The Church Retreat

South East England East Sussex Hastings

  • Sleeps 6
  • Apartment

A cool, creative apartment in seaside St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex

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Victorian foundations and ever-evolving art make The Church Retreat an appealing place to stay by the sea. You could say the same about St Leonards, the seaside town this self-catering apartment is found in. It’s reached in 90 minutes on the train from London, one stop short of Hastings. The town’s better-known neighbour has a well-established arts scene that’s easily explored from here, but St Leonards itself may just charm you to stay this side of the pier. It has galleries, cafés, independent shops – and a personality all of its own.

You’ll find The Church Retreat in a classic Victorian building three minutes’ walk from the station and the same to the sea. Open the front door and the creativity of the place strikes you straight away. Commissioned artworks don’t just hang on the whitewashed walls but are painted directly on them. It’s a bold move in a space that could just as easily have been used to play simple homage to the character features that have been carefully retained and restored. But this way is a lot more fun.

While this Prestige award-winning two-bedroomed apartment has gallery-level art, it's been designed to be lived in as well. The impressive 40-foot open-plan kitchen, dining and living room is a lovely, light-filled place to hang out, warmed by underfloor heating. It has relaxed sofas (one which converts to a bed), a Smart TV and an island for sociable cooking as well as a desk for anyone who needs to work while they’re away. The shared bathroom and two double bedrooms, with their sturdy furniture and neutral carpets, are the quieter part of the retreat but with no less attention to detail.

The apartment sleeps up to six. If you want to visit St Leonards as a larger group, there’s a sister property, Gensing Lodge, with a similar aesthetic, a 10-minute walk away. Both work just as well for two couples or a small group of friends as they do for a family. And all will find something to entertain in and around St Leonards. Grown-ups can enjoy the galleries and coffee shops, kids will be at home on the beach. Hastings is a stroll along the prom away with its lovely Old Town, fishing boats and brighter lights. A day out there is lovely; the retreat back to up-and-coming St Leonards, perhaps even better.


Suitable For

Couples, Families and Groups. Pets allowed.


St Leonards beach is a short stroll away 

Food & Drink

Kings Road with lots of great cafes and restaurants is 3 minutes away


All year


From £160 a night. 

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The Owner Says

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Getting There

From London (or anywhere to the north of St Leonards) use the A21 to head towards Hastings. Ignore signs for St Leonards via the A2102 and continue towards the town centre for half a mile. Turn right on to Church Road just after passing a Lidl supermarket. The Church Retreat is found on this road. St Leonard's Warrior Square Station is a five-minute walk from the apartment with direct links to London Charing Cross.


  • Accessible Facilities
  • Dishwasher
  • Microwave
  • Smart TV
  • Wifi

Looking For...

  • Activities
  • Beaches
  • Car-free Option
  • Exclusive Hire
  • Foodies
  • Remote Working
  • Something Different

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