Popular destinations for British expats

From South Africa to Canada

Popular destinations for British expats

Here’s an overview of three of the most popular destinations for British expats, including what makes each place so inviting and tips for Brits who choose to call one of these cities home.

 From that first cup of tea in the morning to our evening soaps on the telly, we Brits love our home comforts. However, it may surprise you just how many UK citizens have decided to pack their bags and move abroad. The BBC reports that the British expat population now includes more than 5.5 million people. So where exactly is everyone jetting off to? 

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town can feel so similar to Britain and then at times vastly, unexpectedly different. Perhaps this ‘same-but-different’ quality is what attracts so many Britons to this unique African country.

It could also be the laid back, outdoorsy and generally fun-loving Capetonian culture that draws them in. The wildlife here – from rhinos to anteaters - is vastly different to anything back home and the crisp white beaches certainly do wonders for transforming your days off. Plus, the fact that English is widely spoken throughout the country makes it easier for British expats to adjust.

As a popular holiday destination from the UK, it’s also possible to get late deals on flights in and out of London. As long as you pick the right times to fly, you should be able to visit home a couple of times a year.

Cape Town British expat destination

Image: Cape Town by Damien du Toit .

Dubai, UAE

In a city where approximately 88% of the population  is made up of expats, it’s no surprise that Dubai is home to around 65,000 Britons. With a flawless climate, relaxed to non-existent tax laws and a famously glamorous culture, it’s easy to see what attracts Brits to the streets of Dubai.

It’s also fairly easy for Brits to get settled in Dubai. Banks, landlords and employers are all used to catering to expats. Before you jet off to the sunny Emirate, however, it’s worth bargaining a deal with your future employer. With many companies keen to attract fresh talent, you may be able to add an annual round-trip flight home to your salary and benefits package.

Vancouver, Canada

It may be a long, 10-hour flight from London, but that doesn’t stop the many Brits who choose to move to Canada’s beautiful west coast metropolis, Vancouver, every year. Skiing enthusiasts delight in the myriad of nearby ski resorts, atop mountains that make Ben Nevis look like a mole hill. Friendly locals and a beautiful Pacific coast setting also add to Vancouver’s obvious appeal.

Moving to Canada, a fellow member of the Commonwealth, is often far easier for Britons than moving to the States. Expats get access to high quality healthcare and UK state pension is payable in Canada. Brits are typically made to feel very welcome, seeing as the country actually tries to attract more foreign-born residents each year.

Whilst these are only three examples of popular destinations for British expats, the world is full of attractive options. Australia continues to be a perennial favourite as an English-speaking country with distinctly un-English weather. And closer to home, the Netherlands is a big hit, with its mix of arts, culture and a laidback vibe.

From Sydney to Cancun, Berlin to Ibiza, you’ll find Brits in every corner, nook and cranny of the planet, so you won’t be short of fellow compatriots if you do decide to pack up and join them…


This post has been submitted by Louise Jennies in collaboration with Holiday Hypermarket , the online resource for travel inspiration, advice and late deals for destinations worldwide. Louise Jennies is writing a compendium of her travel exploits from South Africa to Mongolia. She currently lives in Java.

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