A way-marked track that follows the contours of a land carved out by time and tide, the England coast path traverses furrows and peaks, undulating and flexing where countryside and ocean meet. Covering an expanse of 2,800 miles, this rambling path sees sky-high cliffs, cerulean shorelines and little pockets of island civilization along the way. Itís no surprise that coastal town and village life is borne from a network of support; the reason for settling in these idyllic, salt-lashed spots centred around sustenance and survival, bound by tradition and desire to†lead a simpler life more in tune with nature.

From stone cottages in Cornwall to charismatic hideaways in Kent, these homes with easy access to the coast path practically beg you to lace up your boots, pack a picnic and head off on your very own merry adventure.


The Brandy Thief


In a Devonshire seafaring spot renowned for bootlegging, this historic cottage is as close to the ocean as you can get. As the South West Coast Path runs right outside the front door, all that's left to do is pick a direction. After a jam-packed day of wildlife spotting,†The Brandy Thief makes for a welcoming return. Come nightfall, cognac and soft blankets are by no means compulsory, but strongly recommended.

Sleeps: Up to six


Aphrodite


Situated just outside the enchanting fishing village of Boscastle in North Cornwall, Aphrodite whispers a soft spell of its own. A coastal chapel turned self-catering retreat, you neednít go far to discover tales of legend and fantasy. Itís as if monsters and magic rise from the very ground. Exploring this stretch of the coast path is nothing short of exhilarating: ancient woodlands hide crumbling ruins and patchwork fields turn into sheer cliffs that plummet to the ocean. When the sun begins to dip on the horizon, settle in front of the arched living room window to bathe in golden hues, tides oscillating in the distance.

Sleeps: Up to two


Umber Cottage


St Agnes has a vibrant community spirit at its core and, tucked away at the end of its most famous street, is†Umber Cottage. True to the classic Cornish coastline, expect colourful sea grasses buffeting in the breeze, golden sands, and the heady scent of coconut-gorse wafting across tumbling waves. Further south along the coast path, impressive engine houses pepper the cliff face, a stoic reminder of Cornwallís tin mining past. In the moodier months, wrap up warm and trundle down the lane from the cottage to watch the waves heave and surge, stars sparkling overhead.

Sleeps: Up to four


The Sanctuary


Along the south-eastern edge of the England Coast Path, the Hampshire coast offers a welcome break for beach lovers. Near the maritime town of Lymington, The Sanctuary is a joyful blend of coast and country;†as close to the New Forest as it is to the sea. With bicycles to borrow during your stay, cycling the coast path offers a different spin on exploration. In times gone by, this area was known for salt production and shipbuilding, now, it flaunts a nature reserve, the oldest lido in the UK and is often touted a yachtie's dream. Back at the house, as evening creeps in, sink into the hot tub with a crisp cucumber G&T to watch milky clouds drift across an opaline moon.

Sleeps: Up to two


The Chalk House

One of dozens of ancient dwellings that comprise this quaint old harbour town, The Chalk House†is a rarity amongst the tangle of fishermanís cottages with its warm stone faÁade and sprawling gardens. Made up of winding alleyways and crooked lanes that tumble down to the harbour wall, thereís a reason Dylan Thomas dubbed Mousehole the Ďloveliest village in Englandí. To satiate ramble-induced appetites, stop at one of the local seafood vendors to pick up fresh-off-the-boat goodies: a trip to the coast isn't complete without sampling the local fayre.

Sleeps: Up to four

If you want to discover Robin Hood's Bay and the Yorkshire coast, head to Bay View, while Found Tower is a stunning escape on the Suffolk coast. For other homes on the South West Coast Path, consider: Gypsea Rocks, Alba Beach House, Sea Cabin, Galleon, The Viewing Gallery, North Rock Beach House, Villa Boden, Sea Sentry, The Signal Station, Holanen, The Herringbone, The Oyster Catcher, The Fish Store, Ukiyo, The Spyglass, Infinity, Raffia, Beauport, Tamarisk Beach House, Elphinstone and our luxury beach huts at Whitsand Bay.