Best Places to Buy a Holiday Home in the UK

Buying a holiday home in the UK offers several exciting benefits. With 15 national parks, swathes of sprawling coastline, and enough landmarks to sate the thirst of any history buff, the UK is in no short supply of variety.  If you’re one of the lucky people buying a second property here, you’ll find some information on this page to help you find a holiday home.

Why buy a holiday home in the UK?

Whether you’re searching for a country cottage, seaside villa, or city apartment, the UK offers a lot for holidaymakers. Plus, buying a holiday home in the UK means forgoing the usual travel hassle associated with flying abroad.

Then there’s Brexit. It recently became apparent that non-EU citizens will have to pay for an ETIAS visa waiver from the end of 2022 to travel to any EU country.[1]

But all those struggles aside, perhaps the most compelling reason to buy a holiday home in the UK is that you can make money from it. You can let the property out to holidaymakers who are pining for a break, earning additional income in the process. Let out your holiday home in peak tourist seasons, and you could make substantial profits.

Where to buy a holiday home in the UK

Great for seaside breaks

Whitsand Bay, Cornwall

In the far south west of the UK lies Cornwall. It’s a well-loved holiday home destination with a strong Celtic identity and sandy beaches that stretch for miles. But where are the little-known holiday home hotspots, and what part of Cornwall offers the most variety? Well, hidden away in Southeast Cornwall is Whitsand Bay. It’s a surfer’s paradise with golden beaches, ample walking opportunities, and cosy pubs to rival any Cornish bolthole.

There are also a series of coastal towns nearby that are worth exploring. The beaches of Whitsand Bay stretch for 3 miles from Rame Head to Portwrinkle, taking in many of Southeast Cornwall’s hidden treasures along the way.

Getting there: Whitsand Bay is around a four-hour drive from London. Alternatively, you can take a three-and-a-half-hour train from Paddington to Liskeard. From there it’s a ten-minute train to St Germans.

What you can get: Three-bedroom chalets near the bay cost around £300,000. Fancy something a bit more extravagant? Detached properties with more rental appeal start at around £400,000*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great for scenery

Loch Ness, Scotland

This famous Scottish landmark is shrouded in more legends than anywhere else in the country. Of course, it’s famous for the mythical monster that may or may not roam its Loch, but it’s also one of the Scottish Highlands regions of exceptional natural beauty. As a result, the surrounding towns and villages offer a fantastic spot for a holiday home.

A mythical destination that captures the curiosity of children and adults alike, Loch Ness will appeal to photographers, hikers, and historians — the latter of which will love the region’s rich Jacobite past.

Getting there: Loch Ness is 527 miles north of London. Arguably, the most efficient way to access it would be to take the train to Inverness station and get a bus or taxi for the last 14 miles. Alternatively, you can fly to Inverness airport, only 8 miles from the Loch. And from there, you can hop on a bus or in a taxi.

What you can get: A luxury holiday lodge will set you back between £120,000 and £240,000. For a detached house with rental appeal, you’re looking upwards of £350,000*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great for Culture

Brighton, East Sussex

This seaside city is one of the quirkiest in the UK. Restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops abound, but it’s also replete with museums and galleries. For instance, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery houses a fine art collection that boasts work from the 15th to the 20th century.

But you needn’t be inside to see culture—it’s a city that boasts beauty wherever you go. Take a city tour, stroll around alternative shops, or cycle along Brighton’s famous promenade.

Getting there: Brighton is one of the most well-connected cities in the UK. It’s under two hours by either car or train from London, served by Victoria and Blackfriars.

What you can get: For a two-bedroom flat with stunning views of the coast on Chichester terrace (dubbed Belgravia by the sea), you’ll need around £450,000. Depending on the area, you can get a three-bedroom terraced house for £450,000 while more sought-after spots have properties that start at roughly £600,000*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great for wildlife

New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales

There’s more than meets the eye to this picturesque West Wales town. Once a flourishing shipbuilding centre and fishing port, today, New Quay is a hub for holiday homes that proudly wear the town’s 18th-century history.

Another major draw of New Quay is its rich marine wildlife. The string of quiet beaches are home to 1,000’s of Atlantic grey seals. The Ceredigion Coastal Path has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation and offers 69 miles of beautiful coastline to spot the native wildlife. And if you want to see more, why not take a boat trip off the coast to see the Cardigan Bay dolphins and porpoise?

Getting there: New Quay is almost five hours from London by car. There is no train station in New Quay itself, so you’ll have to get the train to Aberystwyth and take a 1-hour bus ride. Taxi rides are around 35 minutes.

What you can get: A terraced seaside cottage with four bedrooms starts at around £350,000, while modest flats with partial sea views go for £250,000. More substantial properties such as detached bungalows overlooking the bay cost upwards of £500,000+*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great for walking holidays

Home to England’s highest peak and now part of UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites, the Lake District is a true national treasure and is dominated by outstanding scenery. With an air of the ancient and unique geology, the region attracts around 17 million tourists annually and is exceedingly popular with holiday home hunters!

From dramatic and rugged mountainous areas perfect for hiking to stunning wildlife and a fantastic cultural heritage, this region isn’t just perfect for a walking holiday. The area also has the highest number of outdoor activity centres in Europe. So if you’re more into watersports than walking, the Lakes have you covered.

The Lake District also has a fantastic food scene. Enjoy delicious local delicacies such as sticky toffee pudding, Kendal mint cake and Grasmere gingerbread after a day of appreciating everything that the English countryside has to offer!

Getting there: The Lake District is 297 miles from London and is around a five hour car ride. If you don’t want to drive, one of the most common routes from London is taking the West Coast Main Line trains from Euston to Oxenholme, which takes just under five hours.

What you can get:

A quaint cottage or bungalow in one of the Lake District’s popular villages will set you back around £300,00-£400,000. Properties with exceptional views demand around £500,000. And if you are looking for a larger home with more land, £600,000 can get you a manor house with a substantial garden*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Best for adventure

Snowdonia, Wales

Snowdonia is the adventure capital of North Wales and a paradise for adrenaline junkies. Think zip lining, white water rafting and mountain biking. Most people associate the region with mountainous areas. However, it’s not just about the hills. The coastline is considered one of the most beautiful in Britain. You’ll also find stunning lowland forests, valleys, rivers and rolling pastures.

So whether you’re a fan of hiking, love long sandy beaches or want to spend your time soaking up the history, Snowdonia has something for everyone. Who knows? Snowdonia could be the perfect place to call your second home.

Getting there: The nearest part of Snowdonia is around 233 miles from London and takes just under four and a half hours to drive. Alternatively, you can take the train from London to Bangor in under three and a half hours and then a bus from Bangor to Llanberis, the town at the foot of Mount Snowdon itself, which takes around 20 minutes.

What you can get: A small end of terrace house in a sought after village like Minffordd will cost you around £200,000. A two-bedroom pathfinder lodge costs around £370,000. Meanwhile, a detached house or bungalow with a large garden can cost anywhere between £350,000 – £500,00. More substantial houses or properties with spectacular views can command anywhere upward of £600,000*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great all-round destination

New Forest, Hampshire

Only just 70 miles from London but worlds away in atmosphere lies the New Forest. Established by William the Conqueror as his new hunting ground almost 1000 years ago, this peaceful haven was crowned a national park in 2004. And it’s no surprise why.

The New Forest offers everything. From cosy pubs to walks amongst the ancient woodlands and idyllic glades and open moors, owning a home in this region is a truly special experience. So whether you’re into outdoor activities such as sailing, hiking or cycling or want to escape the noise of the city and let nature do its magic, this could be the perfect place for you to call home.

Getting there: It takes around two hours to get to the nearest part of the New Forest from London via car. If you want to travel by train, you can get to Brockenhurst or Lymington in under two hours.

What you can get: A three-bedroom property in New Milton or a similar three-bed cottage in Lymington will cost around £500, 000 – £550,000. But if you are seeking something more special, you are looking at upwards of £750,000 for a house with real rental appeal. And from there, the price goes up and up according to the level of luxury you are looking for*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

Great for summer activities

The Isle of Wight

Only 4 miles from mainland England lies the Isle of Wight, a stunning island rich in history and popular in the past with some of our country’s greatest authors and poets. And with beautiful coastal paths, secret coves and a subtle French influence, this minute island is a holiday favourite.

If you’re a fan of sailing, this is the place to buy your second home. Cowes is considered its home in much the same way as Twickenham is the home of Rugby or Wembley of football. But it’s not all about sailing! Bodyboarding at Compton Bay, rock pooling in Bembridge and kitesurfing at Book Chine are just a few of the famous Isle of Wight summer activities.

Getting there: It takes under two hours to reach Portsmouth Harbour via car. Alternatively, you can take the train from London Victoria, or Waterloo, in around two hours. Once you are at Portsmouth Harbour, you will need to get the ferry across to Fishbourne on the Isle of Wight. This journey will take around 40-45 minutes. And if you’ve taken the train and are travelling on foot, you have the option of departing from Portsmouth Harbour, arriving at Ryde Pier Head. This is the quickest route taking only 22 minutes to cross the Solent.

What you can get: With around £300,00, you could get a three-bedroom period maisonette with views of the Solent or a spacious semi-detached three-bedroom house in Newport. A detached property with a garden in either Ryde or Newport will cost you around £500,000. However, if you’re looking for a more substantial property with land or an exceptionally picturesque period home, you’re looking at around the £700,000 mark*.

*Based on April 2022 property prices from Rightmove and Zoopla, as the basis for these findings.

[1] https://www.etiasvisa.com/etias-requirements/uk-citizens