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Hoping to Move to Normandy/Brittany

Posted by david brooker-780981 - Created: 15 years ago
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6 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 6)

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Posted by green fingers-780882 - 15 years ago

Dear David and Jo,

I am biased as I live in Brittany - but only 8kms from the Normandy border.

WE love the beaches nearby, and the seafood available from the baie of le mont st michel. Our children 3 and 5 have settled very well in the local state school, with excellent tuition and only 18 in the class (this class covers 4 year's worth of schooling so gives you some idea of how small it is; the class also has a full time nursery nurse, and part time student teacher assistant; The teacher is brilliant with coping and encouraging the children - taking their English language and nurturing the French by requesting instant translations!

On the freelancing, get some advice as you may need to register your business in France, even if you work from home, and also you may need to do tax returns in both countries.

Bonne chance with your project! 



get planting....

green fingers

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Posted by Causette-780879 - 15 years ago

I agree with Bob and CJ's comments... and I can't add anything on schooling.

Normandy is very well served for communication links: Cherbourg, Caen, Le Havre, Dieppe, and even Calais to the Pont de Normandie (huge Normandy bridge over the Seine estuary, near to Honfleur) can be done in 2.5 hours of easy driving along relatively empty motorways.  There is an airport at St Gatien de Bois (near Deauville) which sometimes has flights to London City airport, but only in the summer.

And of course, there is also the Paris connections via 'plane or Eurostar, as CJ mentioned.

And yes, it has been pouring with rain over here (in fact, we had huge HAILSTONES yesterday!!!)  That, of course, is why Normandy is so lovely and green..  but I'll admit that I'm biased, I wouldn't live anywhere else!  And the sun has shone all day here...  fingers crossed for tomorrow, when all the veterans are on parade for VE day commemmorations.





JudyM (14)

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Posted by jane-780853 - 15 years ago

the term "private school" is often applied to Catholic schools where fees are payable. However they are nothing like as expensive as UK independent school fees, because the teachers' salaries are paid by the state. Perhaps 10-20% of what you might expect to pay in the uk. For older children in rural areas who may have to board, this expense is also met by the state. All the teenage children we have met in our village will be doing this for the "6th" form.International/British schools are a different kettle of fish, i think, as regards price.jane

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Posted by cj-780870 - 15 years ago

Dear David and Jo

You said it is raining in Surrey and are itching to move, well I hate to tell you but the weather is pretty similiar in the north of france and it has virtually raining rained non stop for over a month now.  Yes we have had a few nice days but dont disillusion yourselves.

I live in Normandy about one hour from the port of Caen which I have never used and 2 hours from Paris.  We generally go to Paris and fly if we need to go anywhere. WE chose Normandy because it is closer to Paris.

We have 5 schools in our town and a place to leave your children from babies upwards (Halte garderie)  I think the state schooling system is pretty much the same everywhere.  I am not sure about private schools, I think they are more in the Paris region.

You really should take a holiday and drive around each region and stay in a few gites.  Normandy and Brittany or huge  and vary greatly.  Parts of Normandy are flat and others are hilly and yesterday I went to look at the most amazing house in the middle of a forest and it felt like switzerland.  Then there are the beaches.  So take your time finding the right place.


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Posted by bob-780838 - 15 years ago

General schooling INFOrmation is available here




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Posted by Priory-780845 - 15 years ago

Depends what you want.

Brittany tends to have clumps of ex-pats and some areas are saturated with Brits.

Normandy tends to be less overdone in terms of ex-pats, although there are enclaves here and there. There's no problem with this if you want to maintain links, but most seem to prefer a form of integration. Normandy is also well served by Ports and the Tunnel is do-able. Bear in mind this is a BIG place though, so I am generalising somewhat.

As far as renting before buying, this has to be sensible for two primary reasons - firstly you can check out an area before committing funds, and secondly, you will have a major time advantage over most other hunters. You would be more likely to end up with a house you want in an area you like.

I think the schools thing is covered on this or the Bretagne sites, amongst others.

I would be tempted to do plenty of research, including visits with legwork.

Bonne chance