Making a base for yourself in one of the more charming, quiet, and rural counties is what moving to Devon is all about. Not only is it the only county in the UK with two coastlines (fun fact for you there) it’s also a relaxing place to raise a family that offers a little something for everyone.
To help you make your move one to remember for all the right reasons, we’re going to talk you through the key things you may not know about this delightful little corner of England. Work your way through in a couple of minutes, make a couple of notes on the bits you don’t want to forget, and start putting your move in motion with a little help from the experts. If there’s an easier way to move to Devon, we haven’t found it yet!
Devon is proud of its flag and its heritage
The beauty of Devon is that it feels like a country within a country at times, and one that’s sure to welcome you with open arms from the moment you arrive. Ideal if you want to make a home for yourself in a part of the country that’s never shy when it comes to extending a warm welcome and a helping hand.
If you head to the more rural locations, as well as those on the North coast, you can be sure to come across the Devon Flag more often than not. Many towns and villages have it flying in their squares, and there’ll be no shortage of chippies and fudge shops that have it hanging with pride as part of their eye-catching window displays.
The rivalry between Devon and Cornwall
Historically there’s been some tension with the Cornish who live just around the corner, but that’s faded into nothing but some good natured joshing over the centuries. The origin of the rivalry is thought to date from the days of the Romans when the invaders got as far as Devon and stopped before venturing into Cornwall. This led to the emergence and propagation of a separate Cornish language and a distinct culture that endured for many generations. These days you’ll cross the border between the two counties without even realising it.
Moving to the Lundy Island, Devon
If you want to move to Devon to be in and amongst some of the best unspoilt nature anywhere in the UK, North Devon is the place to base yourself. Dartmoor may be in the South but it’s only a short drive away, Exmoor is on your doorstep and the beautiful nature reserve that is Lundy Island might just be visible out of your living room window.
For those looking to nestle right on the shore, villages like Woolacombe, and little towns like Ilfracombe offer a rich history that words alone simply won’t do justice. They were hotspots of Victorian tourism back in the day, which has given these quaint little spots a rich history and plenty of stunning architecture. You’ll also be just a drive from more built-up market towns like Bideford and Barnstaple if you want to do your weekly shop, commute to work, etc.
House prices on the coast of Devon
In the 90s you used to be able to pick up a seaside townhouse in need of a little TLC for less than 20% of the average in London, which inevitably got noticed by those looking to relocate. The influx of people from the South of England has pumped some much-needed money into the North — any area struggling to adapt to the rise in cheap foreign holidays — and as a result house prices have slowly been creeping up. But there’s far more to moving to Devon than simply saving on your mortgage.
When you move to Devon you’re basing yourself in a charming, clean, and safe part of the country where crime, disorder, and disruption are far below the national average. Add in the lack of a need to get in early when it comes to putting your child’s name down for the most prestigious schools and you have a clear advantage over the world of catchment areas that dominates the M25 area.
Public transport in Devon
If you want to speed around Devon, you’re going to want your own transportation. While the public transport network is well-run, adequately maintained, and affordable, it can be a little infrequent if you’re used to city living. It’s common for routes that are outside of the tourist hubs to offer 3-4 services a day. Just worth having in mind when you’re costing up commuting!
Devon is known for fresh food
The local fishing industry is alive and well, especially in North Devon. Local harbours will have daily fresh catches of fish, lobsters, and crabs, giving you plenty of options. If you want to cook from scratch at home, there are plenty of local markets open after work. And if you want to eat out in style a couple of times a week, the pubs are affordable and welcoming in equal measure.
The cost of living
You might expect to save in the region of £100 a year on everything excluding your housing costs. While this won’t change your life, it’s a nice little bonus if you want to knock a couple of pounds off a meal out or a day trip with the kids. Just make sure you’re aware of the tourist dates so you can plan your trips without getting stuck in the jams and queues that can come to dominate the coastal areas situated near the resorts.
Living in Plymouth and commuting to Bristol
If you base yourself down on the South Coast in Devon’s bigger city, you’ll be able to commute to Bristol in little over an hour. This makes it a great option for professionals who want to be able to get the perfect combination of Southern English wages mixed with a lower cost of living when you’re tucked away in Devon. Worth a little thought for those of you who are far enough along in a career that you don’t feel like you want to change.
To finish things off in style, here’s three quick things you need to know about:
- The sea air may take a little getting used to, especially if you want to stay on top of your home maintenance. Living on the coast will require a little more money to be put aside for rendering and painting external surfaces over the years than if you’re in the centre of Devon away from the sea.
- Craft pubs are more popular than they’ve ever been and can be found in every village. Oddly, while the prices for many things are lower in Devon, the price of a pint is higher than in most places outside London. Why? Because they get so much of their beers and ales from local micro breweries!
- Average wages are pushed down by seasonal work, which can make comparisons with the rest of the UK misleading. If you’re not working seasonally, focus instead on the real-term pay you’re being offered by your new employer when it comes time to do your budget.
Moving to Devon can really feel like an adventure if you put the work into the planning stage from day one. Budget for all the slight changes you’ll experience, factor in different ways of commuting, and get your numbers right. Once everything balances, we can help you make the move from your house or flat quickly and easily.