6 tips for making new friends when you move house

If you’ve been following the blog you’ll know that we’ve moved! We found a lovely old farmhouse on the edge of town with lots of outside space.  We’ve unpacked our boxes, dug out our new allotment, and our veggies are growing.  The children are in their element, I’ve bought some stable boots and we’re loving the mud.  I’m channelling Felicity Kendall and Nigella, getting dirty in the garden and bringing the good life into the kitchen (I felt that I needed to up my game now that we have an Aga).

Part of the process of moving is learning about the community you are moving into and getting to know people locally, this is relatively easy when you have small children but it’s not as easy when your children are school age and go to a school eight miles away. Before moving I started searching online and I’ve discovered that in our new village we have a fabulous choir, a judo club, a couple of lovely local pubs and an Amateur dramatics society (maybe I will put my Theatre degree to good use)! 

This got me thinking about our initial move to Exeter and how I found friends and kindred spirits, I thought I’d share some tips with you on how to meet like minded people locally and make new friends online:

  1. Join Facebook Groups and start asking questions – My go-to group on Facebook before I moved was Mums in Exeter, with just over 3,000 people in the group and lots of like-minded Mums it was a great place to start asking questions, I gathered information about places to go, schools and areas that came in really handy. I also started a thread about moving from South London and found a group of Mums who had also made the move who I now hang out with.  
  2. Look for groups of people who share your interests. For example, if you are really into surfing you can type ‘surfing Devon’ into Facebook search and find yourself some relevant groups to join.
  3. Like relevant pages, I searched for pages that are relevant to Exeter and liked ones that interest me, often on these pages there are threads where you can chat to people. A good group for finding family related stuff to do in Exeter is Fun & Free ( or cheap ) Events Activities Families Exeter and Amelie who runs that group really took me under her wing when I moved and became my first Exeter friend.
  4. If you’re a Mummy looking for friends to share parenting stories with try Mummy Social, the brainchild of Exeter Mum Josie Baron, it’s a fabulous initiative “helping mums find mums near them for friendship and support” because we all know that the early days of parenting can be lonely.  Acclaimed author and fellow Devon blogger, fabulous Sarah Turner aka The Unmumsy Mum recently joined the team as an ambassador.
  5. Try a Meet up because it’s not all about finding Mummy and Daddy friends – Meetup.com is a site where you can find like minded people to meet with.  There are lots of Exeter meet ups but Escape Exeter looks like a particularly busy one.  Search the Meet Up website for like minded groups near you, it may be a foodie meet up or a book club, there are local groups for all interests.
  6. Follow people locally and start chatting on Twitter – Twitter is definitely my favourite Social platform, since being in Exeter I have made lots of contacts and friends here from getting involved in TEDxExeter to keeping in touch with my fellow bloggers and tracking down Digital Exeter – Twitter’s got it going on!

There are plenty of ways to broaden your horizons – even if you’ve been living in Exeter for a long time – there are always new things and new people to discover.

Please feel free to add your tips in the comment section 😀

This article was first published in Exeter Life Magazine, I’ve made a few edits to share it on the blog..

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Great tips. It can be a challenge to find friends you can relate to, moving house or children leaving primary school makes a big difference. Book Clubs can be fun as well (as long as they are not too serious)!

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    1. Stephanie Darkes @ Exploring Exeter says:

      I tried to hold a book club and managed to get everyone drunk.. I’m not sure we talked about the book at all but we had a great time!

      Like

  2. Jo says:

    Fab tips Steph. I think even if you have lived somewhere for a while these Facebook groups are a great way to connect with people. X

    Like

  3. Hattie says:

    Great tips. Thank God for the internet and wonderful apps like Mummy Social. I’d be screwed without them!

    Like

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