If you’re like me and a fantastic sea view is high on your priority list when looking for a holiday cottage in Cornwall or any other coastal destination, then read these five quick tips to ensure that you’re not disappointed when you arrive at your retreat.
1. What kind of view suits you?
Perhaps you want to get amongst the action with a window into a bustling harbour or marina. Alternatively, you might choose to take things at a leisurely pace and gaze out across a serene riverscape with the odd sailing boat skipping past. Or maybe you’d prefer to watch waves gently crashing onto the shore of a golden beach. If you’re holidaying in winter then consider the weather extremes you might encounter. Winter storms can be spectacular on the coast but it’s not for everyone! Whatever your ideal kind of sea view, think realistically about what you’re likely to see given the location and time of year.
2. Don’t forget the ebb and flow!
Keep in mind that tidal change can be dramatic, particularly along rivers and estuaries, with low tide leaving less attractive mudflats or sand to look at for several hours a day. It’s worth searching online for tide times (tidetimes.org.uk) for the area to get an idea of when and for how long you’re likely to encounter water each day. Some harbours will also be left devoid of water at low tide. Of course, this is all part of the rhythm of life by the sea, and low tide means rock-pooling!
3. Will you see the sunset?
Imagine sitting back with a glass of wine watching the sky turn red, orange, and pink as the sinking sun’s shimmering reflection reaches out to you from the horizon. Ah yes, there’s nothing quite like a sunset (or sunrise for that matter) over the water. As we all know, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, so by looking at a map (www.google.co.uk/maps) to see which direction the property faces it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out if you’ll be able to watch sunrises or sunsets from the comfort of your holiday retreat.
4. Which rooms have views?
Firstly, consider where you’ll be spending your time when you’re inside the property. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway then breakfast in bed with a sea view is pretty unbeatable. On the other hand, a family will probably spend the most time in living or dining areas. Examine pictures closely to see which rooms have the best views and make sure that photographs have clearly been taken from inside, not outside. Look out for oddly cropped or angled photographs; you don’t want to arrive to find a telegraph pole occupying that other missing third of the view. If in doubt, ask the owner or agent for more information or to take a more revealing photo.
5. Check for binoculars!
If you’re lucky enough to spot a dolphin, whale or seal in the distance you’re going to want to reach for a pair of binoculars to get up close and personal with it. Thoughtful holiday cottage owners may leave a pair waiting for you. It’s worth checking and if they are provided and if not why not borrow or buy some to bring with you.