The best coastal destinations in the UK for holiday homes


Buying a holiday home by the sea might seem like a pipe dream but for more and more of us, it’s becoming a reality.
Perhaps you crave a little bolthole away from the hustle and bustle of the city life? Or maybe you already live in a coastal town or village and you want to make the most of the beautiful setting with a holiday home investment?
Whatever your circumstances, you’ll want to do some proper research before deciding on the UK coastal destination that’s right for you – and that includes looking into holiday home insurance to make sure your property is properly protected against any damage, accidental or not.
Remember, weather tends to be more dramatic when you’re out on the coast, so strong winds and storms could easily cause damage to roofs, tiles, guttering and more.
You also need to think about whether you want to furnish your holiday home. If so, the contents need to be protected from theft or damage, too. And that’s where a holiday home insurance specialist like Insurance Choice can help.

What should you look for in a holiday home location?

Four beach front houses in-front of a sandy beach with flip flops hung on a fence

If you’re buying a holiday home purely for you or your family to use, you may want to pick somewhere personal to you – perhaps where you used to holiday as a child.
But if you want a holiday home that will eventually be rented out to visitors, you need to look beyond the fond memories of holidays gone by and find out about the facilities and activities that location has to offer.
Put yourself in the tourist’s position – if you’re looking for a costal holiday home to hire, ideally you’ll want:

• sea views within sight of the property
• a beautiful beach with clean water nearby
• a good selection of local restaurants
• lots of activities for the kids

If you manage to find somewhere that ticks all of those boxes, you’ll likely have a great investment for the future.

Where are the best places to buy a home near the sea?

According to a recent article by Coast magazine, there are several up-and-coming coastal hotspots where you can bag yourself a bargain on the holiday home front.
With breathtaking landscapes and plenty of water-related activities on offer like sailing, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding, these quieter retreats give you the same great seaside feel, minus the hefty price tag.
A quaint harbour in Brixham with small boats docked and seafront houses around the harbour

Their top 10 includes:

  1. Brixham, South Devon

    Well known locally for its incredible fish restaurants
  2. Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire

    A sailing and surfer’s paradise
  3. West Bay and Bridport, Dorset

    The location for the ITV drama Broadchurch
  4. Southend-on-Sea, Essex

    Good reputation for grammar schools
  5. Amble, Northumberland

    Boasts the beautiful Coquet Estuary
  6. Overstrand, Norfolk

    Full of Edwardian charm
  7. Hayle, Cornwall

    With beautiful views overlooking Godrevy Lighthouse
  8. Fortrose & Rosemarkle, Ross-shire in the Highlands

    Neighbouring fishing villages perfect for wildlife enthusiasts
  9. Donaghadee, County Down

    Just 20 miles east of Belfast
  10. Birchington and Westgate-on-Sea, Kent

    Quick and easy rail links to London, with Blue Flag beaches


Worst places to buy a holiday home

If you’re worried about wasting your money by purchasing a holiday home in the wrong location, it might be a good idea to check out the latest reviews from Which? Travel.

The independent consumer group recently revealed the results of a report where tourists rated nearly 100 UK coastal locations for their beaches, scenery, value for money and more.
Bottom of the list was Bognor Regis in West Sussex and Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, who both received a one-star rating for their attractions, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.
A algae covered pier reaching out from the shore line at Bognor Regis

10 of the best coastal holiday home hotspots

To help you on your holiday home search, here are some of our favourite UK coastal locations that would be perfect for a home away from home.

We’ve looked beyond the obvious holiday home coastal locations like St Ives in Cornwall or Blackpool in Lancashire and tried to uncover some hidden gems you may not have considered before. Which one takes your fancy?

1. Perranporth

If you’re an active family or want to attract surfers and sea lovers of all ages, Perrenporth in Cornwall is great choice for a coastal holiday home.

It gets busy in summer as you might expect – this is Cornwall, after all ­– but with three miles of glorious sandy beaches, there’s plenty of room for everyone.

Walkers will love the South West Coast Path and the dramatic scenery at any time of year, while out of season visitors will enjoy a stroll around the quaint village, or listening to the annual music festival ‘Tunes in the Dunes’ held in early May.

2. Weston Super Mare

Situated on the North Somerset coast, Weston-Super-Mare is the perfect place for a traditional holiday home beside the sea. With its long, sandy beach, Grand Pier attractions and traditional donkey rides, there’s plenty to keep little ones entertained in the summer months.

For the adults, there’s a great mix of shopping, the Weston Museum and the Winter Gardens Pavilion, which welcomes a range of musical acts throughout the year. With Glastonbury, Wells and Cheddar Gorge all under an hour away by car, Weston is a real gateway to everything the South West has to offer.

3. Southend-on-Sea

Did you know that Southend attracts over six million tourists every year? Great news if you’re looking for a holiday home in this well-loved seaside resort.

London city dwellers have long escaped to Southend, given its close proximity to the capital and its 1.3-mile pier and the Golden Mile of amusement arcades are sure to keep visitors, young and old, happy for hours.

For the movie buffs out there, Southend Airport was also used as a location in the 60’s Bond classic Goldfinger. We think it’s the perfect place to escape the city smog and breathe easy by the sea.
The sea front at Southend-on-sea at dusk with palm trees lining a coastal road

4. Oban

If you’re looking for breathtaking landscapes, miles of walking routes and more seafood restaurants than you can shake a stick at, it has to be Oban on the west coast of Scotland.

Fun fact – its name comes from the Gaelic language meaning ‘little bay’. With its well-known whiskey distillery, Cruachan, the underground power station visitor experience, castles galore and the isles of Mull, Iona and Staffa on your doorstep, there’s plenty to keep holidaymakers entertained here. And we haven’t even mentioned the fabulous walking trails.

5. Bournemouth

With its miles of golden sands, beautiful lower gardens and amazing shopping and entertainment options, Bournemouth is a true jewel in Dorset’s crown.

While the famous seaside resort might have a reputation for the older generation, there’s plenty to keep all ages occupied here ­– from pristine Blue Flag beaches, to the pier attractions and sea life centre and all the famous names that regularly perform at the BIC (Bournemouth International Centre).

Bournemouth is also home to a world-renowned university, giving it a real cosmopolitan feel. Europe’s largest natural harbour in Poole is also just a short drive away, the perfect place for little ones to try their hand at watersports.

A recent report from Best Western Hotels voted Bournemouth as the number one seaside town the UK, closely followed by its south-coast neighbour Weymouth, so if you haven’t ventured down to this southern hotspot for years, perhaps it’s time you rediscovered this gem of a town.

7. Brighton

Staying in the south but a little further along the coast we have Brighton, which just had to feature in this roundup of the best UK coastal locations for holiday homes. If you want to be beside the seaside but you’re not keen on sand, you’ll love the pebble beach here.

You can spend your days wandering around the eclectic, independent book shops and boutiques in The Lanes, getting a stick of Brighton rock on the Grade II listed Palace pier or checking out George IV’s very own holiday home ­– the Royal Pavilion, designed in the early 19th century by John Nash.

Did you know that Brighton is also home to the oldest aquarium in the world? And the British Airways i360 viewing tower gives you spectacular views over to the Isle of Wight on a good day!
Brighton Palace pier on a pebbly beach looking out to sea on a cloudy day

8. Anglesey

The large isle of Anglesey is separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Straight and offers a quiet and idyllic place to escape from it all.

Marine wildlife lovers will be right at home here – visit the South Stack via the Anglesey Coastal Path ­to spot thousands of nesting sea birds throughout spring and summer.

Watersports enthusiasts will love it, too, with sailing and scuba diving both on offer.

The pace of life is slow and laid back on Anglesey, so if you’re looking for a holiday home where you can really get away from it all, this might be it. With historical castles, burial chambers, harbours all waiting to be explored, you can do as little or as much as you like.

9. Tynemouth

Less than half an hour from central Newcastle, Tynemouth is a quick and easy coastal getaway for those in the north of England.

Surfers know it best for the mile-long Longsands but walkers and dog lovers will enjoy a stroll on the golden sands and through the village and on to the historic North Shields Fish Quay.

Direct your holiday home guests to Front Street and Percy Park Road if they want to do some shopping or pop out for a bite to eat. Foodies will want to experience the Mouth of the Tyne Festival and Tynemouth Food Festival, both popular annual events.

History buffs will enjoy the ruined Priory and Castle here at Tynemouth – reportedly the burial place of Saints and Kings of old Northumbria and the perfect place to walk before cuddling up by the fire and enjoying some fabulous fresh fish, caught nearby.

10. Portmeirion

If you want your very own bit of Italy right here in the UK, head to the Italian-inspired village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd, North Wales.

Designed by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis and now owned by a charitable trust, the unique architecture might make you feel as though you’ve stepped into a fantasy.

And while TV show The Prisoner was filmed here back in the 1960s, once you’ve fallen in love with its gorgeous central piazza, ornamental gardens and nearby Castell Deudraeth, you won’t want to leave.

Did you know Williams-Ellis’ daughter Susan started Portmeirion Pottery. The Rough Guide to Wales calls Portmeirion “a gorgeous visual poem” – what better place to escape the humdrum of everyday life? 
A white building next to a body of water with rolling mountains in the distance

The cheapest and most expensive places to buy a holiday home

If you’re looking for a holiday bolthole that won’t break the bank, Which? have also just released a list of the cheapest seaside towns.
Port Bannatyne in Scotland tops the list with average house prices costing £83,830, while Sandbanks in Dorset comes in at the other end of the scale, where average house prices are around the £785,000 mark.

Protect your investment with holiday home insurance

Holiday home insurance is crucial for protecting your investment. As a holiday home, you might only get to visit it a handful of times of year. That means things like storm damage could affect the property and lead to bigger problems down the line.
Beautiful holiday homes sitting empty are also a target for thieves. And what about if you want to rent out your property to strangers while you’re not there. If one of them has an accident at the property, you’ll want to have the right level of protection in place to know you’re covered.
Adding luxury facilities like log burners or hot tubs is also a great way to draw tourists to book your holiday home. But remember, these all carry risks of their own so adequate holiday home insurance is a must.
Holiday home insurance through Insurance Choice can cover things like*:

• Accidental damage
• Burglary and theft
• Public liability
• Legal cover

Why not get a quick quote from our experienced team today?
*All features and benefits are subject to eligibility and underwriting criteria