Finding family holiday homes in the UK in late July or August is easier than you think. We discovered some gorgeous houses to rent close to beaches and fun seaside towns from Whitby in North Yorkshire to Newquay in Cornwall. And since it’s a little last minute, we’ve made them easy to book too.
Holiday homes in Cornwall: Ocean Dreaming, Newquay
A modern townhouse over five floors, Ocean Dreaming is made for larger families or a multi-gen summer break. If Scandi-Seaside isn’t a thing, it needs to be invented to describe this holiday home’s sleek, beachy looks. Pale wood floors, huge skylights and floor to ceiling windows means it’s awash with natural light. However, if you really want dazzling, head up to the spectacular roof terrace overlooking Towan Beach and Newquay’s famous surf. It’s also a great space for kids, baby equipment is available and babysitting can be arranged too.
♦ 4 bedrooms ♦ 5 bathrooms ♦ roof terrace ♦ smart-home ♦ home-cinema ♦ chef available ♦ sleeps up to 8
Why Newquay holiday homes are so popular?
Apart from some of the UK’s greatest surfing beaches, Newquay is just great fun for kids. No, it’s not the Cornwall quaint of St. Ives or Marazion but it is plenty laid back. The seafood restaurants are excellent and for good coffee shops and boardwalk bars, it’s definitely the place. Beaches like Fistral and Towan do get busy in summer. Then, all you have to do is take a stroll along the South West Coast Path and keep your eyes open for sandy coves tucked off the tourist trail. However, if you’re here with young wannabe surfers there really is nowhere quite like Newquay to take lessons. Not for nothing does it host the Boardmasters Open every year.
Devon cottages to rent: The Lonely Goatherd, Lynmouth
The villages of Lynton and Lynmouth on the North Devon coast are known as Little Switzerland, hence The Lonely Goatherd. Which is in fact a cute 17th century cottage, beautifully restored and at the top of a hill overlooking the East Lyn Valley. No surprise to find it filled with original features, there’s even an inglenook fireplace. And if you want to admire the views, simply retire to the window seat and start gazing.
♦ 2 bedrooms ♦ 1 bathroom ♦ open plan kitchen, living and dining room ♦ riverside views ♦ sleeps up to 4
Why book family cottages in Lynmouth?
Prepare to be completely charmed by the twin villages of Lynmouth and Lynton in North Devon. Not only are they linked by a cliffside funicular, one of them has a toy museum and you can barely walk two steps without the temptation of a quaint tearoom. However, if that sounds a bit tame for kids, you’ll be pleased to know Lynmouth Beach is one of Devon’s best surfing beaches and the villages sit right on the edge of Exmoor National Park.
The Elegant Estuary, Appledore, North Devon
Tucked down a little cobbled lane in delightful Appledore, this cosy Devon holiday cottage couldn’t be sweeter. The master bedroom is tucked into the attic, there’s a gorgeous roll top bath and the courtyard garden is perfect for summer evenings. You’re only 10 minutes from Westward Ho! Blue Flag beach too, so water sport keen kids will be in heaven.
♦ 3 bedrooms ♦ 1 bathroom ♦ living room ♦ kitchen ♦ heated courtyard garden ♦ sleeps up to 4
Why book a holiday apartment in Appledore?
This area is wonderful for families. The colourful town of Bideford is just a few minutes away so you can drop in on the historic Pannier Market or just wander round the charming streets. The Tarka Trail is nearby too if you want to lace up your boots for a day’s walking. You can easily sail to Lundy Island to see Devon’s famous puffins, or hop on the ferry over the estuary to Instow Beach. Photogenic Clovelly is another near neighbour and if want more beaches, Blue Flag Westward Ho! as well as Croyde Bay and surfing legend Woolacombe are all within easy reach.
Rock Fish, Brixham, Devon
Traditional seaside townhouses don’t come much more deceptive than Rock Fish in Brixham. All classic Victorian from the outside but sleek and shiny indoors. We think you’ll love details like the enormous skylight in the dining room, although kids will probably be taken by the cute courtyard garden with pond – safely covered. Views feature big in all the rooms, which is good news as Brixham and its beaches are very sweet to see.
♦ 4 bedrooms ♦ 2 bathrooms ♦ courtyard garden ♦ sea views ♦ baby equipment available ♦ sleeps up to 7
Why book your seaside holiday in Brixham?
Brixham sits on the English Riviera and a mix of cobbled streets, historic harbour and pastel painted houses mean it’s photographed, a lot. So if it feels familiar that’s probably why, or it could just be the friendly atmosphere. There’s always plenty to see here from fishing trawlers heading out in the morning to a full-scale replica of Sir Francis Drake’s Golden Hind. Dartmouth is nearby and as for beaches, we suggest you start with peaceful Meadfoot and don’t even think about missing Riviera legend, Oddicombe.
Suffolk holiday homes: La Pampa, Southwold
Only a few minutes walk from Southwold Pier, this creative home has a very avant-garde vibe considering it’s set in one of England’s most classic seaside towns. The kitchen is stunning and opens onto to a lovely courtyard garden. From the top floor you can look out over the sea, you’ll even glimpse local marshlands in the distance on clear days. The vintage style will appeal to older kids and younger ones can expect to be totally taken with squashy sofas, piles of cushions and plenty of games.
♦ 4 bedrooms ♦ 2 bathrooms ♦ kitchen with courtyard garden ♦ living room ♦ pet-friendly ♦ sleeps up to 7
Why families love Southwold?
You’ll find Southwold completely irresistible. It’s a storybook seaside town from the eccentric lighthouse to lines of cheerful little huts trimmed along the golden sand beach. The town itself mixes good restaurants and surprisingly smart independent shops with grand seafront homes and brightly painted row houses. There’s a twice weekly market in the historic centre for local produce, arts and crafts. However, the real showstopper is Southwold Pier. A late Victorian, it’s famous for weird and wonderful slot machines. So stock up on loose change you’ll be expected to feed them endlessly, we promise.
Find holiday homes in Wales: Orchids and Cream, Conwy
Set in historic Conwy in North Wales, this sweet little holiday cottage is surrounded by medieval walls. But step inside and you’ll find it beautifully restored from gleaming parquet floors to a sleek new kitchen. Kids rooms are tucked up top in the attic and couldn’t be cuter. There’s a cosy log burning stove in the living room, however, you’ll probably get more use out of the walled patio garden at this time of year.
♦ 3 bedrooms ♦ 1 bathroom ♦ walled patio garden ♦ welcome hamper ♦ pet-friendly ♦ sleeps up to 6
Why Conwy is great fun for kids?
World Heritage Conwy comes good on medieval castles, the smallest house in the UK and wonderfully sprawling beaches. Snowdonia National Park is an easy day out, although you may want to do more than one. Shops and restaurants are minutes walk from Orchids and Cream, plus the local Clwyd area is packed with things to see and do. You can take a canal boat across the enormous Llangollen Viaduct or visit St. Asaph, the tiniest cathedral in Britain. Wales is also the land of castles and in summer most are keen to entertain kids. Conwy Morfa Beach is only a short drive from Conwy. And if you want a good old fashioned seaside fix, head to nearby Llandudno, Rhyl or Prestatyn.
Yorkshire family apartments: Fisherman’s Window, Whitby
Perfect for fishermen and families, this big, bright apartment sits in the heart of Whitby and looks out over the town’s famous harbour. You’re just five minutes walk from the historic 199 Steps and closer still to restaurants and shops. Each of the windows has cunningly arranged seating so you always have an excuse to do nothing but admire the views. Although fun Whitby is likely to prove a big temptation for energetic kids and you might have to ration your gazing time.
♦ 2 bedrooms ♦ 2 bathrooms ♦ large living room ♦ harbour views ♦ baby equipment available ♦ sleeps up to 4
Why book holiday homes in Whitby?
Apart from Dracula, Whitby is also famous for fabulous fish and chips and magnificent Whitby Abbey. Older kids need to hike up the historic 199 steps to look out over the town, however, younger ones can be let off the hook for a play on Whitby Beach instead. The local Dracula Tours are great fun, again probably for teenagers. Although you’ll find whale watching boat trips that are fun for everyone here. If you feel like a drive, head to Robin Hood’s Bay for more lovely beaches. Or lace up your boots properly and ramble through North York Moors National Park.
This article contains affiliate links. We may earn commission when you click on them. This does not influence our editorial standards. We only recommend products and services we believe will enhance your family travel experience.