There is a little corner of the East Sussex coast, just a little jaunt from the bright lights of London that sits happily on the seafront offering a quiet weekend of pared back designer homes, lengthy strolls, and evenings on the back porch. Unique Homestays have three of the best right here, ready and waiting to be the base for adventures with your four-legged friends and I have been lucky enough to indulge in all three.

Between Winchelsea and Rye, and following the coast, is a large nature reserve with plenty of birdlife and easy walking paths. Wherever you stay you can easily drop onto these paths and stroll for miles, returning along the beach, meandering through the dunes and, of course visiting the very best little café tucked away in Rye harbour.

Hawkhurst itself sits on the harbour and has a sheltered, landscaped back garden with a sunken firepit for sheltered evenings wrapped in cosy blankets enjoying a glass of wine after the day’s expeditions. Added to this, it is just a hop and a skip from a fabulous gastro pub which serves the very best salads and Greek influenced fare. I am partial to an early morning stroll, so getting up for breakfast at the café just over the bridge allows a hearty and healthy start to my day before heading off on the path through the reserve and turning back to allow time for some rummaging in the art stores or enjoying some time with the children at the School of Wizards and Witches in Rye.

In Winchelsea, further along this path sits the ultra-cool beach house which is The Matchbox, one of those houses destined to echo with the laughter of children and the clatter of buckets and spades. This house offers the very best views of the reserve, so much so, that I was not fully concentrating on what anyone said to me as I lost myself in its horizons…what did I just agree to? I think the children may have spent an hour more indulging in TV than I would normally allow – perhaps the mellow vibe of the house is a little intoxicating. I do love those homes where you feel the family can spread and relax without worry. Again, there are miles of walks from the door and a cute village green, even a spattering of shops in the village for those essentials which means you can live car-free for the weekend.

Tucked just a little further inland, exceptionally peaceful and wonderfully close to a fabulous little deli is the beautiful Ammonite. The parking is easy, just by the perfect picket fence, and the cottage is serenity personified. The light in the house just flows, spilling warmth through the windows and encouraging you to linger longer over your morning coffee. This is one of those homes that is very hard to leave, even as far as the beach, and one of those homes I cannot wait to return to at the end of the day with my faithful scruffy pooch by my side and a pile of board games for family evenings on the deck.

There is nothing to lose in a weekend escape here, except the cares of the week, so the only question is really, which is the home for you… or, like me, will you gradually indulge in them all?