Now the crowds have gone it’s the ideal time book a minibreak on the UK coast for great walks and sublime views. Here, Jane Knight fromThe Good Hotel Guide picks Britain’s best seaside hotels.
Location: Salcombe, Devon
Stay just steps away from a sheltered beach at this smart contemporary hotel. Head out on a boat, take the sea tractor linking South Sands to quaint 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. Rooms are decked out in nautical colours; the best has a Caesar-size bed, its own balcony and two slipper baths in a bay window, perfect for admiring the sea view.
Price: Doubles from £135, B&B; southsands.com
St Aidan Hotel
Location: Seahouses, Northumberland
You can gaze on some of the finest coastal views in Northumberland from this small, friendly, modern seaside B&B. With the beach across the road, it has an uninterrupted panorama from most of its rooms that sweeps from Bamburgh Castle and out to sea, taking in the harbour and the Farne Islands. Take a boat trip to see the puffins, hike along the coast, or retire to your room to scan the horizon with the provided binoculars. Dog owners love the two ground-floor annex rooms with private entrances, while hosts Rob and Tegan Tait can advise on the best places for dinner.
Price: Doubles from £145, B&B; staidanhotel.co.uk
Location: Portmeirion, Gwynedd
Enjoy a beach stay with a difference at the hotel that visionary architect Clough Williams-Ellis designed as the focal point 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 from which to explore the Italianate resort. As well as traditional rooms in the hotel proper, there are more contemporary ones in Castell Deudraeth, and others scattered around the village.
Price: Doubles 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, crowd-free sands on the southwestern coast of South Harris. Yes, the sea might be a tad nippy for a dip, but you can go surfing, kayaking or sailing as well as walking. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, return to feast on owner Patricia Martin’s nightly changing dinners. She makes practically everything from scratch, from bread and cakes to pasta and ice cream; meals might feature monkfish with fennel and pea purée, followed by cherry clafoutis with almond ice cream. Two of the traditionally styled bedrooms have sea-facing sitting areas.
Price: Doubles from £241, B&B; scaristahouse.com
Location: Camber Sands, Sussex
A cool New England feel and a chic laidback vibe characterise this hotel just over the road from glorious Camber Sands. Bedrooms come with wood panelling, white-painted rafters and jazzy headboards; most have a terrace. Elsewhere, there are slouchy sofas and book-lined walls, with English wines on the menu at the copper-topped bar. 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 are allowed.
Price: Doubles from £239, room only, or £433 for the full package; thegallivant.co.uk
The Seaside Boarding House
Location: Burton Bradstock, Dorset
It feels like a mix between Edward Hopper’s Cape Cod and an Edwardian seaside hotel in this white-painted villa above Chesil Beach. Owners Mary-Lou Sturridge and Tony Mackintosh, who created London’s Groucho Club, have filled the stripped-down interiors with marine salvage, seascapes and antique-shop booty. Eat in the restaurant or on the terrace with views over Lyme Bay before retiring to one of the bright and light rooms with views of the coast along with a retro dial phone and radio. Dogs are welcome in some bedrooms for no extra charge.
Price: Doubles from £245, B&B; theseasideboardinghouse.com
Polurrian on the Lizard
Location: Mullion, Cornwall
The spectacular setting of this white clifftop edifice with mesmerising sea views through its walls of windows takes some beating. You can walk down to the hotel’s own little cove, just 10 minutes away, or take a longer hike along the South West Coast Path, which runs alongside. Bedrooms are simple, with a contemporary style, while an all-day menu offers everything from pizza and burgers to steak or lobster. Children are welcome and there’s even baby-listening 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 a top spot to stay in this Victorian seaside town, the only west-facing resort on England’s east coast. A concierge service 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. Stylish interiors feature a palette of soft greys and white. There are also suites at nearby sister property Thornham Deli, which supplies No. 33 with continental breakfast for guests.
Price: Doubles from £105 with suites at Thornham Deli from £150, B&B; 33hunstanton.co.uk
The Nare, Cornwall
A self-styled country hotel by the sea, The Nare has beautiful gardens leading to the sands of Carne beach. You can enjoy breathtaking views from some of the bedrooms or fully immerse yourself in the picture by taking one of the hotel’s two boats out to explore the Cornish coast. Owned by the Ashworth family for more than 30 years, the hotel is traditional yet luxurious; expect daily complimentary cream teas, flowers, fruit and hot water bottles in the bedrooms, and an hors d’oeuvre trolley in the fine-dining restaurant.
Price: Doubles from £360, B&B; narehotel.co.uk
The Good Hotel Guide 46th edition is available from Monday 3 October, £20.