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Location, location, location.

Location, location, location.

Old Jul 21st 2020, 10:50 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
OK, that’s good to know. I reckon for us it’ll be a toss-up between Plymouth, Exmouth and Eastbourne.
A long long time ago there was another Location Location Location thread on here in this section and it became the holy grail for those looking to return.

One of the big issues was climate and watching this closer one can see that there are areas in the West Country and Wales that get 'more than their share' of rain.

Many are in the 'shadow' of higher ground, such as Herefordshire (of the Brecon Beacons) Exeter Honiton area of both Exmoor and Dartmoor, Tavistock area (near Plymouth) of Bodmin Moor.

In addition, much of South Wales (Vale of Glamorgan) gets a good share of rain coming in from the Irish Sea over Pembrokeshire without Pembrokeshire necessarily getting hit as its higher ground (supposedly where Stonehenge comes from - Preseli) gives rise to much of the precipitation. Having lived in Cardiff, I can vouch for that. Of course it then spreads across the Bristol Channel and into Bristol and the Bath area.

Here goes:

https://britishexpats.com/forum/rove...9/#post9309303

All that said, Tavistock seems to be a decent spot to settle, as are the villages on the Cornish side of the Tamar and Plymouth Sound near Plymouth. Also Polruan and Fowey area further into Cornwall with good access to Plymouth. I fancy Polruan myself.

Indeed, one seemingly has to do proper research on the ground by staying in areas to test them out for what works for YOU and for US there was a balance to the working in terms of reasonable access to social, pub life, transportation, airports/ferries, doctor's surgery, supermarkets, walking country, scenery backdrop, people of similar persuasion, climate and importantly value property supply in a peaceful and healthy environment.

I didn't get all of the above and it's a reason we have left but there was enough to think that where we settled we gave it our best shot and it was as good as we were likely to get.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 21st 2020 at 11:05 am. Reason: All that said, Tavistock seems to be a decent spot to settle,
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

I am presently resident on Costa Blanca but have lived in many places due to business affairs etc.Price may come into your calculations so I can say that Edinburgh is quite pricey but a very lovely city.Exeter is a favourite of mine.You have easy access to Dartmoor if you enjoy the open air,every bit provides a different canvas,just beware that the mist can come down very suddenly too.Also the west country has the"monsoon season" but if you are from Wales I daresay you are familiar with rain!I am originally from the south coast of England,have lived in Sussex,Hampshire,Dorset & also the East Midlands.If you are considering Scotland,what about the Ayrshire coast which has good links to Glasgow.I have lived in Renfrewshire & liked the Glaswegians who I found very friendly,even being English!Things may change by the time you are ready to move which again will perhaps give you time to decide better.We are all still waiting the outcome of Brexit even after nearly 4 years.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 11:51 am
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
A long long time ago there was another Location Location Location thread on here in this section and it became the holy grail for those looking to return.

One of the big issues was climate and watching this closer one can see that there are areas in the West Country and Wales that get 'more than their share' of rain.

Many are in the 'shadow' of higher ground, such as Herefordshire (of the Brecon Beacons) Exeter Honiton area of both Exmoor and Dartmoor, Tavistock area (near Plymouth) of Bodmin Moor.

In addition, much of South Wales (Vale of Glamorgan) gets a good share of rain coming in from the Irish Sea over Pembrokeshire without Pembrokeshire necessarily getting hit as its higher ground (supposedly where Stonehenge comes from - Preseli) gives rise to much of the precipitation. Having lived in Cardiff, I can vouch for that. Of course it then spreads across the Bristol Channel and into Bristol and the Bath area.

Here goes:

https://britishexpats.com/forum/rove...9/#post9309303

All that said, Tavistock seems to be a decent spot to settle, as are the villages on the Cornish side of the Tamar and Plymouth Sound near Plymouth. Also Polruan and Fowey area further into Cornwall with good access to Plymouth. I fancy Polruan myself.

Indeed, one seemingly has to do proper research on the ground by staying in areas to test them out for what works for YOU and for US there was a balance to the working in terms of reasonable access to social, pub life, transportation, airports/ferries, doctor's surgery, supermarkets, walking country, scenery backdrop, people of similar persuasion, climate and importantly value property supply in a peaceful and healthy environment.

I didn't get all of the above and it's a reason we have left but there was enough to think that where we settled we gave it our best shot and it was as good as we were likely to get.
To be honest most places in the UK get a good amount of rain, so if that's an issue one should avoid in general. Even parts of The Isle of Man actually see less rain than parts of Plymouth but if 300mm of more rain means you get to live in a nicer environment and can save money on property, it certainly makes up for it. In our case having more rain actually meant we got more sun in the end, as we were able to afford a house with garden and managed to save up for a holiday home in Spain. Although Kent had less rain, we would have never been able to afford what we have now and would probably still be stuck in an apartment.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 21st 2020 at 11:54 am.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
To be honest most places in the UK get a good amount of rain, so if that's an issue one should avoid in general. Even parts of The Isle of Man actually see less rain than parts of Plymouth but if 300mm of more rain means you get to live in a nicer environment and can save money on property, it certainly makes up for it. In our case having more rain actually meant we got more sun in the end, as we were able to afford a house with garden and managed to save up for a holiday home in Spain. Although Kent had less rain, we would have never been able to afford what we have now and would probably still be stuck in an apartment.
Not all rain's the same either. Sunny Perth in Western Australia, where I live, gets an average of 733 millimetres of rain annually, while London gets an average of 557. It's something that surprises people, but the difference is while it doesn't rain that often in Perth, when it does it absolutely pours!
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
To be honest most places in the UK get a good amount of rain, so if that's an issue one should avoid in general. Even parts of The Isle of Man actually see less rain than parts of Plymouth but if 300mm of more rain means you get to live in a nicer environment and can save money on property, it certainly makes up for it. In our case having more rain actually meant we got more sun in the end, as we were able to afford a house with garden and managed to save up for a holiday home in Spain. Although Kent had less rain, we would have never been able to afford what we have now and would probably still be stuck in an apartment.
There's no comparison between the amount of rain that the West Country in the main gets and dryer English counties such as Norfolk and Suffolk, even London. In the same way, there's no comparison between the rainfall that the Firth of Clyde gets and that in the area on the East Scottish Coast around say Dunbar.

There are droves of retired folks from Scotland and the North who have chosen to live on the South Coast due to the weather being significantly better.

We lived in Weymouth for five years and routinely checked the difference in rainfall between where we were and just 30 miles inland. The same goes for temperature in both summer and winter. The variations are huge.

This isn't about choosing Spain or Portugal over England Wales and Scotland. It's about being in the UK and where to stay IF weather is a factor and there are HUGE variations in spite of those, particularly in the North saying there is little difference.

Much though I would love to live in Scotland in general, due to the 'atmosphere' right now, I would not choose to do so due to the overall climate, East or West.

Indeed, it makes precious little sense for retired folk to pay the premium on property prices that exists through most of the Home Counties due to London commutability BUT there are areas in Suffolk, for example, where the overall climate can be extremely pleasant, that don't have much of a London access premium because they do not have a mainline station close by. The same premium issue goes for quality schools, particularly state schools.

Eastbourne is in the frame and it doesn't seem to have much of a London access premium but Lewes and Brighton obviously do. As do Winchester, Horsham and Chichester area. Even the Cotswolds has London access (price) issues, particularly prime commuter stations like Charlbury and even Kingham.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 12:33 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Sorry, don't want it to turn into a weather thread and as a true weather god I'm well aware of the factors to consider. Just saying that in my opinion you are still better off picking a place that gets a few more rainy days but can actually afford a smaller house with garden in a nicer environment, rather than picking a sunnier place on paper but are stuck in an apartment. All stats come from weather stations but it's worth nothing if you have 200 hours more sun a year on paper and the home you live in get's no sun (blocked by neighboring buildings, no balcony/terrace etc.). Having more daylight in summer is a big benefit and winter is winter regardless where you really are in the UK. If you saved money on property and can afford more winter breaks abroad, happy days.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 21st 2020 at 12:42 pm.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by spouse of scouse View Post
Not all rain's the same either. Sunny Perth in Western Australia, where I live, gets an average of 733 millimetres of rain annually, while London gets an average of 557. It's something that surprises people, but the difference is while it doesn't rain that often in Perth, when it does it absolutely pours!
Indeed, in the Tropics it generally seems to chuck it down. We've been here now for five months and have only had a handful of rainy days but when it rains it chucks it down so there is enough rainfall for the island to survive off. In the UK folks typically walk around in the rain without even an umbrella. Wouldn't quite work here.

We can, usually, SEE the rain when it is coming here and wait five minutes for it to pass and then venture out. Used to walk around the rain in little Bermuda - where it also chucked it down.

In St Lucia, we lived only ten/twelve miles from the north of the island but had three times the annual rainfall of the north. We could often watch the rain clouds coming in from the Atlantic , hit higher ground and then disburse as they 'saw' the Caribbean on the western side of the island. Micro-climate land.

The UK, in parts, can be very similar and therefore worth checking it. Isle of Wight, extreme west of Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, for example. Milder temperatures too.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Sorry, don't want it to turn into a weather thread and as a true weather god I'm well aware of the factors to consider. Just saying that in my opinion you are still better off picking a place that gets a few more rainy days but can actually afford a smaller house with garden in a nicer environment, rather than picking a sunnier place on paper but are stuck in an apartment.
Why not try to have it all, or close to.

I'm sure that prior to Brexit and a strangled political scene, brain-drain period aside (70s), the number one reason for retired Brits choosing to leave the UK was the weather. So within the UK it is worth seeking out weather compatibles for those who do not choose to leave the UK or are looking to return as a given and want to know where to as a best option. If you are FROM the North, you know what you are dealing with.

#1 thing the English talk about? - the weather. They must be aware of how it sets their mood and chills their bones. If it's sunny today, they complain that the forecast for tomorrow is for rain. No mean issue!

Helen at post #14 above has picked places on the South Coast and none are impacted by pricing problems and are blessed with a generally Coastal climate. It's a good starting point for a general search. As a retired person, the Isle of Wight would also work nicely and fit in the parameters including continental access.

It doesn't have to be an apartment in Eastbourne per se, as there are plenty of village areas around Eastbourne where property prices are amenable. You just have to check access. Same goes for all choices.

As for gardening, you could grow bananas, plump garlic, red grapes and other crops previously unheard of in terms of UK growing.

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Old Jul 21st 2020, 1:03 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Pistolpete2 View Post
Why not try to have it all, or close to.

I'm sure that prior to Brexit and a strangled political scene, brain-drain period aside (70s), the number one reason for retired Brits choosing to leave the UK was the weather. So within the UK it is worth seeking out weather compatibles for those who do not choose to leave the UK or are looking to return as a given and want to know where to as a best option. If you are FROM the North, you know what you are dealing with.

#1 thing the English talk about? - the weather. They must be aware of how it sets their mood and chills their bones. If it's sunny today, they complain that the forecast for tomorrow is for rain. No mean issue!

Helen at post #14 above has picked places on the South Coast and none are impacted by pricing problems and are blessed with a generally Coastal climate. It's a good starting point for a general search. As a retired person, the Isle of Wight would also work nicely and fit in the parameters including continental access.
Of course and everyone tries to find the right balance. For me the West of Ireland is the perfect place in summer (although ideally even South-West Cork) and La Selva the perfect place in Winter/Spring. From experience though is that those who moan about weather will never end up happy in the UK or Northern Europe. Even if you have the sunniest summer, you will moan if the next one is not as sunny, as you say.

Last edited by Moses2013; Jul 21st 2020 at 1:20 pm.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 1:21 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Moses2013 View Post
Of course and everyone tries to find the right balance. For me the West of Ireland is the perfect place in summer and La Selva the perfect place in Winter/Spring. From experience though is that those who moan about weather will never end up happy in the UK or Northern Europe. Even if you have the sunniest summer, you will moan if the next one is not as sunny.
Indeed! Still working with that - and TAX and cost of living - so that's why we are going nomad for the next couple of years until we find a place that is a good BASE. It is going well though and there are worse places to spend lock-down. It does seem that early posters on this thread are trying to do the same thing of having a foil to the long cold UK winters and a favoured place to go as and when.

Eventually, that is likely how we will play it and have a UK lock-up and leave but not ready yet.

Just can't do it in time for the transition period end so we will have to move around in line with the anticipated UK citizen terms of 90 days in 180 in the EU.

So we have to have Morocco in there, to fill the gap when not in the EU and here in the Caribbean (and occasional UK) - it can be VERY cost of living effective and a very healthy diet.

You have to find somewhere that you can't fry an egg on a car bonnet in July/August first - same goes for Southern Spain and Portugal right now it seems.

We have looked at Ireland BTW, and recently, but I just can't find longer-term rental property for the time of year when I want it really anywhere in County Cork which is where we would need to be for access and without a car.

In terms of having a permanent residence, the way things are today, BEFORE any potential tax changes for the UK trying to recoup state expenditure during Covid-19, I would say that a retired couple living in the UK with say State Pensions ISAs and SIPPs and moderate dividends, interest and annual capital gains are better off than in most other reasonable candidate domiciles tax-wise and filing is relatively easy. It all compared favourably with Ireland.

I note that Greece is now going for the tax break seekers with a 7% flat tax to compete with Portugal.

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Old Jul 21st 2020, 1:41 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Billy Conolly, philosopher and comic said, "If you do not like rain, go and live in the Sahara Desert." In my tenth year on the West Coast of Caledonia I have not adjusted to the higher rainfall, and would welcome a return to Arabia Deserta. Especially if I had a nice tax-free-salary.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 1:53 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Billy Conolly, philosopher and comic said, "If you do not like rain, go and live in the Sahara Desert." In my tenth year on the West Coast of Caledonia I have not adjusted to the higher rainfall, and would welcome a return to Arabia Deserta. Especially if I had a nice tax-free-salary.
So Billy took the wrong fork in the road and ended up in California?

Strangely, it doesn't always have to be that way in the isles of Scotland. It seems that the great whites and turtles like it up there and that palm trees flourish in spots like Plockton and maybe even Tobermory. But then there is Winter and storms.

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Old Jul 21st 2020, 3:04 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
OK, that’s good to know. I reckon for us it’ll be a toss-up between Plymouth, Exmouth and Eastbourne.
I thought about your Exmouth question again. As I see it, much of the West Country is now occupied by the silver-haired brigade - largely as it turns out they are incomers. However, having established themselves, they like the way things are and are reluctant to have things change so they don't pressure, through their influence, local councils to add 'amenities'.

Local councils, from where I sit, have precious little vision to do anything other than simply build houses and as result, 'locals' then have to drive a distance to their place of work because the work does not tend to move into these West Country areas, in fact far from it, jobs are routinely disappearing. The only growth I witnessed was in the Dairy Crest Davidstow cheese factory.

The West Country is big on food production and processing but owners are routinely cutting.

So one ends up with townships with poor quality low paying often part-time jobs. This can significantly colour the landscape.

SO, if there is a beef relating to the good folks of places like Exmouth, it is that they are rather complacent, some would say selfish, as they are NOT looking out for the interests of the community at large and particularly those trying to 'come up' in life.

It can very very pervasive, and you see it along the coast in Plymouth, Torquay, Weymouth, Dorchester, Bournemouth in part (aside from the Uni and JPMorgan) because there just aren't any jobs. There is precious little if any inward investment and that is in part because the liberal creative classes would have zero interest in living there. They head to Bristol and Exeter and their suburbs, which includes Bath (sorry Bath!).

I'm sure that is why many give these places a wide berth. As I said, and as Moses suggests, there has to be a balance in one's own estimation of places and how it works for YOU.

Last edited by Pistolpete2; Jul 21st 2020 at 3:16 pm. Reason: ​​​​​​​The West Country is big on food production and processing but owners are routinely cutting.
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Old Jul 21st 2020, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Our island (Bute) welcomes incomers. Most of us know that depopulation is a real threat to us on the islands of Scotland. Only this morning i was delighted to see a group of young Syrians on an excursion from Rothesay to Mount Stuart.

("Welcome, sisters," in Arabic) اهلا وسهلا اخواتي

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Old Jul 21st 2020, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: Location, location, location.

Originally Posted by scot47 View Post
Our island (Bute) welcomes incomers. Most of us know that depopulation is a real threat to us on the islands of Scotland. Only this morning i was delighted to see a group of young Syrians on an excursion from Rothesay to Mount Stuart.

(Welcome, sisters," in Arabic") اهلا وسهلا اخواتي
(It's a lot about the West Country but bearing in mind the region is ALL west of a line likely drawn from Cheltenham to Winchester, it covers lot of space of significant interest if only because it can be more favourable in terms of housing and living costs)

I'm not saying the incomers aren't welcome, up to a point, in the West Country. Many love the region and the locals and want to contribute.

However, they seem to have replaced a section of the population who have left as they can't make a go of the available employment in small-time house building, farming, fisheries or tourism because it doesn't pay the bills in terms of housing in particular.

However also, as incomers, they are not necessarily sensitive to the issues facing the 'indigenous,' if you will, population. There is a perceived responsibility there. Buy local, support local businesses and try to put money and perhaps effort into the local community generally and think generally along those lines.

There are spots in the West Country that seem to do this particularly well and it's important - Frome springs to mind. Totnes is in another league.

The prognosis for the West Country is slightly different to Bute's.

There are still plenty of incomers wanting to move into the West Country as suitable accommodation presents itself.

If the incomers are just part-timers and bring in their supplies from Waitrose in the Edgware Road or as was seen this last week, no-show in large numbers at local restaurants which are fighting for their very survival, the problems will continue.

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