Why move to France?

So many Brits move to France every year – but what is it that makes so many of us fall in love with France?

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As long as I can remember, France has held a huge attraction for British people. In my own case, I first went to France at the age of 11 to stay with my penfriend Elisabeth at her family home in Paris and holiday home in the mountains of the Jura. I can still remember being amazed at the beauty of both places: the wonderful architecture of Paris, the way the buildings were lit at night, the long tree lined promenades (let us never forget the Champs Elysees, simply gorgeous in its symmetry!).

What is it about France?

The reasons we all love France are many. As one of our friends who lives here mentioned to us the other day, “France is elegant”. Does that ring a bell with you too? Many of the towns and villages in France are beautifully designed - often around a main square with roads radiating out, like the bastides in the Midi-Pyrenees. Many of them remain just as they were hundreds of years ago, giving an immediate feeling of rich history and culture. England and France have in themselves had a history of amiability as well as battles and wars. Now? Well, we seem to have reached a general peace with each other, and movement between each is so easy with the wealth of regional airports across both countries. We feel welcome in France; gone are the days when one worried about not being accepted. Certainly where we live in the South, everyone rubs along together very well and our British friends here, without exception, feel welcome and part of the community.

Large choice of property, food, wine, space!

When it comes to buying property in France, well, we are all spoilt for choice. Property across the country – with the exception of Paris and parts of the Cote d’Azur – is much cheaper than anywhere in the UK. A budget of around £200,000 will buy you a large home with garden and pool in many areas. Where could you do this in the UK? We have friends who had been struggling to pay their mortgage in the UK. They then bought a three bedroom house with large sunny terrace and superb open plan kitchen and living room over here, in a lovely village close to us without needing any mortgage. They have done it right: both are now working, Diane as a mobile hairdresser and Kevin as a general builder. They have joined the French system and have never been happier.

France has long been renowned for its excellent food and wine. We live in the heart of the largest wine growing area in the world: the Languedoc Roussillon. We rarely eat processed food, preferring to buy fresh local ingredients from the many markets here. Eating out is cheaper: you can often find a three course “prix fixe” menu for around €14. 

France is over twice as big as the UK and you really notice it. Having space all around us makes us feel more tranquil, less stressed.I have always been convinced that this is one reason why so many of us love France, perhaps without even realising it. 

Why not join us?

Put simply: we feel healthier living down here in the South of France. And I haven’t even mentioned the climate! As I write, I am looking at a beautiful autumn day with temperatures still in the region of 24 degrees or so and plenty of sunshine. 

There are doubtless many other reasons why France is eternally popular with British people. We would love to hear yours


Further reading for Living In France

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Finding work in France

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in France.
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Education in France

Are you emigrating to France with school-age children?

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Social life in France

The best way to get settled in France is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
Read more...

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Healthcare

The French healthcare system is one of the best in the world...

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