Britain may be an island, but bona fide waterside living is still high up on the property wish list. And the good news is, there’s a diverse range of homes that fit the bill – from colourful and traditional seaside pads, to imposing mansions with priceless views of Britain’s lakes and rivers.
If you want a home that feeds your soul, you’ll need to look well beyond maintenance costs and school catchment areas – and concentrate first on what you love. If you’ve always been a water baby for example, what about the prospect of living next to the sea, a lake or a river? It’s completely feasible to put this wish as your starting point – and (as it were) ripple outwards from there. Luckily, PrimeLocation knows how to help. We’ve gathered some of the most beautiful waterside spots in the country and found some equally beautiful homes to match.
Homes by the sea
The quintessentially British escape to the seaside doesn’t need to be confined to the holidays. There are some beautiful homes on the market that offer a coastal lifestyle all-year-round. When it comes to seeking out the best, the South West of the country is a good place to start – perhaps in one of Devon’s many desirable villages such as Salcombe where traditional cottages still weather the ravages of the sea centuries down the line.
On the other side of the country, the White Cliffs of Dover offer some stunning and untamed coastal walks that will be sure to make you feel alive. And of course, any place by the sea will come with health benefits. As well as the ever-present salty air – and maybe even some sunshine – you’ll have water sports such as surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving all on your doorstep. Alternatively, of course, you could just let the sound of breaking waves send you off to sleep.
Life on the lakes
Still, deep and tranquil? That’s just how life could be in a lakeside property. And, given there are more than 400 lakes and lochs (as they are called in Scotland) within the UK, the choice of homes built around calm, deep waters is greater than you might imagine. Loch Fyne (which means Loch of the vine or wine) in Scotland’s Argyll and Bute for example, extends more than 65 kilometres across – and is particularly spectacular.
Indulge in water sports and fishing, or just sit back and watch the dolphins, seals and otters that inhabit the waters, from your own private terrace. Further south of the UK, the Isle of Anglesey offers several lakes and reservoirs to choose from, with abundant wildlife and beautiful waterside walks.
Want your life to start flowing in a new direction? How about a home with a river view? The fact a river can stretch for miles means that, naturally, there’s plenty of diversity when it comes to area and types of home to live in by the river. If you love swimming, fishing or river-boating and value a good dose of peace and quiet, a rural riverside setting in a property with centuries of history might be for you. And a good place to start your search here could be the rolling hills of rural Somerset. But there’s plenty of choice along the riverside in urban settings too. While you’ll either need deep pockets, or just some time to dream, London'sRiver Thames offer some spectacular options. With urban moorings for yachts and even houseboats available, you’ll be offered access to everything the city offers – with a very aquatic front garden.