UK & Ireland

Self-catering: 6 charming holiday cottages with direct beach access in the UK

There's nothing quite like a British seaside holiday. Find inspiration in this collection of beach cottages around the country

Encircled by thousands of miles of coastline, wherever you go in Britain, you are never far from the sea. From dramatic cliffs and gorgeous bays to glorious golden beaches and quaint little villages, there’s so much to discover along Britain’s coasts.

If you’re planning a great British seaside holiday, you’ll want to get as close to the action as possible. Whether you’re planning a romantic break or a family trip with kids in tow, here’s where to find the best holiday cottages with direct beach access in England, Scotland and Wales.

Experience family holiday heaven in Cornwall

The grand Georgian whitewashed façade of The Rosevine beckons holidaymakers at the end of Cornwall’s Roseland Peninsula, a landscape of quiet beaches, manicured gardens and pretty villages. Overlooking the turquoise waters of Gerrans Bay, this chic and refined, yet relaxed and friendly, bolthole has studio apartments and a well-equipped four-bedroom family house that comes with three bathrooms, an office, a children’s playroom and a large, enclosed garden, making it ideal for a family getaway.

The Rosevine is a stone’s throw from the soft sands of the beautiful, National Trust-owned Porthcurnick Beach where kids will love paddling in the clear, calm waters and exploring rock pools (The Rosevine has beach toys to borrow). Keen walkers can embark on a section of the long-distance South West Coast Path to nearby beaches such as Carne, Pendower, Porthbeor and St. Anthony Head. After a full day of fun, grown ups can enjoy the drinks on the lawn or in the adults-only lounge with wood-burning stove, before dinner at the candlelit restaurant.

The Rosevine

Portscatho
8.7 Excellent (88 reviews)

Combine the beach and the city in Poole, Dorset

Grovefield Manor Hotel puts you within strolling distance of the golden sands of Branksome Dene Beach as well as within easy access of the excitement of Poole’s city centre. Housed in a refined manor dating from 1895, the hotel blends old world charm and modern convenience in its ground floor self-catering cottages, each with two bedrooms and a small private garden with barbecue.

While not soaking up the sun on the beach, or exploring Poole’s entertainment scene, guests can enjoy afternoon tea on the patio or in the stylishly appointed sitting room. The manor’s handy location puts you within easy reach of the trendy villages of Canford Cliffs and Westbourne, as well as the Blue Flag beach of Sandbanks, from where you can catch the ferry over to Studland or to wildlife-filled, National Trust-owned Brownsea Island.

Grovefield Manor

Poole
8.9 Excellent (408 reviews)

Wake up to sea views from a stylish seaside pad

In the heart of the English Riviera, Astor House occupies a renovated cliff-top Victorian villa overlooking Tor Bay. Most of its smart, self-contained holiday flats have uninterrupted sea views and some have wraparound balconies to create the perfect romantic setting.

Natural light fills the stylishly decorated apartments thanks to big floor-to-ceiling windows. The house is perfectly located for enjoying the best of the cheerful seaside town of Torquay’s attractions—it’s just a short stroll to the beach, while the cafés and restaurants of Torquay Harbour are around a 10-minute walk away.

Staying here puts many miles of coastline within easy reach. Activities on offer include walking, sailing and exploring colourful surrounding towns. Paignton, Totnes and Dartmouth are all close enough for a day trip, as are the National Parks of Exeter and Dartmoor and the East Devon Section of the World Heritage-listed Jurassic Coast.

Astor House

Torquay
8.6 Excellent (99 reviews)

Enjoy invigorating beach walks on the Angus Coast

Backed by tall sand dunes, and framed by low cliffs at either end, Lunan Bay is a gorgeous stretch of beach that offers a secluded (and surprising) haven on Scotland’s wild and windy northeast coast. The beach is a popular destination for hardy surfers who brave the bay’s chilly waters, as well as horse riders and birdwatchers who can spot such rarities as great grey and red-backed shrikes.

Right behind the beach, three-bedroom Foreman’s Cottage is a stylish, well-appointed retreat with such top-notch features as a boudoir-style master bedroom, open wood-burning fire and Aga Range. A large open plan area downstairs and extensive grounds with decked areas are ideal for hosting, and entertaining, families and groups.

The location is perfect for outdoor activities. Go for early morning walks on the beach or explore the seaside villages and clifftop walks along the coast, or head inland to the Cairngorms National Park, around an hour away.

Stylish And Luxury Beach Cottage At Lunan Bay Stunning Cottage And Location

Arbroath
8.9 Excellent (46 reviews)

Soak up sea views from a secluded hot tub in Wales

Overlooking Saundersfoot Bay in South Wales, Glendale Cottage has three bedrooms, all with sea views and French doors that open onto panoramic decks. This modern and elegant retreat is the perfect place to unwind, perhaps by enjoying a cocktail in the roomy lounge or by easing yourself into the log burning hot tub.

The house may be secluded but it’s perfectly located between village and beach. It connects directly to the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, a short walk along which takes you to Glen Beach, where you can explore tidal pools, waterfalls and secluded coves—the fishing’s good, too. Turn in the other direction from the front gate and within minutes you’ll be in the small seaside resort of Saundersfoot and surrounded by a variety of restaurants, pubs, shops and more beaches.

Secluded 5 Star Cottage. 200M To Beach. Sea Views. Hot Tub. Kayak. Pets Welcome

Saundersfoot
8.6 Excellent (18 reviews)

Watch the sun set and starlings swoop over Aberystwyth Pier

In Aberystwyth, on the west coast of Wales, Ar-Lan-Y-Mor is set on the beach, overlooking Cardigan Bay. Spacious and modern, with bright, colourful décor, the one-bedroom apartment is ideal for couples and offers a comfortable setting to watch the waves break below and the sun set over the pier. Visit in autumn or winter and you’ll have a front row seat for Aberystwyth’s most spectacular natural phenomenon: thousands of starlings flying under the pier to roost overnight.

When you’re ready to venture out, you’ll find plenty of cafés, restaurants and shops just around the corner. Also nearby, you can’t miss taking a stroll along the mile-long Victorian promenade and visiting Aberystwyth Castle. Those who want to explore more of the coast can head south to the cathedral city of St. Davids or north to Aberdaron, a favourite destination of surfers at the Western tip of the Llŷn Peninsula.

Ar Lan Y Mor Seaside Apartment

Aberystwyth
8.4 Very good (27 reviews)