Moving to Cornwall

(63 Posts)
Cornwallwanabee Tue 08-Jul-14 19:49:51

I live in Kent and am thinking of moving to Cornwall to give my family a more relaxed way of life. I appreciate that it's best to secure work before moving to Cornwall. We currently rent our home so would rent in Cornwall and would eventually like to buy our own home. I understand house prices are rising in Cornwall. Our dream would be to run our own tea room - is this just a dream or do you think it would be possible, or is it just what everyone wants to do. I have read that people say it's best to move to a town where there is more going on - I would dearly love to live somewhere where you can can open your front door and go for a lovely walk, without having to get in the car first. We have been to Devon and Cornwall for most of our family holidays and love that part of the country. I also appreciate that life is different when you have to work in a place rather than just be on holiday, but surely it has to be a nicer way to live. I would love to receive comments, both good and bad from people who have experience in this or anyone who would like to comment. My children are 15 and 12 so we need to wait until next summer when my son finishes his exams. I currently work in an office and my hubbie drives a taxi - there has to be more to life!

Where would anyone suggest. I understand the usual tourist hotspots would be overrun in the summer, eg St Ives. My son has returned from his school trip to Bude and absolutely loved it.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

mothermirth Tue 08-Jul-14 21:43:27

Hello again smile

I don't live in Cornwall but would also love to (Penzance would be my choice). Bumping for the Kernow crowd [frin]

mothermirth Tue 08-Jul-14 21:43:41

I meant grin

mothermirth Tue 08-Jul-14 21:47:32

This might appeal to your 16 year old.

PartyFops Tue 08-Jul-14 21:47:49

I'm a lucky cow who lives in Cornwall. I live near Falmouth and it's amazing, I can walk to the beach from my house smile.

Houses are very expensive, for a decent 3 bed you would pay £1000 a month in rent or £275 000 ish to buy.

Wages are shit. Lots of tea rooms, but some could be better so maybe you could improve an existing one?

Good luck, it's worth it I promise. grin

mothermirth Wed 09-Jul-14 07:22:00

Come on you lucky west country women, spill the beans smile

PartyFops Wed 09-Jul-14 09:03:49

Might be worth moving this thread to chat or somewhere for a bit more traffic grin.

mothermirth Wed 09-Jul-14 10:30:02

Good idea Cornwallwanabee do you want to ask for it to be moved? There are plenty of Cornwall-dwellers on here probably on the beach smile

YoungBritishPissArtist Wed 09-Jul-14 10:32:16

I don't know anything about running a tea room so can't advise there I just want to say - please live somewhere that has public transport!

Being a teenager and having to rely on your parents to drive you anywhere is miserable. I speak from experience.

Hooliesmoolies Wed 09-Jul-14 11:20:14

I am unhelpfully going to say that I really don't like Cornwall. We have family there and it is wet and cold and when it is wet and cold there is nothing to do.

But obviously there are many people there who love the place grin and perhaps the in-laws thing might be partly responsible for my terribly bah humbug attitude.

animallover85 Wed 09-Jul-14 11:29:48

Live near Falmouth and love it. Can tell you lots about living here although I am a nurse so absolutely no idea about running a tea room.

NapoleonsNose Wed 09-Jul-14 11:42:23

I've lived in Cornwall since I was a young teenager. Parents moved us down here to pursue 'the dream', buying a gift shop in a now famous Cornish town and plonking us in an isolated village in the middle of nowhere. I hated it. No public transport, so we had to rely on parents to take us into town, which was a good 10 miles away and was a rare occurence with them both working long hours in the shop.

Having said that, I do appreciate living here much more now as an adult. The pace of life is slow and it is a beautiful place to live. The wages are dire though and houses in the most desirable areas are ridiculously expensive. We cannot afford to buy in the area where I have lived for 25 years for example. An average three bedder in our town will cost upwards of £250K, way beyond the average salary here.

I have teenagers myself now and both sadly cannot see a future here for themselves which is a real shame. Although there are schemes designed to bring graduates back into Cornwall, the wages are so low that many do not see it as a viable option. As an aside, I can personally vouch for Truro and Penwith College (linked above) as an excellent place for both Further and Higher Education.

If you decide to make the move OP, I wish you lots of luck. One thing Cornwall is not short of is entrepreneurs and small businesses, so if you can think of a way to make your tea shop stand out from the crowd then give it a go!

mothermirth Wed 09-Jul-14 15:25:18

Bump smile OP where are you?

mothermirth Wed 09-Jul-14 21:27:34

Bump?

Lordofmyflies Thu 10-Jul-14 12:53:58

We are lucky enough to live in Cornwall, in the Whitsand Bay Area.
We love it. It is certainly a more relaxed pace of life, the kids go to the beach after school and doors left unlocked. However, as said, wages are ole, jobs are scarce, public transport rubbish and organised entertainment e.g shopping, cinemas, theatre, hard to access.
You need to love the outdoors and either be a small business worker or prepared to commute to earn a good wage. Lots of people work away mon- Thurs.
I grew up in Cornwall, and as a teenager it was only bearable due to parents who would drive us everywhere. Could have been very different though.

MrsWolowitz Thu 10-Jul-14 15:35:08

I live in Cornwall. I love it. It's all I know.

I get a bit freaked out when I visit big cities. All the hustle and bustle and noise freak me out! grin

I'm in west Cornwall. Towns like Redruth and Hayle are cheaper than the more desirable areas and are still very near the beach. Not really walkable but short drives away.

I really think Cornwall is a fab place to live. When it's not raining we pick the kids up from school and head straight to the beach and either pack a picnic tea or take a BBQ. It's such a lovely place.

Come join us. grin

Cornwallwanabee Thu 10-Jul-14 17:02:39

Thanks for all your kind messages. My salary isn't great here and house prices in Kent are also high, so we can only rent anyway at the moment. I would hope to earn a decent income from running a tea shop in Cornwall. One of the things that does worry me now is the limited job opportunities there will be for my children. I am always happy to ferry them about so would still be happy to do that in Cornwall so they could have a good social life. Would still love to have more of an active outdoor life, going for more walks, riding my bike and learning to surf at the lovely beaches. My husband isn't totally convinced that the kids will be better off. Please help!!!

southwest1 Thu 10-Jul-14 19:40:14

We're currently on holiday in Marazion (near Penzance) and there's a B&B with tea room for sale! Check it out on Right Move.

Lordofmyflies Thu 10-Jul-14 21:18:54

I do think the job opportunities are limited, as is higher education. Having grown up in Cornwall, I now really appreciate my childhood - I had huge freedom, space and I think the lack of organised, scheduled activites, led to more creativity and friendships formed from loitering at the beach!
I was unable to persue my chosen career in Cornwall and moved away to go to university and gain experience in my field for 10 years before I could move back.

GirlsonFilm Thu 10-Jul-14 21:26:22

We moved to the Devon/Cornwall border, not far from Bude, 10 years ago and love it. However, you need to get work sorted first.

My dp works with disaffected kids and a large proportion come from families who moved here when the dc were in their teens. Be sure your dcs are on board before you make the move as it can be tricky to sell up in Cornwall and move back.

PicandMinx Thu 10-Jul-14 21:43:08

Don't move. Your children will hate it and you. Cornwall is not a holiday park.

Cons
House prices - £150,000 for a bedsit £250,000 for a two bed house
Poor wages - average £16,000 a year
Rain - grey clouds most of the winter
Damp - the walls in your house will run with water
Full of tourists in the summer
Poor nightlife
Only one decent hospital
No public transport - one bus a week to St Ives
No major airport
Overrun with tea shops

Pros
Not far to a beach
Rarely snows

Wherever your tea shop is, it will break even in the summer and lose money in the winter.

Many people think that moving to a place like Cornwall will make them happy. It won't. You will be miserable AND poor. Don't move.

Sallycinnamon1974 Thu 10-Jul-14 22:02:54

We moved to Cornwall 8years ago. It's a lovely place - but the honeymoon period will eventually wear off so you need to be sure it's for you before you take the plunge.

There are plenty of positives about living here - it's a beautiful place, the schools are great, the beaches are the best in the world and there's so many to choose from, the people are lovely (most of them anyway!), and the pace of life is good. There is very low crime and we have in places the fastest broadband you can get anywhere.

However there are downsides -for me personally, there are hardly any decent shops and it's an hour from us to Plymouth or almost 2 hours to Exeter where there's a nice shopping centre.

Cornwall is a long way from anywhere else and it will be a big effort if you need to go "upcountry" to see family etc. You will also be inundated by friends and smoky who want to come and stay with you for a free holiday. This can be fun at first but gets on my nerves!

There are jobs to go round but lots of the work is seasonal, for example the cafe is a great idea but bear in mind that you will be busiest in summer and you will have to work long hours when everyone else is on holiday, which might also affect the time you can spend with the children? Then you will be much less busy in the winter when it's grey and boring!

There are fewer jobs here for the children and we expect that we will eventually relocate to done where more central when they are older and at uni, so we can be easier to get to.

I'm not trying to put you off but bear in mind it's not quite the same as people first imagine!

If your looking for a business have a look at the Miller Commercial or Scott Burridge websites to get a feel for what is out there for sale. There are lots of support agencies out there to help small businesses in Cornwall.

I hope this helps you and would really recommend that you visit lots before making your mind up, and come in the depths of winter too!

kernowmissvyghen Thu 10-Jul-14 22:43:34

Hmm. I am Cornish. I really would not recommend moving to Cornwall unless you and your children have a really strong social network of family / friends already in Cornwall and have spent time here at all times of year.

It can be a very closed community socially unless you already know people. You all need to be able to cope with a mix of day to day social isolation combined with every man and his dog knowing everything about your life- if you are from a remote rural community it's fine and normal, but I think more urban types can find it both lonely and intrusive at the same time

It rains and rains and rains most of the time, everything turns to mud and slime, and those lovely walks you are dreaming of will mainly take place in wellies and heavy duty waterproofs! Again, fine if that is what you are expecting, but be aware it is a far wetter climate than Kent.

The economy is seasonal- tea shops, taxi drivers etc need to make enough money in 3 months of the summer season to live off and pay the overheads for 12 months. As others have said, work is almost 100% menial low paid stuff, either in food factories or cleaning etc and in such short supply its unlikely that your teenagers will be able to pick up part time jobs.

Housing is in high demand so landlords can be bastards- if you live somewhere nice you may find yourself turfed out come May as the landlord may decide he'd prefer to make 5x as much renting it to holidaymakers.

It's a very, very long way from anywhere else. You can't easily visit people in other parts of the uk for the weekend- it's just too far to travel. This can mess with your mind, a bit like living on an island...

Having said that, I moved back after 15 years away because I want my children to grow up Cornish! It is a wonderful country!

mothermirth Fri 11-Jul-14 07:39:22

Goodness, such a lot of negativity! As I said upthread, I don't live in Cornwall, but I spend a lot of time in Penzance and - guess what - it's often sunny. Of course it rains: we're in England, but as soon as the sun shines the sea sparkles and it feels like the best place in the world to me.

There are plenty of people making a good living in Cornwall.

Plus, how many of us expect to remain in the town where we grew up for the rest of our lives? Isn't life about getting out there and having new experiences? I grew up in the midlands, moved to London for work, stayed there for nearly two decades and now live (and work - remotely) in the West Country. There are lots of ways to make it work OP: don't give up on your dream. smile

kernowmissvyghen Fri 11-Jul-14 15:31:52

Well mothermirth, those of us who live here have probably seen lots of examples of people who move here expecting one thing, realise the reality is a bit different and end up unhappy and isolated, and sometimes in dire straits financially. I know I've seen it a lot, over many years.

I think a good question to ask yourself is, how would you feel if your DH suggested a move to coastal west Wales? I think Cornwall and Wales have a lot in common, socially, economically, and similar weather and geography. If you can see yourself being happy in w Wales, Cornwall may suit you well.

As I said, I love Cornwall, is is part of my very being. But there's no point pretending its an easy place to make a living unless you arrive already loaded with cash! Very, very hard to do more than scrape by if you have a normal level of income, and there's only so much that lovey scenery and beaches can make up for in terms of money worries... It's best to make big life decisions with full possession of the facts, I would say.

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