Couple who couldn't afford home in the UK buy entire village in France

28 July 2022, 10:43 | Updated: 28 July 2022, 12:10

Paul Mappley and partner Yip Ward appeared on Channel 4's Help! We Bought a Village.

A couple who couldn't afford their dream home in the UK decided to buy an entire village in France for a fraction of the price.

Listen and catch-up on Love Island: The Morning After podcast on Global Player

Paul Mappley and his partner Yip Ward told their extraordinary story on Channel 4 show Help! We Bought a Village.

The pair, who have never owned so much as a studio flat in the UK, managed to buy the historic hamlet of La Busliere, in Normandy, for €14,000 (about £11,775).

As reported by Metro, it's made up of six cottages, two barns and a paddock, a two-storey workshop, cider press and communal bread oven, and the Paul and Yip - who are both landscape gardeners - are planning to turn it into a luxury holiday destination.

Paul and Yip couldn't afford to buy in the UK
Paul and Yip couldn't afford to buy in the UK. Picture: Channel 4

They were living in a caravan in Tumbridge Wells before a friend offered them the chance to buy it back in 2019.

The cottage has no electricity and needs a fair amount of work, but Yip urged anyone thinking of doing something similar to ‘just go for it’.

Yip urged people considering doing the same to 'just go for it'
Yip urged people considering doing the same to 'just go for it'. Picture: Channel 4
The village is located in Normandy
The village is located in Normandy. Picture: Channel 4

He told The Sun: "In the area we were living before 2021 it was about £300,000 to buy a tiny place to live, and that was just never on the table for us.

"We had always rented and we were living in a – really lovely – static mobile caravan belonging to our friend.

"But when they looked to sell it, we began to worry.

The couple bought the village for €14,000
The couple bought the village for €14,000. Picture: Channel 4

"So it was incredibly exciting when we heard from a friend about Le Busliere. We began to think: 'This could really happen for us.'"

While Paul admitted that it had been 'stressful at times', he added that they are 'so grateful to be here’.

"It was like a squat when we moved in, but we’re quite comfortable now," he said.