Go private to avoid those busy beaches

Praying for an Indian summer? With children heading back to school, many couples are looking forward to enjoying a quieter break on less crowded beaches.
Britain’s top seaside resorts will remain popular for a while yet, but if you’re planning a more peaceful escape somewhere rather more ‘exclusive’, try seeking out a hotel with its own private stretch of sand.

Shrimping, Sealife and Rock Pool Exploring at the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight gets more sunshine than most places and at Priory Bay you can catch the last of it by wandering down the woodland path from the hotel to its secluded private beach at Seaview.
The tree-lined beach shelters the sandy shore from prevailing south-westerly winds, so it’s a perfect spot for paddling in the Solent, shrimping, sandcastle building, beach games or exploring nearby rockpools teeming with sealife. And in autumn and winter it’s great for enjoying the fresh sea air, awe-inspiring scenery and beachcombing.
Catch Prawns, Cockles, Crabs and Mackerel
Try catching prawns, cockles, crabs or mackerel off the beach and the chef may even offer to cook them for you. He and his team are often found foraging for razor clams and sea spinach.
If you’d prefer somewhere away from it all in a breathtaking, wild setting, Knockinaam Lodge, on Scotland’s south-west tip, overlooks its own sheltered beach. The coast here is warmed by the Gulf Stream and on a clear day you can see Ireland across the sea.
The remote location near the little harbour town of Portpatrick, in Dumfries and Galloway, was the dramatic setting for John Buchan’s Thirty-Nine Steps and the reason why Winston Churchill chose it as the venue for a secret meeting with America’s General Eisenhower to plan the Allied campaign in World War II.
Knockinaam is set in 30 acres of landscaped grounds and there are splendid scenic coastal walks from the door.
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