6 Winter Coastal Breaks To Book Now

If you like the sound of blustery beach walks before settling down beside a fire, a winter coastal break could be just the ticket. From a romantic weekend on the Isle of Skye to a week-long adventure along the Welsh coast, here are six staycations to book now…
By Sherri Andrew /
Lord Crewe

Bamburgh, Northumberland

Northumberland’s coastline is one the most beautiful in the UK. With quieter and more remote beaches than the south, the area is known for its high sand dunes and wide, sweeping shores – one of the many reasons it’s an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are two nature reserves teeming with wildlife, as well as plenty of historic towns and villages to explore, including Bamburgh. The village is probably best known for the 19th-century castle which dominates the skyline, but its beach is a beautiful spot for a winter walk. At weekends, visitors can take a guided tour along the Northumberland Coast Path to explore other must-see beaches like Beadnell Bay and Ross Back Sands, and book horse riding trips along the beach – Haggerston Riding Centre offers tours along the coast. Plan a sunset trip to spot dolphins and seals, and visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, accessible on foot when the tide washes over its causeway.

FOR COUPLES:
Lord Crewe 

This cosy pub with rooms is in an excellent location, right next to Bamburgh Castle and just a short walk from the beach. The building itself was originally a guesthouse for castle visitors, and many of the original features have been restored, including exposed stone walls and wood-burning stoves. Rooms have a modern country feel with four-poster beds and plush furniture, while the pub downstairs serves British classics and seafood from Northumberland’s coastline. 

Rooms start from £150 per night. 

Visit Lord-Crewe.co.uk

FOR GROUPS:
Wild Rye

Crabtree & Crabtree has a great selection of holiday homes and cottages in Northumberland, ideal for families, friends and large groups. Just outside of Bamburgh, Wild Rye is a chic terrace cottage with sea views. There’s a cosy living room with an indoor wood burner, a spacious kitchen-diner, and two bedrooms – a double and a twin. With French windows leading out onto the garden, up to two dogs can stay in the cottage.

From £140 per night. 

Visit CrabtreeAndCrabtree.com

Seahouses Harbour

Ceredigion, Wales

With more than 2,700km of coastline to explore, Wales has over 150 beaches, a third of which are in Ceredigion, a vast county with pretty coastal towns and rolling hills. You could easily spend a long weekend in one of the towns, but you can see most of the county during a week-long trip if you have a car. The 96km Ceredigion Coast Path has a varied landscape with views towards Snowdonia in the north and Pembrokeshire to the south. Split into seven sections, visitors can walk each part in a day, but we recommend the first half for the prettiest beaches and most striking scenery. Start in Cardigan with its beautiful bay (one of the best places in Europe for dolphin watching), before heading towards Aberporth and Llangrannog, famed for their high cliffs and secluded beaches. All three areas have quaint shops to explore, as well as cosy cafés and pubs.

FOR COUPLES:
Coastal Cottage Ceredigion

This coastal cottage is at the end of a forested valley, hidden behind a lush garden. Inside, the living area is traditional and wonderfully cosy, with beamed ceilings, exposed brick walls and earthy tones. Elsewhere, there’s a light and bright bedroom, a bathroom with a freestanding bath, and an open-plan kitchen/diner. Botanical paintings and antique furniture add to its charm.

From £80 per night.

Visit KipHideaways.com

FOR GROUPS:
The Albion Aberteifi

This new hotel is the first project from Fforest, which has a range of outdoorsy accommodation options in Wales. Set across two Grade-II listed former warehouses in Cardigan, the hotel has nautical influences to reflect the area’s maritime past. Guests can stay in one of 12 double bedrooms overlooking the River Teifi waterfront, all designed to look like a luxury boat cabin. Enjoy sundowner drinks at The Galley, dine at Yr Odyn restaurant, and relax in the outdoor sauna and onsen – both of which are set to open in the coming months.

Rooms from £150 per night.

Visit AlbionAberteifi.co.uk

 

Coastal Cottage, Ceredigion

Salcombe, Devon

Located in the South Ham district, Salcombe is one of the most popular Devonshire spots. Here, you’ll find some of the best hotels and restaurants in the county, but the main draw is the beautiful coastline where visitors can try an array of water sports, which can still be enjoyed throughout the winter months – think surfing, sailing and cold-water kayaking. Blustery walks along the beach are best spent at North Sands and East Portlemouth, while visitors can head on a longer hike along the Kingsbridge Estuary, an 8.6km stretch of water within South Devon’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Don’t miss Gara Rock – which looks particularly beautiful in winter when the waves splash against the cliff edges – and Overbeck’s Garden, a National Trust estate surrounded by three acres of lush, subtropical gardens.

FOR COUPLES:
South Sands Hotel

This New England-style hotel is set right on the Salcombe estuary with views of the water. All 22 rooms have a distinctive nautical feel with light wood furnishings, white linens and notes of blue throughout, while the five beach suites have spacious rooms and self-catering facilities. Here, the food is all about simple dining with dishes that can be served up quickly so you can get back to the beach – the breakfast is a particular highlight where guests can choose from a continental buffet, pastries, fruits and little parcels of smoked salmon.

From £135 per night.

Visit SouthSands.com

FOR GROUPS:
Harbour Beach Club Hotel & Spa

Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa expanded its hotel collection earlier this year with a new beach club and hotel. Bringing the resort experience to the south coast, Harbour Beach Club & Hotel is a family-friendly option just a few miles from the town. Right on the waterfront, it’s in an unbeatable location for exploring the local area, whether you’re into surfing or just want a walk along the beach. There’s a large spa with an indoor pool, plus a gym and spa offering excellent massages. A reasonably priced option, the hotel is best described as cosy and unpretentious.

From £150 per night.

Visit HarbourHotels.co.uk

South Sands
Harbour Beach Club Hotel & Spa

Isle Of Skye

Off the west coast of Scotland, Skye is a 50-mile amalgamation of sea cliffs, jagged mountains, lakes and vast moors. A beautiful destination for a staycation, the scenery is seriously impressive, and there’s no shortage of activities on offer if you’re travelling with children. A week-long trip is best spent exploring the pretty villages and towns, and walking along the beaches to discover hidden coves. Start in the capital Portree before heading west to Dunvegan, best known for its majestic castle; visitors can take a tour of the grounds, walk through the beautiful formal gardens and take a boat trip to see the Loch Dunvegan seal colony. Staffin, with its unique geology and spotty houses, is also worth a visit, as is Uig where you’ll find excellent walking routes, waterfalls and lochs. Don’t miss Coral Beach in Claiga, which is made from white coral-like seaweed that gives the sea the illusion of being a brilliant blue when the sun comes out. Read our full Isle of Skye guide here.

FOR COUPLES:
Sunrise Cabin

For a totally remote experience, this design-led cabin is in the village of Harlosh in the west of the island. Perfect for a romantic weekend away, couples can stargaze at night, then wake up in a king-sized bed that looks out over Loch Bracadale and the Cuillin mountains. The interiors are minimalist to let the beautiful scenery do the talking, but the cabin feels especially cosy at night. Adventurous types can drive to Oronsay Path in Ullinish to hike along the sea cliffs. 

From £250 per night.

Visit KipHideaways.com

FOR GROUPS:
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. Once a 16th-century hunting lodge, Kinloch now has bedrooms decorated in colours and textures chosen to reflect Skye's distinctive landscape. There’s also a destination restaurant which champions Scottish produce, as well as a bar with boardgames. Activities include foraging, stalking and wildlife treks. 

Rooms from £280 per night.

Visit Kinloch-Lodge.co.uk

Kinloch Lodge
Northcott Beach House

Bude, Cornwall

If you’re looking for a quiet Cornish staycation, skip the larger towns of St Ives and Penzance and head to Bude. This small seaside town is a hidden gem on the county’s north-east coast and a go-to place for water sports enthusiasts or those looking for a restorative weekend away. The colder months are some of the best to surf in Bude thanks to quiet waters and a mild sea temperature. Book lessons at the Freewave Surf Academy, or if you want to relax, book one of the yoga retreats that take place on several beaches in the area – Summerleaze being one of the top-rated. Outdoor pursuits such as kayaking and rock climbing can also be enjoyed if you wrap up warm, but for a cosier affair, visit Crackington Orchard & Cideryon Tremayna Farm to try some mulled cider. Little ones will love Bude Sea Pool, while adults will appreciate the town’s scenic castle.

FOR COUPLES:
The Beach 

For a luxury seaside retreat, book a room at the plush Beach Hotel. Overlooking Summerleaze beach, it has 16 rooms, all with impressive sea views. After a day spent exploring the beautiful Cornish coast, relax at the bar for evening drinks before heading to the on-site restaurant run by ex-MasterChef contestant, Jamie Cole. For a romantic trip, ask for Room 11, where you can watch the sunset on a stylish terrace with a glass of English sparkling wine.

Rooms from £105 per night.

Visit TheBeachAtBude.co.uk

FOR GROUPS:
Northcott Beach House

This luxury detached beach house is in the middle of Bude. Made for large groups or special occasions, it sleeps up to 14 across seven bedrooms varying in size, all with simple yet chic nautical interiors – think striped lines, wicker lampshades and ocean-inspired accessories. There’s an open-plan kitchen/diner, a separate living room, and a games area with a ping-pong table. Guests can dolphin watch from the cliffs or walk down to the beach for winter surfing. 

Visit UniqueHomestays.com

The Gallivant, Camber Sands

Camber Sands & Rye, East Sussex

One of the most popular seaside resorts in East Sussex, Camber Sands is equally beautiful in the winter, when the sand dunes are deserted and the sun slowly rises across the coastline. A long weekend is best spent between Camber and the nearby town of Rye, with its winding cobbled lanes and historical buildings. With a rich history involving maritime conflicts and smugglers, it was once on the coast but, over the centuries, the surrounding marshes have been reclaimed and it now sits on a hill about two miles from the sea at the confluence of three rivers – the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. Once you’ve hit the boutique shops and independent cafés on the high street, walk down the hill to Rye Nature Reserve – some 450 acres of salt marsh, beach and woodland, and one of the UK’s most important wildlife conservation sites. For a longer weekend, head to nearby Dungeness Beach, a vast expanse of shingle dotted with grasses, hardy shrubs, and battered fishing boats.

FOR COUPLES:
The Gallivant

Head here for a wellness retreat for two, or to experience an English wine tasting, before relaxing in one of the hotel’s coastal-inspired bedrooms. Inside, you’ll find nautical décor throughout, hidden reading nooks and beautiful views of the beach. Camber Sands is a three-minute walk away, while Rye Harbour, Hastings and the famous Mermaid Street are a short distance from the hotel. Couples wanting a romantic seaside escape will love the relaxed ambience and picturesque views.

From £180 per night.

Visit TheGallivant.co.uk

FOR GROUPS:
The Blue House

This holiday home is on Camber’s beachfront. The modern beach house sleeps eight guests in four bedrooms, some of which look out over the dunes and have free-standing baths in separate living areas. Downstairs, there’s an open-plan living, dining and kitchen space, plus an outdoor deck with benches, a smokeless fire pit and a pizza oven for al fresco dining. The property allows up to two dogs per stay. 

From £600 per night. 

Visit CamberHolidayCottages.co.uk

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