Devon vs Cornwall

Devon vs Cornwall

West Country Life West Country Properties

So you’ve made the first big decision, you want to move the the South West, but it is a pretty big place, so we need to start narrowing your search down. The first step is to decide which county is best for you.

Devon and Cornwall both have so much to offer, with plenty of activities, space, and great schools for the kids. Locals will, however, tell you that they’re different. At first, you might not see that yourself, and that’s why we’re here to help you. Here is a brief overview of each county to help you decide whether your new home is in Devon, or Cornwall.

Devon

Devon is split into a few areas that each have their own personality and style. These areas are East Devon, North Devon, and South Devon. As well as this, there’s also Exmoor and Dartmoor, so there’s plenty of choice available.

East Devon is great for beaches and has a real traditional atmosphere. The Jurassic coast is fascinating and there’s loads to keep kids happy. There’s also a lot of great countryside, with a large number of walking routes and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you want rural, then check out North Devon. With world class beaches such as Woolacombe and Saunton Sands, as well as the beautiful Exmoor national park, it really is a peaceful and gorgeous place. The only major road, the A361, only reaches half of the area, so be prepared for plenty of winding country lanes!

South Devon is more populated, with cities such as Exeter and Plymouth, and major tourist spots such as Torbay. But it isn’t all bright lights and high street shops, there’s also the iconic Dartmoor national park.

Throughout the county you’ll find farm shops, markets, and plenty of room for livestock whilst retaining a connection to modern life, with local cities Exeter and Plymouth growing rapidly. If you’re after a beautiful piece of the countryside, but stay connected to a small city then Devon is the place for you.

Cornwall

As the 9th largest county in England, and one of the largest coastlines in the UK, Cornwall is definitely the best place for fans of the seaside! The north coast allows you to dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and the South is surrounded by the English Channel.

There’s only one city in the county, Truro, which is fairly central, the rest is small towns and open countryside – perfect for a truly rural lifestyle. The deeper you get into Cornwall, the more you’ll feel like you’re a world away from your old city life.

If you want to throw yourself into farming life, then staying away from the coast will provide you with ample space and many areas are only accessible by small, winding roads. Don’t expect to be able to pop to Tesco at any time of the day here, you’ll be planning your trip a week in advance!
For those looking for an active lifestyle that makes the most of Cornwall’s world-famous coastline, then there are plenty of places to choose from. Many coastal towns have close knit communities and groups of local surfers who know the best spots to catch some waves. Choosing a coastal area doesn’t mean you can’t also have a smallholding lifestyle, there’s plenty of rural areas which are just a short drive from the best beaches in the world.

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

7 things you won’t find in the city

7 things you won’t find in the city

West Country Life

It comes as no surprise that there are some big differences between cities and the countryside. Your faithful tube-line gets replaced with bi-daily buses and your busy office becomes a field filled with goats; it can sometimes feel like a completely different world.

For those used to large, busy cities, a move to the West Country can seem quite daunting. But believe us when we say it is worth it. There are so many amazing things that just don’t exist in the smoggy city, things that you can only get down in the southern countryside. Here are just a few of those things to get you excited for your big move.

1. Wild ponies

We highly doubt you’ve been walking through an urban landscape and seen a wild pony, but you can do just that in the countryside. The Dartmoor Pony is a special breed that can be found on the rocky moors, and they’re hardy creatures. Specially adapted to deal with extreme weather conditions, these ponies can easily be spotted wandering around Dartmoor but please do note that it is illegal for members of the public to feed them!

2. World class beaches

Sennen Cove was named one of the best beaches in the world for surfing, and Pedn Vounder has been called the 27th best beach in the world. So believe us when we say that there are some great beaches down here! If you’re looking at Devon, then try out Saunton Sands and Blackpool Sands which were named the fourth and fifth (respectively) best beaches in the UK!

3. Ice cream, fresh ice cream

Everyone loves ice cream, and we know you can get it in the city, but have you ever eaten ice cream next to the cow who produced the milk for it? We thought not. At Orange Elephant Ice Cream near Exeter, you can enjoy a tasty treat and meet the cows. Alternatively, take a trip to Callestick Farm and try their amazing homemade ice cream and visit the farm.

4. A good view of the stars

In cities, the night sky is often obscured by light pollution. Street lamps, lights from buildings, and traffic all disguise the stars and you rarely get to see the night sky in all its glory. It isn’t like that in the West Country. The low light pollution means that almost every night you get front row seats to the universe, and it is truly breath taking. You can even have an extra special night by viewing them from the moors.

5. Fitness in the fresh air

No one likes to spend hours in a busy, hot, smelly gym in an effort to get fit so moving to the South West gives you the perfect opportunity to ditch that overpriced gym membership. The clear air makes exercising outside a delight, and there are plenty of walking and cycling routes for the whole family to enjoy.

6. A closer connection to your food

When a farm is a hundred miles away you get used to eating food out of packaging and having no idea where it comes from. Many city dwellers have a real detachment from the reality of what they’re eating, but that all changes when you get to Devon and Cornwall. Shopping locally is encouraged here, and you’ll often find yourself chatting about the produce with the farmer who grew it.

7. People who talk to each other

This can be a little strange at first, particularly when you’re used to sitting in silence next to strangers every day, but the people of the West Country love a good natter. Even if you’ve never met them before, you can be sure that you’ll receive a friendly “good morning/afternoon” and most likely a comment about the weather. Before you know it you’ll be starting conversations with strangers yourself!

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

5 reasons why farming in the West Country is amongst the best places in the UK

5 reasons why farming in the West Country is amongst the best places in the UK

Farming and agriculture West Country Life

Making your first steps in the farming world, but unsure whereabouts in the UK you should settle?

Whether you’re looking to keep a small flock of sheep on a smallholding or start up a dairy herd on a larger farm, begin and end your search in the West Country — one of the best places in the UK!

What makes the West Country one of the best we hear you ask?

Here at West Country Dream we have the answers!

Mild climate

If you’re planning to keep livestock and cultivate crops, you’ll want land that is dry for most of the year around (well as much as that is possible in our temperate climate!).

Being so close to the sea, the South West has the highest average temperature of any other area located near the sea. As a result, the chances of snow during winter months are very low, which is great news if you plan to keep livestock outside for most of the year around.

The West Country’s warm summers also mean crops can be harvested as late as October, while the ground is still dry.

Tourism opportunities

The West Country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the UK, with more than 34 million visits made over the last year.

This is not only beneficial to those who have, or are looking to diversify into tourist accommodation. Setting up a smallholding with plans to sell your own produce via a farm shop? You’ll also benefit from the mass influx of tourists during the summer months.

Land prices

More and more people want their very own slice of the countryside and this has seen the value of farmland rise remarkably over the last ten years, but things are on the change….

The price of livestock and arable land in the West Country remains competitive, but still cheaper than other areas of the UK, including the bordering regions of the West Midlands and South East.

Land experts are also predicting prices will stabilise over the next year so now could be the opportune time to start looking for your very own West Country dream!

Low crime rates

No matter where you choose to live you’ll want to be at ease knowing you and your family are in a safe environment so you’ll be pleased to hear that according to Government statistics crime levels in the South West are amongst the lowest in England!

Award winning beaches

At the end of a busy day on the farm, why not escape to some of the UK’s top rated beaches? The West Country is home to Devon and Cornwall’s many award-winning beaches, as highly recommended by Trip Advisor and National Geographic. These include Carne Beach near Truro (National Geographic), Woolacombe Beach, North Devon (Trip Advisor), Porthminster Beach near St Ives and the well-known Fistral Beach in Newquay.

If you’re looking for a balanced quality of life, the West Country is the place to be.

Find your West Country Dream

Want your very own slice of the West Country? Let us do the searching for your perfect farm or smallholding, while you spend your time exploring the beautiful beaches nearby.

Visit our services page or give Helen a call on 07816 514667.

Top five myths about buying a farm

Top five myths about buying a farm

Farming and agriculture

Farming is at the heart of the West Country and the region is home to more livestock than any other area in the UK.

Living on a farm allows you to live a potentially healthier lifestyle; for those of you who are yet to live and breath the rural lifestyle, we take a look at the top five myths and misconceptions when it comes to buying your own farm.

You have to be from a farming background

Do you really need to be from a farming background to set up a farm?

Having agricultural experience certainly helps, but some of the country’s most successful farmers started out with little or no practical knowledge.

Jim Doherty, known from the BBC series ‘Jimmy’s Farm’, is one of many examples that you don’t need experience to succeed. Jim’s farming career began in 2002 when he established a rare pig breed farm in Kent. For a number of years his progress was followed by the BBC and, today, Jimmy’s Farm has an award-winning restaurant, butterfly house and hosts food festivals throughout the year.

His pigs don’t fly but we think that’s definite proof that you don’t need agricultural experience to buy a farm!

It’s all mud, sweat and tears

Farming is often portrayed to be a backbreaking industry, with little reward. However, the benefits can be huge; latest statistics show the total UK earnings from farming is around £5.3 billion a year!

According to Defra (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) more than 300,000 are employed by the agriculture sector in England and 62,000 of the total workforce are in South West. If you’re looking for a career in agriculture there are plenty of viable options available to you.

You have to go big to succeed

Buying a large acreage farm doesn’t guarantee your it’s going to be successful.

Some of the most profitable businesses have developed from smallholdings by diversifying into tourism and farm shops.

For example Hallwood Farm Shop based near Petrockstowe is an award winning shop and grows the majority of its vegetables on the farm.
Meanwhile Parkside Farm in Middlesex transformed its mixed dairy and arable farm into one of the UK’s best pick your own businesses and this year went on to become Retail Champion of the Year in the national FARMA awards.

Proof that you don’t need to buy big to become successful!

We can help you find the perfect farm to suit your needs, take a look at services here… http://westcountrydream.co.uk/land-property-search/

It’s bank breaking

Farming can often be misconceived to be ‘bank breaking’, but if you’re looking at taking your first step in the industry, you’ll be pleased to know that land prices remain stable.

If you’re considering a move from the city to the West Country, you’ll be able to get more for your money. Figures show the average semi-detached property in London is fetching more than £500,000; this will go a long way towards your first farm!

It’s a dwindling industry

Farming in the West Country is far from in decline. Alongside tourism, agriculture plays a crucial role in the West Country’s economy, directly contributing more than £1.6 billion a year.

Since 2009 the farming industry has contributed £10 billion to the UK’s economy, which is an increase of £3.1 billion (about 45 per cent) over five years.

Meanwhile, sales of organic farm produce rose by 4% last year so if you’re hoping to grow and sell your own products, now is the time to start!

West Country Dream helps people looking to buy farms and smallholdings achieve their West Country Dream. For more information on how we can help your move become a reality please give Helen a call on 07816 514667.

Five things to consider when buying a smallholding

Five things to consider when buying a smallholding

Buying property with land

Owning and managing a smallholding has become increasingly popular across the country and even celebrities are seeing the attraction; former singer Jonathan ‘JB’ Gill from the band JLS dove into the world of agriculture three years ago when he bought his 10-acre farm.

Are you looking at buying a smallholding in the West Country but not sure where to start? We’ve taken a look at five areas you should consider…

Price

Two vital questions: how much can you afford to spend, and how much is it going to cost to make the dream a reality?

Not only do you need to consider the initial costs of buying a property with land, you’ll also need to factor in any additional capital that may be needed for your business. Are you hoping to convert redundant barns into holiday cottages? Do you want to buy livestock?

These potential start up costs need to be taken into account before buying. Create a list of all potential expenditure and also allow for some contingency. Not sure how much rural life really costs? If you’re looking at taking the plunge there is plenty of support available through local rural business agencies such as Business Information Point at Okehampton, who’ll be able to work with you on a business plan.

Location

You’ve decided you want to invest in a smallholding, but you find yourself asking where?

With some of the UK’s best beaches, scenic spots and a vibrant agricultural sector, the West Country is one of the most sought after places for people buying smallholdings, but with the region stretching across more than 1.8 million hectares, deciding whereabouts you want to invest can be mind-boggling and daunting.

What are your priorities? Do you have a young family and need to live near a school? Are you looking for land suitable for certain livestock? Is accessibility a key factor if you’re planning on opening your farm to the public? Do you want to be part of a community or near somewhere with shops and services?

Prioritise the must-have factors and use your list to help find the property that suits most of your requirements. Don’t have time to look yourself? We can help; give us a call today to start your journey to finding your West Country Dream.

Size

The size of the smallholding is a fundamental factor when it comes to buying a property. Ask yourself just a few simple questions; How much land do you need to make the profit and revenue you’re targeting? Is there room for future growth? Is there potential diversification?

Although a smallholding tends to be a farm of 50 acres or less, it is still enough space to allow you to run a successful business; remember not to over commit to the costs associated with vast swathes of land unless you know that you need it, and exactly what you’re going to do with it!

Investment

The beauty of buying a smallholding is that there is something available for budgets of all sizes.

Start small, dream big!

It’s unlikely that you’ll buy everything up front and there will be on-going costs as you build your West Country dream. Factor in these costs to all of your calculations and if you’re worried there may be areas you’ve not considered, why not give us a call?

The future

What do you want to achieve from your smallholding? Is it a retreat for you and your family? Stable income? A growing business? A place for the public to visit? All of these things?

Ensure you know what your target is from the beginning to help you fulfil your ultimate goal.

We wish you the very best of luck in your search.

West Country Dream helps people looking to buy farms and smallholdings achieve their West Country Dream. For more information on how we can help your move become a reality please give Helen a call on 07816 514667.