You’ve arrived at your luxurious, smart, comfy Cornish holiday cottage. The weather forecast is looking fantastic later in the week but right now it’s a bit gloomy. So what can you do to keep yourselves entertained until the sun blazes forth, as it so often does in sub-tropical Cornwall? Luckily it’s one of the most pleasurable holiday venues in Britain whatever the weather. Here’s a few ideas to whet your appetite.
One of the best things about being on holiday is there’s no rush. You can sit in a friendly pub and while a happy afternoon away talking to the locals and finding out more about the area. Or you’re your place in one of the county’s many celebrity restaurants and have a leisurely meal. No rushing about, no deadlines, no lunch hour to observe… just amazing food in a stunning setting, eaten slowly, in great company, with excellent wine. Perfect!
The best Cornish holiday cottages are close to the sea and it’s difficult to resists its siren call whatever the weather. Staycations are all about being flexible and practical, so it’s wise to take waterproofs just in case. Once you’re togged up in the right gear you can comfortably explore the sea shore, dry and warm, then head back to base for a delicious home-cooked meal. If you’ve chosen Cornish holiday cottages with dogs, your furry friend will need regular walks, which makes taking the right clothing with you even more important.
Cornwall is stuffed with museums and indoor entertainment as well as outdoor pursuits. You can find out about the county’s long and dramatic mining history or learn about Cornish fishing industry, explore the many historic houses and even take a tour of Bodmin Jail. There’s Antony House, a National Trust masterpiece set in extensive and very beautiful grounds. Bodmin Town Museum and Bude-Stratton Museum, Callington Heritage Centre and Camborne School of Mines Museum. If you’re a lover of sculpture there’s the fantastic Barbara Hepworth museum in St Ives. There’s even the magnificent Davidstow Airfield Museum and the Geevor Tin Mine.
Cornish self catering accommodation is the perfect holiday solution for cyclists. Imagine trying to find an hotel or B&B where there’s enough room for your cycling gear, to dry your clothing if you get a soaking and generally spread yourself around in true comfort. Easier said than done! Having a home-from-home of your own is much better, with a comfy living room and well equipped kitchen, washing machine and tumble dryer, separate bedrooms and loads of storage space.
Cornwall is fabulous cycling territory whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned cyclist. Imagine winding gently through beautiful lanes and byways, drinking in the sounds of birdsong, crickets and the distant crashing seas. In winter cycling in Cornwall takes a dramatic turn – you’d be surprised how many diehard two-wheel fiends you’ll see braving the off-season weather and having the time of their lives!
Luckily the county is home to a good number of absolutely stunning cycle paths, meandering through pretty, ancient villages with scenic harbours and heading off-road into the country’s spectacular countryside.
There’s the Camel Trail, feted as the best cycle route in the UK for its beauty and accessibility. Cornwall’s Mineral Tramways Mining Trails are also excellent, a newly-extended thirty mile cycle, horse-riding and walking network covering the Camborne and Redruth areas. The delightful six mile
Redruth and Chasewater Railway Trail is a little beauty that branches off the breathtaking Coast to Coast Trail at Twelveheads through woods and moorland with fantastic views.
The lovely eleven mile Coast to Coast Trail lets you transverse the whole county in a day, from coast to coast, Portreath to Devoran. And the Portreath Branch Line Trail is four miles of quiet roads and off-road trails and follows the gorgeous Red River Valley to Brea.
The Tresavean Trail is a haven for wildlife and, at only two miles, is a short but sweet adventure along the old railway line from the top of Buller Hill, with amazing views as far as St Austell. The two and a half mile Tehidy Trail takes in Tehidy Country Park, linking with the Portreath Branchline Trail and, ultimately, the Coast to Coast Trail. And the Tolgus Trail is currently under construction, tipped to be an immediate favourite with walkers and cyclists alike.
Cornish self catering cottages are popular with sporty types of every kind, from surfers to cyclists and walkers and more. On Cornish self catering holidays they enjoy the freedom they need to discover one of the most beautiful parts of Britain in comfort, style and privacy… with lots of lovely space.
You’re stuck in traffic. You can see cars and lorries snaking off into the far distance in a sparkling line and, opening the window, the stench of fumes drifts into your car. The kids are cross and thirsty, you need a pee and it looks like you might miss your flight if the jam doesn’t clear soon. An hour later you’re racing through the airport car park with luggage flying, desperate to get through the deadly boring, lengthy check-in process and finally get on your plane. You’re exhausted. And you have to do the same again on the way home. Bearable, maybe, if you’re going away for three weeks or more but painful at either end of a seven day break.
On the other hand Cornwall cottages with pools beckon you, a leisurely drive, coach or train journey away with none of the nightmares associated with flying abroad. No squashing yourself into a tiny aeroplane seat with a load of drunk Brits and someone’s children yelling in your ear all the way. No tummy bugs and nasty insect bites. No sunstroke. Just acres of deliciously sandy beaches, the best of British summer weather and a tasteful, luxurious home-from-home to stay in.
A boom in the availability of dog friendly Cornwall holiday accommodation means you can take your beloved pooch along with you instead of leaving him or her alone and baffled in a kennel. The good old NHS is ever-present just in case you or your little ones injure yourselves. There’s a host of excellent nightclubs in the county for all-nighters you’ll never forget. Countless ancient monuments and fascinating landmarks. Wildlife galore. The country’s best surfing. Legendary sailing. Friendly locals. Sunsets to die for. And a wealth of excellent restaurants, gastro-pubs and eateries to treat your taste buds to something uniquely special, fresh from the tangy, briny sea.
On a Cornwall holiday cottage break you’re far enough away from home so you forget your everyday life completely, which is what great holidays are all about. But near enough so you’ll arrive home properly refreshed by a good dose of exposure to one of the most beautiful counties in lovely, familiar England.
Last but not least, staying close to home for your holidays means you feed the local economy instead of taking your hard-earned cash abroad. It’s good for British businesses and your investment in Cornwall will help secure it as a prime holiday destination and a thriving, vibrant community for generations to come.
If you’re into birding or twitching you can’t go far wrong with Cornwall cottage holidays. A smart holiday home provides plenty of room to stash your bird watching gear, loads of room to spread out wet clothing if you need to and enough home comforts to soothe away the rigours of a hard day tracking down fascinating species. Best of all the county is packed with really good birding spots. Take the estuary at Hayle for a start, an internationally recognised bird hot spot down in the west.
Owned by the RSPB, the estuary is an official Site of Special Scientific Interest and home to a plethora of unusual waders. There’s purpose built hides at strategic points throughout the reserve and it’s very popular with birders on Cornwall cottages holidays from as far flung places as Japan, the US and all over Britain. It’s an important stop off for a variety of migrant waders including the ubiquitous gull, large and small; herring gulls, great black backed, black headed, lesser blacks, common gulls and med gulls, little gulls and even Iceland and glaucous gulls, depending on the season.
A winter Cornwall cottages holiday delivers keen birdwatchers the chance to see flocks of Eurasian teal and wigeon in action, with the occasional green winged teal and American wigeon joining in. There’s divers and grebes, goosander and merganser little busy little dunlin, accompanied by the lonely cries of the curlew and the lapwing, AKA the plover. You’ll see the oystercatcher, bar tailed godwit, knot and greenshank wading the sandy shores and the startling turquoise flash of kingfishers, known to frequent Ryan’s Field and Lelant railway station platform.
Visit in spring for whimbrel, little ringed plover and two flavours of sandpiper, the wood and the green. There’s the odd avocet, a wonderfully elegant bird, and terns aplenty. In autumn you’ll feast on vast numbers of waders at Hayle with dunlin and ringed plover vying for space with the turnstone, little stint, egret and ruff. And in summer you’ll spot grey heron and redshank, birds of prey like the majestic buzzard, clever carrion crow, highly intelligent rook and tiny meadow pippet, swallow, swift and house martin.
If you’re extremely lucky you might even spot a spoonbill, any number of unusual sandpiper types, longbilled dowitchers and phalaropes, bonepartes gulls and the charming citrine wagtail. There’s bonepartes gulls and white billed divers. The black kite has been known to pay a visit. And there’s always the possibility of seeing whiskered, gull billed, white winged, black and Forsters terns. Enough to turn the head of any self-respecting twitcher… pun intended!
Self catering accommodation in Cornwall is hotter than ever this year and cottages for summer 2011 are being snapped up fast by discerning staycationers. It’s a countrywide phenomenon, not just restricted to the sunny South West. And it’s excellent value for money. But will a DIY holiday really suit your family? Or will the whole episode turn into a total disaster? It depends on your temperament, tastes and needs.
If you’re the official cook at home, you need to think about whether you’re also happy to cook for the family when you’re meant to be on holiday. If you’d prefer a break from the humdrum of everyday cooking you can always put together a family rota, if your kids are old enough to be let loose in a kitchen, and cook for each other. Eat out at a good gastro pub. Get fish and chips. Or live on picnic food and barbecues instead of endlessly slaving over a hot stove.
If you’re hell bent on staying outdoors as much of the time as possible, just treating your holiday accommodation as a crash pad, there are cheaper options than Cornish holiday accommodation. But you won’t find a more comfortable option. Hardy types are fine in a tent or B&B. But if your idea of heaven is to sink into a scalding hot bath or a spotless, private, contemporary, fully-operational power shower after a hard day’s surfing or whatever, hire a holiday cottage.
And what about Fido? Some of us are perfectly happy leaving their dog in kennels while they’re away. But others prefer their furry friends to join in the fun. After all, they’re part of the family. And it’s impossible to explain to a dog that you’re not deserting them, and you’ll be back. These days, as long as your dog isn’t prone to eating furniture or attacking everyone in sight, you should find cottages in Cornwall, dog friendly, happy to allow your pet to stay with you. There’s sometimes a small extra charge for extra cleaning, but nothing that’ll break the bank.
If you like to spend time chilling together as a family, a hotel room doesn’t really cut the mustard. It’s not very sociable. A holiday cottage, on the other hand, is a home from home with all the requisite home comforts. And if you value privacy a cottage of your own, with its own outdoor space, is very hard to beat.