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New year, new ways

What a klys – Cornish for cosy and snug – approach for the year ahead, and to those annual life-changing resolutions, looks like…

The New Year is upon us. The Christmas parties are over, and you may have overindulged in, well, just about everything. And with a New Year, comes the inevitable resolution making. As convention dictates, you might want to lose weight and get fitter. Perhaps you’d like to strike a better work/life balance. Maybe you just want to be happier? But what if, instead of focusing on those big, nebulous goals – which inevitably end up overtaken by events and unachieved by December – you adopted a klys approach to change?

Defined as snug or cosy, the Cornish word klys is all about making the most of the beautiful wilderness we have here, before sinking into the warmth and snugness of the indoors as the winter deepens around us. In other words, by making lots of small, tangible changes to your everyday – revolved around the concept of klys and in turn engendering feelings of contentment – you may actually reach those bigger goals as a happy by-product.

“Listening to an album from start to finish, to cooking a slow meal or simply watching the waves as they pummel the sand from the comfort of your window seat, these are all activities guaranteed to boost your wellbeing, physical and mental.”

“When I started feeling the drag of winter, I began to treat myself like a favoured child,” writes Katherine May in Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times. “I assumed my needs were reasonable and that my feelings were signals of something important. I kept myself well fed and made sure I was getting enough sleep. I took myself for walks in the fresh air and spent time doing things that soothed me. I asked myself: What is this winter all about? I asked myself: What change is coming?”

Keep making time to live slower this winter

Winter is cold, winter is dark. But perhaps it’s an opportunity to slow down; to meditate on the last year, to consider where the coming year will take you, and to focus on easily-achieved activities that restore rather than drain. Central to klys is the idea of experiencing the bracing, raw elements in the Cornish wilds, before retreating to a wood fire and a warming hot drink – your skin tingling and your soul full.

Step out of your front door and go for a rejuvenating walk by the sea (or if you want a rush of feel-good dopamine, and are well-prepared, a bracing dip). Instead of mindlessly scrolling through social feeds when you get inside, make a conscious effort to do something that doesn’t involve technology ­– or the, often bleak, news cycle.

“The feeling of klys needn’t be confined to solo activity – in fact, it’s a feeling amplified by sharing experiences with others, especially friends and family.”

From settling down in a comfortable chair to read a book by the fire or listening to an album from start to finish, to cooking a slow meal or simply watching the waves as they pummel the sand from the comfort of your window seat, these are all activities guaranteed to boost your wellbeing, physical and mental. Any time of year, but particularly now.

For klys times, make it friends and family time

The feeling of klys needn’t be confined to solo activity – in fact, it’s a feeling amplified by sharing experiences with others, especially friends and family. Think of it as an extension of the feel-good festive season gone by. While the winter weather can be harsh, these conditions make the vast expanse of a deserted beach outside – with friends and laughter and a couple of cosy hours spent in the pub after(with loved ones and locals alike) – all the more rewarding.

“Give yourself to winter and the pursuit of klys, and come springtime, you will find yourself fortified and energised for the seasons ahead.”

Choosing to adopt a klys way of living for winter means adapting to the cold season accordingly. Not being afraid of nature and the elements, but rather embracing them wholeheartedly and being open to how they can make you feel, how they can change you.

“In our relentlessly busy contemporary world, we are forever trying to defer the onset of winter,” writes May. “We don’t ever dare to feel its full bite, and we don’t dare show the way it ravages us. An occasional sharp wintering would do us good.”

Give yourself to winter and the pursuit of klys, and come springtime, you will find yourself fortified and energised for the seasons ahead. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll have unwittingly achieved those goals you normally set yourself every January.  

Experience klys this January, in a beachside retreat where you can embrace the elements outdoors before getting cosy indoors. Browse our selection below.

Klys drinks

A spiced cocktail from Curio, Christmas in a cup from Country Cordials and mulling nectar with the Cornish Mead Co, raise a glass to klys…

Diving deeper into klys, we sought out drinks with the potential to enhance the snug sensation captured by the Cornish relation to Denmark’s hygge. As we batten down the hatches on long dark evenings, these local producers create drinks that are both liquid warmth and fuel for festive spirit. 

Image credit: Lily Egbers

Spiced and stormy

On stormy days, crowds gather at Porthleven to watch in awe as waves crash into the old harbour. This is an appropriate birthplace for Curio, a spirits company that endeavours to capture the sensory experiences of life by the sea: the wild, the moody, the calm. 

“It makes me think of an evening sitting by an open fire, listening to the crackle, savouring the drink’s zesty taste and being completely absorbed in that special moment.”

Launched in 2012 by husband and wife duo, Rubina and William, Curio experiments with a range of flavours from harvested seaweed to hand-foraged samphire. This winter, Rubina recommends their cardamom vodka cocktail and sea salt caramel rum to ignite an internal glow that contrasts to the tumultuous weather outside.

“The cardamom vodka cocktail is made with cranberry juice and tonic water, garnished with cinnamon and star anise. It makes me think of an evening sitting by an open fire, listening to the crackle, savouring the drink’s zesty taste and being completely absorbed in that special moment. 

Image credit: Lily Egbers

“Whereas I also love adding the salted caramel rum to a flask of hot chocolate for a walk along the beach. It’s the perfect, sweet touch that compliments the fresh air on a wintery morning. It just makes you appreciate your surroundings, what life brings you and all there is to be grateful for.”

Cordial cosiness

In a converted outhouse deep in the Tamar Valley, Sally at Country Cordials uses a gentle heat treatment to pasteurise her fruit, flower and herb-based cordials. On clear nights, the ceiling windows reveal a dazzling starry sky. Sally recommends both her traditional apple flavour as well as the honey, lemon and ginger – also available with a kick of chilli for an invigorating klys feeling. 

“Making cordials is also a warm process too. It’s wonderful coming into the unit the next morning with those warm fruity aromas still filling the air.”

“The apple cordial is soft, smooth and soothing – it’s like Christmas in a cup. But our honey, lemon and ginger puts things right. It feels healing with an explosion of rich nutrients and vitamins. People often drink it in dry January and say it’s well worth giving up alcohol for.

“One of the best things about our cordials is that they’re really versatile. You can play with them; they are amazing as a sauce on ice cream, in cocktails or even in stir fries. 

“Making cordials is a warm process too. It’s wonderful coming into the unit the next morning with those warm fruity aromas still filling the air. Friends often just stand there, breathing it all in.”

Mulled nectar

Founded in the fishing village of Newlyn, Cornish Mead Co. is run by Sophia and her brother, Matthew. The company was the brainchild of their great grandfather in the 1950s. The medieval drink ­– with its appearance of golden nectar – is at the heart of their recommendation for conjuring cosiness. 

Image credit: Cornish Mead Co.

“If I was going to describe mulled mead as a colour, it would be a dark oak or velvety ochre.”

“We recommend mulling our mead with some juice, or even cider and wintery spices like cinnamon and oranges. It really works because it’s sweet, which surprises people; there’s a warmth and depth to it.

“If I was going to describe mulled mead as a colour, it would be a dark oak or velvety ochre. With one sip, it’s like a big fleecy comfort blanket being thrown around you and it goes brilliantly with dark chocolate or a cheese board. 

“But the company is also about family heritage and celebrating Newlyn’s history where mead has always been the people’s favourite. The drink is all about warmth, love and community; it’s about being part of something and celebrating friendships. Community is where people keep an eye on each other and that’s a hug in itself really.”

Get klys and cosy in a winter retreat by the coast, where you can sip seasonal drinks with a sea view. Browse our selection below.

We won in the British Travel Awards!

We’re thrilled to announce that last week, we were named ‘Best Small Company for UK Holiday Home Rentals’ in the British Travel Awards. Thank you to everyone who voted.

Our second accolade in two weeks, the British Travel Awards hosts the largest consumer poll for leisure travel in the world, relying on the feedback of you, our guests, to determine the best holiday companies in the industry.

We were so grateful to receive such positive feedback, with not only our beautiful properties, but the exceptional service we offer before, during and after your stay shining through as some of the many reasons you love staying with us.

After all, the most important thing for us is that you can spend your time by the coast doing what matters – enjoying the beach and immersing yourself in the coastal lifestyle we enjoy every day.

Here’s just some of what we do to make your coastal stay even more exceptional…

  • We hand pick our selection of cottages, apartments and family homes, only taking on the very best retreats on the Cornish coast.
  • Our holiday cottages and apartments are chosen for their high standards of interior décor, local amenities and of course, the walk to a fantastic Cornish beach.
  • Backed up by a friendly and helpful reservations team who visit our properties and know the local area, we remove ‘booking anxiety’ by helping guests to choose and enjoy a memorable Cornish holiday.
  • You’re guaranteed the five-star service from our housekeeping team, who work around the clock to keep our retreats pristine and perfect, ready for your arrival.

Btaawards Reach 278

After collecting the award in London, our MD Andy said:

“Precious time spent with friends and family is now more important than ever. To create the perfect holiday, we put ourselves in our guests’ shoes to help them to experience that special beach feeling, with every touch point tailored to create the coastal elation we know so well.”

Thank you to all who voted for us in the awards – we look forward to welcoming you back to your beachside retreat again soon.

Andy and the Beach Retreats team

Klysa glow

James Bowden for land&water

Image credit: James Bowden for land&water

From rain on her face to a roast in the oven, land&water’s Pix Ashworth shares what klysa means to her…

Sea spray, frosty mornings, bobble-hat shaking winds. A pumping heart rate clambering up the coast path; surging endorphins emerging from the sea. Winter days outside in Cornwall can be thrilling – and all the better for coming inside to hot drinks and good food, good books and good company.

“Time outside makes us feel better inside,” says Pix Ashworth, founder of natural bath and body brand, land&water. Hailing from Watergate Bay on Cornwall’s north coast, the land&water collection captures “that warm glow we feel after time in the elements”.

This sensation chimes with the whole idea of klysa – the Cornish word meaning ‘to make snug’ – when “the outdoor elemental wilderness makes the indoor cosiness feel all the more inviting and impactful”.

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

So we invited Pix to share some favourite winter scents and sensations, inspired by that uplifting balance between time outside and inside at this time of year…

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

OUTSIDE

Rain on my face

“We live a few miles inland amongst farmland, and there’s a 5km circular walk I do regularly at the weekends. A mix of blustery winds, patches of sunshine and the odd rain shower is the perfect winter walk for me. As long as I’m warm, the sensation of rain on my face is refreshing, invigorating and somehow satisfying – it completes that ‘blast of fresh air’ feeling.”

Land and water woman and sea

Image credit: James Bowden for land&water

Glowing cheeks

“When I picture this sensation, I think of the very moment that I open the door to our house, arriving back home after walk. Sometimes it’s almost dark, in those shortest winter days – even if it’s only late afternoon. But it’s a life-affirming moment, full of positivity and simple happiness.”

Warming pasties

“Our winter beach trips always involve pasties. We cook them at home, wrap them in baking paper and then lots of tea towels to keep them warm. That moment of cold hands opening them up on the beach – followed by that delicious waft – is something else… A heady mix of warm pastry, steak and salt-filled air.”

INSIDE

Wood fire

“Our little sitting room at home is known as the ‘Snug’ (should we rename it the ‘Klys’?). The first thing I do every winter evening when I arrive home is light the open fire. It’s as much about the atmosphere it creates as the warmth it gives off – and there’s something very soothing about watching the flames come to life.” 

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

A roast in the oven

“It’s unusual for a winter weekend to go by without a roast meal. For me, that smell emanating from the kitchen is synonymous with coming in from a blustery walk or a family football session in the garden – happy chaos and the anticipation of fabulous food.” 

Bath salts

“Hot baths are a staple in the winter and I particularly cherish them after time out amongst the elements. The scent of the pure essential oils, particularly the restoring lavender and indulgent linden (it’s a smell to sink into!) hang in the air long after my bath.”

Image credit: Goodrest Studios for land&water

Join Pix for a winter walk, talk and swim on the beach and cliffs at Watergate Bay:

Create your own klysa experience with land&water’s Bathtime bundle:

Land and water bath and body bundle

“Slow, glow, soak, breathe, moisturise… The Bathtime bundle gifts the full reset and restore experience, to light up the day’s downtime and emerge soothed – and softer all over. Bundle includes: one Candle 220g, one Bath Salts 250g, one Pulse Point Oil – Soothe 9ml, and one Body Lotion 250ml.”

Pix by the fire land and water

Browse Pix’s tips for winter self-care, from good reads to playlists and experiences, over on the land&water Journal.

A klys Christmas

The Danish practise of hygge – roughly translated as ‘cosiness’ – has swept the world in recent years. We think hygge’s Cornish cousin, klys, merits equal attention this festive season. What does making a klys Christmas mean?

Though the Cornish word klys means cosy or snug, enjoying a klys Christmas isn’t just about cocooning beneath blankets indoors. Nothing makes time spent inside feel cosier than having made the most of winter’s daylight hours with invigorating outdoor activities, enjoyed together.

To make the most of your klys Christmas in Cornwall, wintery walks could be top of your to-do list. Wandering windswept landscapes offers a bracing contrast to time spent on the sofa, making your retreat back inside all the cosier. And by visiting in winter, you’re likely to enjoy even the most popular beaches and clifftops to yourselves.

“Wandering windswept landscapes offers a bracing contrast to time spent on the sofa, making your retreat back inside all the cosier.”

With Cornwall famous for its mizzle – a combination of mist and drizzle – it’s worth remembering the old rule that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes. Wrap up in warm, waterproof clothing and bring along a hot thermos to maximise your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

“Yellow, coconut-scented gorse flowers make a tasty tea that’s prized as a digestive aid – which may well come in handy come Boxing Day.”

Struggling to get the family out of the house? Try giving your walk a focus, such as foraging for ingredients. Yellow, coconut-scented gorse flowers make a tasty tea that’s prized as a digestive aid – which may well come in handy come Boxing Day.

To make tea for two people, pick two tablespoons-worth of yellow flowers, bruise a little to release their scent, then infuse for 7-10 minutes before serving. As the plant is notoriously prickly, protect your hands with a thick pair of gloves while picking.

Life in the wild

Otherwise, why not don a pair of binoculars and try a spot of seal-spotting. Cornwall is home to two species, the grey seal and the common or harbour seal, and there’s plenty of seal hot-spots to be explored along the Cornish coast. Top choices include the sheltered Mutton Cove at Godrevy Point and Porthgwarra and Gwennap Head, near Penzance.

Seals at Mutton Cove, Hayle

Be sure to keep a respectful distance – especially as grey seals give birth during the winter months – while you enjoy seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural environment. Read our Out in the Wild blog for more about safely spotting coastal wildlife.

“These days, the wellbeing benefits from a quick plunge in cold water – not least an exhilarating rush of endorphins – are better understood.”

A time for traditions

If you’re feeling brave, why not start a new tradition? Though they are not for the faint-hearted, Christmas-day dips in the sea have long been popular in Cornwall.

These days, the wellbeing benefits from a quick plunge in cold water – not least an exhilarating rush of endorphins – are better understood.  And there’s nothing cosier than warming up afterwards. Make sure you prepare for a dip to stay safe and sound. The RNLI and Outdoor Swimmer magazine both have some further reading to aid your preparations. 

James bowden winter swimmers

Walk into the past

Away from the coast, there’s plenty of outdoor heritage sites to be explored. Ancient ruins abound: from ancient hillforts and villages such as the Iron Age site Carn Euny in Penzance, to the Bronze Age stone circles and monoliths found from West Cornwall to Bodmin Moor. But if wet weather puts a dampener on things, there’s still plenty of ways to enliven your stay.

“Give a klys flavour to your festive table with supplies from farmers markets or farm shops. Try a wedge of the unique nettle-wrapped Cornish yarg on your cheese platter, or adding a Cornish label to your list of usual tipples.”

Stock-up for the return indoors

Christmas markets abound with handmade gifts, and food and drink produced in the county. The Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair in Truro exclusively hosts traders awarded Made in Cornwall status. We’ve written a festive list of other markets taking place this year.

Give a klys flavour to your festive table with supplies from farmers markets or farm shops. Try a wedge of the unique nettle-wrapped Cornish yarg on your cheese platter, or adding a Cornish label to your list of usual tipples.

Pictured: Padstow Christmas Festival

In Penwith, west Cornwall, the team at Ninemaidens use the fine honey gathered from their hives to make their mead. Or for a non-alcoholic locally-sourced option, Adrift by Rock’s Pentire is a botanical spirit made using coastal rock samphire and sea salt.

Christmas can all too easily become a stressful time of year. Making the most of the daylight hours in the outdoors, focusing in on what’s around us, discovering, creating traditions or stocking up on local delicacies, can make time spent indoors together all the better. Why not try a klys Christmas by the sea?

Find the right beach location for your klys retreat.

Klysa in Cornwall

Klys

adj cosy; snug

With winter around the corner, we explore what it means to get ‘klys’ on the Cornish coast, and discover this cosy concept’s ties to its Danish cousin, hygge…

The year is 2016, and a Scandinavian cultural phenomenon is sweeping the world. Candles are being lit, cashmere socks pulled on, cinnamon buns baked, and cups of cocoa nursed – all in the name of ‘hygge’.

Defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or wellbeing,” this Danish term derives from a sixteenth-century Norwegian word, hugga, meaning ‘to comfort’, and has long been a part of the Scandi lifestyle.

Meik Wiking, C.E.O. of Copenhagen think tank the Happiness Research Institute and author of the best-selling The Little Book of Hygge, explains hygge as “the art of creating a nice atmosphere. It’s about togetherness. It’s about pleasure. It’s about warmth. It’s about relaxation. And that is a key cornerstone of Danish culture.”

If hygge has reached saturation point, then the Cornish ‘klys’ comes as a metaphorical blast of fresh, coastal air.”

Strip away the ‘stuff’ – those fluffy shearling slippers and heart-topped hazelnut lattes – and hygge is at its core all about a feeling, which cannot be bought, but can be created.

A Cornish feeling

While no direct English translation for hygge exists, there is a little-known word that comes very close. And it just so happens to be Cornish.

‘Klys’ is listed in the Cornish Dictionary (AKA the ‘Gerlyver Kernewek’) as an adjective, meaning ‘cosy; snug’, with the verb, ‘klysa’, meaning ‘to make snug’.

If hygge has reached saturation point, then the Cornish ‘klys’ comes as a metaphorical blast of fresh, coastal air. In Cornwall, for every glowing pub fire, there’s the mind-clearing clifftop walk to reach it; for every cottage window seat to curl up in, there’s the spectacle of Atlantic storm-watching.

 “From sharing comfort food with friends and family, to lighting spirit-warming scents and singing folk songs in remote coastal pubs, the opportunities for stoking conviviality and contentment are as varied as they are plentiful.”

Experiencing klys in Cornwall centres on a sense of balance, with the outdoor elemental wilderness making the indoor cosiness feel all the more inviting and impactful.

And with winter around the corner, klys is about to come into its own.

Sublime contrast

Winter in Cornwall stands in sublime contrast to summer. Crowds dissipate, waves crash against harbour walls, congested coast paths clear, villages light up, locals gather, log fires burn, and beaches stretch out, gloriously unspoilt. In short, it’s an unexpectedly brilliant time to visit. Channelling the concept of klys during your off-season stay offers a way to celebrate, rather than shy away from, all that’s soul-stirringly unique about a Cornish winter.

“For a suitably klys experience, why not take an exhilarating natural shower in the sea spray and skin-pummelling rain along the wintry coast path, followed by a mug of mulled wine, with eyes bright and face glowing?”

So how best to cultivate those ‘klys’ feelings on your next getaway to the county? From sharing comfort food with friends and family, to lighting spirit-warming scents and singing folk songs in remote coastal pubs, the opportunities for stoking conviviality and contentment are as varied as they are plentiful – and reach a peak around Christmas. After all, what could be more klys than a festive escape to the sea, complete with blustery beach walks and evenings together by the fire exchanging stories of the day’s adventures?

The village of Mousehole does December in true klys style – festooning its harbour in a spectacularly nostalgic display of Christmas lights. Meanwhile, over in Porthleven (the pin-up of Cornish winter storms), huge seas explode against the clock tower as captivated onlookers watch from within the warmth of the atmospheric Ship Inn.

For a suitably klys experience, why not take an exhilarating natural shower in the sea spray and skin-pummelling rain along the wintry coast path, followed by a mug of mulled wine, with eyes bright and face glowing? Or, for a less intrepid interpretation of klys, curl up with a book by candlelight or take an essential oil-scented bath while the rain batters the windows of your retreat.

Join us in the coming weeks as we journey deeper into what it means to get klys in Cornwall – from tempting recipes for klys-inducing drinks to our round-up of the most invigorating spots to visit, and where to warm up after.

Welcome to cosy season, Cornish-style…

Browse our Cornish locations and find the right coastal spot for your kyls retreat….

Top 10 Cornish Christmas markets for 2022

Christmas is coming, and that means one thing – Christmas markets. Inspired by Europe’s vibrant market culture, this year will see Cornish towns and villages deck the halls, and the streets, with festive cheer. With fresh Cornish produce, bespoke arts and crafts, delightful street food and plenty of mulled wine, a Christmas market in Cornwall is the best way to get into the spirit of the season, and pick up some stocking fillers along the way.

Here’s our pick of the best Christmas markets in Cornwall.

Find a coastal retreat in Cornwall and be here for Christmas market season.

Padstow Christmas Festival / 1 – 4 December

In the heart of Padstow you’ll find one of the largest Christmas festivals in Cornwall. With celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth making an appearance, the streets will be filled with the aromas of delectable seafood from a range of cooking demos. Visitors can also fill their boots (and stockings) at the Christmas market, with stalls selling artisan bread, meats, cheeses, gin, craft beers and much more. Topped off with a firework display, lantern parade and live music, this is a great way to get festive as December begins.

Browse our retreats near Padstow.

Fowey Christmas Market / 2 – 4 December

This popular Christmas market sees a variety of stalls line the streets of this picture-perfect harbour town. Find the very best of local handmade goods, from artwork, crafts, jewellery, food and drink, and give a loved one a gift that can’t be found elsewhere. The market opens with a Father Christmas and Fowey Town Band Parade through the town, and each day there will be live music and street performers spreading Christmas cheer.

Stay in Fowey this Christmas.

Fowey christmas market donkey and elves

Cornwall Christmas market @ the Eden Project / 23 – 24 November

The mesmerising Eden Project will be opening their doors on the 23rd and 24th of November for their vibrant Christmas market. With up to 70 independent stalls, you won’t find a better setting for a Christmas fair, with the tropical rainforest biome, Mediterranean biome and sprawling gardens to explore. Pre book your visit for either the evening of the 23rd where you can enjoy wine and supper included in your ticket price, or the daytime fair on the 24th which includes lunch, wine and free admission to Eden.

Find a retreat nearby.

Bude Beach Huts / 10 – 11 December

Step into Christmas, seaside style, at Bude’s beach hut market. The Beach Huts will be transformed into local stalls, selling a wide range of handmade, artisan goodies suitable for all ages. Set on the beautiful Crooklets beach, enjoy a takeaway lunch or hot drink on the sand before getting stuck into some serious Christmas shopping.

Stay in Bude this Christmas.

Porthleven Christmas Market / 2 – 4 December

This historic harbour will come to life on the 2 – 4 December with a selection of handpicked stalls, showcasing the very best of Cornish produce and crafts. If you’ve got little ones in tow, Porthleven market is perfect, as Santa will be making a special appearance!

Retreats in Porthleven.

Truro Made in Cornwall Fair / 25th & 26th November

Head to the capital of Cornwall for a festive Christmas fair. Its tradition to head to Truro for its annual late-night shopping season, and this Christmas market kicks things off, allowing you to sample unique goods for sale. With a backdrop of fairy lights and the town’s striking Cathedral, a visit here will get you in the mood for Christmas.

Find a Cornish Christmas break.

St Ives Christmas market / 2 – 4 December

St Ives is Cornwall’s artistic hub, with a magical quality of light that has inspired painters and sculptors for decades. This year, browse their very own Christmas market, where you’ll find one-of-a-kind pieces, alongside live music and festive drinks. Once you’ve explored, why not check out the Tate gallery or head into the town for more boutique shops and restaurants?

Sleep in St Ives.

Healey’s Cider Farm Festive weekends / 12 November – 18 December

Spanning over six weekends, this family friendly farm will transform into a festive haven filled with crafts, Christmas music, mulled cider and hearty food. Starting from mid November, this event is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit, and allows you to start ticking off the Christmas wish lists.

Book a Christmas stay.

Penryn Jubilee Wharf Fair / 10 – 11 December

Celebrate the first creative Christmas market at Penryn, hosting a range of stalls selling jewellery, ceramics, gifts, candles, skin care and tasty treats. Treat your loved ones, or yourself, to a bespoke Cornish creation this Christmas.

Stay in Falmouth.

Wadebridge Christmas market / 2 December

All of the family will love this festive event, where a roaming Santa and cheeky elves will be around to hand out sweets to the children. With late night shopping, charity stalls, a Christmas shop window competition, feel the buzz of the festive season in this coastal town halfway between Padstow and Polzeath.

Find a retreat on Cornwall’s north coast.

10 Retreats for New Year

New Year’s Eve by the coast means watching fireworks reflected in harbour waters, dining on seasonal fisherman’s catch of the day and sipping bubbles by a fizzing tide. We have retreats around the Cornish coast where you can dance the night away at one of many street and beach celebrations or simply curl up by the log burner at home. However you choose to see the new year in, do it in Beach Retreats’ style.

Here’s our pick of 10 retreats with New Year availability. We’ve got something for everyone, from couples looking for a romantic weekend away to multi-generational families seeking a large holiday home to celebrate in together.

See all our New Year retreats.

Lobster Pot, Porthcothan – sleeps two

A cosy cabin made for two, Lobster Pot is set off the beaten track, offering a unique and romantic hideaway for couples. Featuring a coastal interior with a rustic and contemporary twist, this beachside shack sits just one mile inland with at least 10 beaches all within a 5-20 minute drive from the cabin. For a quiet New Years away from the crowds, Lobster Pot is your haven.

No 7 The Beach, Porthtowan – sleeps four

This sleek, modern apartment is just footsteps from the wild shores of Porthtowan beach, inviting you for a rugged New Year in the fresh sea air. If you’re looking for a quieter celebration, this is the spot for you. However, if you do fancy a party, head to Hayle or Perranporth either direction along the coast for a selection of restaurants and beachside bars.

White Sails, Carlyon Bay – sleeps four

This New Year, celebrate in coastal style at White Sails. This sophisticated clifftop penthouse boasts stunning views over the ocean and is close to the coast path towards Carlyon Bay and beyond – perfect for a New Year’s day stroll. Wrap up in blankets and take your Champagne out on the balcony to cheers as the clock strikes midnight.

Oakfield, Widemouth Bay – sleeps six

However you want to spend your New Years, do it in beachside style at Oakfield, a spacious retreat with its own bubbling hot tub for the ultimate pampering. With a large living room complete with a log burner, games room and wrap around terrace, this is the perfect home for a family get together.

18 Dunes, Perranporth – sleeps six

Start your day with the sight of the cool blue ocean, paddle the shorelines and stroll the soft sand before heading back to your retreat, which sits just moments from the beach.18 Dunes is a peaceful, interior designed seafront retreat which sleeps six, and has availability for uninterrupted coastal New Year breaks.

Wonderwall, Hayle – sleeps seven

Kick back in a stylish beach chalet this New Year’s Eve. Situated in the Upton Towans sand dunes area of Hayle, you’re in the prime position to enjoy the beach by day and the town by night, being not too far from Hayle’s growing foodie scene. The unique and carefully curated interiors of this retreat make it a delight for an evening in, too.

3 Breakwater, Fistral – sleeps eight

Azure blue sea, white sand and a winding coast path- you are close to it all at 3 Breakwater. This state-of-the-art property invites you to indulge from its crushed velvet and polished granite interiors to its proximity to one of the county’s most breathtaking beaches. Head into Newquay for the evening celebrations after a day spent soaking up the views.

The Penthouse Coast, Porth – sleeps eight

Celebrate New Year together at this beautiful penthouse with mesmerising front row views of Porth beach. Spend the day on the sand or roaming the nearby coastal path, before heading to Newquay to see in the new year in style.

The Beach House, Mawgan Porth – sleeps 12

This New Year, get away together in a stylish family home, using time by the shoreline to reconnect and restore. This luxury retreat features a large kitchen with cocktail making area, second relaxing TV room, woodfired hot tub and front terrace overlooking Mawgan Porth beach.

Ivy Cottage, Watergate Bay – sleeps 10

At this warm and inviting cottage, you can see the New Years at your choosing. Head into Newquay town centre to soak up the atmosphere, or simply sit out on your private garden and clink your glasses under the starry skies. This homely cottage provides the perfect space for a large family or group of friends to enjoy the celebrations in coastal style.

Spend New Year in Cornwall.

Stargazing rituals by the sea

Our ancestors found wonder and reassurance in the night sky, creating places for stargazing rituals that you can uncover across Cornwall. We went in search of celestial coastal wonder with the help of local astronomer Carolyn Kennett.

Life can be uncertain, but looking up at the night sky might offer us a sense of stability: the unchanged Orion’s Belt, the Big Dipper still staring back at us with its bear-like eyes, and the twin figures of Gemini stretching out their arms towards us.

The sky has more or less looked the same for thousands of years, but if we look further the stars are always moving. One day, albeit in a few million years, the night sky will look nothing like it does today.

It’s possible ancient civilisations found wonder in the sky’s movements and part of the reason they dedicated so much time to stargazing and built monuments to the night sky. The remains of these monuments can be found across Cornwall, giving clues to the rituals of the past, while the clear, dark skies by the coast offer plenty of scope to create your own stargazing rituals on holiday.

Astronomical tales

Local astronomer, Carolyn Kennett, is well acquainted with Cornwall’s rich astronomical history, and has her own rituals for the region’s star-spotting sites.

“We’ve moved away and lost our connection to the night sky; we forget to look up to see what’s going on,” she says. Creating this deep connection to the stars was always an important part of our ancestors’ lives.

“It’s widely known as a place of ceremony and ritual with strong alignments with the rising and setting of the sun.”

From visiting ancient astronomical sites to sharing folk tales to simply watching stars glide past you in the dark, Carolyn’s tours bring this connection to life. “When you see the Bronze Age monuments from about four thousand years ago, that’s when things get interesting,” she says.

Stone circle sunriseTregeseal Stone Circle (Credit: Carolyn Kennett)

One of the most inspiring spots is at the Penwith Dark Skies Park, West Cornwall. From a stay in westerly properties such as Stella Maris or Sea Salt Sennen, travel through time, to Tregeseal Stone Circle (or The Dancing Stones) a Neolithic Bronze Age monument of nineteen stones.

It’s widely known as a place of ceremony and ritual with strong alignments with the rising and setting of the sun. It’s one of the stargazing tours Carolyn takes travellers on, a magical place to explore in autumn and winter.  

Autumnal astronomy

Whether in the steps of ancient settlers or at your own choice of coastal dark sky lookout, one of the first starry delights to spot this season is the Orionid meteor shower. Catch this comet as it passes around the sun, lighting-up the rock and dust that trails it, between 21st and 22nd October.

Soon after you can catch a glimpse of the partial lunar eclipse when the Moon will pass in front of the sun on the morning of 25th October. 

“The best chance to seize both these celestial moments is from a place with little light pollution and a clear horizon like the cliff tops.”

The month of November has even more in store. The Cornwall Astronomy Society Meeting & Stargazing will meet on 8th November to talk under the stars and see what the November sky holds. It isn’t by chance that a beaver moon (which could turn out to be a red blood moon) will appear the same night.

It’s one of the most breathtaking events of the celestial calendar when the moon turns a red colour as it aligns with both the earth and sun in a complete lunar eclipse. 

A few days later, between 12th-13th November, the Taurid meteor shower peaks. It’s a key autumn event with the meteors passing by slowly, creating a long-lasting twinkling in the night sky. You don’t need a telescope or binoculars – simply your eyes to look up and absorb the shining expanse above you.

The best chance to seize both these celestial moments is from a place with little light pollution and a clear horizon like the cliff tops.

With clifftop views out to sea, retreats like Iona in Porthcothan or Skyline and Karn Havos in Mawgan Porth, offer clear night-time horizons on the doorstep.  

Credit: Graham Gaunt Photowork

Solstice skies

With December comes the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year on the 21st of the month and a long-standing time of celebration in many cultures, past and present.

An ancient Cornish monument with celestial connection is Hurlers Stone Circle, created in the early Bronze Age. This ceremonial circle was orientated towards the location of the stars that form Orion’s belt when it was made and it still stands in Bodmin Moor’s Dark Skies Park. It could be the perfect spot for stargazing on the winter solstice. 

Stone circle sunrise

Hurlers Stone Circle at sunrise (Credit: Carolyn Kennett)

Wherever you find yourself in Cornwall, there’s a universe of astronomical sights to see. Experience these wonders in your own stargazing ritual by the coast or discover the dark sky places of our ancestors.

Start November with a bang!

Grab your sparklers, wrap up warm and venture outside to watch fireworks light up the ocean with kaleidoscopic bursts of colour. Cornwall comes to light on November 5 with bonfire night displays all across the county, from displays right on the beach, above harbour waters or in rural villages with a cosy pub next door. 

If you’re wondering where to watch the fireworks in Cornwall in 2022, we’ve got you covered. To help your night go with a bang, we’ve selected some of the best firework displays lighting up the Cornish skies…

Fistral beach, Newquay

Experience a firework display on the world famous Fistral beach, Cornwall’s surfing capital. See the vibrant colours light up the sky from Fistral Beach Bar, who are hosting the event. The event is free entry and doesn’t require a booking, but be sure to get there early to grab a seat (and a beer) before the display starts.

4 November 2022.

From 7.30pm.

Watergate Bay

Wax Restaurant in Watergate Bay are hosting their annual spectacular firework party on the 4 November. Described as ‘bigger and better’ than 2021, the event will host raffles, music and stands selling hot drinks and food. The event is non-profit and will raise money for local organisations.

October 29 2022.

6pm – midnight, displays to start between 19.30 – 19.45.

Lappa Valley

Head to Lappa Valley for fireworks and a steam extravaganza. The little ones will love the collection of full size and miniature traction engines, fairground organs, every available railway locomotive in use at Lappa Valley, plus visiting steam engines on the railways. All visitors need to be onsite by 7pm for safety. Usual admission prices apply during the day. Fireworks evening costs £5. If you pay for a day ticket, you can stay on site or return for the fireworks at no extra cost.

5 November 2022.

Fireworks kick off 7.30pm.

Lappa Valley fireworks night

Photo credit: Ollie Ridge, Lappa Valley

Newquay Sports Centre

Back with a bang for 2022, the Sports Centre’s firework show is the biggest in town. Although there will be no bonfire, visitors can expect six bars, lots of food vendors, inflatable fun fair, a 30ft cinema screen, DJ and after party, huge marquee and a beer festival during the day. The event is £2 a ticket, with children going free, and 100% of all money raised for tickets will go into non-profit initiatives at the Sports Centre such as free women’s self defence classes and men’s mental health support. 

5 November 2022.

Time TBC.

Famouth Cricket Club

Falmouth Cricket Club will be lighting up the skies on November 5. Expect lots of whistles and whooshes with their annual display, with £7000 worth of fireworks. There will also be food stalls, a bar, a tasty hog roast and children’s rides. The entry fee is £4 for adults and £2 for children, and all money raised will go towards the firefighter’s charity, local charities and good causes.

5 November 2022.

Starts at 7pm.

Bude Rugby Club, Bude

Enjoy bonfire night in Bude, located in beautiful North Cornwall. Serving up a BBQ and hog roast to keep you full, Bude Rugby Club are putting on a display bigger and better than ever. The night kicks off at 6pm with a Guy Fawkes competition before the lighting of the bonfire at 6.30pm followed by fireworks at 7pm. Tickets are £3 for adults, £2 for children with under 3’s free, or purchase a family ticket for £10.

1 November.

Fireworks start at 7pm.

Book your self-catering break for November.