Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

Many people believe Cornwall is one of the best areas in the UK to live; since the 1960s the county’s population has grown quicker than the rest of the South West, with potential buyers jostling to enjoy some of the country’s best beaches, stunning views, and a more laid back way of life than those living as a commuter in the South East.

With so many great places to hang your hat, it can be difficult to choose exactly where you want to settle. We’ve taken a look at five popular areas for people wanting to take on a smallholding or move their family to the Duchy.

Rock, Padstow

Rock is one of Cornwall’s gems when it comes to coastal villages. Renowned for its celebrity restaurants and sandy beaches, Rock attracts thousands of tourists each year. However, don’t let its tourism spotlight deter you; there are a number of smallholdings and properties for sale in the area with stunning sea-views, although you will of course pay a premium for if your property can see a glimpse of the blue stuff!

Bodmin Moor

Alongside tourism, farming plays a huge part in the Cornish economy, contributing around £366 million a year. If you’re looking for a rural retreat, somewhere to set up your business where space is in abundance, then look no further than the Bodmin Moor area, home to Cornwall’s ‘twin peaks’ Rough Tor and Brown Willy.

Villages such as St Breward, Blisland and St Kew boast some of the best countryside walks with amazing views of the moor. You may seem like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but links to major roads, the A30 and A39, are easily accessible.


Considered as the UK’s surfing capital, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to surfing spots and beach walks. Newquay is not only great if you like surfing, it is easily accessible from across the country — great if you’re looking to set up a business, drawing in customers far and wide. Unlike many coastal parts of Cornwall, major roads go directly into Newquay and the nearby airport offers all year round direct flights to London and Manchester.


Located on Cornwall’s south coast is the county’s largest port, Falmouth. If you’re looking for a smallholding or farm, but don’t want to miss out on Cornish culture, Falmouth is the place to be!

With Cornwall’s capital just a 30-minute drive away and one of King Henry VIII’s finest fortresses nestled nearby, there’s plenty to see and do. If you have a children, education will likely have a huge influence when it comes to your decision to move, so you’ll be pleased to know Falmouth University has an international reputation for excellence. The town also has great rail links; making journeys of hundreds of miles seem less daunting!

Cawsand, Rame Peninsula

If you’re looking to relocate to Cornwall, but want to remain relatively close to a city, Cawsand is just a ferry ride away from Plymouth; ‘Britain’s Ocean City’. By bordering Devon the town offers the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches and the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

If you’re looking for things to do when taking a break from work on the farm or office, Mount Edgcumbe House is well worth a visit or take a stroll through the gardens of Antony House, which you may have spotted in Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland!

If you’re looking to move to the Duchy, whether to find the perfect family home or to buy property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667.

Top 10 things to consider when relocating to Devon or Cornwall

Top 10 things to consider when relocating to Devon or Cornwall

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life

What exactly is it you’re looking for?

It seems like an obvious and simple place to start; if you’re looking to move to the West Country, do you know exactly what it is you’re looking for?

This is sometimes a question you may already know the answer to.  For example, you need a four-bedroom house, something with a little land and open space for the kids, something that’s rural, but still has local amenities and facilities on your doorstep.

Write down your list of requirements, and make sure you know which are your priorities.

Rural or Community Based?

If you’re currently living in an urban or city area, do you know how rural you want to go? Whilst the peace and quiet of an isolated farmhouse may seem like bliss to many, will you miss the convenience and company of the urban scene?

How much land?

The amount of land you need can have a real impact on cost and is therefore a vital consideration.

Have you given thought as to what you’re looking to achieve from your land, the scale on which you’re looking to do that, and also whether you currently have the knowledge to implement your ideas?

Local Schools?

A large number of families move to the West Country each and every year.  A key decision for every family to make and research is the quality of local schools.  Whilst 85% of schools in Devon are considered to be ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED, you’ll want to find the right fit for your children, as well as working out the school run on those rural roads!

Things to see and do in the local area

What do you do in your spare time? Where do you take the children during school holidays? Every area of Devon and Cornwall has something very different to offer; are you keen hikers or more likely to be found in the sea enjoying the surf whenever you can?

Whichever you are, always remember that your home is the property you’re buying, and also the lifestyle and everything that comes with and around it.

Road links to your potential home

The school run, the local amenities and places you’ll find; local roads impact them all.  Always take a look at local road systems; are you going to be spending your time on a dual carriageway, or on windy country lanes? What impact does this have on your lifestyle and your ease of getting to where you need or want to be?

Is the property value for money?

Property markets vary in every region of the UK; In Devon £1m will get you a four bedroom period property with five holiday cottages, and 4.5 acres of land.

The same money in London will get you a two bedroom apartment a stones throw away from Battersea Power Station.

Knowing and understanding the local market is essential in making sure you know how far your money goes, and whether you can be extending that list of priorities we mentioned at the start of this post, or pruning them!

Researching the local area

There’s an old adage that before you buy a property you should visit it a few times on different days and at different times, maybe even in different weathers, to get a true feel for all of the factors you should be considering.

If you live a long way from the potential property, how are you going to do this? How are you intending on finding out about any niggling problems that may exist?

How will you find time to manage the process?

How do you fit this in with the day job? Can you fit this into the day job?

If not, this leads us nicely onto our final point….

Do you need help?

Most of the points above come down to research, and simply knowing the lay of the local land.  This is where we aim to help those relocating.  We have the knowledge of the local area, we understand agriculture, and we’ve also done it ourselves.  We’re here to help you make sure that your dream move becomes a reality.

Why buy a smallholding in Devon?

Why buy a smallholding in Devon?

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life West Country Properties

With more and more people looking to move to the South West of England and enjoy all of the benefits of the rural lifestyle, we take a look at why people are taking the plunge and buying a smallholding or farm, and really living the West Country Dream!

Key Facts about where we live:

  • 18% (some 9.3 million people) now live in areas of the UK officially classified as rural.
  • More than half of those living in a rural area are over 45 years old.
  • Property prices are on the up in the South West, having risen by a reported 5% in the past year.

What you get when you get here:

  • Beautiful Coastlines; 450 miles of coastline to be precise!
  • A healthy lifestyle; 81% of people in Devon are classified as being in very good or good health.
  • Quality schools; 85% of schools in Devon are rated as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED.

A recent survey conducted by Country Life Magazine ranked Devon as the best place to live in the entire UK.  With more than 22,000 people moving to rural areas of the UK each and every year it appears plenty of us agree with their findings!

What can you get for your money?

We’ve taken a look at just how far £1,000,000 will get you in the South West of England and compared it to the London property market.  You may be surprised at the difference between the two; the South West looks like great value!

What you get for £1m in London

  • 2 bedroom apartment
  • 660sq.ft of internal floor space
  • A stones throw from Battersea Power Station

What you get for £1m in Devon

  • 4 bedroom Grade II Listed 16th Century Property
  • 5 holiday cottages
  • 4.5 acres of land

For more information on how West Country Dream can help you realise your dream of moving to a smallholding, farm or property with land in the South West of England please take a look around our site or call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667.

West Country Dream helps those seeking rural life

West Country Dream helps those seeking rural life

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life West Country Properties

A husband and wife team are using their extensive knowledge of agriculture to provide those looking for their own slice of the West Country dream a unique opportunity to see exactly what they’ll be getting.

West Country Dream, set up by Helen and Murray Garrett, brings together a unique combination of a farm, self-catering cottage and a number of agricultural courses for those considering moving to the region in the hunt for the good life.

Helen explained, “Around 10 years ago we took the decision to relocate to the South West from our farm in the Home Counties. This process took over a year to complete, involved hundreds of miles of travelling as well as a number of logistical hurdles and headaches. We know that many people look to move to the South West, whether they are already in agriculture or looking to purchase their first smallholding, and we wanted to make this process easier and simpler for them to achieve.”

The business offers a complete property search and selection service, calling upon their own farming experience in identifying the best-suited smallholdings and property with land on the market.

Helen continued, “There are three things we want to help reduce for those looking to relocate; mileage, time and stress. By ensuring we’ve already seen the properties before our clients’ visit we can make sure that they’ll only view ones that could be the perfect home.”

Those on the hunt for rural property with West Country Dream won’t be left in the local hotel; the business has a self-catering holiday cottage on their farm and encourages those looking to test the water to enjoy one of their taster packages.

“We realise that not everyone looking to find a smallholding in the South West will already have farming knowledge. With the holiday cottage on site and Murray’s experience as a qualified agricultural lecturer we thought it was the ideal opportunity to give people the chance to get involved with farming life and learn at the same time.”

For more information about West Country Dream please call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667

Top tips to consider before relocating to the South West

Top tips to consider before relocating to the South West

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life

So many people often dream about relocating to the West Country, but when considering a relocation of this type there’s a huge amount of research required to ensure you find your perfect new home.  Location surely has to be the top criteria for research so here are a few tips on what to consider when seriously contemplating a move.

Community or rural

So you’re looking for a rural retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of City life and surrounded by lots of open space and fresh air…

This is a really serious point to consider – rural in the South West can mean long journeys down single track roads with a few bleating sheep as neighbours – heaven for a week’s holiday perhaps, but make sure that it really is your dream


Driving in the West Country is very different to a trip around the M25.  Be prepared for single track roads, mud, cows, an infuriating lack of signposts and the ultimate challenge for Satnavs, but in return you’ll be lucky enough to enjoy the most fantastic views for miles and miles and certainly a lot less traffic!


Devon itself is a huge area – understand which parts you like and why? If you’re unsure do your research and get advice – towns, fishing villages, seaside resorts can all be beautiful on a glorious summers day  – but what’s the reality in winter?

There are plenty of organisations like; ourselves, local councils and town and tourism websites who all provide great resources for anyone looking to move to the area.

For more information about moving to Devon or Cornwall please give Helen a call on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

Whiteface winners

Whiteface winners

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

Last night we enjoyed our ‘October’ trip across Dartmoor to celebrate the annual Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep Breeders Association dinner.  Always a great event, providing the chance to socialise with other breeders, enjoy a tasty meal and learn more from interesting speakers.

This year turned out to be even more memorable when we were announced as ‘Winners’ not only of the ‘Best flock of over 50 ewes’ but also the overall ‘Flock’ winner – a big surprise and even bigger honour against such a strong competition of Dartmoor farmers, some of whom have bred Whitefaces on the Moor for generations.

Maybe it’s this ‘win’ which has influenced our seven year old son, who, until this week was only ever interested in pigs – bizarrely, he’s now keen to become the new owner of some more ewes, due to arrive next month.  It seems a little bit of competition can be a healthy way of inspiring potential future farmers.  For the sake of this beautiful landscape, lets hope it works!

Show time again

Show time again

West Country Life

July – the height of summer if we’re lucky, the end of the school year and the run of local agriculture shows begins…. with Devon County and The Royal Cornwall Shows behind us, it’s now time to enjoy the more relaxed delight of ‘one-day’ sheep showing and the chance to take in all of the rural sights and sounds that accompany these great days out.

Totnes Show is nearly always our first venture out for the year and our daughter Jessica has enjoyed some fantastic wins with some of her Whiteface Dartmoor Sheep. This year was slightly different though, as her brother James age six became competitive for the first time. (Dad didn’t do too badly either!)

However as a rather less competitive parent my enjoyment comes in the form of a great family day out with minimal sibling arguments, plenty of fresh Devon air and absolutely no TV watching. Roll on next year!

Right place, right time…

Right place, right time…

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

When moving to Devon or Cornwall in the West Country (or in fact anywhere new) a major task is finding good tradesmen and when owning a smallholding or farm the list of useful contacts is even longer. Price, reliability, experience and skills are all important factors but sometimes ‘right time, right place’ comes to mind.

Having been approached by countless contractors touting for my business after our arrival at Waytown,  a novel opportunity presented itself when our prize winning bull ‘Pastiche’ succeeded in getting his head stuck in the feeding barrier. Our increasingly frantic attempts to free him failed miserably when ‘Fernley’ drove into the yard. His expertise managed to free the proverbial sword from the stone and he’s had my business ever since, and has proven himself many times over since that day.

A game of cat and mouse

A game of cat and mouse

West Country Life

Helen had been praising the ‘mousing’ abilities of her Weimeraner ‘Rosie’ recently as it spent increasing amounts of time stalking them in the feed store.

Unfortunately it would appear that one rather enterprising rodent decided to take refuge within my new quad bike. Whether the dog actually caught her quarry I don’t know, but in her attempt she managed to notch up some £800 worth of damage to the bike, including a shredded seat and chewed electrics. I hardly dared to telephone the insurers with the details – but was reliably informed that we were not the first to suffer in this way.

You can therefore imagine my delight when I spotted an advertisement at my local abattoir seeking new homes for twenty-two feral cats found on site.  Our two new guests were delivered by the Cat Protection League neutered and with all their homely comforts in tow. Much to the children’s delight they have turned out to be less feral than anticipated and have certainly made themselves at home, regularly enjoying ringside seats at the side of the sheep handling system when we’re vaccinating.

Exactly how many rodents they are catching is rather hard to judge, as their appetite for cat food is undiminished. Perhaps a few rodent traps would have been a cheaper alternative (but don’t tell the children!)?