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Where to buy holiday property in Cornwall?

Cornwall has long been a favourite destination amongst holidaymakers, retaining its rugged charm, natural beauty and historic intrigue across the centuries. Many of the legends of King Arthur were born in North Cornwall, while St Ives invites visitors to celebrate artistic excellence at the Tate and the Barbara Hepworth Museum, and the Eden Project has been championing the cause of the environment since 2000. So while we know it’s a great and inspiring place to visit, is it a good investment for holiday home owners?

In this article we explore where to buy holiday property in Cornwall for a healthy return on your investment plus plentiful enjoyable stays by the side yourself.


East Cornwall: a popular holiday hotspot

‘Cornwall is officially the favourite UK holiday destination’, heralds Visit Cornwall, having been voted number one in the British Travel Awards for the last eight years running. Amongst the favourite features for holidaymakers were:

  • More than 300 miles of beautiful coastline, including the South West Coast Path
  • Fantastic surfing (Cornwall’s largest wave is the legendary 30ft ‘Cribbar’ at Fistral Beach in Newquay)
  • Its UNESCO recognised landscapes and 12 Areas of Outstanding Natural beautyMore than 300 beaches
  • And the 120+ million Cornish pasties that are made each year

In 2021, the number of holidaymakers in Cornwall was especially high with around 210,000 visitors, although in a normal year, the peak still hits a healthy 180,000. Lifeguards in Perranporth said there was a peak of 14,000 people on the beach at one point according to the BBC. Meanwhile, when Google released data showing its top five UK trending holiday search phrases this year, 'Cornwall caravan holidays' ranked number one and 'holiday cottages with hot tubs’ came in third place. All of that said, Cornwall is popular with every type of holidaymaker and all year round.

How many people visit Cornwall each year?

The trend for holidays in Cornwall, however, has not been limited to the last couple of years. Cornwall is heavily dependent on its tourism industry: 

  • 12.1% of all Cornish employees are employed in the food industry.
  • Tourism contributes 12% of Cornwall's GDP. 
  • Even back in 2003, 5 million tourists were visiting Cornwall each year, making up around a quarter of the economy.

For holiday homeowners and potential holiday homeowners, that’s good news. It means it’s a great place to enjoy your own holidays, and it also means it’s a tried and tested destination that other people want to visit and rent a holiday home.

Holiday let investment locations in East Cornwall

Some of the most popular holiday destinations are in East Cornwall, focusing on key towns and villages and their surrounding areas. While they do not provide an exhaustive guide as to where to buy a holiday home, they do have a track record for holiday letting success and are a great place to start. If you’re interested in buying a holiday home in East Cornwall, we also recommend tapping into the local knowledge of experienced estate agents and definitely visit to make sure you like the area before buying!



Between two steep hills, Downderry is a coastal village near Seaton and Portwrinkle. It has a part sand, part shingle beach and lots of rock pools to explore. It’s also a favourite amongst wildlife spotters. The tranquil location is a favourite amongst those who really want to unwind amongst the natural beauty of Cornwall.



South of Looe, Polperro is a picturesque fishing village and popular tourist destination. It retains much of its historic charm, and is centred around a sheltered beach and harbour. It’s peppered with gift shops and its narrow streets are characterised by pretty seaside cottages. There are galleries, arts and crafts exhibitions, but there is also a newsagent, bakeries and other shops selling everyday bits and pieces, so it’s a lovely place to settle in for the holidays.



On the Rame Peninsula across the River Tamar from Plymouth, Torpoint is sometimes described as the gateway to Cornwall. It is a bustling little town, with views of the water and boats bobbing by, and lots of holidaymakers like it as a great base for exploring nearby parts of both Devon and Cornwall. Torpoint is close to a number of beaches including Whitsand Bay. Visitors can spend time following the South West Coast Path to nearby villages, or for a change of scenery, it’s easy to hop on the ferry to Plymouth in Devon.



A traditional fishing village with a history dating back to the 17th century, Portwrinkle is close to the popular Whitsand Bay, but provides visitors with a little more peace and quiet to retreat to as well. Small and pretty, the walls of the pilchard cellars still very much define the landscape, while ice cream coloured houses mark the coastline. It’s little wonder that visitors find peace in this pretty location.

St. Germans

St. Germans

On the River Tiddy, St. Germans is a pretty village that takes its name from its priory, which dates to the 12th century. It has had an important historic role in Cornwall and today there’s much evidence of the past remaining. It is close to the popular destination of Looe and is known for its popular sailing club. Despite its diminutive size, it has a pretty Victorian railway station, making it remarkably well connected.



On the southern edge of Bodmin Moor, Liskeard became an important market town in 1240, and has continued to be a popular place to visit to the present day. Just 14 miles west of the Devon border, it’s amongst the more convenient locations for those travelling from other parts of the UK, and is a pretty town with charming architecture and plenty of attractions. It’s not on the beach, but it’s a hive of shops, cafes and restaurants, and of course sandy coves and the coast path are just a short drive away.



A pretty seaside town near Liskeard, Looe continues to be a working fishing port to this day. You can stand on the quay and watch the boats come in before heading to local restaurants to devour the catch of the day. You’ll also find award-winning fish and chips on the menu almost everywhere. The main beach offers soft golden sand and safe swimming (there are seven beaches close by!), there’s a local museum and the long harbour with its Victorian bridge is popular for crabbing. There are plenty of little cafes and a sense of community, which make it a charming holiday location.

The benefits of owning an East Cornwall holiday home

The main benefit of owning a holiday home in East Cornwall, is to enjoy it. It’s wonderful to know that you have somewhere you can retreat to - a home away from home, where you can arrive and find the things that make you feel relaxed and happy, bring friends and family, and share in the joy of a South West holiday. However, there are other benefits as well:

It’s an appreciating asset

In 2020, the average property value in Cornwall rose by 15.5%. That trend continued into 2021. In September it was recorded that property had gone up a further 17.7% since July 2020 and by 3.2% since May 2021. Overall, property in Cornwall continues to hold its value and increase, especially so in recent years.

Holiday homes can generate a meaningful profit

When it’s done right, holiday homeowners have benefitted from significant profits from letting their properties in Cornwall. One of our holiday homeowners generated £70k revenue in under two months.

You can relax more on holiday

Knowing that you are heading to a property with a familiar bed, where you feel relaxed and know that you have your things to hand, makes it much easier to relax quickly on holiday and enjoy your time off. With more people remote working, you can even spend more time there without having to return to the office!

You always have somewhere to stay

There’s a reason people want to visit Cornwall in the peak months of the year - the weather, the community, the outdoor lifestyle - it’s a great way to live. So much so finding somewhere to stay can be tricky, with holiday homes and properties getting booked up fast. When you own your own holiday home, you know you will always have somewhere to stay. The question is, will you keep it to yourself or take advantage of the peak season letting income?!

Getting it right: letting a holiday home in East Cornwall

Where you buyWhile the pandemic did accelerate the popularity of holidays in Cornwall, the area has a tried and tested track record for letting holiday homes year on year. For those interested in buying and letting a holiday home, that is an attractive and reasonably dependable prospect for additional income. However, the success of a holiday home does depend on getting a few things right. For example:

Choosing the right location

Location, location, location - isn’t that what Kirstie Allsopp always says? You don’t need to buy in the most popular holiday destination to make it a good buy, but you do need to consider where it is and how holidaymakers will manage when they’re there. How easy is it to get shopping? Is there good Wifi? How far is it from the beach? All these things will contribute to the appeal of the property on the letting market.

Setting up your holiday home

Making sure your holiday home is set up to make holidays easy and enjoyable for guests is essential. It’s crucial to set it up with your intended guests in mind. Is it a romantic bolthole? Is it a family destination? Is it party central? Might it have broad market appeal? Set it up with those people in mind, whether that’s adding trundle beds to accommodate additional children, putting a highchair in the cupboard in case it’s needed or ensuring the safety compliance administration is up to date. These are all things that our professional hosts can advise on.

Provide great customer service

Having too many enquiries and too many bookings seems like a good problem to have, and it is. But getting customer service right so those guests go from enquiries to bookings, making sure they have a good time, leave good reviews and even make a repeat booking can be extremely time consuming. It's worth the effort, but most holiday homeowners don’t have the time to do it properly because they have other jobs to do. Again, this is something that HolidayHost will do for you.

Buying a holiday let in East Cornwall?

If you are thinking about buying a holiday home in Cornwall, already own one and are thinking about letting, or already let and would like some professional help without resorting to a traditional and costly agency approach, HolidayHost could be the right solution for you. We are always happy to chat, share advice and help support you in the process of letting your property. You can read more about our services or contact us any time.