Dreaming of sandy shores? Book your seaside staycation here now.

It looks like overseas travel is off the agenda for summer 2021. But that’s no reason to feel too downcast – at least for all those quick enough off the mark to book in a luxury stay in one of the south-west’s most beautiful destinations. Luxury Coastal specialises in retreats dotted all along the naturally blessed North Atlantic coastline that laps at the northern edges of Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, as well as the English Channel on the southern side of the latter two. Its collection spans the cosiest cottages, the most romantic lodges and the most spectacular country houses.

Luxury Coastal’s small team is deeply invested in the communities in which it works; each member lives and works in the south-west and thus knows it inside out like the home turf that it is. As such, they can advise on everything to make your stay the stuff of cherished memories, whether you’re looking for a snug out-of-the-way pub for some local ales or an intimate restaurant serving up fresh catch from the Atlantic for a romantic dinner a deux.

From Brixham to Bude, St Ives to Saunton, there is an achingly beautiful location – and an equally gorgeous lodge, barn, cottage, apartment or manor house – to make every heart sing. This is our pick of the homes within a stone skim’s distance of the gently lapping sea, many of which have spectacular waterside views.

The Dairy House

Ilminster, Somerset

Do you fancy inhabiting your own perfect bucolic bubble, all set amidst its own parkland this summer? Look no further than The Dairy House on the Dillington Estate in Somerset. The honey-hued Grade II-listed cottage has seven bedrooms, sleeps sixteen and offers a slice of rural heaven, thanks to its mature gardens, its mullioned windows, its stone fireplaces, its outdoor hot tub and its cosy wood burners. Perfect in any season, its kitchen is a dream for epicures, whether rustling up wintry roasts or catering for al fresco feasts in the beautiful garden. An enchanting place where the only thing that’s hard is leaving at the end of the stay. They say: ‘Young and old will enjoy exploring the wild woodland where you can pick fruit from the branches above and berries from nearby hedges. You can also collect eggs to add to a leisurely brunch best served al-fresco.’ Heaven.

Beam Ends

Beesands, Devon

Three beds, sleeps 8
Fancy staying in a boutique hotel on the Devon coast, but prefer not to have to share it with any fellow guests? Beam End meets every criterion. Styled in the manner of a Firmdale Hotel, this three-bed property – which sleeps eight – is the perfect marriage of chic and homely. Whether you wish to spend evenings in front of the wood burner, watching movies in the sound-proof cinema room or sipping cocktails under the summer sun on the decking, the experience is both cossetting and sublimely luxurious. The piece de resistance comes, however, in the form of the proximity to the sea, which provides glorious views as well as the gentle soundtrack of lapping waves, which are the first thing you’ll hear upon waking up here. A shingle beach is literally on the doorstep, while the sleepy coastal village of Torcross is a short drive away.

Swanpool View

Swanpool, Cornwall

Just on the outskirts of Falmouth, Swanpool is one of the most scenic spots on this coastline, which is, as anyone who is familiar with it knows, packed tight with fierce competition for that accolade. The large open-plan sitting room is the nucleus of the property, which sleeps eight; light and airy, there is barely a corner of it which doesn’t offer a view over the beautiful salt-water lagoon on its doorstep. It also has an enclosed garden, as well as a balcony with expansive views across the Atlantic, which makes a dreamy spot for a sunset cocktail. Keen twitchers should note that nearby there is a small nature reserve that provides shelter for a number of bird varieties, while water sports enthusiasts will enjoy the family friendly beach, with its opportunities for kayaking and other fun activities.

Watermouth Lodge, Kentisbury Grange

Barnstaple, Devon

How would you like a luxuriously appointed lodge of your very own for a week or two, all set in the most dazzling natural countryside? Kentisbury Grange is situated on the edge of Exmoor National Park, which is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the south-west. Its eleven lodges are dotted scenically about the landscape, each one with a waterside location, a hot tub and a large decking area for the kind of blissful sundowners we’re longing for right now. Don’t fancy cooking? The award-winning Coach Restaurant is also on site and just a few paces away; wander in its direction for beautifully cooked locally sourced grub. All eleven lodges are superb; we happen to have our eye on Watermouth Lodge, with its heavenly wraparound decking terrace.

Old Pear Tree Barn

Newquay, Cornwall

Surfers take heed! The small village of Cubert, near Newquay, is within easy reach of some of the very best beaches in Cornwall. It is also home to Old Pear Tree Barn, which just so happens to be the most picturesque and sublimely peaceful of holiday homes. They say, ‘Elegantly decorated and environmentally friendly, the home still retains some of its original features, with exposed timber beams and a vaulted ceiling reminiscent of its humble past as a piggery and hay barn. Underfloor heating throughout as well as luxurious soft furnishings and a calming, neutral palette make for a truly relaxing space, with the first floor living room opening out on to a decked balcony that has far reaching views of the glorious Cornish countryside.’ It is packed full of charm, as is the village in which it is situated. Don’t miss the thatched 16th-century pub at The Smugglers Den Inn – perfect for the handful hours in the day that you’re not spending atop your board.

3 Old School House

Cawsand, Cornwall

If you are hankering after sea views, they really don’t come much better than this. Just on the edge of the picturesque village of Cawsand, 3 Old School House dates back to the 16th-century and was once a ‘pilchard palace’, a place where the then much-prized fish were caught, salted and packed for shipping. The following century would see it transformed into a school, for which it was used right up until the mid-20th-century; whether the extreme proximity to Rame Peninsula provided inspiration or distraction to the pupils, we’ll never know. As a holiday home, it falls firmly in the former camp. The rustic-meets-modern interiors are as much of a draw, as is the fact that it is situated right on the unspoiled coastal path. Pure bliss.

By Nancy Alsop
February 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.