We moved to France 3 years ago now and found our small piece of heaven, La Bletiere. We teamed up with Angling Lines and so life as a commercial carp venue started.But how did we get here?When we have guests fishing here, other than the obvious questions about tactics, the question asked most often is how did we start on the road to our dream.
I have long wanted to put pen to paper as they say and help others who want to follow us over here and so this is it… well at least a start! The following views and ramblings are mine and Lesley’s view and no one else’s and we suspect others may have had different experiences, but this is how it happened for us.
Where do you start when think you might want to move to France?
Well the first thing to do is to holiday over here and visit the areas you think you would like to live. Don’t even think about buying a lake… just enjoy the trip and look at the lifestyle, what’s in the area and is it for you.
Location, location, location!
Our advice on location is to decide how far you believe people will travel and then do not compromise on that decision. Travel is expensive and not everyone wants to drive for hours to get to a venue. It’s a fine line but one you have to decide on.
We took the view that we would not ourselves drive for more than say 4 hours – so we drew a line 4 hours driving from the ferry ports and then started the search in those areas.
The Internet is a great tool at this stage. You can find properties and research the surrounding area… all without leaving your desk!
Choosing the Property
Once you have spent quality time looking and have decided on an area then the really hard part begins. This is where you have to keep a level head and not let properties steal your heart! You will see and fall for a lot of places, but hang out until you find one that ticks all your boxes.
Are you going to go big and buy a 10 acre lake and room to put 8 anglers on… or like ourselves go for a smaller lake but be able to offer lake exclusive at a smaller price?
Just remember that the bigger the lake the more carp will be needed to stock it… and they are very expensive! (stocking carp is a Blog article of its own which I’ll cover later).
You have to also think about if you are aiming for drive and survive, or like us, offering a family venue where partners would be happy to come and have quality accommodation and good fishing.
These decisions are critical as they will have a big influence on what you buy.
Just remember this is a new life and a new country, so things will be stressful and you’ll feel at times like nothing is happening. But believe me when you move into your new home you’ll know it was all worthwhile.
Look at the surrounding area.
When you go to look at places don’t just drive to the property and then drive back. Allow yourselves time to look around the area to ensure it’s got what your guest will need like shops (and things to do if you go for a family venue)… but more important will you be happy living there?
I suspect like us you will visit a lot of lakes and drive many miles and spend a lot of money going back and forth… but believe me it’s worth it. Don’t forget it’s your new life and you have to be certain you will be happy there and that it’s got everything (or the potential to have) you want in your venue.
When you finally find that small part of France that makes you go “Wow!” as you drive down the lane (we did) the next part of your adventure starts… buying the property and getting the permissions to start your business… and that’s what I’ll cover in the next post.
Best wishes, John and Lesley London, La Bletiere