Chenies is an award-winning seafront house which is perfect for large, multi generational gatherings and is astonishingly affordable.
- Located directly on the beach in the pretty sussex village of Middleton-on-sea
- Facilities include a heated outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, a games room and gym
- This property is woman&home recommended
We chose Chenies, a holidaycottages.co.uk property, to celebrate my in-laws 50th Golden Wedding anniversary. Our group consisted of a wide range of ages, from 2-75. We were 6 adults, 2 teenagers and 2 kids. It's safe to say that between us we had a wide range of needs and wishes. We were drawn to this property because it balanced our desire to be somewhere that felt plush by the sea with our very practical requirement of needing space to manoeuver a wheelchair and a downstairs bedroom and bathroom.
An overview of Chenies
The house is on an impressive road, lined with many imposing homes. The anticipation builds as you creep along the street checking numbers, and you’re not disappointed when you pull onto the drive. With two grand doorways bookending the property it’s easy to think at first this place is a semi. But no, the whole thing is yours, for the duration of your stay anyway.
The house was built in the thirties and was awarded ‘Ideal Home of the Year’ in 1939. It's easy to see why. Set back from the seafront it looks impressive and strong, as if it was heaved up from the ground on which it lays. It's a beautiful shade of greige that puts us in mind of a farrow & ball colour chart, and the proportions of everything are very generous. There is just so much space in and around this house, normal life suddenly seems quite far away, which is instantly relaxing.
The beach the house peers over is pebble, and the sea waves that lap at the shore are from the English Channel. Chenies is on the Sussex coast, in the small village of Middleton-on-Sea. That's about 3 miles from Bognor Regis and close to Goodwood, Chichester, Arundel, Petworth & the South Downs.
Stand out features
- Heated outdoor swimming pool
- The view from the bedrooms
- Direct access to the beach and coastal path
Inside the house
It’s a massive place that sleeps 16, with 7 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms (3 of which are ensuite). There is an abundance of living space that lends itself well to big social gatherings and cosy intimate chats alike. The room proportions are large and they flow into one another harmoniously so that the living space can almost entirely be open plan if you wish. There are several rooms you can gather in en masse, with most of them looking straight out onto the garden.
Lovely though the garden is, the best views aren’t from downstairs. They’re found upstairs in the bedrooms, most of which have panoramic views of the coastline. And two of them have good sized balconies, from which you can enjoy the lovely scenery while taking in the sea air.
Other notable features of this house include a games room and a mini gym in the garage, which we didn’t use, but enjoyed knowing we could have used it.
Chenies takes bookings all year around, but this isn't a soulless money spinning rental. There are charming period details typical of a house from this era, like the art deco fireplace (now installed with a lovely log burner) and a few personal bits and bobs that add charm. This is clearly someone's home for at least part of the year, made obvious by the well stocked kitchen drawers stuffed with quality and useful gadgets, the antique dressing tables and the fact the cushions aren't just the ones that arrive as standard with the sofas. The whole place has a homely feel that puts you at ease.
The outside space
The garden is equally palatial as the house. It stretches a substantial 120 feet, and provides direct access to a delightful pebble beach and a lovely coastal walk.
At first it seems purely practical: lawn, decking, greenhouse, play area. But the longer you look the more you notice. Antique stone warriors from China watch over the lawn, a hammock swinging enticingly in the breeze and en exotic, eclectic selection of plants you can’t pick up at your local b&q. It’s simply laid out and well zoned, but with a swimming pool, hot tub, kids play area, five-a-side football and croquet lawn it’s hard to fault. Plenty to keep everyone entertained, but with lots of space for gatherings too. We’d very much like to take this garden home with us.
How accessible is Chenies?
The property is pretty accessible for wheelchair users who don't need to use their chair permanently. One of our party uses a combination of crutches and a wheelchair and she found the property very suitable. Once inside the hallways are wide and the rooms are spacious enough to maneuver around easily. There's one bedroom and bathrooms downstairs too, though they aren't as beautifully decorated as those upstairs.
Where it becomes a bit trickier is getting into the house in the first place - there is no ramp. And accessing the garden isn't easy. Getting to the coastal path by wheelchair is probably impossible.
What sort of trip do we recommend Chenies for?
- Girls getaway
- Multi-generational trip
- Special occasion
W&H rating out of 5
Chenies has been awarded a woman&home approved recommendation, which are only given to properties that score 4 stars or higher.
Maximum occupancy? 12 adults, 4 children
Is it dog friendly? Yes, one dog is permitted at an extra charge of £20 per week
Is there parking? Yes, for six cars
Do you need a car? If you want to explore the area, yes. There is a pub and some shops within walking distance
On-site support offered? Yes - and we can testify to the fact that it was brilliant!
Where is Chenies? Chenies is located in Middleton-on-Sea. The nearest train station is in Barnham.
Who did we book with?
We booked our trip with holidaycottages.co.uk, who we found exceptionally helpful and who went above and beyond to help us organise a private chef to cook a celebratory dinner during our stay.
One dog is welcome (£20 supplement).
Kelly is the former Digital Editor of womanandhome.com. She joined the brand in 2015 and left in March 2022. With over 15 years of experience in digital and print journalism, Kelly has worked for some of the UK's most prestigious publishers, including The Guardian, Shortlist Media, Time Inc, and now Future Publishing. She specializes in women's lifestyle and has been nominated for two PPA awards throughout her career. In the past, she had provided expert advice and comment for the BBC and Channel 4 about fashion and feminism. Kelly also guest lectures at the London College of Fashion about digital fashion media.
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