‘The people are more open!’ London couple on their move to Yorkshire – ‘fell in love’

Peak District announce they are 'good to go' following lockdown

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Earlier this year, the number of Londoners who had left the capital during the pandemic was estimated at 700,000, according to a study led by the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence. Another report, from PriceWaterhouseCoopers, showed Londoners were leaving so quickly that the city’s population would decrease for the first time this century.

Susana Teixeira, 31, and her partner were two of those Londoners who fled the capital – not during the first national lockdown, but the third.

For the couple, both in their early thirties, the pandemic was what gave them the final push to undertake a move they had been thinking about for months earlier.

Susana, originally from Portugal, moved to London eight years ago to study a master’s in hospitality.

But after “so many years”, she decided she wanted a change.

She told Express.co.uk: “During the pandemic I was on furlough and we weren’t very happy in the place we were living – it was a very small studio and the price of the place kept going up so we thought ‘okay, now is the time for us to make a decision and to move out of London’.

“At the same time, we started developing our own business and decided we wanted more space, and space in London is really expensive.”

Susana and her partner looked at other, cheaper cities in the UK and decided on Sheffield.

Named Britain’s greenest city by researchers from the University of Southampton, the pair “fell in love” with the South Yorkshire gem.

Susana said: “We had been to Sheffield before to visit friends and we really loved the city, mainly because of the Peak District.

“We fell in love with Sheffield and the Peaks.

“We feel really connected to nature and we like to go for walks and go for cycle rides.”

The couple moved to Sheffield four months ago, and after a couple of months of commuting to and from London, Susana quit her job in hospitality to “focus on my business and try and grow it”.

The pair have a sustainable clothing and exercise brand and enjoy shooting photographs for its website in many of Sheffield’s parks.

Susana said: “London is getting so crowded and of course there are parks there, but you can’t compare with the Peak District.

“The tube is the worst part of London – there are so many people and I always felt claustrophobic.

“It’s one of the things I don’t miss – especially because we have the tram here.

“Within thirty minutes, we are right in the middle of the city.”

Other benefits about living in Sheffield are the cheaper bills and groceries, according to Susana, but also the people.

The 31-year-old said: “What I like about Sheffield is that the community organises a kind of market or a little concert every week.

“We love the community that we are living in – the people are so friendly and were like that right from the start.”

Susana said she couldn’t help but compare Londoners to those living in Sheffield, adding: “They’re so much more open than in London – we didn’t even know who our neighbours were there!

“Here, our neighbours came to introduce themselves and said, ‘if there’s anything you need just come and knock on my door’.”

Susana and her partner may well move to another green spot in the UK in the future, but for now?

“We are never bored here and there is so much to explore. It will be our home for a while.”

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