Eight Brilliantly British Coastal Hotels

With pebbled beaches, dramatic cliffs, fishing villages and secluded lochs, the British coast is diverse and dramatic. Take your pick from these hotels for a quintessential British summer, in which scones come with a decent dollop of clotted cream and the phrase "it's only spitting" can be heard a little too frequently.

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The Swan Southwold

Southwold, United Kingdom

Looking for a history-packed hotel with an eco-friendly focus and plenty of opportunities for a tipple? Look no further. Dating back over 400 years, The Swan Southwold (and the neighbouring Adnams brewery and distillery) survived near-financial ruin and a catastrophic 17th-century fire in the 17th century to become the thriving bolthole it is today. Right on the Suffolk coast, this is the place to come for nautical-themed interiors and weathered antiques, and stay for tours and tastings at Adnams. Both hotel and brewery strive to protect their coastal environment – ask at reception for information about Southwold beach cleans or the hotel’s conservation plans, which include 250,000 bees kept at nearby Reydon.

Address

Market Place Southwold Suffolk IP18 6EG

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Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

New Milton, United Kingdom

This magnificent countryside manor will have you feeling like pampered royalty in no time. Wellness buffs can choose between hiring bikes to explore New Forest, having a game of tennis (on either indoor or outdoor courts) or playing a round of golf on the nine-hole course. Less athletically inclined guests should make a beeline for the spa, where Europe’s largest hydrotherapy pool, aromatherapy saunas and an outdoor whirlpool soothe body and mind. Whatever the preference, all guests can agree that Lymington Pier (a 15-minute drive from Chewton) is the perfect place to spend the afternoon. Ask the hotel for information on sailing trips, speedboats or, if you’re feeling fancy, chartered yachts.

Address

New Forest Hampshire BH25 6QS

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Boskerris Hotel

Cornwall, United Kingdom

Sugar-white walls are complemented by small pops of coastal blue, coral and glass that add a distinctly Mediterranean vibe to this 30s Cornish hideaway – helped along by the Mediterranean-style menu cooked up in the restaurant. Check in to the Celebration Room and lower yourself into the sea-facing sunken bath – you’ll be able to see Godrevy lighthouse – before visiting the on-site beauty therapist for a shiatsu massage.

Address

Boskerris Road, TR26 2NQ

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Salcombe Harbour Hotel

Salcombe, United Kingdom

Yachts bobbing in the harbour, breton-striped daybeds neatly lined up by the pool and afternoon tea with plenty of clotted cream – you can’t get more British than this. This harbour hotel on the Devonshire coast has everything from a rooftop terrace with views across the estuary and a restaurant serving freshly sourced oysters and lobster, to a decadent spa stretching across two floors, bedecked in true nautical style. Potter about the picturesque fishing village of Salcombe to experience the charming English seaside at its best, or explore the 16th-century Salcombe Castle, just a five-minute walk from the hotel.

Address

Cliff Road Salcombe South Devon TQ8 8JH

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The Pig on the Beach

Studland, United Kingdom

Set on cliffs overlooking the stunning Studland Bay, The Pig on the Beach is one of Britain’s best coastal retreats. The rooms are the highlight of this converted 16th-century manor house, each styled in distinct country-house decor, but each with soothingly rustic views of coastal Dorset – best enjoyed while soaking in roll-top baths or dozing off in four-poster beds. Awake from an afternoon nap to enjoy innovative, daily changing dishes at the conservatory-style restaurant, before enjoying drinks at the snug, wood-panelled bar. Don’t forget to book a massage in the hotel’s spa – two treatment cabins can be found in a wild meadow nearby.

Address

Manor Road Studland Dorset BH19 3AU

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Artist Residence

Brighton, United Kingdom

Quite possibly Britain's best-loved beach, Brighton's pebbled shores have been a favourite staycation spot for centuries. Set at the top of the grand Regency Square, the Artist Residence Brighton sits in one of the most sought-after locations on the East Sussex coast. Behind the 19th-century facade, interiors are eclectic with industrial decor, upcycled furniture and limited-edition artwork on the walls. The towering British Airways i360 is on the hotel doorstep, while Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion and North Laine are within a short walk.

Address

34 Regency Square, BN1 2FJ

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The Chequers Inn

Thornham, United Kingdom

Set in the charming village of Thornham on the north Norfolk Coast, this charming inn offers the best of the British seaside. Shop for antiques in Burnham Market village or go for a long walk along the beach before heading back to the hotel for dinner. Choose between hearty gastropub dishes or Norfolk-inspired tapas, and wash it all down with some local ales or artisanal Norfolk gin.

Address

High Street PE36 6LY

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Pool House

Poolewe, United Kingdom

Unlike Game of Thrones, this Wester Ross has no dragons, White Walkers or Three-Eyed Ravens – though that doesn’t make it any less magical. Perched on the shores of Loch Ewe, Pool House makes for the perfect break from the daily grind. Huge, ornate bedrooms are offset with quirky furnishings and trinkets, each with freestanding baths and views across the loch. Pack some binoculars and a pair of walking boots for a trek through Scottish hinterlands, looking out for deer and golden eagles as you go. Return to cosy up with a good book by an open fire in the hotel’s library, before indulging in a four-course meal that makes the most of fresh produce sourced straight from the loch and surrounding gardens.

Address

Poolewe Wester Ross Scotland IV22 2LD

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Gara Rock

East Portlemouth, United Kingdom

Teetering on a clifftop, Gara Rock is one of Devon’s most impressive seaside boltholes. Minimalist exteriors give way to pastel-hued interiors complete with hanging plants, exposed light bulbs and untreated wood. Head to the spa’s steam room to soothe muscles aching from hikes across Devon’s hilltops, or soak in a hot tub overlooking waves crashing on the shore. Those inclined to pamper in private, make a beeline for your hotel room where freestanding roll-top bathtubs, rain showers and king-sized beds are complemented by coastal views.

Address

East Portlemouth Devon TQ8 8FA