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To think it's a good idea to move to Cornwall?

(49 Posts)
hooliodancer Thu 11-Aug-16 17:02:55

This is inspired by the thread about moving to the Highlands. That poster got some great information!

We currently live in the South East, but have put an offer in on a house in Cornwall. I am excited, but terrified that I might be doing the wrong thing. I really want the slower pace, to be near the sea, to be mortgage free, to have a bigger house. Of course, we need to sell our house first, which is a whole other issue, so it could not even happen.

I am worried about a few thing though!

The weather(I didn't realise that average temperatures were lower there until I researched yesterday)

Travel in summer. I have never been in the summer months. I will have to travel at least one day a week. I am self employed so work all over, but will have to at least get to Exeter or Bristol to fly to wherever I have to be.

We are planning to set up a small holiday let business which my partner would run, and I would continue to work one or two days a week to begin with. We have done a business plan, so it all seems to work out. I am thinking we will be happier there because we will be doing our own thing, not beholden to anyone etc.

I would like to know what it's really like from those who live there. The house we have offered on is on the south coast, in a village. We don't have children. Thanks!

TheUltimate Thu 11-Aug-16 17:12:17

It's hard to advise without knowing the relative location.

There is nothing wrong with the weather.

Travel in summer is a nightmare - I was stuck behind someone doing 25mph on a 60mph road the other day. It's busy, farms are more active, tourists don't know the roads and bus services are unreliable. Best getting the train if you're close to a station.

Life is slower, easier and the people are generally friendly.

hooliodancer Thu 11-Aug-16 17:15:16

Don't want to be specific about the location, but Liskeard is the nearest town.

squoosh Thu 11-Aug-16 17:17:57

There was a recent-ish thread you might find useful.

YouAreMyRain Thu 11-Aug-16 17:22:46

I'm going to disagree about the weather. My friend moved there, close family members were already there and they had holidayed there for years and knew the area well.

She came back mainly because of the rain!

She also said it was very isolated, everything was very far away (supermarkets, hospitals, schools) and there was very little choice of shops and services.

Traffic is terrible in the six weeks too.

scaryteacher Thu 11-Aug-16 17:37:11

That'll be Looe/Polperro/Fowey way then.

I love Cornwall and can't wait to move back in 2019. Liskeard is OK, and Plymouth is easily accessible. I spend a lot of time in Tavistock when I'm home, but my house is just over the Devon/Cornwall border on the Cornish side.

There's plenty to do just potching around Looe and Fowey. Plenty of NT properties around.

Liskeard has a train station, swimming pool, Morrisons and isn't far from the madness that is Trago Mills!

The temperature is never too cold in winter, although it may be damp sometimes, and snow is a rarity...some of my students had never seen any for real.

You have to be aware of the Cornish form of manana, which is 'dreckly', as in 'I'll do it dreckly', so several days later you might still be waiting!

Travel in summer can be a PITA, but if you pick the right times it is OK.

Damn, I am homesick all over again now!

hooliodancer Fri 12-Aug-16 10:04:16

Thanks for that link, it does answer a lot.

I am scared of doing it, and scared of not doing it all at the same time. All my friends are here, my life is here. But I am stuck in a massive rut and this would be a complete life change. If I don't change something the next 10 years will be exactly the same as the last 10 years.

Piemernator Fri 12-Aug-16 10:12:32

I grew up in a holiday resort people are agog that I ever moved away. I'm actually back here right now and we have become friendly with another couple at the hotel we are staying at, usually stay with sis but her DH is dying so would never dream of putting on her.

I just said to this couple come and stay in the winter and then see how you like it.

I hope it works out for you op but I would never live in a seaside town having grown up in one. Busy in the summer though beautiful and dead in the winter.

Narnia72 Fri 12-Aug-16 10:21:16

Following with interest. My sister and family made the move to the Penzance area about 4 years ago, they run a business from home and absolutely love it, although they try not to drive anywhere during the 6 weeks madness unless they have to! We've just been down for 3 weeks and although it was busy, it was manageable. Nowhere near London madness! My parents have just bought a place down there and we are very tempted, similar plans to you, but I worry about isolation and the fact that my kids will very likely grow up and move away as soon as they can because there are very limited employment opportunities. We're near London atm and they're more likely to stay near this area (obviously no guarantees - they might move to Timbuctoo in any scenario!)

My pros

We can set up a business that we can work around the kids to some extent
Beautiful place to live
Lots of opportunities for outdoor life, which appeals to all of us
Near family
Would be able to move the kids to a nice school (already checked) without any hassle - don't think we could do this in any other area of the country we're interested in!

Such a long way away from everyone else (although this could also be a pro!)
If the lettings business doesn't work out, the job opportunities are scarce and badly paid
If kids aren't interested in outdoor life very little for them to do as teenagers socially
Uni etc - they'll be a long way away
The lettings business means we'll be busiest during children's school holidays
OH and I working together - possibly not the best idea!
Difficult to move back if it didn't work for us as a family, as we'd have to sell up where we are to fund the business and a house for us.

We discuss it endlessly. I also feel I'm in a complete rut after having kids and then just doing odd bits of work around them. I now have to either go back to work full time, or start a business, and I'm not sure what the best thing is for me or the family.

J0kersSmile Fri 12-Aug-16 10:27:02

Cornwall is my favourite place.

Water bills are higher then any other place in the country. Your petrol and car running costs will be so much more as you'll have to drive everywhere. It rains a lot.

When it's sunny there's no better place!

scaryteacher Fri 12-Aug-16 10:36:40

You get a rebate on the water bills. Car running costs are no more expensive for insurance/maintenance than they are elsewhere. I frequently note that petrol is cheaper in Cornwall than it is in Kent when I drive home from Belgium.

It rains a lot in other places too! We seem to having an awful lot of Dartmoor days in Belgium atm.

heron98 Fri 12-Aug-16 10:43:16

Does it have to be Cornwall?

If it's rural/seaside etc you're after, there are other places that are better connected.

And the weather is crap everywhere beyond the south east.

I'm in Yorkshire and I turn the TV off when the weather's on as I can't bear to see how nice the weather is in London compared to here!

purplevase4 Fri 12-Aug-16 10:45:31

Transport links are getting worse not better. Penzance heliport has closed, Plymouth airport has closed and the train line won't get upgraded - it probably would not have done anyway but Brexit will cost so much money there's no chance now and there will be no more EU money for Cornwall.

What rebate on water bills? My mum lives in Devon and is always complaining about her water bills. Is she missing something?

Stickerrocks Fri 12-Aug-16 10:53:12

The water rebate is £50 p.a. knocked straight off South West Water bills to compensate for the huge amount of coastline in the area. It was promised until at least 2020, so it applies to Devon as well.

Stickerrocks Fri 12-Aug-16 10:58:04

My advice would be to try the trip from your village to Exeter before you buy and then then run up to Bristol. Both Truro & Plymouth are close in mileage terms, but the reality of driving the route and lack of dual carriageways means that a 40 mile trip can easily take an hour.

Also check your broadband connection and the availability of a mobile signal from your house. I can only get a mobile signal by hanging my phone out of a particular window at a specific angle at my Mum's. Check that your house is on mains gas. You don't want to get a nasty shock if you are dependent on an oil tank for your heating.

dontpokethebear Fri 12-Aug-16 11:05:06

My parents retired to Newlyn (just outside Penzance) nearly 20 years ago. I love it down there, we visit a few times a year. We often talk about moving. Housing wise, you get a lot more for your money in the Penzance area. The average 4 bedroom house is less than £300k, compared to around £750k where we are. DH annual salary would probably drop by 1/3 Though.
The reality of actually living there would be quite different. Out of season a lot of towns in Cornwall are very bleak and a lot of businesses close in the winter months. Whilst the weather is quite dramatic right on the coast in the winter, it is also atrocious!

scaryteacher Fri 12-Aug-16 12:04:15

I can do from the Tamar Valley to Exeter in 45 minutes (I have been known to do it faster, as the A30 is a fast road). Lots do the Plymouth/Saltash to Bristol commute to work at Abbeywood. I pick up the A30 at Launceston, or at Sourton, if I want to potch across the moor. The A38 isn't too bad either.

Mobile - I got really good coverage with O2 in 2014, whereas when I moved 7 years earlier it was hang out of the attic window stuff.

The mains gas can be an issue if you are fussed about it. We have oil, as no mains gas in our village, but it does all the hot water and cooking as well. We also have a woodburner and an open fire.

Roll on 2019 when I move home.

Porg Sat 13-Aug-16 04:09:18

I love Cornwall, with it's perfect imperfections

If you don't need to get a job in the duchy it would be an amazing place to live. If you need a job it is dire. It is the only place I know that advertises minimum wage as a good thing.

People forget that parts of Cornwall qualify as deprived areas. Closing the mines put lots of people out of work. The main 'industries' now seem to be seasonal tourism or working in meat processing.

Lots of the villages no longer have a proper bus service, pub, shop etc as they are deserted outside of the summer and even when cottage owners do come to their holiday homes they are already loaded with waitrose goodies rather than shopping locally. They put little back into the rural communities.

Cornwall is also going to be fucked without EU money. We shot ourselves in the feet there, I blame it on the influence of Trago Mills!

House prices are just too high in comparison to wages, totally screwed up by londoners buying holiday cottages.

The county is will always be home to me, wherever I might live. Unfortunately I don't have enough money to live there and enjoy it. My wages increased by 50% moving away and I didn't even move to an expensive city. Cornwall pays just over minimum wage for a job that is considered quite well paying elsewhere.

Also, although the beaches are beautiful, on the rare days it isn't raining they are packed with emmetts. All the roads are gridlocked with people stopping in the middle of the road because they can see the sea or crapping themselves when faced with a tractor or sheep.

It's beauty is its downfall, the tourist trade brings in money but with many people jobless out of season it can be depresing. In the winter.

Kr1stina Sat 13-Aug-16 04:32:09

Why don't you rent out your home on London and rent in cormwall for a year to see if you like it ?

It doesn't sound like you know enough about it to make the decision to move there permanently .

SuzyLucy Sat 13-Aug-16 04:47:03

I love Cornwall but its so far from everything else. Think long term - its likely your DCs will leave when they grow up to seek opportunities. You may end up miles from them. I am from Devon and it was bad enough visiting my elderly parents from London.

Voddy4 Sat 13-Aug-16 05:19:29

Cornwall isn't bleak in the winter it's actually better in the winter.
Job opportunities aren't dire
The only truth in most of the bad things being said here is the fact Cornwall is far from everywhere but not Liskeard thats quite far north.
Cornwall Is a lovely Place to live and work, yes summer can be mad but it's not as bad as all that it can just take a bit longer to get anywhere.
I've lived in Cornwall nearly all my life. I don't have a crap minimum wage job and it doesn't rain every day.....maybe every other! grin

JoyLibs Sat 13-Aug-16 05:37:35

I'm not from the UK, but I've made the opposite move of you from one of the most rural states in the country to NYC! And to be honest, I'm still not quite sure how I feel about home vs where I am now. I love having good public transport and shops available at all hours and the wealth of culture there is here (Broadway, random art galleries, international markets, the museums...). We get everything first, and it sounds a bit shallow, but it's kind of cool living in the financial/fashion/cultural capital of your country. grin

On the other hand, when I feel particularly homesick, I think of how much I miss taking peaceful walks, uninterrupted by the constant streams of people. I think of how beautiful and calm my home state is. The people are nice. The quality of life is excellent. And you know, I actually miss driving a lot. It really is scenic, so when I was stressed out in high school, I used to drive around to take my mind off things. You get the theme...a gorgeous place to be up till I was 14-15 and started getting antsy.

That being said, I don't think I'll ever go back. I don't think I'll stay in NYC either, but my home state is just too...rural. Insular. There's this push and pull politics of wanting to look inward yet needing support from the government. Getting anywhere takes ages (to be fair, I lived in one of the more important towns, but I did use to drive by cows on my way to school!). Not a lot of arts or nearby museums or international restaurants. The beautiful quaint towns are all very contrived in my state - they exist that way and depend on tourism. But outside of those towns, it's not as adorably cozy as in the guidebooks. And I can't emphasize the government support enough. We have lots of seasonal jobs for tourist season but not nearly enough jobs for people who'd like to make a living. House prices aren't that cheap relative to local salaries. There's lots of poor pockets of the state because we've always been an understated agricultural state. A huge problem we have is that kids go off to college and don't come back (like I did), so there's a brain drain too.

Ultimately, it's up to you of course, but I'd really think carefully about whether the cons are worth it. As good of a childhood I had, my happy compromise now would be a smaller city. But I do think I was always meant for a city, which is not the case for a lot of people. Good luck!

ginplease83 Sat 13-Aug-16 05:52:00

Isn't there an airport in Newquay?

miasdaddy Sat 13-Aug-16 05:59:02

I think if you can accept the fact that the pace of life is much slower Cornwall is a fantastic place to be
I moved away when I was 40 after living most of my life there and would go back in a heartbeat, yes you are a long drive from London / south east but I have friends who frequently fly up from Newquay for about the same cost as driving
Driving around the county can be slower but you do learn which roads to avoid and when to avoid them ( my theory used to be never go up and down Cornwall on a Saturday always go across 😄😄)

puglife15 Sat 13-Aug-16 05:59:03

Why Cornwall?

You could have a slower pace, bigger house and be by the sea in lots of places. How about Dorset, Somerset, even Devon?

Do you like surfing?

The road into Cornwall is an absolute killer and seems to go on forever.

Look at Newquay airport to see if they fly near to where you'll need to go perhaps?

If your business idea goes wrong, there are v few other job opportunities.

Personally while it's lovely to visit I start to feel suffocated by the small town vibe when I spend too long there. When you're used to living in a city and then you go to Truro...

Personally I think the rent for a year option would be sensible. My town is full of people who have moved there from the neighbouring lovely rural seaside region. Having said that the people I know who have gone the other way and moved rurally absolutely love it.

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