Charles Church

New home, fresh start

Ever fancied a completely fresh start? We spoke to some buyers who made a move across the country to start a new life in their Charles Church home.

John and Alli Richards relocated from Kent to Penrith, Cumbria at the end of 2022, after purchasing a Charles Church Strand at our Woodberry Heights development. We sat down with them to find out why they decided to make the move, and how they’re settling into their new home.

Hi there! We are John and Alli Richards, and we’ve been married for nearly ten years. Until recently, we’d both lived all our lives in Kent, where we schooled and then worked in the Public Sector before we both took retirement when we reached 50.

These days, we both work for a cycling company called Peak Tours in the summer as cycle tour guides, primarily supporting those cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats. Alli is also into her artwork making cards, and framed pieces using paper in the form of quilling.

So why Penrith? Cumbria is an area that we have visited on numerous occasions with work and also for short breaks, and loved. For us, we felt that as we both had had some health issues (now all clear) that the time was right to actually upsize our home for a lower price. 

“The attraction of a new build, blank canvas, and being on the edge of a new development ticked a lot of our boxes, so we took the plunge.”

We were repeatedly drawn to Woodberry Heights and met sales executive Lauren who kindly took us through the whole process of buying a house. She escorted us through the show home, and we were sold.

Fortunately, we were able to reserve a Strand house type - a  4/5 bed house in a perfect location for us, at the end of a cul-de-sac. It’s just the two of us living here, but we have enough space for Alli’s craft room and for family and friends to come and visit.

John and Alli outside their new home at Woodberry Heights, with sales executive Lauren. 

“We had visited different areas of the UK and the quality of Charles Church homes, and the value for money, could not be matched here in Penrith.”

All we had to do was sell our house in Kent, which fortunately sold quickly. We had the very kind offer of staying with a friend until the property in Penrith was ready. Lauren regularly kept us updated with the house build status, photos and time scales. We selected fixtures and fittings and were able to see the progress of the build for ourselves.

The whole process was seamless and very professional. As we neared completion just before Christmas 2022, we met the site manager Martin who took us through everything. Nothing was too much trouble for him.

We are now settling in very nicely and have met some very kind, friendly people. We have registered with the local doctors, gas/electricity suppliers, the water company and the District Council with ease, and we are confident that we have now notified the majority of people that we need to of our new address.

“We have had the opportunity to explore some of the local area both by car and on our bikes, and have to pinch ourselves sometimes.”

We are so fortunate to live in a fantastic, warm, detached property, a stone’s throw from an area of outstanding natural beauty.

We’re used to driving long distances, so think nothing of driving down to Kent to see our family and friends. Of course it’s a massive move relocating so far north. But we felt that we had probably outgrown the village in Kent where we lived, and with our previous health issues we made the decision for a move for a quieter way of life, a fresh start.

Our advice to anyone thinking of moving would be, just do it! Clearly you need to weigh everything up, but we have absolutely no regrets. In fact we have more contact and quality time with family and friends now that we live in Cumbria, than when we lived nearer to them in Kent. 

We absolutely love it. Best thing we’ve ever done!




If you've also made a major move  - or even a local one - to a new Charles Church home, why not share your photos on Instagram using #charleschurchlife for a chance to win a £100 John Lewis voucher. Visit our Facebook page for terms and conditions.


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