North Devon/Cornwall borders move – tell me about it

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  vicky 6 years, 10 months ago.

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    Hello – I hope it wont matter that I am not planning to relocate from London but actually from France.

    I already live quite rurally (in a very small village in the alps) but I would really like to come back to the UK and in particular North Devon. My husband isn’t so keen as he he says our lifestyle is already very nice and we have a good group of friends here.

    I would love to hear from people who have made the move to small villages in the North Devon area ( from Woolsery to Holsworthy and Morwenstow). How they have found settling in the area, the schools, the friendliness of the natives and how easy it was to make friends in such a rural place.
    thanks !



    Hi. I moved to North Devon with my family due to my husbands job and feared I wouldn’t be accepted as a “Newbie” but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I sent my sons to Monkleigh Primary where there were a maximum of 80 children from reception to year 7. They thrived there and were given copious amounts of individual attention. The key is to get involved. Once people see you want to be part of the community they welcome you with open arms! You won’t be alone there are lots and lots of families here from all over the country or world!
    There are endless groups and organizations to get involved with.
    I wish you all the best in your future decisions 🙂



    Hi Judy!

    Having lived in North Devon my whole life I can safely say it has been a fantastic experience and I feel privileged to have been able to grow up here. I live in Barnstaple which is a small town in North Devon (roughly 25/3 mins for Woolsery for some perspective). Growing up here was brilliant, there was plenty to do as a kid and some really brilliant schools too. Now at 20 years old I feel that there is still plenty for me to do and there are even some corners of North Devon that I am yet to explore! As for the people of North Devon they are wonderful. The community I have grown up in are very friendly and walking down the street I am guaranteed to bump in to someone I know.
    Until you have actually live here you can’t really put in to workds how brilliant it really is.

    I do hope this has helped and best of luck with your future 🙂



    Hello Judy. We’ve just celebrated 10 years in Ilfracombe and we would not live anywhere else. The communities in North Devon plus the environment are a fantastic combination.

    True, life can be more of a challenge. Getting anywhere takes time, but then we don’t go on holiday when we have all we want here.

    As Lucie said above, there is so much to do here. If you want to get involved in the community, volunteer or participate in social activities, you’ll soon fit in. Having a dog is good too. We have met so many other dogs and their owners.



    Hi Judy
    I live in a small village (around 900 people) 10 miles from Barnstaple………I was a weekender from 2001 – 2010 then my husband and I moved permanently from 2011. Even as a part timer I was very involved in lots of things to do with the village, the litter pick twice a year, running a stall the summer fete and christmas fayre etc and I’ve never felt like a newbie. I don’t have kids but know lots of parents in the village and they love the lifestyle their kids enjoy as its more personal and community led. We have 2 pubs, lots of darts, skittles teams, football and cricket (I play for the pub team) and its always busy, people are friendly, stop and chat, as everyone says, if you get involved. Even though it seems sleepy there is lots going on in the village like judo, badminton, pilates, zumba, visiting cinema and arts groups, a woodland group, church, WI, golf…….the list goes on. If you do move, do your homework and ask the locals whats going on, if there is a village facebook page, parish mag, noticeboard etc and take a look at them to see whats going on. My husband loves it here, he was top scorer in skittles last night, plays cricket and golf and is a new dog owner who loves getting out and about even in this weather. Good luck with it all Sarah



    Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply to me. I have now booked a trip back in March to spend a week in the area and look at a few houses and get a feel for the place.

    I would really love to be more part of a village community and actually this is one of the main reasons I want to leave where I currently live as it really lacks that.

    I hope you aren’t suffering too much with flooding there.

    thanks again



    Evening All looking for help, me (John) and my wife Lisa are looking to move to north devon we have just had our 4th girl recently and i have been offered the possibility of work in Barnstaple,i have been reviewing the areas for quite a few months and reading what people have to say and i think its right up our street we are an out going family who mix in very well and love the outdoors as we are always out with our dog Coco,i have been looking at Great Torrington today as a house there has intersted me but admittedly im looking for any advice from people wgho know the areas i.e decent schools,socialble community all the norm that everyone looks for also if there are any places to avoid many thnaks for your help



    Hello John and Lisa good on you for thinking about a move to the West Country! I moved here full time four years ago and have no regrets. And if you have a job option lined up, even better! I’m not a mum so I can’t comment specifically on schools except that our village has a vibrant junior school with lots of parent involvement and I’d imagine it’s the same in lots of other places. Both Braunton and Pilton secondary schools have recently become academies and Park school has great sports facilities. We have village FB page with over 300 locals so there you always know what is going on, that could be the same where you decide to live. As with other posts the more you get involved the more you will get to meet people. Yes there are lots of locals where we live but also lots of incomers who help to keep village life and there is a great community spirit around the fete, Christmas Fayre, village jumble sales etc. Best wishes in your search Sarah



    Ilfracombe is definitely worth a look as it not only has a thriving community but is attracting lots of investment at the moment: new gastro pubs, £3.5 million new Wetherspoons build, new luxury holiday park opening this summer. The academy here is achieving excellent results and as well as the delights of our picturesque harbour, we have Exmoor a few miles to the east and miles of golden sand at Woolacombe a few miles to the West. We have a thriving art community and a modern theatre. The town is small enough to have retained its character and is full of independent shops. We’re also getting superfast broadband in June so good for business too.


    Via email: “I live just outside Barnstaple, and I am Barnstaple born and bread, can you tell them. That Devon is a fab place to live Schools are excellent, all teachers want to retire here, would probably very similar to the French Alps replace snow with Rain !!”


    Hi, myself and my husband relocated here 9 years ago. And absolutely love living here. We moved from bushey, herts and ely cambs. We are quite out doors type of people, so it suits us, and our dogs. amazing beaches, places to go. I do not have a family yet, but my friends love it, and the schools. We live in roundswell just outside barnstaple, so quite central to everything. The people are amazing down here, everyone is so friendly. If I can help at all, just let me know. X



    Hi Judy, thanks for asking these questions. And thanks to everyone else for the thought provoking answers. My husband and I are looking to move from London to North Devon and we swing between feeling really excited at the idea and feeling really nervous. We’re mid/late 40s with no kids. My husband loves surfing and we’ve spent many many weekends in Devon and Cornwall in the last 15 years. Good friends moved to Barnstaple area in a quiet village. They love it. We need somewhere with a few amenities and preferably walk to the beach as husband can’t drive due to sight issues. We’re looking at Braunton (like the vibe and choice of shops, etc, but too far to walk to the beach with a surfboard), Croyde (a few amenities and great proximity to the beach, but perhaps too busy in summer and too quiet in winter), Georgeham (a few amenities, and a reasonable walk to the beach). I don’t know Georgeham but husband does a little. A bit of research suggests a lovely community. My fear is that we’ll find it hard to fit as we don’t have a family and we might be resented as more Londoners moving in (we’re actually northerners!). We talk about a new life growing veg, keeping chickens, surfing, running, climbing, visiting illfracombe/Barnstaple for cinema, theatre, restaurants. Having a campervan to travel around the surf spots of Devon and Cornwall. It’s sounds amazing, right?! But is it a rose-tinted view? We’ve thought a lot about what we’ll lose too, e.g. easy access to airports, seeing our friends regularly/spontaneously, further to travel to family up north. We plan to join clubs to get involved and meet new people. It would be great to hear a few more stories about how people adjusted, and perhaps thoughts on these three areas we are looking at.
    Many thanks 🙂

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