How to find off-the-beaten-path seaside towns in the UK for a quiet getaway?

11 June 2024

Are you searching for the perfect escape from the daily grind? If so, the stunning coastline of England is teeming with hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. From idyllic beaches with panoramic views to quaint seaside villages, there's a destination that will make you feel like you've stepped into a postcard.

When it comes to seaside towns, England is spoilt for choice. However, not all beaches are created equal. Some allure with their untouched beauty, others charm with their local appeal, and a few simply take your breath away. Let us aid you in your quest to uncover these off-the-beaten-path treasures.

Discover the Spectacular Town of St. Ives

Situated in the South West of England, St. Ives is a must-visit seaside town that remains a well-kept secret among locals. The town's narrow cobbled streets are filled with unique boutiques, inviting pubs, and art galleries, including the renowned Tate St. Ives.

The beaches in St. Ives are some of the best in England. Porthmeor Beach, for instance, is a surfer’s paradise complete with golden sand and turquoise waters. The views from this beach are fantastic, especially during sunset when the sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues.

You can also nurture your artistic side by visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which is home to many of the artist's remarkable sculptures. St. Ives offers the best of both worlds: beautiful beaches and a rich cultural heritage.

Venture South to the Hidden Gem of Beer

Nestled along the Jurassic Coast in South East Devon, Beer is a picturesque village largely untouched by modern development. This tiny nook is a wonderful place to unwind and experience England at its most authentic.

Beer Beach, sheltered by dramatic white cliffs, offers a peaceful spot for sunbathing or simply soaking in the views. If you prefer a more active day, you can charter a local fishing boat or explore the magnificent Beer Quarry Caves, which have been in operation since Roman times.

Accommodations in Beer are equally charming. You can choose to stay in a cozy bed-and-breakfast or a traditional inn offering panoramic views of the bay. This village is a testament to the notion that size does not define beauty or experience.

The Unassuming Charm of Whitstable

Located on the north coast of Kent, Whitstable is a town that combines the best of old and new. It's famous for oysters, which have been harvested in the town since Roman times and are celebrated each year with the Whitstable Oyster Festival.

Whitstable's pebbly beach, lined with colourful beach huts, offers a different experience to the sandy beaches found elsewhere. From here, you can savor a panoramic view of the island of Sheppey across the Thames Estuary.

The town is also known for its independent shops and art galleries, where you can find everything from vintage clothes to locally made crafts. Stay in a boutique hotel and eat in one of the many seafood restaurants for a complete Whitstable experience.

Experience the Solitude of Holy Island

Holy Island, or Lindisfarne, is a tidal island off the northeast coast of England. The island is known for its rich history, including Lindisfarne Castle and the ruins of Lindisfarne Priory.

At low tide, you can walk or drive across a causeway to the island. However, be sure to check the tide times before you go, as the causeway can be covered by the North Sea twice a day. The island's beaches are a haven of tranquility, where you can enjoy undisturbed views of the mainland.

The island also offers a selection of local accommodation, from quaint inns to self-catering cottages. Visiting Holy Island is like stepping back in time, where the hustle and bustle of modern life feels a world away.

Uncover the Wonders of Mousehole

Mousehole, pronounced "Mowzel", is a small fishing village located at the eastern end of Mount's Bay in Cornwall. This picturesque village is famous for its narrow streets, charming houses, and the Mousehole Harbour beach.

The village is also the setting for the popular children's book 'The Mousehole Cat'. During the Christmas season, Mousehole is known for its impressive light display that attracts visitors from around the world.

Stay in a local guesthouse and dine in a traditional pub to fully experience this delightful village. From Mousehole, you can also visit other nearby attractions such as Land's End, the Minack Theatre, and St. Michael's Mount.

Whether you're an explorer at heart or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, these off-the-beaten-path seaside towns and villages in England offer something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your getaway today.

Enjoy the Tranquillity of Aldeburgh

Tucked away in East Sussex, Aldeburgh is a hidden gem worth discovering. Once a prominent Tudor port, this picturesque coastal town has much to offer. The high street is lined with local shops, charming boutiques, and award-winning restaurants where you can sample the finest local cuisine.

Aldeburgh’s pebble beach, where fishing boats rest, is a beautiful spot to enjoy the salty breeze and the sight of the waves rolling in. Be sure to visit the famous Scallop sculpture by Maggi Hambling, a tribute to the composer Benjamin Britten.

For a slice of history, you can visit the Moot Hall Museum, a timber-framed building from the 16th century. Here, you can learn about the town’s fascinating past and its connection to the sea.

Local Airbnbs often provide the best accommodation experience in Aldeburgh. These hidden gems, often located near the beach, offer a unique and personal touch to your stay. Most of these rentals have a cosy atmosphere and are equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Remember: The best time to visit Aldeburgh is in the summer when the weather is warm and you can enjoy the beach to its fullest.

Delight in the Rural Beauty of Salcombe

Salcombe, in the South West, is one of England's best-kept secrets. This harbour town's beauty is defined by its clear waters, sandy beaches and lush countryside. Salcombe is the perfect place for a day trip or a quiet weekend getaway.

The town's waterfront is lined with pastel-coloured houses, adding to its charming appeal. For outdoor enthusiasts, there are numerous walking trails offering stunning views of the estuary and the surrounding countryside. Moreover, Salcombe is a popular yachting and boating spot, with many options for boat rentals.

Sampling the area's local seafood is a must. You'll find a range of restaurants offering fresh, locally-sourced seafood. Salcombe crab is a local speciality that is not to be missed.

Local Airbnbs are available in Salcombe, providing a comfortable base from which to explore the town and its surroundings. These are often situated in idyllic locations, offering stunning views and easy access to the town centre.

Remember: Salcombe is a popular destination during the summer months, so book your accommodation in advance to secure the best spots.


Undoubtedly, England's coastline boasts a wealth of hidden gems. Away from the tourist crowds, these off-the-beaten-path seaside towns offer a unique blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and local culture. From the artsy streets of St. Ives to the peaceful shores of Beer, from the oyster town of Whitstable to the serene Holy Island, and from the quaint village of Mousehole to the tranquil Aldeburgh and picturesque Salcombe, there's something for everyone.

Local Airbnbs, often tucked away in these towns, provide the perfect accommodation for a truly immersive experience. It's worth noting that the best time to explore these towns is typically during the summer months, although they each have their own unique charm year-round.

So pack your bags, venture forth, and discover what these hidden gems in England have to offer. It's time to start planning your next getaway. Whether you're an avid photographer, a history buff, a foodie, or simply someone looking for a peaceful retreat, these seaside towns promise an unforgettable experience. Life's a beach, especially when you're exploring England’s best-kept secrets.

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