Stuck for holiday ideas? Fancy doing something different? Here’s a rundown of the UK’s best coastal cottage breaks around.
1. Surfing in Cornwall
Europe’s top surfing destination is right here in Cornwall, a scenically breathtaking corner of England with plenty of sunshine. Sensational surf beaches line the north and south coasts, where surf centres and schools offer tuition for individuals and families. The rush of adrenalin as you ride the waves is an incredible feeling – and you’ll soon burn off calories from cream teas and pasties! Even more daring is kite-surfing – a mix of surfing, windsurfing, wake boarding and power kiting rolled into one.
Don’t miss! Watergate Bay near Newquay.
Top tips! Check out Surfing GB for approved surf schools to pre-book lessons.
What else? Bodmin Moor. South West Coastal Path. Tate St. Ives. The Eden Project. St. Michael’s Mount. ‘Padstein’. And fabulous cottages in Cornwall, many with mind-boggling sea views.
2. Wildlife Watching in North Norfolk
Plump seals basking in the sun. Long-legged waders strutting across the marshes. Sweeping skies filled with thousands of pink-footed geese. Such amazing natural spectacles make North Norfolk’s Heritage Coast truly special and a wonderful spot for a holiday by the sea. Discover amazing nature reserves like Snettisham, Titchwell and Cley, home to an extraordinary variety of wildlife and flora. No wonder it’s a favourite haunt for the cast of ‘Springwatch’!
Don’t miss: Seal spotting boat trips from Blakeney.
Best time to come: Autumn.
What else? Pristine, family-friendly beaches. Pastel-painted beach huts. Victorian seaside towns. Delicious Cromer crabs. Norfolk Coast Cycle Way. Plus a generous sprinkling of coastal cottages.
3. Exploring Northumberland’s Coastal Castle Trail
Expect mesmerising sea views, long, golden-sand beaches and iconic keeps as you follow the Coastal Castle Trail in the stunning county of Northumberland. First up the spectacular, cliff-top ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle (National Trust), reached via a 1.5 mile coastal walk from Craster. Next the architecturally magnificent Bamburgh Castle (pictured right), a famous landmark overlooking the Farne Islands. Continue on to Holy Island (via a causeway at low tide), site of Lindisfarne Castle, an intriguing property that was originally a Tudor fort and later a lavish private home. Today it’s in the hands of the National Trust and produces its very own dark ale. Enjoy a tipple to round off your trip – cheers!
Distance by car: 30 miles
Or cycle: Saddle up and experience this magical region along the Coast & Castles Cycle Route.
What else? Dog-friendly beaches. World-class golf. Wildlife watching. The Alnwick Garden. Plus lots of inviting coastal cottages to snuggle down at night.
4. Walking the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path
Finding a holiday cottage where you can stumble onto a coast-hugging path from the back door is about as good as it gets and you’ll find some real gems along the sublime Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. If you’re up for the challenge, this National Trail weaves 186 miles from St. Dogmaels to Amroth for the most part in Britain’s only coastal national park. Or you can simply opt for a few chunks, with every exhilarating stretch bringing something new – craggy limestone cliffs, flooded glacial valleys, wildflower meadows, hidden coves and huge, sandy bays – over 70 pristine beaches in total! Expect dazzling flora, amazing bird life, Norman castles, Iron Age forts and welcoming ports and seaside villages to rest, refresh and recuperate!
Top tips: Make use of the Coastal Bus service.
Highlights: Barafundle Beach. Bosherston Lily Ponds. St Davids Cathedral. Porthgain.
5. Family fun on Anglesey!
When it comes to kids, nothing beats a British seaside holiday – and Anglesey comes up trumps every time! Home to William and Kate, the village with the world’s longest name and 125 miles of impressive coastline featuring numerous award-winning beaches – families flock here and with good reason.
See & do
Lather on the sunscreen and hit the sands with buckets, spades, nets and water wings! Firm family favourites include Benllech, Red Wharf Bay and Rhosneigr. Endless attractions include a model village, farm parks, aquarium, butterfly centre, toy museum, plus all kinds of activities – walking, quad biking, horse riding and every water sport imaginable!
After a day’s adventure, bed down in an outstanding choice of coastal cottages, many with family-friendly features like games rooms, shared swimming pools, toddler stair gates, cots and high chairs.
INSPIRED? Good…all that’s left to do is find your dream coastal cottage in your preferred location, pack your boots, boards or other paraphernalia and set that sat nav!