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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Beach-side Railway Carriage house, for fab family holidays or get-away weekends

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

Sleeps 6-8, right on the beach, great comfort, great views, quirky venue.

The Cormorant, affectionately known as 'The Choo Choo House', is made of two 1926 railway carriages that have been incorporated into a beachside property. Sleep, cook and bathe in the separate compartments! Between the carriages is the living space, with a large upstairs room with a huge comfortable sofa and panoramic views across the English Channel towards Brighton.

The three bedrooms sit in three separate compartments, as is the kitchen and bathroom. There is a separate wet room with power-shower. Upstairs there is a fabulous living room with a very comfy L-shaped sofa facing the sea, with a bar-table and stools for playing games, having breakfast etc. there is also a double futon sofa bed which is popular for people wanting to sleep with the curtains open and a view of the sea.

The gardens wrap around the house, with direct stepped access to Selsey East Beach, a gently shelving pebble and sand beach perfect for swimming, fishing, kayaking etc. Within a short walk are all the amenities, butcher, baker, supermarket and gourmet fish and chips. A few steps away is a fresh fish and seafood outlet famous for its crab, lobster and sea bass.

Selsey is an old-fashioned seaside town, with a great community spirit. Whilst it couldn't be classed as beautiful, it has it's own charm that draws people back year after year. Nearby is the old Roman city of Chichester with Cinemas, Art Galleries, Museums and with sports and entertainment opportunities as well as great shopping. There's a skate park, ten pin bowling, trampolining, great pubs and restaurants. For the outdoors type, the South Down National Park, West Wittering/Easthead beach and Chichester Harbour are within a 15 minute drive.

The Cormorant comes with a full Linen service, so when you arrive the house is spick and span, the beds made up and towels available. We also provide a guide to local amenities and activities for all ages, abilities and all weathers!

We're the new owners, taking over 8th sept 2017. The previous owner ran the property with great success, with over 50 5* reviews, a legacy we fully intend to build on. We are a local family from East Wittering, with over 20 years experience of both world-wide house-exchanges and renting out our own property in the holidays.

PLEASE NOTE: We would like to do friday turn-rounds where possible.

More Details

Toby Wilsher
Member since: 2017
Speaks French
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
20 May, 2018

About Toby Wilsher

We're Toby and Kathryn. Kathryn is Deputy Head at a special school and I'm a Theatre Director/Comms Coach. We have three teenagers, with whom we have travelled extensively around the world. We are regular house-exchangers, and occasionally rent out our own property. Both of us were born within 10 miles of Selsey so know the area really well, currently living in East Wittering. Our extensive travels have led us to want to offer guests a really special experience whilst on holiday - it's often the little things that make all the difference.

Our eldest son runs the Natural Surf School in East Wittering. We're very much a sea family, being variously, surfers, windsurfers, Kitesurfers and avid swimmers.

Toby Wilsher purchased this house in 2017

Why Toby Wilsher chose Selsey

The Cormorant has that 'WOW!" factor. You walk in and you're immediately surrounded by old railway carriage, with many vintage features. Upstairs the view is just asking for you to sit down on the balcony with a cold drink and enjoy. Open the double doors and you're virtually on the beach. Whether you're a couple or with children, there's SO much to do both in Selsey or within a 15 minute drive.

What makes this house unique

This is such a quirky place, yet it seems to have a great 'chill' factor. By night the stars are amazing! Selsey is well placed for so many different attractions, from Portsmouth, Chichester, The South Downs, with bird-watching, surfing, kayaking, fishing, walking, skateboarding, swimming and cultural attractions all within easy reach.

Guestbook comments from the owner

Our favourite holiday accommodation ever! My daughters walked into the Cormorant with wide eyes exclaiming this was the best place we've ever stayed!

The photos didn't spoil the surprise as I was unsure what to expect but actually the layout really works. Compact, clean & functionable, even with two dogs.

The garden is really useful & adds a homely feel but the piece de resistance is having the beach on your doorstep. The many faces of the surf played a starring role in our albeit brief visit as the weather ranged from storm force winds to absolute calm and wall to wall sunshine.

We loved the quirky features of the beach house, roll top bath, butler sink, wooden floors all adding to its historicity. This is obviously a much valued property and we can see why. A special treasure, and we will always treasure our memories of staying here.

We wouldn't hesitate to return here and to recommend a stay to all those looking for something a little different.
Feb 2017
  • 1 of 5


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Selsey in Chichester District

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 21
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • beach
  • near the sea
  • Ocean View
  • Oceanfront
  • town
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Single Bed
    Bedroom 3 - 3 Single Bed , Bunk beds.
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , Sofa/futon in main upstairs living room. Sea views!
  • Books
  • Games
  • Television
  • Toys
  • Balcony
  • Garden
  • Barbecue
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • cinemas
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
Apart from hanging out at the beach, within a short distance is Hunston Golf club (9+18) and a great crazy course. Within a short drive are skate parks, indoor skate park at Bognor, tramolining and bowling in Chichester, Goodwood racecourse and it's festivals. The Weald and Downland Museum outside Chi is an amazing step back into the past, with medieval houses spread over 100's of acres. Fishbourne has the Roman Villa museum, and Chichester has the Novium museum. Selsey is Star town! Home to the late Sir Patrick Moore, the skies are clear for great star gazing, and in Chichester is the South Downs Observatory - and Tim Peake is from Chi! Fishing and Diving is very popular from Selsey, you can fish straight from the beach with gear provided, with good Mackeral and Bass.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(7 traveller reviews)

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Beach-side Railway Carriage house, for fab family holidays or get-away weekends
average rating of 4.714286 based on 12 reviews

Perfect holiday home

  • 5 of 5

Our family had an amazing stay at The Cormorant. With 3 children under 11 and a bouncy dog we wanted somewhere that was close to the sea and amenities, that was simple, not cluttered and where plausibly we could spent rainy and cold days in peace and happiness. Here we found all of that. Just a perfect place for us - we loved its quirkiness and it’s location slap bang on the beach and the fact it was a stone’s throw from a skate park and numerous playground was just an added bonus. We felt at home and we are already looking forward to returning.

  • Review Submitted: 27-Feb-2018
  • Date of Stay: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks Katherine and so glad you had a great time. As the property is new to us we’re adding bits and bobs all the time, so should we be fortunate enough for you to visit again you’ll find new activities in the house for the children, for wet days and beach days.
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A wonderful house at the beach-side

  • 4 of 5

We have stayed for one week in the house of Toby and Kathryn. Not only the house is wonderful but the owners are wonderful too. We have stayed with eight persons. Our daughter and son in law with there kids and we the grandparents. A very special and lovely house near the beach. Every thing you need is in the house in the kitchen, in the bathroom and also in the bathroom. When you arrive the beds are made the house is very clean. Every thing shows: you are more than welcome. We will recommend this place to everyone who likes the see, a beautiful view and a very special house. We will come back to this lovely place!

Lodewijk and Margriet Hardenberg Netherlands

  • Review Submitted: 18-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hi Lodewijk, thanks very much for the review. Lovely to host you snd hope to see you back here soon. Love to all the family Toby and Kathryn
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Fantastic - warm and cozy, cool and quirky, quality decor and amazing views.

  • 5 of 5

This is a very cool property to hang out in! The decor is fresh, clean and uncluttered, allowing the character of the railway carriages to make their presence felt in an understated way. Many original features have remained, and the decor complements them. The owners have thought of everything in this welcoming and quirky property. It’s full of quality from the bed linen and pillows to the cozy wool blankets to snuggle up with. The big squishy sofa upstairs has room for everyone, and we all had great views of the sea. The upstairs layout has a big table - perfect for card games, art activities and jigsaws. We sat on the balcony, played footie in the garden, baked a cake and cooked a roast for 7 people. Even the knives were sharp, the non-stick pans were non-stick and I’m tempted to take the veg peeler home it was so awesome! The weather was wet, windy and cold but inside we were warm and toasty. We only had 2 days here but it felt like a proper break - we crammed loads AND had time to chill and chat. Perfect. We’ll be back.... next weekend??

  • Review Submitted: 12-Mar-2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Chloe, glad you and the children enjoyed it. As seasoned travellers ourselves, doing house swops around the globe with our children, we're acutely aware that apparently the weather isn't always great, so it's really important for us that the Cormorant is a complete destination, not just a beach house.
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Barnie & I

  • 4 of 5

This Choo Choo Train conversion sits in the perfect position for Beach lovers, literally at the end of the garden. It has everything that you need to cook and relax. The upstairs sitting area provides glorious views all day and night.The Fish Shop almost next door sells catch of the day and a lot more, delicious.

The owner Toby solved a heating problem on day one efficiently and the following day I can say the place did become cosy after a freezing start! Mind you this March snow and well below average temperatures did not help. Just one thing I know its on the seaside but would prefer the stairs to have some carpeting as they are quite slippy - just a thought.

Will I return, why would I not!

  • Review Submitted: 09-Mar-2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks Barbara for staying with us, and being so understanding after the 'Beast from the East' knocked out our boiler! The point you make about stairs is an interesting one - we're hoping at some point to re-design the stair area, but in the meantime we'll consider the carpet solution. All those wet feet! regards Toby
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Great Holiday Home!

  • 5 of 5

We have just returned after a weekend at The Cormorant and we loved it!

Great location, either walk up a few steps and you are on the beach or if steps are a problem you can go out the front of the property and walk up the driveway straight onto the beach!

We loved the train carriages inside the property and considering how cold the weather was, it was lovely and warm inside. Everything you need is provided. The biscuits were a great touch too, I am trying to locate where to buy them!!!!

Great for walking our two German Shepards, who had a great time walking along the beaches and considering they are large dogs, we still had plenty of room at the Comorant.

The shops are walking distance too, so very convenient. The Lifeboat Inn just up the road did lovely Pub food and we also tried the Crab and Lobster and had a fantastic meal there, both of which you had recommended in the Property booklet.

We are definitely going to book again as we enjoyed it so much.

Great property, Great location!

  • Review Submitted: 07-Feb-2018
  • Date of Stay: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great family holiday in an unique property right on the beach in Selsey.

  • 5 of 5

We loved this unusal property the old rail carriages offered a unique experience as they housed the bedrooms, kitchen and bathroom. A lovely large upstairs lounge gave great views over the sea wall to the sea and behond. An attractive balcony extended for outside seating.

The property was very well stocked with lots of kitchen equipment ( we baked cakes and cooked a full Christmas dinner).

The house was warm and cosy.

We appreciated the advantage of a shower room and also a futon bed at the rear of the lounge.

From the ground floor there is direct access up steps, onto the beach and the coastal path along which we could enjoy walks with our dog.

I can highly recommend this property.

  • Review Submitted: 29-Dec-2017
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks Helen, so glad we could host you for a great Christmas. Regard Toby and Kathryn
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Nearest Golf
4 Miles
Nearest Train
8 Miles
Nearest Beach
10 Metres
Selsey east Beach
Car: recommended

There is a pack at the house with many things to do, including wet-weather suggestions for adults and children.


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £25


Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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