Kent's Cabu By The Sea is a seaside getaway you’ll want to return to year after year

STYLISH, rejuvenating and restorative, this seaside getaway is a place you’ll want to return to year after year, says Acting Lifestyle Editor Emma Ledger

Does off-the-beaten-track, unspoiled nature sound like your thing?

Then Cabu By The Sea needs to go straight to the top of your staycay wish list.

On a stretch of coastal grassland in a hidden corner of south-east Kent, you’ll find a smattering of modern, homely wooden cabins around a huge heated pool (and separate kids’ pool), set against the picture-perfect backdrop of the English Channel.

The Scandi cabins – ranging from a Writers’ Studio for couples to three-beds for families – are super-comfortable and each includes a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, terrace and barbecue.

They’re built around the central Cabu House, where you can pick up groceries – including booze – and ask the friendly staff to help plan visits to local attractions.

Just add water

You can hear the crash of waves and the screech of seagulls from your bed, and we highly recommend a dip (or at least a toe) in the sea for serious reinvigoration.

Meanwhile, Cabu’s heated pool, open from March all through the summer, is ideal for a few morning laps – or just to lounge next to with a gin and tonic, £5.50.

There’s also an outdoor spa with two hot tubs and a sauna.

One hour’s use is included per guest, after that it’s £20 per hour. 

Call of nature

The foreshore habitat and grassland is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, home  to small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants.

Cabu was designed to be sensitive to this diverse ecosystem, and you’ll find a thriving rabbit population on site – watch out for burrows!

With immediate access to the beach, you can explore miles of the wide sea wall  by hiring one of Cabu’s bikes, £7.50 per half-day, with kids’ bikes and helmets available, too.

The hamlet of Dungeness is a 25-minute pedal away, where you can tuck into possibly the best fish and chips of your life, from £12.95 with mushy peas, at The Pilot Inn ( the opposite direction is the market town of Hythe, which has a fantastic Saturday farmers’ market and lots of independent shops. 

Cool kids

Cabu nails being child-friendly without compromising on cool points – it feels like a private members’ club but with none of the snobbishness.

The site began life in 1899 as a camp for children from London to come for a holiday by the sea, where the idyllic setting forces you to slow down and appreciate the elements.

There’s a superb outdoor kitchen with barbecues and a pizza oven for alfresco dining, and great coffee is just a stone’s throw away at the Mulberry Coffee Co van, parked on the seafront on weekdays.

If the weather isn’t on your side, order a hot chocolate from Cabu House, £3, and hunker down with a book next to your cabin’s log burner (supplies provided). 

Book it

A two-night stay costs from £240 for two people sharing

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