England’s Best Destinations for Short Breaks by the Coast

England offers a great choice of options for short coastal breaks. Each part of England has its own unique seascapes and coastal scenes, just waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to short breaks, short drives of a few hours are the order of the day, so the best destination for your getaway, may well be somewhere truly beautiful, but not too far away in England! Here’s a selection of ideas, and some hopefully are not too far away for you.

Short Break Ideas in Different Parts of Coastal England

Some of England’s coastal gems for short breaks include;

  • Cornwall, Essex, Dorset, Kent, Northumberland, and Suffolk

Cornwall for Sandy Beaches, Surfing Beaches, Pretty Fishing Villages and Land’s End!

Cornwall with its superb sandy beaches and coves, is one of the UK’s top areas for coastal breaks and is ideal for week long breaks. For short breaks, whether Cornwall is an option for you or not, will very much depend on where you live. It can take 5 hours or more to get to parts of Cornwall from the South East, but if you live closer by then absolutely a short break can make perfect sense.

Cornwall has plenty of good surfing beaches if that is your thing. The county also has plenty of pleasant beaches for relaxing, sunbathing and maybe a spot of paddling with the kids. Fish and chip restaurants abound and this is a great part of England to enjoy the bounties that the sea has to offer.
If you are an adventure seeker, head to the Lizard Peninsula where lush greenery abounds, and quiet fishing villages await.

Aside from the Lizard, one of the most beautiful beaches and a fascinating place for a day trip, are Marazion and St Michael’s Mount! Marazion itself is a quaint fishing village with a long stretch of soft sand. Take a trip out to the nearby small island where St Michael’s Mount sits atop, marvel at the architecture, meander through the sub tropical gardens and enjoy the boat trip back to the shore.
If beautiful gardens are your thing, don’t miss the Eden Project too whilst in Cornwall!

Also, a day out to remember is a visit to Land’s End with its fabulous café where from the panoramic sea views, you can feel that you are on a ferry boat, whilst keeping your feet firmly on the ground.
Whether for a family break, a romantic getaway or a break with friends for a few days, Cornwall has plenty to offer.

Fossils, Delight and Wonder on a Short Break in Dorset

The Dorset coastline is not an obvious choice for a bucket-and-spade holiday but if you want to dose up on your Vitamin Sea for a few days whilst enjoying superb scenery and enjoy discovering the fascinating Jurassic coastline it is a great choice.

Aside from the amazing fossils that can be found along the Jurassic coast world heritage coastline, Dorset is also home to some of England’s most iconic coastal sights such as the amazing Durdle Door limestone arch.

If fossil hunting is what you have in mind, you’ll want to head for Charmouth Beach with its mix of pebbles and sand, as this beach is renowned for its fossil hunting opportunities.

For restaurants, hustle and bustle, as well as a long stretch of sandy beach, Weymouth is a good option for a good fun short coastal break. The calm waters make this beach safe to swim in good weather conditions too.

Essex for Coastal Fun, Glitz and Entertainment by the Sea

Particularly if you live in London, escaping to the Essex coast can be a great choice when you just have a few days to get away.

If you’re escaping with friends or your kids and want entertainment and fun, then the vibrant seaside towns of Southend on Sea and Clacton are great options. Seaside amusements, arcades, bright lights and bling (an Essex speciality) and fabulous coastal views and beaches await!

Southend has the world’s longest pleasure pier and is so long that you can even catch a train along it! The café at the end of the pier is a real treat. There is a long stretch of beach at Southend too. Clacton offers similar attractions, and a great pier too. The beach in Clacton is a glorious sandy beach and gets better and better as you walk towards Jaywick.

If you want a more sedate experience and beaches aren’t your thing, the estuary town of Maldon with its promenade offers plenty for the kids and quaint historic appeal for the adults. There is a fabulous coastal walk that runs all the way from Heybridge Basin all the way along the coast, and with its tea shops and pubs, Heybridge Basin is a lovely place to soak up the vibes and watch barges and boats go by.

Although not officially coastal, another great place for estuary walks and stunning scenery further up the coast is Wivenhoe. Wivenhoe too offers miles and miles of riverside walks, along with quaint historic charm.

Seaside Fun, Character Galore and Dover Castle in Kent

If you want a fun seaside break, Kent has its own resorts for that, including Deal, Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, as well as Herne Bay. Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs all have sandy beaches, making these towns appealing for short breaks with the kids. Margate too has an Amusement Park to offer, as well as some fascinating places to visit such as its Shell Museum.

Also well worth a mention is the former fishing village of Whitstable, which with its quaint historic buildings is a coastal gem. Considered over gentrified by some, Whitstable with its boutiques still has considerable historic charm. The area down by the harbour is superb with various eateries and small stalls to discover. Crabbing too can be enjoyed at Whistable and there is a long stretch of shingle sand for keeping the kids entertained.

If history is your thing, don’t miss Dover Castle for its superb views, and for a walk back in time. The war time tunnels make this one of England’s most fascinating castles.

Castles, Beautiful Beaches and Boat Trips along the Northumberland Coast

The Northumberland coast is a little known Northern gem. This stretch of coast really does have it all. If you want a lovely beach where you can chill out, bask in sunshine and get your feet wet and enjoy a bit of paddling, there are numerous superb sandy beaches to be found, including Boulmer beach and Bamburgh beach.

Also along the coastline are quaint fishing villages like Craster, and glorious historic castles, such as Bamburgh castle which stands proud above the shoreline. Craster too has a castle!

You can also take exciting boat trips to the Farne Islands and Coquet island to see grey seals happily bob about in the sea.

Whether for lazy days on the beach, wildlife watching or a walk back in time discovering historical attractions, Northumbria’s coast has something for everyone on a short break.

Suffolk for Beautiful Beaches, Colourful Beach Huts and Seaside Charm

The Suffolk coast is renowned for its beautiful seaside towns and superb beaches, and with good reason. Suffolk too is easily accessible for short breaks from many parts of East Anglia.

One of the most popular seaside destinations is Aldeburgh with its shingle beach, fishing cabins and prettily painted historic houses. Also to be found in Aldeburgh are independent cafes, quaint boutiques, pubs, restaurants and a fish and chip shop, making this a great fun seaside destination for a few days away by the seaside.

Possibly more famous than Aldeburgh itself, is the famous Scallop sculpture at Aldeburgh beach, which sits around mid-way along the extensive stretch of beach between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness.
For elegant Victorian architecture and ample historical charm, opt for a short break at Southwold. This charming town features a long stretch of sandy beach with brightly painted beach huts, as well as a pier and a lighthouse. It is also home to Adnams brewery and a Tiptree tea room, further adding to the appeal.

Whether for a couple’s holiday, a family break or a getaway with friends for a few nights, Suffolk has lots to offer.

Book the Best Short Break Coastal Break in England for you

We hope we’ve inspired you with our ideas on some of England’s best areas for short coastal breaks. England is of course home to many other fabulous coastal destinations too. Usually for short breaks, a few hours drive maximum is the best choice, particularly if holidaying with pets and children. Whether you opt to book a short coastal break, all the best for a safe and happy trip from Midweekshortbreaks.co.uk.