Sitting on the banks of the Kingsbridge Estuary, Salcombe is one the prettiest towns in Devon. A great alternative to Cornwall, it has everything you need, from mile-long beaches and stunning coastal views, to plenty of good pubs and restaurants – and late summer is an ideal time to visit to skip the crowds. Salcombe Sands and Mill Bay are a must-see, as is Rickham Sands – a picturesque 50-minute walk via the South West Coast Path. For a day trip, head to Salcombe Gin Distillery for a tasting session, or Overbeck’s Garden, a beautiful National Trust property home to unique subtropical gardens.
Where To Stay: Gara Rock
Located right on the South West Coast Path, Gara Rock is one of the most stylish boutique hotels in Devon. Perched high on a cliff, the hotel has beautiful coastal views that extend for miles. There are several rooms to choose from, including loft suites and penthouse apartments, each of which are stylishly decorated with nautical influences. The hotel also has a small spa and an indoor swimming pool where guests can relax after exploring the surrounding area.
Rooms from £299 per night.
The Jurassic Coast, Dorset
If your idea of a staycation means being by the sea, few places top the Jurassic Coast. Stretching from Exmouth to Studland Bay in Dorset, it covers nearly 96 miles of stunning coastline which is now a World Heritage Site. The main attractions here cater to lovers of the outdoors – whether you want to explore the many walking routes, head on a kayak to sea or ride the waves, there’s something for children and adults alike. The Etches Collection and Sidmouth Museum are worth a visit, while Lulworth Outdoors provide a range of adventure activities including coasteering, mountain biking, orienteering and bushcraft – a great option if you’ve got kids in tow. There’s lots to see and do, so bookmark this part of the South West for a week-long trip.
Where To Stay: The Pig On The Beach
Situated along Studland Bay, with uninterrupted views of the long stretches of Dorset's sandy coastlines, The Pig on the Beach is one of Dorset’s most stylish boutique hotels. With a walled kitchen garden, a sea view conservatory restaurant, a path down to the beach, and a beach hut, the hotel has everything you need for a comfortable stay. Guests can stay in the main house, in a hut, or in a unique dovecote on the property – we love the ‘Comfy Luxe Rooms’ which have freestanding baths and four-poster beds. As with all Pig hotels, the food is excellent – expect dishes that celebrate seasonal produce from local suppliers.
Rooms from £299 per night.
One of the Cotswolds’ most scenic destinations, Broadway is an ideal choice for a romantic weekend for two. Full of quintessentially English villages, pretty cobbled streets and quaint tearooms, plus a good selection of boutique hotels and B&Bs, there’s plenty to see and do. Visitors should head to Broadway Tower to walk the Cotswold Way route, then make a beeline for St Eadburgha’s Church which dates back to the 12th century. In terms of food, The Lygon Arms and Dormy House both have excellent restaurants, while Mount Inn serves hearty pub food.
Where To Stay: Foxhill Manor
Ideal for a special couple’s retreat, this eight-bedroom hotel is housed in a beautiful Grade II-listed building on an impressive 400-acre estate. Each of the spacious bedrooms have contemporary interiors with seriously stunning bathrooms – expect walk-in showers and freestanding roll-top bathtubs. There’s also a lounge and dining room, a media room for film nights, and an informal kitchen where guests can design their own dinner based on local, seasonal ingredients.
Rooms from £679 per night.
Just ten miles away from Land’s End, Penzance is one of the largest towns in south Cornwall. A weekend away or short minibreak is best spent exploring the interesting coastal architecture, walking along the beautiful beaches, and eating your way around the restaurants. Penlee House Gallery & Museum and The Acorn Theatre in a converted chapel are both worth a visit, but for some of the best things to do in town, head to the historical Chapel Street. There, you’ll find the Egyptian House and other beautiful Georgian buildings, as well as a range of boutique shops. Watch a performance or take a guided tour at the historic Minack Theatre which overlooks the rugged Porthcurno Bay, then enjoy an afternoon at Long Rock Beach.
Where To Stay: Chapel House
Chapel House is a boutique townhouse hotel in the centre of Penzance. Set in a beautiful Georgian building, it has six stylish bedrooms and two suites that opened last year. All the bedrooms overlook the sea, with elegant touches throughout, such as handmade oak beds, minimalist furniture and modern en-suite bathrooms. For a special stay, book one of the spacious suites which have views of Penzance Harbour and Mount's Bay. Chapel House also has a lovely dining area in which to enjoy delish Cornish fare from the on-site kitchen, including a seasonal weekend supper menu and a great Sunday brunch.
Rooms from £150 per night.
Isle of Wight
Home to scenic beaches, delicious food and plenty of water sports facilities, the Isle of Wight is a great location to bookmark for a late summer holiday. There are several pretty villages to visit, including Bembridge, St Helens, Seaview and Ryde, as well as the traditional Victorian seaside town of Ventnor where you can hire beach huts and visit the award-winning botanical gardens. Freshwater is where you'll find one of most beautiful beaches on the island (including Freshwater Bay), while Yarmouth is ideal for families. Head to Best Dressed Crab on Bembridge Harbour for an alfresco lunch, or Pilot Boat nearby for tasty pub food.
Where To Stay: North House
For a luxury staycation, head to North House in Cowes. The ‘Cosy’ rooms have chic have king-sized beds, indoor wood burners, and views over the garden, while the ‘Spacious’ rooms come with freestanding bathtubs and separate showers. The Terrace is a lovely spot for an evening drink, The Restaurant serves delicious dishes made with local produce, and The Bar has an extensive wine list. There’s also a heated outdoor pool surrounded by wicker deck chairs should you fancy skipping the beach.
Rooms from £195 per night.
Brighton & Hove
As one of the most popular seaside spots in the UK, it’s best to avoid visiting during high season and head down to Brighton and Hove during the later summer months instead. There are countless things to see and do, from walking along the seafront with fish and chips, to exploring the excellent boutique shops. A lovely weekend can also be spent making your way around some of the best restaurants, cafés and pubs – The Salt Room serves some of the most delicious seafood in the area, while The Connaught is one of our favourite pubs in Hove.
Where To Stay: Artist Residence Brighton
Just a two-minute walk from Brighton Beach, the quirky Artist Residence is set in a smart townhouse on Regency Square. A mishmash of eclectic pieces – each of the 24 rooms is designed by a different artist – the hotel features everything from colourful chairs to jars of Brighton rock and collage-printed walls. The Clubhouse is a lovely spot for a long brunch or evening cocktails – their buttermilk pancakes are seriously moreish.
Rooms from £150 per night.
There’s no shortage of pretty villages and towns in Norfolk, but if you want to be on the coast, head to Hunstanton, Thornham, Brancaster or Holkham. Holkham National Nature Reserve is 37sq. km. of beach, dunes, salt marsh and pinewoods that’s teaming with wildlife. A great option for families, children can spot animals throughout the park and play on the pebble beach. In Holkham, visitors an also explore the many walking and cycling trails, hire a boat on the lake, and venture along the coast to Blakeney and Brancaster to see several National Trust sites.
Where To Stay: Victoria Inn
Located just a few minutes’ walk from the golden sands of Holkham beach and Holkham Hall, Victoria Inn is in an ideal location for discovering the county’s windswept coastline, seaside towns and villages. The 19th-century inn has 20 generous bedrooms spread over two houses, and a lovely brasserie-style restaurant. Victoria Inn is dog-friendly, too – ideal if you want explore walking routes in the area with your four-legged friend.
Rooms from £150 per night.
Isle of Skye
The second largest of Scotland’s islands, Skye is a 50-mile amalgamation of sea cliffs, jagged mountains, huge lakes and vast moors. A great option for a campervan holiday or road trip, it’s a beautiful destination for a late summer staycation. Here, the scenery is seriously impressive, and there’s no shortage of activities on offer. Visitors should take a boat trip around the coves, head to the Quiraing cliffs and visit the beautiful Spar Cave, an 80m hidden wonder that dates back to the 9th century. Corach Beach is one of the prettiest on the island and has several good walking routes, while Dunvegan Castle and Gardens is a must-see. For delicious seafood, Loch Bay is not to be missed.
Where To Stay: Kinloch Lodge
This family-run hotel is in a truly spectacular location. Tucked away on the southern shores of the island, the lodge feels totally remote – you’ll need a car to reach the property, but it’s well worth the journey. Inside, bedrooms have been decorated in colours and textures chosen to reflect Skye's distinctive landscape, while a bar with boardgames awaits in a newly renovated wing. Guests can eat at the on-site restaurant or dine alfresco beside a firepit looking over a nearby loch.
Rooms from £280 per night.
Easily reached from London, Margate is a great option for a weekend away. Christened ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea’ thanks to its London spill-over, it offers a blend of traditional seaside hallmarks and an upbeat, cultural vibe. Complete with the Turner Contemporary, a shell grotto, Dreamland (a vintage theme park), and a thriving arts scene, there’s a never-ending list of things to see and do. Trawl the vintage shops for second-hand gems, then sample local seafood at Old Kent Market. At the weekend, Botany Bay, famous for its jagged white cliffs and beautiful sea views, is a must-see, too.
Where To Stay: The Reading Rooms
There’s one standout hotel in Margate – The Reading Rooms. This boutique B&B is set in a stunning Grade II-listed townhouse just a short walk from the beach and main cultural hotspots. There are two simple yet stylish guest rooms to choose from, each with minimalist design and cool distressed furniture. Each room has a dining table by the window with views over the square where guests can enjoy the hotel’s signature breakfast – fresh fruit and juices, freshly baked sourdough breads and a selection of pastries.
Rooms from £190 per night.
*DISCLAIMER: Travel restrictions are changing daily, so please check the latest government advice before you book anything. Visit Gov.uk for more information.