BBC News

Brits abroad: Photos of expats in Spain

Phil Coomes
Picture editor

image copyrightCharlie Clift

There are about five million British expats living and working abroad, with the popular destinations being Australia, Spain and the US. Figures from 2011 suggest that about 3,000 British citizens every week move away from the UK on a long-term basis.

Photographer Charlie Clift decided to track down a few of those and headed to Spain to meet those living on the Mediterranean coast.

"Immigrants are so often spoken about in terms of statistics or stereotypes," he told me. "I want people to understand the variety within a group showing how different each person can be.

"I thought it would be interesting not to focus on immigrants coming into the UK in the way that much of the British media does, but to look the other way, and focus on British people who are immigrants themselves in other countries.

"Some could not speak Spanish and hardly integrated with the locals, whilst others had married Spanish people and educated their children in local schools. I found a common thread of Britishness running through each and every one of my subjects, but beyond that they varied hugely."

Here are a few from the series so far and you can see more on Charlie Clift's Brits Abroad website.

image copyrightcharlie clift
image captionDavid Salgo is a musician who retired to Spain. He enjoys living in a typical Spanish village and plays golf regularly with friends, many of whom are also expatriates.
image copyrightCharlie Clift
image captionReggie works at an English language newspaper that her husband owns. She likes the Spanish pace of life but has not learned to speak the language.
image copyrightcharle clift
image captionSean runs a traditional British fish and chip shop by the beach in Fuengirola. The majority of his customers are British holidaymakers or expatriates and he serves chips made from imported British Maris Piper potatoes.
image copyrightcharlie clift
image captionLisa works advising new expats on the best ways to make a life in her area of Spain. She works in an office in her garden from where she can watch her children play in the pool.
image copyrightcharlie clift
image captionPaul runs an English language newspaper called The Courier from an office in Torrevieja. He moved to Spain to escape the busy life he had in London working for News International.
image copyrightcharlie clift
image captionLinda works cleaning holiday villas to pay her bills and rent. She likes being able to have an outdoor life for eight or nine months of the year but misses being able to watch her grandchildren grow up in England.
image copyrightcharlie clift
image captionDavid is a sculptor who works in his home in the mountains. He moved to Spain 46 years ago after learning to speak Spanish on a long motorcycle trip through South America.