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Cornwall - Accommodations

Wendy Ashworth

Hotel Tresanton in St. Mawes has helped bring up the standard of accommodation not only in West Cornwall but also throughout the county, although you will find prices have shot up, particularly in the west. Old fishing ports like Porthleven have been gentrified and now boast many high-class self-catering, serviced accommodations and one or two good restaurants.

There are many good guidebooks available but the one you shouldn't leave behind is "The Rough Guide To Devon And Cornwall". This will give you all the information you need about parking, public transport, opening times, restaurants, and accommodation. If used in conjunction with the tourist board web sites, you will be able to make the most of your time in the south west.

Self-Catering Agencies

Classic Cottages: www.classic.co.uk
This agency has a good variety of all types of accommodation throughout Cornwall and the south west of England, but is particularly strong on The Lizard and the areas around Helston. We have used this agency many times. Properties tend to be quite expensive, but there is just about something for all pockets.

Helpful Holidays: www.helpfulholidays.com
This agency once again have a good variety of accommodations throughout the West Country. There is a good color brochure with useful star grading for quality. Web Site is okay, but improving all the time.

We have just returned from our first holiday with them. We liked this agency very much. They are, as their name suggests, exceedingly helpful and willing to please. Our house was lovely and pretty much as we expected from the brochure/website description and conversations I had with staff. Highly recommended. Possibly more so than Classic Cottages who were not as helpful during my search for accommodation this year and who said they didn't have time to read the review that was posted on Slow Travel!

Niche Retreats: www.nicheretreats.co.uk
This is a newish small agency concentrating on upmarket properties around Porthleven. Nice brochure, but the excellent website is better. Expensive, but properties are all luxurious and it is possible to hire a chef.

National Trust: www.nationaltrustcottages.co.uk
The National Trust has a very good selection of properties throughout Cornwall and the West Country. Some are quite basic, but all are in tune with the vernacular buildings and location. We have stayed in the Water Tower in Trelisssick gardens, an ideal location for a garden lover like me. Rentals are expensive but you are paying for something quite unique. The Trust is slowly upgrading a lot of its properties to be in tune with popular demand. Good brochure, website large and somewhat unwieldy.

Forgotten Houses: www.forgottenhouses.freeserve.co.uk
This is an agency that features properties of architectural interest, some are listed buildings. Good brochure, okay website with drawings and floor plans. There are approximately twenty-four properties in Cornwall featured in their portfolio. Prices seem reasonable for what you are getting.

The Landmark Trust: www.landmarktrust.co.uk
This is an agency that features several "rescued" properties in Cornwall. Handbook is excellent but there is a charge of £9.50 for it, refundable when you book a property. Website is okay. Properties are mostly large and expensive, but again, you are paying for somewhere quite unique.

Cornish Tipi Holidays: www.cornish-tipi-holidays.co.uk
Now here is something different! I haven't tried this company out but all reports are good. The tipis are located in and around Port Isaac. Must be children's paradise. A good website.

Special Places: www.specialplacescornwall.co.uk
This is another small agency specializing in very good quality accommodation in West Cornwall, much of it very close to the waterside. Prices are somewhat high but there is just about something for all party sizes and you can be sure that the description is accurate. Brochure is quite good and the website is very good.

Carbis Bay Holidays: www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk
This agency features a very good selection of modern, high-class apartments many of them with lovely ocean views close to St Ives.

Cornish Holiday Cottages: www.cornishholidaycottages.net
A well-established small agency that also comes well-recommended featuring properties of all sizes.

Food Delivery

Some companies offer a hamper delivery service that can be booked to be waiting at your cottage when you arrive. Check with your vacation rental agency or owner to find out which companies do this for your area.

Note: West Country Food Direct, recommended in these notes previously, is no longer in business.


Hotel Tresanton, St Mawes, www.tresanton.com
For those wanting to the very best, the Hotel Tresanton has to be the number one choice. Sir Rocco Forte's sister's Olga Polizzi is in charge here It is expensive but innovative and cosseting. Situated in very fashionable St Mawes. Excellent web site too! We had a Cornish cream tea here last week and were impressed by the small touches like Wellington boots and umbrellas provided for all adult guests. For children under 5 high tea was served in a separate sitting room whilst "Bob The Builder" was being played on the cinema screen - yes, cinema screen!

I was very impressed by the way management soothed the ruffled feathers of a newly arrived guest who was not happy with the size of his room. He was not able to stay, as the hotel was fully booked but all ended happily with no financial penalty to be paid. We feel as the hotel caters so well for small children that it may be best suited for families.

Lugger Hotel, Portloe (Roseland Peninsula), www.luggerhotel.com
The Lugger Hotel situated in delighted Portloe on the Roseland Peninsula. Excellent website, and a good reputation although this appears to be slipping of late, with just 21 bedrooms. No children under 12 years old.

Driftwood Hotel, near St Mawes, www.driftwoodhotel.co.uk
The Driftwood Hotel situated just a few miles from St Mawes. This is a good choice for families with just 10 bedrooms and a cabin on the beach. Yet another excellent website and a well-recommended restaurant.

Meudon Hotel, Mawnan Smith, www.meudon.co.uk
The Meudon Hotel located in Mawnan Smith is as traditional as the three above are fashionable. Lovely situation in it's own well maintained and imaginative "hanging" garden. Close to Trebah and Glendurgan gardens. The hotel comes well recommended, has just been redecorated and offers an excellent restaurant and the use of a private yacht!

Greenbank Hotel, Falmouth, www.greenbank-hotel.co.uk
The Greenbank Hotel located in Falmouth quite close to the road as well as the river. Florence Nightingale once stayed here! The hotel has it's own quay and many rooms were refurbished in 2003. Close by is the new Maritime Museum.

Lamorna Cove Hotel, near Mousehole, www.lamornacove.com
The Lamorna Cove Hotel located in the far west of Cornwall, but close to Mousehole, St Ives and a walker's and artist's paradise! The house once belonged to Sir Alfred Munnings of The Newlyn School. Behind the Victorian Facade the hotel is now modern and comtemporary. Rooms and bathrooms are smallish but the restaurant is fast buiding a name for itself.

Chough Hotel Bude, Bude, www.hotelsandguesthouses.net/121543
The Chough Hotel Bude makes a good affordable base and is located close to the coastal footpath.

Ennys Country House, west of Cornwall, www.ennys.co.uk
In the west of Cornwall, Ennys Country House, owned by former newspaper travel journalist Gill Charlton comes well recommended. There is a choice of bed and breakfast or self-catering available.

Landewednack House, The Lizard, www.specialplacestostay.com
Landewednack House at Church Cove, The Lizard is a lovely place to stay for bed and breakfast. It is set in a beautiful garden.

Cornish Farm Holidays, www.cornish-farms.co.uk
For farm holidays check out Cornish Farm Holidays where you will find self catering or bed and breakfast available.

Camping, Hostels

Camp Sites, www.netpz.co.uk/cornwall-campsites.htm
Cornwall has an extensive range of campsites and details can be found here.

Youth Hostels, www.stilwell.co.uk
There are a dozen or so in Cornwall with good details provided on Stillwells website, which is also a directory of self catering accommodation throughout the UK, so it may be useful as it puts you directly in touch with the owner. See also the website of the Youth Hostels Association.


www.cornwalltouristboard.co.uk: Cornwall Tourist Board, for more information about accommodation and most other Cornish things.

Wendy Ashworth lives in Surrey, England about 30 miles from London. She has a passion for Italy and Cornwall particularly as both have some of the most wonderful gardens in Europe. She works part time in Hampshire running a daytime information centre for young people. Thanks to Ricardo for the photographs.

© Wendy Ashworth, 2004

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