Permanent move from UK

Selling up after 23 years. Looking at many Immobiliers for Nouvelle Aquitaine, Limousin, Poitou Charente… Basically South West. Divorced Lady, 60, 1 beautiful dog, no children. No commitments in UK. Lived and worked all over the World, this is last move. Apprehensive, you bet. Excited, little bit. Worried, sure. Getting older makes you less adventurous. Hurdles: not meeting any English speaking people to help me settle in and answer questing that might arise. Advice on actually moving and tops and hints would all be very welcome. Offer on UK home accepted. 3 months to find a place and get moving. HELP.

Hi Jilly and welcome!

Two tips from me:

  1. Chill
  2. Rent first

Best of luck!

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I’d definitely agree with Simon ! Renting is a great way to get to know a region and decide if it is right for you. Trust me - I’ve moved 7 times and am only now (fairly!) settled!

Very few Brits around here in the Albi area Jilly.

Rent with dog for nice property, not many. Thinking of buying RV, and travel around… Good idea?

I’m surprised Peter…I always thought there were loads of Brits around that area…as there are here

But yep…what Simon said.

Dear Peter, I dont want to live in a “little Britain” environment, just knowing a couple of people near me in times of difficulties etc…

Not Albi, Carmaux etc, Bob, they’re all in the cordais, gaillacois and around St Antonin. Almost 15 years in the Aveyron and Tarn and I don’t often get to speak much English :wink:

Yep, rent, rent, rent and get an idea of the areas etc. there are some big differences across sw france and it’ll depend on what you’re after!

No idea Jilly - personally I’d hate it so I’m not the person to ask. To be honest - not a great idea for a single woman and a dog - in my opinion.

Take a look at Seloger or Leboncoin for rental properties.

I’m already on it… Just sent first enquiry to a rental property. Any recommendations of agencies?

Yup…Good point. I’d love it but safety is paramount.

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Hi Jilly and welcome to the forum.

As you wander through the threads and topics… it will help you to realize that most of us have been “through the mill” one way or another…so there’s lots of experiences to call-on… and we are a friendly, helpful bunch… with only the odd spat… just like any “family”… :hugs:

Great idea… rent first… take your time to decide where to settle…

Make a list of some must/must not ideas… and be prepared to bin them if/when the “ideal” property comes along. It is so different here, that UK ideas do not always survive crossing the channel. Spending some months soaking-up the Frenchness may help fine-tune your search.

Little Britain does exist, but it is possible to (politely) avoid it. On the other hand, as you say, having at least one English Speaker “on hand” can be useful… but it is not essential. :upside_down_face:

You will find English is “understood” by French folk, in many places, even if they are shy of speaking it…

Thus, having a go in French seems to bring out their best side… and they (more often than not) will go out of their way to help you (with whatever).

Dogs… have their place in France… just need to take the time to make the enquiries. Friends up the road… take their foxy with them whenever they go on holiday… using gîtes or hotels…

Get looking… and good luck.

(we sold in UK and had 4 weeks to get out. we put everything into storage and camped in our “ruin” with a 2-month schedule to get it ready. Have you thought of storage to give you a little longer ??)

Rural france is quite dog friendly, ours comes with us everywhere without problems. And two houses in our village are long term rentals and both have dogs. Renting is a great idea especially if you don’t know the area well. And if you have no constraints it will be exciting to work out your perfect location.

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Thank you Stella and Jane, very much appreciate you all taking the time to answer me today………

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You’ll be ok here then Jill, my commune has 4500 inhabitants and i’m the only foreigner apparently. As Andrew said the Brits are further afield near Gaillac and St Antonin/ Cordes areas.

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I’d forgotten about St Antonin…
One of my English neighbours here had lived there for a while ; didn’t have a good word for anyone there.

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Welcome Jilly,

I would not advise going the RV route and travelling around if you have definitely made up your mind to move. My wife and I have a motorhome and we travel around Europe a lot, but you only really get to know the ‘tourist’ side of a country. If you want to live in a place, you really have to put down tentative roots to start to immerse yourself.

Travelling around with an RV would be ideal to narrow down the area you want to find a home in - but only from the point of view of ambience and appearance. By renting, you are ‘day-to-day’ living the life but still have the option to move elsewhere if time proves that that is not the place for you.


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All these life experiences are valuable pieces of advice. Thank you Carl.