With city rents and house prices on the rise and some of the happiest Britons living in the most remote places, there’s never been a better time to move to new shores. From wild and rugged to southern and sunny, Britain’s island idylls could provide you with a perfect escape to the country.
Almost ready to buy a home on one of Blighty’s islands? Here are a few other qualities that might just tip the balance for you.
The Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey are the sunniest spots in the UK, with 1,900 hours of sunshine per year. Plus, you’ll never be more than ten minutes from the sea. Though if rainy days and roaring fires sound more tempting, there’s still an island for you. The Shetlands off the coast of Scotland have plenty of cloud cover and an average year-round temperature of 7°C, so you can wrap up for those lovely long walks through the rugged countryside.
Quality of life
Here at HouseSimple.com, we love a rural property hotspot and one that’s topped a new Halifax survey based on quality of life is the Orkney Islands. Plenty of employment opportunities, high earnings and great local schools featuring in the UK’s 100 Best State Schools list mean that your country retreat might end up becoming a permanent home.
Our islands host some of the UK’s weirdest and most wonderful events – from the cultural delights of Jersey’s annual Eisteddfod, with its music, plays and language lessons, to the sailing on show at the Isle of Wight’s Cowes Week. Petrolheads will love the roaring engines at the Isle of Man TT: the cross-country motorbike race has over 100 years of history.
Seafood is a staple on Britain’s islands – apart from Scotland’s St. Kilda, whose former residents mostly ate puffins. The big name isles like Skye boast fantastic restaurants such as the Michelin-starred Three Chimneys, while at the other end of the country, the Hell Bay Hotel on the Scilly Island of Bryher has a great reputation for delicious crab and its dramatic coastal location.
Britain has preserved its identity for thousands of years thanks to the surrounding seas, so it’s only natural that its islands guard some secrets of their own. The old crofts and ‘black houses’ of Scotland’s Hebrides are a reminder of the farmers that once lived outside English feudal Lordship. Crofts also offer unique renovation potential, frequently coming to the market cheap and with no listed status, ready for ambitious designers to return them to their former glory.