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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I was wondering if any of you currently living in Brittany (or those of you that have a knowledge of it) could tell me some nice places to live.

I'm going to be moving there in the next year or so and would like to find someplace nice but don't know where to start.

I'm looking for a small, quaint, old port town right on the ocean preferably close to a larger town. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Also, does anyone know where I can find some good quality information about different regions in Brittany or where I may find information on the type of town I'm looking for?

Thank you all in advance for your time!
 

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Have you visited Brittany? You certainly should not move to another country, or another area in another country, without visiting - preferably more than once.

Do you speak French, or have you started to learn?

Have you figured out what kind of visa you will need, and do you need to find work?

Just trying to set up some of the issues you will need to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you visited Brittany? You certainly should not move to another country, or another area in another country, without visiting - preferably more than once.

Do you speak French, or have you started to learn?

Have you figured out what kind of visa you will need, and do you need to find work?

Just trying to set up some of the issues you will need to deal with.
Hi!

Thanks for your response. I live in the south of france, have lived here for 2 years and speak french quite well.

A visa is not the problem seeing how I'm a french citizen :)

I have visited Brittany once but have always wanted to live there. I just need to figure out where in Brittany.

For work, I will have my own electrician/plumbing business.

I was hoping someone here knew a bit about brittany or where I can find some material on it regarding its different areas.
 

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Even the "larger towns" in Britanny tend to be small towns - so if you want to be in a port town on the coast, I'd start with Brest. Haven't been to Quimper yet but that's another option.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Erquy is in the Côtes d'Armor--tiny, quaint, right on La Manche and an hour from St. Malo. I spent one of the best weeks of my life there (in February, so that's saying something!), so I may be biased.

If you can get the time off work, why don't you rent/borrow/steal a car and go on a reconnaissance road trip? It seems more efficient than asking us friendly Internet strangers. :p
 

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you are going to have an electrical/plumbing business
that's a neat trick ...how did you get the french qualifications to do that ?
 

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Paimpol, Lannion, Lezardrieux, Morlaix, Roscoff, Plouha , St Brieuc, Douarnenez, there is so much coast in Brittany and many pretty medieval market towns, just pick a small section, take some time and explore it.
 

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I'm looking for a small, quaint, old port town right on the ocean preferably close to a larger town.
My opinion might not have too much value, as we're not living in Brittany for now. But I think I get an idea of what you're after - we're looking at something not so different, although for different reasons.

My best advice would be, if you plan to make a move to anywhere, it will be a big change to make, in time and costs too. Would it not be possible, and a very good investment in your future, to go and look at a few places first?

It's a comparatively small investment to do that, even if you have to take a week or two to just get a superficial feel of different locations. Better to give yourself the best chance to be happy with your choice, less chance of making a bad decision, and you will surely get a feel for some places quickly or at least perhaps a feel for those places you can rule out! :)

It seems to me that Brittany varies significantly in every department.
Much depends too on what your needs are - a larger town is how large, how near to it should you be?

We have been to a good part of the Brittany coast in winter to see where we liked best, even in winter. Even now though, we need to return to narrow down our options further, although if we choose Brittany I think it will be in the north.

You talk of old, quaint port towns. That seems to rule out more industrialised ports like Lorient in the Morbihan. It's warmer down there than the rest of Brittany too.

Do you mean a working fishing port, or just an old port with mostly leisure craft? There can be quite a different ambience between the two.

There are so many choices, at least there seems to be. To thin them down, why not focus on what you know you want? If that means a small town right on the water, near a larger town, as you have described - for me, small town means perhaps around the 10,000 or so people or less, with easy access to a bigger town of 50,000 or so, which must have very good transport connections. I want it to be no more than about an hour or so away from a big regional centre (Brest, Rennes, etc).

Whatever your personal criteria, you can then start to eliminate some choices. You might say ( just as an example) Morlaix (15,000) is a bit bigger than the port town I was looking for, but not big enough for my big town needs, and it's not very close at all to a bigger town. So maybe (for me, anyway) that would rule that out. Then again, you might decide - "I don't care about my criteria, I love it and I'm going to live here!". (Sorry to be unhelpful, but what we like is such a personal thing!) :p

Still, there are so many choices you need to thin it down somehow, so perhaps we should go back to your basic criteria - small port near a larger town. You may also want to consider travel time and population in the surrounding area for your business and number of prospective customers of course.

Using this method, for me, I'd rule out Roscoff too - just too far away from a big enough town. Lannion (20,000) is not quite big enough for me, to be my local "big" town either, so ports near there would be off the list for me. Your criteria may be quite different, or not. :) Towns of this size might have most, or even everything you need, but bigger ones will have more choices, more variety, more local facilities, more prospective clients too.

In Finistere, very small working fishing ports like Le Conquet (about 2500 people) are nice for a visit, and Brest is nearby but would you really want to live there? It can be very quiet in winter, and exposed to the Atlantic. The weather can add up to a certain drudgery after a few months of grey, blustery winter - maybe different from what you are used to in the south.

As an ex-lighthouse-keeper and professional fisherman before turning into a public servant, that coastline appeals to me, but Le Conquet would be too quiet for my wife and maybe even for me, although I do like the feel of it and the areas around it. It's close to Brest (140,000) which although it has everything needed, holds no great appeal for us at all. Finistere can be a bit "out there", especially in winter. So Le Conquet would be off the list for us.

Douarnenez (15,000), is a bigger town, but still a port, not very quaint or picturesque at all though (to me), maybe a half hour to the north of Quimper (65,000). It has a grey feeling to me, more than many other places. Nice people, but something puts me off the town. But there is more to do there than in Le Conquet for example, and wherever you go, you will be living there every day! Even so, it would not be my choice.

Concarneau (20,000), still a medium size working port, half an hour to the south of Quimper - but although a little milder there, it can be pretty touristy too, and I don't find the coast especially attractive there. But that's just my taste - you might feel quite differently!

Unfortunately I don't know Quimper having only driven through it.

Did you have thoughts of living in sight of the water?

Although I love Finistere, the Cotes-d'Armor seems both more practical and less prone to wild weather - it is one of our favoured areas that we'll be looking at again more closely. St Brieuc is a normal, good size, working town (50,000), good facilities and connections, less touristy in summer than some other towns.

Perhaps somewhere like Paimpol would fit - a working fishing port (8000), again though, quite touristy in summer, not so far from St Brieuc. Nothing like the ruggedness of Finistere and more developed than Le Conquet, but a good feel even so. Erquy (4000) is quite different, a lot smaller, but still well located, and has a different type of charm, and slightly quicker access to St Brieuc. But you'd have to visit them to see which appealed to you.

For me, I'd like to keep the distance to my large-ish local town at about 30 minutes or so away, not much more than that.

In terms of work, is there any way (associations, etc) that you could enquire about the demand for your services in given areas in Brittany? Of course google will give you some images, wikipedia entries and generally an Office du Tourisme website as well as more practical community websites for each town you look at, as well as much more.

Because I want to be sure the facilities are there for us, I also look and see what supermarkets are where. Not just for shopping but also as a most basic guide to the level of people in the area - you can zoom in on areas on this map: https://www.google.com.au/maps/search/supermarkets+in+france/@48.6311718,-2.9207182,10z?hl=en

You can see there are a lot say at St Brieuc, and also at Lannion - but I'd rule out Lannion and the small ports local to it, same for Morlaix, as it's not a big enough regional centre for me to have as my local big town.

I'll also use google maps to check the distance and travel time - do you really want to drive that far between towns every day, in winter too? It may help if you think of how far you would like to travel, to work, regularly.

Does it have to be Brittany? A lot of Bretons would maybe say that Le Croisic (4000) is in what is historically Brittany (although it's in Loire-Atlantique of course) - small, quaint, working port. I like Le Croisic and the area generally, lots of variety, but the area generally does feel a lot more urbanised, and certainly a bit more up-market. Close to St Nazaire (70,000), not all that far to Nantes (600,000) either - may be worth considering. although it may be more expensive, you might be able to charge more!

All the comments above, only reflect my opinion of course - and that may be so different from what you feel, or need. Although it might help give you a basic idea, you'd be silly to judge what you might like from what others feel for a place - you are the one that will have to live in a place, and live with the consequences! :)

Wherever you choose, I'd urge you to research first, as you are! :)

But most importantly, go there and see a few places first! :)
 

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Hi all,

I was wondering if any of you currently living in Brittany (or those of you that have a knowledge of it) could tell me some nice places to live.

I'm going to be moving there in the next year or so and would like to find someplace nice but don't know where to start.

I'm looking for a small, quaint, old port town right on the ocean preferably close to a larger town. Do any of you have any suggestions?

Also, does anyone know where I can find some good quality information about different regions in Brittany or where I may find information on the type of town I'm looking for?

Thank you all in advance for your time!
Quimper (pop 60,000) may tick your boxes, but it isn't necessarily that "small" (although it's not large either). Brest is honestly a bit unsightly, so I wouldn't recommend living there (it was completely bombed in WWII, as I'm sure you're aware of, and everything is very industrial now). Morlaix (pop. 16,000) is also a really beautiful town, and has a good train station with daily trips to Paris. Carantec, next to Morlaix, is right on the coast, but it's a bit more "higher-end" with houses in the millions of euros. I live in a town called Plouescat, which is about 35 minutes from Morlaix by car - it's very rural, but absolutely stunning. The color of the water is unreal, and the white sand beaches are never ending. Most coastal towns here are around 5,000 people in population, and if you want a bigger town, look at Quimper or Morlaix.
 

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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Vannes in Morbihan. Population 50k or so. On the south-east coast, so not as chilly as the Northern areas. Town is medieval with a harbour for smaller boats almost right in the centre. Worth looking at IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
you are going to have an electrical/plumbing business
that's a neat trick ...how did you get the french qualifications to do that ?
Hi lebesset,

To get my certification, I will be taking a formation provided by AFPA. It's an organization that specializes in helping adults learn and get certified in the trade that they want.

To start a plumbing business, you need a CAP which AFPA provides, which is what I'm doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Vannes in Morbihan. Population 50k or so. On the south-east coast, so not as chilly as the Northern areas. Town is medieval with a harbour for smaller boats almost right in the centre. Worth looking at IMO.
Thank! Definitely going to take a look at it :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
My opinion might not have too much value, as we're not living in Brittany for now. But I think I get an idea of what you're after - we're looking at something not so different, although for different reasons.

My best advice would be, if you plan to make a move to anywhere, it will be a big change to make, in time and costs too. Would it not be possible, and a very good investment in your future, to go and look at a few places first?

It's a comparatively small investment to do that, even if you have to take a week or two to just get a superficial feel of different locations. Better to give yourself the best chance to be happy with your choice, less chance of making a bad decision, and you will surely get a feel for some places quickly or at least perhaps a feel for those places you can rule out! :)

It seems to me that Brittany varies significantly in every department.
Much depends too on what your needs are - a larger town is how large, how near to it should you be?

We have been to a good part of the Brittany coast in winter to see where we liked best, even in winter. Even now though, we need to return to narrow down our options further, although if we choose Brittany I think it will be in the north.

You talk of old, quaint port towns. That seems to rule out more industrialised ports like Lorient in the Morbihan. It's warmer down there than the rest of Brittany too.

Do you mean a working fishing port, or just an old port with mostly leisure craft? There can be quite a different ambience between the two.

There are so many choices, at least there seems to be. To thin them down, why not focus on what you know you want? If that means a small town right on the water, near a larger town, as you have described - for me, small town means perhaps around the 10,000 or so people or less, with easy access to a bigger town of 50,000 or so, which must have very good transport connections. I want it to be no more than about an hour or so away from a big regional centre (Brest, Rennes, etc).

Whatever your personal criteria, you can then start to eliminate some choices. You might say ( just as an example) Morlaix (15,000) is a bit bigger than the port town I was looking for, but not big enough for my big town needs, and it's not very close at all to a bigger town. So maybe (for me, anyway) that would rule that out. Then again, you might decide - "I don't care about my criteria, I love it and I'm going to live here!". (Sorry to be unhelpful, but what we like is such a personal thing!) :p

Still, there are so many choices you need to thin it down somehow, so perhaps we should go back to your basic criteria - small port near a larger town. You may also want to consider travel time and population in the surrounding area for your business and number of prospective customers of course.

Using this method, for me, I'd rule out Roscoff too - just too far away from a big enough town. Lannion (20,000) is not quite big enough for me, to be my local "big" town either, so ports near there would be off the list for me. Your criteria may be quite different, or not. :) Towns of this size might have most, or even everything you need, but bigger ones will have more choices, more variety, more local facilities, more prospective clients too.

In Finistere, very small working fishing ports like Le Conquet (about 2500 people) are nice for a visit, and Brest is nearby but would you really want to live there? It can be very quiet in winter, and exposed to the Atlantic. The weather can add up to a certain drudgery after a few months of grey, blustery winter - maybe different from what you are used to in the south.

As an ex-lighthouse-keeper and professional fisherman before turning into a public servant, that coastline appeals to me, but Le Conquet would be too quiet for my wife and maybe even for me, although I do like the feel of it and the areas around it. It's close to Brest (140,000) which although it has everything needed, holds no great appeal for us at all. Finistere can be a bit "out there", especially in winter. So Le Conquet would be off the list for us.

Douarnenez (15,000), is a bigger town, but still a port, not very quaint or picturesque at all though (to me), maybe a half hour to the north of Quimper (65,000). It has a grey feeling to me, more than many other places. Nice people, but something puts me off the town. But there is more to do there than in Le Conquet for example, and wherever you go, you will be living there every day! Even so, it would not be my choice.

Concarneau (20,000), still a medium size working port, half an hour to the south of Quimper - but although a little milder there, it can be pretty touristy too, and I don't find the coast especially attractive there. But that's just my taste - you might feel quite differently!

Unfortunately I don't know Quimper having only driven through it.

Did you have thoughts of living in sight of the water?

Although I love Finistere, the Cotes-d'Armor seems both more practical and less prone to wild weather - it is one of our favoured areas that we'll be looking at again more closely. St Brieuc is a normal, good size, working town (50,000), good facilities and connections, less touristy in summer than some other towns.

Perhaps somewhere like Paimpol would fit - a working fishing port (8000), again though, quite touristy in summer, not so far from St Brieuc. Nothing like the ruggedness of Finistere and more developed than Le Conquet, but a good feel even so. Erquy (4000) is quite different, a lot smaller, but still well located, and has a different type of charm, and slightly quicker access to St Brieuc. But you'd have to visit them to see which appealed to you.

For me, I'd like to keep the distance to my large-ish local town at about 30 minutes or so away, not much more than that.

In terms of work, is there any way (associations, etc) that you could enquire about the demand for your services in given areas in Brittany? Of course google will give you some images, wikipedia entries and generally an Office du Tourisme website as well as more practical community websites for each town you look at, as well as much more.

Because I want to be sure the facilities are there for us, I also look and see what supermarkets are where. Not just for shopping but also as a most basic guide to the level of people in the area - you can zoom in on areas on this map: https://www.google.com.au/maps/search/supermarkets+in+france/@48.6311718,-2.9207182,10z?hl=en

You can see there are a lot say at St Brieuc, and also at Lannion - but I'd rule out Lannion and the small ports local to it, same for Morlaix, as it's not a big enough regional centre for me to have as my local big town.

I'll also use google maps to check the distance and travel time - do you really want to drive that far between towns every day, in winter too? It may help if you think of how far you would like to travel, to work, regularly.

Does it have to be Brittany? A lot of Bretons would maybe say that Le Croisic (4000) is in what is historically Brittany (although it's in Loire-Atlantique of course) - small, quaint, working port. I like Le Croisic and the area generally, lots of variety, but the area generally does feel a lot more urbanised, and certainly a bit more up-market. Close to St Nazaire (70,000), not all that far to Nantes (600,000) either - may be worth considering. although it may be more expensive, you might be able to charge more!

All the comments above, only reflect my opinion of course - and that may be so different from what you feel, or need. Although it might help give you a basic idea, you'd be silly to judge what you might like from what others feel for a place - you are the one that will have to live in a place, and live with the consequences! :)

Wherever you choose, I'd urge you to research first, as you are! :)

But most importantly, go there and see a few places first! :)
Wow, that's a ton of information! Thank you so much for taking the time to type that all out, I REALLY appreciate it. I will definitely be keeping all of these points in mind as I make my choice!

I will definitely visit the few places I choose. The criteria for thinning down my choices that you provide will help me tremendously.

Living in view of the water, yes that's exactly what I'm looking for.

Fishing town...not sure yet :/

Yes it has to be brittany :p

With all the responses I received, I have my research to do. I'll post back later with an update.

Thanks again!!
 

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A few points you may like to consider
There are three types of weather in Brittany-it has rained it is raining it will rain
The winters can drag on not necessarily cold but grey wet and windy;in Finistere it can be past 0900 before it is daylight in the winter
Many of the "little port towns" you refer to are actually ghost towns for most of the year due to Parisians/Brits/Germans et al buying up all the houses for holiday homes so many young families have to move out for work etc.
The plus side is you get so much of the region to yourself except in August but it also means that work can be problematic but as an English speaker plumber/electrician you can probably make a living.I would suggest staying a week in Jan/Feb to see how you would fare.
 
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