“Brits are now freer than ever to up sticks and move somewhere new and exciting, with remote working untethering many from their offices and city centre commutes.”
The seaside town of Margate in Kent has been crowned the best value picturesque place to move to in the UK, in a new study by Hammonds Furniture.
Dover in Kent, and the tourist village of Portmeirion in Gwynedd, Wales, narrowly missed out on the top spot, placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.
With remote working remaining popular, and a reported 57% of UK workers favouring their home office at least one day a week, people have more freedom in choosing where to live – enabling Brits to move to a location for its beauty, rather than its distance to the office.
But of all the stunning locations the UK has to offer, which are actually affordable for property hunters?
Combining Instagram data with a survey of 2,000 UK adults, Hammonds curated a list of the 125 most picturesque places in the UK.
They then compared average local house prices for each location to that of their respective county, before awarding each place an ‘affordability’ score out of 100.
Margate, Kent scored an impressive 90 out of 100, with local houses being 26% cheaper on average than homes across Kent as a whole.
The town, known for its beautiful sandy beaches, has also been tagged on Instagram 959,000 times (via hashtags), making it one of the most photographed locations in the research.
The average house in Margate will currently set you back £286,716, and while this is £10k over the average UK house price of £276,755, Margate offers scenery at a more affordable price point than other nearby towns.
Overall, Kent dominated the top ten, with Margate, Dover and Canterbury all named in the list of the most picturesque but affordable places to live in the UK.
If you’re looking to relocate to the Southeast, then homes in Dover can also offer good value for money in a beautiful location, with the average house price here coming in at £112k (29%) below the average in Kent. This price difference secured the famous coastal town second place on the list.
In fact, those wishing to head to the seaside every day are in luck, as five of the most affordable picturesque places are seaside towns – Margate, Dover, Whitby, Weymouth, and Barmouth all offer sandy beaches, sea views and lower-than-average house prices for their areas.
Gwynedd in Wales also featured several times in the list, with Portmeirion and Barmouth both making the cut.
Homes near Portmeirion, Wales cost £172,875 on average, which is over £100k less than the UK average, making it a strong choice for those looking to relocate somewhere beautiful while on a budget.
The least affordable picturesque place was Snowshill in Gloucestershire, made famous by Bridget Jones’ parents’ famous Christmas jumper party. The stunning Cotswolds village, just two hours from London, scored just 7 out of a possible 100 points.
While considered very beautiful – with 15k pictures of Snowshills posted on Instagram – local house prices here are 148% more than the Gloucestershire average, at £867,500.
Despite Cornwall being deemed by far the most picturesque place in the UK by those surveyed, with a fifth (21%) naming it in the poll of the most beautiful locations, none of Cornwall’s popular towns and villages made the top ten most affordable list.
Both Helford and St Mawes did make the top ten least affordable list though, showing that while the tourist hotspot may be beautiful, those wishing to relocate here can expect to pay over-the-odds.
St Mawes had the highest house price in the list – on average, a home in this small fishing village will set you back £1,163,636. This is 255% more than the average Cornish home and 176% more than the UK average.
While Cornwall dominated as Brits’ favourite pretty place in Hammonds’ survey by a ‘country mile’, the Lake District was the second favourite with 13% of the vote, and Scotland came in third with 8%.
For those looking for somewhere particularly ‘Instagrammable’, the famous seaside town of Whitby, which placed 4th in the list, was the most photographed destination in the top ten. It has been tagged in Instagram posts an impressive 1.2 million times. This was closely followed by Canterbury in Kent, which boasted 1.1 million tagged photos.
Kirsty Oakes, head of product and marketing at Hammonds Furniture, commented: “Brits are now freer than ever to up sticks and move somewhere new and exciting, with remote working untethering many from their offices and city centre commutes.
“The UK offers so many gorgeous places to visit or move to, and we hope our research has helped unearth some hidden gem locations that many may have overlooked so far in their property hunt.
“This ranking should hopefully provide people with some inspiration for gorgeous and affordable places to move to, or if nothing else, help them extend their UK travel wish list!”