Now the crowds have left, it’s the perfect time to book a mini break on the UK coast for great walks and great views. Here, Jane Knight fromThe Good Hotel Guide picks Britain’s best seaside hotels.
Location: Salcombe, Devon
Stay steps away from a sheltered beach at this stylish, contemporary hotel. Set out on a boat, take the sea tractor that connects South Sands with picturesque Salcombe or just relax in the sun. When you’re hungry, there’s something for everyone, from a Devon crab sandwich or cream tea on the terrace to tapas or a three-course meal. The rooms are decorated in nautical colors. The best has a Caesar-sized bed, its own balcony and two slipper baths in a bay window, perfect for admiring the sea view.
Price: Double from £135, B&B; southsands.com
St Aidan’s Hotel
Location: Seahouses, Northumberland
You can take in some of the finest seaside views in Northumberland from this small, friendly, modern seaside B&B. With the beach across the road, it has an uninterrupted panoramic view from most of its rooms that sweeps from Bamburgh Castle to the sea, taking in the harbor and the Farne Islands. Take a boat ride to see the puffins, hike along the shore, or retire to your room to scan the horizon with the binoculars provided. Dog owners will love the annexe’s two ground-floor rooms with private entrances, while hosts Rob and Tegan Tait can advise on the best places for dinner.
Price: Double from £145, B&B; staidanhotel.co.uk
Location: Portmeirion, Gwynedd
Enjoy a seaside stay with a difference at the hotel visionary architect Clough Williams-Ellis designed as the centerpiece for his ideal village. Overlooking the golden sands of the Dwyryd estuary in Snowdonia and with an art deco bar and dining room recreated by Sir Terence Conran, it makes a great base for exploring the Italian resort. As well as traditional rooms in the hotel itself, there are more modern ones in Castell Deudraeth and others scattered around the village.
Price: Double from £184, B&B; portmeirion.wales
Location: Scarista, Western Isles
It feels like you’re on the edge of the world at Scarista, with miles of remote uncrowded sand on the south-west coast of South Harris. Yes, the sea may be fine for a dip, but you can go surfing, kayaking or sailing as well as walking. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, return to enjoy owner Patricia Martin’s changing evening dinners. She makes almost everything from scratch, from bread and cakes to pasta and ice cream. Meals might include monkfish with fennel and pea puree, followed by cheffy clafoutis with almond ice cream. Two of the traditionally decorated bedrooms have sitting areas with sea views.
Price: Double from £241, B&B; scaristahouse.com
Location: Camber Sands, Sussex
A cool New England feel and a stylish relaxed atmosphere characterize this hotel just above the magnificent Camber Sands. The bedrooms feature wood panelling, white painted beams and jazzy headboards. most have a terrace. Elsewhere, there are comfy sofas and walls of books, with English wines on the copper-topped bar menu. If you book the full package, it includes not only breakfast but also all-day elevenses, wine at 5pm, an exquisite dinner and wellness classes. Feel free to take your dog but not your kids. only over 16s allowed.
Price: Doubles from £239, room only or £433 for the full package. thegallivant.co.uk
The Seaside Board House
Location: Burton Bradstock, Dorset
It feels like a cross between Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod and an Edwardian seaside hotel in this whitewashed villa above Chesil Beach. Owners Mary-Lou Sturridge and Tony Mackintosh, who created London’s Groucho Club, have filled the stripped-down interiors with life preservers, seascapes and thrift store loot. Dine in the restaurant or on the terrace overlooking Lyme Bay before retiring to one of the light and bright rooms with coastal views complete with retro dial telephone and radio. Dogs are welcome in some bedrooms at no extra charge.
Price: Double from £245, B&B; theseasideboardinghouse.com
Polurrian in Lizard
Location: Mullion, Cornwall
The spectacular setting of this white edifice on top of the cliff with a magnificent view of the sea through its walls of windows is impressive. You can walk to the hotel’s small cove, just 10 minutes away, or take a longer walk along the South West Coast Path, which runs alongside. The bedrooms are simple, modern in style, while the all-day menu offers everything from pizza and burgers to steak or lobster. Children are welcome and there is even a baby hearing aid in the rooms.
Price: Doubles from £119, B&B; polurrianhotel.com
Location: Hunstanton, Norfolk
It may not be on the seafront, but Jeanne Whittome’s B&B is still the premier place to stay in this Victorian seaside town, the only west-facing resort on England’s east coast. The concierge can arrange everything from bike hire to birdwatching and you can walk the Coast Path from ‘sunny Hunny’ to Cromer, or cheat and take the CoastHopper bus. The elegant interiors feature a soft gray and white palette. There are also suites at nearby sister property Thornham Deli, which provides number 33 continental breakfasts for guests.
Price: Doubles from £105 with suites at Thornham Deli from £150, B&B; 33hunstanton.co.uk
The Nare, Cornwall
A self-contained country hotel by the sea, The Nare has beautiful gardens leading onto the sands of Carne Beach. You can enjoy stunning views from some of the bedrooms or fully immerse yourself in the picture by taking one of the hotel’s two boats to explore the Cornish coast. Owned by the Ashworth family for over 30 years, the hotel is traditional yet luxurious. expect daily complimentary cream tea, flowers, fruit and hot water bottles in the bedrooms and an appetizer trolley in the fine dining restaurant.
Price: Double from £360, B&B; narehotel.co.uk
The Good Hotel Guide 46u The issue is available from Monday 3 October, £20.