Category: Uncategorised

 

Escaping seasonal stress

’Tis the season…

The approaching festive period offers a welcome chance to unwind after another tough year. Here we explore how you can create the ideal family winter break, one that offers all the rich pleasure of the holiday season – and none of the stress.

Christmas is a rare chance to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, to take a break from the everyday grind and spend quality time with loved ones. All too often, though, the desire to get everything just right only adds to the pressure: you squeeze several generations into the family home; sweat away over an ambitious roast that fails to satisfy the nuanced dietary needs of the gathered hordes; and despair as everyone fights over the TV remote.

But the festive season does offer another opportunity – to truly escape. Together. And with its epic landscapes, cosy evenings, and luxurious food and drink, Cornwall offers all the ingredients you need to stuff your festive break with deep, restorative joy – leaving the whole family feeling totally at home.

Here are a few suggestions for getting that festive break just right…

EXPLORE

When it comes to blowing away any tensions and cobwebs, nothing beats walking beneath sprawling winter skies – whether crisp or foreboding – and breathing in the smell of a freshly whipped sea. Cornwall is about letting the quiet magic wash over you. You just have to layer up – and don the gloves, hats and boots – and get out there.

“Treat yourself to an invigorating swim – or at least to the warm, romantic feeling of being out in the elements, hands warming on an enamel mug filled with seasonal spiced oats, enhanced by cinnamon, cloves and orange zest.” 

You can take your pick from hundreds of miles of breathtaking coastal walks, and winter is an excellent season for descending on to the county’s beaches. Whether marching across miles of golden sand, or using a low tide to explore hidden coves, this is the only chance you’ll get to have the entire sand to yourself.

Teach the kids to fly kites. Treat yourself to an invigorating swim – or at least to the warm, romantic feeling of being out in the elements, hands warming on an enamel mug filled with seasonal spiced oats, enhanced by cinnamon, cloves and orange zest. 

ESCAPE

When several generations of the family come together for a prolonged period, people will want different things from the experience. And while Cornwall will offer untold delights on the doorstep, there’s even more to explore further afield. Independence is the great stress diffuser. Bring separate vehicles so everyone is free to go off and explore, and to do exactly what they need to.

Of course, the one thing anyone wants to do with precious time away from work is relax. The problem is that kids tend to be up at the crack of dawn, demanding entertainment. But that lie-in needn’t remain a distant Christmas wish: ensure everyone takes their turn on ‘getting kids out of the house early’ duty, so the rest get to rest.

“Cornwall has a healthy dose festive romance too – from the transformative magic of the Christmas lights around the harbour at Mousehole, to the childlike delight of the Truro City of Lights annual lantern parade.”

You could even consider cluster-booking apartments in the same complex. Whether your group includes energetic young children, couples craving private time, or seniors seeking just a little bit of shut-eye, everyone will have their own special place to retreat to.

 

COMMUNE

Cornwall has a healthy dose festive romance too – from the transformative magic of the Christmas lights around the harbour at Mousehole, to the childlike delight of the Truro City of Lights annual lantern parade. Local theatre groups stage seasonal work in spectacular locations around the county, including the clifftop Minack Theatre, Heligan Gardens and countless woodland and coastal locations.

Then there’s the simple bonding pleasure of pausing whatever you’re doing to watch together as the sun sets over the sea. Stand on a harbour under the crisp winter skies, the lights flickering on inside the surrounding cottages, and find your way to the pub.

As well as potentially chancing upon local folk music by a roaring hearth, there’s no shortage of mouth-watering food being offered by Cornwall’s country inns and restaurants these days – on clifftops, moorland, or nestled into breath-taking creeks.

RELAX 

Much of the delight of exploring what’s outside lies in the deliciousness of coming home. Return with ruddy cheeks, kick off your boots and step into a hot shower, as someone heads into the living room to fire up the log burner. Then settle in for a long, slow evening of comfort.

“Hearty winter veg like cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli are all readily available from the county’s well stocked farm shops and markets, and pair well with locally produced beef, pork, poultry and fresh fish. Or local pot-caught crab, which is a great sustainable choice through the winter.”

Sit back and relax, and reflect on the satisfaction of a day, before lining up a film. Or perhaps it’s simply time to be alone, together. Disappear into your own world with a good book, iPad, or paper, while you savour a mug of hot chocolate. Or enjoy a tipple from Cornwall’s growing army of award-winning brewers and distillers, who offer premium craft beer, rose gin, whiskey, vodka and rum, all locally sourced and made.

FEAST

Christmas is all about communing for shared meals. And sharing the cooking. One great way to enjoy a break from all the resting is by testing your culinary chops, enjoying the time and space to create a delicious new dish for your assembled loved ones.

Why not challenge yourself to use only local seasonal ingredients? It will reward the effort. Hearty winter veg like cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli are all readily available from the county’s well stocked farm shops and markets, and pair well with locally produced beef, pork, poultry and fresh fish. Or local pot-caught crab, which is a great sustainable choice through the winter.

You can, of course, take this to the next level – by foraging for edible greens. Keep your eyes peeled for alexanders, nettle tops, wild garlic and wild cress. Researchers have shown that bacteria in the soil releases serotonin – a mood-lifting neurotransmitter – the perfect winter tonic.

Whether you’re creating mezze-style sharing plates, or hearty stews and soups, combine it all with freshly-baked sourdough, and be sure to save some bread to enjoy the next morning – with farm-bought eggs and locally roasted coffee.

What will it be for your Christmas retreat? 

5 Christmas Day Walks in Cornwall

Winter boots brushed with sand, woolly hats and scarves pulled on snug, and cheeks pink from the salty sea air. This year, shake off the post-Christmas lunch slump with a bracing coastal walk.

Christmas day is the perfect time to step outdoors and explore Cornwall’s rugged coast path. With nothing around you but expansive seascapes and open skies, you can take this time to appreciate the beauty of nature and the company of loved ones, a moment of mindfulness amongst the business of the festive season.

Here’s our pick of five Christmas day walks in Cornwall, where you can embrace that windswept feeling and be the first to leave footprints on the sand.

Watergate Bay – Mawgan Porth

Panoramic seascapes, unruly waves and rocky cliff faces. This walk will truly whisk you away from a drowsy afternoon in front of a Christmas film, instead bringing you feelings of awe at the power of the ocean. This walk, which is just over two miles, follows footpaths on the cliff edge, with endless vantage points to stop and simply soak it all up.

Chapel Porth Beach – Wheal Coates Mines

This short walk features a gentle climb towards one of Cornwall’s most iconic mines. The red cliffs, brushed with sea flora and sprawling greenery, are a sight to behold- bring a flask of something hot and herbal and let the unruly beauty of this area wash over you. Pass streams, springs and areas of bog towards this Cornish Mining World Heritage Site.

Fistral – Pentire Headland

This blustery walk takes you along the pebbled stretch of Fistral beach and around its panoramic headland, where you can cast your eyes across Newquay’s beaches on one side and Crantock on the other. At Fistral, you will spot dedicated surfers riding the swell even on Christmas day. Once you have strolled around the headland, call in at Lewinnick Lodge for a glass of festive bubbles.

Carbis Bay – St Ives

This walk, just under two miles long, allows you to take in the sights, sounds and scents of nature undisturbed. Running parrallel to the scenic St Ives railway, you will be witness to swathes of ocean and white sand. With only gentle ascent and descent, this is a great family walk for those looking to reconnect with one another during this season.

Hayle Sands beach walk – Gwithian Lighthouse

Starting in the estuary town of Hayle, this walk follows the coast path all the way to Gwithian, before returning along the flat expanse of beach. A Site of Special Scientific Interest for its sand dunes and wildlife, you are bound to spot sea birds dotted along the water’s edge. Make your way to Gwithian Lighthouse, the iconic Cornish landmark which inspired Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse.

10 Retreats for Christmas

The scent of pine needles, wood fires and sea salt. Christmas lights glinting from harbour waters. The chorus of waves from outside your window. A Christmas by the coast invites you to step away from the business of this festive period and reconnect with the senses, making time to cherish loved ones, good food and relaxation. Because after all, that’s what Christmas is about.

Looking to celebrate the festive season, coastal style? Here’s our pick of ten winter retreats with availability this Christmas.

Glenfeadon Castle, Portreath

Sleeps two

This Christmas, nestle into this unique traditional folly, converted into a cosy coastal home fit for a Targaryean. Sleeping two in sophisticated interiors, this retreat puts a unique spin on the traditional building. With exposed stone, natural wood and mid-century furnishings, this is the perfect romantic space for Christmas spent just the two of you. Beyond the windows you’ll see the glistening blue sea of Portreath beach, beckoning you for a Christmas day walk.

See inside

Glenfeadon Castle

The Lodge, Mawgan Porth

Sleeps four

Tuck into Christmas dinner, followed by a hot tub under the night sky. The Lodge is the dream retreat for a Christmas stay with that little extra coastal magic. The bubbling hot tub, an essential for a decadent winter stay, is perfectly positioned overlooking the shoreline of Mawgan Porth beach. With polished wooden floorboards, velvet sofas and a crackling log burner, you’ll feel at home in this beachside hideaway.

Book your stay

Little Duck, Mousehole

Sleeps four

Little Duck is designed for cosy Christmas days. This wooden fisherman’s cottage is positioned near the adorable cobbled streets of Mousehole, where during the festive period you’ll experience the famous Mousehole lights reflecting in the harbour water. Little Duck sleeps four in luxury, coastal interiors fused with a rustic and contemporary twist and thoughtful attention to detail throughout.

See inside

Drift, Falmouth

Sleeps six

Enjoy a waterside Christmas at Drift. This three-bedroomed apartment is positioned directly above Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth, close to the buzzing town with a variety of festive restaurants and bars. Drift is styled with calming ocean tones, rustic textured fabrics and sliding doors to the balcony where you can catch a glimpse of the ocean.

Stay for Christmas

8 The Bay, Cawsand

Sleeps six

Curl up in this dreamy coastal apartment, situated directly on the sand of peaceful Cawsand beach. This retreat has three beautifully designed bedrooms and floor to ceiling glass windows opening out to the seafront. From the beach just below, you can catch the ferry across to Plymouth, where you can get your last-minute Christmas shopping done before heading back to Cawsand for a glass of wine under the stars.

Be by the sea

8 The Bay, Cawsand, Cornwall

The Lookout, Porth

Sleeps eight

If you are looking to entertain this Christmas, look no further than The Lookout, complete with colourful lounging space, large dining table with sea views and full width balcony overlooking the beach. This sophisticated detached house will amaze with its interior design, featuring shades of deep ocean blue, rustic textures and vibrant artwork. With plenty of space for family and friends across four bedrooms and Porth beach less than two minutes’ walk away, this is the perfect retreat for celebrating in style.

Book your stay

Point House, Charlestown

Sleeps eight

If you want enough space to gather all of the family but you still relish in the serenity that rural Cornwall provides, Point House is the choice for you. This private detached house sleeps eight across four bedrooms and is set in vast gardens, just a short walk from the private Duporth beach. Take this time away from the chatter of everyday life to restore, reflect and appreciate the company of loved ones around you- from the hot tub, of course.

See inside

Mabyn, Watergate Bay

Sleeps eight

Modern, high-end design meet coastal charm at Mabyn, a spacious eco home overlooking Watergate Bay. Here, you can spend Christmas day striding across coastal paths, the invigorating walk working up your appetite for dinner at a cosy seafront pub. Or, with all the amenities of a chef’s kitchen and ample dining space, enjoy a home-cooked Christmas feast in the comfort of this retreat. A bonus is the sea facing balcony for a night cap under the stars.

Stay in Mabyn

Dolphins, Downderry

Sleeps 10

This coastal-calm retreat is perfect for getting away from it all, together. Set in the quiet seaside town of Downderry, this family home has steps leading directly to the sand at the bottom of the garden. Why not start your Christmas morning with an invigorating dip, before running back to the house to warm up and get gift unwrapping?

See inside

Heron House, Fistral

Sleeps 14

Heron House is a showstopper Christmas retreat. With a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, multicoloured outdoor lighting, inbuilt speaker system throughout the house and garden, and seven bedrooms sleeping an impressive 14, this is your destination for a celebratory Christmas in a large group. Share a feast around the dining table with views of the River Gannel from floor to ceiling sliding glass doors…. what could be more festive?

Book your stay

View all Christmas breaks in Cornwall

The 10 best beaches to surf in Cornwall

Have you got a thirst for being amongst the waves? Cornwall’s adrenaline-fuelled surf scene thrives all year round, with surf spots suitable for beginners to world-class pros. Rolling sets and foamy swells are plentiful in Cornwall, especially on the north coast where the exposure to the Atlantic creates big, consistent waves.

If you’ve never tried surfing before, or have a bit of experience and want to improve your skills, many of the popular beaches have their own surf schools where you can dive in with the experts. From full one-on-one lessons, to wetsuit and board hire, there’s an option for everyone whether you need instructor support or prefer to go it alone.

With hundreds of beaches to choose from, it can be hard to figure out where’s best to get suited up and head in. That’s why we’ve created a handy guide to the 10 best surfing beaches in Cornwall, meaning you can waste less time searching and more time in the surf.

We’ve got retreats within walking distance of all of these popular surfing beaches, so you can head straight from the water and back home on foot, without even needing to change. Find your surf retreat here.

Fistral Beach, Newquay

One of the most famous surfing beaches on the planet, Fistral Beach is a wide, west-facing beach on the north coast, and its exposure to Atlantic swells ensures consistent waves all year round. The Cribbar, at the north end of the beach, is a famous big wave location, with waves reaching as high as 40 feet. Stand and watch from the headland as the pros tackle it head on, taking in the spray from overhead.

Fistral Beach hosts many national and international surfing competitions, which draw thousands of visitors, and is also the base for annual music and surf festival Boardmasters.

  • Multiple car parks next to the beach and nearby, charges apply. Free street parking above Fistral South.
  • Lifeguards daily from 9th April – 30th 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Surf at sunset while staying at a Fistral retreat.

fistral beach, cornwall

Gwithian Towans, Hayle

Gwithian is one of the best places to catch a clean wave in Cornwall, whilst avoiding the crowds. Nestled in the heart of the Towans nature reserve, you’ll be surfing amongst untouched beauty and wildlife. Gwithian was recently listed by the Sunday Times in the ‘Top 10 Surf Locations in England’, and makes up part of the three miles of golden sand which stretch from St Ives to Godrevy Head.

  • A handful of small car parks nearby, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30 April – 25 September, weekends only 1 – 16 October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Seek out a seaside Hayle retreat.

Hayle beach, Cornwall

Perranporth beach

Perranporth offers plenty of space to surf, alongside a large beach backed with sand dunes for any little ones to paddle and build sandcastles. For beginners, the beach is more sheltered towards the Droskyn Point end, while the biggest waves can be found at Penhale. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, this classic seaside village has a range of eateries where you can refuel with some fish and chips. 

  • 3 car parks nearby, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily from 9th April – 30th 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Watch the swell surge from a Perranporth retreat.

Surfers at Perranporth beach, Cornwall

Watergate Bay

If you want to avoid the crowds at Fistral, Watergate is your best bet. With an expanse of beach home to consistent swell, this north coast destination is a surfer’s paradise. Waves vary from small and clean to huge and challenging, depending on conditions and swell, so be sure to check local surf reports before heading in!

  • 3 car parks nearby, charges apply. Limited free parking at the top of the hill.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30 April – 25 September, weekends only 1 – 16 October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Jump from bed to board at a Watergate Bay retreat.

Surfers at Watergate Bay, Cornwall

Widemouth Bay

This popular surfing spot stretches over a mile and a half, and it’s common to see a variety of abilities in the surf here. Near to Bude, this is a great option if you’re staying in either area.

  • Multiple car parks next to the beach and nearby, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30th April – 25th September, weekends only 1st – 16th October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Explore the south coast from a Widemouth Bay retreat.

Porthleven beach

This beach isn’t for the beginners, but if you’ve got some skills with a surfboard then you’re guaranteed an adrenaline-filled ride. The powerful waves break onto a shallow reef, creating a wild ride for any surfers who get on board. 

  • One small car park nearby and one small car park above the town, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily from 9 July – 4 September.

Find the perfect Porthleven retreat.

Polzeath beach

This family favourite sandy spot is perfect for beginners, with gentle but consistent swell and slow waves. Whether you’re hopping on a surfboard or bodyboard, this north Cornwall location won’t disappoint. 

  • Multiple car parks next to the beach and nearby, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30 April – 25 September, weekends only 1 – 16 October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Tackle the waves at a Polzeath retreat.

Porthtowan beach

Porthtowan is a true locals spot during the winter and also a popular visitor spot in summer. Home to lively waves and a beautiful sandy beach, Porthtowan makes for a great surf spot if you’re staying nearby. 

  • One large car park close to the beach, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30 April – 25 September, weekends only 1 – 16 October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.

Be by the beach at a Porthtowan retreat.


Holywell Bay

Holywell Bay is a quieter option for those seeking sand dunes, a rugged coastpath and surfable waves. A beautiful, spacious beach to simply relax on, Holywell has enough room for a bit of privacy even at its busiest. The surf here requires a bit of luck and skill, due to the moving tides, but its certainly an option if you want somewhere walkable from your Holywell retreat.

  • One large car park close to the beach, charges apply.
  • Lifeguards daily 14 May – 25 September, 10am – 6pm patrol.

Seek out a Holywell retreat.

Whitsand Bay

Hidden away in the corner of south east Cornwall, this beach is one of the county’s hidden gems. With a dramatic cliffscape dotted with mini beach shacks, the walk down to the sand is almost as exhilarating as the waves. The surf is slightly more unreliable than more popular destinations, but is great for escaping the crowds and practising your moves in private.

  • Multiple car parks next to the beach and nearby, charges apply. Easiest access is from Tregantle Fort car park.
  • Lifeguards daily during Easter school holidays, daily from 30 April – 25 September, weekends only 1 – 16 October and daily during October half term. 10am – 6pm patrol.
  • Surf equipment hire and lessons.

Enjoy some calm at a Whitsand Bay retreat.

Dogs at sea

Some dogs prefer running through sand, others can’t wait to wade in for a swim and then there are some dogs that love spending time at sea aboard boat or board. We captured three dogs at sea on their preferred craft…

Find your dog friendly holiday.

The ocean cleaner

Meet Rosie, crew member at Clean Ocean Sailing. Rosie is happy to leap overboard to gather plastic waste floating out at sea or on the coastline. Her love for the water is such that she once did just that in the Bay of Biscay, fortunately returning to her vessel after an hour of searching.

When it comes to boats, she is as comfortable in the century-old Scandinavian rowing boat pictured here as aboard the main Clean Ocean Sailing vessel The Anette, collecting the plastic material that pollutes our seas or transporting that gathered and sorted waste to Exeter where it is processed and turned into new objects.

Support the work Rosie and her owners Monika and Steve are doing, and find out about volunteering opportunities at Clean Ocean Sailing.

The hardy seafarer

Few dogs have overcome and achieved as much at sea as Toobs. She not only swam to safety in a cave after being lost at sea (making local and national news headlines) but managed to swim the English Channel in 2020 over a number of swimming stints. Here she is aboard her sailing boat and home, moored in Falmouth, on which she is about to embark on an epic sailing tour with owner Wayne. And below Toobs is enjoying a regular dip in the water between harbour and mooring.

You can follow Toobs’ adventures at sea at the Team Toobs website and on Instagram.

The visiting paddleboarder

Not all seafaring dogs live on or even near the sea. Ted, who hails from Loughborough in the Midlands, recently visited Cornwall on holiday where he enjoyed several trips on the paddleboard with owner Amy. Not only does Ted frequent a paddleboard, he goes out kayaking and on land-based adventures in a bike carrier. When he’s looking less alert and his ears are back, Amy knows he’s really relaxing into the boarding.

Choose from retreats around the coast with enclosed outside spaces for four-legged friends to relax post swim and outdoor showers for rinsing off all that salty sea water. Whether sand runner or wave paddler, or both, bring your dog to beach.

How to spend your two free nights in Cornwall

You know that feeling when your holiday is coming to an end, yet there’s still so many things you want to do?

We feel you. That’s why, this year, you don’t have to worry about your time running out too soon when you book a stay with us this winter. When you book three or five night break from November until March (excluding school holidays), enjoy two extra nights on us.

Find out more about booking your stay here.

Because more time means more freedom to enjoy Cornwall, the way you want to.

Keep an eye on our socials over the coming weeks, where we’ll be hosting a series of competitions giving you the chance to win some great prizes to enjoy during your two free nights.  

In need of some more inspiration? Here’s a few suggestions on ways to make the most of your two free nights by the sea.

Explore the South West Coast Path

Cornwall has over 300 miles of coastline, just waiting to be explored. From your retreat you’ll have easy access to the South West Coast Path, where you’re guaranteed incredible vistas and untouched wildlife no matter the direction you go in. 

South West Coast Path are inviting any keen walkers and coast path lovers to become a member. A full year’s membership includes a copy of their handy guidebook of coastal walks, full of the best trails and detailed maps of the coast. This year, use your two free nights to explore more of Cornwall’s coastline, with their knowledge and expertise helping you to discover lesser-known routes, hidden coves, secret wildlife spots and more.

With your membership, you’ll receive monthly e-newsletters packed with coast path inspiration to be used for your next visit, and exclusive member discounts at major outdoor retailers. You’ll also become part of a community that works hard to preserve our beautiful coastal paths for future generations to enjoy.

Become a member here.

Cook up a storm

Make the most of your self catering retreat and its fully equipped kitchen, by cooking a delicious feast on one of your two free nights.

This is made easy by Stein’s at Home boxes, which deliver the excitement of a chef’s kitchen to your doorstep. The cook-at-home meal boxes have been pre-prepared by Steins chefs, and simply require finishing off in your kitchen by following the easy cooking instructions.

The delicious options include a three course lobster thermidor box, with a fresh scallop starter and decadent chocolate pave for dessert. Or choose from a vegetarian Indonesian curry box, autumn afternoon tea, weekend breakfast box and more.

Tuck in to these classic dishes in the comfort of your holiday retreat and enjoy your extra time with a full belly.

rick steins at home box

Go surfing

If you haven’t hit the surf yet, this is your chance to make a splash and try one of Cornwall’s most popular pastimes before you leave. From the surfing capital of Newquay to the more mellow waves of the south coast, Cornwall is endowed by enticing water on every coast. And in winter the swell is more consistent and powerful, yet less crowded, making it a great time to learn.

Book onto a private session with Wavehunters and ride the waves at Watergate Bay or Polzeath, with the support of their expert instructors. They’ll supply all your kit, including high-tech wetsuits, gloves, booties and hoods, so you’ll barely even notice the cold air and water temperatures. Whether you’re a total beginner or want to fine-tune your surfing skills, the session will be tailored to you, and all ages are welcome. 

Book your session here and spend your extra time in the ocean. 

Bring your pup

Let your dog take the lead on a pup-friendly holiday by the sea. With two free nights, your furry friend can join you in exploring more of the coastline from one of our dog friendly retreats.

As the summer ends, the restrictions on which beaches you can visit with a dog start to end too, meaning there’s plenty of sweeping bays or quiet coves to explore with your dog.

To keep your pup sweet during your strolls, why not try a selection of Forthglade’s natural dog treats? The range of natural, soft bite treats will make your pup’s stay as special as yours, with plenty for them to chew on throughout your two free nights. Mix and match with peppermint and parsley fresh breath bites, post-beach swim reward treats made with chicken and liver, and calming herbal treats to soothe your pup into a slumber after a busy day of coastal walking. Browse their range here.

See the sunrise on the beach

Everyone loves a sunset, and there’s no doubt that Cornwall throws a blazing sundowner show on its north coast beaches. But how about getting up for the sunrise instead? Many of our Beach Retreats on the south coast are perfectly situated for you to pad down onto the sand, coffee in hand, to witness the sun peaking above the horizon and lighting up the ocean in the early hours of the morning. So set your alarm, take a coffee and a camera, and hit the beach for golden hour.

Photo: The Penthouse 4 The Bay, Cawsand, South Cornwall.

4 The Bay

Turn your back on the sea and head inland

Holidays in Cornwall aren’t just about the beach. Turn your focus away from the sea and you can discover some incredible natural gems inland. Explore the wild terrain of Bodmin Moor where you can climb Cornwall’s highest peaks of Rough Tor and Brown Willy, and witness Bronze Age and Neolithic sites including stone circles, quoits and settlements. Or why not enjoy a day out in Cornwall’s woodlands? Pack a picnic and spot squirrels at Tehidy, or keep your eyes peeled for Cornish piskies as you explore magical valleys on the way to St Nectan’s Glen on the north coast, or Golitha Falls near Liskeard.

Eat seafood in a fishing village

The seafood landed in Cornwall is some of the best in the UK – and every holiday by the beach warrants at least one helping of fish and chips. To really soak up the fishing heritage and get your chops around the freshest catch, make sure you visit a quaint Cornish fishing village, where you can tuck into the freshest catch with a view to the day boats that bring it ashore. Some of our favourite spots include The Lugger in Portloe, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac, The Mariners in Rock and Tolcarne Inn, nestled by the harbour in Newlyn.

Photo: The Boathouse, Newquay, North Cornwall.

The Boat House

Hop aboard a ferry trip

Messing around on boats is all part of the Cornish lifestyle. And in a county steeped in maritime heritage and surrounded by the ocean, one of the best ways to experience Cornwall’s glory is on the water. Hop on the Black Tor ferry to float from Padstow to Rock, take the scenic King Harry Chain Ferry to the Roseland Peninsula, or ride on the Cawsand Ferry from a serene beach to the heart of Plymouth. FalRiver Links runs a network of ferries on and around the River Fal throughout the year, including a river cruise from Falmouth to Truro and crossings from Falmouth to Flushing and St Mawes.

Photo St Mawes, Roseland Peninsula.

Falmouth harbour

Go on adventures in autumn gardens

Crunch through golden leaves, climb trees and tunnel through autumn foliage that tumbles to the water’s edge. Some of our top gardens for wild winter walks include the National Trust’s maze of woodland at Lanhydrock, the sub-tropical landscape of Glendurgan, and Trelissick’s stunning 500-acre estate on the banks of the River Fal. Another favourite with families – and dogs, too – is Trebah Garden, where you can make your way through a sheltered valley to a little cove that’s perfect for skimming stones. Out of all of the county’s garden wonderlands, the Eden Project is still the mega-star and all-weather haven, where you can wander through a rainforest, bask in the Med and visit a Western Australian garden in the iconic, sky-scraping biomes.

Photo The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Mevagissey, south Cornwall.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Make the first footprints in the sand on a secluded beach

There’s nothing more exciting than discovering a secret cove, or a secluded stretch of sands where your footsteps are the first to mark the ebbing tide. And once summer’s bucket-and-spade brigades have left, it’s much easier to find a little piece of paradise to yourself. For a nudge in the right direction, seek out The Strangles, a mile from Crackington Haven, Leggan Cove, tucked beneath rugged cliffs on the Lizard Peninsula, or Duckpool, just north of Bude. Or be adventurous and unfold an OS map, pinpoint a tiny cove and veer away from the main tourist tracks to discover your own secret cove.

NEED TO KNOW

Book a 3 or 5 night break and get an extra 2 nights free. This offer is available from November to Easter (excluding school holidays).

To claim one of these offers, book a 5 or 7 night stay and use code 5FOR3 or 7FOR5 on the checkout page, or book by telephone on 01637 861005.

You can arrive on any day of the week, as long as the entire stay falls within these dates.

A handful of properties are excluded from this offer, see individual property pages for further information.

BOOK YOUR TWO FREE NIGHTS BELOW

What’s happening in Cornwall in October and November?

Cornwall doesn’t stop in October and November. In fact, these autumn months are when the local culture comes to life, with a range of cultural, music and foodie events. Here’s our pick of happenings over the next coming months, including theatre shows, foodie events and firework displays.

Save 20% on stays throughout October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

Coastal walks

Falmouth Oyster Festival

Church Street, Falmouth from 13 – 16 October 2022

Celebrating the start of Oyster season, this is one of Cornwall’s biggest and best love food festivals. Shuck and sample the native Fal Oyster, watch cookery demos (or even join them on stage) or just kick back and relax in the bustling atmosphere with bands taking to the stage well into the evenings.

Falmouth Oyster festival

Hall for Cornwall

Book tickets for an event at The Hall for Cornwall, Truro, Cornwall’s famous playhouse. The much-loved playhouse and live music venue hosts a variety of music and theatrical events throughout autumn and winter, and is a great option for a rainy evening. Spend the afternoon browsing Truro’s farmer’s market for local produce before your booked event. 

October and November events include Gary Barlow’s solo show A Different Stage, Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Living Dangerously, a theatre performance of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Fisherman’s Friends live.

Browse what’s on throughout October and November and book your tickets online via The Hall for Cornwall.

Bonfire Night displays

There’s nowhere better to watch fireworks than in the dark skies of Cornwall, unpolluted by city lights, meaning the kaleidoscopic colours truly glow. Head to Heartlands for the county’s largest bonfire show, which is free to attend and includes live music, a family friendly fairground, a selection of food and drink and a spectacular firework show. 

See the full details here.

Book your stay in Cornwall this October and November – search our retreats.

Save 20% on stays throughout October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

Hand picked retreats for September

September is here, but the sunshine hasn’t gone. Enjoy an Indian summer at one of our bespoke beachside retreats, all within walking distance to the shoreline. From early morning coffee sipped as you leave the first footprints in the sand, to late night dinners on a seafront balcony as the sun slides beyond the horizon. September by the sea is made for slow, savoured moments like these.

Here’s our top picks for available retreats this September, with something to suit all groups, from families, couples, those looking to celebrate and those holidaying with four-legged friends.

Browse our beach locations to find a retreat near your favourite part of the coast. Save 20% on stays throughout September and October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

For families

Through the eyes of children, sandy beaches are giant playgrounds, with shells, seaweed and shiny pebbles to collect, rockpools to examine and room for whole empires of sandcastles. Family getaways by the ocean are truly something special, opening the little ones’ eyes to the magic of the natural world whilst the adults kick back on the sand, listening to the cacophony of giggles over splashing waves. These retreats make the perfect base for a family holiday, with short walks to the beach and an array of amenities to keep all ages entertained.

Egret View, Fistral

Sleeps eleven

This riverfront retreat is a play palace for kids. With a life size wooden play boat, climbing wall, adaptable games table and bunk beds with a built in slide, they’ll feel transported to another world where fun rules, morning to night. Families will also love the large living, dining and kitchen area, with two separate sitting room sections and a huge dining table, meaning that everyone can be together without it feeling crammed. Slide open the glass doors to the river facing balcony and watch paddleboarders and kayakers glide past – or hire out your own and head out on the water.

Gwel Teg, Porth

Sleeps twelve

This modern cabin house is tucked away up a quiet street just moments from the family favourite beach, Porth. Inside, a leafy planted balcony leads around to a bubbling hot tub, full size table tennis table, comfy outdoor sofas and sun loungers, the perfect spot for family afternoons in the sun. Downstairs the home also features a large games room with a 75 inch TV, PS4 and bean bags, made for movie nights or gaming evenings.

For couples

Nothing says a romantic getaway like hand in hand windswept walks, lazy beach days snacking on picnics, and a retreat with the perfect private space for you to share. Our romantic retreats come in all shapes and sizes for all couples to enjoy, from cosy cottages near date night certified restaurants to sleek and secluded apartments on the best coastal walking routes. Feel the love on your next coastal getaway.

71 The Rest, Porthcawl

Sleeps four

This beachside bolthole makes for the dream space for couples who love getting active, exploring new shorelines or simply relaxing on the balcony with a magazine and gin in hand. Situated by the seaside town of Porthcawl in Wales, couples can enjoy the sprawing sands of Rest Bay, a popular spot for watersports and sunset strolls. 71 The Rest features two bedrooms, one with an ensuite, and a family bathroom, meaning that two couples could holiday together comfortably.

Pilchard Cottage, Mousehole

Sleeps five

This fisherman’s cottage has been renovated to become a fully equipped holiday retreat whilst keeping its traditional charm. In the heart of Mousehole, this is the ideal romantic getaway, inviting couples to wander cobbled streets, share ice cream overlooking the picture-book harbour and skim stones on the pebbled beach the other side of the harbour wall.

For celebrations

The pop of a Champagne bottle, sultry fizz in your glass, clinking pots of baked seafood and local veg from the farmer’s market. Celebratory holidays require enough space to all be together, to eat, drink, laugh and soak up the sun. These large, light filled homes make for dream celebration spaces, with fully equipped feast-ready kitchens and leisurely lounging spaces with vast vistas.

Watergate Lodge, Watergate Bay

Sleeps twelve

This innovative eco-home comfortably hosts twelve, with five velvety, shaded bedrooms and a large open plan living, dining and kitchen space with a curved roof and floor to ceiling glass doors which open out to the patio. Stepping outside, family and friends can relax around a roaring sunken firepit, admire the stars on the roof terrace with comfy sofas or graze on the twelve seater outdoor dining table. Inside, a Sonos surround sound speaker system, 65 inch Smart TV, separate TV room and LED lighting inside means the entertaining can continue whatever the weather.

Heron House, Fistral beach

Sleeps fourteen

Morning laps in the swimming pool, followed by garden yoga and breakfast on the balcony. This large villa-style retreat sleeps an impressive fourteen and makes for the perfect celebration getaway whether you’re looking for an active relaxation stay with friends or a family birthday gathering with daily BBQs and hot tub sessions. Situated just seconds from the River Gannel with gate access to the path below, celebrate in style by floating by on a paddleboard or setting off on a kayak excursion.

For dogs

Sandy paws, wagging tails dipped in sea water, endless sandy shores for playing fetch with sticks of driftwood. Cornwall is a pup paradise, and anyone who’s brought their dog to the beach will know how much their four-legged friends love it. Book a stay in one of our dog friendly retreats, equipped with garden space for snoozing pups and outdoor showers for rinsing off after a day on the sand.

Sea View, Crantock

Sleeps ten

Pups will love this spacious home, with a large green garden for sunny afternoons and an outdoor shower area. Sea View sits just moments from Polly Joke beach, a far quieter, loved by locals spot which is dog friendly all year round. You’re also close to the beautiful dog friendly beaches of Crantock, Holywell Bay and Fistral. The surrounding coastal path is great for dog walks, too, just be sure to keep your pup on a lead at all times when on the cliff top. 

Fistral View, Fistral beach

Sleeps six

This four-floored seafront house is deceptively large, offering a stylish open plan living, dining and kitchen space, games room with comfy bean bags, two ocean facing balconies and a secluded back garden. It’s also just footsteps from one of Cornwall’s most alluring dog friendly beaches, with its expanse of golden sand, grassy dunes and rolling surf.

Wonderwall, Hayle

Sleeps seven

This bespoke beach lodge is close to Hayle’s Upton Towans beach, which is dog friendly all year round. The area is also great for dog walks, with the nearby nature reserve and coast path providing hazy blue vistas and plenty of wildlife. Inside, you can enjoy a decadent design filled with antique pieces and rustic furnishings, with sliding doors that open out to an enclosed garden perfect for dinners outside whilst your pup plays.

Save 20% on stays throughout September and October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

Our top things to do in Cornwall this Autumn

Summer is coming to a close, but autumn in Cornwall has its own magic. Quieter beaches, glowing sunsets, balmy sea air and coastal walks on cliff paths or rural fields with crunchy leaves underfoot.

Cornwall offers something for everyone, no matter what time of the year, and autumn is a perfect time to experience nature do its thing once the summer crowds have dispersed. We hope this guide gives you plenty of inspiration when holidaying with us throughout the next couple of months.

Browse our beach locations to find your perfect autumn stay. Save 20% on stays throughout September and October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

Go foraging

Make the most of the late summer bounty that can be found in Cornwall’s woodlands and hedgerows. From blackberries and Hawthorne berries to rosechips, hazelnuts and chestnuts, there’s always hidden treats to be picked.

If you’re looking for a little guidance on your forage we recommend Fat Hen, a wild food and cookery school in Cornwall. They run a variety of unique foraging courses, including a seaweed course, and you can then keep your produce to cook up right on the sand. The flavours of nature are unmatched… 

Take a surf lesson

If the waves are too busy for you in the height of the summer, autumn is the perfect time to get suited and booted and ride with the locals. Hire your wetsuit and board from a local surf school such as Newquay Activity Centre, Wavehunters at Watergate Bay or King Surf at Mawgan Porth, with lessons included for all abilities.

Wild swimming

Want to enjoy the ocean but don’t fancy the fast-paced nature of surfing? Autumn is the perfect time to take a leisurely dip in Cornwall’s cool blue oceans, where you can take slow breaths as you gently float atop the water. The sea temperature remains warm throughout September and October, having been gently heated by months of summer sun, making these months ideal if mid-winter dips take your breath away.

Read our guide to wild swimming in conversation with Co Founder of Wild Swimming Cornwall, Lydia Paleschi.

Walk the South West Coast Path

With over 300 miles of stunning coast path to explore this Autumn, visitors are really spoilt for choice on which direction to head in. Whether its the rugged north coast and its hidden coves or the tropical south coast, you’ll find something different and exciting each turn you take. And with all of our properties walking distance from the water, you’ll have easy access to the coast path from your front door.

Choose the perfect path for you here.

Storm watch with a hot chocolate

If the weather has cooled a little for your stay, don’t panic. There’s nothing better than hunkering down and watching the perfect storm whilst sipping on a delicious hot chocolate…with extra toppings of course. Our top spot for this is The Beach Hut at Watergate Bay, where you can indulge on the sweet taste of cocoa and cream in with a front row view of the surfers braving the cold. 

Read our top five spots for the best hot chocolates in Cornwall.

hot chocolates

Discover a new beach

Explore Cornwall’s beaches this autumn, when you’ll have more of the sand to yourself. Walk the shell-dotted shorelines until you find the perfect nook to sit back, relax and listen to the sights and sounds of the Atlantic ocean. Pack a beach blanket, swimsuit and a good book – it’s all you need to while away hours.

Browse our different beach locations and pick your favourite.

Visit one of the Great Gardens of Cornwall

Cornwall’s not only known for its stunning beaches, its magical gardens are home to a wealth of exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees just waiting to be explored. Head to The Lost Gardens of Heligan to discover higgledy allotments, greenhouses bursting with herby aromas, wonky pumpkins sprouting from the ground and the hidden sleeping giant dusted with moss.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

Save 20% on stays throughout September and October at selected retreats, see our special offers page for more information.

A dog's holiday

More sandy expanses to choose from and quieter breaks to bounder into, autumn might just be the best time to bring your four-legged friend away for a break by the coast. Watch these beach-loving dogs making the most of the sea and sand

As the summer ends, the restrictions on which beaches you can visit with a dog start to end too, meaning there’s plenty of sweeping bays or quiet coves to explore with your dog.

And as you can see, there’s no shortage of fun for sandy paws by the sea. Just remember to bring the lead and bags to clean up any toilet stops.

Choose your place by the sea from our dog-friendly selection.

Read Out in the Wild for more on what to do if you encounter coastal wildlife when you’re on holiday with your pet.

Did your dog find a perfect patch of #coastalwonder here in Cornwall?

We’d love to hear any recommendations for where to walk, play catch and explore. Email us your recommendations so we can include them when we share some top spots for sea and sand loving dogs on course for the coast.