For Anglophiles, Reading & Other Authors

British Reading Retreats: 4 Coastal Ideas

What could be more tempting for an avid reader than escaping everyday life to go and sit by the sea and bury yourself in a book? I did some delightful armchair research to find these 4 recommendations for British reading retreats.

British Reading Retreats | Pauline Wiles


Since Britain’s beautiful coastline is one of its best features, I took inspiration from the wonderful scenery and historic buildings there.

Clavell Tower Dorset

Clavell Tower

Photo: The Landmark Trust

Built in 1830, this 4-storey tower has a room on each level. It sleeps 2, and at £200+ per night, will make a bit of a hole in your book budget, but is probably worth it for the views and seclusion.

Cley Windmill Norfolk

Cley Windmill

Photo: Tour Norfolk

This one’s a gorgeous bed and breakfast in the delightful village of Cley in North Norfolk. As a bonus, it’s mere steps to Crabpot Books to stock up on reading material. Be sure to stretch your legs, too: there are some wonderful walking options on this coast.

The Shore Cottages Berriedale

Shore Cottages

Photo: The Landmark Trust

Another option from the Landmark Trust, this time in Scotland, this tiny cottage was originally a fisherman’s home. North of Inverness, this is a remote spot, and I’d suggest would be best enjoyed in high summer. The accommodation is fairly humble but you’ll have direct access to the beach. As British reading retreats go, this is probably one of the loneliest, but most potentially inspiring.

Jabba The Beach Hut Southwold

Beach hut, Southwold

Photo: Trip Advisor

We’ll forgive the name of this one, since it’s an excellent example of a wonderful British tradition: your own little shelter at the beach. You won’t be able to spend the night here, but with a starting rate of £38 per day, you can buy yourself some bargain escape time. Personally, I’d be tempted to rent this in the cooler months and snuggle under a blankie to watch the waves.

Incidentally, on the other side of the world, if you enjoyed these British options, you might love this gorgeous New Zealand dairy farm which stole my heart.

What’s the most enchanting place you’ve ever escaped to, whether with a book or not? Do you have any other British reading retreats to recommend?

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4 Comment

  1. Reply
    August 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Wow! All these are wonderful places.
    I have a soft spot for Southwold, where I’ve often been on holiday and days out, in the UK.

    However, if I had to choose the ideal spot for a reading/writing retreat, it would have to be a beach in Sardinia, where I come from. I know, I am biased there. But Chia beach is absolutely my favourite. You can see some photos here:

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      August 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Chia beach looks beautiful, and probably more tranquil than Southwold. But I agree, Southwold is easy to love too.

  2. Reply
    Courtney Giardina
    August 8, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    This is a tough one, but I think I would break the bank for the tower! The shore cottages tho look as if it would be a relaxing time on the beach thinking of new story lines!

    1. Reply
      Pauline Wiles
      August 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      Yes, I think the tower might be going on my bucket list!

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