It’s not over yet … These 10 idyllic beach stays around Britain offer September sun and no crowds
Skye, Inner Hebrides
Scotland’s most visited isle teems with visitors in summer, but as September dawns the crowds – and the midges – dissipate. Hike up to the spectacular rock formations at the Old Man of Storr and head to Neist Point on a clear day, to make the most of the spectacular sunset. For a truly tranquil stay, base yourself in the crofting township of Edinbane in the north, where Ploughman’s Cottage, which sleeps six, has lovely views over Loch Greshornish, and the Edinbane Inn (edinbaneinn.co.uk) offers local mussels, Skye black pudding and Scottish beef, with an excellent selection of whiskies.
From £1,095, ihcottages.com
The ideal place to indulge in classic beachy pleasures – strolls on the prom, snoozing in a deckchair, fish and chips at sunset – Southwold has a delightfully old-school feel, particularly once the summer crowds have gone. Potter between the shops and tearooms en route to Pier Beach, or head to Denes Beach for sand dunes and marshland that offers great bird-watching and lots of watersport options. Drop in for fresh fish platters at the Sail Loft (sailloftsouthwold.uk), set right by the beach and stay at Southwold Surf, a chic one-bed apartment, situated on the High Street.
From £767 per week, suffolk-secrets.co.uk
Immerse yourself in Cornish scenery and traditions with a stay at Sennen, a small seaside village on the county’s southwesterly tip, within easy reach of Land’s End and the pretty coastal villages of Porthcurno and Mousehole. Dip into the circular Capstan Gallery, hike the South West Coast Path on to Mayon Cliff and book tickets for the Minack Theatre, cut dramatically into the side of the cliffs. Stay at Sea Scape, a spectacular ecohome sleeping six, with a state of the art kitchen, outdoor hot tub and three spacious bedrooms.
From £1,989, sykescottages.co.uk
The Isle of Purbeck is at its most beautiful in early autumn, when the golden-hued beaches of Studland and Swanage are released from the summer holiday crowds, and the whole peninsula settles back into its reassuringly slow pace. Mix beach walks with visits to Corfe Castle and Brownsea Island, or hop on the ferry across to Poole for lunch at Rockfish (therockfish.co.uk), set right on the quay, serving fish caught fresh each day. Stay at the Arc, a cute, character cottage in Swanage; it sleeps four, but is an ideal bolthole for two.
From £847, originalcottages.co.uk
Pack surfboards and SUPs for a water-based week, staying at Tan y Bryn – a sleekly refurbished 1930s house, just yards from the beach with wonderful views out to sea. The charming city of St David’s is a short drive away, famous for its medieval Bishop’s Palace and 6th-century cathedral. Book a table at St David’s Gin & Kitchen (stdavidsdistillery.wales), run by a family of farmers who use their own meat and vegetables in all the dishes, and walk it off with a hike along the beautiful Welsh Coast Path. Tan y Bryn sleeps seven.
From £1,400, coastalcottages.co.uk
Book a week at Out to Sea, an elegant three-bedroom house set above the River Dart, and it might be hard to stir from the terrace, which has glorious views across to Kingswear and the surrounding countryside. This is an ideal base for walkers, with waymarked trails heading out from the town including a route to the beautiful beach at Blackpool Sands, and rich in history with castles and forts dotted along the nearby coast. Hop on the passenger ferry to Kingswear for crab sandwiches at the Ship Inn (theshipinn-kingswear.co.uk), before sundowners on the terrace back at base.
From £1,380, dartvalleycottages.co.uk
Rye, East Sussex
One of Sussex’s most picturesque small towns, Rye is a stone’s throw from the five-mile stretch of beach at Camber Sands, perfect for blue-skied, blustery walkswalks. Book a table for lunch at the Owl (theowlcamber.co.uk), a buzzy pub behind the dunes, serving up locally sourced meat and freshly caught fish, and spend afternoons perusing the antique shops on Rye’s winding streets, or discover the region’s rich history with a visit to Bodiam Castle (nationaltrust.org.uk). Stay in the heart of Rye at Crown Cottage, sleeping four, with a pretty courtyard garden.
From £831, holidaycottages.co.uk
Freshwater, Isle of Wight
There’s a lovely, unspoilt beauty to the western side of the Isle of Wight, and the small town of Freshwater makes a great base for walks up on to Tennyson Down and beachy afternoons on Freshwater Bay. Dip into nearby Yarmouth for a morning scouring small boutiques and art galleries before lunch at the George (thegeorge.co.uk), and don’t miss a ride on the Needles Breezer – a spectacular, open-top bus ride that climbs the cliffs between Alum Bay and Freshwater. Base yourself at Graham Cottage, sleeping four, in the heart of the village.
From £583, holidaycottages.co.uk
The three miles of pristine beach at Woolacombe cater for every imaginable holiday pastime, from dog walking to surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming, with the island of Lundy floating hazily in the distance. To sit and soak up the views, head up to the Porthole Café for homemade cakes and hearty sandwiches, or venture out to Morte Point for a stunning walk through heathland, past smugglers’ coves and seal colonies. Stay at Vardan, a charming apartment sleeping four, just 300m from the beach.
From £822, marsdens.co.uk
One of the most spectacular beaches in the UK,Holkham can get overrun in school holidays, but by September the great swathe of sand, backed by pine forest, is far more tranquil. Relax after a walk at the Victoria, which offers upmarket modern British dishes, and head inland to dip into the galleries, interiors shops and boutiques on Burnham Market’s picturesque high street. The harbour-front village of Burnham Overy Staithe makes a tranquil base beneath Norfolk’s vast skies; Crow’s Nest Cottage is a cute former fisher’s cottage, ideal for two.
Source : The Guardian