Print Posted By Lost in France on 30 Jun 2009 in Real France - Expat Interviews

Life in the Beautiful Lot Valley

When Brian met his French wife in 1989 they decided to spend 10 years living in the UK before moving to France permanently, they now live in the beautiful Lot valley in the south west of France.

Brian's home in the Lot valley

What made you move to France and how long have you lived here?
I had long thought about buying a second home in France and when I met my French wife in 1989 we agreed to spend the following 10 years in the UK before moving to France permanently, which we did in 2000.

Which part of France do you live in, and what's it like to live there?
We bought our first house in 1990 in the Lot in the South-west. When we started looking for a permanent home we considered the whole of the South-west, but kept returning emotionally and physically to the Lot valley and eventually found the perfect property for our future project less than 15 minutes from our first house.

Open quote. Interviewee gives their moving to France tips Stay real and don't be beguiled by the plethora of articles and TV programmes that present an unreal rose-tinted image of France. Close quote

What is your age?

Where were you born?
Market Harborough, England.

Do you work, if so what do you do and how difficult was it to find work or start a business in France?
For the past 8 years we have been running residential retreat holidays based on yoga and walking. Appealing to guests of all ages that were looking for a mixture of French country life, relaxation and a healthy lifestyle we were fully booked for much of our 4/5 month season within a couple of years. We now need a change: our property is for sale and we are building a new home, guess where, just up the valley.

Your best tip or advice to other people considering moving to France?
Stay real and don't be beguiled by the plethora of articles and TV programmes that present an unreal rose-tinted image of France. Think it through and get to know the area before making such a major life-change.

Did you find it hard to integrate or adjust to your new life in France and do you have any tips to help others?
Having a second home in France meant that we could slowly learn how things are done and our eventual move was quite a smooth transition. Naturally, the better your command of the language the more integrated you will feel, but communication takes place on many levels and it is equally important to keep an open mind.

What's the best thing about living in France?
France is many countries and it depends so much on the region, or even the town or commune. The unspoilt Lot valley is great if you hanker for the simple life with the only industry being agriculture, especially wine. At times it's reminds me of my childhood in the country in the 50s, except everybody has at least one car. Fortunately, there is plenty of room for them.

And the worst?
The standard of driving, and quads on footpaths.

What do you think?

Join Our Newsletter - Today