Relocating to the U.K.: Costs of Living and Purchase of Farms and Land Rentals

Find out why the U.K. offers ideal opportunities for modern homesteading in this guide to relocating to the U.K. and purchasing or leasing farms and land rentals.


| July/August 1971



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A. The foothills of the Knockmealdown mountains, one of the best inland spots in Ireland to seek inexpensive land and established farms; B. Lough Erne, strewn with uninhabited islands; C. The Western Isles of Scotland, another happy hunting ground for island buffs; D. East coast Scotland south of Aberdeen, a good source of inexpensive mainland properties; E. A vast area of near-to-nil population; F. The twin towns of Lancaster and Morecambe. Lancaster is on the road and rail routes to just about everywhere and is particularly useful as a jumping-off point for the Lake District. Inexpensive hotels and apartments are abundant in Morecambe and Heysham, a few minutes south, is the ferry departure point for Ireland; G. The northern and southern limits of "Mid Wales", an area isolated from the resort development of the north and the industrial development of the south; H. The region in which most of England's inexpensive hill farms are located. It centers on an area not usually marked on maps known as the Rossendale Valley; I. The beautiful Devon and Cornwall area, somewhat isolated from the mainstreams of commercial farming; J. Weymouth, the departure port for Jersey and the other 'Channel Islands'; K. Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands and the closest to France.


ILLUSTRATION: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

The distant and foreign acreages of Alaska and Canada have received a lot of coverage in the American back-to-the-land journals and even Australia and New Zealand are now being mentioned. But the British Isles have so far been left out of this English-language grouping . . . understandably but mistakenly. For, while Britain has no "free" lands or acreages open to homesteading, the United Kingdom does offer opportunities for the purchase and rental of small and inexpensive farms.

England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland are often represented as terribly overcrowded countries where open stretches of territory no longer remain. In fact, the British Isles have many such uncluttered landscapes.

For example, 2,250,000 acres sown to wheat; 18,000,000 acres in arable production; 12,000,000 head of grazing cattle . . . are figures for where? Canada? The U.S.? Not at all. These are recent figures for England, Wales and Scotland . . . the totals for Ireland not included. To complete the "wide, open spaces" concept, we would have to add in even larger national park and wilderness areas.

In short, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are densely populated in only a very few of their thousands of square miles. Even in England, there are major stretches of low-population country to the southwest of Bristol and north of Manchester.

Hill farms, mainly suited to beef and sheep, situated in Wales and the north of England may presently be purchased outright for between $100 and $150 U.S. per acre. (To make it easy for most readers of this publication, all prices are quoted here in U.S. dollars.)

Mind now, this $100 to $150 price per acre buys substantial buildings and land that is already in production. Farm valuations in these areas rarely take any account of the farmhouse or livestock accommodations. Sales are on purely a "per acre" basis with fixtures "thrown in". Wooden buildings are uncommon and house, haybarn, cowshed, etc. are usually walled with local stone and roofed with blue slate. I'll wager that even "free" homestead land in Canada and the U.S. cannot be cultivated and built on for less.





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