Brittany is the closest port of call for UK overseas property investors, yet with a very different culture to that found in Britain.
Just a short ride by car, ferry or plane, Brittany offers its own unique ‘Breton’ culture along with locally produced food and drink, plus 20 per cent more hours of sunshine per year than the UK average. Travelling by car and ferry to the ports of Saint-Malo, Caen, Cherbourg and Roscoff tend to be the most popular routes for UK visitors.
The coastline and countryside of Brittany is varied and spectacular, with the westernmost part of France and department of Finistere boasting the wild and beautiful Parc Naturel Regional d’Armorique as well as a rugged coastline with fjord-like inlets.
Properties in the most popular towns in the Finistere peninsular, such as Huelgoat, Quimper and Morlaix come at a premium, but further into the countryside a three bed longere could be yours for around 150,000 euros.
The Morbihan and the sunny Bay of Biscay is popular with wealthy Parisiennes as well as buyers from the UK. Pricier than other parts of Brittany due to its popularity, it is still great value compared to the UK and a four-bed family home with gardens and pool can be snapped up for around 200-250,000 euros.
If peace and tranquility is your goal, then the cotes d’armor can offer property investors some real bargains. In this sparsely populated region of Brittany a four-bedroom farmhouse can be obtained for just 100-130,000 euros. Or you could even pick up a barn ripe for renovation for about 20-30,000 euros, though there will obviously be a cost for the renovation project.
Brittany is packed with things to do. Historic walking areas and cycle routes compete with numerous beaches offering sailing and windsurfing among other activities.
Places to visit include the fortress town of Dinan, which offers an opportunity to step back in time, with cobbled streets and alleyways with half-timbered houses.
The French property market as a whole has turned the corner, with an increase in transactions of 7.7 per cent last year. Brittany itself accounts for about 5 per cent of all French sales to overseas property investors, most notably from the UK as well as Belgium and Germany.
There is a strong British expat community to be found in Brittany, perhaps also attracted by the region’s similarity to Cornwall, but at a fraction of the price and just as accessible.
If it is a laid back and traditional way of life you are looking for from your overseas property investment, maybe it is time to join them.