Are you looking for holiday accommodation in St Leonards-on-Sea? We recently discovered two rather special self-catering apartments located right in the heart of this quirky seaside town in East Sussex, both just minutes from the beach.
St Leonards-on-Sea is a wonderful, seaside holiday destination with row after row of elegant townhouses radiating from the green park of Warrior Square.
Over three miles of beachside promenade lead to neighbouring Hastings where you’ll find a thriving food scene with numerous, interesting independent shops and a lively vibe.
Above: The view to St Leonards-on-Sea from Hastings Pier and below: Warrior Square, a beautiful park edged by Victorian terraced townhouses on the seafront of St Leonards-on-Sea.
Self-Catering accommodation in St Leonards, East Sussex
2 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom – Sleeps 6
Just a 10-minute walk, east of Warrior Square, the Church Retreat is an impressive self-catering apartment in St Leonards-on-Sea.
The front door is reached down a side path and up a small flight of stairs. As soon as you step inside you are transported to a stylish home-from-home with two double bedrooms, one bathroom and an impressively large open-plan kitchen-living-dining room.
The master bedroom is colourful and spacious with a writing desk and a large built-in wardrobe. While the second bedroom is light and bright, boasting a large bay window and is decorated in soft neutral tones. We found it hard to pick which one we preferred.
The stylish bathroom with an over-bath shower is compact but again, not cramped.
A beautiful living area
The room with the most wow factor, however, is the huge open-plan kitchen-living room. The kitchen area is stylish and functional with all you might need to hand including a washing machine, fridge-freezer, cooker and built-in wine rack.
In the living area, there’s plenty of comfortable seating with one of the sofas converting into a third double bed. It’s a beautiful room that retains many original Victorian features such as the intricate cornice on the ceiling and large windows allowing the light to stream in.
As with Gensing Lodge, the large smart TV offers a variety of channels and allows you to connect to your Amazon or Netflix accounts.
There is free street parking here and we had no trouble finding a spot right outside the apartment.
The high ceilings and large windows add to the spacious, luxurious feel to this wonderful apartment, close to the railway station, the seafront, elegant Warrior Square and numerous great restaurants, cafes and independent shops.
3 double bedrooms, 1 bathroom – Sleeps 6
In a quiet terrace street, a short stroll from the seafront, Gensing Lodge is a stylish, beautifully appointed, self-catering apartment.
On the first and second floor, this home-from-home is newly renovated to provide a 3- double bedroom holiday home in the heart of this traditional seaside town.
The living room is spacious and light, decorated in an eclectic mix of modern and traditional furnishings to give a stylish, contemporary, atmosphere that is both comfortable and functional. Two comfy sofas and a farmhouse table make it comfortable for four to six people.
A 55-inch 4k Smart TV with sound bar offers a variety of channels and allows you to connect to your Amazon or Netflix accounts.
On the same floor, the spacious kitchen is bright and airy with everything you might need including a fridge-freezer, washing machine and four-seater table.
The focal point, however, is the range housed in an exposed brick chimney breast in the middle of the room. A large window allows the light to flood in during the afternoon and early evening.
There is plenty of cupboard space and everything needed for a self-catering stay or indeed a long-term let. We loved the dark green cupboard doors and the colourful floor tiles.
A few steps down to a half landing is the bathroom. It’s small, but in no way cramped, bright and modern with an over-bath shower.
From the first floor, a stunning water-themed Simon Hill mural leads you upstairs to a beautiful modern stained-glass window on a half landing that throws coloured patterns of light onto the upper landing and stairs.
Three Double Bedrooms
On the second floor, you’ll find three pleasant double bedrooms. The larger, master bedroom features a 42-inch flatscreen TV opposite the standard double bed.
Located on Gensing Road, parking outside the apartment is for residents only or for a maximum stay of 2 hours, however, free parking is available in nearby streets.
This stylish, self-catering apartment in St Leonards-on-Sea is just a few minutes walk away from the seafront and all our favourite restaurants, pubs and cafes. You’ll also find many excellent antique shops and independent boutiques nearby.
Where to eat and drink in St Leonard’s
St Leonard’s has a charming bohemian atmosphere. Quirky junk shops, coffee shops, independent restaurants and traditional pubs abound. Within just five or ten minutes’ walk from either apartment, you’ll find a plethora of excellent places to eat and drink.
For a great traditional English breakfast head to the Breakfast Zone Cafe on London Road opposite the post office on the corner with Norman Road.
For something a little lighter and a view of the sea, Bonjour Cafe at the seafront end of London Road is hard to beat. If you fancy something a little different try the Moroccan flavours of Tagine on Norman Road. They also do great lunches.
Street food and Seafood and St Leonard’s
For street food Heist, also on Norman Road, is not to be missed. You’ll also find excellent coffee and beer from a great local brewery here. There are two areas with communal tables where you can tuck into whatever takes your fancy be it a giant smoked hot dog, Japanese sashimi or a fragrant Thai curry.
You’ll also find the excellent Boatyard fish and seafood restaurant in Heist. Boatyard serves local, sustainable seafood – much of it caught by locally in Hastings.
St Clement’s on Mercatoria will also appeal to seafood lovers. It’s just around the corner from Gensing Lodge (and only 12-minute’s walk from The Church Retreat).
For burger fans, Half Man, Half Burger and is just a 10-minute stroll along the seafront west of Warrior Square.
For a special occasion, however, we love Farmyard near the station on King Street. Booking is advisable as it’s quite small and very popular.
Things to do in St Leonard’s, Hastings and beyond
There’s a range of things to see and do in St Leonards and neighbouring Hastings. You’ll find traditional seaside attractions like the pier and arcades as well as art galleries including the Hastings Contemporary and independent cinema, theatre and exhibition space at Kino-Teatr.
Don’t miss a stroll through Hastings Old Town where you’ll find plenty of independent shops, pubs and restaurants. The Stade is a traditional fishing beach with its unusual net huts (pictured below).
You’ll find plenty more inspiration in these articles here on Hello Sussex.
How to get to St Leonards-on-Sea
St Leonard’s is a two-and-a-half-hour drive southeast of central London and an hour and a half east of Brighton.
By train, it’s just over an hour along the coast from Brighton and 1.5 hours from London Bridge Station. From St Leonard’s Warrior Square Station, it’s just a few minutes walk to either apartment.
The nearest airport is London Gatwick which is an hour and a quarter’s drive away or between 1.5 hours and 2.25 hours by train via Eastbourne.
For self-catering accommodation in St Leonards-on-Sea, either of these lovely apartments makes a great base from which to explore the area.
The central location of both couldn’t be more convenient for the restaurants, shops and seafront attractions of this endearing seaside town. The apartments are the perfect place to unwind after a busy day whether you are visiting for business or on holiday.