Forget naff seaside-themed decor, our carefully chosen edit of design-led UK hotels and holiday lets will have you dreaming of a long weekend by the sea, or reaching for the paintbrush at home
Radar in Dungeness, Kent
Fans of Scandi-inspired design will adore this clean and crisp contemporary self-catering beach house overlooking uninterrupted views of the surrounding shingle beach, sea and sky. Natural materials abound at Radar (let by Mulberry Cottages), with beautiful paired back wood, wicker and cork adding warmth to the minimalist scheme. While indulgent touches such as underfloor heating, a cosy woodbruner and sauna keep it super toasty during an unpredictable British summer.
IMAGES: SETH CARNILL
The Rose in Deal, Kent
If vintage furnishings, clashing bold colours and cool, creative charm is your bag, then might we suggest a weekend away at The Rose boutique hotel in Deal on the Kent coast. This chic hotel, restaurant and bar – a relatively new reincarnation of what was previously a rather run-down seaside boozer – reflects the town’s artistic side and will have you reaching for the paint chart quicker than you can say ‘mini break’ on your return home.
Artist Residence, Penzance, Cornwall
We adore the fun, friendly and slightly eccentric collection of Artist Residence boutique hotels dotted around the South of England, particularly their Cornish outpost. Housed in a revitalised Georgian pile moments from the beach in historic Penzance, and owned and designed by husband and wife team Justin and Charlie Salisbury, expect reclaimed, rustic furniture, bold colours and, of course, fabulous art wrapped up with a bucketload of charm.
Seren Mor, Newport, Pembrokeshire
Sweeping waterside vistas aren’t the only draw at this stunning RIBA award-winning self catering holiday home in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Let by Unique Home Stays, this fully sustainable clifftop house is a celebration of modern design and architecture, as well as beautiful natural materials.
The Swan Southwold, Suffolk
With bold and brilliant interiors by Shoreditch design studio Project Orange, The Swan Southwold is a world away from the olde world hotel it once was. With the Adnams brewery and distillery right on its doorstep, this Georgian beauty is the perfect place for a weekend exploring this delightful seaside town.
IMAGES: RICHARD GADSBY
The Outbuilding Appledore, Kent
Just a 10-minute drive from Rye and 20-minutes from the golden dunes of Camber Sands, Appledore is also the quintessential English country village. Tucked behind the traditional cottages and Georgian double-fronted houses is The Outbuilding, a converted workshop which is far from utilitarian. Its owner, interiors journalist and stylist Amy Maynard, has put her eye for detail to great use in this stylish two-bedroom bolthole.
IMAGES: HUMPHREY & GRACE
Camber Sands Cottage, East Sussex
Owned by interior designer Atlanta Bartlett, Camber Sands Cottage would look perfectly at home on the US West Coast with its all-white theme and laid-back industrial chic. Large windows facing the sea mean the coastal light can come flooding in. A series of separate but inter-connecting living spaces, plus four bedrooms, makes a great place for a larger group to relax after a day at the beach. Open the garden gate and it is just short stroll across a field to the wide open spaces and rolling dunes of Camber Sands; bustling Rye is within a short drive, too.
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