Coastal break ideas for 2022

Although the pandemic continued to restrict our travel freedom last year, I still managed to pack in quite a few exciting trips, both at home in England and abroad. All of them involved exploring coasts – there’s something so soothing about the sea when life is rough. And stuffing your face with fresh seafood of course. Here’s a roundup of coastal breaks to inspire your 2022 travels.

The Pearl: Every coast is different and magical- look out for wildlife and natural rock formations, listen to the lap of the waves or the crash of the ocean.

The Grit: Most coast can get wild and windy pretty quickly so come prepared with warm layers, waterproofs, sunglasses and suncream.

ENGLAND COASTAL BREAKS

Weekend in Whitstable

If you love seafood, definitely consider Whitstable for a foodie weekend retreat. This small seaside town on the Kent coast has been popular with Londoners for years thanks to its charming independent shops, memorable sunsets and more oysters, whelks and cockles than you can eat. Read my tips on Seafood and Shopping in Stylish Whitstable.

Delve into Dorset

My mum lives in Bournemouth so we’ve explored a lot of the Dorset coast and countryside. It’s a beautiful and huge British county, with plenty to do any time of year such as: 

  • Puffin and dolphin spotting along Dancing Ledge near Swanage, via Scratch Arse Ware. 
  • Views of Poole and Bournemouth bay from the striking and mystical Agglestone Rock, an iron-rich sandstone rock in the middle of the heath.
  • Twitch in RSPB Arne, a huge, peaceful nature reserve where you can spot spoonbills, nightjars and Dartford warblers.
  • Visit Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, a lush valley tucked away behind Chesil beach. 
  • On rainy days, explore the Russell-Cotes museum in Bournemouth, a Victorian house with seaside views, full to the brim with exotic objects from the owners’ travels.

Read more about The best corner of Dorset and what to do there.

Embrace Bristol’s independent streak

Clifton Village

I was surprised to learn so many people I know had never been to Bristol before. It’s an exciting, thriving city with independence and enterprise running through it. Every neighbourhood has its own character, although the city has been greatly shaped by its maritime heritage. Read my tips on How to spend 48 hours in Bristol

Explore Northumberland, England’s border county

2022 will mark 1900 years since Hadrian’s Wall was built, protecting the Roman empire from the Celts. From Anglo-Saxon castles to holy islands, dark skies and empty sandy beaches, the Northumberland coast is old land, full of battles, blood and legends. Read my guide to get the most out of your Northumberland road trip with my five-day foodie itinerary.

COASTAL BREAKS FURTHER AFIELD

A long weekend in Marseille, France

I grew up on the outskirts of Marseille so had never stayed there until last year. And it was a great way to discover France’s sunniest city in more depth. From a boat trip around the turquoise-waters of the Calanques, to markets, museums and Michelin-starred seafood, it was a trip to remember. Here’s my tips for a relaxing, Long Weekend in Marseille.

Day trips from Nice, France

My dad lives in Nice so when I visit we tend to explore the surrounding area. Here’s three places worth day-tripping to:

La Villa Ephrussi, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat 

Built by Beatrice de Rothschild in 1905 to enjoy the Med’s clement winters and house her growing art collection, the villa overlooks the sheltered bay of Villefranche-sur-Mer and is surrounded by nine different types of garden designed by the Baroness. Tickets are a bit pricey but go towards restoring this faded architectural masterpiece and maintaining its X plants.

Le Musee Renoir, Cagnes-sur-Mer

Famous French impressionist painter Renoir had a house built – known as Les Collettes – near Nice to spend the later part of his life. Visit his home, surrounded by olive groves which he painted again and again from his sun-drenched garden. In 1985 he proclaimed “’The olive tree, what a brute! If you realised how much trouble it has caused me. A tree full of colours[…] that change in the wind.”

San Remo, Italy

Only an hour away from Nice by car, or an hour and twenty minutes by train, San Remo is a beautiful seaside town dripping in old Italian glamour. Make the trip to experience the dolce vita for a day by shopping in the arcades, lounging on the beach and eating all the carbs.

And my first trip of 2022 will be to the seaside town of Clevedon for my sister’s wedding! Keeping it coastal x

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