Crab Cottage, Sussex

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A serene artist's beach house, with views over the waves, light-filled interiors and 4 kingsized bedrooms

4 Bedrooms

4 Bathrooms

Child friendly

Close to a beach

Eco conscious

Parking

Private garden

Walk to a pub

Walk to a shop

WiFi

Woodburner

Space & setting.

A plan to downsize in London took quite a different turn when owner and artist Penny chanced upon an abandoned plot on a beach in Selsey  and set about creating a coastal showstopper instead. With its incredible views, huge picture windows, weathered chestnut cladding and sun decks both upstairs and down, the sophisticated space has been designed to draw the outside in. Clean lines and sharp corners are softened by a pastel palette, natural fabrics and textures, along with piles of cushions and Penny’s collection of artwork (much of it her own), which weaves through every room of this upside-down house. Whether you come with friends or family, you’ll revel in the sense of light space, and it’s also perfect for a multi-generational holiday, thanks to a cleverly concealed lift and fully accessible ground-floor bedrooms, one of which comes with a neat kitchenette.

The garden leads straight onto the pebbles, so you feel like you have your own private stretch of beach, and a walkway will take you down to the famed fish shack, where you can pick up freshly caught crab for supper. Swim, walk and hire bikes locally to explore the area from the saddle. Or pluck a book from the library, a tipple from the trolley, and simply drink in the peace…

Getting here: drive, or train to Chichester then taxi (20 mins)

Originally planning to downsize from her Victorian London townhouse, owner Penny followed her friend’s suggestion to instead build a new property by the sea. As an artist, the house is full of her paintings, along with prints and paintings done by friends, and a beautiful collection of ceramics. “It’s a constantly changing cycle… I might pick up a shell or two from the beach and they become the flavour of the month. My best find was a piece of driftwood which I dragged along the beach for miles that now stands proudly in the garden.” Owner, Penny

My Kip favourites

She loves
“Going outside at night to listen to the sea lapping at the shore and look up at the sky – it’s as if you can touch the stars, there’s so little light pollution. It’s magical.”

We love
The thought of breakfast on the deck, overlooking the sea, using the hand-thrown porcelain ceramics by local artist, Fanny Peppercorn.

You may not love
A 3- or 5-night minimum stay; see Specifics. The neighbours are close on one side but mindful of privacy. Sorry, no pets. 

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  • "As my husband said when we came to stay - this is a work of art and it's hardly a cottage!' From the outdoor balcony there is nothing between you and the splendid views of the beach and the English Channel. On a sunny day you just want to sit there, breathe in the air, watch the fishermen go out or the moon rise up and rest your weary bones. Selsey has wonderful pubs and restaurants just a short drive away but for a stay-at-home base for a whole lot of holiday doing nothing, it is also ideal. The most wonderful multi-generational place too: beach for the kids, fish and chips, crab and lobster on tap from the local fishermen. The beds are super comfy and the decor is totally up-to-date and uber-stylish. We wanted to move in permanently!”

    Louise, May 2023

Sustainability.

Near Passiv Haus standards with MVHR system for filtering and circulating air at the optimum temperature. Ventilation engineered cooling systems through clever placement of side windows. Double thick insulation and triple-glazed glass throughout house. Solar panelled south-facing roof, feeding directly into the grid.

Surrounds.

  • There’s everything you need for a family holiday right here: the beach for swimming and kite flying; fish’n’chip shops (plus seafood shacks for the grown ups).
  • Walk along the sea wall to the Lifeboat pub, for a drink and food in the garden, almost on the beach. Kids will enjoy the RNLI lifeboat station and shop, too.
  • Join a snorkelling tour with Mulberry Marine Experiences and discover the marine life along this coastline — the water is gloriously clear in the summer.
  • It’s a 20-min walk to Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, an important nesting ground for terns. Come in winter to watch hundreds of Dark-bellied Brent Geese fly overhead.
  • Or hire bikes and explore the area from the saddle. RSPB Pagham Harbour and neighbouring Medmerry are crisscrossed with level cycle paths, whilst the Manhood Peninsula, slightly further north, has lots of traffic-free routes.
  • Penny recommends the hour-long walk around the harbour to the renowned Crab & Lobster, which serves excellent local food and wine (Tinwood).
  • Hire paddleboards and windsurfers from LAR watersports, depending on whether it’s a flat day or the wind’s up!

  • If you’re visiting as a family, children will love following the Selsey Seal Art Trail, a collection of colourful life-sized seal sculptures dotted around the town telling visitors about Selsey’s fascinating heritage and wildlife.
  • The historic city of Chichester with its magnificent cathedral and boutique shops is a 20-minute drive. Walk along the city walls and picnic in the Bishops’ Garden.
  • There’s a delicious Sunday lunch at The Crown & Anchor, a characterful 16thC pub on Chichester harbour with beautiful views out across the quay.

Specifics.

  • Architect-designed house with direct beach access and private garden
  • Downstairs: 4 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms
    • 1 kingsize with ensuite shower room and beachside deck
    • 1 kingsize with beachside deck
    • 1 kingsize with garden deck (bed can be twinned, suitable for 2 children)
    • 1 kingsize with ensuite shower room, adjoining kitchenette/sitting room with Smart TV, and beachside deck (ideal for group travelling with young family or elderly relatives. Wheelchair friendly
    • 4 bathrooms: 2 ensuite wet rooms, 1 shared wet room + 1 bathroom with rolltop bath; toiletries provided
  • Upstairs:
    • 4th bathroom (hidden behind the bookcase) with rolltop bath and floor to ceiling window looking out to sea
    • Superb kitchen including Lacanche range cooker with 2/3 ovens, grill, gas hob and wok ring, larder and drinks fridge; basic supplies provided
    • Open-plan dining/living area warmed by a woodburner, with lovely sea views and a whole library of books
  • 2 travel cots, 2 highchairs, stair gate and blackout curtain available to borrow
  • Disabled access: ramp leading from gate to extra wide front door; wet room with extra-wide door on ground floor; wheelchair-sized lift to first floor
  • Sorry, no pets
  • Free parking outside the house
  • The owner and housekeeper are available by phone should you need anything
  • Walk to shops and fish and chips (10 mins)
  • Walk into the village for restaurants/pubs/supermarkets (25 mins)
  • Bikes can be hired locally
  • Booking conditions: 3-night minimum stay in low season; 5 nights in high season; annual closure early January and over Christmas and Easter
  • Remember to pack: beach kits, bikes, walking boots, kite

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40% deposit, with the balance due 8 weeks prior to stay.
Cancellations permitted 8+ weeks prior to stay, with deposit refunded minus a £30 processing fee.
No refunds if booking cancelled within 8 weeks of stay.

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