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What's it like living in Cornwall?

(29 Posts)
flippetyfloppety Fri 12-Jul-19 10:24:18

I live on the coast in the south east in a city I love love love. We want to buy a house but it's just eye-wateringly expensive.

I've always quite fancied Cornwall as houses are (more) affordable and it's beautiful and by the sea. It also has a personality (I grew up in a dull commuter town).

For those in the know, what's it like living in Cornwall? We have a toddler and I like to go to baby groups and to the park and the beach a lot. I also love cafes that have a good selection of vegan food.

I've just viewed a tiny house in a rubbish area nearby and come home and cried at how we can never afford to buy where we're currently renting!

nowifi Fri 12-Jul-19 10:27:40

Just back from Cornwall OP and thinking the same! Essex just doesn't have the same appeal 🤣

flippetyfloppety Fri 12-Jul-19 10:40:06

I mean - a house this size where I live would be about 300k more expensive!!!

https://www.zoopla.co.uk/for-sale/details/51682548

MonstranceClock Fri 12-Jul-19 10:42:57

I personally hate it. Old people love it though. It's basically just a giant retirement home.

RhymesWithOrange Fri 12-Jul-19 10:42:58

Cornwall is wonderful. What do you do for a living though? Good jobs are hard to come by.

It takes longer and is more expensive to get anywhere else. But I solve that problem by hardly ever leaving 😀

Bentley111 Fri 12-Jul-19 10:48:14

I relocated to Cornwall 2 years ago - had always lived rurally but just outside a big city.
It took a while to adjust and I did spend a lot of time wondering if I'd made the right decision but ultimately I am so happy down here now.

I work 100% remotely - as a pp mentioned, good jobs are hard to come by. DH has his own business which requires just phone and internet - again he could be anywhere.

We have a stunning 3 bed converted barn with a big garden in a lovely, rural area which was £285k.

Weekends are spent with our horses/dogs and at the beach/national trust places. Lots of fab food here too. We are about 20 mins from St Ives and 20 mins from Truro.

Baby on the way and am so excited for him/her to have a lovely outdoorsy upbringing. Loads to do with little ones.

flippetyfloppety Fri 12-Jul-19 11:24:05

Bentley111 that sounds the dream! I work freelance from home so work isn't an issue for me. My partner may struggle though as he's an engineer.

flippetyfloppety Fri 12-Jul-19 11:28:11

Monstranceclock the affordable areas where I live are retirement homes too! 😂 But then at least I'm closer to the action I guess. It's such a hard decision!

Bentley111 Fri 12-Jul-19 11:44:19

@flippetyfloppety if he's an engineer he may not struggle too much - vocational type roles are easier to come by.

It is lovely - it's just far from anything. You have to be able to drive and develop a thick skin to deal with an influx of tourists in the summer.
Other than that it's wonderful!

TwattingDog Fri 12-Jul-19 12:02:22

Cornwall shuts down out of tourist season.

We are the poorest county in the country.
High unemployment. Low wages. Poor job prospects. Brain drain as kids leave as soon as they can. We tend to think about coming back as adults. I left for uni at 18 and didn't return until 35.

Awful public transport connections. Depending on where you live, it can take over 2 hours to get to Exeter even by car.

It is not the glorious holiday idyll people think it is. We are an impoverished area, and the houses may seem affordable to you, but I assure you they are out of the reach of huge swathes of local residents.

Have a think about where you want to bring your kids up - the beaches are lovely, but only if you actually go there. If you haven't got access to them, you might as well be a million miles away.

Most teenagers I know dream of escaping the county as soon as they can, as their job, career, educational and life prospects here are as crap now as they were for my generation in the 90's.

MonstranceClock Fri 12-Jul-19 12:09:27

This ^^

It's lovely for people who enjoyed their life in the city and want to settle down in Cornwall later in life, but it's a shit place to actually grow up. It's racist, sexist, about 10 years behind the rest of the country. A lot of kids who grow up here have zero aspirations to do anything with their lives. Out of all my friends, more than half have never left the town they were born in and have no desire too. Everyone knows your business. Granted, i am a foreigner so had a harder time than most, but as soon as I have finished my degree I'll be getting my kids out of here so they might actually have some drive in life.

TwattingDog Fri 12-Jul-19 12:23:38

@MonstranceClock absolutely. My mate moved here when I came back. She couldn't understand what I meant when I said Cornwall is racist - I don't mean about skin colour, I mean against ANYONE who wasn't born in this county. She gets it now. I was raised here from age 7. Married a Cornishman. Have a Cornish name. I'm not accepted as a local. And never will be.

By way of example, it must be very hard to be black and living in Cornwall, because people actually STARE if they see someone of colour out of tourist season. No joke.

I'm lucky to have travelled a bit, have a good job (£37k is ENORMOUS money down here), have a good education etc but I also have a different outlook and I sometimes get frustrated by being back here. The small mindedness, the racism, homophobia, sexism, it's pervasive and widespread.

No, not everyone is like that, but there's far more of it in the general population (I travel across Cornwall, Devon and Dorset for work) then in any other county I've lived or worked.

MonstranceClock Fri 12-Jul-19 12:28:58

Yes, Im an unfortunate mix of black of eastern European so growing up was hard, I moved here when I was 6.

OP, I would honestly look more at Devon is you want the rural life. Devon is much more diverse and less little wordly. But they still have the countryside and some beautiful beaches.

RhymesWithOrange Fri 12-Jul-19 12:40:28

I honestly don't recognise Cornwall in the description of racist, dead in the winter, hostile to incomers etc. I'm an income who isn't even British shock and I've had nothing but friendliness and helpfulness.

It is poor though, and while the schools are generally good young people can have low aspirations for their future. We have the lowest participation rates in further and higher education in England.

TwattingDog Fri 12-Jul-19 13:05:21

@RhymesWithOrange I'd be interested to know where in the county you are then. The further west you go, the worse it gets.

AnnaMagnani Fri 12-Jul-19 13:11:29

I once had to analyse survey results on 8 areas of the country - which 8 was supposed to be a secret.

Well by the end, I was in no doubt one was Cornwall as the first question was 'What nationality are you?'

The number of respondants who had crossed out British and hand written in 'Cornish' was staggering.

So I can well believe the attitudes about incomers. It was nuts. And of course completely irrelevant to the actual survey.

flippetyfloppety Fri 12-Jul-19 13:15:33

Thank you so much for these replies it's very interesting and useful. I have family in Devon (north) so know it well and always think I couldn't live there for the same reasons you've listed Cornwall as not a great place to grow up. I always imagine Cornwall to be a bit trendier and modern and accepting. I really don't know why I have that perception! It's massively important to me that my child/children grow up in a diverse environment with people who look different and have different interests. I grew up in a town where everyone looked the same and liked the same things (or at least if felt that way)! Gah so maybe it's back to the drawing board then.

MonstranceClock Fri 12-Jul-19 13:20:13

Honestly, Cornwall is 1000x worse than Devon. Even just going across the bridge to Plymouth is a huge leap forward. Plymouth is quite multi cultural, it's just a dump grin

concernedforthefuture Fri 12-Jul-19 13:23:42

It's a lovely place to live and raise children but you need to be aware that it's a very different lifestyle to most of the rest of the country, especially the SE.
Life is much slower; there are limited shops if shopping is your thing, lots of places close from October-April and then the roads are insanely busy with tourists in high summer. It takes ages to get anywhere outside of Cornwall (see above re traffic in high season!).
If you like shopping online, beware that many courier companies only have one depot serving the whole county (some are even outside the county!) so it can be a pain to arrange to collect parcels if you miss the delivery.
If you live very rurally, mobile signal and / or broadband speed may well be crap.
We don't have Uber, Deliveroo or Ocado. Public transport can be a bit patchy depending on where you decide to live too.

But... it's beautiful and peaceful and clean. Just make sure you know what you're leaving behind as many people find it a bit of a shock!

RhymesWithOrange Fri 12-Jul-19 13:39:20

I think I am living in a parallel Cornwall to the rest of you grin

There's plenty to do in the winter here.

Traffic is no worse than the average congested county, except for a small number of weeks concentrated on a specific number of very touristy places. Easily avoided.

It is generally safe for children and young people. My DD and her friends have a lot of freedom.

It's much more of an active and outdoors life. Great for physical and mental health.

Cornwall loves dogs (very important to me!).

Yes, there's no Ocado, Uber or Deliveroo. I've never felt disadvantaged by that.

Thisisnotwhatiwant Fri 12-Jul-19 13:48:46

I moved from SE to Cornwall. Lived in N Cornwall for 7 years. Move back was nothing to do with lifestyle. However... Cornwall is very wet. It rains a lot more than in the se. It can be hard to adjust. It can be hard to be accepted. Hard to get a decent (any) job. Expensive. Houses may be cheaper in some areas, not usually able to get cheap deals on utilities and water rates are extremely high. It is nothing like being on holiday!

austenozzy Wed 17-Jul-19 23:22:18

I’m with Rhymes. Admittedly we’re in a nice village near Falmouth and there’s none of the ‘up country blow in’ nonsense. Everyone has been friendly and welcoming, we’ve been involved with all sorts of village stuff and it’s a joy.

Not much stuff shuts down in nov-March, just some restaurants. The jobs thing is true, though, although it’s improved recently.

It’s a fabulous place for a kid to grow up, though. I’m self employed in IT, so fibre broadband has made my job doable here.

scaryteacher Sun 25-Aug-19 22:33:23

We are moving back from Brussels in 7 weeks, and I am really looking forward to coming home to Cornwall.

CornishCreation Mon 30-Sep-19 10:31:34

If your not Cornish I wouldn't recommend moving here, you won't be made very welcome by the locals, it's bursting at the seems with incomers and there's barely enough homes for the locals, luckily a lot of homes have a section 106 on them so you need a local connection.
Why not just visit?

scaryteacher Tue 05-Nov-19 08:30:16

Moved back a fortnight ago after the best part of 13 years away. Walked into the P.O. to be greeted by name and if I still wanted my newspapers as before. It is friendly....friendlier than Belgium certainly.

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