The availability of jobs, quality of education, quality of healthcare, safety, environment and the affordability of housing were all criteria when Royal Mail commissioned its recent study of Britain’s most desirable postcodes.
The resulting list included idyllic villages and towns scattered from Salisbury Plain in the South, right out to the Hebrides in Scotland. Which all makes fertile tourism territory, right? Well, not always.
Some postcodes might offer a high standard of living, but they don’t always come furnished with a high quality of tourist accommodation. Still, if you want to see what’s so desirable about St Bees, Caldicot or South Glasgow, have a look at the gallery for our pick of hotels, B&Bs, cottages and campsites.
Britain’s best postcodes: where to stay
Britain’s best postcodes: where to stay
1/15 Tidworth, Wiltshire SP9
England’s most desirable town proves so popular among residents that there’s just one option for visitors: Copper Goose B&B. There’s one bedroom in a flint and stone annexe to the main house, which is surrounded by well-tended gardens (07715 397169; facebook.com/CopperGoosebedandbreakfast; B&B doubles from £75).
2/15 Yateley, Hampshire GU46
A stone’s throw across the River Blackwater and Yateley Lakes from stately Sandhurst, The Casa Hotel is the pick in Yateley. Also home to Marco Pierre White’s Wheelers restaurant, it’s a popular spot for weddings (01252 873275; thecasahoteluk.com; B&B doubles from £69).
3/15 St Bees, Cumbria CA27
At the entrance to the seaside village of St Bees, Abbey Farmhouse dates back to the early 17th century and was converted from a working farm 50 years ago. Its upper rooms offer sea views towards the Isle of Man (01946 823534; abbeyfarm-stbees.co.uk; B&B doubles from £80).
4/15 Middlewich, Cheshire CW10
For accommodation with character, you need to strike a bit further out of town. Hopley House is a converted 200-year-old barn on the outskirts of Middlewich that’s been awarded an Enjoy England Silver award (01270 526292; hopleyhouse.co.uk; B&B doubles from £68).
5/15 Earley, Berkshire RG6
It’s slim pickings for visitors to this triangle between Reading University, the M4 and the Thames. However, hire your own houseboat and cruise up the Thames from Henley to moor up in RG6 on your way up to Oxford and beyond (01491 572 035; hobbsofhenley.com; charter from £1,500 per week).
6/15 South Glasgow G44
Scotland’s most desirable postcode doesn’t offer much in the way of official tourist accommodation, but Airbnb lists a few properties within this sought-after area, including a room in a converted mill near Linn Park (airbnb.co.uk; from £40 room only).
7/15 Erskine, Renfrewshire PA8
Close your eyes as you approach this vast, corporate-style hotel and open them only when you reach your bedroom window: the views from the Erskine Bridge Hotel, over the River Clyde towards the Kilpatrick Hills, are stunning (0141 812 0123; theerskinebridgehotel.co.uk; doubles from £89).
8/15 Largs, Ayrshire KA30
Sandwiched between the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and the Firth of Clyde this holiday resort has no shortage of accommodation. Closest to the park, and with sea views, the Haylie Hotel offers stylish rooms and a restaurant serving local seafood and beef (01475 673207; hayliehotel.com; B&B doubles from £70).
9/15 Menstrie, Clackmannanshire FK11
This tiny village north east of Stirling and at the foot of the Ochil Hills manages to squeeze in a 19th-century castle built in the style of Balmoral. Broom Hall Castle now offers 10 bedrooms and a restaurant (broomhallcastle.co.uk; B&B doubles from £95).
10/15 Port Askaig, Isle of Islay PA46
The southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides is home to white sand beaches, celebrated whisky distilleries and, in the PA46 postcode, the family-run Port Askaig Hotel whose rooms all look out over the water (01496 840 245; portaskaig.co.uk; B&B doubles from £120).
11/15 Brynteg, Isle of Anglesey LL78
Caravan and campsites rule in this picturesque corner of Anglesey. Stay in a mobile home or ready-pitched tent at Nant Newydd to be within striking distance of the glorious coast (01248 852842; nantnewydd.co.uk; from £19 per night).
12/15 Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan CF61
On the outskirts of coastal Llantwit Major, Westhouse Country Hotel is located in a “peaceful part of the village” and offers three bedrooms and a restaurant that utlisese the best Welsh produce (01446 792 406; westhouse-hotel.co.uk; doubles from £125 with dinner and breakfast).
13/15 Llanidloes, Powys SY18
There are several accommodation options clustered in this small town in the heart of Wales. Among them is the Trewythen Hotel, a Grade II-listed Georgian townhouse that has been done up in contemporary style (01686 411 333; trewythenllanidloes.co.uk; doubles from £75).
14/15 Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26
This Monmouthshire town is hemmed in by the M4 and M48, but Lavender Barn B&B gives you a bit more breathing space, located further up the Severn Estuary in Portskewett. Its two rooms, Poppy and Rose, take a floral theme (01291 423109; lavender-barn.com; B&B doubles from £85).
15/15 North West Swansea, West Glamorgan SA4
For the best views of the Gower Peninsula, book into the Old Manse B&B in Penclawdd. It’s just a skip from the coast and features all manor of Victorian period fittings, from fireplaces to sash windows (01792 850519; oldmansebandb.co.uk; B&B doubles from £90).