FANCY SLEEPING IN AN OFF-GRID, WATERSIDE CABIN, IMPRESSIVE HOUSE-PARTY RENTAL OR A BOUTIQUE VILLA AMONG THE SAND DUNES? YOUR GREAT BRITISH SUMMER STARTS HERE
It’s time to embrace the staycation and rediscover the British seaside – these are the spots you really won’t want to miss
THE BRITISH HOLIDAY SCENE has really upped its game, from back-to-nature glamping to contemporary coastal luxury in high-spec boltholes close to a hip bar or two. A true Brit break is a celebration of island life, and we’ve checked out the very best places to explore. Now all we need is the right weather…
THE WOW FACTOR
THE BIG HOUSE PARTY
Stuck for a stylish hen weekend or 3Oth treat? Take over one of these luxury seaside homes
THE CHALET SAUNTON, Devon
Braunton’s golden three-mile beach takes a little effort to get to, but it’s definitely worth the journey. Choose from the minimalist apartments or slick penthouse, then why not take surf lessons or book an in-room spa treatment? Sleeps up to six, from £35O per night; i-escape.com
PENTIRE PENTHOUSE, Cornwall
Once considered the preserve of stags and hens, the tide is turning in Newquay – not least thanks to Pentire, a circular, light-filled penthouse. It boasts a roof terrace, hot tub and four bedrooms, and overlooks Fistral Beach, home to the annual Boardmasters surf and skate festival. Sleeps up to 1O, from £1,449 for a three-night weekend; tregullandandco.co.uk*
PENALLY ABBEY, Pembrokeshire
Small enough to take over for a celebratory gathering, this 11-room hotel is tucked into a hillside overlooking moody Carmarthen Bay. It’s big on seclusion, sea views and architectural elegance, while Tenby, with its pastel-painted townhouses, souvenir shops and ice-cream parlours, is less than a ten-minute drive away. From £145 per night, B&B; penally-abbey.com
RED HOUSE APARTMENT, Cornwall
Overlooking Padstow’s pretty harbour, this spacious apartment in an Edwardian house has two terraces and a restful vibe. During your stay, check out Barnaby’s Bistro (barnabys bistro.com) for local seafood, or take a ferry to Rock for Nathan Outlaw’s pub, The Mariners (nathan-outlaw.com). Sleeps four, from £365 for three nights; theredhouseapartment.co.uk
THE NEW GLAMPING
Go off-grid in camping splendour – roughing it has never been so smooth (or eco-friendly).
BOTHY PROJECT, Cairngorms
The Inshriach House estate in the Scottish Highlands is home to the Bothy Project: a larch and tin hut used out of season as an artists’ residence. Tucked into the woods, a bed platform, seating area and wood burner have been neatly shoehorned in. Outside is your own bucket shower, and you can swim wild in the river Spey, which runs through the estate. Best of all, Inshriach’s owner has built a tiny gin distillery and hosts impromptu parties. Sleeps two, from £8O per night; canopyandstars.co.uk
BUCK’S COPPICE, Dorset
Wake to nothing but birdsong in this woodland cabin. It has a suntrap deck and, instead of a pool, there’s a whole lake to leap into. Picture windows mean you can lie in bed and gaze out across the clear water. Sleeps up to four, from £475 for three nights; canopyandstars.co.uk
CATCHPENNY SAFARI LODGES, Fife
On long summer evenings, toast marshmallows on the firepit outside your luxe safari tent, which comes with a king-size bed, crisp linens and shower. Just an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, beside the Firth of Forth, you might even glimpse a pod of dolphins at play. Sleeps six, from £42O for three nights; canopyandstars.co.uk
THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Shower to sounds of the forest or soak under the inky night sky at these unique self-catering spots.
LAUNCESTON FARM, Dorset
The Flint and Bothy cottages on this working farm have free-standing copper baths in their own private candlelit courtyards. Views of meadows or the Victorian walled garden add to the romance. Cottages sleep two, from £375 for three nights; launcestonfarm.co.uk
Start the day splashing beneath the canopy in your own tree shower at this stylish shepherd’s hut. Lanterns, a wood burner and king-size bed ensure a cosy retreat in this wood dotted with back-to-nature glamping boltholes. Sleeps two, from £139 per night; mallinson.co.uk
Straddling the border of England and Wales, the Wye Valley is a dreamy mix of woodland, limestone gorge and sparkling river. Hillside cabin Up^ not only has a baby grand piano (really), but an open-air, rolltop bath hugged by a timber wall strung with fairy lights for verdantly beautiful bathing. Sleeps two, from £3OO for three nights; canopyandstars.co.uk
UNDER THE OAK, Caerphilly
End a perfect day of walking through the Brecon Beacons in a wood-fired hot tub filled with natural spring water. Your base: a fully equipped safari tent on a farm in rural Wales. With only red kites and buzzards for company, you’ll never want to leave. Sleeps two, from £259 for three nights; coolcamping.com
BESIDE THE SEASIDE
Who we have needs this wild a Mediterranean and wonderful coastline? climate when
FRESHWATER WEST, Pembrokeshire
Grab a lobster roll from the Cafe Môr van and watch surfers ride the best waves in the county.
MURLOUGH BEACH, County Down
Think miles of sand, the Mourne Mountains and O’Hares bar at Hugh McCann’s nearby along the Northern Irish coast – it’s quite the combo.
Just south of Lowestoft, a world away from the resorts of Cromer or Southwold, head through fields along a footpath to find this hidden gem.
GREAT BAY, Isles of Scilly
The calm waters and soft sand on this bay at St Martin’s island can only be reached by foot.
Loved by windsurfers and waterskiers, find this white-sand beach in the Highlands along Scotland’s North Coast 500 driving route.
SNACKS & SUNDOWNERS
Round off a day by the coast with a cocktail and the freshest food. You are on holiday, after all.
SEASIDE BOARDING HOUSE, Dorset
This restaurant-with-rooms is A-list-approved: Saoirse Ronan stayed here while filming On Chesil Beach. Head to the bar terrace and order a Mary-Lou Martini – vodka with a twist in a frozen glass – if you dare. Doubles from £205, B&B; theseasideboardinghouse.com
THE RUM & CRAB SHACK, Cornwall
Where better to sip a mojito than right on the wharf overlooking St Ives’ harbour? A bluesy soundtrack, an order of fresh, spicy crabcakes and a rum list longer than a Cornish sunset add up to a spot so sweet, you could almost be in Barbados. rumandcrabshack.com
Head to chef Mark Sargeant’s Folkestone restaurant for seasonal, local produce. Toast with an English Royale (Herefordshire cassis with sparkling wine from Gusborne, Sussex) – it’s summer in a glass. rocksaltfolkestone.co.uk.
ERIC’S FISH AND CHIPS, Norfolk
Round off your order of the crispest cod and chips with a glass of biodynamic champagne at this jaunty Thornham-coast chippy, created by Eric Snaith. ericsfishandchips.com
NANCARROW FARM, Truro
This working farm hosts rustic-yet-elegant feasts in its lantern-lit courtyard – think inventive aperitifs followed by spit-roasted, organic meats. From £30-£40pp; nancarrowfarm.co.uk
CATCHPENNY SAFARI LODGES
SEASIDE BOARDING HOUSE
SEASIDE BOARDING HOUSEUP^ CABIN
ERIC’S FISH AND CHIPS