Those looking for the bustle, amenities and culture close at hand, with the coastal and rural idyll of Cornwall and Devon on the doorstep, try Plymouth.
This historic working port has 10 miles of coastline and sits on the Tamar River. Forty percent of the city is green space, including Central Park and Devonport Park.
Central Park, created in 1928, comprises 68 hectares of woods and meadows with the Meadow Café at its center; while Devonport Park is Grade II listed with a bowling club, adventure playground and heritage trail.
The Barbican – Plymouth’s old port – has Britain’s largest network of cobbled streets with Elizabethan warehouses housing art studios and cafes. Under the Grade II listed roof in the West End, Plymouth Market has been operating since 1253 with farm stalls, fabric retailers and niche specialists. Eat Caribbean style at SoulFood Vendor or pick up an ice cream bun at Friary Bakery.
Magnificent: The Musical Carole King takes place at the Theater Royal where budding comedians of all ages can attend workshops and lessons.
Apartment buyers head to Plymouth Hoe which sits at the center of the urban seafront with the Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse on a green lawn that slopes down to Tinside Lido.
At one end is the 17th century sea fortress, the Royal Citadel. There is a two-bedroom apartment for sale in the Rivage apartment by Knight Frank for £480,000.
The most westerly point of the Devonshire coast (which overlooks the most easterly tip of Cornwall) has been redeveloped into a new area called Royal William Yard. On 15 acres, the old naval buildings have been preserved but transformed into 215 apartments, a cinema, spaces for artists and start-ups, a hotel and bars and restaurants. A top-floor two-bedroom apartment is on the market through Purple Bricks for £220,000 with wooden floors and exposed brickwork.
“Plymouth is the cheapest city in the south of England, with apartments from £70,000 and houses from £150,000. Buy-to-let investors can also easily achieve returns of 7-8%,” says James Moore of Connells.
Average house price: £294,931
Number of properties for sale: 68