Last week we hired a cottage in Settle and stayed there for the Ride2stride Walking Festival. The town was full, with walkers staying in cottages, pubs, B&Bs, tents and caravans. Our cottage was lovely. Converted from a garage attached to the owner's own house it had a small living room/kitchen that opened straight off the street with a bedroom and ensuite above. Charming and quite big enough for 2 people on a walking holiday but certainly not big enough for a full time residence.
I've always had very mixed feelings about holiday cottages. I'm from Dent where 20% of the houses are holiday or second homes. When my mum and dad retired they had to leave the farm, the house went with Dad's job.
Second home ownership had pushed up the prices of cottages beyond anything a retired shepherd and his wife could afford. It was an anxious time. They were lucky - a housing association was building homes in the village and they lived out the rest of their lives in the Dale that they both loved. Young people are not so lucky.They often end up moving away from the villages they've grown up in. In Dentdale over half of the residents have lived there for less than 10 years and 40% are retired.