Why Is Cornwall So Expensive




Updated on

Located in the southwest part of England, Cornwall is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning coastlines, picturesque villages, and rich history.

However, visitors to this charming county may find themselves surprised by the high cost of living. From housing to food and transportation, prices in Cornwall are notably higher than in other parts of the UK. 

But what makes this beautiful region so expensive? Keep reading to find out the impact of tourism, the limited availability of housing, and the higher cost of goods and transportation in Cornwall. 

We’ll uncover the reasons behind Cornwall’s expensive reputation and shed light on what makes this stunning county worth the investment.

Is Cornwall An Expensive Place To Live?

As you might have guessed from the title of the article – yes, Cornwall is, in fact, an expensive place to live. Compared to the rest of the UK, the cost of living in this historic region is quite high, with an average house costing around £247,000. That’s almost double the national average rate of a house, i.e., £164,000. 

That’s not all – food and drinks are just as expensive in Cornwall, often more than the average cost throughout the UK. As such, you may have to shell out £50 for a meal for two in a Cornish restaurant. 

Despite the high cost of living in Cornwall, some factors make it affordable too. For instance, the cost of transportation is lower than the national average, and there are many reasonably-priced and beautiful areas to live in. 

Additionally, Cornwall offers a high quality of life, making it one of the best places to live in the UK. That said, some of the most affordable places in Cornwall are Camborne, Redruth, and St. Colin, with mortgage affordability ratios and household incomes lower than the national average. 

For your reference, let us tell you that renting an apartment in Cornwall may cost between £620 and £1,240 per month, with seaside apartments being more expensive. 

According to a study in 2022, Salcombe in Devon is Britain’s most expensive coastal area, with an average house price of just over £1.2 million. Not far behind are Padstow and Wadebridge in Cornwall, ranking 4 and 9, respectively, with average house prices of £790,847 and £548,669 last year. 

This data attests that Cornwall is an expensive place to buy a house, with prices in some coastal locations rivalling those in other pricey areas across the country. 

Is Cornwall Expensive For A Holiday?

Like many popular tourist spots, Cornwall’s prices may be higher than other regions in the UK, particularly during peak seasons. Nonetheless, there are various approaches to economise, such as opting for campsites, enjoying free activities (like hiking), and preparing your own meals.

That said, Cornwall is a great family-friendly destination with ample opportunities for exciting outdoor activities, including watersports. On the other hand, it serves as an ideal place for solo travellers, too, with welcoming hotels and comfortable campsites. 

Is Cornwall Like Abroad?

Although Cornwall is in the UK, visiting it feels like travelling abroad! 

Well, first off, Cornwall boasts its own flag and language. The county commemorates St Piran’s Day, comparable to England’s St George’s Day and Wales’ St David’s Day. The Cornish accent is also easily identifiable, and the region offers a diverse range of local cuisine.

Moreover, the Cornish people have a Celtic cultural identity that differentiates them from the rest of England, and they have more similarities with Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. 

So, it is safe to say, Cornwall has a strong sense of identity besides just being a part of the UK. Even though it’s only a three-hour drive from Bath and just across the border from Devon, being in Cornwall feels like being in a distant land. And that’s what makes it so appealing!

Why Is A Holiday In The UK So Expensive?

1. High Property Prices

Property prices in the UK are quite high in general. When you book an Airbnb, the owner needs to cover mortgage and repair costs, as well as empty periods in less busy times of the year. So, they end up demanding a high price.


2. High Rent

Long-term rental prices in many locations have significantly increased after the pandemic, indirectly impacting the price of holiday cottages. As such, landlords rent their properties for longer periods to cash in more and avoid expensive servicing costs. Moreover, they may raise prices on holiday cottages to beat the investment returns they could make by renting out their property long-term.


3. Short School Holidays

Compared to other places, schools in the UK have shorter summer holidays, leading to concentrated demand for family holidays during a six-week period. 

The Guardian

Is Cornwall Too Busy In August?

Yes, Cornwall can be very busy in August, especially in popular tourist destinations, such as beaches and seaside towns. This is because August is a peak holiday season in the UK, when children have their summer holidays, and the weather is typically warmer. That brings traffic issues – parking can be hard at attractions, and you’ll notice long queues for food and things to do. 

Moreover, the August bank holidays are at the tail end of the month and can be one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Why Are Hotels In The UK So Expensive Now?

1. High Demand

The UK has always been a tourist attraction for its rich culture and picturesque locations. Add to that the limited supply and high demand of hotel rooms, and the result is – expensive hotels! 


2. Premium Location

Most hotels in the UK are located in premium locations, like Edinburgh, London, etc. Plus, if they’re near famous landmarks, prepare yourself to pay for the high rental or property value. 

DMCI Homes

3. Seasonality 

Usually, the demand for UK hotels rises during the summer months. As such, if you happen to travel to the UK in the off-season, you may be able to bag an affordable deal. 

Gardening Know How

4. Maintenance And Staffing Costs

Hotel owners end up spending quite a lot in maintaining their property as well as the staff. Regular maintenance includes plumbing, painting, furnishing, and more. Not to forget the strict safety standards hotels must comply with. 

Moreover, owners must ensure their housekeeping staff, maintenance workers, front desk staff, chefs, etc., are well-trained and motivated to ensure the best service to the guests. They may also offer employee benefits to their staff, like health insurance. 

These expenses of the hotel owners add up, and you may end up paying for them. 

Daniel Penn Associates


Overall, the high cost of living in Cornwall can be attributed to a combination of factors, like its desirability as a tourist destination, limited housing supply, and remote location. So, while the picturesque scenery and laid-back lifestyle may make Cornwall an attractive place to live, it’s important to be aware of the associated costs before making the move. 

Nonetheless, with its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, Cornwall remains a beloved and unique region that continues to captivate both visitors and residents alike.

About The Author


Reviewed by