Hi All - English couple - Planning move to Lot et Garronne

Hi all,

We’re an English couple living in Languedoc for a few years now. We had some good local friends (French and English) before covid, but sadly they have since mostly died or moved to other regions !

We’re also looking to move to the Lot and Garonne area as soon as we can sell the house, so we’ve not really gone out of our way to make any new friends here.

However, we’re starting to feel a bit isolated and reclusive now, so thought we’d start trying to be a bit more sociable again !

Especially looking for possible future friends/contacts in Lot and Garonne or thereabouts.

Karl and Jane

1 Like

Welcome to SF - there’s certainly a community here!

I’m a part-timer, with a maison secondaire in the Morvan, and a work-life balance that only allows 4 weeks per year right now. We’re learning our way around what life in France might be like, though really struggling with the language. Hopefully some of our full-time residents, especially those in the L&G will be along shortly.

It might be worth mentioning the move to Lot et Garonne in the title, if you can edit that (I can’t remember if that’s possible).

1 Like

Hi Ancient Mariner, thanks for the welcome.

It seems I can edit the title ! Now changed as you suggested.

Yes the language is the biggest struggle/hurdle. We get by OK ‘in person’, but still find it difficult on the phone if it’s not a simple conversation !

1 Like

Hi, Its a good choice of Department 47. The locals are very agreeable friendly. Can you kindly precise which town/village will you be near? I also live in the same department. Regards,

1 Like

Hi Gordon, thanks for letting us know the locals are friendly !

Our intended move is mainly for just wanting a change, a new area to explore, and some more green again ! Here it is mainly vineyards. Plus we’re looking for a good size garden (an acre or so) and anything that has that around here is beyond our price range (200K).

We don’t currently have a target town. Anywhere in the Toulouse, Brive L Gaillarde, Bordeaux triangle would do. The actual property match is more important than where.

We’ve had our house (small town near Beziers) on the market for 3 months now, had one serious offer, but then the bank turned down their finance application ! So still waiting patiently. The market is a bit dead at the moment with the interest rate instability.

If you know of anyone interested in a possible house swap ? - Please let them know !

Regards Karl and Jane

That’s a pretty large triangle! And encompasses much more than Lot et Garonne. And each area has a very different “feel” - Round Bordeaux and Toulouse not at all like L et G. Do you know this part of France well? If not, maybe do a trip, since you already know your place is saleable (so long as you’re certain that offer was genuine - they aren’t always).

Re being sociable, the beginning of September is a great time to find out what’s going on in your area. This is the time that all the associations get together (first or second Saturday/Sunday in September) and have a “fair” where people can wander round, see what’s going on in their area and decide what they want to sign up to. Masses of different types of sports clubs, of course. Rambling groups, sewing/needlework, photography, history, etc, etc. And of course there are always French conversation classes.
Maybe too soon for you this year but bear in mind for next, or once you’re here, wherever “here” is.

1 Like

Hi Sue,

Thanks for writing, and for all the useful information about Lot et Garonne. In fact we have been reading through older postings about this region, and have read a number of your other postings.

Having done so, it does sound like it will be the right choice for us.

We have done a couple of exploritory visits now, and yes, although we’ve indicated a wide area of interest, we have no desire to be close to the cities ! We are definitely in search of a ‘une vie tranquille’ ! and we definitely want to be surrounded by nature. So the rolling hills around the Lot are probably our first choices if we can find the right property.

We also saw a posting regarding the weather ‘funnel’ that runs through the region, so probably would be looking to be located within that.

But until we can sell our house, we can only look, plan and ponder !

1 Like

Your ambition to be “far from the maddening crowds” has often been expressed in the past by British wanting to establish themselves in very rural areas. Invariably, unless you are a “hermit” type couple you might rather quickly learn to regret your isolation.
Consider the availability of pharmacies, doctors, dentists, ATM’s, hospitals, shops etc. (note local shops will, as you probably know, add to your monthly shopping bill.
I believe firmly its a buyers’s market here so as a cash buyer you will be in a very strong position to make correct offers. The French have a habit of overvaluing their long held homes. One final point please be very careful of the property structure, insolation, fosse septique, heating, electrics, roof, plumbing , services and any right of way. Do not consider your Notaire will be much involved with such.
There are resident British professional Chartered Surveyors in most parts of France who are insured and have a reputation to retain. I would now use their services should I move again though its unlikely.


I second the bit about rural isolation. We used to see so many brits up in Bretagne who bought “big and rural” only to be left high and dry when they got ill or their spouse died. It was very popular back in the day to buy such properties and show those “backhome” what your pound bought in comparison but no longer true and many of those big old houses, renovated or not, remain on the market for a very long time. I keep up with the news on my old commune and see currently a property that for many many years was very run down until a british couple bought it and spent the next ten years or more completely transforming it into a huge place. Sadly the wife died and now its for sale, ridiculous price for the area as no one but out of towners can afford over €500k to buy it and in many parts of the region, holiday home sales have slumped because the locals are getting militant against it. I remember it was sold for around €120k before renovation. Things are continually closing down and medical posts are not being filled. I am glad to have got out when I did last year and got a good price for a large property so I could buy this new modern bungalow which is ideal for the oncoming old age.

1 Like

There’s a difference between rural isolation and rural tranquillity. We are 10 minutes by car from our nearest town which has everything one could wish for, yet we could be miles from anywhere. This is very much what Lot et Garonne has to offer - you could be nestled in a valley or on a hillside somewhere but still only be a shortish drive from somewhere like Agen, Marmande, Villeneuve.

1 Like

I absolutely second that. Where we are is completely quiet and rural but we are 5 minutes drive from a village which has most things and 10-15 minutes from a town which has everything. It’s not Lot et Garonne and I know there are huge regional differences in Departements but even so…

Isolation to me would mean absolutely no neighbours within about 500m as people in the the country are, in my experience so far, very supportive of each other, even if it is a bit of a walk to get to them.


sounds like you are better informed than me, but I am aware, unless the price is very attractive to the French for a second home or a stray rate Brit now to buy. But so many communes are taking advantage (for better or worse) to increase taxe d’habitation on second homes up to 60% maximum they become less and less attractive and or affordable.
Consequently as you write it can be very long difficult to sell property (however nice) in the NW of France Years on the market are not unusual.As you say the market post Brexit & the economic climate has considerable changed the market in much of France. Enjoy your easy to run & maintain modern home. A good move !!


Yes, isolated with neighbours is a must, you never know when you might need them. We could have bought very isolated but had two children in primary school so had to consider the day to day of getting them to school as even those out in the sticks, still had a fair distance to walk from where the school bus set them down and again, for collège and Lycée too, a no-brainer for us but we found a central village property but it was surrounded by fields so very quiet and detached.


Hi @Shiba

Think you hit the nail on the head. So many bought huge properties at very inflated prices. Older age or death or sick of maintenance and land caught up with them. Sad really. We’ve not been back long as you know but we have already seen some hostility towards second homeowners and Brits. We did see this just before we left France last time but some are angry now. Even our French neighbour got it in the neck from locals who thought he was Brit in the supermarket as he was wearing a Queen band t shirt. Got a shock when he spoke back. We personally have had nothing but kindness. I think a great deal comes down to speaking the language enough and always being polite. After all we are strangers in their own country

Hostility was one of the things that concerned us before we bought, but the warmth and kindness of people has been fantastic. This afternoon our neighbours spent time helping translate with the (very helpful) stove engineer, then stayed for a drink and we talked about his studies for a history PhD. It may be different in other areas of course. But even those we struggle to communicate with like our Parisian family opposite are warm and friendly.


Oh dear… hostility is something no-one needs…

However, OH and I have proved that one can “kill with kindness”… ie turn blatent hostility into friendship… if one is always polite, friendly, generous etc… :+1:
OK with one particularly difficult individual, it did take a few years… but we got there in the end. :wink: :wink:


Excellent @Stella we do the same. Always polite and kind. Might take a ling time but it really pays off

1 Like

When we moved to Roumazieres, we were not treated to hostility but wariness. This dissipated after a short time and now we have better neighbours than we ever had in the UK.

1 Like

Wariness, is understandable… and works both ways. :wink:

In our own case… despite one neighbour loudly saying he didn’t like Brits, when the Immobilier introduced us … we pretended not to understand and bought the house anyway… what a wonderful decision that was… never regretted it for a moment…
And the village/commune took us to their hearts and we’ve (hopefully) not given them cause to regret it either… :wink:


That name rings a bell… I think we drive through it on our way to Limoges. On RN141 if I’m not mistaken. It’s where the Terreal plant is, right?