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Adam is a barrister and commutes to Londonon a regular basis. At just 25 minutes’ driveto Calais Frethun station, then Eurostar to StPancras, the whole journey takes less than 2hours, and he often takes day trips for work.In fact, he says, his journey from Essex tooklonger.Though they love their French house it is thelife they have in France that is mostimportant to them. “There’s a sense ofcommunity spirit, the neighbours have beenreally welcoming, and when Adam isworking in London I don’t feel isolatedbecause there’s always something to do. Ourdaughters Lucy and Alice who both work inLondon, love to visit”. Wendy says rightfrom the beginning, they’ve felt like theybelong. “On our first day, the lady across theroad came over with a tray of hot food andhome-made bread. After we’d beenunpacking all day, it meant so much”.“We love the food here” says Adam, “thereare fabulous restaurants like the Michelinstarred La Matelote in Boulogne for specialoccasions and within walking distance of ourhouse there’s a charming bistro with greatsteak frites”.The proximity to the beautiful beaches ofthe Opal Coast, the street markets and thefriendliness of the people make this “a littlebit of heaven” says Wendy.Designs on the 7 ValleysHeather and Mike White, a creative patternmaker and graphic designer respectively,purchased a neglected former school house,close to the popular town of Hesdin in theheart of the Seven Valleys. It needed a lot ofrenovation and while Mike took on thechallenge, Heather continued to work inLondon, commuting from France.
The couple’s creative flair shines through inevery detail of their now jaw-droppinglybeautiful home. Though the house is still awork in progress, it’s a cosy, welcoming placewith magnificent views over the surroundingcountryside. “Apart from not being able toget a take away after a hard day’s graft,there’s nothing I miss in the UK” says Mike.What they’ve gained from their live inFrance/work in London arrangement saysHeather, is a lifestyle they could never haveafforded in the UK. They love walking in thecountry with their dog, “friendly andwelcoming locals, a slower pace of life”,street markets and visiting flea markets atthe weekends (there are more than 3000 ayear in the region). With numerous museumsand cultural venues, including the world classLouvre Museum at Lens, hundreds offestivals and events, Paris 2.5 hours away, “itis” says Heather “ideal and idyllic”.Tim Sage, regional manager of LeggettImmobillier, who lives in the Seven Valleys,says this is an area that’s really underestimatedand offers terrific value. “It’s theclosest French holiday destination for the UKwhich makes it easy for expats to see friendsand family and for second home owners tospend more time on holiday and lesstraveling. Known as the golden triangle for itsease of access between Paris, Belgium andthe UK, it has the added advantage of lowcost homes.There are a growing number of expats livingthe good life in the region whilst continuingto work in the UK. And while currently travelis on hold, when restrictions are lifted, forthose looking to live in France but not be toofar from the UK, this region might be justperfect...Tim's Portfolio of properties in Pas-de-Calais
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