Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, an anniversary or special occasion – what better way to express your love than by sharing a couple of days immersed in the seaside? Here, the Coast team select some of the most romantic coastal getaways in the UK.

Words: Nicola SmithMadeleine Barber, Jessie Johnson and Caroline Wheater

The Dairy, Roseland, Cornwall

This plush converted 1930s barn on Cornwall’s dreamy Roseland peninsula combines Scandinavian-esque creams and whites with oak flooring and exposed beams, creating a homely haven that also boasts far reaching sea views. Explore the beautiful coast path on your doorstep, or hop on the ferry to bustling Falmouth to browse its shops and galleries, before treating yourselves to a meal at Olga Polizzi’s renowned Tresanton in nearby St Mawes, tucking into the catch of the day as St Anthony’s lighthouse, across the bay, lights up the water.

HOW TO BOOK: The Dairy is available to rent from £466 per week (cornishgems.com).


Kittiwake, Isle of Mull, Argyll

Made entirely from Mull wood cut on site by wood-sculptor and owner Matthew, this rustic hill-top cabin is refreshingly authentic. The roof is topped by an old workaday wooden rowing boat – a tribute to the Hebridean island’s rich maritime heritage. The cabin is set in peaceful woodland that hides secret sculpture trails and arty finds within. These are part of the host’s art centre, named ‘Art in Nature’,  which lies 200 metres away and offers creative courses and exhibitions. The cabin rooms are tastefully decorated with seashore hues and pops of  bright colour. The brass bed and wooden furniture are kept cosy by  a wood-burning stove, and artistic touches can be found throughout. A sandy stretch with turquoise waters sits just 300 metres away. Or take a peek into Tobermory port with its picturesque painted houses, which isn’t very far.

HOW TO BOOK: From £75 for two people to stay the night (canopyandstars.co.uk).


The Gallivant, Camber Sands, East Sussex

Hang your hat just 300 metres from the beach in this California-inspired restaurant with rooms, where as much attention to detail has gone into the thread count of the linen sheets as the decadent Larder of Guilty Pleasures, which hides such treats as the delectable Goupie chocolate, made just down the road. Spend the day ambling around the nearby ancient hilltop town of Rye, with its cobbled streets and eclectic shops, before returning for some good local fayre: 95 per cent of the ingredients at The Gallivant are sourced from within 10 miles, and the chefs’ CVs include Buckingham Palace and The Dorchester.

HOW TO BOOK: ‘Bigger rooms’ start at £287 per night. There is a minimum two-night stay at weekends. Read our review of The Gallivant.


Beach Cove Coastal Retreat, Ilfracombe, Devon

Beach huts by name, but not by nature, Beach Cove’s roomy clapboard pads are set into the cliffside at Hele Bay, near Ilfracombe on Devon’s north coast. Book the Cairnwood Premier Sea View and relax in your private hot tub as the waves dance beneath you. Cycle the Tarka Trail, a 30-mile traffic-free route running between Braunton and Meeth, and finish the day with dinner at The Quay restaurant, Damien Hirst’s eatery on Ilfracombe harbour.

HOW TO BOOK: The Cairnwood Premier Sea View is available to rent from £370 for three nights (hoseasons.co.uk).

Want more Devon stays? Discover our Top 10 Coastal Hotels in Devon

The Retreat, Sandsend, North Yorks

You expect a property to have style when it’s the former home of a Vogue editor, and this 17th-century two-bedroom hideaway doesn’t disappoint, combining cosiness with a pastoral elegance. Sitting a few miles from Whitby, and a short walk from the village of Sandsend, the Retreat even has views of the North Yorkshire coast from the master bedroom. Take the steam train over the North Yorkshire Moors, enjoying a glass of winter Pimms before you dine in the classic Pullman carriage.

HOW TO BOOK: The Retreat is available to rent for a minimum of two days from £650 (gorgeouscottages.com).


Drakes, Brighton, Sussex

This seafront hotel smacks of all the good things in life – sea views, bespoke cocktails, craft beers and a restaurant which has been awarded the highest score of all Brighton restaurants in The Good Food Guide 2016. Check into the Signature Room, with views over Brighton Pier from the chaise longue and the freestanding bath, before splashing out on the VIP Champagne experience on the Big Wheel, sipping bubbly from the capsule as you soar above Brighton Beach.

HOW TO BOOK: The Signature Room at Drakes starts at £300 per night for a room only.


Rathmullan House, County Donegal, Ireland

Step back in time when you check into this grand country house in County Donegal, with wide-reaching views over Lough Swilly. Take a beach trek on horseback before returning for a pre-dinner dip in the indoor pool. The food, served in the hotel’s Cook & Gardner restaurant, is locally sourced – in part from its own walled garden. Book one of the hotel’s Superior Rooms, complete with Lough Swilly views, and snuggle into the king-size bed – but not before a cheeky night cap in the Library.

HOW TO BOOK: A Superior Room starts at €100 (£70) per person B&B (rathmullanhouse.com).


Jan de Groot, John O’Groats, Scotland

With views of the Pentland Firth, immerse yourselves in the remote North of Scotland while enjoying some rustic luxury. The one-bedroom Penthouse Suite, part of the Inn at John O’Groats, has numerous large windows that bring the dramatic outside in. Start the day with breakfast at the Inn’s Storehouse café, before hiring bikes and exploring the North Sea Cycle Route with views of the Orkney islands of Stroma and Hoy. Warm up with a tour of the Old Pultney Distillery, followed by a dram of whisky, before returning for sustenance from the welcome hamper of local food and wine.

HOW TO BOOK: Jan de Groot is available to rent from £87 per night (traveltogether.co.uk).


Fowey Harbour Hotel, Fowey, Cornwall

Perched with its toes in the sea, this seafront hotel dates back to 1882 and exudes grandeur, with its ornate Victorian lift, lofty ceilings and sea-view drawing room. Treat yourself to the Harbour’s Afternoon Tea, including pastries, cakes and homemade scones, with an accompanying bottle of fizz or perhaps a cocktail or two. But first, take a stroll to Readymoney Cove, or head to the Eden Project for a turn on its seasonal ice-skating rink.

HOW TO BOOK: Rooms cost from £160 per night (harbourhotels.co.uk/fowey).


The Broch, Borve, Isle of Harris

From the outside, The Broch looks like an ancient Roman watchtower, but from the inside, it’s an Art-Deco lovers’ paradise. Navigate the cylindrical build and climb the windblown beech tree and iron-woven staircase to the third floor bedroom, where you’ll  find a four-poster bed and circular skylight, perfect for stargazing. Underfloor heating and two fireplaces keep visitors toasty warm and with views over the Sound  of Taransay, the sea is never very far. Find golden sand at the mouth of Allt Borgh Beag river, which is nearby.

HOW TO BOOK: For three nights in February, two people can stay here for £514 (borvelodge.com).


Clifftop Railway Carriage, Ceredigion, Wales

Charming and pleasingly original, this Edwardian railway carriage has been converted into a lavish seaside escape with breathtaking 180-degree views of the famed Cardigan Bay from its clifftop location. Spot cormorants and kestrels in the air and dolphins and seals in the sea from each passenger window before relaxing in front of the fire in the contemporary open-plan kitchen/dining/living room. The carriage also has French doors opening out on to a sun deck for a romantic breakfast on those crisp, sunny mornings. The sandy Blue Flag beach at Aberporth is just a couple of hundred metres away, and the Ceredigion Coast Path runs nearby.

HOW TO BOOK: To rent the carriage for one week, prices start at £380. Sleeps two (welsh-cottages.co.uk).


The Coastguard Lookout, Dungeness, Kent

Isolated, stylish and quirky – this bolthole has it all. Sat in the middle of the pebbles on Dungeness’ quiet shores, this former coastguard’s lookout has been reborn by interior architecture firm Johnson Naylor. It’s retained the original 50s structure, while integrating quality furnishings such as limestone floors. The minimalist design calls for  no doors – simply walls – and a metal staircase that oozes modernity. Not one for young children, this eccentric seaside escape is the perfect love nest where you can step out of the tower and on to the beach.

HOW TO BOOK: Prices start from £744 (bloomstays.com). Photo: Visit Kent


The Pigsty, Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire

This Mediterranean-inspired sty was built in the nineteenth century by Squire Barry of Fyling Hall as a home for his pigs. Now, it’s a small  but comfortable place to stay for those with a hankering for history. The sty embraces compact living on one floor, and although not palatial, its location – sandwiched between the North York Moors and the sea – is fit for a king. The Landmark Trust has lovingly restored and maintained the ancient property, including its iconic timber columns, so that the sty is better suited to a much higher breed of inhabitant. Enjoy views over the undulating Yorkshire hills towards the glistening horizon of Robin Hood’s Bay, which is within easy walking distance – approximately one mile. Once there, you’ll find a long stretch of golden sand to explore.

HOW TO BOOK: Sleeping two, The Pigsty costs £260 for four nights (landmarktrust.org.uk). Photo: The Landmark Trust


Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye, Scotland

For roaring fires and whisky on tap – plus out-of-this-world scenery. Kinloch Lodge, nestled at the head of Loch na Dal, is a romantic’s dream. Indulge in breakfast in a bed dressed with crisp Egyptian linen and cosy lambswool blankets, piled high with pillows. On arrival, guests can order champagne with chocolate-dipped strawberries or oysters straight to the room. You can also try a wilderness experience and learn to walk, forage and fish the Highlands with your own Skye ghillie. Draw out a romantic dinner at Kinloch’s fabulous restaurant, bringing the island and its local ingredients to life for guests in its dining room.

The ‘Digital Detox’ package – have your phone stored away in a safe place on this two-night stay, which includes a Botanical back massage and dinner on both nights – prices start from around £479 per person (01471 833333, kinloch-lodge.co.uk).

Penally Abbey, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Many of the views from this grand Victorian house frame a wild Irish Sea stretching out to Tenby and the monastic Caldey Island – though you’d be hard-pressed to leave the snugly quilted beds. Take a magical stroll along the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, then return to the hotel and enjoy home-cooked food to soothe the soul. The Rhosyn restaraunt has 2 AA Rosettes and serves up the very best seasonal Welsh cuisine in the elegant, sea-facing dining room.
HOW TO BOOK: A two-night weekend stay starts from around £320 based on two people sharing (01834 843033, penally-abbey.com).

Cliffside, Whitsand Bay, Cornwall 

Hunker down in this tiny wooden cabin on the cliffs above Whitsand Bay (130m down a narrow sandy path) and escape the stresses of everyday life. Glass bi-fold doors offer 180-degree views of the Rame Peninsula, with an open-air shower for those brave enough to swim or surf out of season. Lauded restaurant The View is also just a 15-minute walk away.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices for a three-night stay start from around £429 (01637 861005, beachretreats.co.uk).

The Clockhouse, Ventor, Isle of Wight

Originally part of the stables of majestic Steephill Castle, The Clock House has been converted into a characterful hideaway. From the bedroom, a door opens onto a Victorian conservatory leading out into a private garden. After cycling the island or strolling along Ventnor Beach, retreat  for a heavenly soak in the elegant ball and claw-footed Victorian bath. Nearby Ventnor Botanic Garden is home to Edulis restaurant, where visitors can feast on hearty lunches served with home-grown salads, vegetables and fruits.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices for a week-stay start from around £339 (01929 481555, holidaycottages.co.uk).

Dunbrody Country House Hotel, Wexford, Ireland

Anywhere famed for its champagne breakfasts in bed (served up to noon, with a late check-out service available), scores brownie points with us. Nestled on the Hook Peninsula, this Georgian manor is set in 300 acres of parkland. Sign up for a masterclass at the in-house cookery school or treat yourself to a pampering spa ritual. Try award-winning restaurant The Harvest Room, or the more casual Champagne & Seafood Bar during your visit.
HOW TO BOOK: A ‘Love Nest’ package, including a romantic menu and B&B, starts from €395pp based on double sharing (+353 51 389600, irelandsbluebook.com).

Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, Arundel, West Sussex

For four-poster beds, roaring fires and ancient beams at a luxury coastal manor house. An indoor pool, steam room, sauna and a treatment-packed spa menu offer the perfect chance for a pamper. Head to Tapestry Restaurant for a gorgeous candlelit dinner.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices start from around £250pn B&B based on two people sharing, including full use of the spa (0800 0893929, prideofbritainhotels.com).

Dart Marina, River Dart, Dartmouth

Perched on the edge of the river, these luxurious self-catering spaces offer a perfect nest for two. Explore coastal paths, hidden coves and the award-winning beach at Blackpool Sands (a 10-minute drive away) or idle away an afternoon watching the comings and goings on the river with a glass of fizz. Luxuries include fluffy towels and REN toiletries. Cook up a feast in the contemporary Poggenpohl kitchen or walk a few yards to neighbouring River Restaurant for delicious local mussels and West Country cheeses.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices start from around £613 per week (01548 843773, coastandcountry.co.uk).

The Chalet, Carbis Bay, Cornwall

This luxurious chalet sits atop Hawkes Point, offering a dreamy lookout to the beautiful white sands of Carbis Bay and Porthkidney beaches, under a 10-minute walk away. Hit the southwest coastal pathways, take a private surf lesson with your other half at St Ives Surf School or indulge in an afternoon tipple at boutique wine merchants and deli Scarlet Wines, in nearby Hayle. Source some local fish and cook up a storm from the white Corian worktops of the chalet kitchen or amble down to Porthminster Beach Café for a taste of seafood heaven right on your doorstep.
HOW TO BOOK: A three-night break starts from around £780 (01872 241241, cornishgems.com).

Woodside Bay Treehouse, Wooten Bridge, Isle of Wight

Tree houses are not just for kids, as this bijou, luxury getaway proves. The open-plan sleeping, living and dining area is centrally heated and warmed by a woodburner, there’s a flat-screen TV to watch a favourite film on, while tasty love nibbles can be whizzed up on the gas hob and microwave. The outdoor terrace is a stargazer’s delight, especially after a soak in the private hot tub. If the cuddling schedule allows, there’s a well equipped gym at nearby Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat and treatment rooms for massages and manicures.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices for a three-night break start from £659 (0345 4986060, hoseasons.co.uk).

Inis Meain, Aran Islands, Galway 

For over 10 years, Inis Meáin has been offering guests solace and seclusion in spectacular style. Every detail of the lodge is inspired by the natural beauty of the location – the least developed of Ireland’s three Aran Islands – from stone walls and woollen fabrics to the muted interior palette. The five guest suites are furnished with super-king beds and Philippe Starck bathrooms, and each has panoramic views of the island and the wild Atlantic Ocean beyond. Get lovey-dovey over the four-course gourmet dinner menu that changes nightly, and by day work off some of the calories by exploring the 5km-x-3km speck on foot and by bicycle.
HOW TO BOOK: Open from March to September, prices for a two-night stay start from around €700 (inismeain.com).

Isle of Eriska Hotel & Spa, Nr Oban, West Argyll

Seclusion is guaranteed at this five-star Scottish dream, occupying a 300-acre island that overlooks majestic Loch Linnhe and the Morvern mountains. Log fires create a hospitable mood in the hall, library, drawing room and piano room, where guests can mooch or have drinks before dining in one of two restaurants. The Spa is unmissable too, with a swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi, as well as a range of treatments to enjoy. With a total of 34 bedrooms at the hotel, the six Hilltop Reserve apartments have some of the finest views, best taken in from the private deck and hot tub overlooking the loch.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices from £450 per night at a Hilltop Reserve, available as B&B or self-catering (01631 720371, eriska-hotel.co.uk).

The Ship at Dunwich, Suffolk

Dunwich, once a medieval port, is now surrounded by nature reserves, wild beach and heathland. Tucked between Southwold and Aldeburgh, The Ship is a great base for exploring the coastline, and welcomes dogs too. The en-suite rooms are cosy, with iron bedsteads and feather pillows and duvets, perfect for curling up together into the night.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices for a one-night stay from around £120 per room, based on two sharing, including full English breakfast (01728 648219, shipatdunwich.co.uk).

Fisherman’s Loft, Porthleven, South Cornwall

You can’t get much closer to the waves than staying in this thoughtfully converted net loft on Porthleven Harbour, which looks out over the sea wall towards Mount’s Bay. Prettily decorated in coastal blues and whites, the loft sleeps two snugly – the double bed is only 4ft 6in wide, a factor which is more than made up for with the sea views you’ll catch from the bedroom window when you wake up. There are period details everywhere – a cobbled terrace to drink your coffee from, exposed beams, lime-washed stone walls, all complementing a very cosy open plan kitchen and living area
with gas flame fire.
HOW TO BOOK: A 7-night break costs from £485 (01326 574270, porthlevenholidaycottages.co.uk).

Little Pearl, Robin’s Hood Bay, Yorkshire 

Be snug as bugs at this cute bolthole in the heart of a former smuggler’s village. Once you’ve explored ancient streets, checked out the independent shops, and inspected the rock pools, cottage comforts await. Stoke up the stove and turn on the Nespresso coffee machine before curling up on the French chaise longue to catch up on missed TV dramas. Then retire upstairs to the king-size bed and monsoon shower for the sweetest of dreams.
HOW TO BOOK: A three-night break at Little Pearl costs from around £325 (01642 263249, gorgeouscottages.com).

The Seaside Boarding House, Burton Bradstock, West Dorset

This classically stylish boutique hotel overlooks the Jurassic Coast, where fossil-hunting forays, beachcombing and mackerel-fishing trips beckon. The nine spacious bedrooms all have sea or cliff-top views over Lyme Bay, a radio to listen to and piles of books to pore over. Food is a highlight and seafood options range from tranche of turbot to half lobsters and crab sarnies. An elegant afternoon tea is also served, comprising scones, clotted cream, homemade strawberry jam, and dainty crustless sandwiches.
HOW TO BOOK: Prices from around £154 for two sharing a double room, per night, with breakfast (01308 897205, theseasideboardinghouse.com).

Shell Haven for Two, Amroth, Pembrokeshire

The vast sweep of Carmarthen Bay is waiting to be discovered at Shell Haven for Two, a split-level bungalow with a conservatory that leads out onto an elevated deck. Gaze at leisure over the sandy beach and pretty seafront of Amroth, below, accessed from a gate in the garden. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path begins at Amroth Castle, from where you can walk hand in hand across emerald green cliffs to the popular harbour village of Saundersfoot. Beyond that is Monkstone Point, with views to make your heart beat a little faster.
HOW TO BOOK: A three-night break at Shell Haven for Two costs from around £349 (01437 767600, coastalcottages.co.uk).

Doyden Castle, Port Quin, North Cornwall

Take your prince or princess to stay in this cliff teetering folly-cum-fortress, built in 1830 on a secluded headland on Cornwall’s dramatic north coast. Weather-watching is a given here – there’s no wifi – while the property’s proximity to the fabled South West Coast Path means that it’s easy to stride out towards surf beach Polzeath in one direction, and higgledy-piggledy Port Isaac – the setting for ITV’s popular Doc Martin series – in the other. An open fire and neo-Gothic windows with outstanding views add to the sense of adventure.
HOW TO BOOK: Price for a three-night stay from around £557 (nationaltrust.org.uk).

For more holiday inspiration, take a look at our coastal guides or reviews of places to stay. Engaged? We’ve picked out the top 12 weddings by the sea. Also, keep up to date with our latest travel features in the magazine.