Written by Alexis Goldberg,
24th May 2022

The North of France may not have quite as much sunshine as the South, but it certainly makes up for this in terms of beautiful towns and villages, fascinating history, incredible monuments and some stunning properties for sale at reasonable prices.

It is also, of course, a hop, skip and a jump from the UK, meaning you can easily spend a weekend here without having to think about a long stressful journey.

Normandy and Brittany are the most popular areas of the North of France, much loved by the French too. Brittany has no landlocked departments and thus, if you love to be by the sea, this would be an excellent area in which to buy property.

The channel port of Calais (the closest and quickest crossing from Dover or Folkestone) is often overlooked, but it has developed into a lovely town in the last few years with some fine restaurants and trendy shopping. Equally Dieppe and Boulogne are well worth a visit.

Brittany consists of 4 departments: Finistere in the west, Cotes d’Armor in the north, Morbihan in the south and Ille et Vilaine in the east. Many say that the rugged coastline here is reminiscent of Cornwall!

Normandy consists of 5 departments: Calvados, Eure, Manche, Orne, Seine-Maritime.

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Property prices

During the lockdowns, much of the north of France became an escape route for the French town dwellers seeking a countryside bolt hole. Prices have risen in much of Brittany as a result, though in Normandy, they have stayed largely unchanged. Being our very nearest neighbour, both areas have remained extremely popular for British buyers.

As a general rule, property prices are cheaper in Normandy than Brittany. But as we see below, there are still some tremendous bargains to be found in both areas.

Recommended towns and villages

Normandy is home to so many lovely places. Take a look at Honfleur, Giverny, Barfleur, Etretat and of course Mont St. Michel, one of the most visited sites in France.

Brittany also has some beautiful towns and villages such as Daoulas, Rochefort-en-Terre, Josselin, Fougeres, Vannes, Roscoff, Carnac, Dinan and St. Malo.

A little further east lies Nord Pas de Calais with its capital Lille, which is well worth a visit.

We have sourced 10 wonderful and affordable properties for sale in the North of France. Take a look here:

Huelgoat, Finistere: €144,450

Huelgoat, Finistere | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

A very pretty 2-bedroom cottage with garden near the market town of Huelgoat in the popular department of Finistere in the west of Brittany, under an hour from the ferry port.

St Martin de Landelles, Manche: €150,000

St Martin de Landelles, Manche | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

This is a gorgeous, fully renovated detached farmhouse with a half acre of land is set in the Manche department of north-west Normandy.

Valdalliere, Calvados: €145,000

Beautifully renovated detached village house with garden and garage | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

How about this beautiful detached village house? With a garden and garage in the centre of the village, there a bus service from here to Vire, a larger village with all amenities. It is only an hour and a half to the ferry ports too, making it an ideal weekend residence at a great price.

Saint-Sever-Calvados, Calvados: €139,500

Detached stone house with just under 2.5 acres | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

This lovely stone house is set in 2.5 acres of land with stables and boasts stunning countryside views. The village of St. Sever has a weekly market and several small shops.

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Callac, Cotes d’Armor: €196,500

Callac, Cotes-d’Armor | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

This lovely 5-bedroom “longere” or long house is typical of the region and situated in a hamlet near the market town of Callac. Easy to reach from the UK and remarkable value for money!

Loyat, Morbihan: €226,825

Maison Loyat 5 pièce(s) 134 m2 | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

Beautiful farmhouse with huge open plan living room/kitchen, garage, outbuilding and large garden located in a pretty hamlet close to Loyat in the south of Brittany.

Forges de Lanouee, Bretagne: €195,175

Forges de Lanouee, Bretagne | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

A neat and bright house in the centre of town with amenities nearby. Surrounded by a large garden, it sleeps five people and has two bathrooms. Set in beautiful Forges de Lanouee, this property makes a good base to visit Rennes and St. Malo.

Boeschepe, Nord Pas-de-Calais: €322,800

Lovely house with pool on a flat 365m2 plot | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

Over in the Nord Pas-de-Calais is this brand new house with heated pool on the Residence du Golf de Salernes development close to the Belgian border. This property would make an excellent rental investment and would appeal to both French and British buyers.

Lonlay l’Abbaye, Orne: €161,000

Lonlay l’Abbaye, Orne | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

This is a gorgeous Normandy stone farmhouse in mint condition and in a quiet position just 4 kms from the pretty village of Lonlay l’Abbaye which has all amenities. A real bargain for a beautiful property.

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Sourdeval, Manche: €240,000

Sourdeval, Manche | France Property Guides (propertyguides.com)

Here we have a large, beautifully renovated house close to the market town of Sourdeval and in an enviable position with access to 50 acres of private woodland and meadows. Many original features have been retained to give it a feeling of charm, warmth and character.

Access from the UK

The north of France is appealing for so many reasons: the wonderful market towns, the beaches, the history and of course the proximity to the UK. It is easy to reach most parts of Normandy, Brittany and Nord Pas-de-Calais by boat. The quickest crossing is from Dover to Calais but consider other routes such as Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Caen.

Buying a property in the north of France is an excellent idea for anyone wishing to enjoy all that France has to offer without the hassle of flying or a long drive.

Buying a House in France Guide.

Buying a property in France is extremely exciting, but it can be nerve-wracking: in what ways is the process different to the UK, how do you cope with the language difference, what fees should you expect and just who is the notaire? That’s why we’ve put together our France Buying Guide, to help you through the process, step by step.

Written by experts, it covers every stage of buying, from viewing to contracts and fees. Get your copy of the French Property Guide by simply filling in the form below.


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