PUBLISHED: 14:56 21 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:55 30 August 2017

House prices, an oceanic climate and miles and miles of coastline make Cornwall the UK's favourite place to live - but how do you move here?

Planning a life changing move to the UK’s favourite county in 2016? Here’s our guide to how to do it...

Each year millions of people visit Cornwall and many of them can be found looking in estate agents’ windows working out what their house in far-flung corners of England - and beyond - will get them in Cornwall. While for many it remains a dream, something to chat about through the winter as they tick off the calendar to the next holiday, for many it becomes a real plan. So how do you up sticks and start a new life?

Despite the mass media hysteria over expensive houses in parts of Cornwall, the average sale price in August 2015 was £244,391 - far below the national UK average of £272,000. Of course within that figure are everything from penthouse flats overlooking Fistral Beach in Newquay and St Ives Bay that will fetch more than £450,000 to the 19th century miner’s cottages that line the streets of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site area incorporating Redruth and Camborne which will give you change for £120,000.

So what’s the attraction? For most it’s the laid back lifestyle which means regular beach access, surfing, paddling or coasteering or walking your favourite part of the 300 miles of coastal path. The oceanic climate means we rarely see the thermometer needle dip below freezing and the quality of the light - thanks to its peninsular position allowing the sun to reflect off the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea and English Channel which surround us also proves a popular reason for a move from more landlocked darker parts of the UK.

St Ives was recently named as the UK’s favourite place to move to. However the house prices in this beautiful busy harbour town reflect that popularity - and one thing that people need to consider when moving to Cornwall - is that there is a difference between top places to visit in Cornwall and top places to actually live.

Top five places to move

So where do people move to? Favourite spots for relocation to Cornwall vary widely - but here’s a top five towns to get you talking.

The university town of Falmouth offers a great quality of life, with beaches, a variety of places to eat, boutique shopping, events and festival indie cinema and proximity to the coast path to get away from the bustling town.

St Ives. Renowned for the artists that flocked here throughout the 20th century, the harbour town - despite building work to meet demand for holiday homes and luxury apartments- remains pretty unchanged since the days Virginia Woolf would jump on a train to London to re-live her childhood, of which she says I could fill pages remembering one thing after another that made the summer at St Ives the best beginning to a life conceivable.’

Fowey - forever known as the home of Daphne du Maurier and for those old enough to remember the Tales of the Riverbank, Fowey sits on the Fowey Estuarym close to the des res villages of Polruan, Bodinnick.

Bude - A North Cornwall resort that’s on the up, the town of Bude has been welcoming visitors for more than a century. Featuring its own unique tidal pool, this is ideal for families and beach lovers.

Looe - the twin towns of West and East Looe sit in a more secret corner of South East Cornwall split by the River Looe estuary (which also splits into East and West Looe river) that flows in from the English Channel.

Cheaper areas of Cornwall: Unsurprisingly its usually the inland areas that are cheaper, but remember on the Cornish peninsular which is at most 40 miles in width you are only ever a 20-minute drive to the beach. Happy moving!

This article first appeared in Cornwall Life December 2015 issue.

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