Despite the current situation, we are seeing a definite uptick in gite bookings and enquiries from people wanting to buy or sell a gite. It looks like things are picking up even though travel to France is still problematic.
But why is France so attractive to Brits? Why do we choose France over other countries?
The same but different
One of the reasons is France is the same but also different. Thanks to the Norman invasion, parts of Britain look like parts of northern France. Narrow winding roads, hedgerows and French names.
Our language also has a lot of French in it, making French a relatively simple language to get to grips with. While still difficult at times, many words sound similar so are easier to remember.
Then there’s the food. Sure, Britain is catching up in terms of cuisine but your basic, everyday food in France is far superior. If you shop at a French market and buy local, fresh produce, there’s nothing quite like it in the UK.
Supermarkets are the same anywhere and you have Lidl and Aldi in France too but you also have a culture that values fresh local produce and the market is where to buy it.
If you venture outside the cities in France, you’ll find the people are as friendly and as welcoming as it’s possible to be. It’s like some parts of Britain. People are friendly, nod or say hello in the street, make way for each other, help each other out and generally be good neighbours.
There are still areas of the UK like that and France is the same. City people are the same the world over but outside the cities, they become nice again.
The UK has some of the best countryside of anywhere in the world but so does France. It’s large enough to have a varied geography with the north being very different to the south. Then you have the mountains in the east and to the south, Mediterranean coastlines and green and pleasant land in-between.
There is literally something for everyone here and the countryside is perfect for gites. Ideal for getting around, ripe for exploration and dotted with chateaux and things to see and do.
Some French cities are dirty and industrial like ours but many are clean, wide open, tree-lined and pleasant. The French taste for boulevards and tree-lined streets has provided a more open, enjoyable city life.
Things still get busy and hectic and there are industrial areas and estates you don’t want to travel alone, but they are usually much more pleasant than UK cities.
We’re not taking anything away from the UK here. We still think of it as our old home and still visit regularly. However, France has its own charms and its own benefits, some of which we listed here.
Why do you love France? Why did you choose to make a home here or buy a gite?