North-East France

The north eastern corner of Fance is a varied region, touching the English Channel and Belgium in the north and Germany and Switzerland in the east. It is easily accessible from the UK, and is rich in history - with medieval history and World War battlefields. The most popular regions in the North East tend to be Champagne-Ardenne and Alsace-Lorraine and Franche-Comte.
 

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Champagne-Ardenne

 
The region is of course well known for its sparkling white wine, and is something of a tourist area. It is easily accessible by car, and there are a number of restoration properties still to be found. The area is home to many Parisian commuters, mean the ‘Champagne triangle’, encompassing Reims, Epernay and Chalons-en-Champagne are more expensive that you would expect – this is largely because the TGV fast speed service means the journey to Paris takes only 45 minutes.
 
There is much more to the region that ‘bubbly’ – 26 of France’s kings were crowned in the Gothic Cathedral in Reims, the regional capital. The countryside here is fruitful, with numerous vineyards champagne houses and the smaller viticulteurs. Troyes, a previous capital of the region, is constructed so the layout of the town centre resembles a Champagne cork.
 
The area is also well-known for its great forests and picturesque 16th century towns. Epernay, the real centre of champagne production – home to Moet et Chandon’s maison – is a popular with buy-to-let investors, and many British and American visitors each year. The climate of this area is mild though humid and it is reasonably close to the Channel.
 

Top Tips

 

Reims is one of the priciest locations, thanks to growing tourism, the wine industry and thriving employment, but demands for relocation do make this a sound investment. The market for second homes is growing, although still less marked than many other areas of France.

 

Getting there

 

Ryanair flies to Charleroi and Reims from Glasgow, Liverpool and Stansted, and British Airways, Air France and Flybe all operate from various UK airports to Paris where there are various connections via air, rail and road to Champagne-Ardenne.
 
TGV trains serve Reims, whilst SNCF services operate between Paris and Reims, Chalons-sur-Champagne, Troyes and Charleville-Mexieres. Eurostar serves Lille-Europe from London and from there SNCF services go to Champagne-Ardenne.
 
The region is easily accessible by road via the A26 straight from Calais to Reins. You can take the N43 to Charleville-Meziers, and from Paris, the A4 runs straight to Reims and the N51 runs from Reims to Eprnay.

 

Alsace-Lorraine and Franche-Comte


This area is especially worth consideration if you are searching for a cosmopolitan area with special interest for ‘buy to let’ investment. Much of Alsace is German speaking, and Strasbourg has a multi-national population.
 
Alsace borders Germany in the north east of France, with its own particular traditions and even its own Germanic language, Alsatian or Allemanic. The regional capital is Strasbourg, which has for centuries linked northern Europe with Mediterranean Europe; it is also the seat of the European Parliament and is an important centre of engineering and manufacturing.
 
Franche-Comte shares its boundary with Switzerland and is an area of forests and pastures, wide open spaces, mountains, forests (43% of the land) and rushing waters. Notable towns include Lons-le-Saunier, Besançon and Belfort. It is best known as a wine-trading centre, specialising in Alsatian wines.
 
The area is largely cosmopolitan with great buy-to-let investment potential. The constant influx of workers ensures profits are made on sales. The Jura is established gite country, and the vast swathes of forest make it a lovely relaxing location.
 
The TGV service upgrade means that journey times are far shorter than they were, meaning an area that was not very popular with British buyers is now a ‘hot spot’.
 

Top Tips

 

Service and tertiary industries provide employment in these regions, and half of France’s toys and 80% of the country’s eye wear is produced in Franche-Comte’s Jura department. There are some popular gite areas with good short-term rental possibilities in both areas. You are also close to some excellent Alpine ski resorts.

 

Getting there

 

Ryanair flies from Charleroi from Glasgow, Liverpool and Stansted. Air France flies from Gatwick, Glasgow, Norwich, Humberside and Liverpool to Strasbourg, and EasyJet fly to Mulhouse. Nearby Geneva is served by Swiss Airlines from London City and Heathrow, Air Lingus from Cork & Dublin, Air France from London City, British Airways from Heathrow, and EasyJet, Flybe and Jet 2 also fly to Geneva.
 
TGV trains service Nancy, Metz and Strasbourg from Paris Gare d l’Est. Gare de Lyon operates services to Bescancon. Eurostar serves Lille from London, and from there TGV services run on to Besacon. From Lille-Flanders, there is a direct train to Metz.
 
If driving, you can take the A26 straight through to Reims, and from there the A4 continues to Metz and Strasbourg. From Metz take the A31 south to Nancy, and for Besancon follow the A26 from the Channel ports or the A5 from Paris to Troyes, continuing on the A5 and the A31 for Dijon, changing on to the A39 and then the A36. From Paris runs through Reims to Metz and Strasbourg.


Further reading for Buying In France

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Viewing Guide

Finding the right property and can be a challenge. What do you need to think about early on?
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Legal Matters

Buying a property in France has very different legal requirements to the UK. 

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Hidden Costs

Spending tens and even hundreds of thousands of pounds on a property in France is a HUGE decision.
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Currency Zone

Did you know that you could save thousands of pounds when emigrating by using a currency specialist?
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Don't forget to download your own copy of the France Buying Guide, your guide to successfully purchase a property in France
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Don't forget to download your own copy of the the Currency Specialists Guide to buying overseas property and consider how to protect yourself financially. 
Download the Guide


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We can put you in touch with a trusted agent in your desired area, who will immediately send you example properties so that you can clearly define what you are looking for in a property.
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