If you're from Cornwall, how do you personally feel about tourists and second home owners?

(659 Posts)
Beerlovingwalker Mon 03-May-21 13:31:54

Genuinely curious really, as an outsider that loves Cornwall.

On the one hand, it must be nice to know that so many people love the beauty of your county and I'm sure it's nice to share it. However, it also must be difficult to adjust from living fairly quietly in the Autumn/winter months, to suddenly have to share your space with so many million tourists and second home owners in the summer.

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Ladydayblues1 Mon 03-May-21 13:48:08

Second home owners are a different breed from tourists.

Tourists come and go, they put money into the community. Second home owners can leave properties empty for months on end, it drains the life out of a community. You can end up like a ghost town in certain areas with houses dark and empty for most of the year. Also they stop and start building work which is disruptive to those living there. Scaffolding can be left up for months on end which impacts neighbours and walkways. Because they are not always here to monitor work it can attract rogue builders who leave the property in a terrible state and impacts those around them. I could go on and on, but when you get large groupings of second homes it does impact the full time community in multiple ways.

cooliebrown Mon 03-May-21 13:52:34

Second homes and the air bnb business model has destroyed any chance young people in Cornwall might have of owning a home to live in in the place where they grew up; often local people are priced out of renting too.

A tourist tax of a pound a night per adult would do a lot to address the local housing crisis in Cornwall, if properly raised and spent wisely.

MoreHairyThanScary Mon 03-May-21 13:56:54

Agree with the above posters ( not cornwall but south Devon)

As locals we know we are lucky to live here and are happy to share with tourists. Second home owners however kill villages, bus routes, schools, libraries and limit accommodation for low waged young people ( the average wage is the south west is stupidly low), pushing the cost of housing ever higher.

In short no second home owners are not welcome!

Summertime21 Mon 03-May-21 13:57:13

I have no issue with tourists it's part of living in a holiday town. Second home owners mean locals struggle to actually buy homes in our local area

cakefanatic Mon 03-May-21 13:59:56

You should watch Simon Reeve’s Cornwall on iPlayer; I think he gets it really spot on with the assertion that there are jobs in Cornwall but no careers. That’s certainly my experience of growing up in west Cornwall. I left for uni and haven’t gone back.

I’d dearly love a second home there, but I don’t think it’s fair. Even though it’s the place in my heart that feels like home. It is quite literally the home of my soul, and at times I physically ache to be there (dramatic, i know!). I bumped into some friends on the beach a couple of summers back, and we were chatting; it was painfully obvious to me that our nursery bill was comparable to household income for them.

The Cornish need the tourists, everything is built around a service industry, and they desperately need the money that will be rolling in this summer. But even so, the wealth is so unevenly split, with most of the money in my hometown shared between a handful of families.

cakefanatic Mon 03-May-21 14:01:18

So without ‘careers’ wages remain low, housing stock rockets because of the second home/holiday trade, and the cycle continues.

Beerlovingwalker Mon 03-May-21 14:04:11

@ladydayblues1 I've never put much thought into it, but the thought of residents having hardly any sense of community because of second home owners leaving their residencies empty for most of the year really does fill me with sadness. sad We have something similar here (famous coastal town in South East) but it's only really that one town, rather than the whole area.

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oystercatcher44 Mon 03-May-21 14:06:05

I recognise the problems highlighted above.

But in our village a lot of locals have made shed loads of money by selling to second home buyers from London.

Beerlovingwalker Mon 03-May-21 14:08:06


You should watch Simon Reeve’s Cornwall on iPlayer

Thanks. I'll watch it this evening! I have no means to buy a second home and would probably never do so anyway, but I do have a few relatives with second homes and it made me wonder what the impact was. From the comments so far, it's much worse than I thought!

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cakefanatic Mon 03-May-21 14:11:29

@Beerlovingwalker it’s a really honest look at the ‘real’ Cornwall. It wasn’t what I was expecting but I’m glad he did it. The deprivation is a real problem, but I had an idyllic childhood (because we were on the coast - that’s the weirdest thing about Cornwall, if you’re not ‘coast people’ you very likely don’t go to the beach often).

barnanabas Mon 03-May-21 14:12:46

I wasn't born in Cornwall, but have lived here for most of my adult life and have a Cornish husband and children.

Tourism is fine. Yes, it can be annoying that everywhere is busier and more crowded in the summer, but it's important for the local economy and, yes, it's nice to live in a beautiful place that people want to visit.

Second homes are much more of a problem in my opinion. It's not too bad in the town I live in, but there are towns here (Fowey/St Ives to name two) that just seem decimated by second homes and empty buildings in the winter. And they don't help a housing situation which is very difficult for local people already (I realise that housing costs are an issue in much of the rest of the UK too).

I am happy that we live somewhere so nice that people want to come on holiday here.

Allington Mon 03-May-21 14:19:14

But in our village a lot of locals have made shed loads of money by selling to second home buyers from London.

A one-off windfall for a handful of people, with long term problems for the community that is left.

Babamamananarama Mon 03-May-21 14:23:13

I live in mid Cornwall and feel strongly about second homes. They hollow out communities, leave quaint towns feeling like weird theme parks rather than living breathing places, reduce housing stock and push the property prices up out of reach of locals.

I think a lot of second home owners do feel a bit of guilt about their impact - you see them walking around not really making eye contact and looking like they know they don't fit in and aren't really welcomed. Particularly in lockdown when they weren't meant to be down here. It just seems like a very selfish thing to do - I do wonder how they can properly enjoy themselves.

Seashor Mon 03-May-21 14:24:03

I’m in Devon. I love the tourists they bring vibrance to the area and bring it alive. Second home owners destroy the area, it’s terribly sad to see.

Bingomangoes Mon 03-May-21 14:26:27

I live in Cornwall and actually love tourism and the facilities that spring up to facilitate the visitors. BUT When towns, villages get taken over by second homes its a totally different story, homes occupied just a few weeks per year bring in very little cash for the local economy but destroy the village eg empty houses = no families with kids attending local school so the school shuts, no one actually there to support local businesses and shops so they shut you end up with dead communities. Tourism =a big YES please, 2nd home rarely occupied = WRONG on every level.

daisyjgrey Mon 03-May-21 14:29:05

I live just over the border in Devon, but the two are different. Tourists, although annoying, are what keeps the towns etc running through the summer. Second home owners buy properties, don't use them, occasionally appear for a long weekend and park badly, complain about things, swan around like they're some kind of strange royalty and then they piss off home until the next time.

Meanwhile, we're all scrabbling for reasonably priced properties, OF WHICH THERE ARE NONE because second home buyers drive the prices up.

Porcupineintherough Mon 03-May-21 14:29:15

Out of interest, what do people feel about people buying up houses to let to tourists? On the one hand that must push prices up too, on the other no accommodation= no tourists (or I guess they could adopt a hotel/campsite based model).

Postapocalypticcowgirl Mon 03-May-21 14:33:22

As others have said, tourists and second home owners are very different.

Tourists are (mostly) welcome, although do bear in mind that people do live here year round and have to work as normal. Bear in mind you've come to the countryside and be respectful of e.g. tractors and livestock.

Second home owners are very different. They are killing a lot of communities, and long term will really do a lot of damage to Cornwall, as no-one can afford to live where they grew up. Even places that were previously less desirable are becoming more and more popular for second home owners.

Even people with good, professional jobs are now struggling to buy in the communities where they grow up. Putting it bluntly, when their parents die, these communities will die with them- and probably won't be pleasant places to visit anymore.

There's also a massive homelessness problem in Cornwall (official figures may say otherwise, but I see it regularly in the town where I live) and it disgusts me that some people in this country have two or three houses whilst others sleep on the streets.

TylluanBach Mon 03-May-21 14:34:40

This is happening where we live in North West Wales.

SachaStark Mon 03-May-21 14:36:02

I live in one of the popular, seasidey bits. I’ll fully admit that I like living here a lot more when it’s quieter, and we have the beach to ourselves in the mornings.

Tourists are very welcome, though! So long as they behave themselves properly: spend into the local economy, don’t litter, don’t dick about in inflatables in the sea and get themselves into danger. I love when my own friends come to visit to play the tourist.

Second home owners can get to fuck, though.

(If you want to see the real Cornwall, and the true deprivation of it, get yourself into the old mining towns.)

Postapocalypticcowgirl Mon 03-May-21 14:37:31


Out of interest, what do people feel about people buying up houses to let to tourists? On the one hand that must push prices up too, on the other no accommodation= no tourists (or I guess they could adopt a hotel/campsite based model).

Long term, this has the same impact on communities as second home ownership, although people who stay in air bnbs and holiday lets do probably spend more week on week than second home owners.

There are lots of hotels and holiday parks (which generate more employment than holiday lets, IMO) that people can stay in. A lot of holiday lets stand empty in the off season too.

FWIW, I think there's a difference between e.g. someone doing up an outbuilding and turning it into a holiday let, and someone buying a property that could be a family home, or a home for a young couple starting out and becoming a holiday let.

But when all the property in a town or village is bought up by people who don't live there full time, it does damage the community. Long term, it can actually make the place less desirable to visit as e.g. pubs die because there's no-one to keep them open over the winter, or businesses increasingly struggle to get staff.

Mousetown Mon 03-May-21 14:38:16


Out of interest, what do people feel about people buying up houses to let to tourists? On the one hand that must push prices up too, on the other no accommodation= no tourists (or I guess they could adopt a hotel/campsite based model).

Every house bought to let to tourists in the summer months is another house taken away from locals. I’m from a picturesque village in Cornwall. The families that have lived there for generations are being pushed out. Young people cannot afford to buy in the small fishing communities their families have worked and lived in for years. When I visit now all the old cottages families used to live in are now holiday let’s owned by people outside of the county. In the winter it’s a ghost town. It has destroyed the community.

JackieWeaverHandforthCouncil Mon 03-May-21 14:44:52


I can understand frustration with not being able to buy a house where you grow up but I always side eye areas which always blame ‘incomers’ for everything that goes wrong. Makes me wary of visiting. Locals can also cause trouble.

Wilkolampshade Mon 03-May-21 14:46:48

Not just Cornwall where first time buyers can't buy and the young are priced out though is it? On my street in a fairly stabby part of London a one bed flat will set you back well upwards of 450k.

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