Five of our favourite coastal destinations for an off-peak getaway
The UK’s coastline is full of beautiful beaches, clifftop walks and friendly seaside towns; and a visit outside of the summer months can be one of the best times to experience it all. Travelling later in the year means you can still get great weather and find space in some popular spots. Here are five of our favourite coastal destinations for an off-peak, off-stress escape.
This lovely county, with over 100 miles of rugged coastline, has long been one of England’s hidden gems. But it’s fast-becoming a favourite staycation destination; at Sawday’s we’ve seen a 150% increase in searches for places to stay in Norfolk this year. The vast open spaces and diverse landscape means it rarely feels crowded here, even in summer, but autumn is our favourite time to visit when you’ll find beaches and coast paths all to yourself.
Stay at: Shangri-La is an architecture designed house for 6, sitting just behind the sand dunes at Waxham beach, one of the counties best-kept secrets. For long views across the marshes towards the sea, book a stay at The Blakeney Hotel in Holt where many of the bedrooms have views and balconies.
Cornwall’s wild moors, echoing coves, blustering cliffs and the folds of the hills hide a wealth of cultural and culinary experiences that go far beyond a day at the seaside. Visit outside of the season and you might be surprised by sleepy villages, friendly local pubs and abandoned beaches.
Stay at: Bedruthan Hotel & Spa has stunning sea views as well as an indoor pool and spa for chillier days if the weather turns. Head to the traditional fishing village of Mousehole with a stay at Harbour Moon, the narrow streets are much easier to navigate when the summer holiday crowds have gone home.
An autumn visit to Pembrokeshire is sure to leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated; if you’re anything like us you might find yourself yearning to go back again and again. It’s home to the UK’s only coastal National Park. It’s much smaller than most national parks, making it ripe for exploring. Read more about our five reasons to visit Pembrokeshire in autumn.
Stay at: Llys Meddyg hotel is well placed for exploring Pembrokeshire’s hills, coastal path and sandy beaches. If you like your own space, book The Tudor Kitchen, which is set on a peaceful hillside but just a short drive from beaches.
Lavender fields, orchards, vineyards and, of course, oysters – Kent has a lot to offer. The trendy seaside towns of Margate, Whitstable and Deal are some of our favourite weekend retreats from the city. Visiting in the off-peak months means a slower pace, where you can spend that little bit longer mooching through antique shops and galleries. Finish off the day with fish and chips on the beach. Perfect.
Stay at: At The Relish you can enjoy a drink on the house each night in the hotel’s sitting room as well as tea and cakes on tap all day. Groups of friends will love Heron House in Whitstable, where dogs are welcome too and you can walk to the beach.
Famed for its stunning stretches of Jurassic coast, Dorset is an idyll of rolling countryside, quintessential villages, towering cliffs and quiet coves. Away from the crowds, explore the Isle of Purbeck; sweeps of meadow and marshland hide quiet villages and run down to a coastline offering cliffs, caves and solitude once you move on from the ever-popular Durdle Door. Or enjoy a classic snapshot of south coast seaside at West Bay, visiting out of summer means the crowds of holiday makers have already headed home.
Stay at: Lulworth House is a B&B with breathtaking views and glorious walks from the door, you can join the South West Coast Path in just under five minutes. The Old Watch House in Lyme Regis has been part of the harbour front for 300 years and couldn’t be better placed for supplies of the day’s glorious catch