A Bordeaux University study has thrown some light on just why it is that so many Brits are selling up in the UK and making home across the channel.
Montesquieu University’s survey of 2,750 Brits who are planning to move to France in the next three years reveals that it is only in France that ex-pats with relatively modest means are able to rediscover the rural idyll that was 1950s Britain.
In an increasingly urban Britain, only the wealthy are able to access the quality of life that comes from rural living – not so in France where many villages are still depopulated from the 20th Century population shifts towards towns and cities. New-comers are positively welcomed as saviours of the community and, if they have children, the village school.
The attraction is not just that property prices are still actually related to salaries and pensions, there is also a nostalgia for old-fashioned British values and way of life. Those looking forward to “La Vie Anglaise” across the water frequently cite tight-knit communities where you can leave your door open and where children can play safely, locally farmed food, low crime levels and the joys of Sunday afternoon cricket on the village green!