Category: Coastal wonder

Discover South East Cornwall

Once referred to as Cornwall’s forgotten corner, South East Cornwall is a place steeped in beguiling beauty and legends of smugglers…

Far removed from the wild, Atlantic-lashed beaches of the surfy North Coast, here beach life beats to the pace of calmer seas. And whether you go rock pooling on Downderry, fly a kite on Rame Head or hop aboard a boat cruise to Plymouth, you’ll discover that any trip here is truly unforgettable.

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

Here are six things we love doing in South East Cornwall:

Walk from Cawsand to Whitsand Bay

Step straight out of our waterfront Beach Retreat onto Cawsand Beach, dip your toes in the sea, and then strike out along the South West Coast Path. It’s an easy three miles through magical woodland to Penlee Point and onto the ancient chapel on Rame Head, where you’ll often encounter wild ponies. From here soak up coastal views as far as the Lizard Peninsula, some 50 miles away, and then push on another couple of miles around the headland to the golden stretch of Whitsand Bay.

Walk the South West Coast Path.

Hop aboard the Looe Valley Rail Ale Trail

Take a seat aboard one of Devon and Cornwall’s Great Scenic Railways, which hugs the river as it wends through a wooded valley from the market town of Liskeard to the seaside town of Looe. Make the most of the journey – and the scenery – by stopping off to sample some of the region’s finest ales in a series of country inns. If you collect stamps from all nine watering holes on the route, you can claim a free Rail Ale Trail t-shirt.

Explore Cornwall by train.

Catch the Ferry from Cawsand to Plymouth

Stay in our stylish Beach Retreat on Cawsand Bay and it’s easy to mix barefoot beach life with the buzz of city living. Step out of your stylish abode onto a quaint smuggler’s cove, from where you can hop on the foot-passenger ferry to Plymouth’s lively waterfont Barbican. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, sightseeing and dining in this maritime hub, hop back aboard The Western Maid and castaway to the sandy shores of Cawsand.

Enjoy a cruise from Cawsand.

Take a boat cruise from Looe

Walk the banjo pier, go crabbing off the harbour wall or hop on a boat trip from the harbour – you’re spoilt for choice for what to do in the seaside town of Looe. Veritable nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss out on a trip to Looe Island Nature Reserve with Cornwall Wildlife Trust (Easter–October), during which you’ll learn about the unique wildlife habitats and have time to take a self-guided walk around the island. However, the best way to witness the wonders of the marine world and the wildlife around the island is on a 45-minute ride aboard the Boatzer glass-bottomed boat.

Go rock pooling on Downderry Beach

A long stretch of sand and shingle backed by staggering sea cliffs, Downderry is an excellent spot for rock pooling and also home to the stunning beach house Far Horizon. Stare out to sea from an old sea captain’s house, Far Horizon, while you wait for the tide to ebb, then pad along the shoreline to Downderry, scouring the rock pools for the ocean’s bounty on the way. Keep an eye on the tides if you want to walk back along the sand, and be aware that you might feel a little over-dressed when you reach the secluded eastern end of the beach where naturists like to hang out.

Take a look around Far Horizon.

Go surfing on Whitsand Bay

Although the south coast isn’t as well known as the north coast for its surf, when conditions prevail there are a few decent waves to be found along this more sheltered coastline. Just a stone’s throw from Looe’s flat-water beaches, the surf wraps around the rugged tip of the Rame Peninsula and hits Whitsand Bay’s four miles of golden sands. So when you stay in one of our Beach Retreats overlooking Whitsand Bay, when the surf’s up you can hit the waves under the wing of expert instructors. If the waves aren’t working, you can always take plunge on a thrilling coasteering trip instead.

Find out about surf lessons.

Check out our other locations and other retreats across South Cornwall.

Take a look at our favourite ‘must sea’ retreats and explore our other holiday lets.

Beach Retreats Top 2018 Instagram moments

As we say goodbye to 2018, we look back at some of our most memorable Instagram moments from the team at Beach Retreats, past guests, bloggers and photographers using #beachretreats. We hope to welcome you all back in 2019 for another unforgettable stay.

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


Sunsets don’t get much better than this! With low clouds, fiery colours and a water reflection, this became one of our top posts in 2018. Thank you to @edgeofthemap_uk for sharing this fantastic shot of Newquay with us.

Remember the arrival of the Beast from the East? Well here it is in March down at Lusty Glaze beach in Newquay. The untouched snow and its twinkling lights made this image by @mikesearlephoto a firm favourite.

Known as one of Cornwall’s most ‘Instagrammable’ locations, hundreds flocked to this beach throughout 2018. Pedn Vounder is a known nudist beach, and visitors need to climb down the cliff to reach its clear water and white sand.

Newly decorated for 2018, The Penthouse at Coast (sleeps 6) offers fantastic sea views, with the golden sands of Porth beach as its back garden. Can you imagine relaxing on this balcony watching the world go by?

Have you experienced a Porthcothan sunset? North Cornwall really knows how to put on a display. Thank you to @asugarfreeblonde for capturing this magical moment with her partner in July. We have three amazing properties nearby.

Because dogs love Cornwall too! Barney loves to run around on Mawgan Porth beach when staying with us. His owners @kick_back_times said he didn’t want to leave. This beach is dog-friendly all year round.

Fancy staying in Mawgan Porth? Have a look at our Mawgan Porth holiday properties.


You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. We took this snap while visiting the new Dunes development in Perranporth. Be sure to head to the Pavilion Ice Cream Parlour when holidaying here.

Back in October, the sea at Mawgan Porth was looking like one big hot tub. @kingsurf Surf School got up bright and early to capture this shot and its candy floss skies. This is a great spot for those wanting to learn to surf in 2019.

Now here’s something we didn’t expect to see in February. As the water was cascading down the cliffs at Watergate Bay, it was freezing into icicles. We hope to see this again in 2019 for more memorable moments.

We visited Pedn Vounder beach in July, located next door to the more popular Porthcurno beach and Minack Theatre. Guests climb down part of the cliff to reach it, but once you’re there you’ll feel like you’ve reached the Caribbean.


Ride the wave of flavour with our top picks for the best surf cafes in Cornwall!


We’re sure you’ll all recognise this iconic beach – Fistral. Known for its fantastic surf, its great collection of restaurants and fabulous walks on its doorstep. This is one of our most popular holiday locations, join us here in 2019.

On the Summer Solstice, we broke the record for most visited Cornish beaches in one day. Here’s a snap from our final location at Crooklets beach, the 47th beach we visited that day to raise money for the South West Coast Path.

We love it when our guests share their holiday memories with us. Here is a Watergate Bay sunset from July, snapped by @paula1773. Use #beachretreats if you have some of your own to share, for your chance to be featured.

New for 2018, Ferrypoint is a coastal house in Rock, located opposite the Camel Estuary with superb views over the river and towards Padstow. Sit back and relax in 2019 on this balcony with family and friends.

We do love an aerial view and @aerialcornwall do it so well! Here’s the clear waters of Fistral beach in north Cornwall, perfectly photographed with a kayaker in July. Choose from many watersports to try here in 2019.

Walk the coast path from one of our Rock properties and find yourself here at Daymer Bay. We walked the South West Coast Path in June when we were treated to glorious sunshine and perfect water conditions for swimming and stand up paddle boarding.

Chapel Porth beach is a short drive from our St Agnes properties. Famous for its hedgehog ice creams, this is a popular location for local surfers and families. Their famous ice cream comes with Cornish clotted cream and chocolate and nut sprinkles. Sounds good right?

One of our most recent photos, we were up bright and early to catch the sunrise over Newquay harbour in November. Guests staying at one of our Fistral properties can walk here in just a few minutes and watch the bobbing boats and fishermen bring in their daily catch.

Circular walk from Trevone to Padstow

A coastal walk and countryside stroll all rolled into one.

There isn’t many places where you can experience inspiring sea views and tranquil countryside scenery on a walk. Cornwall is the perfect place to experience the best of both worlds, especially when it goes hand in hand with one of our fantastic dog-friendly properties.

Nestled among rolling hills, on the North coast of Cornwall, discover a charming Cornish village with a wide sandy beach, flanked by high sea cliffs.

Trevone Bay is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty; just two miles from the popular fishing harbour of Padstow. Starting at Trevone beach, the circular walk is 7.4 miles long; a moderate route along the rugged Atlantic coast.

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

Follow the cliff path, past the Round Hole, which is a collapsed sea cave, with a channel that is still open to the sea. At high tide, on a calm day, it is possible to kayak right through the cave.

Walk up the cliff, past the gateway, and follow the main path across the coastal heath. Track the route taken by sailing ships to Stepper Point. The many caves spotted along the coast, provide ledges where seals haul themselves out of the water.

In the Spring and Summer time, the coastal heath is teaming with wildlife and wildflowers. The aromatic smell of wild gorse lingers in the air.

Near to Stepper Point, spot the stone tower standing proud on the clifftop. Known as the “Pepper Pot” the 40 foot stone tower, was built in 1830, as a daymark – a navigation beacon for seafarers during daylight. At 240 feet above sea level, the tower is visible from 30 miles away.

At Stepper Point, soak-up the panoramic sea views, and descend on the coastal path along the Camel Estuary to Hawker’s Cove. From the coastal path, look across the Estuary to Rock and Daymer Bay. There is a passenger ferry which operates between Rock and Padstow.

Explore our holiday properties in Padstow, just a short drive away from Port Isaac and Polzeath.

From Hawker’s Cove, cross the sandy beach of St George’s Cove before finally reaching the bustling harbour of Padstow.

In Padstow, stop for a spot of lunch at one of the local eateries or fish and chips on the harbour from Rick Steins.

Walking back to Trevone, follow the signs from Padstow town to Prideaux Place, a beautiful eighteenth century manor house. Pass the front of Prideaux Place, and follow the lane to find a barn on your right. Opposite the barn, take the footpath to the left and over the stile. Bare right along the path along the field.

On the route back to Trevone, pass the Padstow Farm Shop. Pop in for fresh veg, fruit, Cornish cheese, meat and everyday amenities. Follow the fields back to Trevone Bay and relax on the beach with a barbecue, and watch the sun go down.

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

Book your self-catering beach holiday in Trevone.

Cosy Cottages Made for Two

Escape to the coast for an alternative romantic getaway.

Experience a couples’ retreat like no other with inspiring sea views, magnificent coastal walks, and endless miles of golden sand on your doorstep.

Spot a seal on a kayak tour, steal a kiss on a clifftop walk or curl up under the stars.

Discover our hideaway cottages by the sea in Cornwall.

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

Harbourside Cottage, Boscastle

Nestled on the harbour, with tranquil views, Harbourside Cottage is the perfect hideaway. Stroll along the riverside to the ancient harbour. Lunch at the Boscastle Fishing Company with a lobster roll or discover the village’s secrets at the Museum of Witchcraft.

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

Book your magical getaway.


Toms Cottage, Porthleven

Located between the Lizard Peninsula and Prussia Cove, Porthleven is a beautiful Cornish fishing village. Tucked away from the harbour, Toms Cottage is a charming eighteenth century fisherman’s cottage. The port is a 2-minute stroll from the cottage, with waterfront shops, cafes and restaurants. A destination popular with food lovers, dine at Amelies seafood restaurant, Rick Stein’s fish and chips or Kota, which serves seafood with an Asian twist.

Book your romantic foodie break.


Lobber, Port Isaac

Port isaac

Situated in the heart of one of Cornwall’s most iconic harbour villages, Lobber offers couples the perfect hideaway. Walk along cobbled streets, discover location scenes from Doc Martin, and soak-up magnificent coastal views.

Just what the Doc ordered…

Escape to Port Isaac.


Lundy, Port Isaac

Surrounded by idyllic scenery, inspiring coastal views and countryside walks, Port Isaac is the ideal spot for a romantic getaway. Lundy is perfectly situated to explore the ancient harbour and neighbouring beaches, including Port Gaverne and Port Quin. In an evening, experience intimate dining at Nathan Outlaw’s seaside restaurant.

Plan your romantic getaway.


Whirlwind, Whitsand Bay

With an ever-changing backdrop, 5 miles of golden sand and spectacular clifftop walks, Whitsand Bay is perfect for a wild romantic break. Off the beaten track, Whirlwind is a cosy bolthole for two with a private patio area, providing an intimate space for sitting under a blanket of stars.

Book your love nest.

Find the perfect romantic retreat in Cornwall for couples.

Walk Through Lynton and Lynmouth

Experience self-catering holidays in Devon by the sea.

Lynmouth encapsulates the wild beauty of north Devon, in a charming picturesque postcard village. The idyllic coastal town is often dubbed Little Switzerland, due to its spectacular landscape and tranquil waters. Flanked by high sea cliffs, Lynmouth is where Exmoor meets the sea.

Discover unbeatable savings and unforgettable experiences with Beach Retreats’ exclusive special offers.

The sheltered harbour, with its famous Rhenish Tower, nestles beneath the cliffs on north Devon’s heritage coast. On the rugged cliff top, overlooking the mooring, the Edwardian village of Lynton stands proud. A water-powered funicular railway connects the two resorts. One of the most environmentally friendly tourist attractions in the country, the cliff railway is a great way to experience the magnificent rugged landscape. On a clear day, from the Cliff Top Cafe in Lynton, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views across to Wales.

Lynton and Lynmouth offer a unique holiday experience. The twin villages are bursting with local charm and character with an array of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. In the summer at dusk, the resorts twinkle under the night sky as people wander along the pier and venture upon the cliff railway to Lynton. There is a priceless sense of nostalgia and identity in the region. The unspoilt landscape provides a sense of escape to those seeking a holiday from the busy pace of modern life.

Discover the charm and beauty of North Devon, where stunning landscapes and coastal adventures await with Beach Retreats.

Discover Exmoor.

Set in the heart of Exmoor National Park, Lynmouth is the perfect place to access the inner moor. Surrounded by magnificent wooded hills, this part of north Devon’s coastline provides plenty of walking (or for the less energetic – driving) opportunities.

Abundant with wildlife, Exmoor has more than 600 miles of marked footpaths to explore. Ponies, sheep and majestic red deer graze the moorland whereas falcons, buzzards and the rare merlin circle overhead.

From Lynmouth, visitors don’t have to travel far to experience the wild scenery of Exmoor. Follow the coast two miles east to Countisbury Hill to find hill tops teeming with wildlife. On Countisbury Hill the high ground tumbles to meet the coastal cliffs which plunge into the sea. In spring, the hill tops are golden yellow from wild gorse whereas in the autumn the hedgerows are an auburn colour.

Further inland, discover ancient woodlands and waterfalls at Watersmeet. The East Lyn river rips through the landscape on its journey from the plateau of Exmoor to the sea and Lynmouth. Giant boulders and striking outcrops are left behind as the river carves its way through the landscape, creating one of Britain’s deepest river gorges.

In the 19th century this wild landscape drew tourists and great Romantic poets. Southey, along with Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley were enchanted by Lynmouth and its hinterland, comparing Watersmeet with the Alps.

Once a Victorian fishing lodge, Watersmeet House is a charming tearoom set within the picturesque landscape of hidden Exmoor. Enjoy a traditional Devonshire cream tea with whortleberry jam and listen to the trickling water of the East Lyn river. During the summer months, the river provides the perfect fishing spot for salmon and sea trout whereas in the quieter months, the waters are great for canoeing.

Explore the Valley of the Rocks.

Dramatic scenery encapsulates the north Devon coastline and inner countryside. The spectacular moorland at the Valley of the Rocks is less than one mile in walking distance of Lynmouth. The Valley of the Rocks is a unique dry valley that runs parallel to the coast.

In the area, there are plenty of walks with striking weathered rock formations with names such as “The Devil’s Cheesewring”, “Ragged Jack” and “Castle Rock”. The sublime valley has its own population of wild goats which roam the rocks and cliff edges. Climb the rocks to experience breathtaking views across the rugged landscape and Bristol Channel.

Discover the foodie delights of The Ancient Mariner in Lynmouth, where delicious food and drink are served in a charming, historic setting.


Fancy a walk on the wild side?


Rick Stein’s Cookery School | Taste the Ocean

Taste the Ocean

Padstow is a traditional working fishing port nestled at the head of the Camel River. Characterised by cobbled streets, boutique shops, art galleries and eateries, the charming village is a popular holiday destination. A tranquil harbour decorated with fishing boats, Padstow attracts visitors looking to sample Rick Stein’s culinary delights.

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

Rick Stein

A world renowned and award winning chef, Rick Stein is best known for his love of fresh seafood. Since the opening of The Seafood Restaurant in 1975, where diners can experience fish fresh from the ocean, Rick has been busy growing his name as a seafood chef. Not only has he cooked for the Queen, Prince Philip and Margaret Thatcher (to name drop only a few) but is an author of more than 20 bestselling cookbooks. Rick’s love of fresh seafood has inspired him to travel the world to explore culinary traditions. His adventures have included barges, clapped-out caravans and in the early days his beloved dog, Chalky.

Padstow has been coined Padstein by visitors and food lovers, as an acknowledgement to the many Stein local bars and restaurants. In the past 30 years, Rick has opened new doors for his business. His name can now be seen in locations including Fistral, Falmouth, Porthleven and St Merryn in Cornwall. The millennium saw the opening of The Rick Stein Cookery School in Padstow. Popular with budding chefs and food fanatics, the school offers visitors a place to enjoy cooking and tasting food.

Fancy staying in Padstow? Check out our luxury holiday lets in Padstow.

The Cookery School

Situated in a spacious, light-filled building perched on the South Quay, the cookery school offers more than 30 courses and lectures. With a small ratio of people in a class, you are able to learn how to create mouthwatering dishes from Rick’s leading chefs.

Overlooking the Camel Estuary with further views across to Rock, the school is a perfect place to learn how to cook seafood. There are individual cooking stations for eight pairs, a chef’s kitchen area and a long dining table. The day is filled with demonstrations, hands-on cooking and plenty of food tasting.

As a student, we joined head chef Nick Evans on a half-day seafood cookery course. The whole morning revolved around lunch, where a feast of shellfish was served and washed down with a glass of wine. During the morning, students were able to learn how to cook razor calms and mussels through chef demonstrations.

The kitchen was filled with the aromas of fresh seafood as the pans fried and the pots boiled. Measuring, chopping and cooking the ingredients enabled students to get involved in the day. Students walked away with not only new recipes to cook at home but an impressive set of new kitchen skills.

After class, students are presented with a certificate and folder containing useful hints and tips along with delicious recipes and heart-warming meal ideas.

There are plenty of courses to choose from at Rick Stein’s Cookery School. Get hands-on with Far Eastern cuisine, Mediterranean dishes and traditional winter warmers. Although seafood plays a big part in the cookery school, you can try courses which use other ingredients. All courses help create perfect dishes to curl up with and cook in your self-catering holiday home.

Elevate your beach BBQ game with expert tips and tricks on perfecting a beach BBQ with our guide!

Book your foodie escape in one of our beach locations, and keep an eye on our special offers page for the best deals.  

Walk through – Mousehole

Spanish raids, star-gazey pie and even the Mousehole cat – our walk-through Mousehole in West Cornwall has it all.

It’s easy to fall in love with Mousehole, West Cornwall’s picture-perfect fishing village and harbour which is steeped in history, legend and – today – glorious sunshine.

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

Retaining its original character, charm and beauty, Mousehole remains a popular holiday spot. Located three miles from Penzance, start by getting your bearings. Park along the road between Newlyn and the village itself for views stretching out over Mounts Bay to the Lizard in the distance – England’s most southerly point.

The car park on the right hand side as you enter the village brilliantly disguises the first stop on our walk from many visitors. With 180-degree seaviews from its terrace, The Rock Pool Café is a hidden gem serving coffee, tea, cakes and light meals, plus special food evenings during the summer – keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Next door, The Old Coastguard has built a reputation for great food kept simple. This is a traditional Brasserie menu that takes good ingredients and gives them a very simple but classic treatment. On a sunny day like today, drinks on the grass terrace overlooking the sea are a must.

Fancy staying in a holiday retreat with a log burner? Check out our cottages with a log burner for a cosy getaway.

Down into the village itself you’ll find plenty of other places to eat and drink, including the Harbour Coffee and Café courtyard with its quaint white iron-wrought seating, Hole Foods Deli, The Ship Inn pub and 2 Fore Street, a vibrant and chic bistro-style restaurant with a secluded tropical courtyard out back.

Onwards and Mousehole’s small but perfectly formed stone harbour and surrounding cottages are simply beautiful. Families paddle in the safe turquoise waters of the harbour’s two tiny sand beaches and reel in crabs from their lines. Couples tuck in to fish and chips while dangling their legs over the harbour. One man is exploring the water by kayak. People drip in and out plenty of art galleries and craft shops, picking up treats for themselves and others. Idyllically, another man paints the scene on his easel from the water’s edge. We even spot the Mousehole cat perched on its own cushion taking everything in.

If you’re not familiar with the children’s book, The Mousehole Cat by Antonia Barber tells the story of Mowzer the cat and its old-fisherman owner Tom who brave treacherous stormy seas to feed their fellow hungry villagers. Inspired by Cornish legend, the story still connects with readers of all ages, new and old alike. Pick up a copy in one of the craft shops. You might even discover Mousehole’s own stargazy-pie and want to give it a try with pilchards landed from one of Mousehole’s own fishing boats.

Although it’s mid-August when we visit, we can’t fail to mention Mousehole’s biggest draw – the magical Christmas lights which run in the few weeks over Christmas and New Year. Illuminated with displays floating in the harbour and strung up high in the terraces above, the village becomes ablaze with colour, wicker lanterns and the sound of carols and fisherman shanties. A sure fire way to get you in the festive spirit – best viewed with a woolly hat on and hot chocolate or mulled-wine in hand.

Discover the top 5 places to see Christmas lights in Cornwall, where festive displays illuminate the Christmas spirit across charming towns and coastal villages.

Book your self-catering holiday in Mousehole with Beach Retreats.

Walk through – Crantock to a mystery location

We’re always on the lookout for quiet beaches and hidden coves at Beach Retreats. Well, we found a new favourite spot on our latest walk from Crantock, two miles south along the coast from our properties at Fistral Beach in Newquay. You’ll have to find it first though…

Visiting Cornwall with an electric car? Check out our holiday lets with electric car (EV) charging points.

From Fistral and East Pentire headland you have two choices – Newquay for the fun and frolics of a busy seaside town, or head south to the quieter Gannel Estuary and Crantock Beach. On this day, we chose the latter.

You can drive to Crantock or, for an adventure, take the Fern Pit Ferry across the Gannel which operates from May through September. When the tide is out there is a footbridge which can be used free of charge.

Crantock’s expansive sandy beach waits at the other side of the water with tranquil bathing by the river (the National Trust car park is behind the dunes). Make for the cliffs at the southern end for shelter on a windy day.

Continuing along the headland you’ll find C-Bay Café Bar & Bistro with unsurpassed views back over Crantock Beach, open for pancakes in the morning and lots of tasty options for lunch and dinner. Further into the village you’ll find the well-known Bowgie Inn, ‘the pink pub’. Andy has owned the pub for more than 43 years, which is much loved for coffees by the roaring fire, wines on the sun terrace, home-cooked food and bouncing live music nights.

But the real treat of our walk through is Porth Joke beach, also known as Polly Joke. Accessed via the coastal path or inland via Treago Farm and Camping (there is small car park at the end of a very long track), you’ll be rewarded with a small, attractive and tranquil cove. Children will love exploring the caves, rockpools and stream and paddling in the sea while parents can enjoy doing not a lot.

Polly Joke Beach with waves and green cliffs

Pack a picnic for the day as there are no facilities here.


Want to stay in Crantock, near to Fistral and Watergate Bay ? Have a look at our properties in Crantock.

Embark on a picturesque walk through Watergate Bay, uncovering its breathtaking coastal scenery, expansive sandy beaches, and lively local charm.

A Walk Through Guide to Portwrinkle, Cornwall

Located on a forgotten corner of South East Cornwall and with a name that makes us chuckle every time we say it, there is plenty to smile about when it comes to small and sleepy village of Portwrinkle – our latest self catering holiday destination.

As you travel through the Rame Peninsula and its landscape of tidal creeks, lush farmland, sandy beaches and country parks, it’s hard not to slow down a gear. It’s the perfect precursor to life in Portwrinkle – a winding-down and chilled out kind of self-catering holiday destination.

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

Portwrinkle’s history stretches back to Medieval times and wandering around the tranquil coastline here feels a little like stepping back in time – in a very good way. It’s gloriously quiet and unspoilt.

Explore more of Cornwall, and have a look at our holiday properties in Whitsand Bay.

We start our walk down the footpath and onto the grey sand of Finnygook beach – another curiously named place. Children play cricket, paddle in the sea and wait for the tide to recede to explore the plentiful rockpools. The silver sea is eerily calm today, but when the swell picks up Finnygook is popular with experienced surfers making the most of some of the best surf this side of the coast.

From here, a popular stretch of the South West Coast Path snakes off into greenery towards Whitsand Bay, a dramatic four-mile stretch of coastline and golden sand leading all the way to Rame Head in the distance.

Heading back up the path and in the other direction, it’s easy to glimpse Portwrinkle’s Medieval past. We pass old pilchard processing buildings as we make our way to the rough and ready Medieval stone harbour where a single boat has moored up for the day.

To the right-hand side is a small curved bay called Hoodny Cove. With a kayak store at the bottom of the slipway, Hoodny Cove and the harbour are ideal for exploring the coastline from on top of the water.

Learn about Padstow in our blog all about how to enjoy a week in Padstow, and explore what it has to offer.

Find a discounted retreat in Portwrinkle on our special offers page. Or, browse our other beach locations to explore more of the Cornwall coastline.

Walk through – Boscastle

We take a walk on the wild side at Boscastle, a place where moorland meets the sea.

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

There are many sides to Boscastle on Cornwall’s far north coast: picturesque fishing village, medieval settlement, artist’s muse. It all makes for a very interesting and beautiful place for a self catering holiday.

Once offering shelter to sailors along a wild and intimidating stretch of coast, Boscastle’s dramatic coastline and quaint old buildings are the main attraction. The latter is immediately apparent as you begin to wander around, with characterful cobbled streets, wonky roofs, stone buildings and watermills lining the river before leading you towards the ocean.

Today, a few handsome day boats bob in the harbour. But Boscastle was once a thriving port – in one year alone nearly 200 ships called on their way through delivering supplies from including timber from as far as field as Canada.

Boscastle’s tortuous harbour entrance means that sailing vessels always required assistance to enter, usually by ‘hobbler’ boats manned by oarsman and other men on shore tethered to the boat with ropes.

Goods were eventually hauled up its steep hills by teams of horses once kept in what is now the youth hostel. Other buildings such as the lime kiln and blacksmith’s forge can still be seen around the harbour today.

You can discover more about Boscastle’s history and dramatic landscape which is all detailed in the National Trust’s fantastic modern visitor centre located in the heart of the village. You also be surprised to learn how much community life is thriving since the devastating flood a decade ago. There are plenty of craft shops and cafes to visit, feeding and watering artists who have been inspired by its remoteness and rugged beauty.

Fancy staying in nearby Bude? Just 30 from Boscastle, Check out our luxury holiday lets in Bude.

With King Arthur’s Tintagel just down the coast, this is also a land of myth and legend. Housing the world’s largest collection of witchcraft artefacts and regalia, the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle has been entertaining visitors for more than fifty years.

Walking towards the sea, the imposing cliffs of Penally Point and Willapark guard either side of Boscastle harbour. Watching the boiling seas around the Island of Merchard between the two – and the two blowholes spitting out at low tide – it’s not hard to feel the otherworldly aura of this stretch of coast.

The best way to finish a walk-through Boscastle is to continue along the coast path, past stomach dropping steep cliffs, up to the white-washed lookout tower. From here there are fantastic views of the coast all the way down to Tintagel – guaranteed to blow the cobwebs away.

Feel the love at Harbourside Cottage in Boscastle, where charming coastal views and cosy interiors create the perfect romantic retreat.

Search for your self catering holiday in Boscastle with Beach Retreats.