With eccentric architecture and walls steeped in history, these extraordinary rentals will transport your seaside holidays back in time. Words: Madeleine Barber

DOYDEN CASTLE, Port Quin, Cornwall

WHY HERE? As if the breathtaking ocean views weren’t enough to entice you, this cliff-top hideaway has a decadent history of feasting, drinking and all-round merriment. The building was erected in 1830 by a wealthy hedonist named Samuel Symons, who would entertain his friends here – the wine bins in the cellar remain to this day.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Two original arched stone windows flood the spacious bedroom with light, while a country-style kitchen with roaring fire is ideal for preparing a romantic meal. A dining table with sweeping sea views adds to the romance.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? The popular beaches of Rock, Polzeath and Port Isaac are all within four miles.
WHAT DOES IT COST? For two to stay for seven nights, prices start at £725.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 0344 335 1287 or visit nationaltrustholidays.org.uk.

FORT LEICESTER, Bouley Bay, Trinity, Jersey

WHY HERE? Fort Leicester was built in the 19th century to defend the north coast of Jersey against French invasion. On the lower level, inside a German searchlight position that was added during the island’s occupation in World War II, you’ll find a kitchen, lounge and dining area with patio doors that open onto a terrace. The guardhouse on the upper level contains the bedrooms and bathrooms, which are divided into separate buildings accessed by outdoor paths. Its remote location means that there’s no TV signal, making it the ideal spot for a digital detox.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? The original stone walls and convex ceilings are painted a bright white and amalgamated with exposed brickwork throughout. The largest bedroom sits on the top level and houses a wood-burning stove.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? The stony beach and deep waters of Bouley Bay are a short descent from the fort.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start at £1,188 per week. Sleeps eight.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01534 633304 or visit jerseyheritage.org.

TORRISDALE CASTLE, Carradale, Argyll

WHY HERE? Torrisdale Castle was built in 1815 with the help of Scottish architect James Gillespie Graham. Its walls are made of quarried sandstone and a turreted entrance porch exudes romance.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Try the Servants’ Quarters for a luxurious stay, far from how those rooms would have appeared in the 19th century. Guests here also enjoy exclusive use of a sauna and hot tub on the banks of the nearby river.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Torrisdale Bay is a 10-minute stroll away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices for the Servants’ Quarters start from £750 per week. Sleeps six.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01583 431233 or visit torrisdalecastle.com.


WHY HERE? Perched atop the white cliffs of Dover, views from Peverell’s Tower incorporate France on a clear day. This Norman tower was added to Dover Castle in the 13th century by Henry III. During a stay here, visitors have after-hours access to the grounds and battlements of Dover Castle – ideal for exploring at sunset.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Archaic surroundings are intermingled with luxury modern furnishings to give the interior the feel of a boutique B&B.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? A 20-minute walk away.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start at £701 per week. Sleeps two.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 0370 333 1187 or visit english-heritage.org.uk.

MAGHERINTEMPLE LODGE, Ballycastle, Co Antrim, Northern Ireland

WHY HERE? This gatehouse lodge guards the entrance to a grand Georgian property.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Homely and comfortable with terracotta floors.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Less than two miles away you’ll find Ballycastle Beach.
WHAT DOES IT COST? From £231 for a weekend. Sleeps four.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call +353 1 670 4733 or visit irishlandmark.com.

BATH TOWER, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales

WHY HERE? According to legend and Welsh imagination, Caernarfon is the seat of Imperial power. So when Edward I came to constructing his castle in the late-13th century, he made sure that it was superior to all the other Welsh battlements: look closely and you’ll see that its brickwork appears multicoloured. Bath Tower is one of eight built into the castle wall – it has sweeping views of the Menai Strait and is as close to the sea as you could wish to be.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? A spiral staircase links the ground-floor sleeping quarters of Edwardian garrison soldiers to a sitting room and kitchen. The third floor is made up of a double bedroom and sea-facing terrace.
WHERE’S THE NEAREST BEACH? Shingle shores are a short stroll across the Afon Seiont.
WHAT DOES IT COST? Prices start from £266 for four nights. Sleeps five.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01628 825925 or visit landmarktrust.org.uk.

WOODSPRING PRIORY, Kewstoke, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset

WHY HERE? The atmosphere is so serene you can almost hear an apple drop from a tree in the orchard next door.
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Period features abound. At the dining table, you can look up into the original church tower.
WHAT DOES IT COST? For four nights, prices start from £490. Sleeps eight.
HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01628 825925 or visit landmarktrust.org.uk.

For more places to stay on our coastlines, try seaside restaurants with rooms, tree top stays, and beach hut breaks.

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Or for more places to stay on our coastlines, try seaside restaurants with roomstree top stays, and beach hut breaks.