10 Best... Festive Breaks
Coast|December 2019
From stylish seaside house parties to gourmet Christmas experiences, a seasonal stay by the coast makes for a memorable end to the year
Alex Reece

FOR... FESTIVE GRANDEUR

1 South Lodge, Holkham Estate, Norfolk

A seasonal stay at South Lodge – a restored outbuilding on the Holkham Estate – allows you to dip into the packed programme of events at Holkham Hall in the run-up to Christmas. Take your pick from guided candlelight tours of the Hall’s state rooms in their festive finery, to a family-friendly audience with Old St Nick (book events at holkham.co.uk). Or delight in the 25,000 acres of surrounding parkland, populated by deer, where bikes are available to hire. The broad expanse of Holkham Beach is also close by. The lodge itself dates back to 1847 and is decorated in a modern country style. Sleeps 2; from £510 for a three-night break in December (01328 887600, saltnorfolk.co.uk).

FOR... MULTI-GENERATIONAL HOLIDAYS

2 Rockhaven Manor, Rock, Cornwall

Perfect for a family get-together is this Georgianstyle manor house in Rock on the North Cornish coast, where the sweeping mahogany staircase is festooned with garlands at this time of year. A large, panelled dining room with open fireplace lends itself well to winter celebrations, while the six bedrooms and four bathrooms should give every generation a feeling of space and indulgence. Rockhaven Manor overlooks its own large, landscaped garden and from here, a footpath leads down to Porthilly Cove and on to sandy Rock Beach. Take the ferry to nearby Padstow to dine on fresh local fish at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant or courtesy of Paul Ainsworth At No.6. Sleeps 12, a seven-night break over New Year costs £3,199 (01208 869090, latitude50.co.uk).

FOR... A LIGHTHOUSE

3 Veronica Cottage, Anvil Point Lighthouse, Swanage, Dorset

For a memorable way to mark the season or bring in the New Year, take up residence in a Victorian lighthouse, commanding panoramic views of the Jurassic Coast. Veronica Cottage is one of a pair of holiday homes at the foot of Anvil Point Lighthouse, set in a country park just outside Swanage. It’s an exhilarating place for storm-watching in winter, and guests staying over Christmas will find a tree and decorations in the snug accommodation. Take a day trip on the heritage Swanage Railway, which runs a Santa Special steam train for youngsters until Christmas Eve. While a Boxing Day walk along the vast stretch of Studland Bay should blast away any post-indulgence blues. Sleeps 6; a six-night break from 21 December costs £1,899 (01386 897191, ruralretreats.co.uk).

FOR... A BIG GATHERING

4 The Habit, Ilfracombe, Devon

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