Category: Attractions

Cornwall’s Wild Larder

At a time when the seasonality and provenance of our food are becoming evermore important, people are opening their eyes to our edible landscape. Cornwall is a foodie haven renowned for its abundance of fresh ingredients plucked from the coast and countryside, so it’s little wonder that the shoreline and hedgerows are bursting with them. Cliff-tops are thriving with samphire, gorse flowers and wild garlic, boulders are strewn with edible seaweeds and hedgerows are bursting with all sorts of berries and herbs.

It’s not often that people compare Cornwall’s landscape with the shelves of a supermarket, but whether you want to make chutney or serve up a three-course feast, expert forager Caroline Davey can show you where to find an array of ingredients in nature’s larder. “It’s about using foraged foods like any other ingredients you would buy from the supermarket, and making interesting, delicious dishes with them,” says Caroline.

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a hot tub? Check out our cottages with a hot tub for a relaxing getaway.

A keen cook with a background in ecology and botany, Caroline started supplying local restaurants with foraged ingredients back in 2007, and by 2008 she had launched Fat Hen – her own foraging and wild cookery school. Caroline’s renovated barns tucked in the wilds of West Cornwall are the perfect base to bring people together to enjoy the Great Outdoors, go foraging and create fabulous feasts from nature’s bounty. This isn’t foraging for survival’s sake. Greens, herbs, salad, veg, seaweeds, flowers, seeds and roots are cooked up into restaurant-worthy dishes, sometimes topped up with seafood from the local fishermen. “People start identifying edible plants in a bunch of greenery or seaweed and realise not only that they can eat them, but that they actually taste really good,” says Caroline. “The profile of wild food is changing. It’s not just eating wild food that’s important; it’s the process of foraging for our own ingredients that is emphasising our connection with food and the landscape. When you get down to the beach and you’re out foraging you’re living so much in the moment and everything feels so good.”


Anyone can go out and forage for ingredients along the shoreline – seashore plants are very distinctive and quite easy to identify with the help of a guidebook to wild ingredients. Caroline recommends River Cottage’s Edible Seashore.
The coastline is a great place to find seaweed, samphire and sea beet, all delicious served up with line-caught mackerel or foraged mussels. Then you can scour the woodlands and hedgerows for berries, edible flowers, three-cornered leeks and nettles.

Six wild ingredients to forage for in Cornwall

ELDERFLOWER – the taste and scent of English summer. The sweet flavour of elderflower makes delicious cordial and non-alcoholic elderflower champagne’, and can also be used in salads and dressings.

Part of the watercress family, nasturtiums grows so vigorously in Cornwall that some people consider them to be a weed. The leaves and petals have a peppery, tangy flavour and add wonderful colour and punch to a summer salad.

A versatile ingredient for cocktails and summer barbecues. Apple mint adds a zingy flavour to salad dishes, cocktails and meat. Or you can simply pour boiling water over a sprig for fresh mint tea.

The strong and peppery leaves can be used for frittatas, salads or as a cooked green. Use the flowers in a salad or a Bloody Mary.

Named after St Pierre (the patron saint of fishermen), samphire is delicious pickled, in a salsa verde, in fritters or alongside fresh fish.

Our favourite food to forage for has to be mussels. Pick them off the rocks at the lowest tide and steam them in white wine with garlic and cream. Don’t pick them after rain or near a river-mouth and only from September to April.

FAT HEN –, 01736 810156

Check out our holiday properties in Mousehole to experience everything Penzance and the area has to offer.

Unearth fascinating finds and foraging adventures with Beach Retreats’ insightful guide.

Spring Gardens in Cornwall

Cornwall is home to an abundance of garden wonderlands thriving with sub-tropical species – and spring is a great season to explore them. Picnic in carpets of bluebells, tunnel through bamboo jungles, and play hide and seek in magical woodlands. These are our top six spring gardens in Cornwall.

Want to stay in a luxury holiday house with a view of the sea? Check out our cottages with sea views.

Trebah Garden, Mawnan Smith

This sub-tropical garden tumbling down to the banks of the Helford River is one of our favourite destinations for a family day out – and dogs can come, too. Wend your way through magnolias and rhododendrons bursting into bloom, tunnel through bamboo jungles and giant gunnera, and emerge on a divine sandy beach where you can order a mug of tea from the Boathouse Café and skim pebbles to your heart’s content.

More info: Open daily from 10:00. Dogs welcome.

Trelissick, Feock

Whether it’s still cool and blustery, or a blue-sky day with wall-to-wall sunshine, Trelissick’s stunning 300-acre estate is the perfect place for a springtime excursion. Wander through woodland along the banks of the River Fal, climb magnificent beech trees and explore the gardens, then take afternoon tea in the cobbled courtyard, where you can nose around the gallery and second-hand bookshop. Ramp up the adventure by arriving by ferry from Falmouth or Truro, or why not hop aboard the King Harry Ferry and head on to explore the verdant Roseland Peninsula?

More info: Open daily from. Dogs welcome on the woodland trails, but not in the gardens.

St Michael’s Mount, Marazion

Once home of a legendary giant, part of a pilgrimage route and an all-round enchanting spot to castaway to a fairy-tale castle, St Michael’s Mount is also home to stunning terraced gardens, where exotic plants cling to steep granite cliffs. Stand high in the castle turrets and look down upon stonework and lawns bursting with colour, or follow the trails through flower-lined paths beaten by the salty breeze. More info: The gardens are open from April to September; there are I Spy cards for children, and tours are available.

Fancy staying in Marazion, discover our Marazion holiday properties.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell

As we step into springtime, these ancient woodlands, water meadows and productive gardens burst into colour and scent. Daffodils and snowdrops line the paths, beneath tree ferns, banana palms and gigantic rhubarb plants. This historic sleeping beauty was re-awakened from the brambles in 1990 and is now Europe’s largest garden restoration project, with family-friendly trails, farm animals, adventure play areas and secret hides where you can spy on the wildlife.

More info: Open daily, except Christmas day.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, nr Penzance

Squirrelled away in a lush landscape close to Mounts Bay, art and nature merge seamlessly at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. Climb trees, wander through woodland, and nature’s wonderland through a series of art installations including a camera obscura and a series of contemporary sculptures including a Minotaur and a brick throne overlooking St Michael’s Mount. Amongst a series of exhibitions and creative workshops held in the grounds and gallery, this spring you can catch Cousin Jack’s Theatre Company’s performance of Percy Pengelly and the Wibble Wobble. What with a kitchen serving scrumptious seasonal delights, a gift shop and nursery, it makes a great day out for the whole family.

More info: Open daily from February.

Lanhydrock, nr Bodmin

One of the most magical times of year to visit Lanhydrock is during spring, when the woodlands of this sprawling country estate are carpeted with bluebells. Explore a labyrinth of footpaths winding through 900-acres of countryside, along the banks of burbling stream and into landscaped gardens where the rhododendrons and magnolias are coming into flower. Step into history in the Victorian manor house, take part in a range of family activities and freewheel along the bike trails – from easy-going family routes to demanding woodland tracks.

Lanhydrock gardens, nr Bodmin

More info: Open daily – see website for times and details.


Discover easter adventures in Cornwall with our guide to seven must-do activities, promising fun-filled experiences for the whole family.

Search Beach Retreats Holidays.

Weekend retreat in Cawsand


CawsandLocal blogger Hayley Spurway and her family cast away to Cawsand for a weekend…

Following the directions along narrow, winding streets to reach The Penthouse 4 The Bay, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you might end up driving straight into the sea. It’s only just before you hit the shoreline that you turn into an underground parking lot beneath a brand new complex of beachside apartments: one of which was our weekend pad.

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a hot tub? Check out our cottages with a hot tub for a relaxing getaway.


While the boys’ jaws dropped at the technical bling and bunk beds – with a PS4, bedside screens and all the gadgets they’re not allowed at home – I was stunned by the eye-popping views and our proximity to the big blue and. A serene ocean-scape flooded through every window, with a pop-out balcony in my penthouse suite, where I could soak up said views and listen to the meditative echo of the waves in a private sanctuary, squirrelled away from the rest of the house. I even had control of my own Sonos sound system, so with excitement levels running high and the boys already commandeering the soundtrack downstairs, I cranked up my own tunes, took a deep breath of briny air, and kicked back on the plump cushions scattered on the bed. Bliss.


Ensconced in the coastal lifestyle, our hectic pace of life quickly adjusted to the beat of the ocean and the steady ebb and flow of the tides. We eased open electric blinds to watch the sublime sunrise over Plymouth Sound, where sailing boats crossed the watery border between Devon and Cornwall. Our bare feet padded across the sand and along the cobbled seaside lanes, on the way to buy fresh sourdough bread from The Old Bakery – ready for breakfast after an invigorating sea swim. Skimming stones for the dog to chase, splashing in the shallows and swimming out to sea until the cold water prickled our skin, sparked a hearty appetite for coffee and eggs, served back on our balcony overhanging the sea.

Take a scenic walk through Lynton and Lynmouth, exploring their charming streets, historic landmarks, and breathtaking coastal views in North Devon.


Although we were content to while away hours in our beach pad – playing snakes and ladders and scrabble, and gorging on Cornish cream teas (the ingredients thoughtfully provided by the owners) – it was time to breakout on some family adventures and explore this divine and ‘forgotten corner’ of Cornwall. So, fresh Cornish pasties in hand, and with the dog in tow, we climbed aboard the little Cawsand Ferry, which puttered to and from the beach, right outside our door.

Explore the picturesque village of Cawsand in South Cornwall with Beach Retreats, offering charming cottages and stunning coastal views for a relaxing getaway.

Passing maritime and military landmarks, we crossed the watery border into Devon, tracking a course towards the iconic Smeaton’s Tower – a lighthouse that was originally built to deter sailors from Eddystone Reef, then moved stone by stone Plymouth Hoe in 1884. Climbing the lighthouse tower is just one of the amazing things to do once the ferry moors in Plymouth, and another family favourite is a visit to the largest aquarium in the UK. However, after a ramble along the Barbican, we stepped into the fascinating Mayflower museum, took a twirl along the hoe, and tucked into fish and chips. By then is was already time to hop back on the ferry for a bumpy crossing back to Cawsand, which was swiftly followed by a sundowner at The Bay, basking in the last glimpse of the autumn sunshine.


Despite a tempting menu at The Bay bar and restaurant, we chose to head back upstairs and make use of the high-spec kitchen in our penthouse. After all, what’s the point in residing in a stylish beach house if you don’t make the most of it? Whether you want to throw a dinner party or cook up a hearty family feast, the kitchen is well equipped for all occasions. And whether you’re cooking, chilling out on the sofa, or sitting at the dinner table, the views from the open-plan living space far outdo those from the restaurant downstairs (even if our food wasn’t as high calibre as the seafood-biased menu being served there).


The beauty of being able to bring your dog to stay at The Bay is that are so many walks on the doorstep. From October to Easter you can pad straight out onto the dog-friendly sands with your morning coffee, while neighbouring Kingsand beach is paw-friendly year round. Keen for a picturesque Sunday stroll, we made tracks along the South West Coast Path, following chestnut-littered paths beneath woodland canopies, to the Rame Peninsula.

With the trail never veering more than a pebble’s throw from the water, we peeped through the autumn leaves to sailing boats on Plymouth Sound, before emerging at the historic Penlee Battery. This made the perfect spot for a picnic, while the kids made the most of nature’s playground, clambering on craggy rocks where fishermen lured Sunday lunch onto their lines. The coast path continues all the way to the chapel perched on the tip of Rame Head, or you can follow a circular route back to Kingsand.


Staying at The Bay, there’s no need for a car to enjoy plenty of family adventures by ferry and foot. However, the whisper of a wave on nearby Whitsand Bay was enough to nudge us to start the engine, and explore the sweeping expanse of coastline wrapping its way back towards south Cornwall. Winding along mile-upon-mile of wave-lashed coastline, it makes an epic road trip through a landscape that echoes with history and legend. It’s thought that Freathy Cliffs are still haunted by the ghost of a smuggler named Silas Finn, who betrayed his friends to save himself from the authorities.

Sitting beneath the cliffs at Eddystone Beach Café, we watched the surfers who now flock to this coastline in place of the smugglers and seafarers of days gone by. It’s the juxtaposition of past and present – the meeting of a rich heritage and state-of-the-art living – that makes this ‘forgotten corner’ of Cornwall so magical. And as the sun went down on our weekend away, we felt relaxed and rejuvenated, having been immersed in the history and beauty of Cornwall, all from the comfort of a contemporary beach house.


The Penthouse, 4 The Bay, The Bound, Cawsand
Sleeps 8 in 4 spacious bedrooms with en suites

Book a stay at The Penthouse 4 The Bay in Cawsand.

Chasing waterfalls in Cornwall

The ocean isn’t Cornwall’s only watery wonder. Checkout these six stunning waterfalls

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a hot tub? Check out our cottages with a hot tub for a relaxing getaway.

St Nectan’s Glen, nr Tintagel

Veer inland from beautiful Bossiney Cove and Rocky Valley, to explore the magical trio of waterfalls at St Nectan’s Glen. At the heart of this leafy vale you’ll find a 60-foot waterfall thundering through a rock arch. Legend says that this sacred site was used as part of a ritual to cleanse King Arthur’s squires and turn them into knights. Experience the power of the waterfall from the shallow pool, then push on past the main waterfall to discover a secondary waterfall, before crossing a walkway to a third hidden fall.

Golitha Falls, nr Liskeard

Tunnel through a wooded valley alongside the tumbling River Fowey, following trails through Golitha Falls Nature Reserve. Children will love exploring the terrain and hunting for Cornish piskies as they scale along tree trunks, tip-toe across stepping-stones and stomp over bridges. Your adventure will eventually lead you to a waterfall cascading down the gorge, but there are plenty of places to unpack a picnic in a fairytale glen en route.

Tregardock Beach, nr Port Isaac

Tackle the descent to one of Cornwall’s wildest beaches, and you’ll be rewarded with the raw beauty of soaring cliffs, sea caves and sandy expanses. Keep your eye on the tide as you scour the rock pools and trace the shoreline to the northern end of the beach, where you’ll find a waterfall flowing over the mouth of a shallow cave. Rest assured it’s worth the 15-minute walk off the beaten track to reach this low-tide gem, just make sure you get up early to bag one of the few parking spaces along the farm lane.

Learn to embrace every weather condition and maximise your experience with our expert tips.

Lansallos, West Polruan

Stretch your legs along the 20-minute trail from the church in Lansallos village to reach a hidden cove. Children will love following the activity points along the stream, making their way to this idyllic beach with a waterfall that once powered an old mill. Known as Reed Water, the falls tumble onto the sand and rocks of this stunning, south-facing cove that’s made for swimming and family picnics.

Eden Project, St Austell

The world-famous Eden Project needs little introduction. Step into the tropical rainforest and discover the waterfall that splashes its way from the very top of the biome and through the heart of the awe-inspiring jungle. Follow the higher path and cross the bridge to feel the cooling spray, and find out how this unique eco attraction harvests rainwater to irrigate the plants, top up the waterfall and create the humidity of the rainforest. Even if you’ve visited Eden before, the ever-changing seasons, exhibitions and family trails make it one to return to at any time of year.

Pentargon, Boscastle

Follow in the footsteps of Thomas Hardy as you strike out along Beeny Cliffs to find the spectacular Pentargon waterfall that plunges 120ft through a hanging valley to the shoreline below. It’s little wonder that Hardy and his first wife, Emma Gifford, fell in love as they explored the romantic scenery around beautiful Boscastle. Peer down from Fire Beacon Point to spot seals sunning themselves on the rocks below, soak up spectacular views of the harbour, and head back to Boscastle to dip into its quirky cafés, bewitching history and castle ruins.

Explore the enchanting village of Boscastle in North Cornwall with Beach Retreats.

10 Must Visit Natural Attractions in Cornwall

Want to explore more of Cornwall? Check out our favourite autumnal walks in Cornwall.

Hell’s Mouth, nr Godrevy

Stand atop craggy cliffs, gazing a dizzy 300 feet down to waves crashing against the rocks below. Just north of Godrevy lighthouse, Hell’s Mouth is a place of untamed beauty; where ships have foundered, cliffs have crumbled into the ocean, and fulmars dance on currents of air rising between rugged ledges. Close to the haunted Deadman’s Cove, this is a staggering location to clap eyes on Cornwall’s coastal panorama at its wildest.

St Nectan’s Glen, nr Boscastle

Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and Cornish piskies as you explore the magical Rocky Valley and St Nectan’s Glen. Park at Trevethy (between Tintagel and Boscastle) and walk via St Piran’s Church, following the River Trevillet through the leafy glen to a thundering 60ft waterfall. It’s believed that, as part of a ritual to turn them into knights, King Arthur’s squires passed through the rock arch and dropped into the plunge pool of St Nectan’s to be cleansed.

Bedruthan Steps, nr Mawgan Porth

Dubbed Britain’s equivalent of Australia’s Twelve Apostles, here a series of mussel-clad towers rise from golden sands. Many visitors simply stare at these rock giants from the cliff tops, but it’s worth waiting for low tide to descend the 140-something steps and experience the immensity of the scenery with your toes in the sand. After the calf-busting walk back up, you can reward yourself with a Cornish cream tea at Carnewas Tearooms.

Porth Island, Newquay

Protected from the Atlantic swell by the rugged promontory of Porth Island, Porth Beach is popular with families for swimming, SUP-ing, rock-pooling and picnics. But step over the footbridge onto Porth Island and you can explore a far more rugged domain that was once an Iron Age settlement. Peer down into the wishing well pool, soak up stunning views of Newquay’s coastline and follow the spit of land to the blowhole, where clouds of sea spray explode from the rocks at mid-tide.

Brown Willy, Bodmin Moor

A huge contrast to Cornwall’s coastal wonders, head to the wild territory of Bodmin Moor to climb the 420m to the top of Cornwall’s highest peak – Brown Willy. The rolling moorland is littered with prehistoric remains, and once you reach the summit you’ll be rewarded with far-reaching views of the countryside and coast.

Pedn-Vounder, Treen

If you can brave a knee-wobbling descent and don’t mind mingling with the naturists, at Pedn-Vounder you can take a dip in an iridescent-blue lagoon surrounded by white sands. A low-tide beach backed by towering cliffs, this breath-taking beauty is overlooked by the huge granite boulder of Logan Rock, and the sparkling water is some the cleanest, and clearest, in the UK.

The Rumps, nr Polzeath

If you want to escape the crowds and blow away the cobwebs, strike out along the coast path out of New Polzeath, and head for the twin-headed promontory of The Rumps. Far from the beach brigades, here you can discover the remains of an Iron Age fortress, capture far-reaching views of the coastline and lookout for puffins on The Mouls (the island that lies off the eastern headland). Just make sure you hold onto your hat on a windy day.

Nanjizal, nr Land’s End

About a mile from Land’s End and only accessible on foot, Nanjizal is a wild and secluded cove where the sea laps beneath the Song of the Sea rock arch. When winter swells rage it’s an awesome sight to behold and you’ll probably be in the company of more seals and sea birds than humans; while on calm summer days coast path walkers trickle by and are lured into the sea caves and the turquoise plunge pool beneath the arch.

Treyarnon Tidal Pool, Treyarnon

This natural pool carved into rocks hemming Treyarnon beach, is a picturesque place to take a dip without having to battle the surf. Paddle, rock jump, do a few laps, or simply explore the surrounding rock pools, before basking on the boulders like seals, to warm up before a picnic on the turf-topped cliffs.

Cape Cornwall, nr Pendeen

Avoid the camera-wielding crowds at Land’s End and head for nearby Cape Cornwall, where the Atlantic currents divide. Here you can climb to the landmark chimney atop a rocky peak, and enjoy views of Land’s End, Brison Rocks and the World Heritage mining coastline, with little more than sea birds for company.

Find a beach location to discover more wonders, and keep an eye on our special offers page for the latest deals and discounts.

Discover our bespoke holiday cottages in Hayle, a short drive from St Ives and Pendeen.

Visiting with a large family? Discover our large holiday homes perfect for big families or friend groups.

Book your Beach Retreats self-catering holiday.

Feeling the love at Harbourside Cottage in Boscastle

Hear how Helen from Beach Retreats got on during her stay at Harbourside Cottage in Boscastle, Cornwall.

Picturesque Boscastle sits on the dramatic North coast of Cornwall, where two rivers meet the sea. This little inlet was naturally shaped into the perfect escape from rough seas for local fishermen and maybe even smugglers in days gone by. Today it’s a quintessentially Cornish village, a haven for walkers enjoying the South West Coast Path, and for those that want to dip their toes in the water while enjoying the beach that appears in the harbour at low tide.

This cute little village is actually pretty tough, having been decimated by severe flooding back in 2004. Looking at the river today it is hard to believe it could ever have been so destructive.


Harbourside Cottage miraculously escaped the floods, sitting just a few steps from the riverside on a quiet side street of character cottages. This cosy coastal hideaway sleeps 2 and also welcomes dogs, who can enjoy the secluded decked garden along with you, or take a short stroll to the river for their daily paddle. The property itself has everything the weary traveller needs on arrival, including plenty of tea and coffee and fresh milk, perfect for a quick cuppa in the garden before heading back out to explore.

Once we’d had our fill of our first harbour views, we headed back to the cottage for a barbeque in the garden, making use of the fully equipped kitchen before retiring for an early night in anticipation of the following day’s adventures. The double bedroom at Harbourside Cottage is spacious for a quirky cottage and has views out to the harbour. The high quality white bedlinen and soft fluffy pillows were so inviting and we soon dropped off to the distant sound of the running river.

In the morning we enjoyed the compact yet spacious feel of the cottage while getting ready for the day ahead. We almost wished it was winter so we could make use of the wood burning stove- this would be such a cosy retreat in the colder months. In the summer the garden becomes a sun trap and is the perfect private space. The quirky decorative pieces and quality furniture and furnishings really make this place feel like home.

Explore the enchanting village of Boscastle in North Cornwall with Beach Retreats.

Out and about

The first thing you should do when arriving in Boscastle is to walk down the length of the harbour walls and take a peak over the cliffs to what’s beyond- you might be lucky enough to catch the gig boats rowing in and out or a fishing boat or hardy kayaker navigating the deep channel. Alfie the dog very much enjoyed a splash in the harbour!

We also took the opportunity to explore the shops and cafes, heading first to the National Trust Visitor’s Centre which has an eye-opening exhibition on the floods of 2004, and an adjoining café with outdoor terrace and delicious cakes, perfect for elevenses. We also took a 10 minute drive to nearby Tintagel to take a look at the ruined castle, commonly thought to be associated with King Arthur. The whole place has an aura of mystery and intrigue due to the associations with Merlin and witchcraft, which spreads all the way back along the coast to Boscastle which is home to the National Witchcraft Museum. We couldn’t resist a visit here when we got back, and it was indeed quite spooky!


Another must-do is to head out for a coastal walk on the South West Coast Path. Coast path walks from here can be challenging but you will be rewarded for your efforts with some spectacular scenery. If you’re bringing your four-legged friend make sure to keep them on a lead near the cliff edges. We headed up to the coast watch station on the headland, a 20 minute walk from the harbour heading west towards Tintagel, from which we enjoyed far reaching views before heading back to the village.

If it’s beaches you’re after, head for the nearest secluded bay at Bossiney, just a 10 minute drive away. This secret spot is only accessible at low tide and requires a bit of a hike from the nearest parking spot, but when you make it down to the beach you will be amazed at the unspoilt beauty and private feel- only the intrepid make it here! A little bit further along is Trebarwith Strand, another lesser known spot only accessible at low tide, but well-appointed with a pub, café and surf school. Or you could take a 20 minute drive in the other direction to Widemouth Bay where you can enjoy plenty of golden sand all day long.

Food and drink

Directly opposite the witchcraft museum is the very crooked Harbour Light tea garden, perfect for a cream tea or a pasty lunch amongst the hustle and bustle of the day trippers, or for a more relaxed, away-from-it-all feel you can head to The Riverside Hotel which has a secluded riverside terrace for alfresco eating. Dinner here was a very laid back affair, with lots of fresh, locally caught sea food on the menu. Top-notch friendly service, and dog-friendly in the daytime and out on the terrace too.

There are many other options in Boscastle, including the 16th century Wellington Hotel, Sharon’s Plaice for freshly made take away pizza or fish and chips, The Toby Jug café for a pit stop lunch and traditional Cornish pub The Cobweb.

Looking to travel a bit further away from Boscastle? Check out our top 5 restaurants in Watergate Bay.


    • Being 10 steps from the river- Alfie the dog loved it
    • The well-appointed cottage- a real home away from home.
    • The rugged coastal scenery- sitting on the cliff side listening to the waves booming in the sea caves beyond the harbour walls at low tide.

Falmouth for two

We’re travelling across Falmouth harbour on a ferry over to St Mawes with the castle fast approaching and Pendennis castle behind us.  You get a feel for the scale of this volume of water, Falmouth is the third largest natural harbour in the world, and a flavour for how the town’s maritime past shapes the current day visitor offering.  Life on the water is varied from the imposing docks and luxury yacht manufacturer, through to the leisure yachts and ferries criss-crossing the water, then stand-up paddleboarders and kayakers weaving through the marina.

We’re staying at Curlew, one of five newly renovated apartments at Kinbrae House between the town centre and Gyllyngvase beach.  Quality and meticulous attention to detail can be found in abundance, from the custom-made glass in the entrance hall, through to the décor of each room, and the welcoming cream tea on arrival. Everything comes together to create a perfect base for couples visiting Falmouth.

Visiting Cornwall for a romantic adventure? Check out our romantic cottages.

So priorities then – the walk to the beach.  Turn left out of Kinbrae House and you are two minutes or 200 metres from Gyllyngvase beach on the west side of Falmouth.  We’re watching early morning yoga and feng shui classes on the sand from the Gylly Beach café. It’s a popular swimming beach for young and old, sharing the sea with stand-up paddleboarders and the occasional kayaker.

We’re having breakfast in the café – right on the sand watching the activities. Eggs Arlington and the full Cornish breakfast win the vote and set us up for the day.  We walk around the headland past Pendennis castle around into the centre of Falmouth, past the viewing platform for the docks and down into the town and harbour.

The National Maritime Museum sits on the edge of the water but with the weather so good we head down to the marina for one of the ferries and choose St Mawes as our destination.  It’s a picture postcard village on the other side of the water, a 30 minute trip in amongst all the water traffic and gateway to the Roseland peninsula.  Lunch is an al-fresco choice between seafood or Cornish pasty on the harbour wall.

The centre of Falmouth is home to nautical and lifestyle clothing brands, arts and crafts shops and a plenty of familiar high street names.  There are numerous restaurants; African, seafood and steakhouses to name a few, as well as the well-regarded Harbour fish and chip takeaway.  We ate ours by the edge of the water watching the sunset and changing colours on the water.

It’s worth highlighting the location of Kinbrae House in relation to the town centre also. It’s only a 10-15 minute walk away – beach in one direction – restaurants in the other.  It would be quite easy to leave the car in the off-road parking space all week.

One final discovery; follow the path past Gyllyngvase beach to Swanpool beach, another pretty vista from Hooked on the Rocks for some seafood sourced direct from the fishermen straight from the sea.

We love:

    • The location on Kinbrae House; turn left for the beach, right for the restaurants, town and marina.


    • So much to do without needing to jump in the car.


    • The attention to detail, clever layouts and finish in the apartment.


    • The choice of ferries and trip to get on the water.


    • Breakfast on Gyllyngvase beach watching the stand-up paddleboarders, yoga enthusiasts and swimmers.


Also recommended:

    • The Ferry Boat and the Ship Wright pubs in Helford passage.


    • The Cove at Maenporth for lunch or dinner.


    • Flushing has a lovely restaurant called the Waterside and Muddy Beach in Penryn has great pastries coffees and daily specials.


    • Up the estuary at Mylor there is a lovely café and the famous Pandora’s Inn with beach and pontoon landings. Especially their daily specials.


    • For a lovely evening meal in Falmouth try the Mediterranean Kitchen for Tapas after spending a little time in Dollies Gin Palace for a stunning G&T – over 100 to choose from!


    • The Wheel House is lovely but often fully booked. Olivers on the High St is also gorgeous but always booked up. Or try Cribs which serves Caribbean fayre.

Check out more of what Falmouth has to offer by staying in one of our bespoke retreats in Falmouth.

Discover more of Cornwall with the charm of Portreath’s no-drive delights, offering relaxation and adventure at your doorstep.

Read more about Curlew and Kinbrae House.

St Ives walk through

A walk along one of Cornwall’s best Blue Flag beaches towards the seaside town of St Ives

Voted Best UK Holiday Destination by Coast Magazine, we visited the beautiful seaside town in the height of the summer to see what all the fuss was about…and we get it!

Thinking about staying in St Ives? Have a look at our luxury St Ives holiday properties.

Firstly getting to St Ives. Our top tip for parking is to drive to the Lelant Saltings Park and Ride train station just 4 miles away, where visitors can leave their cars and hop on the St.Erth to St.Ives Bay Line for just £4 return (please note there is a small charge for parking your vehicle).

St Ives Train

This famous line has some of the most beautiful scenery in England and is well worth the ride down to the beach. Below is just one of the many scenes you’ll pass on your way into St Ives. Hop off at the end of the line at Porthminster Beach, where you’ll see a large sandy bay backed by a wooded valley, with all the beach amenities you and your family will need.

Interested in staying in our most luxurious holiday cottages? Check out our luxury coastal cottages.

Directly in front of you on the beach you’ll see the Porthminster Beach Bar, the perfect spot for a quick bite to eat, cold drink or just some chill time from the sun. Watch out for those swooping seagulls when walking around with food.

Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Porthminster beach has a Lifeguard service from mid May to end of September. You will also find that there is a seasonal dog ban on this beach…but don’t worry, read on to find out where you can take your pooches!

Head right when on the beach where you’ll find a great spot for rockpooling and you might even spot some fascinating hidden sealife under rocks and amongst the green seaweed.

In the opposite direction (our favourite one) you’ll be able to walk through shallow clear waters, jump the waves and watch the boats bobbing in the distance.

Fancy yourself as a beach artist? The golden sands with a little sea water make for a great sandcastle competition with the family. How big will you go and don’t forget to shout ‘I’m the King of the Castle’ if you win.

As you walk the stretch of golden sand you’ll end up at St Ives Harbour Beach where well behaved dogs are more than welcome.

St Ives Harbour Beach

Don’t miss a photo stop at Smeaton’s Pier built in 1831 and the St Ives lighthouse.

St Ives Smeaton Pier

St Ives is known as a destination where famous artists flock year upon year. The piercing light, white sanded beaches, crystal clear waters and white washed fishermans cottages make for a great painting; not to mention the art galleries, quirky Cornish shops and lots of scrummy places to eat and drink.

Uncover the charm of St Ives, Cornwall, with our guide to this picturesque coastal town, renowned for its art, beaches, and vibrant local culture.

We couldn’t help but stop at the St Ives Bakery with the smells of freshly cooked Cornish pasties and cakes coming out of the ovens. Meringue anyone?

When walking through this pretty seaside town, you’ll come across many beautiful narrow cobbled streets, which make up a maze of new directions to take.

St Ives Cobbled Streets

To end your day, whether it’s Cornish ice cream, fudge or a little clotted cream, a stop at ‘Cornish Cream‘, is a must when walking through the town if you’re still feeling a little peckish from lunch.


Book your Cornish self-catering holiday with Beach Retreats.

Perranporth – Walk Through

Perranporth is perfect for those seeking to escape the 9-5.

Clear waters, cliff walks and three miles of golden sand, as well as having some of our fantastic dog-friendly properties nearby.

Visiting Cornwall for a romantic adventure? Check out our romantic cottages.

Nestled among rolling hills that inspired Winston Graham’s swashbuckling Poldark novels, Perranporth is a bustling village with a variety of eateries.

From Droskyn point, you can take a leisurely walk into the village. As you wander down the hillside, you will come across the Perranzabuloe Millennium Sundial, designed by local artist Stuart Thorn.

True to the spirit of the village, the stainless steel gnomon has been set to show Cornish time: 20 minutes ahead of GMT. Stone seating has been incorporated into the structure, which looks onto the beach below.

In the village, there is an array of beach-side shops and cafes along with local amenities.

If you walk a little further from the main street, you’ll find yourself in a charming park with a large duck pond which is home to swans and ducks.

As you walk back towards the beach, you can take advantage of hiring a kayak to take out onto the water, paddle board or surf board.

Feel the sand between your toes and breathe in the fresh salty sea air as you walk along the beach.

The beach is patrolled in season by RNLI lifeguards. It is a safe beach which is popular with families and couples.

It is also a dog friendly beach, which makes for a great morning run or afternoon out with your canine friend.

Whilst on the beach you can stop for a drink or something to eat at the Watering Hole – the UK’s only bar and restaurant on the beach! In the summer enjoy a BBQ on the beach in the evening.

After you have fuelled your body, why not climb the steps located to the right of the restaurant embedded in the cliff face. Venture along the cliff path along to Holywell Bay.

Interested in finding out more about Newquay? Discover what to do in and around Newquay.

A perfect vantage point to watch the sunset over the horizon in the evening.

Want to stay in Perranporth? Check out our luxury holiday lets in Perranporth.

A Walk Through Guide to Porthtowan & Chapel Porth

Our latest location, Porthtowan on Cornwall’s North Coast, has it all; a long low-tide beach awarded Blue Flag status, playful sand dunes, dramatic cliffs, mining heritage, and an almost wild-west frontier feeling. BBC One ‘Poldark’ fans will recognise it immediately. Just what we like from a beach.

Read our guide to Porthtowan and Chapel Porth to find out more.

Located a few miles south along the coastal path or road from the mining town of St Agnes is this relatively unknown gem. Depending on which way you arrive into the village, Porthtowan can initially seem very low key. It’s all part of this small village’s charm, and it couldn’t be further from the truth once you start exploring.

Want to stay in a luxury holiday house with a view of the sea? Check out our cottages with sea views.

The village itself has a number of family-suited restaurants, cafés, bars and shops to keep everyone well fed and watered during their stay.

And this is Porthtowan’s big pull. The Blue Flag awarded beach is one of Cornwall’s most popular surfing spots thanks to the direction it faces, the amount of swell it picks up, and good sand banks.

Join the best of them in the waves and visit Falmouth and Porthtowan Surf School, based next to The Unicorn pub, for all of your surf equipment, hire and lessons. For younger children there’s a play park, should they ever get bored of cricket on the beach.

Backed by large dunes and dramatic cliffs, the beach at low-tide reveals a long expanse of golden sand. It’s easy to see why the village lies in a designated Area of Outstanding Beauty.

Walk northwards along the sand and you’ll end up at Chapel Porth – an equally as stunning beach managed by the National Trust.

No visit here is complete without having a ‘hedgehog’ from the Trust’s café – Cornish vanilla ice cream smothered with farmhouse clotted cream and rolled in their own honey-roasted hazelnuts.

From here it’s time to climb the coastal path back to Porthtowan, passing what remains of the Wheal Charlotte engine house and some of the county’s best mining relics and stunning views out to sea.

We ended up in the Blue Bar for surf-style pub grub and the best views over the beach for a sundowner. Bliss.

Explore more of North Cornwall, and read our blog on Portreath, a short drive or walk from Porthtowan.

Take a look and book our self-catering properties at Porthtowan, or talk to a member of our team on 01637 861 005. Keep an eye on our special offers page for the latest deals and discounts, and browse our beach locations to explore more of Cornwall.