Swoon-worthy weekend beach breaks near London
Looking to escape the city? From romantic hideaways to family friendly retreats, we've scouted out the best boutique hotels with glorious beaches near London.
A converted Georgian townhouse at the head of Regency Square, Artist Residence Brighton is a bohemian, quirky hideaway for art lovers and design buffs. The boutique hotel was born when owners and interior-design power duo Charlotte and Justin posted an advert offering local artists free board in return for a helping hand with their renovation project.
As a result, each of the 24 rooms is home to original limited edition prints – the Arty rooms boast magnificent original artist murals, too – a lot of local charm and glorious views over Brighton seafront. There's also a delicious 20-cover restaurant serving a seasonal tasting menu, a buzzy, yet laid-back bar serving tapas and craft beers, as well as a chic cocktail bar for those in pursuit of an intimate tête-à-tête.
How to get there: The train from London Victoria to Brighton takes roughly an hour.
Housed in an elegantly restored, Grade II Listed Georgian town house in Margate, this luxury boutique hotel has just three spacious guest-rooms, each spanning an entire floor. All three rooms boast original period features, antique wood floors, roll-top baths and Farrow & Ball lacquered walls. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the tree lined Georgian square and private dining tables on which breakfast is served at any time you fancy add a further sprinkling of splendour.
Less than five minutes walk from the beach, the Old Town and Turner Contemporary, The Reading Rooms is superbly located, and a great spot from which to explore the faded grandeur of one of Britain's historic seaside towns. Given the bedrooms are the main event here, make sure you book dinner in town in advance.
How to get there: The train from Victoria to Margate takes just under two hours.
A sumptuous spa with an indoor and outdoor pool, croquet lawns, cosy tea rooms and the proximity of unblemished Climping beach make Bailiffscourt Court the ultimate coastal getaway.
Set in more than thirty acres of private parkland, the Medieval-style manor-cum-hotel also boasts a 13th-century chapel, an inner rose-clad courtyard, a tennis court, thirty nine individually decorated bedroom suites and a restaurant serving top-notch French style food. A family of audacious peacocks roam wild and make home here, too.
It's equally suited to a romantic weekend à deux or an adventurous, spoiling weekend en famille. Browse special offers when booking, as one night in medieval grandeur commands a rather hefty fee.
How to get there: Travel by train is a palaver, so travel by car if possible. The journey by car takes just a little over two hours from London.
With cobbled streets, tiny passageways, quintessential English tea shops, antique dealers and gorgeous Medieval architecture, Rye is a calming oasis far removed from the hustle and bustle of London. Add to this, the proximity of the rolling white beaches of Camber Sands and it's no wonder Rye's rated one of Britain's best mini-break destinations.
The rise of weekenders has triggered a boutique-hotel boom in Rye in recent years. But the cream of the crop remains charming coaching-inn conversion, The George in Rye. Its informal atmosphere, freshly revamped interiors and seasonal European menu courtesy of Head Chef Andrew Billings make for a comfortable and indulgent weekend by the sea. Plus, there are board games aplenty to occupy little ones on rainy days, and lavender-filled pillows for those in need of rest and relaxation.
How to get there: The train from King's Cross St Pancras to Rye takes just over an hour and a half.
While many flock to neighbouring Whitstable and Broadstairs, the influx of restaurants, bars and beach-chic hotels in recent years make Ramsgate a weekend destination in its own right. Perched ontop of East Cliff overlooking the Royal Harbour is Albion House – a jewel in Ramsgate's crown.
Run by husband-and-wife team Ben and Irvine, this plush converted Regency townhouse has 14 stylish bedrooms, and a buzzing bar and restaurant. Original Georgian features including high ceilings, ornate cornicing and wrought iron balconies are complemented by an eclectic mix of contemporary design. It may not be first degree in opulence, but it's an informal and affordable beachside hotel with a youthful air and plenty of charm.
How to get there: The train from London St Pancras to Ramsgate takes about one hour and forty-five minutes.
Residing at the heart of one of England's most charming hamlets, this revived sixteenth-century manor house boasts of 23 boutique rooms affording sweeping views of the Dorset coastline, two Bamford spa treatment rooms, and a Conservatory Restaurant serving a kitchen-garden menu.
That it's family friendly, tastefully decorated in heritage design and a stone throw's from Studland Bay is the icing on the cake. Boots and umbrellas are on hand for all-weather walkers, and babysitting is available for parents looking for a night off. There's no pool, nor is there vast amounts of space to relax indoors. But here, it's all about recharging, embracing the elements and enjoying the great outdoors.
How to get there: A train from London Waterloo to Weymouth takes around two hours. From there it is about 20 minutes by car.
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