All prices are peak summer rates.
Penarvon Cabin, Helford, Cornwall
From £841 for seven nights
A cabin among the trees, overlooking a tiny sheltered beach on the estuary of the River Helford before it reaches Falmouth Bay. The village of Helford was once a busy port but now is a sleepy retreat. The Shipwrights Arms at the water’s edge is a popular pub serving homemade pizzas and, of course, fish and chips, pasties and Cornish ice-cream. Take a ferry to Glendurgan Garden or to Trebah Garden, which thrives in the subtropical microclimate, and return for drinks on your terrace gazing out at the water.
Mapled Cottage, St Agnes, Cornwall
From £579 for six nights
Mapled Cottage is well-located for exploring the north Cornish coast, with its surf beaches and coastal footpaths all within walking distance of the property. It is in the village of St Agnes, famous for Stippy Stappy, the terrace of cottages featured in the Poldark books. The house has two bedrooms and cosy decor, with wooden floors, fireplace and a kitchen kitted out with an Aga. Trevaunance Cove, Chapel Porth and Porthtowan are the local beaches; all three have lifeguards from spring to autumn, making them great for families, and get to grips with surfing.
Seaspray, Woolacombe, north Devon
From £1,025 for seven nights
A smart, modern holiday home, Seaspray is a short walk from the long, sandy bay of Woolacombe: an award-winning family beach resort perfect for learning to surf, building sandcastles and walking. The three-bedroom, ground-floor apartment has an open-plan living and dining room, and sea and sunset views from the patio.
2 Ivy Cove, Lannacombe, south Devon
From £678 for seven nights
The location of 2 Ivy Cove is enough to sell it: on the green hills above Lannacombe Bay, with views over the cliff. This is a perfect holiday cottage for those after a simple hideaway in a beautiful natural spot. Two fantastic beaches are within walking distance, both perfect for swimming. The three-bedroom coastguard cottage shares its setting with two other homes built by the Admiralty in 1903. Inside are wooden floors and simple cosy furnishings.
Wans Barton, Weymouth, Dorset
From £1,470 for seven nights
Wans Barton is a huge, modern barn conversion on the Jurassic Coast and just 15 minutes’ walk from much-loved Chesil Beach. The four-bedroom property is full of natural light and has stone floors and white walls, while the open-plan living space – with oak dining table – is ideal for large group dinners.
Little Chert, Isle of Wight
Photograph: Mike Henton/National Trust
From £634 for seven nights
This modernist holiday home in Ventnor has a standout 1970s interior, with retro furniture and bright colours throughout. Well-located for surfers, the house is within walking distance of the island’s south coast breaks and also has views from the clifftop. It has one bedroom – the perfect spot for a romantic break.
Old Coastguard Cottage, Pett, East Sussex
£773 for seven nights
This coastal cottage is right on Pett Level’s shingle beach, and close to Rye Harbour nature reserve and Fairlight country park. It has a comfy living space, wooden floors and a conservatory/dining room. There’s also a patio for outdoor meals and a lawn surrounded by white picket fence, and of course the beach is available for games all day long.
Seaview, Dungeness, Kent
From £785 for seven nights
This restored fisherman’s cottage is right on the beach and has a wood-panelled interior with a timeless feel – while the wild, shingle beach of Dungeness (known as the “desert of England”) is all around you. The two-bedroom cottage has a cosy living area with wicker chairs and a log-burner, with plenty to explore nearby, including local pubs and the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway, and a short drive (or a long walk) away is the pretty town of Rye.
Woodlark, Saxmundham, Suffolk
Photograph: Mike Henton/National Trust
From £807 for seven nights
Surrounded by the stunning Dunwich Heath, the views from this seaside cottage (from every window) take your gaze over the dark green and bright splashes of purple heather and out towards the North Sea. Inside the dainty cottage is a small kitchen with dining table, two bedrooms (a twin and a double) and a cosy living room. The local pub is an easy mile’s walk, with the small town of Orford – which boasts more than its fair share of foodie spots, from Pinney’s oysterage and smokehouse to the Pump Street bakery – a short drive away.
Santa Monica, Sea Palling, Norfolk
From £717 for seven nights
A former fisherman’s hut but with an earthy, hippy character thanks to the eclectic furniture – including a claw-foot bath – and colourful artworks on the walls. To reach the sea, just wander over the sand dunes. Sea Palling is a sandy beach, popular with families and perfect for swimming; flood defences below the sea mean the water remains relatively calm. In the vicinity you’ll find all the usual seaside trappings: pubs, cafes, an amusement arcade and fresh fish for sale, but this is really a spot for those who want to escape to an easy-going location that’s more low-key than Cromer or Great Yarmouth. The hut is still available for the week of 4-10 August.
Sea Blue Cottage, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
From £530 for seven nights
One of those narrow, pastel-shade terrace properties with a toy-town feel synonymous with British seaside resorts, Sea Blue Cottage is just seconds from the beach. Guests who stay at the 150-year-old two-bedroom house have two bays to explore from their doorstep: busy South Bay, with its donkeys and other traditional seaside amusements and the quieter North Bay that leads you to the largest open-air theatre in Europe.
Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear
Photograph: Roger Coulam
From £860 for seven nights
Another cottage attached to a lighthouse; this one on the coast near Sunderland – and 15 miles from Newcastle – with views out to sea over the cliffs. The two-bedroom cottage, built in 1871 as a home for the keeper of the Souter Lighthouse and his family, has been restored, with modern fittings within its whitewashed walls and a snug walled garden with picnic bench for outdoor dining.
Duneside House, Beadnell, Northumberland
From £1,515 for seven nights
A modern, luxury four-bedroom holiday home, Duneside House provides more than enough space and comfort for a family or big group trip to the coast. Set just behind the dunes, it has contemporary decor with a huge open-plan kitchen and living room, as well as a log-burner and bespoke kitchen – all perfect for large gatherings and sociable meals. The sandy beach is family-friendly, with rockpools, while pretty Beadnell Harbour is used by local fisherman.
The Hide, Walney Island, Cumbria
£521 for seven nights
On the edge of Walney Island, near Barrow-in-Furness, The Hide is the kind of property that offers an immediate sense of adventure: not least thanks to the working lighthouse beside it. The beach is moments away; just 40 metres to the top of the sand banks, with two nature reserves and miles of sandy beaches to explore. Inside, the cottage has plenty of natural light and is kitted out with plush, modern furnishings, a rainfall shower and a Sonos audio system. The Hide is currently available for the last week of August and the first week of September.
No 8 Victoria Road, North Berwick
From £1,000 for seven nights
Inside this 200-year-old stone cottage is a beautifully designed contemporary interior. As well as the vintage furnishings, there are two woodburners and an Aga, and a high-ceilinged living space that’s full of light. Outside is a vegetable patch plus a patio for outdoor dining, as well as a treat hidden at the end of the garden: a small sauna cabin. North Berwick itself has a historic harbour (where you can buy fresh lobster) and beaches and there’s plenty to explore in the town itself, with foodie spots and independent shops.
Loch Eishort Cabin, Isle of Skye
From £590 for seven nights
A white-walled wooden cabin in Ord, south-west Skye, this coastal retreat shares its location with just a handful of other homes. The three-bedroom cabin has a cosy wood-panelled interior, with a snug, Scandi feel that complements the wild, rugged surroundings that’s home to wildlife, from otters to sea eagles.
House of the Sea Bird, Anglesey
From £985 for seven nights
The House of the Sea Bird has sweeping views over the Borth Wen headland; just follow the coastal path from the garden down to the shore. The property has two large bedrooms, along with extra beds and a sofa-bed meaning it can sleep up to eight (and next door there’s a beach house that guests can book which sleeps four more). The interior is sleek, light and modern: natural-wood fittings are found in the kitchen and dining space, there’s a roll-top tub in the bathroom and a huge sofa area (with wood-burner) looking out to sea through sliding glass doors. From the house you can explore Anglesey, take the coastal path up to Holyhead mountain or visit the village of Rhosneigr for a stroll around independent shops, galleries and bars.
Bwthyn Tresinwen, Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire
£799 for seven nights
Under the Thatch has a range of rustic holiday homes in Wales and many still have summer availability. Though this four-bedroom cottage sleeps eight, be warned: it only has one bathroom. But it is a beautifully kept traditional household, with stone walls, wooden beams, antique furniture and a lush garden. What makes Bwthyn Tresinwen special however, is its location, just 300 metres from a “secret” beach with waters frequented by seals, dolphins and whales.
Cloughboy Cottage, Donegal, Ireland
£1,440 a week
A huge, contemporary bolthole in a great location, this cottage overlooks Loughros Beg Bay from its perch on the Loughros peninsula, with views out to Slievetooey mountain. Six acres of moorland surround the house, which is open to the landscape thanks to a terrace and large windows and french doors. Inside is a vast open-plan living and dining space, with an elevated bridge spanning the atrium, leading up to two of the bedrooms (the other two are on the ground floor). In the surrounding area are the wild beaches and mountains of Donegal, famed for its seafood.
The Beach House, County Wexford, Ireland
£1,755 for seven nights
This three-bedroom cottage overlooks a sandy beach on one of Ireland’s best stretches of coast, with Clone Strand just a few metres from the door. The interior has bags of warmth and personality, with the walls full of art and objets, and there is a library and an open-plan living room arranged around a central fireplace. It has plenty to entertain families: with a TV room for rainy days and an outdoor decking area for barbecues.