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Walk through – Bude

Just a ten minute drive along the winding coast road from Widemouth Bay is Bude – a surprise gem of a town. Join us on our walk through.


Arriving into Bude via the windy coastal road from Widemouth Bay is worth the trip alone, but families will be surprised just how much there is to do in this small seaside town in north Cornwall.

Bude Tourist Information Centre is a good place to set off from, with plenty of parking and the canal and waterfront within a short walking distance. Bude TIC can book any number of activities on offer, such as surfing, SUPping, sailing, windsurfing, archery, rock climbing and lots more – take a look.


We’re immediately drawn to the waterfront lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. Allow yourself time sit back, relax and take in the slower pace of life.


Bude Farmer’s Market runs every Friday throughout Summer from 10am-3pm – a fantastic little market held on the Green overlooking with waterfront with a selection food producers, craft makers and florists regularly attending.

Rowing boats and pedalos can be hired along the Canal, perfect for a leisurely few hours on the water or for finding your own picnic spot. Cycling is also popular with a number of recommended cycle routes to Widmeouth Bay, north to Northcott Mouth and inland to the villages of Stratton and Marhamchurch.


It’s hard not to miss the tall towers of Bude Castle. Formerly the home of Victorian inventor Sir Goldsworthy Gurney, The Castle is now a heritage centre with exhibition galleries, an archive with research facilities, an education room, shop and restaurant which overlooks the water out to sea.


Onwards and Summerleaze is a beach that can keep all visitors happy. There’s crabbing on the beach into the Canal, nice right-hand waves for longboarders, a sea pool for swimmers seeking shelter from the Atlantic, and pretty pastel beach huts which you can hire for the day from Bude TIC.


Away from the water and walking into town from the top of the hill, there are plenty of shops to explore – it would be rude not to leave without some homemade fudge.

Bude is only a ten minute drive from our properties at Widemouth Bay – book your beach-side stay with Beach Retreats.

Lelant to St Ives by train

A scenic rail line between Lelant and St Ives is the best way to visit one of Cornwall’s most picturesque seaside villages (and you beat the traffic and parking too).

Lelant to St Ives by train

Arguably the most scenic branch line in Britain, catching the St Ives Bay Line from Lelant Saltings to St Ives is the best way to visit the picturesque town, particularly at sunset. It also wins for avoiding the queues into town and the stress of parking, which can be tricky during summer months.

Arriving at the Park and Ride, there is plenty room to park. Make sure to visit Scarlet Wines if you arrive early for the train – a cosy wineshop come deli come café and restaurant that serves delicious breakfasts, lunches and dinners at reasonable prices.

Waiting for the train is a great way to take in the view of Hayle Estuary as it opens up in front of you; and RSBP nature reserve. More than 18,000 which have been seen here. During spring and autumn, it is an ideal place to see migrant wading birds, gulls and terns. In summer, if you are lucky, you may catch sight of an osprey.

Porthminster Beach St Ives
St Ives
St Ives

Once aboard make sure you sit on the right hand side of the carriage for views across the sea. You’ll travel along Hayle Estuary before it opens up to the sea. From here you’ll have views of Godrevy Bay; four-miles of sand with the iconic Godrevy Lighthouse to the north – the same scene that provided inspiration for Virgina Woolf’s the lighthouse.

From here you’ll pass Porthkidney Sands and Hawkes Point, a spot popular with surfers when the swell is big. You’ll then pass the mellow yellow sands of Carbis Bay before arriving above Porthminster Beach, another family favourite for safe swimming in turquoise waters.

It’s a short but spectacular line, with the journey taking under 15 minutes. Once you’ve alighted, St Ives is a five-minute walk away through cobbled streets; a wonderful way to wind into town.

At the time of writing, the cost to park all day at Lelant Saltings was £2.80 per car. Train tickets are available to prebook and from the train conductor from £2 single, and £4 return with unlimited rides. Up to two dogs may be taken on trains free of charge.

What we do when the surf goes flat…

When the swell is on in Cornwall we’re the first to grab our boards and hit the surf. But what happens when the swell goes flat? One thing you wont be is bored. Here’s our favourite water-based things to do.

Young man watching the sunset in Cornwall


Wakey wakey

Wakeboarding is the one of the fasted growing sports in the UK. It’s similar to snowboarding or skateboarding and involves being strapped to a short board in your usual surf-stance-style and being towed along the water’s surface – in these instances by a remote controlled cable. Once you’re up you’ll try changing to switch stance, ollies (small jumps) and then onto ramps, rails and boxes. You’ll find wakeboarding with South West Lakes Trust at Siblyback Lake near Liskeard on the edge of Bodmin, alongside windsurfing, sailing and kayaking, or head further south to Kernow Wake Park near Falmouth, who also run a special ladies night on Thursdays (Dirty Dancing soundtrack included).

Go with the flow

The Loop – Flowrider at The Retallack Resort from TR7 Video Productions on Vimeo.

Think it’s flat and there’s no waves? Think again. The Flowrider at Retallack Resort near Newquay has harnessed the power of a thin sheet of fast-moving water and a contoured bottom to create a standing wave. It gives you a similar experience to surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding allowing you to carve, turn and ride up and down the wave. It’s open to all levels and abilities, with body boarding sessions being the preferred weapon of choice for beginners.


Jump, swim, scramble and climb around Cornwall’s beautiful coastline by joining one of many organised coasteering groups. No two sessions are ever the same as the coastline changes with the tide, swell and individuals on the group: see seals, swim through caves, climb into blowholes or just catch your breath on a ledge as you leap into the sea below. It can be a dangerous activity, but coasteering with qualified instructors and safety equipment (wetsuit, helmet and buoyancy aid) makes things a little more safe.

What’s SUP?

Love it or hate it, stand up paddleboarding and surfing is here to stay. And we love it. SUPping is an ancient form of surfing where you stand on a large and buoyant board using a paddle to propel and steer yourself along the surface or into waves. Those looking for a gentle thrill will find the high vantage point gets you a unique view of the coastline, while sports enthusiast rave about the need for strong core strength muscles. Take your pick or locations around the coast, including The River Gannel, Watergate Bay, St Ives, Sennen, Porthleven, The River Fal and beyond.

Get cruisy

We’re lucky to have some of the best beaches in the world in Cornwall, but take a trip along the quieter rivers, creeks and estuaries and you’ll discover a whole new side of Cornwall. Some would say the ‘real’ Cornwall. Real Cornwall based on the River Fal run a personal luxury cruise service from their 25 foot motor cruiser which can comfortably sit up to six passengers. This coast beats at a slower rhythm to the north, perfect for taking in with food and drink from local producers.

Jet propelled fun

If you prefer you fun with a motor attached and feel the need for speed then Cornwall Waverunner Safaris based at Lusty Glaze Beach is for you. You’ll blast around Newquay Bay and see around 3-4 miles of coastline from a completely new angle. Their banana boat rides are also really popular with the younger crowd.

Search our properties and book your holiday today.

Walk through – Sennen

Sennen is the country’s first and last port of call. One of the first places in to receive the Atlantic’s storms. One of the last places you’d see as you floated away on a boat to America. Sennen feels like the end of the earth. Join us as we take a walk.

Sennen beach

It was a sticky warm night when we visited one of the UK’s most far flung villages near the south west tip of the Cornwall. But a building low pressure only added to its beauty.

The sand is still bright white. The sea is still unbelievably clear. It’s easy to see why Sennen makes plenty of the UK’s top destinations for jaw dropping beauty.

Turquoise sea at Sennen cove
Sennen harbour

The coastline here is wild, and a few wild fishermen still occupy the small fleet of ships in the harbour. Cape Cornwall gig rowing club is also located here. It’s a treacherous stretch of coast, with the sea showing the wisps and change of colour of competing currents.

The Sennen Coastguard Station originally built in 1812 is still a working Lifeboat Station, now manned by the RNLI. It houses a state-of-the-art Tamar-class lifeboat alongside tales of shipwrecks, sea rescues and many, many lives lost at sea. It’s open to the general public and well worth a visit.

Sennen Lifeguard Station, manned by the RNLI

From here we take a walk through thatched fisherman’s cottages and upwards along the cliff path towards Sennen’s granite coastguard lookout.

Sennen Cove, thatched fishermen's cottages
Sennen Cove, thatched fishermen's cottages
Sennen Cove, fishermen's cottages

The view here is quite unbeatable. Look left and you’ll see Land’s End just over a mile away jutting out into the Atlantic. Look right and you’ll see the mining coast towards Cape Cornwall. Straight out are the Cowloe rocks and The Tribbens, a natural breakwater during big storms. On a clear day, you can even see the 28 miles out to sea to the Isles of Scilly.

The view from Sennen to Land's End
The coastguard lookout
Sennen coastguard lookout
Sennen Cove
Sennen, looking towards Cape Cornwall

Returning back to the village we had worked up an appetite for our dinner booking at Ben Tunnicliffe’s – a beach-side restaurant that offers relaxed dining. Despite the rain settling in, we tucked ourselves away undercover to enjoy the outdoor barbecue.

Well. It wouldn’t be Cornwall without four seasons in one day.

Book your stay at Sennen with Beach Retreats today.

Tolgus Tin Mill – Beach Retreats

Tolgus Tin Mill is a unique survivor. From the heyday of tin where nearby Redruth was one of the richest towns in England, to the lows of the 1980s industry crash, the mill has witnessed 150 years of highs and lows.

Now 150 years on, the mill has entered a new chapter, one where it is once again a hub of activity, not only a visitor attraction, but also producing and smelting tin. We thought it was about time we familiarised ourselves with our county’s most renowned heritage.

Situated on the site of Cornwall Gold, the mill is the only original tin streaming works left in Cornwall and is a testament to human ingenuity and endeavour.

We were led through the whole process of recovering tin from the simplest of materials through to the finished products.

A mix of old and new can be found side by side, with shaking tables from the 50s to the mighty Cornish stamps which are thought to be more than 200 years old.

Amid the whirling machines we learnt how using simple principles of relative weight allowed tin streamers to isolate the heavier tin, how rock from local mine waste was pulverised by huge stamping machines and how sand and river deposits were sifted, washed and sorted to isolate precious tin ore.

But it’s the stories behind the talented ‘make do and mend’ mine workers that bring the mill to life.

Time your visit to arrive on smelting day and you’ll have the opportunity to see the fascinating and almost beautiful process of heating the tin ore and turning it to shining ingots ready to be transformed into jewellery.

Tolgus Tin Mill is a time capsule of Cornish history waiting to be discovered.

Tolgus Tin Mill can be found at Tolgus Mill, Redruth Cornwall, TR16 4HN.

Free admission and parking. Open peak: Mon to Sat 9.30pm to 5.30pm, Sunday and off Peak: 10am to 4.30pm. For more information call 01209 215185.

Walk through – Whitsand Bay

Join us on a walk through as we visit our latest property destination. Cornwall’s hidden gem – Whitsand Bay – on the south east Cornish coast. A true Beach Retreat.

A walk through Whitsand Bay

You only have to take a look at our pictures to see why we’ve decided to spread our wings property portfolio to Whitsand Bay.

Here you’ll find the best and breadth of Cornwall contained within three miles of coastline; long golden beaches, small rocky fishing coves, sweeping green hills akin to Bodmin moor, dramatic cliffs and sleepy villages.

A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay
A walk through Whitsand Bay

Take a look at our properties at Whitsand Bay and book your holiday today.

The Caribbean? Or Fistral Beach in the summer?

Who needs the Caribbean when you’ve got Cornwall? There’s only one thing for it when summer arrives here at England’s answer to holidays – head to the beach and jump in the sea (without a wetsuit if you’re feeling brave). Here’s some shots from the other day when we took a trip down to Fistral.

Fistral Beach
Fistral Beach
Fistral sand
Fistral beach
Fistral beach
Fistral beach
Fistral beach
Fistral beach
Fistral gorse
Fistral Beach

Top 5 minimoon properties from Beach Retreats

Beach Retreats has lots of different beach-side properties to suit your minimoon style (that’s a short break away to celebrate your nuptials, if you’re short on time). Take a look…

Couple walking on the beach in Cornwall

Minimoon. Noun: a short break spent together by a newly married couple, typically in advance of a longer holiday to be taken at a later date.

Minimoons make for the perfect post-wedding break – quite simply a mini-honeymoon that typically lasts for a long weekend. With all of our properties situated a short hop from the beach, Beach Retreats is the ideal choice for a minimoon.

Here’s our pick of the best Beach Retreats properties, each with their own minimoon style and available to book for 3 nights outside the school holidays.

Sand Pails, Camel Estuary

Sand Pails, Camel Estuary

Minimoon style: Peace and escapism

Situated on the tidal tributary of the River Camel just outside Padstow, Sand Pails offers an idyllic traffic-free location on the edge of the water. This two-bedroomed property sleeps up to four people with Harlyn, Treyarnon, Porthcothan, Trevone, Constantine and Hawkers Cove a short drive away. Read more about Sand Pails.

9 White Lodge, Mawgan Porth

9 White Lodge, Mawgan Porth

Minimoon style: Panoramic sea views with village amenities

This roomy three-bedroomed apartment gives you Mawgan Porth beach just 150m down the path, with the fun and foodie havens of Padstow and Watergate Bay a short drive away. Read more about 9 White Lodge.

15 Waves, Watergate Bay

15 Waves, Watergate Bay

Minimoon style: Foodie lovers

15 Waves offers contemporary beach living with some of Cornwall’s best restaurants on your doorstep. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall, The Beach Hut and Zacry’s; they’re all on your doorstep with the beach just 150m away. Book 15 Waves, Watergate Bay.

Zinc 14, Fistral

Zinc 15, Fistral Beach

Minimoon style: Thrill seekers who like a buzz

If you like your holidays with plenty of action, then Fistral is for you. Surf on Cornwall’s premier surfing beach, choose between one of the many up-and-coming eateries overlooking the sea and then kick back in Zinc 14 and beautiful contemporary comfort. Read more about Zinc 14.

Cove Cottage, Sennen

Cove Cottage, Sennen

Minimoon style: An off the ‘main land’ vibe with wild scenery

A fantastic position overlooking Sennen Cove with everything on your doorstep; a beautiful surfing beach, galleries, restaurants and surf schools. This is far off the off the beaten track, with spectacular coastal walks to Land’s End on one side and St Just to the other. Read more and book Cove Cottage, Sennen.

Search our live availability and remember that most of our properties are available for short breaks outside of the school holidays. Just get in touch and to a member of our reservations team.

Rick Stein lands at Fistral

Rick Stein’s latest restaurant opened on Newquay’s Fistral Beach just in time for the Easter weekend. With a laid-back self-service style, it’s dishing up fish and chips and flavours from the Far East.

If you follow our blog regularly then you will have noticed the surge of new restaurants in the past year that have decided to open their doors on Fistral Beach near Newquay. Still on the map for its world-class surfing, it’s gradually become a bit of a foodie destination too – and all the better for it we think. Rick Stein is the next on the list.

Stein has become emblematic of Cornish cuisine, with fresh local seafood at the heart of what he does best. But things have moved on from his Seafood Restaurant in Padstow which he’s had for more than 25 years, adding other local restaurantsin Padstow, Falmouth, Porthleven and Winchester to his venture.

Now the empire has landed at Fistral. The casual, laid-back affair might not be what you expect from Stein, but self-service fish and chips works well here at one of the busiest beaches in Cornwall. They don’t take bookings but you should be able to find a seat quite quickly.

Talking about his new venture, Rick said: “It’s exciting to be opening a restaurant on Fistral, even my Aussie friends in Sydney know it; some were lifeguards there in the 70s. I imagine the restaurant buzzing with people enjoying a great beach and the sort of food you have to have by the water.”

What’s on the menu?

You’ll find Rick’s famous fish and chips cooked in beef dripping – cod, haddock and lemon soul feature. For something different you’ll find chilli burgers to add to homemade tartare sauce and authentic curry sauce.

Curries and other dishes inspired from Rick’s travels in India and the Far East have also been recently added to the menu, including Goan chicken curry, lamb karahi, pad Thai noodles, nasi goreng and vegetable makhanawala. Not forgetting Ice cream and drinks too.

It’s a win!

Take a look at Beach Retreats’ properties in and around Fistral.

Walk through Cornwall | Carnewas & Bedruthan

Roughly halfway between Newquay and Padstow, just a few miles up the coast from Watergate Bay lies one of Cornwall’s most popular must-see spots.


The wow factor doesn’t even begin to cover it, but this piece of coastline keeps itself well hidden from the road and as you first enter the car park. Take a short walk along the well-trodden paths, a mix of hard earth and cobbled routes, and you will be rewarded that are arguably some of the best views in Cornwall.


Welcome to Carnewas. These giant granite pillars viewed from the imposing cliff tops have been carved out by the relentless action of thousands years of wind and waves. It’s hard not to gaze across the scene and imagine shipwrecks and smugglers.

Bedruthan beach is accessed via a very steep staircase – not for the faint hearted. Here the golden sands are punctuated by beautiful green pools. Visitors are reminded to take care as the steps can be submerged for two hours around high tide.







A longer walk along the coast will take you to Diggory’s Island and Booby’s Bay – download one of the walks via the National Trust here

Carnewas at Bedruthan has also been recognised by the Science & Technology Facilities Council as a Dark Skies Discovery Site. Due to its location away from street lights and no man made obstructions, it’s a place to marvel at the stars and night sky.



The area is owned by the National Trust, who also run the car park (remember to take a couple of pounds with you), shop and a popular café to sit and take in what you’ve just seen. The buildings are a reminder of Carenwas’ industrial past when iron, copper and lead was mined from the cliffs.

Alternatively, pack some food and enjoy the grass-lined picnic benches.

Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps is just a five minute drive from our properties at Watergate Bay, including our Village properties.