Desperate to leave the city for a long weekend? England has no shortage of beaches to bed down in, with rolling waves, sandy dunes and pebbled shores aplenty.
But a seaside stay doesn’t have to mean sleeping in a cramped holiday hut, or a musty B&B set miles away from the beach. Coastal areas can be home to some surprisingly avant-garde pieces of architecture, set within walking distance of the water’s edge.
Soak up the sea air and enjoy a morning dip on your doorstep from this crop of English beach villas.
Pobble House, Dungeness, Kent
Sleeps 10, from £618 for three nights
It might be England’s only desert, but when it comes to contemporary architecture Kent’s Dungeness is anything but barren. Guy Hollaway designed Pobble House in 2014, naming it after the ancient Kentish word for pebble. Its wood and steel exterior was chosen to blend with the landscape, but also weather beautifully as it ages. Wrap-around windows make the most of views across Dungeness’s flat shingled expanse, while interiors have been given the white-walled minimalist treatment.
Little Cottage, Praa Sands, Cornwall
Sleeps 11, from £1,330 for nights via Beachspoke
This light-filled residence in Cornwall’s Praa Sands offers sea views as well as a garden path that leads straight down to the beach. Soho House architect Alex Michaelis designed the home which, despite its name, is spacious enough to accommodate 11. After a long day in the sun, there’s a giant hammock, outdoor sofas and a jacuzzi to help relax, as well as a trampoline and slide if you still have energy to burn. Get a closer look.
Loma Beach house, Camber, East Sussex
Sleeps 14, from £449 per night via Dom Stay and Live
Wake up to Camber Sand’s rolling dunes at this eco-friendly beach home, which is powered by 100% renewable energy. Its interiors feature muted colours and plenty of concrete and wood, dotted with street art and sculptures. Loma Beach House opens to a south-facing garden and outdoor kitchen – perfect for escaping sunny day beach crowds.
Dune House, Thorpeness, Suffolk
There’s no shortage of sea views at this beachside home by Norwegian practice Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects. Its fully glazed lower half allows guests to soak up the landscape, while upstairs bedrooms and bathtubs look out over waves to the front and meadows to the back.
Guests won’t have far to go to sunbathe either, with the sandy shore steps away from the house’s huge open-plan living area.
Pagham House, Pagham, West Sussex
Sleeps 8, from $240 per night via Plans Matter
This minimal take on the beach house features folding glass walls which dissolve the barriers between inside and out, opening the home up to the sea air. James Wells Architects designed the single-storey property to frame panoramic views of the nearby pebble beach, with guests congregating in one large living area. An outdoor terrace offers a shady spot to hide from the midday sun, and a warm shower to wash off the salty water.