Ten Reasons to Buy a Property in France After Brexit

Updated on January 26, 2019
BLouw profile image

I ran a B&B and holiday cottage in Limousin, France for eight years and now I'm renovating an old farmhouse to create a gite.

The Beauty Of France

Limousin, France - land of lakes.
Limousin, France - land of lakes. | Source

Ten Reasons To Make A New Life In France If Britain Leaves Europe

Whether you are for or against Brexit, there are good reasons to relocate to another European country now that Britain has chosen to leave the EU.

Britain might not remain Britain for long. Scotland may well choose independence in order to stay within Europe. Would Northern Ireland finally join with the rest of Ireland to stay in? It could be that we're looking at Exit rather than Brexit if England is left behind by the rest of the British Isles.

In the recent referendum 'the people' of Britain were asked whether they wanted to stay in the European Union or not. Of those who voted, almost half voted to remain in the EU but slightly more voted to leave. Whatever happens, half the population will be unhappy in Britain. Many are exploring the idea of leaving Britain to find a happier and more secure place to live.

What are your choices? Stay and try to ameliorate the situation somehow? Stay because you have no choice? Or vote with your feet and move abroad to live in another European country - for at least some of the time depending on what comes out of the negotiations?

Each European country has so much to offer, but I have lived in rural France for almost fifteen years and I would like to share with you the benefits of buying a home in rural France in these uncertain, Post-Brexit times.

A Brexit Boom In France 2018

Recent agreements point to British people being able to stay in France if they arrive before Brexit day March 2019 - or possibly for the transition period of a little under two years after Brexit. All this is creating a bit of a bonanza in the Haute-Vienne and Dordogne where sales are up and houses moving more quickly than ever before. An article in The Guardian reports that "It's been mad" in the Dordogne town of Eymet, and the Brexit effect is making itself known in other parts of France too.

Are you thinking about buying property in France?

Why do you want to live in France?

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Will Britain Become Little England?

Britain will be a very small island with no close allies once it breaks from the EU. It may become smaller still if Northern Ireland and Scotland decide to go independent to preserve their membership of the EU.
Britain will be a very small island with no close allies once it breaks from the EU. It may become smaller still if Northern Ireland and Scotland decide to go independent to preserve their membership of the EU. | Source

1. Stay Connected to Europe

Benefit from all the rights and protections that the EU offers its members:

Human rights

Theresa May has proposed leaving the European Convention on Human Rights. This will leave you at the mercy of whatever government becomes elected in the future.

Freedom of movement

Keep your freedom to move around and work in Europe, you don't know what the future holds for yourself and for your children.

An added extra for anyone moving to France who would like to travel is the fact that you can get into your car and be in Spain or Italy or Germany in a matter of hours.


Benefit from the security of a large number of countries who have belief systems and standards similar to us. Be surrounded by friendly countries who pool their strengths for the greater good.

Safety, standards and regulations

The EU regulations protect our rights, our safety and the rights of animals that we farm for food.


There is a big question mark over the economic future of Britain. Will trade deals be made to keep British standards of living as they are now, or will we be isolated from our biggest markets? (Look at the map below to see just how isolated England would be.)


French pensions are almost double those of the UK. I have just found this out - alas too late. Come to work in France and retire relatively rich.

Save the United Kingdom

Nicola Sturgeon announced a referendum on leaving the UK on Monday 13th March 2017 in direct response to Brexit. Will the Union Jack become the flag of St George?

2. Survive A Possible Recession In Britain

If you are a keen Brexit supporter, you will believe that Britain will stay together as Britain and will become great again. You will believe that there is a whole world out there to trade with, a whole world to form alliances with and that Britain will go from strength to strength. I hope you are right - my pension depends on this.

If you are a gloomy Remainer, like me, who listens to the much maligned experts, you will see Britain falling away to leave only England, you'll see a race to the bottom in trade deals with the previous Empire countries and countries of dubious repute. America might be that special friend - or it might gobble up our industries and enterprises. If you are like me, you will see ten years of uncertainty and recession ahead as England is passed over for trade deals. A recession from which, according to the experts (The Economist, for example), Britain will never recover.

If this scenario plays out and you don't have pots of money, moving to France might mean that you don't starve - which brings me to Reason number 3 - Cheap housing with lots of land. Act now as since Brexit the pound has plummeted and forecasts (by experts I'm afraid) suggest that the pound will reach parity with the euro in 2017.

Where Is Limousin?

Limousin, France:
Limousin, France

get directions

Limousin has some of the cheapest housing in Europe

3. Rural France Has Cheap Housing

Just to give you a couple of examples of what you could own if you moved to our region of France. You can buy a four bedroom, fully renovated house for 140,000 euros with lots of land for horses or for several new houses. There are several toilets and bathrooms, wood burning stove and garage. All in a peaceful, beautiful rural setting only minutes on foot from a fishing lake with beach and cafe.

The farm below in an idyllic setting overlooking a small lake and consisting of a two bedroom partly renovated farm house and an array of other farm buildings that would be ideal for a holiday cottage / B&B complex. It has a large barn and two smaller buildings all with planning permission for conversion to gites. It has spring water and woodland - ideal for anyone looking for an eco-build site.On the market for 145,000 euros.

These are just two of many houses. You can buy a basically habitable house (indoor toilet, running water etc) for perhaps 50 - 70,000 euros. The Brits have been holding off since the Brexit sword has been hanging over us so now is the time to buy!

Farmhouse, barns and almost a hectare of land on the market for 145,000 euros.
Farmhouse, barns and almost a hectare of land on the market for 145,000 euros. | Source

4. Live In An Immigrant-free Zone

(Apart from British immigrants of course!) It never fails to amaze me that a number of British people living in France voted to leave the EU and many of them came here "to get away from the immigrants" in the UK.

Two points especially puzzle me - firstly, they themselves are now the immigrants, although I think they prefer the world 'expat'. Secondly, they are now totally surrounded by foreigners and are in the minority here. Anyway, they also seem to be very happy to move to France.

5. You Can Be Self Sufficient And Survive In France

Lets suppose that the worst comes to the worst - you can buy a house with land to grow vegetables and raise animals, woodland and a well or spring water for less than a two up two down terrace house in Manchester. You can heat water and cook on a wood burning stove, you can light your house with petrol lamps. You can even get a horse or two. And if war breaks out they are unlikely to be gunning for us in the middle of woodland and fields.

A Taste Of Rural France

6. Rural France Is Excellent For Drivers

Rural Limousin has miles of empty roads, loads of free parking and is a great place to drive. No more traffic jams, no more car pollution, no more heart attack inducing road rages.

As you get older driving becomes more difficult so one of the advantages of moving here is that you avoid the hectic roads in the UK. Another advantage is that you are not subjected to tests at seventy.

At the moment it's easy to change your UK license for a French licence, but there may be problems with driving licences after Brexit, so another reason to get here before the Leave date and get a French licence.

7. Good Internet Connection

Limousin is perfect for anyone who can work on line. It was one of the first areas to benefit from fast internet connections.

8. An Agreeable Climate

This is one of the main reasons to move to France - warm sunny summers and bright if cold winters. Say goodbye to miserable, grey, wet winters and disappointing British summers. Spring starts in March and Autumn extends to November so you have perhaps four months of winter. Save money on heating.

Having said that, winters can be colder, if sunnier, than most parts on Britain and, thanks to the government cheating pensioners by including the islands of the Caribbean as part of France when calculating average temperatures, you won't get a cold weather allowance.

9. France Is Safe, Clean And Civilized

For any Brexiteer who wants to return to Pre-EU times, Limousin is the place to be. It's like stepping back to 1950 - No litter, no crime, no vandalism, no noise, no graffitti - rural France is a great place to live and raise a family. I can't tell you what it's like in the outskirts of Paris or Marseilles, but here in Limousin people are really civilized.

People are so polite. When someone walks into a bank or a shop, they greet everyone. People shake hands, say Bonjour, chat to neighbours, swap vegetables and fruit. Children are fabulously courteous.

Pollution in British towns is reaching dangerous levels. You'll live much longer, on average if you move to France.

10. Great Health And Education Systems

The writing is on the wall for the National Health system. People lying on beds in corridors, long waiting times even for urgent care - they hope you die before incurring the costs of treatment. People who can pay are being encouraged / forced to go private. Also, at the moment the NHS is run heavily by an immigrant staff that are highly skilled and highly motivated but they are leaving in droves since Brexit and the fall of the £. Say goodbye to foreign doctors and nurses, say goodbye to your operations and treatments.

Many supporters of Brexit favour privatisation of the NHS (and have said so publically) along the lines of US healthcare insurance-based system).

In France the health care couldn't be better, faster or more thorough. They even care for you before you get ill with preventative medicine and tests. However the health care is not entirely free at the point of delivery. You are covered by the state for 70% but have to pay either yourself or through health insurance known as Mutuelles for the other 30%. People with low incomes do receive 100% cover and some disabilities and illnesses are also covered 100%.

Similarly, the education system adheres to the old fashioned values that many British people who long for times gone by will love. The children are polite and well-controlled, the syllabus traditional and academic. I found it too constraining and not lively enough - but it is up to the parents to provide the extra-curricular activities - sports, drama, art etc

Have I Convinced You To Move To France?

I've put forward ten good reasons to move to France after Brexit but I can think of plenty more - good food, dark night skies full of stars, a natural landscape rich in wildlife, lovely neighbours, cheap and good wine .... I could go on. Why not leave a message in the comments box to tell me why you might want to move to France - or not?

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Is Britain still the place for you?

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Where Do I Find Really Good Information on Moving to France post Brexit?

To get really good, reliable information from people who have taken the time to inform themselves I would recommend that you join the facebook group RIFT (Remain in France Together) or a similar 'expat' online community. This RIFT information document tells you all the basics about moving abroad now, and about what might happen if we leave the EU. You can also look at the RIFT website.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

Questions & Answers

  • We are returning to the UK next month after living in France for five years. We still own a property in France and plan to rent part of it out and use the other part for holidays etc. Do we need to apply for the Carte de Sejour or anything else?

    I am not qualified to answer legal and technical questions about Brexit and refer you to the facebook group RIFT where you will find many knowledgeable people who know as much as anyone about what might happen. My understanding is, though, if you are returning to the UK and intend to make that your main residence, and live there for more than 6 months of the year, then you will no longer be resident in France and so will not need, or indeed, be able to have a Carte de Sejour. I believe that you will be able to come to France as a tourist and stay for 90 days. Otherwise, you may need visas or permits of some description, and I'm not sure if that has been settled yet. You may also need to do something about driving in France, and you'll need health insurance. Of course, if there is a transition period, we've been told that all will remain the same for that time. I hope this helps, but do take proper advice. (Also, take advice about capital gains if you come to sell the house in the future.)

  • To remain in France after Brexit, what are the options other than applying for full citizenship? I'm a property owner and, currently, an income-taxpayer in France.

    You can come and stay here as an EU citizen until the end of March. In this case, you have to find work and be self-supporting. You can then apply for a Carte de Sejour which is initially for one year I think. You will be allowed (under the current agreements) to stay until you have the right to residency in 5 years. Please check this information as the political scene is volatile. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroi...

  • What is the feeling for people who buy a place in France now, but are unable to move in permanently for a few years? I’m in a position to buy outright now but can’t leave my job in the UK until 2022?

    In the Limousin, there is loads of property for sale, and many are second homes owned by French and foreigners. In a region where houses literally fall down, I think they are happy for people to come and look after them, even part-time. A good way to plan for your retirement.

  • As a retired couple on a good private pension can we still move to France post Brexit?

    We still don't know what will happen if we crash out of Brexit, but as things stand, I think you would be in a good position. For a couple, I think (you have to check this) it is 826,40 € per month. You must, like anyone moving out here, do your homework re rights and obligations. Gone are the days that you sell up and drive over here in a van - sadly. https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroi... Hope you make it here and love it as much as we do.

  • Are there problems when someone from the UK that owns property in France passes their property to their children when they die?

    Yes, I think death duties are higher here. They have changed them. I suggest asking the question on expat forums or doing a search on Google. Better safe than sorry. Of course, you could buy a really cheap little house in France and rent out your house in the UK if that's a possibility.

© 2017 Barbara Walton

What are your post-Brexit plans?

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    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      5 weeks ago from France

      Hi Donna, thanks for your post. It is true that moving to France will be very much more difficult if we leave the EU and. One of the great benefits of membership is freedom of movement. It is also true that if you come now you must be able to support yourself - although that has not been enforced so far to my knowledge, those who were not able to support themselves when they arrived might find things difficult now. If the UK leaves, we will become 3rd country nationals, but France has said that those who arrive legally (ie can support themselves) before the deadline - whatever that turns out to be - will be allowed to stay. I hadn't heard about the ability to buy property after Brexit being curtailed, but other 3rd country nationals do buy here - the downside being they have to pay more in taxes. This article is not about HOW to move to France, but WHY you should want to do so. I have given links to good sources of information. Nobody knows if Brexit will go ahead, when, in what form or what the consequences may be. Anyone moving here before Britain leaves must weigh the advantages of arriving here as EU citizens v the many unknown factors that might apply after. It is a great shame that only a few days before March 29th, nothing has been decided.

    • profile image

      Donna Mickleburgh 

      5 weeks ago

      I think this article is irresponsible and incorrect.

      The French government has that UK citizens must be installed in France by March 29 2019 in the event no deal Brexit!

      All Uk citizens will become 3 country nationals and must apply as such and be subject to immigration rules. With no treaties or bilateral agreement the Uk citizens cannot buy property in Europe.

      After Brexit those British citizens wanting to move to France must have a work permit and visa!

      For those wanting to move do so before March 29. You must have a job or be financially able to meet health care costs as well as taxes..currently saying 850 euros per person.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      6 months ago from France

      Hi Dean, I forgot to answer the bit about Brits panicking and selling. I don't think that's the case - I don't know of anyone selling because of Brexit - we are all occupied with trying to get our Carte de Sejours so that we can stay. There is always a high turnover of British people here. Many come as early retired / pre-retired, live here for 10 / 15 years then find they are needed to help with grandchildren, feel they need extra help from their families etc Many Brits renovate houses and move onto the next project or move south or go to Spain or other EU countries. Some come here and just don't settle.

      To sum up, no, you can't rely on estate agents et al. Our futures are uncertain here but people came to live in France before the EU and non-EU people live here now - but you have to be richer and the paperwork is more onerous. On the other hand, getting in before the end of March may be your last chance to move here on the existing terms. It's a gamble.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      7 months ago from France

      Hi Dean, Complicated situation. At the moment nobody knows what will happen. By all means contact the Embassy in France - and UK, but we have not found them helpful. The general idea seems to be if you are legally resident here before Britain leave the UK at the end of March you may be able to stay until you can notch up your 5 years to be eligible for residence. You must be legally resident - filling in tax forms and working or you can prove that you are self sufficient - have an annual income in the region of c. 15K - 20K euros. There is little or no employment, unless you have special skills, in the countryside. Towns may be different - I don't know. Here many Brits set up business as car mechanics, hairdressers etc. It's hard to find employment for anyone here and very hard if you don't speak French. You need to decide if you can take the risk. You could come here and rent to see how things pan out. There is so much to gain if you feel you can survive the gamble. Limousin is a great place to bring up your children. Perhaps take the attitude that you are taking a year out in France. Sorry I can't be more reassuring.

    • IntoEarth profile image


      7 months ago from Yarra Valley Australia

      Hi, I’m a dual Australian/Brit citizen living in Australia. Moving to France and buying my own property in France has been a dream of mine for decades. I have a young family and would love for my children to spend some growing lifetime in France. Aside from learning the beautiful language and we being able to absorb all the wonderful history and arts that come with living in France and the surrounding EU, I ponder the already existing and soon approaching hurdles that so many others are asking with what I believe are more unsubstantiated replies than are facts. What for those foreigners who wish to work. is it possible? What for those who wish to bring business and possibly employment? Why are so many renovated properties now arriving for sale, are Brits panicking and selling before the likelihood of the Brexit fallout? ... I am able to purchase a property without need for bank assistance. However, since the Brexit debacle and no one really offering any convincing assurity regards the complications that will or may arrive when or if Brexit is implemented. I have read by many agents or those making money and lifestyle from people moving to France stating it will be fine to go ahead and buy, but I do feel that most these stories are based on wider hope than are definite fact or perhaps in some cases, a con. Is it wise for all those foreign who wish to move and buy in France to contact their nearest French embassy in order to gain more definitive advice and truth?... Thank You! Regards, Dean.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      10 months ago from France

      Hi Jasper - thanks for your comments. You can buy property and live here permanently - you are still an EU citizen. You can sign up for French health care - you will have to pay one third of some costs yourself either directly or have insurance in the form of a mutuelle. You don't have to keep a house in the UK. You need to make a personal judgement on that. Nobody knows what will happen to health and other rights after Brexit, but non-EU citizens such as Australians and Americans live here and access similar rights to us, but with much greater difficulty. Pensions are much too complex and specialised for me. Can I suggest that you join one or more of the Facebook groups on moving to France and living here such as RIFT where you will find more detailed information? It is essential to do your research but everything bit of a gamble but if Brexit does go ahead, it will be more difficult to move here afterwards. Good luck and do come back and let us know how you got on!

    • profile image

      Just Jasper 

      10 months ago

      We are wanting to buy a home in France and are unsure about whether we will be allowed to and whether we can make it our main home or whether we will need a residence in the UK? Also on health care can you tell me what the standing maybe after Brexit,if it goes through? All so how do pensions work in France,coming from the UK? Thank you.

    • profile image


      10 months ago


      It’s been out plan to retire to France for some 12 years so we bought a barn to convert in 2006 and have been renovating it ever since...we are not due to retire for another 8 years so just wondered what your thoughts were regarding our status/situation post Brexit? i.e. - we own a property in France but still live in the UK??

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      10 months ago from France

      I'm so pleased to hear your joyful story. While it's true that things are not all plain sailing, it's also true that property here is cheap and it's easier to live cheaply here than in the UK. I always start my financial calculations with the council tax - something you can't get out of paying - nd it really is extortionate, even for the most modest terrace house. Thank you for leaving this comment, Mark.

    • profile image

      Mark Brown 

      10 months ago

      Nearly 3 years ago I had a chance of buying a house in the Charente Maritime. We are both in our 40’s and have a house in the UK.

      The house we brought hadn’t been lived in for 12years and took us 2-1/2 years to renovate.

      It’s the best thing we have ever done! Our kids love it and it costs less than a years council tax to run it.

      Trust me don’t delay the journey!

    • profile image

      Phil Wilkinson 

      11 months ago

      Interesting reading.

      As a British guy been in New Zealand for 4 years as a permanent resident gain on my skills as a car mechanic.

      Met my partner here who is French we are coming over to the Mayenne region October 18.

      We can come and go as we please here in NZ but we both miss Europe so we feel its right for us especially the affordability.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      Been looking at Limousin and Dordogne for almost 10 years. Stuck in a pension trap for another year. I may well keep a small place in UK but will buy my main house in France. Unfortunately it will be end of 2019 before I can move... can’t wait.

    • profile image


      11 months ago

      Thinking of moving but 1 of our family members suffers a mental illness & will be on medication for his lifetime. Would the same medications be available in France? What are the French mental health services like? Thank you for any advice

    • profile image


      12 months ago

      Anne Spenser, did you decide to move to France?

      This is interesting.

      Michelle B.

      The Bahamas

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      13 months ago from France

      Sheila, I don't think it has been decided (31 03 2018) what will happen to the pet passport after Brexit or the transition phase. Yet another problem that has not been resolved. There have been some reports that we will be able to take pets after Brexit http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5377055/Pa...

    • profile image

      sheila correll 

      13 months ago

      what would be the difficulty bringing pets into France after Brexit please

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      13 months ago from France

      To Lucy and anyone else wanting to move to France. For specific advice for your personal circumstances you could join a group such as this where there are experts on hand to help. https://www.facebook.com/groups/191540411389482/

    • Glenis Rix profile image


      14 months ago from UK

      The idea of a new life in rural France is very appealing but, alas, it is just not practical for me, a pensioner. For those still working is it not the case that once we no longer have free movement of labour people will find it impossible to relocate if they can’t get a visa?

      Your lifestyle sounds great. Hope you continue to enjoy once we have exited.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      16 months ago from France

      Thank you for this, Blake. It is true that all the pensions, care, benefits, health is a minefield. But so it is in the UK. You do have to top up your health care here - or just pay yourself - but at least that care is available, fast and incredibly efficient whereas on the NHS people seem to be dying on long waiting lists. Yes, do your homework. It is all too technical and complicated for a little article like this. I suppose ultimately you can do what my neighbours did and go back to retirement and sheltered homes respectively, in the UK.

    • profile image

      Jacky O'Callaghan 

      18 months ago

      As I understand it from various websites on the subject, there is no state-funded elderly care in France, and if your assets run out before you die, the state doesn't take over like it does in the UK . Your children - all of them including inlaws - are liable. Thoughts?

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      19 months ago from France

      JWilson - yes, thanks to Brexit our lives may well be left in shreds. On the other hand things might not be so bad - there are non-EU people living here and they seem to be doing OK. Perhaps the best thing to do is prepare, wait and see what is offered then be ready to move quickly if protection is extended until the UK leave the EU.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      19 months ago from France

      Jeannie - yes I must rephrase that. What I meant to say was that many fantastic EU workers are running our health system and if they are forced to go the already struggling NHS will collapse.

    • profile image


      19 months ago

      Nice thinking... apart from after Brexit 2019, you'll almost certainly be an illegal immigrant with no rights.

    • profile image

      Paul Martin 

      20 months ago

      What a load of rubbish, Better pension ? And why did you not say that 51% of your income will go back to the government !

      You make it look as if staying in the UK we are all doomed, And being part of the corrupt EU we are not.

      You need to jog on !

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Hi yes indeed I share your thoughts and fears about post Brexit Britain. The result made me so sad and you have convinced me too. I see myself as a Francophile having visited France many times over the last 40 years I always said I would move there when I left Corporate life. Alas I have yo yo'd around the idea and now its too late as I am probably too old now and would not want to be a "taker".

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Yes, you've convinced me... but I'm relatively young and have another twenty years work in me. My fear is the job market (my work as a gardener, and in general, modern horticulture, is more respected in the UK than in Europe as reflected in wages). And while my partner and I are becoming fluent in French? I'll learn faster living and working there but what do I do for work when I first arrive? Are there lots of seasonal jobs for non French speakers? I don't want a worse job for the next twenty years and end up with a bad standard of living at my age (nearly 50). My partner and I are in such a quandary over this and time is running out! Does anyone have any advice or thoughts. In all honesty we're both quite cowardly but my partner especially, wanted to move to France when he retired. We don't want to be trapped on a parochial island with a crap economy and no escape!

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      20 months ago from France

      Hi, yes, there are lots of British people in Limousin. Partly because it's cheap, green (like the England in Constable's paintings), and rural. There are lots of groups, clubs etc so it's easy to make friends. Local people are generally welcoming. Your work in IT id ideal. I often wonder why everyone who is free to live anywhere doesn't live here. As a muslim man it might be easier to keep a low profile as they will assume you're English. I'm not sure about the reaction to the headscarf. The French do like you to fit in - they will love it if you grow your own veg. Most of the muslims living here live in Limoges and I'm not sure how they find it. I hope this is of some use.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      I was enjoying this article until I read this 'Worse of all, the NHS is run heavily by immigrant staff. Say good bye to foreign doctors and nurses, say goodbye to your operations.' What an awful thing to say. One of the worst things about Brexit is the racism & racists really don't need any encouragement from you. We have wonderful 'immigrant staff' in the NHS a lot of whom are leaving thanks to Brexit.

    • profile image


      21 months ago


    • profile image

      Adrian Hants 

      22 months ago

      Great article Barbara.

      Moving to France has always been my aim, although always thought I'd do it at 55, when I retired from corporate world. However, since taking an opportunity of leaving the corporate world early, through redundancy, I am now exploring this early at 52. The last few months have been spent researching the different options. Huge part of this decision is whether its better to be living in France, registered as such, before any Brexit deal is finally agreed, to be included within any reciprocal agreements for currant nationals of EU countries living in other EU countries. Gut feeling, and from all the many opinions, online, print, news etc, is that this will likely be advantageous to be in this position.

      I completely understand views already expressed, I have been living outside of UK in Central Europe for some years, and now, having returned, the UK is less appealing now than ever. Politically, I can see UK pushing morals, integrity and citizen rights to the background in order to do deals around the globe, some with countries that have regimes that are unsavoury say the least. UK ref' has seriously restricted the UKs future generations, the youngsters growing up now and those not yet born, to live fuller lives, contribute to a strong UK economy and have the opportunities we in this generation enjoy so freely.

      All in all, I know that rural France is somewhere I want to be. France is somewhere I knew well in my youth, and has the essential elements that make a place special, people and culture.

      For me, the biggest fear is possibly jumping in sooner than I had planned, and the pressure on time decide where and when.

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      Anne Spencer 

      22 months ago

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts on France, inspired by such. Since my school days, I have loved France and her people. My French teacher was a French man which really opened me to the culture and the language, I also played netball against the French in the 1970’s. This was the beginning of my love for this country I believe and certainly has never left me.

      I am now 56 years old, my children are grown and sadly my husband has passed last year. Not to elaborate, can I ask, that as single woman of my age, do I still have the chance of living in this country I would love to call home?

      I am taking a visit to Bergerac in July to inspire and give me food for thought. Ideally a small cafe (I know many have endeavoured to do this) However I would like to incorporate within this a business. Can you advise me on the possibility of giving drama workshops to school children and students alike?

      I guess this is outwit Brexit - To Brexit or not to Brexit, it was never in question!


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      riz Ahmed 

      24 months ago

      I am too wanting to make the move to rural France but concerned about the isolation and as l am a Muslim the racism l might or might not encounter as my wife (no kids yet) wears the headscarf. I have always wanted the quite life growing my own veg's and looking after animals which is next to impossible in the UK with the land prices. As l work in IT and can work remotely and flights to London are pretty cheap now but after the official Brexit not sure if they will remain soo low. Are there many Brits in the Limoges area as that is the area l want to move as the land prices are cheap.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      24 months ago from France

      Thanks for your comment, Albert. Yes, you're right, but I'm writing about my experiences here.Re health: I know several people who have had major operations here, heart surgery etc. They have seen their doctors straight away, had very speedy appointments for surgery, had three weeks convalescence in special centres together with nutrition advice and even cooking classes to help them with weight problems. You can see doctors and specialists quickly here on the whole. On the other hand only 70% of non-major care is covered by the state so you have to pay yourself or pay for a Mutuelle to cover the 30% and this is an added expense. I have my eyes tested in the UK because I've found the waiting list to be long and the test more expensive than UK, and more trouble to get the glasses sorted. You are also right about the education. UK education is much more liberal and creative. French edcucation is much more rigorous and thorough. The main thing about education here in the countryside, is that all the children are so polite and well-behaved. There are few problems with discipline, bullying etc Another down side is there are NO jobs - you have to make your own employment. The main advantages of living here are the weather, cheap housing with plenty of land, clean air and environment - there is no litter or graphitti - very little crime or traffic and a much calmer way of life. Not sure that I'm a racist as I didn't say the French people were better than the British people - indeed I rather think that people divide in nice people and not so nice people all over the world - but I do certainly think that for our family, we've had a better life here than we would have had if we'd stayed in West Yorkshire. Must go, 29th April at 10am and the sun is shining so on with the garden.

    • profile image


      24 months ago

      You are a racist ! France is great but it's got many of same issues as U.K. re it's health system. UK standard of education is at least as good and schools are much more dynamic in U.K.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      2 years ago from France

      I wouldn't have thought so, Sandra. There are so many of us older people here. I have friends in their 70's 80's and 90's. Your bones will do better in the sunshine and there are great support networks here so you'll find it easy to make friends and get professional help if you need it. If you can speak French that will really help. Many of the older people (like me) struggle with the language. It will be a new lease of life!

    • profile image

      Sandra Crichton 

      2 years ago

      As a widow of 66 is it too late for me to re locate to France.? Kids are busy leading there own lives, I speak French and fancy a change.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      2 years ago from France

      We think that on the whole it it miles better for our family, Jules. Just hope we are allowed to stay.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      2 years ago from France

      The French organised things do tend to stop, Patricia, but I was just listing, to myself, all the things there are to do here, many of which continue through the winter - there are bool clubs, English speaking groups, dinners with friends, swimming pools and fitness centres, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, art groups, pilates, yoga, keep fit classes, walking groups, horse rinding, French language groups, amateur dramatics, volutary work with refugees, the Red Cross etc .......... In rural France manypeople keep animals, grow their own veg, build houses, extend and renovate, create businesses, B&B, do online marketing .............. in fact just thinking about it makes me want to lie down for a bit.

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      2 years ago from France

      I do agree and hope that we can live out our time in rural France. I do worry about the UK as I have family there and, more selfishly, my pension will come from the UK. Now, though, my heart is here in France with the EU. Lets hope Le Pen doesn't spoil this too.

    • profile image

      Jon Alport www.lasouqueto.com 

      2 years ago

      We moved to the Languedoc, Southern France nearly 4 years ago for a new start away from a very dark place we used to call our home. We had no idea then that the UK would shoot itself in the foot, but knew it was heading to a place we didn't want to travel to! Thanks to Brexit, Mediocrity has prevailed. Great Britain it is not...The notion of isolating itself from the rest of the world will drain the country of its International talent. How stupid can you get...or should I say how ill informed and badly educated!! Asset stripped Britain in industry and sport will soon find itself without friends and investors because it will fail to be a brave and dynamic place! So sad!!

    • profile image

      Patricia Egan 

      2 years ago

      Alot of what you say is very true. However people should appreciate there are some downsides that take some getting used to. Rural France pretty much closes down in winter if you need people around you it can get very isolating....

    • profile image

      Jules Holland 

      2 years ago

      Fabulous life-style living and working in France

    • BLouw profile imageAUTHOR

      Barbara Walton 

      2 years ago from France

      As you know, I'm a great fan of rural France. Thank you so much for leaving your French story here, Frances.

    • Frances Metcalfe profile image

      Frances Metcalfe 

      2 years ago from The Limousin, France

      Moved here for all those reasons. We can leave anything out and never worry if it'll be still there in the morning. Our French neighbours are fabulous and are always handing over traditional goodies through the gapin the hedge.


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