Is the start of 2021 giving you an itch for new surroundings? Finding a holiday home or forever home in France could be just the ticket. As France is generally more affordable than the UK, you could find a bigger property with outside space for less money. So, where are the best places to move to in France this year?
St. Malo, Brittany
The beautiful walled city of St. Malo is in Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany on the English Channel coast. Just a short ferry hop from the Channel Islands, it is popular with English tourists and would be a great place for a holiday home, especially if you’re travelling from the UK. With pretty cobbled streets, historic landmarks and a plethora of restaurants and activities, it’s a quaint place to settle with plenty of great transport links.
Direct ferries run from Portsmouth to Saint-Malo all year round. Saint-Malo also has the advantage of a direct high-speed rail service from Paris (about 2 hours 15 minutes). The entire Emerald Coast is also within reach via bus. From April to October, the ‘sea bus’ offers a regular shuttle service between Dinard and Saint-Malo that takes 10 minutes.
Like St Malo, Dieppe is a fishing town with beautiful French architecture and was France’s first ever seaside resort. Featuring a pretty marina, excellent bars and restaurants serving locally caught seafood and quaint cobbled streets, it’s a charming place to buy your French property. It also has a pebble beach that is surrounded by stunning limestone cliffs, perfect for walking in the winter and sunbathing in the summer. Dieppe’s Saturday morning market was voted ‘France’s Finest Market’ in 2020.
You can catch a direct ferry from Newhaven in Sussex to Dieppe. A train can be taken to Paris directly from Dieppe station.
A city heavily influenced by its German neighbours, Strasbourg is well-known for its ‘Tudor’ style houses and beautiful Christmas markets. Running through the town is the Ill River, which divides and surrounds the Grand Île (Big Island) on which the old town is situated. The island is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Cathedral of Notre-Dame is a particular highlight of Strasbourg. Apart from being extremely picturesque, Strasbourg is a key European city and an exciting and bustling hub of culture.
You can reach Strasbourg from Paris in less than two hours. Strasbourg’s local transportation network includes six tram lines and numerous city buses.
Within the Charente lies the picturesque village of Aubeterre-sur-Dronne, listed as one of “The Most Beautiful Villages in France”. During the summer, the village is a thriving community with butchers, banks, coffee shops and restaurants. You can meander through the narrow hilly streets lined with lime trees and beautiful floral displays bursting with colour. The Charente has always been a popular place for people to settle and there are large diverse communities here, making integration into your new life both easy and welcoming.
This area has great transport links from the UK, including two airports within easy reach and a day drive from the tunnel or ferry.
If you would like further advice on the selling process in France, download your free France Guide.
Why not split the cost and double the fun of owning a holiday in France by buying with family or friends? Read our guide to Buying Abroad with Family
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