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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm a newbie on the forum and would be grateful for any input on my current quandary.

My Fiancé and I are looking to relocate to France either Brittany or Normandy as we would ideally like to be not too far from the UK for visitors.

Neither of us speaks much french but we are in the process of learning.
So somewhere tolerant of what will inevitably be our broken french would be nice !

I visited Brittany when I was a teenager and thought it was very pleasent.
Haven't been to Normandy but the house prices there seem very reasonable.

We're also reasonably young (I'm 28 and he is 30) and would love to make friends with other English people.
That's not to say I don't want to mingle with French people, because of course I do.
But I know from experience that sometimes it's nice to meet other expats (was in Austria and Germany for a number of years).

Any advice or help would be excellent
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hello Everyone,

I'm a newbie on the forum and would be grateful for any input on my current quandary.

My Fiancé and I are looking to relocate to France either Brittany or Normandy as we would ideally like to be not too far from the UK for visitors.

Neither of us speaks much french but we are in the process of learning.
So somewhere tolerant of what will inevitably be our broken french would be nice !

I visited Brittany when I was a teenager and thought it was very pleasent.
Haven't been to Normandy but the house prices there seem very reasonable.

We're also reasonably young (I'm 28 and he is 30) and would love to make friends with other English people.
That's not to say I don't want to mingle with French people, because of course I do.
But I know from experience that sometimes it's nice to meet other expats (was in Austria and Germany for a number of years).

Any advice or help would be excellent
I just wanted to add that neither of us will need to be employed in France.

Therefore we know that we have an advantage over those expats with limited French that may be looking to move and get employed.
 

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There are lots of English speaking expats in Normandy - and on my visits there, I've found the French folks are extremely tolerant of "less-than-perfect" French (especially if you make a point of always starting out in French, no matter how bad your French may be).

Don't have so much experience with Brittany, but I would expect the people there to be somewhat similar - with more Celtic influences.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There are lots of English speaking expats in Normandy - and on my visits there, I've found the French folks are extremely tolerant of "less-than-perfect" French (especially if you make a point of always starting out in French, no matter how bad your French may be).


Bev
Hi Bev

Thanks for taking time to answer my post.

We're definatly the type of people that always try to speak the language of the country we're in. Especially if in residence there.
Glad to know that we won't be laughed out of town for our attempts :D
 

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A pefect place to live!

Hi,
We have now been in La Rochelle for 2 months (the beginning of a year long stay) and we would say--move further south! This is a wonderful city, very progressive, full of things to do (sport, culture etc.) and the climate must be 100% better than Brittany or Normandy. (La Rochelle: Accueil
There is an airport here and Ryanair flys to and from Stanstead several times a week. Nantes which is quite close and accessible by train has Air France flights to London City Airport. We are also 3 hours by train from Paris.
The people here are very welcoming and friendly. They actually have a special Bienvenue a La Rochelle day in which newcomers are taken on a city bus tour and then to a special reception given by the Mayor.
I can't tell you about other expats as our purpose was to immerse ourselves in French life as much as possible. I have been to the French welcome organization (www.avfasso.fr) though and they told me there were quite a few English people who were members.
The La Rochelle city web site is La Rochelle: Accueil
Good luck with your plans.


Hello Everyone,

I'm a newbie on the forum and would be grateful for any input on my current quandary.

My Fiancé and I are looking to relocate to France either Brittany or Normandy as we would ideally like to be not too far from the UK for visitors.

Neither of us speaks much french but we are in the process of learning.
So somewhere tolerant of what will inevitably be our broken french would be nice !

I visited Brittany when I was a teenager and thought it was very pleasent.
Haven't been to Normandy but the house prices there seem very reasonable.

We're also reasonably young (I'm 28 and he is 30) and would love to make friends with other English people.
That's not to say I don't want to mingle with French people, because of course I do.
But I know from experience that sometimes it's nice to meet other expats (was in Austria and Germany for a number of years).

Any advice or help would be excellent[/QUOTE]
 

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Brittany or Normandy

Much as francezoe said, the further south you go the better the weather. Also, though Normandy and Brittany are close geographically to England, they're actually generally more complicated / expensive areas to get to than say Paris (2hrs on the train vs 6-8) unless you take the ferry.

That said, however, I can heavily recommend Brittany (read: Rennes) as a very friendly, welcoming place with a very fine mix of Anglo- and Francophones. Rennes specifically has a very lovely mix of the benefits of a large town, with the charms and ease of a small town. 5 minutes out of the centre and you see cows in the fields etc.

To come back to francezoe's comment though, unless you are well used to gray skies, rain and wind (if you're British you probably are) you may want to wander a little further south.

In any case, if you choose to move in to my area, let me know and I can offer some advice etc.

Good luck.

G.
 

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I am in pretty much the same situation. We live in the US and my wife is from Russia. Looking to possibly move to France in 2-3 years for retirement. I am 33, she is 32 and we have an 8 month old daughter. I'll stay up to date on this thread. :)

Also just saw this is from 2009 lol. Let me finish reading.


Hello Everyone,

I'm a newbie on the forum and would be grateful for any input on my current quandary.

My Fiancé and I are looking to relocate to France either Brittany or Normandy as we would ideally like to be not too far from the UK for visitors.

Neither of us speaks much french but we are in the process of learning.
So somewhere tolerant of what will inevitably be our broken french would be nice !

I visited Brittany when I was a teenager and thought it was very pleasent.
Haven't been to Normandy but the house prices there seem very reasonable.

We're also reasonably young (I'm 28 and he is 30) and would love to make friends with other English people.
That's not to say I don't want to mingle with French people, because of course I do.
But I know from experience that sometimes it's nice to meet other expats (was in Austria and Germany for a number of years).

Any advice or help would be excellent
 

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I am in pretty much the same situation. We live in the US and my wife is from Russia. Looking to possibly move to France in 2-3 years for retirement. I am 33, she is 32 and we have an 8 month old daughter. I'll stay up to date on this thread. :)

Also just saw this is from 2009 lol. Let me finish reading.
Well even if it an old thread.......

Brittany is warmer than Normandy (just) and even warmer than the UK (just). This winter we had one day with a light dusting of snow. The further south you go in Brittany the fewer the ex-pat Brits (and others), pretty much anywhere north of the N24 has ex-pats and ex-pat communities, down here there is almost nothing. We are two hours drive from St Malo, three from Caen and four from Cherbourg. Ferry crossings to the UK are about 6 hours unless you get the high-speed cat boat which only runs between April/October.

Ask away if you have any specifics on the Southern Brittany area
 

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I'm a Brit and after divorce in the UK I moved to our (ex) holiday home near Dieppe. It was a small village of 400 people - very agriculturaL I lived there until I remarried in 2010 and we then moved to the South.

I found Normandie to be rather like the Hampshire of my childhood, cows in the lanes, bike rides to hidden valleys etc. There were plenty of Brits, Dutch and Belgians in the area, but I did not seek their company. Don't go to Normandie for the weather, the rain may be JUST a little warmer, but not much.

Frankly, the ability to converse about the weather, etc is essential if you want to intergrate.

DejW
 

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Lol, thank you all for your replies they are appreciated. I have been looking at Rennes for the first year. Rental and to get a feel for the country and areas around Brittany/Normandy. I am looking into all the things you guys tell me so again,mthank you kindly!
 
G

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Much as francezoe said, the further south you go the better the weather. Also, though Normandy and Brittany are close geographically to England, they're actually generally more complicated / expensive areas to get to than say Paris (2hrs on the train vs 6-8) unless you take the ferry.

That said, however, I can heavily recommend Brittany (read: Rennes) as a very friendly, welcoming place with a very fine mix of Anglo- and Francophones. Rennes specifically has a very lovely mix of the benefits of a large town, with the charms and ease of a small town. 5 minutes out of the centre and you see cows in the fields etc.

To come back to francezoe's comment though, unless you are well used to gray skies, rain and wind (if you're British you probably are) you may want to wander a little further south.

In any case, if you choose to move in to my area, let me know and I can offer some advice etc.

Good luck.

G.
Not entirely sure that this observation about the weather in Brittany is entirely right, when compared to even South England weather.

I am a bit of a weather freak, to the point of owning my own weather station, and so when we started to look at moving to France/Brittany, the weather was one of my points of interest. So much so that I did a daily compare to the weather in Ploudalmezeau (Finistere) and Reading here in the UK.
General consensus after just over a year of observations is that Ploudalemezeau was about 3-4 degrees warmer than Reading, that it rained about the same, but was much windier than my protected little corner here in the Thames Valley.

Just my 2cts... :)
 

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Interesting that you've done the comparisons for the various areas! Just be aware that the last couple of years have been rather "atypical" in the climate department. Though with climate change, it could just be the case that the "typical" climate is what's changing.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Not entirely sure that this observation about the weather in Brittany is entirely right, when compared to even South England weather.

I am a bit of a weather freak, to the point of owning my own weather station, and so when we started to look at moving to France/Brittany, the weather was one of my points of interest. So much so that I did a daily compare to the weather in Ploudalmezeau (Finistere) and Reading here in the UK.
General consensus after just over a year of observations is that Ploudalemezeau was about 3-4 degrees warmer than Reading, that it rained about the same, but was much windier than my protected little corner here in the Thames Valley.

Just my 2cts... :)
My 18 months of living here, watching the weather reports both sides of the Channel and talking to friends in the UK would support these observations. And we are further south than Gerda is planning
 
G

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Interesting that you've done the comparisons for the various areas! Just be aware that the last couple of years have been rather "atypical" in the climate department. Though with climate change, it could just be the case that the "typical" climate is what's changing.
Cheers,
Bev
I figured that the atypical climate was happening in Frnace as much as it was here... :) it's been an unusual weather year for a large part of Europe I think.

Gerda
 
G

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My 18 months of living here, watching the weather reports both sides of the Channel and talking to friends in the UK would support these observations. And we are further south than Gerda is planning

We have actually settled a bit more inland than Ploudalmezeau, which is where we initially looked, but I think weatherwise it will be the same in Cléder as in Ploudalmezeau.

I would have quite liked to have been a bit further south, but the coastline is more appealing in the north :)

Gerda
 

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Where to live in Brittany?

Hi,
Wonder if anyone could help me please.
I'm English and started off in Paris (working as an English teacher for 16 years). I moved to Gascony to get out of the city, I guess on the promise of good weather and a new life. Been here nine years and somehow despite it's beauty have never felt at home. Employment is dire - ended up having to work as an estate agent the only other options probably being garlic picking or packing chickens in the supermarket - to survive here you have to start a business. This is fine, and I could do this, but I'm just not that sure I like it here enough! I loved Paris, but would find it too expensive not to go back. My father had a lovely house before he died near Morlaix. I remember loving Brittany much more than Gascony (I'm a sea person not a country person) and wonder if it wouldn't be the idea place - having a grown up daughter in the UK now. Not sure I could go back to the UK after a life in France (since Uni in 1989). My question really is WHERE. I love the coast. Don't want to be stuck in a lonely place with nothing going on. I don't care about rain (here the winters are so cold despite being in the South). What I do want is to be near a vibrant fun city with stuff going on where I could find work of some kind. I could teach in a school or Uni (qualified). But I don't know which part of Brittany. Makes no difference to me if it is all French, all English or both. Any suggestions? I mean I loved Finistère - but are places like Locquierec only for tourists and impossible to find work in? Would it be better to go to a city? Large town? But where would be a good place? I have a fourteen year old son so I'd need a good lycée. Can anyone help please? Many thanks, Karen
 

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I know people that live in Morlaix, but work in Guingamp (teaching at a high school); another friend lives in Lannion and teaches at the University in Brest. Trains are very frequent. He keeps a room in Brest, but his home is Lannion. Lannion has an engineering school and is a bustling small town. Somewhat to the east of lovely Locquirec. That coast is terrific.Also, there are direct flights in to Brittany from England, various airports. There is a lot going for Brittany, its distinct culture, all those music festivals. Weather wise it is a warmer, less wet Cornwall. I can sit on the lawn in my garden in the summer and late spring and not get a wet bum. My son's family head to the beaches at Locquirec, their favorite.
 

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Brittany Info

Well even if it an old thread.......

Brittany is warmer than Normandy (just) and even warmer than the UK (just). This winter we had one day with a light dusting of snow. The further south you go in Brittany the fewer the ex-pat Brits (and others), pretty much anywhere north of the N24 has ex-pats and ex-pat communities, down here there is almost nothing. We are two hours drive from St Malo, three from Caen and four from Cherbourg. Ferry crossings to the UK are about 6 hours unless you get the high-speed cat boat which only runs between April/October.

Ask away if you have any specifics on the Southern Brittany area

I would love to hear any recommendations of places to purchase a second home in southern Brittany. Would like a town or city that isnt' too big but also has a good amount of activity. thanks.
 

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When you say "second home" - what season and how often do you expect to be there? If you're looking mostly at summer occupancy, there may not be much going on other than "tourist stuff."
Cheers,
Bev
 
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