If you're looking for holiday home insurance for your sanctuary by the sea, there's a good possibility you could be looking to protect a property in Cornwall.

According to new research by PrimeLocation.com, the county contains the highest number of second homes in the UK, thanks to its beautiful sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and peaceful woodland.

A total of 14,000 holiday homes are located in Cornwall, making it twice as popular as the number two destination on the list - Westminster in London.

Of course the motivating factors behind a second home purchase in Cornwall are likely to be much different to those influencing people to buy Westminster properties.

Cornwall has long been a favourite UK holiday destination, with towns like St Ives, Penzance and Newquay attracting tourists in their thousands, while Westminster is a key area for city workers and politicians who need to be in the capital during the week but like to head home at the weekend.

Average asking prices for second homes in Cornwall are also substantially lower than those in Westminster, at £247,432 compared to a staggering £1.5 million in the country's royal and political hub.

On a nationwide level, the number of second homes in the UK increased last year, suggesting that even in times of economic hardship the market is performing well.

"As ever, the majority of these are on the coast providing somewhere to escape to for the summer, a long weekend or Christmas," said PrimeLocation.com property analyst Nigel Lewis.

"Another factor driving the second homes market is the poor rate of return being offered by more traditional investments such as bank deposits, stocks and shares and even ISAs, leading many to see a second home as a more promising place to invest their capital in the medium-to-long term," he added.