Moving to Cornwall...will everyone hate me??!

(140 Posts)
KateD83 Wed 13-Oct-21 12:53:21

Hi everyone, I'm thinking of buying a home in Cornwall and wondered if there are any Cornwellians (or anyone at all actually) who can ease my fears (or give me a reality check) about being an 'outsider'. I have found the house of my dreams, I've been looking for a long time and will live there all year round and contribute as much as I can to the community. But I am not a local, I'm a single female moving on my own and I won't know anyone. I hope my fears of being treated like an outsider and 'shunned' are unfounded, but if anyone has any views, I'd love to hear them! The location is in South East Cornwall. Thanks so much flowers

OP’s posts: |
NoBetterthanSheShouldBe Wed 13-Oct-21 13:02:24

I really wouldn’t call them Cornwellians, that won’t get you off on the right foot.
I wouldn’t expect you to have too many problems living there all year round provided you ‘fit in’, but it may depend on the size of the community.

KateD83 Wed 13-Oct-21 13:41:16

Oh thank you for letting me know! I didn't realise that was offensive shock blush. Thank you for your comment, it's much appreciated x

OP’s posts: |
GinIronic Wed 13-Oct-21 14:00:12

People in Cornwall are called Cornish. Have you done much research before deciding on your dream home? You said you have been looking for a long time. Why Cornwall - where you won’t know anyone?

dubyalass Wed 13-Oct-21 14:28:47

It depends where you're thinking of moving to - there are lots of variables such as what kind of location (small village, larger town), where it is (some places have more born and bred Cornish than others, usually along the central spine because it's the only bit they can still afford), how well connected it is and so on. I've been down here for 10 years, living in both small and large places, and I've never had an issue but I have Cornish parents so can at least claim recent historical links! That said, plenty of Cornish have emigrated over the years so anyone who's against outsiders doesn't really have a leg to stand on!

Any resentment is likely to be towards those who either buy places as holiday lets/second homes that would otherwise be housing for local families, or who buys somewhere, behaves like the lord of the manor and tries to stop locals from doing things they've been doing for generations - the river moorings at Feock being an example - or trying to impose change too quickly. If you get involved in the local community, I would expect you to be welcomed with open arms.

Roselilly36 Wed 13-Oct-21 15:25:00

A single friend of mine was also very seriously considering a move to Cornwall, she changed her mind completely when she visited out of season and found it rather gloomy & bleak. Good luck with whatever choice you make.

Auroreforet Wed 13-Oct-21 15:32:57

Cornish people are fortunate imo to be born in such a beautiful place.
Those of us born in grimy, manufacturing towns are just as entitled to move there if we have the money to buy a home and live independently.
The UK has no local visa requirements within its borders.
You won't be the only outsider.
Second homes are obviously a different matter.

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RedCarsGoFaster Wed 13-Oct-21 15:36:39

I live in SE Cornwall. I'm not a local, I was born in Scotland but grew up in SW Cornwall. I've never been 100% accepted despite marrying a Cornishman.

More to the point, do you have work lined up?

Have you seen the insane house sale prices here? The rental market is akso in a dreadful place - the local agents report over 50 applications for every property they advertise for rent at the moment.

Have you visited this area in winter? Everything shuts in a few weeks. It's a fairly run down part of the world tbh. The buses are crap and with the Plymouth City Bus strikes imminent, are due to get worse. Lots of bus routes are being cancelled (without warning) due to lack of drivers. The Tamar Bridge is an absolute pain in the arse although the digging up of the carriageway is due to finish imminently. Do factor in crossing that bridge if you'll be working in Plymouth unless you're going via Tavistock in which case factor in the very heavy traffic at Derriford.

However, I do like living here most of the time. There's a nice community feel in most towns and villages around here. If you drive, Plymouth and Exeter are fairly accessible.

FoxgloveSummers Wed 13-Oct-21 15:43:27

Yes everyone will hate you.

Only joking. No, people move in and out all the time! It's not a remote island community. Those who move in properly and enliven communities (e.g. using local shops, going to events, crafts, kids in school or whatever) are usually v welcome although like with a move anywhere, it depends how friendly and extroverted your neighbours are as to whether they are chatty or not.

I would echo the advice above though a) do some research on Cornish culture (start here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Cornwall) b) visit in November or January before buying.

Local estate agents say that about 1/3 of people who buy before seeing a Cornish winter are ready to sell up by the next spring! There's not much ON in a lot of places and it can be very wet. grin

LuluLefevre Wed 13-Oct-21 15:48:58

I think it partly depends where you move to and how you behave. Friends of ours moved recently. They are both very plummy southerners. They say they have been welcomed with open arms. Where they are moving is already pretty 'gentrified' and they are restoring a house to it's former glory to live in long term.

If they'd landed in a less posh area I can imagine they'd stick out like sore thumbs and probably not recieve such a warm welcome. While second home owners are definitely getting flack, remote workers have sent property prices soaring out of the hands of locals...not popular. I think you'll just have to ride it out if you want the house.

Cindi85 Wed 13-Oct-21 18:21:27

My friend moved to Cornwall 18 months ago with her DH and their 1 and 3 yo. She is a really sociable person, but was upset on Friday about the fact she hasn't made any friends. She said no one talks to each other down there. Just one person's experience of course, but she is finding it hard.

ancientgran Wed 13-Oct-21 18:29:04

I'm in South Devon so not far away. Been here over 20 years, neighbours hardly speak, well there is a newish family opposite who are nice but the rest aren't friendly. My husband thinks it is racial, he isn't white, so I'm not sure if everyone would have the same issues. I'm dying to move but DH is disabled and he doesn't want the upheaval.

Branleuse Wed 13-Oct-21 18:39:24

I imagine it depends on all sorts of things. Have you spent much time in the area?

loobylou10 Wed 13-Oct-21 18:44:25

This really annoys me! Why shouldn't people from outside the area move in? People born there don't have a god given right to dictate who buys houses there - they're only there due to the Luck of being born there.

FoxgloveSummers Wed 13-Oct-21 18:45:52

no one talks to each other down there what a ridiculous thing to say! You can't generalise like that about anywhere. On the other hand some places have been very thinned out as older residents die off or move away and their houses are sold as second homes or air bnb or to other new people, the community naturally becomes less strong. The weird thing is many people who move to a place expect that they're the only new people and the "community" will be as it was 50 years ago before the current era of big changes etc.

I think it's hard moving anywhere unless you have ways of getting involved with the community i.e. working locally, kids in school, volunteering, joining clubs etc. People aren't going to rock up at your door with a cake (usually) unfortunately.

Faffandahalf Wed 13-Oct-21 18:49:45

Many MN threads about Cornwall I’ve read in the last couple of years seems to suggest that they aren’t very friendly, don’t like outsiders, racism is an issue, they seem to feel they ‘own’ the area, etc.

On this thread alone someone has mentioned unfriendliness and racism within about 20 posts.

Don’t flame me Cornish people. wink

Why do you want to go there particularly?

FoxgloveSummers Wed 13-Oct-21 18:54:38

loobylou10

This really annoys me! Why shouldn't people from outside the area move in? People born there don't have a god given right to dictate who buys houses there - they're only there due to the Luck of being born there.

Let's not make this another tedious thread about why The Rural People Should be Grateful versus The City People Should Be Nicer

dubyalass Wed 13-Oct-21 19:28:01

The winters are bleak. I don't mind it, but it can feel a bit relentless in January and February. On the other hand, spring comes much earlier. You need to be pretty good at entertaining yourself over the winter and this, combined with the horrific summer traffic, will probably mean many of those who came down in lockdown selling up and running away to somewhere less extreme!

FuzzyPuffling Wed 13-Oct-21 20:24:35

Auroreforet

Cornish people are fortunate imo to be born in such a beautiful place.
Those of us born in grimy, manufacturing towns are just as entitled to move there if we have the money to buy a home and live independently.
The UK has no local visa requirements within its borders.
You won't be the only outsider.
Second homes are obviously a different matter.

This.

But it is no good telling the Cornish this. They believe they have a right to cheap housing and everyone else should have to stay in their grimy birthplaces.

I have tried very very hard to fit in here, but wish I'd moved to Devon!

cjpark Wed 13-Oct-21 20:40:46

We live in SE Cornwall. I was born here, moved away for Uni and came home 15 years ago to raise our DC. The DC helped me settle back in through schools, clubs etc, but be prepared to be questioned.. 'are you local?!"
I think there is an under current of dislike of 'emmets' who bring traffic, noise, buy 2nd homes but if you make yourself part of the community and contribute to the village, I think you will be quickly accepted.

Glassofshloer Wed 13-Oct-21 21:36:26

Weirdly enough I was just commenting on another thread about this.

Im not from Cornwall but lived there for a while in my late teens/early 20s - Cornish boyfriend, met my best friend there too.

It is in my experience very unfriendly. My best friend agrees with me! The issue is, everyone tends to stay in the town or village they grew up in (or the local area), so they keep all their friends from school and don’t really want to make any more. It’s like they go from the classroom to work but the rest of their life stays the same - most still lived at home with their parents, hung out with the same friends in the evening, not doing very much.

I also think it can be unfriendly because the dating pool is tiny and I mean tiny. Everyone has dated everyone, so when there’s a new woman in town, they get a lot of attention as a novelty and the other women see it as stealing ‘their’ men (same with new men by the way, not a sexist thing!).

I remember once sitting with my ex and one of his friends and they worked out there & then they were something like third cousins. They had never realised this before despite knowing each other since they were toddlers.

That said, I did meet my lovely best friend there so it can’t all be bad 😉 and I’m sure there are lots of lovely Cornish people out there, it’s just the more open minded ones tend to move away.

I feel quite mean writing all that but wouldn’t want to be all ‘yeah it’s a rave’ and then you move down there & think the problem is you!

Faffandahalf Wed 13-Oct-21 21:52:26

God it all sounds very League of Gentlemen confused

dubyalass Wed 13-Oct-21 21:55:45

But it is no good telling the Cornish this. They believe they have a right to cheap housing and everyone else should have to stay in their grimy birthplaces

I don't think this is very fair. It's one of the poorest areas in Europe in terms of income vs cost of living, hence all the money from the EU. Jobs paying more than minimum wage are few and far between, and the average wage is much lower than the rest of England. Young people can't afford to live where they grew up. I know this isn't unique to Cornwall, but it is increasingly feeling like a theme park for the wealthy down here, particularly along the coast. Simon Reeve's documentary shed some light on the chronic poverty in mid-Cornwall but it didn't go far enough imho. It's no wonder there's resentment.

Glassofshloer Wed 13-Oct-21 22:07:34

Hard to feel a lot of sympathy when they voted Brexit & lost the EU grants that were propping them up. Biting the hand that feeds springs to mind.

Seashell1234 Wed 13-Oct-21 22:08:15

I moved to a small Cornish town. Half the population here are incomers. You have as much right to live there as anyone else. If people are unpleasant to you it will be because they are dicks, not because you are an incomer. Unless you act like a dick too!

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