Britain’s Best Coastal Hotels

Here is my selection of Britain's best coastal hotels from Scotland to Cornwall, and everything in between...


Not many hotels own two boats for the use of guests. At the Nare on Cornwall’s enchanting Roseland Peninsula a 38-foot motor launch called the Alice Rose is available every Tuesday and Saturday in spring and summer - and there’s also a four-person yacht for hire. Guests board the Alice Rose eight miles away in Tolverne and the cruise begins down the beautiful River Fal, a ria or drowned valley with lush vegetation on all sides. Heading further out to sea, the Alice Rose passes Falmouth and Pendennis Castle before turning up the Helford River, another delightful ria before mooring for lunch. The round trip costs £85 person and includes drinks, house wine and lunch. Guests are back at the hotel by 4pm. 

The hotel ’s yacht is called Maggie O’Nare, a modern craft with red sails designed along the lines of a traditional Cornish crabber. She can be chartered for a day of fishing and/or swimming. The half-day rate is £230 and the full-day rate £290. This includes the services of skipper, Toby Ashworth, who also happens to be the proprietor of the Nare. It was Toby’s grandmother who bought the Nare 25 years ago, furnishing it as a family home by the sea. Although much enlarged and now with two restaurants and two swimming pools, the Nare still has the feel of a country house with the good fortune to overlook Carne Beach and the South West Coastal Path. 

The hotel’s dining room has sea views on three sides and serves local Portloe lobster every evening. The dining room benefits greatly from the hotel’s Quarterdeck Restaurant nearby, where youngsters under seven are fed in the evening after 7.30pm. This traditional idea of making sure that children are fed but not heard is a boon for those who want to enjoy a quiet five-course table d’hote dinner - but also for the parents of young children who want to be able to eat without saying sorry all the time.

The country house hotel by the sea