but i hear the Brit areas on the coasts in Spain are just council estates in the sun.
You heard wrong. There are three types of ex pats in Spain:
1. old farts went for the climate, most have no intention of learning the language and are happy to play bridge with all the other ex pats.
2. 20 somethings who have gone out there to experience living abroad and most speak the language.
3. Families with kids in Spanish school, they speak Spanish and Spain is their home.
Where my mate has her apartment its 70% Spanish and 30% Brits all but one of the bars is Spanish run and Spanish food is plentyful.
suffer the same invasion of ‘Brits’ that Spain and France have suffered
Thats a bit rich coming off a paddy! But Im glad you're happy and you are enjoying your new home :D