In 1951 the Lake District was given National Park status and 70 years later, on 10th July 2017, is granted the coveted World Heritage Status by UNESCO.
The Lake District’s 2,362 km² of over 200 fells, 16+ lakes and 229,200 hectares of some of the greenest, most fertile land in the world, was added to the most prestigious conservation list this year and what an opportunity this is.
“We are immensely proud of this accolade. We know the Lake District fully deserves this worldwide recognition,” said Paul Liddell, Managing Director Lakelovers Lake District cottages.
Not only this, the long-awaited bid – 30 years in the making – is also a superb opportunity for Lake District businesses. We take a look at why now is the time to invest in the Lake District – the latest site to join the likes of the Taj Mahal and the Great Barrier Reef as a place of global cultural significance worthy of being protected and enjoyed for generations to come.
Buying a holiday home in the Lake District puts you in a UK holiday ‘hotspot’ as it fast becomes the UK’s top rural cultural destination.
The Lake District is in the midst of enjoying a significant funding boost in an ambitious progamme of cultural projects set to further secure the region as the top rural cultural destination in the UK .
The Cultural Destinations project is spearheaded by Lakes Culture, who have recently secured a second tranche of investment from the Arts Council England. The funding, made up of the recently secured £128,000 and previous investment of £324,000, will make the Lake District as famous for its culture as well as its landscape and outdoor activities.
The Lake District’s recently awarded World Heritage Status has been part of putting the region’s culture on the global map and indeed over 2017 and 2018 the Lake District is certainly ‘of the moment’.
Whilst the Lake District appears to be enjoying a distinctive sense of je ne sais quoi, this appeal is not something that is going to go away. The Lake District is a very attractive blend of old and new, offering a unique sense of stability.
The Lake District is a time capsule, with a history dating back to the ice age 2.6 million years ago and association with famous names like William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and William Turner, that will long attract tourists.
“Cumbria is the most productive county for the hotels’ team at Colliers,” said Julian Troup, Head of UK Hotel Agency about the recent foreign acquisition of a Borrowdale hotel.
Yet, whilst the region’s tourism sector is booming, the Lake’s housing sector is also relatively stable, unlike other top UK destinations such as London and the south coast.
However, there is a word of caution from Lake District estate agent, Hackney & Leigh Ltd.
“The listing of The Lake District as a World Heritage Site can only be good news for the National Park. More visitors spending more money and creating more jobs will hopefully help sustain our villages and towns. We will have to wait and see how this new status impacts on future planning policies, but the accreditation does bring with it a promise of more affordable housing for local people. It also remains to be seen whether this prestigious award will also see a rise in house prices, but given that demand may rise without an increase in supply, it remains a possibility,” said leading Estate Agent David Capps.
Online searches and bookings for trips within the UK this summer has risen by 23.8 per cent for travel marketing group Sojern.
This case study is reflected across the self-catering sector in the UK and it seems that the market is made up of local holidaymakers, choosing ‘staycations’, as well as an increase in foreign tourists.
In a broader picture, overall figures from foreign visitors to England are at a record high, according to recent research from VisitBritain, thanks to a boost from the US, France as well as the important Chinese market. VisitBritain reported record highest tourism rates in April this year – the highest number of tourists since records began and up 19% from April last year.
Brits are also choosing to holiday in the UK following the 14% devaluation of the pound as a result of the Brexit vote on the 23rd June 2017, and is proving a superb opportunity for the burgeoning self-catering sector.
4.) BREXIT BOOST
Whilst the devaluation of the pound following the Brexit referendum has created a ‘staycation’ trend in the UK, it is also attracting foreign investment in Lake District holiday properties. Following Brexit, foreign investment in the UK hospitality sector is 20% cheaper compared with last year.
North Cumbria estate agent Eden have reported a boost in property sales from outside of the county, and note that this is a new trend. Over the last financial year they reported that 54% of their sales were from buyers outside of Cumbria, including buyers from Cayman Islands, Dubai, Germany, Thailand and Abu Dhabi as well as other foreign investment.
Now is certainly the time to secure your slice of this market before foreign competition is too great.
The Cumberland Building Society offer a mortgage to cover up to 80% of the purchase price of a holiday let in the Lake District, and Lakelovers would be happy to introduce any one interested once you’ve found a property.
Rental cottages in the Lake District lend themselves perfectly to the top priorities that holidaymakers are now looking for in a self-catering cottage: hot tubs, a cottage name rather than number, open fire or wood burner and dog friendly.
These are all features that are a huge part of the charm of a Lake District holiday cottage, where a hot tub looking out across mesmerising views and in some of the most secluded locations in the UK are typical of a luxury Lake District cottage. The Lake District is an all-year-round holiday destination and the warming wood burner or coal fire is an important feature after a day on the fells. And, with the Lake District’s northern capital of Keswick leading the way as one of the UK’s most dog friendly towns, cottages in the Lake District that welcome pets certainly do fare well.
With a booming outdoor market, global cultural name and burgeoning luxury offering in the Lake District, there are lots of reasons why investing in a Lake District holiday cottage rental is a sound plan.
Holiday rental owners are reaping the benefits of the strength of the UK tourism sector, which is only set to grow, and we look forward to helping you on your journey. Get in touch on 015394 88855 or [email protected] and we’d love to help.
*at time of publishing
Lakelovers’ owner support team regularly update trends in both occupancy and income levels throughout each market sector within their cottage collection. Typical examples of VisitEngland 4 star cottages in any of the popular locations are:
Do visit Lakelovers cottage owner web pages, where you will find further information about buying a holiday cottage to rent in the Lake District, or contact our expert team on 015394 88855 or email [email protected]
We have been helping owners enjoy the benefits of renting a home out in the Lake District for 40 years and hope we can help you too.