Jeannie and her husband are packing up and heading back to Norfolk in Eastern England. They have spent more than five years in the stunning village of Najac, in the south west of France. For them, giving up their "Chateau de Pic" residence, with its dramatic views of the local castle, is a wrenching decision. But they have decided it is time.
Jeannie Kilburn says the experience has been highly enriching: "But we have large families at home and that really is the good reason for going back. We could have left it longer but if we get too wobbly about it, we won't manage a move like this, which has been absolutely huge to manage."
And they are not alone in making that decision. The British embassy believes around 5 to 8 percent of British families are now leaving and the current economic woes are key. The pound has plunged in the last year against the euro, making it very hard for those dependent on funds from UK banks.
Roger Virnuls, the British Consul in the southern French city of Toulouse, explains why the situation has changed so dramatically: "Pensioners who are living here on their pensions or income from the UK have effectively lost 20 percent of their purchasing power in the past 12 months. That is a big issue when you also have inflation in France, which makes life difficult for them."
The evidence of the British retreat is everywhere. Many Brits live on a part-time basis in the UK and in France, with homes in both countries. Yet, with house prices sinking back home, their property in France is now a luxury they can no longer afford.
One British estate agent Charles Smallwood has been selling homes for foreigners in this part of France for two decades. He says sellers have to be realistic.
"They have either brought their prices down substantially or will do," says Smallwood. "The others are saying 'well we can wait until this recession is over', in which case we wont be able to sell their properties for them."
Until recently, low-cost airlines flew into tiny airports all year around - making it easy to commute between rural France and the UK . But because of recession and high fuel prices, those airlines have slashed routes or only fly there during the summer.
And many Brits who moved to France to open self-catering cottages or Bed and Breakfast accomodation have seen the flow of customers dry up due to oversupply or tourists looking for cheaper holidays at home.
A group of France-based British small business owners who meet once a month for lunch say too many Brits have moved over in recent years to buy a much bigger home and thought a good job would come along. One of the members, Heather Hughes, thinks this is a big mistake: "I think it depends on what you want to do and where you want to be. To buy your dream home in the middle of the country and get a job there simply won't happen."
Nevertheless, there are some diehards in the countryside who have no intention of leaving.
Lorraine Walker is one of them: "No we are not moving back. No, never I don't think," she says emphatically.
In fact, it's not hard to spot the long-term Brits in France - they are the only ones who don't think twice about sitting outside drinking beer on a chilly winter night.