Make a dash for the seaside
You don't have to hop on a plane to enjoy a little beach time this summer. Here are 8 stylish British staycations for inspiration.
Summer’s fast approaching and if you’ve been dithering about what to do, fear not. You can’t beat a beach walk and a blast of fresh salty air and I’ve found some of the best places to get your seaside fix right here in the UK.
From windswept, white-sand beaches to hip coastal resorts, check out these eight self-catering stays a pebble’s throw from the British coast. And not a dodgem in sight!
Seaspell, Constantine Bay, North Cornwall (sleeps 6)
Best for: Sandy beaches in every direction
The pad: A modern seaside home with elegant coastal interiors. The accommodation here is arranged over three floors ,with bedrooms at the top and bottom, so the living space and balcony can take full advantage of the killer views across the golf course to Trevose Head and the sea. The little extras also won me over, like the wine fridge (fill her up!), Nespresso coffee maker and mid-week clean, included in the rental price.
The place: Constantine is one of seven breathtaking bays in the local area, most of which are very family friendly and all accessible via the South West Coast path. So walks to various beaches could fill most of your days. If you’d like to get among the action though, the famous fishing towns of Padstow and Port Issac and the surfing mecca of Newquay are a short drive away and are home to some of Cornwall’s best restaurants.
The damage: £1306 – £2613
Hillside, Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire (sleeps 5)
Best for: An active family break
The pad: A luxuriously kitted-out, traditional stone cottage enjoying views of across the village rooftops and out to sea. Hillside has bags of charm and character, with original beams, a traditional range and period features. That said, the décor is modern and fresh and the three bedrooms (2 kings, 1 twin) offer every comfort.
The place: Robin Hood’s Bay, in the North York Moors National Park, is a former hotbed of Yorkshire smuggling and the charming village appears to be frozen in time – in the best way. Red roofed fisherman’s cottages and cobbled streets wind their way down the hillside to the sea and the town’s sandy, dog-friendly beach (which is famously good for fossil hunting).
The damage: £662 – £1088 per week
The Copper House, Brighton, East Sussex (sleeps 10)
Best for: Getting your gang together
The pad: The epitome of seaside sophistication, The Copper House is so called thanks to all the copper detailing in its gorgeous interiors. And detail is what you really notice here, with wood from Brighton’s West Pier in the bathrooms and stunning chandeliers in the bedrooms, all the little touches all add to the luxe feel. The open-plan living area is really sociable, with by-fold doors opening on to a sunny terrace and all five bedroom, decked out for serenity and comfort.
The place: Often dubbed ‘London On Sea’, Muddy Sussex describes Brighton as arty, quirky and inclusive. Opportunities for shopping, eating out and nightlife abound. See Debbie’s Brighton city guide here for the inside track.
The damage: £1495 – £1995 per week
Madiwela, Cardigan Bay, Pembrokeshire (sleeps 6)
Best for: Cliff walks and dolphin spotting
The pad: The sea views from this stunning Pembrokeshire holiday home take some beating! And the house takes full advantage of its outlook, with the glass-fronted lounge area and front lawn staring straight at the water. The open-plan downstairs, with its wood floors and colourful, eclectic interiors, is designed for spending time together. While upstairs there are king, double and twin rooms and a family bathroom.
The place: Madiwela is in the clifftop hamlet of Gwbert, about two miles north of Cardigan. From here you can hit the coastal path and explore the many coves and beaches of Cardigan Bay – including three secluded beaches right on your door step. You’re also within easy distance of the local pub and Cardigan Golf Course.
The damage: £752 – £1449 per week
Number 46, Whitstable, Kent (sleeps 4)
Best for: Couples on a foodie jaunt
The pad: An elegant ground floor apartment in this trendy, Kent seaside resort. Number 46 is right on the seafront with undisturbed views across the water. High ceilings and original features give this place a glam feel, enhanced by gilt mirrors and carefully chosen antiques. The bedrooms however have a fresh, light feel with white washed floors and elegant neutral furnishings.
The place: With its working harbour, indie shops, arty scene and famous seafood, Whitstable is a super popular weekend jaunt from the city (just 45 mins from London). Oyster have been harvested here since Roman times and you can sample them at a number of bars and restaurants in town and for a sunset to remember, head to The Old Neptune Pub on the beach.
The damage: £605 – £950 per week
The Round House, Ilfracombe, Devon (sleeps 10)
Best for: A big family get together
The pad: The Round House is set in award-winning private gardens with a sweeping drive and views across town and to the Bristol Channel. This circular building, constructed in 1910, boast lots of elegant, period features but has plenty of mod cons too. With five bedrooms, a long sociable dining table and a traditional open fire, plus a snug and games room, it’s ideal for families.
The place: Ilfracombe is a higgledy harbour town in beautiful North Devon, with indie shops, a choice of good restaurants (including the Quay co-owned by Damien Hirst) and rugged cliff walks aplenty.
The damage: £655 – £2099 per week
Chelsea Villa, Southwold, Suffolk (sleeps 14)
Best for: A birthday or special anniversary gathering
The pad: A luxurious beachfront town house with space for fourteen guests (and just 100 yards from the nearest pub). Stylishly decked out, Chelsea Villa feels more boutique hotel than seaside self-catering, with comfortable communal spaces and long tables inside and out. The six beautiful bedrooms are named for Victorian authors and the four super kings can be made into twins if necessary, making this a flexible option for families or groups of friends to get together.
The place: With its lighthouse, colourful beach huts, pretty stretch of sand and traditional pier, Southwold (home of Adnams ale) is a quintessential British seaside town. Enjoy the many tea rooms, eateries and antique shops of town and get out and explore the surrounding coast and heaths – Turner-esque landscapes in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The damage: £2435 – £4365 per week
The Boathouse, Porthmadog, Snowdonia & The Lleyn Peninsula (sleeps 8)
Best for: Exploring the big outdoors
The pad: Ensuite bedrooms and spacious open plan living make this waterside property a no brainer for a trip to Wales. Lots of glass all around the house enables uninterrupted views of the water from many of the rooms and on sunny days, the harbour-view balcony is the place to be. As well as the large living space, there’s a games room you can cart the kids off too when you want a bit of peace, complete with squashy sofas, a smart TV and table tennis table.
The place: Overlooking the Glaslyn Estuary and coastline at Porthmadog, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, you’d need a lilo to sleep any closer the the water. You get the best of both worlds here, you’re a short distance to town, there are beaches and the estuary on your doorstep and the mountains of Snowdonia not far away, if you fancy conquering a few peaks in your time off. It’s also an ideal to bring a little boat if you have one lying about.
The damage: £1610 – £2485 per week
All of these properties can be booked via Original Cottages