How to Get the Best Sea View Accommodation for the School Holidays

family on beach for a half-term holiday

Do you find it difficult to bag the best family beach accommodation when you’re limited to the school holidays? It’s true that with everyone flocking to the seaside during the Easter, Summer, Christmas and Half Term breaks, it can be tough to find – and afford – the best coastal cottages once the schools break up.

But trust us; with a bit of organising and pre-planning, you can secure the perfect place to meet your needs – and budget. How? Look ahead, book ahead and be organised. Here are some tips to help you think outside the box, discover somewhere new and find the best seaside accommodation for your next family beach holiday during the school break.

Seek Out Alternative Destinations

Grey Seal in the sea at Blakeney beach on the North Norfolk coast.

When you mention seaside holidays, many of us think of Cornwall and Devon, or coastal Wales. But don’t just follow the crowds or book where you’ve been before. How about exploring the incredible coastlines of Yorkshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire?

There are over 20 coastal regions on our website where you can tee up an idyllic coastal getaway with the perfect holiday accommodation for your family. And when you choose one of the less obvious places to go, you’ll find more accommodation is available in the holidays, often at a snip of the price of the ‘big three’. 

And don’t think that by heading somewhere lesser known, you’ll be scrimping on scenery or seaside life. Did you know that Yorkshire’s Saltburn-on-Sea is a veritable surfing mecca, or that Norfolk’s Blakeney Point is home to the UK’s largest grey seal colony?

You don’t even have to face the holiday traffic and travel far from home to discover some of Britain’s beautiful coastline – you can hop on a train from London and jump off by the beach in Margate just 1.5 hours later, while London to the Lincolnshire coastline is just three hours by car. Use our ‘Max Driving Time’ tool when you search and you’ll come up with all sorts of unthought-of seaside resorts that are easier to get to for the holidays.  

Head Inland a Bit

Old school cottage Dorset
Old School Cottage, Dorset.

Yes, we know it’s bliss to open your eyes to a seascape and pad straight onto the sand with your morning coffee. But then again, in the peak holidays, you do pay a premium for accommodation that’s bang on the beach. As you will spend your days exploring the area anyway, why not settle for staying a little inland from the sea?

There’s more choice of accommodation and better availability if you venture a little further from the coast, so you’re more likely to find the perfect accommodation to suit your family’s needs. You’ll also find that as soon as you give up the sea views, your holiday will be much better value, and you’ll be more inspired to get outside and enjoy the beaches and coastline that are just a hop, skip and jump from your family holiday home.

Check out Old School Cottage in Dorset, just one example of one of our stunning cottages that our just inland from the coast.

Match Your Interests to the Destination

Gower peninsula surfers
Surfing on the Gower Peninsula, Wales

When you’re not limited to the availability of seafront properties, there’s much more scope to match your accommodation to the exact needs – and demands – of all your family members. After all, where you go on holiday should be a family decision, and when you take the time to organise yourselves early, you can discuss what everyone wants out of their time away and find a destination to meet everyone’s interests. 

While you might be seeking history and wildlife, the kids might prefer surfing or cycling, and you and your partner might be planning cocktails by the beach and spa afternoons. And while you are imagining a swanky beach house where you can sip bubbles in the hot tub and recline under the stars, the kids might want an Xbox, a games room and a fire pit to toast marshmallows. 

Sound impossible to please everyone? Well, it’s not. Start your search early and know what you want, then use our filters to match your needs and interests to the perfect properties and destinations to keep everyone happy on holiday.  

Save the Date and Book Ahead

Plan ahead

The key to getting the best accommodation for the school holidays is to be organised. As soon as the term dates are released for your school, get them in the diary and start making your holiday plans. Some schools have a two-week half-term, so if one of those is when the rest of the schools are still in the classroom, make the most of it and book a week’s trip without the crowds. 

The further ahead you book, the more choice you’ll have and the better deals you’ll snap up. When booking for a large group, it’s especially difficult to get the best accommodation at the last minute, so it pays to be organised. Also, the earlier you book, the more likely you are to avoid any seasonal price increases.

Book Larger Properties to Share

St Edmund's View, Norfolk
St Edmund’s View in Norfolk, perfect for a large family get-together.

The most in-demand properties in the school holidays are coastal cottages sleeping 6-8 guests. However, if you book a bigger holiday home and share it with another family or invite the cousins/ grandparents, not only will you save pennies by sharing the cost, but you’ll get a more luxurious coastal property for your money.

Bigger properties are better decked out with all the trimmings – whether that’s a hot tub, an outdoor kitchen, a games room or a large garden with a play area. Besides, it’s always great to have the grandparents on hand to babysit while you go out for a romantic meal or to book a place with another family so that the kids can entertain each other while the grown-ups unwind and socialise.

We have loads of large, coastal homes for all the family, such as St Edmund’s View in Norfolk which has all the luxury and space to accommodate up to eight family members.

Book Now for the School Holidays 2024

Whether you’re looking ahead to the summer holidays, Easter, Christmas or half-term next year, check out our huge range of coastal accommodation and book your beach holiday now. It’s less stressful, saves money, offers more choice and means you’ll get the right accommodation to suit your family holiday.

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