It can’t have escaped your notice that Cornwall’s allure has skyrocketed in recent months. As people are reconsidering where they live vs where they work, perhaps working more remotely as a result of the pandemic, many city dwellers are heading west for good.
Are you looking for a better quality of life in a thriving town or rural paradise? Do you want to raise your family away from the crowded South East? Whether you are a student or young professional, enjoying family life or retirement, Cornwall has it all. What’s more, investing in property in Cornwall can be a shrewd move, since your money will go a lot further than in many other areas of the UK. Here’s a handy guide to help you get started.
So, where exactly should you be looking? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular places to live in Cornwall.
Voted the best place to live in the South West in The Sunday Times Poll of 2019, Falmouth is “a community where you can live, work and enjoy the charms of the Cornish coast all year.” It’s a historic town full of seaside charm and quirky vibrancy, with a wealth of shops and artisan retailers to keep everyone catered for. It has an estimated population of 23,000, which is on the large side for Cornish towns. Falmouth has a rich maritime heritage due to the strategic position of its busy port, but the town is also well connected by road. Then there are the golden beaches, the glorious parks, Henry VIII’s Pendennis Castle and year-round events – what’s not to like? The housing market in Falmouth is strong with an overall average property price of £352,122 according to Rightmove’s most recent figures.
2. St Ives
Everybody falls in love with St Ives! The north coast fishing town on the far western side of Cornwall is a major tourist destination, having repeatedly won the title of Best UK Seaside Town from the British Travel Awards. Porthminster Beach is the place to be if you’re a surfer – it’s one of the best in the country. St Ives has great amenities that cater for every sport, hobby and interest including the arts; it is home to the prestigious Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. Aside from being a popular holiday destination, St Ives is a great place to bring up a family in a safe environment and with good schools. The town has around 11,000 inhabitants. As you would expect, property prices are not cheap here, with an average of £446,009 recorded by Rightmove in September 2021.
Located about 10 miles northeast of Newquay and with a population of only around 3000, Padstow is perhaps the best known of all Cornish towns and one of the most prized areas in which to live. It offers the perfect combination of sea, landscape and the laidback lifestyle that many dream of when moving to Cornwall. No wonder, then, that the average property price here is an aspirational £558,386, according to Houses for Sale & to Rent. Homes in Padstow have increased substantially in value over the last decade or so and the local property market continues to boom. There’s a working fishing port with plenty of eateries serving freshly caught seafood including Rick Stein’s famous restaurant. The narrow winding streets behind the harbour feature a wealth of old cottages, many of which are rentable through the year. Padstow has some of Cornwall’s most stunning beaches.
A charming fishing town with cobbled streets, a bustling harbour and some wonderful beaches, Looe may have been a favourite holiday destination since Victorian times, but it is also an increasingly popular place to live. It has a population of just over 5000 and is situated in southeast Cornwall within easy reach of Plymouth, making it more accessible than some of the more remote parts of this sprawling county. Looe has a great choice of property types including cottages, townhouses and even Victorian villas, as well as a more realistic overall average price of £310,753. There’s plenty to do for all the family and the annual 3-day Looe Live music festival is one of Cornwall’s biggest events. Nearby Looe Island is an important marine nature reserve.
Truro is a cathedral city, as well as Cornwall’s county town and administrative centre, with a population of just under 20,000. Dating back to Norman times, complete with a castle surrounded by a web of narrow little streets, the city offers the perfect mix of historic architecture, seaside living and beautiful countryside scenery on the doorstep. Truro is a fantastic place for shopping and culture, while a choice of long sandy beaches and coves are only a short drive away. Property in Truro is varied, and its elegant Georgian and Victorian townhouses in the city centre sell for well over a million. That said, with an overall property price of £312,648 according to Rightmove, there are plenty of more affordable property choices available, and investing in rental property here could also be a shrewd move.
A picturesque fishing village of 3000 souls with beaches to die for near Helston in West Cornwall, Porthleven is surely the epitome of Cornish tradition and charm. The village landmark, the Bickford Smith Institute clock tower, often features in the national weather news being ravaged by crashing waves, Porthleven being Britain’s most southerly and probably most exposed port. That said, the climate here is mostly mild with plenty of sunshine. The beautiful little seaside town is located amid the Lizard Heritage Coast AONB and has a thriving community combining the old and the new, with something for everyone. Property prices here are comparatively reasonable, with an overall average price of £305,657.