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 www.millyandmartha.com.

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.

3 of the best farm stays near the Scottish border

This post is sponsored by Lakes Cottage Holidays

Now that the politics surrounding the England-Scotland border are over (for now), the wild landscapes and historic towns let this beautiful area speak for itself…

A stay at one of these self-catering cottages, all on working farms, makes a great base to explore the countryside around the England-Scotland border and nearby Lake District. Here’s our pick of three of the best farm stays…

Williamwood Cottage, Lockerbie, Scottish Borders

[gdl_gallery title=”williamwood” width=”120″ height=”110″ ]

Williamwood Cottage is perfect for families coming fully equipped with cot, highchair and baby bath, alongside wifi and a wood burning stove for cosy evenings. Garden furniture and BBQ are available for warm summer days.

Located on a 310 acre farm, which previously won the RSPB Nature of Farming award for Scotland, this is a great cottage for those who love nature. By farming with conservation in mind, this land is abundant with birdlife, much of which you can spot from several wildlife trails around the site.

The owners will be happy to introduce you to their herd of Highland cattle, Highland ponies, sheep, chickens and Tottie the mini pig! A new children’s playground boasts a petting area with mini animals. Take a horse ride around the farm or even bring your own four-legged friend (arrange with the owners in advance).

The surrounding area is full of historic sites including Robert Burns House, the Old Blacksmith’s Shop at Gretna (famed for its weddings and eloping lovers!), Hadrian’s Wall and Hermitage Castle.

Size: 3 bedrooms, sleeps 6
Rates: From £530 per week

Wild Rose Cottage, Jedburgh, Scottish Borders

[gdl_gallery title=”wildrose” width=”120″ height=”110″ ]

Wild Rose Cottage is set in a peaceful and tranquil site on a 1,100 acre working farm. It comes fully equipped with all mod cons including wifi, a cot and highchair for little ones, plus an open fire. A welcome tray of homemade cakes awaits you on arrival!

Part of the farm, which is mainly home to 2,000 sheep, is within a conservation scheme which encourages ground nesting birds. Explore the farmland and spot buzzards, badgers and deer on one of the many farm trails, or take a stroll down to one of the many ponds.

The nearby town of Jedburgh is the historic gateway to Scotland and is dominated by the twelfth century Augustinian Abbey. Edinburgh, Carlisle and Newcastle are all within an hour’s drive of the cottage.

Size: 2 bedrooms, sleeps 5
Rates: From £320 per week

Red Stables, Aikton, nr Carlisle

[gdl_gallery title=”redstables” width=”120″ height=”110″ ]

This farm building conversion is stylish and contemporary but retains many of its original, early twentieth century features. Boasting green credentials, the property includes underfloor heating sourced from the farm’s biomass boiler, a charging point for electric cars, and is insulated to the highest standards.

One stand-out selling point is that you can enjoy stunning views across to the Lakeland Fells from your own private hot tub on the patio! But if you ever tire of lazing around in the hot tub (when would that be?!), you can also enjoy complementary use of the swimming pool at nearby Orton Grange Leisure Pool.

Two miles away is the Watchtree Nature Service where red squirrels and bats can be spotted. Hadrian’s Wall, Carlisle and the Lake District are all within easy reach with a car.

Size: 2 bedrooms, sleeps 4
Rates: From £440 per week

For more details, availability and booking for all properties mentioned, visit Lakes Cottage Holidays at www.lakescottageholiday.co.uk or call 0176 883 8103. Browse the site for romantic bolt holes, luxury pads, log cabins, dog-friendly holiday homes, properties with a view and much more.

This post is sponsored by Lakes Cottage Holidays – Goodtrippers retains editorial control over all content and only selects partners and publishes sponsored posts that fit the Goodtrippers ethos.


Christmas down on The Farm House, Devon

If you’re looking for a last minute Christmas getaway, spend it down on The Farm House in Devon. As an extra Christmas gift, bookings at this self-catering holiday cottage come with a 20% discount!

[gdl_gallery title=”FarmHouse” width=”125″ height=”110″ ]

This magnificent 17th century house, set on East Devon’s South Farm and located on the edge of the Blackdown Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is ready to welcome you for a memorable Christmas with family or friends.

With stunning views and plenty of facilities to keep you entertained, you can celebrate the festive season in style – or just escape from it all in your own luxury hideaway.

Accommodation and facilities

The Farm House sleeps up to 10 people with its master bedroom (with en-suite), two double rooms, and two twin rooms. The house also has three bathrooms, a conservatory (perfect for Christmas morning coffees), well-equipped country cottage kitchen (with large Aga oven for that all-important roast), large enclosed garden, and living area with 40″ Sky TV, DVD player, wifi and stereo system for your Christmas entertainment

And it’s worth braving the chilly nights for a dip in the private hot tub with your festive bubbly!

Around South Farm

The Farm House is the main self-catering cottage on South Farm which also boasts four smaller self-catering cottages – perfect if your gathering ‘overspills’ from the main house. The site offers all guests use of shared facilities including the children’s play area plus games barn stocked with table tennis, badminton, toys, books and board games. Adults can make full use of the sauna, spa and gym, tennis court, or even solar-heated swimming pool (or perhaps not in winter!).

The surrounding fields and open spaces, home to badgers, buzzards and other wildlife, make a great location for a Boxing Day walk.

Price and availability

Book now to save 20% on your Christmas booking. Seven nights costs from £2,233 (a saving of £446). Stays are usually Friday to Friday but departures on Saturday 27th December can be arranged (please contact host to discuss).

For further details plus contact and booking, visit The Farm House listing on the HomeAway website.


The ‘super eco’ barns for holidaying in North Norfolk

This complex of cottages and converted Victorian farm barns in Norfolk offers some of the most ec0-friendly luxury accommodation available in Britain…

In the wilds of the North Norfolk countryside, near the market town of Fakenham just a few miles from the heritage coast, sits the ‘flock’ of Cranmer Country Cottages – ‘flock’ due to the cute naming of each self-catering cottage; choose from ‘Coot’ (sleeps 2), ‘Tern’ (sleeps 4), ‘Wagtail’ (sleeps 4), ‘Owl’ (sleeps 4), ‘Woodpecker’ (sleeps 5), ‘Swallow’ (sleeps 6), ‘Avocet’ (sleeps 6), plus ‘Garden House’ (sleeps 6).

[gdl_gallery title=”Cranmer” width=”115″ height=”110″ ]

Family-friendly accommodation and facilities

Whichever cottage you choose you’ll be treated to stylish, contemporary interiors, whether the cosy one bedroom ‘Coot’ or the larger 3 bedroom cottages. Each is kitted out with eco-friendly, energy-efficient facilities (kitchen, washing machine etc).

And children, from babies to active kids, are positively encouraged with an outdoor fenced play area (visible from each cottage), two all-weather tennis courts, a timber playhouse, solar panel-heated swimming pool, fully-stocked games room and lots of safe outdoor space to run around and play games. Cranmer are also more than happy to provide child-friendly extras such as bed guards, booster seats, baby listeners, baby baths and steam sterilisers. To make your holiday even more relaxing they can also provide food delivery and baby-sitting services!

Things to do

This is rural Norfolk so you can truly get away from it all and explore the wilds of the coast or countryside. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the open spaces around Cranmer – staff regularly post notices of wildlife spots (many areas of the surrounding Home Farm are managed to preserve local wildlife). A stay here requires at least one trip to some of the award-winning beaches (Wells-next-the-Sea, Holkham, Blakeney, Salthouse, Sheringham) along the heritage coast not too far from Cranmer. North Norfolk is perfect for cycling, walking, bird-watching and exploring the coast, plus the area is awash with top class country pubs serving locally-sourced food and local ales.

Strong eco credentials

The site is a mix of renovated Victorian farm barns, and new build cottages and the owners have gone to great lengths to create a ‘super eco’ site which goes above and beyond the regular eco-friendly credentials of much green accommodation. This complex of cottages uses 100% energy from its own on-site renewable energy sources including a wind turbine and solar panels. The new builds boast heat-saving Argon-filled glazing, underfloor heating and very high levels of insulation, while all of the cottages are fitted with low-energy lighting, water-saving devices and energy-efficient white goods.

A commitment to sustainable living is evident throughout Cranmer, including Home Farm which houses the holiday complex. Staff encourage guests to reduce, reuse and recycle wherever possible, and local businesses are used and promoted wherever possible.

Recommended for… Those who love the truly rural, wild outdoors.

Be aware that… Although there are a number of small towns (with pubs, shops, restaurants etc) within easy driving distance, this is a rural area so not for those wanting busy nightlife on their doorstep.

For prices, availability and booking visit www.holidaycottagecompare.com

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Installation of 20KW wind turbine
  • Use of green electricity supplier Ecotricity for imported power when needed
  • 40KW solar panels on south facing slate roofs
  • 16kw heat pump with in-ground installation 80 meters below ground
  • Installation of energy saving under-floor heating in new cottages
  • Argon filled glazing installed in the new cottages to minimise heat loss
  • Very high levels of insulation in all barn conversions and new build Garden House
  • Energy saving lighting systems and light bulbs in all cottages
  • Exterior lighting set on PIR system reducing light pollution at night
  • Installation of 80m borehole and UV water treatment system
  • Installation of irrigation system fed by our borehole to water tubs and hanging baskets – timed to irrigate early morning and evening
  • Communal laundry provides energy efficient gas powered tumble driers at a nominal charge – monies go towards an ongoing tree planting programme
  • Toilets are fitted with flush restricting devices to reduce water consumption
  • New larger cottages are supplied with energy efficient washing machines and line drying facilities
  • Swallow cottage Rayburn converted from oil to electricity with instant switch on and off. Now powered by the wind turbine.
  • Composting facilities in place
  • Recycling and waste management – glass, metal, plastic, paper and card
  • All timber FSC sourced and where possible locally grown e.g. oak cladding and structural timber
  • Recycling of building materials i.e. bricks, slates and timber and use of lime free mortar as original buildings
  • Swimming pool water and air temperature heated by Calorex heat exchange unit – maximising energy use
  • South facing solar panels heat pool water in summer and supplement heating throughout the year
  • Pool water treated with UV and salt chlorination system reducing the amount of chlorine in the pool water and reducing the amount of chlorine pumped out as waste on to the land
  • Guests are supplied with eco friendly cleaning and washing supplies
  • Locally sourced welcome hampers and fair trade tea and coffee
  • Recycled chlorine free paper toilet rolls. Bio cleaning products reducing dispensing of harmful surfactants into water course
  • Staff share lifts to work
  • Local purchasing and promotion of the local farm shop in Walsingham, local bakery in Fakenham and local pubs and restaurants
  • Converted two existing cottages – Swallow & Woodpecker heating systems use alternative green energy sources of a ground source heat pump and solar panels
  • Good quality carbon neutral accommodation in the three converted Victorian barns
  • Sponsorship of the local community nature reserve at Sculthorpe Moor –part of the Hawk and Owl Trust


Please note: Google Map does not indicate the exact location

[google-map-v3 shortcodeid=”TO_BE_GENERATED” width=”500″ height=”500″ zoom=”12″ maptype=”roadmap” mapalign=”center” directionhint=”false” language=”default” poweredby=”false” maptypecontrol=”true” pancontrol=”true” zoomcontrol=”true” scalecontrol=”true” streetviewcontrol=”true” scrollwheelcontrol=”false” draggable=”true” tiltfourtyfive=”false” enablegeolocationmarker=”false” enablemarkerclustering=”false” addmarkermashup=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” addmarkerlist=”Fakenham, Norfolk{}cabin-2.png{}Cranmer Cottages, Norfolk” bubbleautopan=”true” distanceunits=”miles” showbike=”false” showtraffic=”false” showpanoramio=”false”]

A log cabin retreat in Fort William, Scotland

Don’t let the rustic exterior of this private log cabin fool you – it hides a contemporary interior complete with state-of-the-art facilities…

Self-catering cottage Acorn Lodge, a bespoke log cabin located on its own site near Fort William, provides a special base for outdoor types wishing to explore the stunning surroundings of the Western Highlands (you’re two miles from Ben Nevis, 16 miles from Glencoe). Created using local timber, you can’t help but feel a sense of adventure when you access the eco-friendly lodge via its own wooden walkway and bridge over the river.


The lodge is open-plan and all on one floor. The two bedrooms – one double (with a handmade wooden kingsize bed), one with bunkbeds – each have their own external door so guests can come and go as they please. A large balcony allows you to enjoy the stunning natural scenery. A wet room includes a state-of-the-art sauna complete with a CD player and surround-sound!

For winter stays, you can feel cosy thanks to the underfloor heating. You can also expect the usual amenities of a self-catering cottage – kitchen with cooker, washing machine and dishwasher; plus TV and stereo for when you’re not out and about climbing a mountain or two!

Around Fort William

A short 5-min walk from Acorn Lodge and you’re in the small town of Fort William with plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants. The area attracts climbers, hikers and other outdoorsy types so you won’t be stuck for tour operators offering plenty of ways to explore this area around Loch Linnhe. And don’t worry if mountaineering isn’t your thing – you can always discover other Scottish delights such as a tour of the Ben Nevis Whiskey Distillary (hic!).

Recommended for… Hikers, climbers and those who can’t get enough of the stunning Scottish scenery

Be aware that… You can park your car at Acorn Lodge but there is then a short walk over the walkway and bridge to reach the cabin.

For more information, prices, availability and booking, visit Sykes Cottages at www.sykescottages.co.uk


Longhorn Farm, Devon – perfect for big get-togethers

This stunning luxury eco property has ample room so no excuse not to book a huge get-together with family or friends this year!

Longhorn Farm, in the Dartmoor village of North Bovey in Devon, has been renovated throughout and oozes contemporary eco style. An awesome raised ceiling and glass walls ensure this home is flooded with light and offers an uplifting stay whether it’s summer or winter.

Sleeping up to 14 guests across the main house and converted milking barn, the self-catering property is set in 58 acres of land including 20 acres of ancient bluebell woods, lakes, waterfalls and wildflower pasture. It gives plenty of opportunity for guests to enjoy their own space, allow children to play freely and then convene in the large communal living areas at Longhorn.

[gdl_gallery title=”Longhorn” width=”120″ height=”110″ ]


The main farmhouse has four bedrooms; two king-size double rooms with en suites, plus a twin room and a zip-and-link bedroom which can either be arranged as a twin or super-king double as required. The twin room and the zip-and-link room share a shower room. The adjacent milking barn has a king-size room plus a bunk room on the ground floor (with shared ground floor wet room), as well as a master king-size bedroom on the first floor with en suite. Each of the seven bedrooms are peppered with stylish touches throughout.


Families are more than welcome here with cots, highchairs and a safe garden all available. Wifi and iPod docks are also present throughout. Hang-out in the garden with the barbecue on sunny days or gather around the fire pit to toast marshmallows on cooler evenings.

On request, you also have the option to book in-house caterers, spa treatments and welcome hampers full of gastronomic goodies.

The surrounding area is a walking paradise with Dartmoor National Park to explore, plus quaint Devon villages and the coastline.

‘Good’ credentials:

  • Underfloor heating via a ground source heat pump
  • Solar panels also provide power
  • Water supplied via natural spring


For more information, including prices, availability and booking, visit Unique Home Stays at www.uniquehomestays.com

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.

[gdl_gallery title=”Straw” width=”120″ height=”110″ ]

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 www.holidaylettings.co.uk

[google-map-v3 shortcodeid=”TO_BE_GENERATED” width=”550″ height=”350″ zoom=”12″ maptype=”roadmap” mapalign=”center” directionhint=”false” language=”default” poweredby=”false” maptypecontrol=”true” pancontrol=”true” zoomcontrol=”true” scalecontrol=”true” streetviewcontrol=”true” scrollwheelcontrol=”false” draggable=”true” tiltfourtyfive=”false” enablegeolocationmarker=”false” enablemarkerclustering=”false” addmarkermashup=”false” addmarkermashupbubble=”false” addmarkerlist=”Penzance, Cornwall, England{}cabin-2.png{}The Straw House, Penzance” bubbleautopan=”true” distanceunits=”miles” showbike=”false” showtraffic=”false” showpanoramio=”false”]