I lived in north London (well Barnet actually) for the 1st 20 years of my life and couldn't wait to leave. since then I have edged further north, settling in Buntingford (London overspill for the pretentious) then Meldreth nr Royston (fake rural living with regular train links to London) then Godmanchester (pretty but chav filled and a £37 taxi ride to Cambridge) and have now settled in Sheffield.
People up here are different, they talk to you on public transport. Difficult to get used to when you have a London mentallity I know. Imagine if you will, an old lady chatting to you about her corns on the tube or on a bus in south Cambs- just wouldn't happen, or if it did you would think they needed sectioning or be deeply suspicious of their motives.
It is a more friendly and trusting environment. Of course there is crime, Heroin and prostitution, racism and students but all of this is avoidable.
There is a burgeoning music scene, easily accesible theatre and art galleries and plenty of choice about the type of hostelries that you frequent. Partaking in any of these activities is certainly less expensive than in the Cams area. Taxis are also relatively inexpensive but the buses-well they cost a fortune comparitively.
I've been here for a year now, in that time I have witnessed or been involved in 3 'agressive situations'(drunken people acting stroppy!), this would constitute a night out in Cambridge!
Moving here was for me the best move I could have made, I have bought a house, which I couldn't have afforded dahn sarf, I love the city and (most) of its people and the Peak District is on my doorstep- oooooh and only 2 hrs down the A1 if i get the urge to pop back --- Bliss!