Moving to Devon, but where? Help me!

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ohcrystal0 | 19:02 Wed 19th Mar 2008 | People & Places
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I am moving to England from the U.S. and I'm not sure where to go. I know I want to live by the water, so I've narrowed it down to Devon or Cornwall. But I heard that since these are tourist spots, it is hard to find work during the winter months.

Can anyone tell me where in these two counties will I be able to find work in the summer and winter? I work as a nanny, but my partner is a bicycle courier.

Where can I find a good nightlife? A job? The sea? And close to the countryside? We need to be in or near to a city since we don't drive.

Fill me in! Thanks a bunch.


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Hi. If you go to Cornwall, then you need to head somewhere towards Truro. It's a busy, although not huge, city. There is good bus links in and around Truro. And you are about 15 mins to the sea, either Newquay/Perranporth to the north or Falmouth to the south. Falmouth is a small but lively town, and next to the sea, but can get extremely busy in the summer months. If going to Devon then your best bet is to head somewhere near to Exeter or Plymouth. I can't advise you as well for Devon as I never lived there where as I lived in Cornwall for 7 years. If you want anymore help, let me know, I'll keep checking back on this thread. Daffi x
Forgive me for asking, but I presume you have a work permit, as far as I am aware all US nationals need a work permit to work in the UK.
And also what kind of work you want to do? Do you want to still be a nanny? Does your partner still want to work as a bicycle courier? There's not much call for those in Devon and Cornwall - it's much too hilly!
If you want to be in or near to a city then you should consider Plymouth or Exeter, both in Devon. That's where you will find the good night life, more possibility of a job and you will also be close to the countryside and the sea.
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I used to live in Devon and whilst it, and Cornwall are beautiful counties they do still have problems. Housing is very expensive as many people buy houses there for second homes meaning that the locals are priced out of buying. Many jobs are within the tourist trade, meaning that they are low paid and often seasonal. Both Devon and Cornwall have large farming communities, some of which have been devestated by recent disease outbreaks (foot and mouth) plus down turns in the farming world. Many, many people in Devon and Cornwall live below the poverty line.
Have you ever visited Britain? It may not be all you think, though to be fair, Devon and Cornwall have the quaintness that Americans love!

I have a friend in Kentucky who lived in Devon for three years and thought she was in heaven!
Regarding Property prices in is one of the cheaper areas to buy. can be expensive...but that is outside the cities. Take a look at for local estate agents
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Haha.. I do have a work permit (only valid for six months) and I have been to Britain before. I lived first in Stansted Mountfitchet, living with a family and working as their nanny, which sucked. But the town was great, I thought. Then I moved to Manchester which was horrible.. I feared for my life every night walking home from work, heh.

So now I'm hoping to stay in a nicer part of England. Or maybe even Wales. I've been some time in Aberystwyth, and that was a lovely place. So maybe I will look into that. I know it's a big student place, and I don't know what employment is like there.

I do still want to be a nanny, but I think my partner is flexible. My biggest concern with Cornwall and Devon is exactly what you said, spudqueen.. that they're seasonal places and by winter we will not have jobs anymore.

So I guess Plymouth and Exeter are the only places to find long term work??

Thanks so much, both of you, you're really helpful!
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Oh, and I don't want to buy! We're only renting.. I can't afford to buy!
Spudqueen has correctly identified Plymouth and Exeter as two of the best places for your needs in the south-west of England. they've both got reasonably large student populations, which usually means plenty of nightlife. However, outside of those main cities, public transport isn't great in that part of the country, which could be a problem if you took a child-care job in a country area. Employment opportunities might also be fairly limited around there for both you and your partner.

Since you've indicated that you might consider other areas, my thoughts are drawn to the area around Brighton. Admittedly (because it's about an hour from London on the train) rental prices are quite high but there would probably be far more employment opportunities for you and your partner. Brighton has some of the best nightlife anywhere (outside of London) in the whole of the UK. Public transport is also very good, which is great because Brighton is a wonderful base for exploring the coast and countryside. sit/987.asp

Yes, Cornwall and Devon are expensive places to live, but in the right places there is no problem with finding work all year round. Please look into it further before ruling it out. I worked as a childminder in Cornwall as was always full and constantly had calls from people looking for vacancies for their children. I knew many people that worked as nannies, there is a large call for it especially in Cornwall. Wales is a much cheaper option but wage is generally lower and my fear would be that the call for nannies there would not be as strong. x
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Hiya ohcrystalo.
If you have a work permit for six months,you wont be working in the winter.There is loads of holiday work on the North devon coast in holiday camps and hotels And there's a busy nightlife in Barnstaple.Or you can stay local where you will find nightclubs pubs .Beautifull beaches including Woolacombe ,Saunton sands,if you got any Pink Floyd albums you will see the beach on the front also we got some famous Americans moving in yo
anyways good luck in whatever you choose (:O)

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