Against the background of the Channel Tunnel, and the opening of trading barriers in 1992, there are an increasing number of anecdotal accounts of Britons acquiring second homes in France. However, there is relatively little current psychological research into this phenomenon; the existing literature on second homes largely draws upon contributions from geographical and sociological perspectives. This paper provides of a study carried out to develop an understanding of the meaning which second homes have for their owners, and to explore the ways in which this meaning is translated into action. The implications of second home ownership are considered forthe owners themselves, members of the host community, and the community of origin. The second home owner is considered in terms of the combined roles of home owner and holidaymaker. Attitudes towards second home ownership are evaluated by integrating two formerly separate strands of the psychological literature: the meaning of home, and the social psychology of tourism. Background data were collected in order to attempt a formal quantification of second home acquisition, and also to develop a descriptive profile of second home owners. A series of in-depth interviews was carried out with Britons who owned second homes in France. Thematic content analysis of these was used to develop a questionnaire to elicit background information and scaled attitudinal responses. This was administered to a further sample of respondents. Both samples were restricted in number, so results can only be considered tentative. Univariate and multivariate analysis was carried out on the questionnaire data, and attitudinal responses were compared against a number of background factors including linguistic competence and length of ownership. Analysis of the interview and questionnaire data supports the view that the meaning of home is a useful perspective for investigating second home ownership. Owners appear to construe their second homes primarily in terms of affective and social needs, and in terms of their perceived role as tourists/non-tourists. In general, owners express a desire for commitment to the location of their second homes, which they see as providing an opportunity for affiliation to family, English friends, French friends, the local community, and to Europe. However, there appears to be a reluctance to make a long-term commitment, in terms of permanent residence in France. It is suggested that the French second home is seen as complementary to lifestyle in England, rather than as a substitute to, or alternative for it.