Summer over? Escape to a top coastal English retreat!

With autumnal sun flooding the beaches, the sea at its warmest and scenes of migrating birds, autumn's the perfect time for a coastal English retreat.  And booking that escape has never been easier thanks to England's Coast, an online booking platform featuring more than 1,700 coastal hotels, B&Bs, attractions and experiences.

 Delivered by the National Coastal Tourism Academy and funded by VisitEngland, the national tourist board, England's Coast highlights the diversity and beauty of the coast to encourage visitors year-round.

 "Autumn is an ideal time for visiting our English coastline, beaches that were packed with sunbathers and families just weeks before are quieter making them perfect for wind-swept walks," says Samantha Richardson, Academy Director of the National Coastal Tourism Academy.

 "The sea is actually at its warmest in September, so it's an ideal time for water sports, and when hunger strikes there are countless cosy English pubs up and down the coast with roaring log fires offering heart-warming local food and drink and of course our seafood is second to none."

 Few coastlines offer the variety and heritage of the English coastline.  A late afternoon stroll along the South Hams coast, east of Plymouth, is perfect for watching the autumnal sun flooding the valleys or head just west of Salcombe, a good base to see hundreds of swallows settling on telephone wires, gathering for their autumnal migration to Africa. 

Salcambe, Devon

Walk around the nearby hamlet of South Huish and the village of Hope Cove; stay until dusk to see the swallows lift off and gather together before View of Salcambe - a perfect coastal English retreat! funnelling away over the sea, not to return for seven months.

Across the Kingsbridge estuary from Salcombe lies the village of East Portlemouth.  A five-minute ferry journey drops visitors at the pier to walk the 2km or so along the coast to Gara Rock, offering superb views along the crenulated coastline.

The reed beds, fens and marshlands of Norfolk also offer a perfect autumnal escape; Cley-next-the Sea's Flemish gables provide a reference point to its important history as a trading port with other North Sea communities.  Spot hen harriers migrating here in autumn.

Blakeney Spit, Norfolk

Close by, Cley Smokehouse produces mouth-watering locally caught Cromer crab and lobsters, along with crevettes or a half-side of smoked salmon.

For more inspiration, check out the videos on England's Coast to plan and book your trip.