Cornwall Special: Eat, Sleep, Do in Poldark’s County

It’s not hard to see the beauty of Cornwall. The UK’s most southerly and westernmost county boasts the longest coastline at over 400 miles; its northern beaches are a magnet for surfers, its southern coast is dubbed the ‘Cornish Riviera’. It’s also the UK’s sunniest and warmest county hosting its only area of sub-tropical climate and over 1,500 hours of sunshine each year.

This unique county is also enjoying a resurgence thanks to a certain Poldark – the coast and countryside more than holding its own with Aiden Turner and the racing pulses of TV viewers!

Port Isaac
Port Isaac

At Goodtrippers, we’ve been seeking out the best of Cornwall – places to stay, where to eat and drink, and things to do. Whet your appetite with our 10 Cornish places to eat and drink with a sea view; discover the hidden gem of Perranuthnoe and western Cornwall; read our review of the new eco apartments at The Point at Polzeath; and explore three short walks that will get your heart pounding!


10 Cornwall spots to eat and drink with a sea view

A bespoke Cornish holiday in Perranuthnoe

Surfing and sunsets at The Point at Polzeath

Cornwall: 3 short walks to get your heart racing

And don’t forget to catch our previous posts on Cornwall including glamping on Rocket Farm, 3 Cornish cottages for couples, and our Cornish appearances in 6 of the best yurts and bell tents, and 7 of the best…eco-friendly family days out.

If you’ve got your own recommendations for Cornwall, we’d love to hear them. Share them here, on Twitter or Facebook.

St Ives harbour
St Ives harbour

10 Cornwall spots to eat and drink with a sea view

Cornwall Special 2015

With so much coastline you’re never far away from a great eating and drinking spot with a stunning sea view in Cornwall. Here’s a selection of a few of our favourites…

The Cabin Beach Cafe, Perranuthnoe
This small cafe sits right on the top of the cliffs overlooking the quiet Perran Sands beach in the lovely village of Perranuthnoe. The menu is basic but very nice including filling breakfast baps and paninis, gluten-free homemade cakes, Cornish ice-cream and good teas and coffees. You can sit inside when it’s raining, but go for the unobstructed sea view from a table in the garden.

view of Perran Sands from The Cabin, Perranuthnoe
view of Perran Sands from The Cabin, Perranuthnoe

Fifteen Cornwall, Watergate Bay
Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen has become a well-established part of the Cornish foodie scene since opening a few years ago. Very friendly staff give everyone a warm welcome, particularly those with little ones (as you’d expect a Jamie O eaterie to do!). Top quality, Italian-style food is the order of the day including locally-caught seafood and Cornish ales. The restaurant is a social enterprise so all profits go to the Cornwall Food Foundation and its chef training programme. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls allow you to watch all of the surfing action across the vast Watergate Bay.

view of Watergate Bay from Fifteen Cornwall
view of Watergate Bay from Fifteen Cornwall

The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion
A traditional pub with a friendly landlord and a range of St Austell beers on tap. Food is served, including gluten-free fish and chips and other seafood dishes, but if you don’t happen to be hungry make sure you at least grab a pint of local ale and take a seat in the beer garden – this pub boasts a stunning view across the water to St Michael’s Mount.

view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion
view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion

The Point at Polzeath, Polzeath
You don’t have to be staying here or using the health club or golf course to eat in The Point’s restaurant (although it is a handy add-on if you are). You can enjoy almost panoramic views from your table (or on the outside terrace) across farmland, the golf course and down into the surfers’ paradise of Polzeath beach and Pentire Point. Look out for Fizz ‘n’ Chips Night (Thursdays) for their choice of three fish with three batters and a glass of fizz (all £15) and Steak Night (Fridays) for their offer of two steaks and a bottle of wine for £30.

Fizz n Chips night at The Point at Polzeath
Fizz n Chips night at The Point at Polzeath

Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove
This informal beachside eaterie and bar is brought to you by Michelin-star chef Ben Tunnicliffe. With wonderful, unspoilt views across Sennen Cove, it does a great job of combining a relaxed and stylish ‘Ibizan beach bar’ vibe without making you feel unwelcome with a little one (they make great efforts to be family-friendly). The restaurant only ever serves ethically sourced seafood with an ever-changing ‘catch of the day’ on the menu. The food is excellent as is the cocktail list, which included a Ben’s G&T made with Cornish gin on our visit.

Cornish G&T at Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove
Cornish G&T at Ben Tunnicliffe, Sennen Cove

The Square at Porthleven, Porthleven
Porthleven has become a well-known destination in Cornwall for foodies with several top eateries in the village (including a new Rick Stein). The Square, now run by the previous owners of the renowned Victoria Inn in Perranuthnoe, offers a brasserie-style menu for informal lunch, dinner and coffee and cake in between. Locally-sourced is the order of the day with all fish landed at Porthleven harbour, meats from Primrose Herd and Vivian Olds, and local vegetable suppliers. They can also offer locally-sourced champagne if you’re celebrating! Plenty of seating indoors, or grab a table outside so you can watch the boats coming and going in the harbour.

locally-caught seafood tempura at The Square at Porthleven
locally-caught seafood tempura at The Square at Porthleven

The Godolphin Arms, Marazion
Sitting outdoors at this newly renovated gastropub is blissful on a warm, sunny day. You can hear the waves lapping a few meters from your table as you gaze across at St Michael’s Mount and its castle. We enjoyed the shared seafood platter plus their guest craft beer.

gaze at St Michael's Mount from The Godolphin Arms, Marazion
gaze at St Michael’s Mount from The Godolphin Arms, Marazion

Pedn Olva, St Ives
We’ll be honest – we haven’t tried the food here, but we did escape the crowds of St Ives harbour and enjoy a drink. And what a view from their large, outdoor terrace! Choose either the side facing the famous St Ives harbour view, or pick the other side which looks down onto the lovely Porthminster beach and all of the paddle boarders gliding across the calm sea.

terrace view from Pend Olva, St Ives
terrace view from Pend Olva, St Ives

Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac
OK, not technically one with a sea view (you’d have to drag your seat closer to the road and perhaps crane your neck a bit) but it had to be included in this list as a sea view is mere seconds away and the seafood is fantastic! The fishing village of Port Isaac is a tourist hotspot, particularly down at the harbour, but make sure you spot at this small café before walking down the hill (or treat yourself on the way back up). It does exactly what it says on the sign serving fish and seafood freshly (and sustainably) caught from its own boat ‘Mary D’ in Port Isaac harbour. Try a delicious lobster or crab salad, then buy a few cakes and Cornish foodie delights from their shop to take home.

lobster salad at Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac
lobster salad at Fresh From The Sea, Port Isaac

No.1 Rock Road Bar & Grill, Rock
Grab a table on the outdoor balcony (beware of cool winds if there’s a northerly!) and enjoy the view of moored boats gently bobbing in the still waters, and the night ferry going back and forth to the more varied foodie destination of Padstow across the bay. There are plenty of cocktails and decent seafood mains to keep you satisfied.

overlooking the boats from No.1 Rock Road, Rock
overlooking the boats from No.1 Rock Road, Rock

A bespoke Cornish holiday in Perranuthnoe

Cornwall Special 2015

South Cornwall may be well known for the famous Land’s End, Penzance and St Michael’s Mount, but thanks to cottage hire with Cornish holiday specialists Milly & Martha, we discovered a hidden gem of a village…

Perranuthnoe is a tiny coastal village just two miles from Marazion, the gateway to St Michael’s Mount, and a further drive to Penzance. It was home for a few days thanks to booking a lovely cottage with Milly & Martha. They specialise in self-catering cottage hire, helping people discovered the real Cornwall – the wilds, the nature, the fresh food and simple outdoor family-friendly pursuits.

Trenow cottage, Perranuthnoe
Trenow cottage, Perranuthnoe

Their real USP is that all cottage bookings come with a bespoke holiday guide – their selection of the best places to eat and drink, places to go and things to do, based on your needs. Not only did our guide include lots of brilliant family-friendly restaurants, events on during our stay, and special walks and nature activities for little ones – but it meant we were saved a few hours of internet research pre-trip! With so much on offer in Cornwall, you feel you can trust Milly & Martha to point you in the right direction.

Accommodation – the cosy cottage of Trenow
Our lovely two-bedroom cottage, a converted farm building, was immaculate inside with a large kitchen, cosy living room with woodburner, super kingsize beds and a modern bathroom. A delicious welcome gift awaited us on arrival – local strawberries, Cornish apple juice from Helford Creek, and choc brownies from The Little Home Bakery (none of this latest long, yum!).

woodburner in Trenow cottage
woodburner in Trenow cottage

Although surrounded by other small cottages, you could hear a pin drop at night. The lack of garden doesn’t pose a problem – there is a small terrace area with table and seating outside (a nice spot for morning coffee or an evening drink), but you’ll really want to get out and about with such a lovely village and surrounding area to explore.

The village is clearly a favourite with tourists but doesn’t feel the slightest bit ‘touristy’. You get the sense that this is still a thriving community (albeit quiet and unassuming) even out of season. Just a couple of minutes’ walk down the hill from Trenow cottage is the beach of Perran Sands – a vast expanse of sand at low water which turns into a rocky strip at high tide. You’re just as likely to spot a local artist sitting sketching the view as you are a family on holiday. If you’re as lucky as we were, you may see the sand turn into a giant artwork by local sand artist One Man And His Rake (see picture).

One Man and his Rake does Perran Sands, Perranuthnoe
One Man and his Rake does Perran Sands, Perranuthnoe

Cafes and pubs
Looking down on the beach is The Cabin Beach Café, open for breakfast baps, lunches and ice-cream and coffees all day (see our top places to eat with a sea view). A few strides up from The Cabin is an art community – a complex of converted farm buildings (unmissable in their brilliant white) housing some lovely shops and galleries selling locally-made gifts, art, food and other basic provisions (for all those self-catering holiday-makers). There’s also the Peppercorn Kitchen Café serving brilliant fair trade coffee, homemade cakes and delicious lunches with a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern twist (catch it quickly as it’s only open from 10am until 3pm).

local arts, craft and gifts at Perranuthnoe
local arts, craft and gifts at Perranuthnoe

Perranuthnoe has also become a bit of a destination thanks to the renowned Victoria Inn – reputed to be one of the oldest inns in Cornwall. This gastropub (which also has rooms available), serves top class food far above your average pub fare. Meat and fish are all local and the puddings are inventive (we had a pina colada pannacotta with roasted pineapple). Naturally, local ales are on tap and the service is exceptionally warm and welcoming for everyone, including those with babies and toddlers. It’s no surprise that booking is essential, particularly in the height of the season.

Peppercorn Kitchen Cafe, Perranuthnoe
Peppercorn Kitchen Cafe, Perranuthnoe

Also, look out for the house with an honesty box stall outside (just down from the Victoria Inn) – you can buy freshly laid eggs and pick your own salad leaves for your picnic, and all the money raised is for charity.

The Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe, Cornwall
The Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe, Cornwall

The surrounding area
Thanks to our Milly & Martha bespoke holiday guide we covered a few walks in the area including a 5km round trip to the quaint town of Marazion, to visit St Michael’s Mount (see our post on top Cornwall walks for more).

We were also able to use Perranuthnoe as a base to explore the westernmost tip of England, Land’s End and the stunning coastline. A highlight being a visit to Porthcurno and the incredible Minnack Theatre – even if you don’t catch a show at this outdoor theatre built into the cliffs, the view will take your breath away (read more about it in our walks post).

The popular harbour town of St Ives is also a short drive away – worth a trip when you want a bit more hustle and bustle, and some time spent on the white sand of Porthminster beach.

St Ives harbour
St Ives harbour

To browse all of the self-catering cottages for hire through Milly & Martha visit

Get Creative – Milly & Martha are currently running Sun + Screen, a creative Cornish break which includes a stay in a cosy cottage and the chance to learn a new skill at a screen printing workshop. Delivered by professional printmaker Dena O’Brien, of Kiwi Print Studio, the workshop will help you to turn your holiday snaps into a souvenir print, postcard or bag. Visit Milly & Martha’s creative breaks on their website for more.

Surfing and sunsets at The Point at Polzeath, Cornwall

Cornwall Special 2015

For a great base for exploring the surfers’ paradise of the north Cornish coast, it’s time to ‘get to The Point’…

eco-friendly design at The Point at Polzeath
eco-friendly design at The Point at Polzeath

Sitting back on a private balcony, Cornish beer in hand, you can barely hear a pin drop (or a surfer splash) from The Point at Polzeath. This complex (‘resort’ isn’t quite the word) enjoys a priviledged position amidst farmland and its own golf course, a 20 minute gentle climb up from the coast.

The Point, which consists of a golf club, health club, restaurant and bar, has been hosting guests at self-catering cottages on its land for years. This spring, The Point opened a brand new set of seven luxury holiday apartments designed with eco-friendly credentials at its core.

Kebony-clad apartments at The Point at Polzeath
Kebony-clad apartments at The Point at Polzeath

Eco-friendly design
The apartments, designed by architects Laurence Associates, consist of four three-bedroom and three two-bedroom luxury units, located just a two minute stroll from The Point’s restaurant and health club. The building itself sits within a hill ridge, complete with a sedum roof and Kebony cladding, discretely blending with the surroundings. High quality building materials, including the acclaimed and sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, Kebony, are used for the cladding and soffits – over time this material will develop a beautiful silver patina blending in with the surrounding environment even more. In addition, ground source heat pumps have been installed, which supply hot water and underfloor heating throughout.

Our apartment – Scandinavian style meets Cornish innovation
The Point’s owners Eva and Jeremy offer a very warm welcome and ensure everyone is in proper ‘holiday mode’! We stayed in ‘Viking’ (they’re all named after shipping forecast regions), a two-bedroom apartment on the west end of the complex which allowed for sweeping views both north and west. It was surprisingly spacious, light and airy inside with top-of-the-range fittings including the bespoke kitchen made by a local craftsman.

stylish interiors at The Point at Polzeath
stylish interiors at The Point at Polzeath

The interiors and furnishings are contemporary with a Scandinavian feel, including cool, mid-century upcycled furniture. For when you want to stay indoors, there are cosy and homely touches too with a wood burning stove, flat screen TV, wifi and a choice of board games. We made the most of watching the sunsets through the floor-to-ceiling windows or from our balcony with its uninterrupted view stretching down to Polzeath and Pentire Point.

Family-friendly extras
For those travelling with little ones, we’d recommend booking your bulky baby equipment with local hire company Babes & Bikes. They hire out kit such as highchairs, travel cots and buggies ensuring it’s already assembled at your accommodation before you arrive. A great help as this saved vital space in the car (and our own sanity from lugging around our own kit everywhere!).

Food and drink
As the apartments are self-catering, you may want to take a break from preparing your own food and try the on-site restaurant (which is also open to non-guests). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an all-day bar, make sure you try one of their specials nights – Thursday is Fizz ‘n’ Chips night (£15 for a choice of three fish with three batters, plus a glass of bubbly), or go for Steak Night on Friday (£30 for two steaks and a bottle of wine).

view from the balcony to Pentire Point, Polzeath
view from the balcony to Pentire Point, Polzeath

The Point at Polzeath is known for its golf course so expect to see plenty of golf buggies trundling around during your stay, usually chased by Scrabble, Eva and Jeremy’s friendly spaniel. But don’t worry if you don’t play, there are plenty of other activities on offer including a swimming pool, gym, fitness classes and spa treatments (we tried a heavenly massage from Seventh Heaven). There are also plenty of walks….

The surrounding area of Polzeath
Ask at reception for a local map and advice about walks in the area. You’ll be walking across the golf course (watch those balls!) and down into Polzeath village (25mins) where a windy day with rough seas will attract surfers from all around. You can hire boards or book in for surfing lessons yourself if you fancy it. Otherwise, the coastal path will take you along Pentire Point to enjoy stunning views of the bay.

In the other direction, you can walk to the village of Rock (35mins) with its calm bay and ferry point over to foodie destination Padstow. Short drives from The Point take you to the historic fishing village of Port Isaac, and Tintagel Castle associated with the legend of King Arthur.

All in all, for a stylish Cornish holiday as relaxed or as activity-packed as you need, don’t mess about, just get to The Point!

Prices for an apartment start at £140 per night. Visit for full details including booking and use of the restaurant, golf course and health club facilities.

The Point at Polzeath is located at St Minver, Nr Polzeath, Cornwall, PL27 6QT

new apartments at The Point at Polzeath
new apartments at The Point at Polzeath

Cornwall: 3 short walks to get your heart racing

Cornwall Special 2015

Cornwall isn’t just for surfers – it’s a walkers’ paradise with most of the South West Coast Path in the county. But if you don’t have the time (or the energy) to embark on an epic hike, here are three short walks in southwest Cornwall that will still get the blood pumping!


view from the Minnack Theatre, Porthcurno
view from the Minnack Theatre, Porthcurno

This is a mini walk but will certainly get your heart racing thanks to lots of steps and a stunning view! Start at the Minnack Theatre in Porthcurno – this is an amazing open air theatre that has been built into the rocky cliffs. You can watch a show, but even if you don’t you can pay £1 per person to access the pretty sub-tropical gardens and viewing platform with a sweeping view across the theatre and out towards the bay of Porthcurno.

Once you’ve taken in the view, take the steps down to the beach located to the left of the theatre entrance. These aren’t for the faint-hearted as some are slightly uneven, steep in parts and sometimes right on the edge of the path with a sheer drop to the sea on the other side. People will also be coming up so you have to shuffle around (with nothing to hold onto!) until they pass.

After the steps, you’ve a relatively gentle slope down to the lovely sandy beach with turquoise waters. Have a rest, a paddle (or swim), then get the blood pumping by doing the whole thing again in reverse!

Perranuthnoe to St Michael’s Mount

view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion
view from The Fire Engine Inn, Marazion

This nice coastal walk follows part of the South West Coast Path and if done as a circular walk covers around 5-6 miles. It’s mostly flat with just a couple of steep steps up and down onto the beach, and a steep walk up St Michael’s Mount to the castle.

Starting at the village of Perranuthnoe, take the coast path sign-posted to the right just before The Cabin Beach Cafe and simply follow it as it hugs the coast to the small town of Marazion. Enjoy the peace and quiet and the view as you turn the first corner and spy the Mount in all its glory in the distance. It then just gets bigger and bigger as you get closer with even more fine views. You can stop for a drink at The Fire Engine Inn on the outskirts of Marazion and soak in the view from the beer garden.

Once you get to Marazion, if the tide is out you can walk across to the Mount. If it’s in, take the short ferry ride over. St Michael’s Mount is a National Trust property so you have to pay to enter the castle gardens and climb your way up the steep path to the castle itself. You’ll be out of breath but rewarded with an excellent view across the bay to Penzance. Once you’re inside the castle walls, you can enjoy great views looking straight down onto the cultivated gardens which have been designed to be enjoyed from above.

Trencrom Hill, nr St Ives and Lelant

Another mini walk, make a pit-stop at Trencrom Hill just west of Lelant and south of St Ives. From the car park, take a swift walk up the path through foxgloves and heathers until you reach the top, 550 feet up. Here, large boulders, the remains of an old hill fort, are the stuff of legend – aparently the giant of Trencrom and the giant of St Michael’s Mount used to play a game of stone-throwing from here!

You get a fantastic view of both the south and north coasts, from St Michael’s Mount across to St Ives and the large sandy beach of Hayle.

Read more in our Cornwall Special

5 unusual things to do this May Day Bank Holiday

Come rain or shine, don’t spend the May Day bank holiday catching up on boxsets or doing DIY. We’ve found five intriguing things to do over the long weekend…

Learn how to forage

Our woods, fields and hedgerows are a full-on tasting menu ready to be eaten! This one-day foraging course in Denbighshire, North Wales (plenty of others around the UK too) is run by professional foragers who will help you identify wild food including plants and fungi that you can (and can’t) eat, where to find tasty morsels in surprising places, prepping your finds and cooking up some inventive dishes. Fish and game preparation is also covered, with an alternative option for vegetarians/vegans.

When: Saturday 2nd May 2015

Cost: £60 per person

Booking/info: Visit

Watch an archeological dig

At Birdling Gap and the Seven Sisters near Eastbourne, East Sussex, archeologists are exploring the site of the Crowlink coastguard station, established in the nineteenth century. The area was a favourite with smugglers and this dig is attempting to determine how the site was previously used. It’s a National Trust site so visitors (including dogs on leads and children) are welcome to come down for free and take a look.

When: 2-4pm 2nd, 3rd, 4th May 2015

Booking/info: No booking required but visit (search for Crowlink Coastguard Cottages) for more info.

Canalway Cavalcade (c) The Inland Waterways Association
Canalway Cavalcade (c) The Inland Waterways Association

Join the Canalway Cavalcade in Little Venice

Little Venice in London will be awash with bunting and boats this bank holiday for the annual Canalway Cavalcade organised by the Inland Waterways Association. Enjoy the festival’s spectacle of pretty narrowboats along the canal, plus the real ale bar, morris dancing (it is May Day afterall!), little shops and tasty food stalls. We also love the sound of the illuminated night-time boat procession from 9.30pm to 10pm. The event is totally free.

When: 2nd – 4th May 2015

Booking/info: No booking required but visit the festival website for full details or follow on Twitter and Instagram @canalcavalcade

Improve your photography skills

This one-day workshop on Landscape and Wildlife Photography is ideal for beginners and those looking to improve their basic skills. Run by expert Mike Allen of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the course will take you through the technical aspects of your camera, through to composition and editing. You’ll be out and about doing practical work and enjoying the beautiful Twyford water meadows.

When: 10am – 2pm, Saturday 2nd May 2015

Booking/info: Visit for full course details and booking information

Visit a quirky museum

The UK is pretty good at museums! From the world famous attractions in London, to some of the smallest (and oddest) museums you’ve never heard of – think of a topic and there’s probably a museum dedicated to it somewhere on these isles! We like the Shell Museum in Glandford, North Norfolk, a genuinely intriguing and cute museum housed in a converted chapel full of curiosities and amazing artefacts. But there’s also the Pencil Museum in the Lake District, the Museum of Witchcraft in Boscastle, Cornwall, and museums dedicated to prams, locks and even dog collars (thanks to this Telegraph picture gallery!).

When: Smaller museums are often run only by volunteers so have limited opening times. Always check their website for full details (and don’t forget to support them by supplementing your entry fee with a donation!).

Enjoy the long weekend!

Go glamping on Rocket Farm, Cornwall

Fancy a few days in a luxury bell tent in your own organic meadow? You could be living the good life in this secluded Cornish beauty spot…

Your relaxing break begins the moment you set foot on Rocket Farm, with a luxury five metre bell tent ready and waiting for you in your own secluded acre of private organic meadow. Get ready to breathe in the freshest air, throw some logs on the camp fire and enjoy a magical camping experience.

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There’s no need for you to buy or own any camping kit at all, as your large bell tent boasts a real double bed, two single beds, bed linen, duvets and comfy quilts. Other luxurious touches include a private hot shower and eco composting toilet.


Rocket Farm has great green credentials so during your stay you’ll benefit from solar lighting and a private eco (warm) shower and eco toilet for your exclusive use.

It’s also a foodie’s paradise, with your very own friendly free-range chickens to look after during your stay, laying fresh eggs for you to enjoy alongside a salad and veg patch bursting with tasty treats. Fire up your wood-burning stove and use the pots, pans, plates and cutlery supplied to eat delicious fresh food under the stars.

What’s nearby in South Cornwall?

Located near the pretty village of Gweek, at the top of the beautiful Helford River, this low impact boutique campsite is a stone’s throw from some of South Cornwall’s most breath-taking views. Whether you fancy rock pooling, swimming, sunbathing, surfing or sailing, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are beautiful beaches galore a short drive away, from wide stretches of white sand to tiny coves you can have all to yourself.

Recommended for… Rocket Farm is perfect for families with children of any age, as there is plenty of space to explore and play. With an acre of private meadow for boutique campers, it’s also perfect for adults looking to switch off from work for a few days.

Be aware that… Livestock including sheep, cattle and chickens live on the farm and neighbouring fields, therefore guests are not permitted to bring pets.

Price and availability: Rocket Farm Boutique Camping prices start from £300 for long weekends and short breaks. The campsite is open from the beginning of June until the end of September. Visit to find out more about holidays from Rocket Farm, home to Rocket Gardens.

6 of the best… Yurts and Bell Tents

For the ultimate in camping (or rather ‘glamping’) choose one of these luxury yurts and bell tents for a memorable night under canvas…

Lake Yurt, Poundsgate, Devon

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Perched on the edge of a small lake, surrounded by woodland, sits this pretty and traditional Mongolian yurt. Perfect for couples or a family, it can sleep up to 5 (it has a double bed and futon). The yurt comes with a well-equipped kitchen, woodburner and cosy interiors to keep you warm, plus laterns and candles for romantic lighting (there’s no electricity). The site contains one other yurt but you’re guaranteed privacy and a peaceful stay. Dartmoor National Park is close-by for walking, horse-riding, and cycling.

Bath Bell Tents, Timsbury, Somerset

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This is the bell tent that comes to you! The owners will pitch up the tent at the location of your choice within one hour from Bath. The luxury tent comes fully equipped with everything you need for a unique stay including comfy airbeds, bedding, rugs, throws, cushions, solar-powered lights and a lovely tealight chandelier. If there’s a large group of you, you can book the full four sleeping tents and create your own bell tent camp!

Bluebell Yurt, Goonhavern, Cornwall

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This cute little yurt has been lovingly furnished with beautiful rustic wooden furniture, a well-stocked cupboard and fridge, plus flat screen TV. Enjoy breakfast or warm evenings sitting on your private decking area complete with barbeque, or stroll around the camp which boasts an outdoor heated swimming pool, garden and children’s play area. The ‘Woodshed’ contains the camp’s communal kitchen, washing machines and shower facilities. Sleeps up to 4 in a double bed plus two single futons.

Coracle Yurt, Lyme Regis, Dorset

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This special yurt, set within its own private woodland clearing, is for couples or singles only (no kids allowed in this one!). Complete with double bed, luxury bedding, electric blanket, log-burning stove, heated towel rail, reindeer skins and electricity sockets (if you really can’t do without your phone or tablet). The Coracle Yurt, by Crafty Camping, also has its own private decking area with hammock, barbeque and outdoor seating/dining area. Apparently the piping hot tree showers are something to be experienced, particularly in the rain! Try one of the wood craft courses run by Crafty Camping, go trout fishing or explore the Jussaric Coast. This area is also a foodie’s dream with River Cottage Canteen and the Mark Hix Restaurant in the nearby area.

The Wren’s Nest at The Fire Pit, Dereham, Norfolk

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Not technically a yurt or bell tent, this is a ‘bender tent’, beautifully handmade using locally harvested hazel branches. Ignore the unassuming exterior because this really does provide the ‘wow factor’ once you step inside, including an unexpected mezzanine level! With cosy seating and woodburning fire, this two-storey tent sleeps 6-8 people in its double bed, single bed, pull-out sofa bed and triple bunk bed. Extra pitches around the tent can be booked if you want to create your own mini festival. A barbeque, communal fire pit, hot water facilities, natural play area and double decker bus (yes, really) complete the unique experience. A gourmet coffee bar is promised for this year…

Acacia Yurt, Axebridge, Somerset

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This Moroccan-style yurt is glamorously decorated with throws, wall-hangings, cushions and rugs. The yurt comes complete with a log-burning stove, seating/dining area, a double bed and two sofa beds (it sleeps up to four), and all cooking equipment and crockery etc to prepare simple meals on your camping stove or on the outside barbeque. Sip your morning coffee outside your yurt and enjoy the view over Cheddar Gorge, or huddle around the campfire at night sampling the local cider and produce from the neighbouring farm shop.

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3 of the best Cornish cottages for couples

Summer is on the horizon and with it, the draw of the English coastline. Cornwall is a beautiful county for a coastal holiday but if you’re dreading the inevitable crowds that come with peak-time school holiday periods, we’ve found three of the best eco-friendly, self-catering cottages that are perfect for couples wanting a more peaceful retreat…

The Retreat, Boscastle, Cornwall

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This cosy one-bedroom cottage is hidden away down a Cornish country lane so peace and quiet is guaranteed. The sun-trap garden, full of fragrant herbs, offers clear sea views. Full of charm, this luxury cottage boasts eco-friendly architectural features throughout including the stunning carpenter oak, double-height beams in the living room, giving the cottage a light, airy feel. The interiors are stylish with colourful artwork and modern furniture adding a quirky look. You can also order extra luxuries such as hampers for two full of delicious Cornish delicacies, bubbly and pampering goodies.

For more details, including prices and availability, click on The Retreat

The Stud, Tregonatha, Cornwall

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Although this stylish barn conversion can sleep up to five, why would you invite anyone else along when you can book it for just the two of you? Eco-friendly design features are found throughout this luxury home including an eco ground source heat pump to keep you cosy on chillier evenings. Enjoy breakfast in the sun room, on the balcony or within the enclosed, lawned garden. And if you ask in advance, the owner can give you access to the barn’s piano for those who wish to tinkle the ivories. Located in the tranquil village of Tregonatha, The Stud is also within easy access of Padstow and the north and south coasts of Cornwall. (As above, additional food, drink, flowers and pampering treats can be ordered for your stay in advance).

For more details, including prices and availability, click on The Stud

Inglenook, St Agnes, Cornwall

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This cute cottage for two combines traditional style with modern eco living (it’s insulated with sheep’s wool and is run on solar power). Its location is perfect for those who love hiking, diving or surfing as it’s situated in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with direct access to the South West Coast Path. Guests can relax in the open-vaulted living room or outside in the private walled garden looking out over the ocean. (Inglenook also offers the chance to book additional food, drink, flowers and pampering treats).

For more details, including prices and availability, click on Inglenook

All of these cottages are available exclusively through Unique Home Stays – for more information visit or call +44 (0) 1637 881942.


A magical stay at The Straw House, Cornwall

If you’re looking for a self-catering getaway this Spring, you’d be hard-pressed to beat a stay at this ‘Hobbit style’ straw bale roundhouse in Cornwall…

What a work of architectural, eco-friendly beauty! The Straw House, new to the rental market this season and with magnificent sea views across St Michael’s Mount in Penzance, offers something a little different to your regular self-catering cottage.

Using traditional green-building techniques, the tactile smooth cob walls and natural materials throughout, make this a lovely cosy hideaway (and likened by some to a Hobbit home!). Features include sheepskin rug covered wooden floors and a wood-burning stove for chilly evenings. Outside in the private garden you’ll find vegetable plots, your own fire pit, composting loo, kitchen and wood-fired shower.

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The owners encourage guests to spend time ‘off grid’ enjoying the birdsong, stargazing, building campfires or foraging for herbal remedies. Over summer, bushcraft workshops are also available.


The Straw House sleeps 4 ( 1 x double bed; 2 x sofa beds) so would suit solo travellers, couples or small families (kids will love it!).


You can stay for a minimum of 3 nights between 4 April and 19 July 2014 with a flexible change over day. During peak summer holiday weeks (19 July – 17 September 2014) minimum stay is 1 week with change over days on Saturdays. Prices start from £83 per night.

For more information, including booking, visit

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