Tips and destination ideas for a beach cottage escape

Who doesn't love a blast of the salt-filled sea air and a splash in the water? That's what makes holiday cottages on the beach such an attractive prospect. Read on for handy hints on where you can find them and some inspiring destination choices for getaways to the waves.

Types of beach cottage holidays

Beachfront holiday cottages come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and locations. You'll catch them in bustling resorts, between old Victorian pubs and rock-sweet shops, while others sit lonely on the wave-blasted shores. It's worth thinking about what sort you're after, before pressing on with the booking.

Secluded beach cottages

For a real escape from the rat race, there's nothing that can check the boxes like a secluded beachside cottage. These are the places where your only neighbours are the squawking gulls and there's not a chance you'll hear a honking horn. It's common for these rentals to be a little pricier and you're likely to need your own car to get to them – but the travelling is all part of the fun.

Luxury beachside cottages

While some might say a beachfront location is luxury enough, many a rental in this category likes to take things to a whole other level. Sumptuous interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows often paint panoramic pictures of crashing waves and glowing sands for anyone lazing in the lounge. It's normal for stylish cottages to have wood fires, large kitchens and – occasionally – even a hot tub, for muscle-warming baths post-hike.

Beach cottage rentals in towns

For the people watchers and the fish-and-chip eaters, a beachside cottage in a quaint coastal town could offer the slice of seaside life that you've been looking for. Instead of being isolated, out on the wave-lashed dunes, these are hemmed in by centuries-old fishing shacks. They come with shanty taverns and ice-cream parlours right on the doorstep.

Inspiring destinations for beachfront holiday cottages

From the untamed shores of castle-topped Northumbria to the pasty-scented harbours of Cornwall, the UK has many beachside locations up its sleeve. That also means plenty of different places to go in search of holiday cottages on the beach. Here are just 3 favourites.

Choose a beachside cottage in Cornwall

Even with Cornwall's miles and miles of coastline, there are a few places that stand out from the crowd when it comes to bagging beachfront cottages. The handsome town of Marazion is a great choice. It spills down to meet the breathtaking outline of St Michael's Mount on Mount's Bay, which puts wide, tidal beachfronts right in front of many a rental. Then there's Polzeath and Bude, where the roaring Celtic Sea provides a perfect playground for surfers.

Devon has beach cottage rentals

Devon is another jewel of the South West region, its 2 coastlines linked with sweeping stretches of moorland. But if you'd prefer to rise to views of crashing waves, you should focus your search on the north. There, venerable resorts such as Ilfracombe come with clifftop golf courses, while the 3.5 miles of Saunton Sands has landscapes of dunes that bear the brunt of some hefty swells.

A beach cottage in Northumberland

Trading in the warmer southern seas for the bracing North Sea, the region of Northumberland is an altogether wilder beast than its Devonshire compadre. If you're keen on total seclusion, this could be the region for you. In fact, in blustery Bamburgh, you might find that the mighty castle is the only company you'll have on the shore.

More unusual destinations for beachfront cottages in the UK

You're not tied to the tried-and-tested corners of the UK coast. While Devonshire and Cornwall come with clotted-cream teas and picture-perfect beaches, they might not offer the same off-radar adventure that some travellers are seeking from their salt-washed staycation.

Welsh holiday cottages on the beach

There's certainly no shortage of places to seek out a beachfront cottage in Wales. Washed by the Bristol Channel, St George's Channel and the Irish Sea, this land of high cliffs and porpoise-spotted coves is riddled with gorgeous sands. You'll find beautiful views unfolding from the cottages that dot the hills of the Gower in the south, while surfers might prefer a jaunt to Pembrokeshire, where the deep-blue swells sometimes get feisty.

Norfolk has beach cottage rentals

As Norfolk arches its way around the tip of East Anglia, it plays host to some of the liveliest Victorian resorts within reach of London. Piers and bright-light gaming arcades mingle with maritime museums along the promenades, taking care of any rainy-day activities. When the sun does shine, you can hop out of your cottage and rest on seaweed-scented Hunstanton or the vibrant shores of Cromer.

Beachside cottages in Kent

While many associate Kent with its green interior of rolling farm fields and pastoral dales – this is the Garden of England, after all – the region actually has plenty in the way of beaches. The sandy inlets of Margate and Ramsgate have been popular with visitors from London since the 1800s. But then there's Dover and its shimmering white cliffs and castle, a place to fuse English heritage with a walk on the coast.