Dreaming of summer? – so are we. Whether it’s a classic English seaside experience or back-to-nature country living that you’re seeking, we’ve got you covered. From stately homes along the coast to rustic cabins in the woods, here are 11 properties to book now for the summer.
A windswept seaside town flanked by Jurassic-era cliffs, Whitby is known for its harbour with colourful houses and shops that sell some of the freshest fish and chips in Yorkshire. You’ll be a brisk 15-minute walk from the beach and harbour at Hoggarth House, a comfy home with light grey and white interiors boasting harbour views. On the River Esk, the location is serene but convenient to access food and walk to sights. Whitby’s most famous fish and chip shop, the Magpie Café, isn’t far away and for a brisker walk, head up East Cliff, its view of the harbour and ruins of the 7th-century Whitby Abbey which inspired Bram Stoker to write about Dracula’s landing in England.
Consisting of two cabins with private gardens and a barbecue pit, this is the quintessential log cabin in the woods. Nestled on Loch Long, the pet-friendly hideaway has no WiFi as it’s all about reconnecting with nature, an easy feat as the living room opens to a raised wooden platform that looks out to the forest. You’re not too far from amenities as Dunoon, a short drive away, has shops, cafés and restaurants, though you’ll want to explore the Scotland’s wild West Coast. Nearby is Trossachs National Park and Puck’s Glen, a magical moss-covered trail cutting through waterfalls and rock pools.
This pretty red-brick holiday home with black-and-white entrance tiles is the perfect setting for a classic English seaside escapade. The interior is decked with light wood, white walls and linens, and bedrooms have sea views. A few minutes’ walk away is the beach with its colourful bathing boxes. Southwold Lighthouse and the pier which is lined with art galleries and vintage clothing boutiques. Listen for the tune of the ice cream truck and come evening, unwind with a pint at Adnams Brewery, Southwold’s heralded homegrown brewery.
Set in a vast garden with lavender flowers, this stone house by the River Aln is the ideal base to explore Northumberland’s stunning coast and mountains. The house has exposed wood beams, a fireplace and a spacious terrace that looks out into an estuary that feeds into the North Sea, whilst marble-clad bathrooms have ceiling windows that point skywards. Dogs are welcomed but children aren’t – a plus for some. Several minutes’ walk will take you to pubs, bistros and tearooms. A short drive away is Alnwick Castle, which starred as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, and a 40-minute drive inland is Northumberland National Park with its glacial valleys and stunning expanse of sky that reveals the Milky Way.
With lovely pastel yellow walls and lemon-coloured pillows, drapes and lampshades, this snazzy beach home also has a sunny atrium and ample gardens for a dog to run around in – yes, pets are welcomed! Holidaymakers come to Bournemouth for its mix of family fun with a splash of evening entertainment. The property is a short drive to Bournemouth Beach, home to Bournemouth Pavillion Theatre and O2 Academy Bournemouth. Within Poole itself, there’s much to explore, such as the harbour and old town and wonderful places to dine at including Rockfish Seafood Restaurant and Italian Diva.
Atop a grassy hill full of wildflowers, this pastel-blue-and-white cottage has bedrooms that come with pretty quilts and a living room with rugs and a fireplace. The cottage has unspoiled views of sea and sky, its location remote enough to experience true country living, though a 20-minute walk along the coast brings you to pubs and cafés in West Bexington. Once an important port for southern England, Weymouth’s history extends beyond its seafaring days, its alluring golden coastline having formed during the Jurassic age.
The sparkling turquoise waters, golden shores and grassy green cliffs of the Cornish coast never disappoint. This is a spacious home in the fishing village of Mousehole with balconies and ample outdoor dining areas that overlook the waters. Families with young children will be happy to know that the house comes with cots, toddler beddings and children’s cutlery. There’s much to do in the area, including swimming, kayaking and nature walks, and while you’ll want to try the garden’s barbecue pit, do pop over one morning for a traditional Cornish breakfast at the Hole Foods Deli & Café.
Rustic is a fair understatement as this is a gorgeous red-brick house with creeping vines and a massive garden – with picnic tables and a tennis table – that stretches into swamps and meadows. The red brick walls are left exposed in several bedrooms and the living room has a high ceiling with exposed wood beams. Norfolk is known for its vast swathes of nature and Reepham is home to Marriott’s Way, a 25-mile long cycling path. For a different sort of experience, the nearby Heydon Village Tearoom serves scones and cakes on pastel-coloured plates and tea in lovely-patterned teapots and saucers.
This quite little cottage is just steps away from the Forest of Dean, an enchanting forest with towering evergreen trees and moss-covered trails that lead to ponds and lakes. The house itself is a converted single-storey barn with a large garden and tables for al fresco summer dining surrounded by nothing but the hums of nature. The Stable is not too far by foot or bicycle to pubs in Lydney, the nearest civil parish.
The large outdoor pool – perfect for summer dips – is the winning feature of this stone house in the verdant forests of Blakeney near Mallards Pike Lake. The villa has a country modern aesthetic with pops of colour in bed runners, blankets and window blinds, and groovy-patterned carpets and couch pillows. The windows open to pastures and mountains in the distance where nature walks beckon. Hungry? Try the Ugly Duckling for pies and burgers.
Once owned by a local sea captain, Villa Neptune on Robin Hood’s Bay is named after his ship. The house has since been revamped – bedrooms come in colour schemes of teals and pinks and the marble-clad bathrooms feel like a spa. The best feature, however, is the outdoor hot tub next to a raised lounge area with cushioned seats, all of which overlook the sweeping coast. Beach walks are a must and there’s plenty to check out by the bay, for instance, the Smugglers Bistro for pizza and mussels, The Cove for souvenirs and Berties of Bay, a fashion boutique.