Quintessential English village, cosmopolitan city, rolling countryside, sandy beaches or golden coastline? Deciding where to buy a holiday home can be difficult! Aside from personal preference, it is vital to choose a popular destination to ensure a high volume of bookings and, as a result, a good financial return. From Cornwall to the Yorkshire Dales, we share 10 of the best places to buy a holiday home in the UK.
An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Cotswolds is one of the most popular destinations for UK holidays, and unquestionably one of the best places to buy your holiday home. Reaching from Stratford-upon-Avon to Bath, the region encompasses idyllic villages, bustling market towns, magnificent countryside and plentiful attractions.
- Location in the UK: The Cotswolds is an expansive area in the west midlands and southwest of England, reaching across a number of counties, the main of which are Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. Due to its size and relativity central setting in the UK, the Cotswolds is easier to travel to than those holiday destinations in the outer regions.
- Travel: As there are more remote villages and rural attractions which aren’t reachable by public transport, driving is probably the best option. Plus, having a car makes it much easier to travel throughout the Cotswolds at your leisure, venturing as far as you like and stopping wherever you please along the way. That being said, there are train stations and buses which vary in frequency, so if you’re unable to drive, you will just need to plan ahead!
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Cotswolds had an overall average price of £474,071 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: There really is something for every type of holiday maker in the Cotswolds. Whether you’re into country walks, chocolate box villages, family-friendly attractions, award-winning foodie hotspots or historic landmarks, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
The Lake District
England’s largest National Park, the Lake District is a hot spot for holidays in the UK, with holiday homes abundant across the region. Known for the mountains, woodlands, and of course, its famous lakes, the World Heritage Site offers endless days of exploring, walking through the beautiful countryside and soaking up the magnificent views. It’s no surprise why the Lake District is a strong contender for the best holiday home location.
- Location in the UK: The Lake District is located in the county of Cumbria, in the northwest of England. For this reason, it can mean a longer journey for holidaymakers.
- Travel: There are various train stations and bus routes which allow for travel around the Lake District. Plus, there’s the novelty of boat trips, allowing you to travel and soak up the sights. Driving allows visitors more control over their routes and timings, although you should always check your route as the Lake District is extremely rural with roads that can be steep, windy, and narrow.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Cumbria (where the Lake District lies) had an overall average price of £184,411 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: The name says it all – a holiday here is all about the lakes and being outside in nature. Whether you want to hike to the highest point in England, Scafell Pike, or wander around the famous Lake Windemere, visit a pretty village, or go on a lake cruise, the Lake District is perfectly suited to outdoorsy types.
With more than 300 beaches across the region, Cornwall is a popular seaside town and a haven for holiday makers during the warmer months and a great place to buy a holiday home on the south coast. Visitors can enjoy activities such as surfing, boat trips and cliff top walking; head to the area’s World Heritage Sites, gardens, castles and museums; or simply sit back and relax on the south coast beach.
- Location in the UK: Cornwall lies in the far southwest of England – the county is actually home to the most southerly and westerly points that you can venture to on our climes. For this reason, a holiday to the far coastlines of Cornwall can mean a lengthy journey, even if you’re travelling from the midlands.
- Travel: You’ll be able to find train stations located throughout Cornwall, including major tourist hot spots such as Looe, St Ives and Newquay. Some people will prefer to drive although it should be noted that Cornwall doesn’t have any motorways! Country roads can be daunting, so it’s best to check out routes before you go.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Cornwall had an overall average price of £312,083 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: Cornwall is synonymous with UK beach holidays, and it’s not hard to understand why it’s so popular; countless beaches, seaside towns and beautiful nature sights await. Whether you want to spend hours making sandcastles with an ice-cream in hand, or enjoying clifftop walks, Cornwall is the ideal destination for walkers, surfers, and families alike.
- Where to buy: As Cornwall is famous for its beaches, holidaymakers will generally gravitate towards coastal locations. Tourist hotspots include Looe, Padstow, and Newquay. It should be noted that you’re no longer permitted to buy a second home in St Ives.
Also known as ‘God’s Own Country’, Yorkshire is the biggest county in the UK; comprising historic towns, coastal areas and unspoilt countryside, there’s plenty to appeal to tourists. One not to be forgotten when you buy a holiday home; explore a city one day, enjoy a peaceful hike in the moors the next, truly the best of both worlds!
- Location in the UK: Yorkshire is in the north of England and is such a large county that it stretches from the coast into central countryside. While its northern location means a longer journey for some, it really depends where in the region you’re visiting and what transport you use.
- Travel: With a number of cities and towns throughout Yorkshire, there are great train links and even better, the journey times aren’t that long! From London, you can arrive in Leeds or York in around two hours, which is much quicker than driving. Travel around the area can be done without a car, but it depends on your holiday plans; public transport is great if you’re sticking to cities and towns, whereas cars allow for flexibility if you’re mainly exploring the countryside.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Yorkshire had an overall average price of £204,835 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: A visit to Yorkshire could mean a city break, beach holiday or rural getaway, making it a destination for everyone. Highlights include the famous Yorkshire Dales, walled city of York, coastal town of Whitby, and the North Yorkshire Moors, to name just a few.
Famous for the Jurassic Coast, Dorset is popular thanks to its pretty beaches, rich history, natural landscape and characterful towns. Due to its wide appeal, Dorset is undoubtedly one of the best places to buy a holiday home in the UK.
- Location in the UK: Dorset is in the southwest of England and borders four counties. For beach holidays, it can be easier to access than destinations such as Devon and especially Cornwall.
- Travel: Thanks to a number of towns, there are plenty of train stations across Dorset which means you have the option of leaving your car at home. That being said, certain areas (along the Jurassic coast, for example) would be more difficult to reach by public transport, and so driving would be preferable for many visitors.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Dorset had an overall average price of £357,183 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: Tourists can visit the ancient Durdle Door, see the cliffs at Lulworth Cove, soak up the sunshine on the beach, and explore one of the area’s seaside towns such as Poole and Weymouth. Meanwhile family activities make it perfect for all ages; little ones can enjoy the beach of course, while there are also animal attractions, playgrounds and more.
Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or longer holiday, London is the perfect destination for UK holidays, all-year-round, whatever the weather. From the museums, galleries and theaters to the shops, nightlife and world-famous landmarks, there are endless activities to enjoy across the city. As a result, it’s one of the UK’s best places to buy a holiday home – albeit one of the most expensive!
- Location in the UK: The UK’s capital city lies in the southeast and is more accessible than some of the country’s coastal tourist spots.
- Travel: Thanks to London’s expansive transport links, it is easily accessible whether that be by car, train, tube, bus, or plane. Public transport remains the best option for visitors, with endless stations making 24-hour travel easy and much quicker than using a car. Walking is also a great way to explore the sights, with the option to hop on and off the tube as you wish.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in London had an overall average price of £526,183 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: Listing London’s many attractions would be an article in itself! Suffice to say that there are endless sights to see, museums and buildings to visit, parks to wander around, and family activities to enjoy. From the National History Museum and Harrods to Hyde Park and Madame Tussauds, London is a city for everyone… apart from those seeking serenity or the countryside, of course!
Note: at present, properties in Greater London need to seek planning permission to holiday let for greater than 90 days a year.
A coastal county in Wales, Pembrokeshire is home to incredible scenery and unspoilt nature, making it a great setting for holidays in the UK. Not only is the Pembrokeshire Coast Britain’s only coastal National Park, but the area also boasts quaint seaside towns, sandy beaches, hidden islands, towering cliffs and panoramic views.
- Location in the UK: Pembrokeshire is in southwest Wales, bordered largely by the sea. For this reason, reaching the national park will mean a longer journey for the majority of visitors. For context, a train journey to Pembrokeshire from London takes five hours, similar to the length of a car journey.
- Travel: There are a few train stations in the area, as well as a bus network which covers most of the coast, so it is possible to visit Pembrokeshire without a car. However, if you’re hoping to visit particularly rural areas, you might find driving the best option.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Pembrokeshire had an overall average price of £230,977 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: With its stunning beaches, coastal walks and countryside, Pembrokeshire is really for outdoor holidays; soaking up nature, walking and relaxing in the rural setting. If you do visit with children though, there are play centres, animal attractions and sporty activities to enjoy.
The Peak District
The UK’s first National Park, the Peak District is one of the most popular destinations to buy a holiday home due to its timeless charm. Thanks to its natural beauty, the Peak District is a great choice for UK holidays and has plenty for visitors, from historic houses and market towns, to caves and family friendly attractions.
- Location in the UK: The Peak District is well located for holidaymakers as it lies in central England, bordering a number of counties and home to hundreds of miles of countryside.
- Travel: With a number of cities and towns around and bordering the Peak District, there are various train stations and routes throughout the region, making it possible to visit without a car, especially because the train routes include a number of rural areas. If you’re driving, you’ll want to check out the roads on your journey, because you will find challenging roads, depending on where you’re going.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in the Derbyshire (which covers the majority of the Peak District) had an overall average price of £222,369 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: While it’s famed for stunning scenery, the Peak District has plenty else to offer. You could spend an entire holiday walking, cycling and climbing, or you could visit some of the area’s many attractions. Country houses, museums, farm parks, theme parks and cable cars are just some of the highlights.
Home to the English Riviera, Devon is undoubtedly one of the best places to buy a holiday home in the UK. Known for its glorious beaches, impressive cliffs and pretty towns, there’s plenty to explore, while its variety of attractions such as adventure parks, castles, zoos, and a national park mean it’s great whether you’re looking for nature, culture or family fun.
- Location in the UK: Devon is in the southwest of England with plenty of coastline to explore. As it’s closer to central England than Cornwall, it could be preferable to beach seekers who don’t want quite as lengthy a journey.
- Travel: Devon benefits from great train services from around the country, as well as scenic routes linking the different areas. With bus routes readily available too, a car-free holiday is definitely an option. As ever, the decision will be based on where you want to travel and how much flexibility you’d like!
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Devon had an overall average price of £328,602 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: Dorset is home to two coastlines, pretty harbour towns, two National Parks and hundreds of beaches (to name just a few of its highlights!), making it ideal for everyone: from family and surfing trips to walking holidays and seaside escapes.
Another Welsh destination, Snowdonia is the perfect UK holiday destination for outdoorsy types and nature-lovers. Centred around Snowdonia National Park, it’s a place to soak up the scenery whether that be by keeping active with lengthy hikes or relaxing with gentle country walks and a picnic.
- Location in the UK: Snowdonia is in northwest Wales and so could mean a long journey, depending on where you’re coming from. As with Pembrokeshire, you’re looking at a travel time of around five to six hours from London via train or car.
- Travel: Though it’s famed for its remote villages and rolling countryside, Snowdonia is well serviced by public transport and major roads. You can drive around Snowdonia whilst taking in the sights and can cover the whole area in a couple of hours, although you’ll probably want to stop along the way! If you’re using public transport, you’ll be happy to know that there are train and bus routes too. Plus, if you’re not keen on the hike, there’s the Snowdon Mountain Railway which allows you to travel to the heights in comfort.
- Property prices: According to Land Registry figures, properties in Gwynedd (where Snowdonia lies) had an overall average price of £206,383 as of May 2022.
- Area attractions: Snowdonia is a destination for nature lovers and you’re likely to be visiting for the sole purpose of exploring Snowdonia National Park. Visitors can enjoy an abundance of activities such as walking, cycling, water sports and horse riding. There are also beautiful sights across the region; think rugged coastlines, waterfalls, and woodlands as far as the eye can see.
How much can you borrow?
Use our free mortgage calculator created by the UK's leading holiday let mortgage specialists, and find out how much you can borrow today!
The information contained in this article is accurate at the time of writing, based on our research. Rules, criteria and regulations change all the time and so please speak to one of our Consultants to confirm the most accurate up to date information. Nothing in this article constitutes financial advice. You understand that by clicking any external links on this page that you will be leaving the website of Holiday Cottage Mortgages and we cannot be held responsible for the content of this external website. Please always consult your accountant or solicitor for all financial, taxation or legal matters.