BoyardvilleOK, you have decided that you want to buy a home in France – but where? There has been a lot of publicity about the Dordogne area featured in the TV series “Little England” that focuses on the British Expatriates residing in the Dordogne area. In reality, perhaps Dordogne is vaguely the area featured – it seems to stretch up into the Limousin, and down into the Midi-Pyrenees region. Still a lovely area of France. Perhaps looking at the neighbouring areas is worthwhile as property prices are cheaper. A recent report suggests that the SW France is indeed a very popular area. Here are the findings:

The study, carried out by INSEE, reveals that Brits are in the majority among “foreigners” in this part of the country. According to the research there are now 16,000 Britons in the Aquitaine region, and when expanded to include the neighbouring departments of Gers, Charente and Charente-Maritime the number could double.

Aquitaine is, of course, home to the perennially popular ‘Dordogneshire’, so this perhaps comes as no great surprise. In fact, according to the INSEE report, of all the Brits living in France, the majority (7,200) have made the Dordogne department their home. In certain areas, such as Eymet and Verteillac, Brits account for more than 8% of the population. In 2011, 78% of the 289,000 passengers who passed through Bergerac airport were British.

However, the study also revealed a marked change in the profile of those making the move. While traditionally the focus has been on retirees moving to France to enjoy their golden years, there is now a new breed of younger buyers leading the way.

Furthermore the report highlights another region of France that remains very popular: Lower Normandy …

A separate study also revealed that Britons represent the largest “foreign” population in Lower Normandy, now home to 7,000 British residents. Between 1999 and 2009 the British contingent almost tripled as buyers were drawn to the region’s more rural areas. Yet in contrast to the new wave of younger buyers in the south-west, 45% of Britons in Lower Normandy are retired and more than half are aged 55 and over.


Both of these areas are quite green – so rain is possible. The Dordogne will certainly get long hot sunny summers but in the winter it can get cold! The Charente-Maritime has a microclimate that is similar to the south of France – so plenty of sun and mild winters. However, property near the coast is more expensive.

Neighbouring Poitou-Charentes Video
Discover the world of an Estuary: the water, unusual sunlight and enjoy the changing colors of the landscape around the islands … Discover the Palmyre Zoo , the most visited in France. With its 14 hectares of pine forests, the largest zoological park pays.Also the Aquarium of La Rochelle, located in the heart of La Rochelle, close to the Old Port, one of the largest aquariums in Europe.

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