog to the family - or something much larger.... a surprising number of Ysbyty Gwynedd staff are horse enthusiasts!


This is a wonderful place to be a dog owner, with everyday walks in locations people travel miles to enjoy as tourists. There are also good boarding kennels, trainers, and an increasing number of dog-walking services to help out the working doggy parent!


As for horses, it’s much cheaper to keep equines here than in most parts of the UK.... livery prices are around £20 pw grass livery, £25-40 pw DIY, and £80-120pw for full livery: about half what you’d pay in many parts of the UK. And we have easy access to beautiful beach, mountain and forest riding.


Oh, and in case you were wondering - bottom right - yes, it does have long ears... it’s the mule again (did you spot her on the poster page?) who used to belong to one of our consultants.  Nothing wrong with a bit of eccentricity in the depths of rural North Wales!