|Print from Holly Francesca
When Mr VIB and I first got together nearly 21 years ago his parents retired to Cornwall – so the area has been a big part of our lives.
We’ve spent many a holiday and long weekend there – and often try and tie in a visit to the in-laws with a stay in a nice hotel or B&B too.
One place we stayed in several years ago was such a find – Botelet Farm. A storybook farmhouse that has been running as a B&B since the 1930’s.
When we stayed it was just the two rooms in the main house but today it also offers self-catering cottages, yurts and bell tent camping. Hidden at the end of a dusty, wild flowered lane a few miles from Liskeard – Botelet is set in acres of rolling farmland that feels like a million, miles away from anywhere.
It’s simple, rustic and so peaceful – and the homemade, local sourced and organic breakfast is served on the scrubbed wooden table next to the Rayburn – is the finishing touch.
Here’s a few ways to get that Cornish cottage feel at home:
Cornishware Mugs £16 for set of 2 John Lewis
Eau De English Channel Soap £4.99 Gone Crabbing
Robe knot doorstop £12 Sainsbury’s Home
Highgate Rose 3 Tier Cake Stand £36 Cath Kidston
Kelly Hall Cornwall Print £10 John Lewis
Jute Rug £24.99 H&M
Wicker Basket from a selection Homesense
Scented Candle £1.99 H&M
Rockpool Coaters £6.40 for set of 4 Laura Ashley
Striped Cushion cover £7.99 H&M
Coastal Stripe Throw £25 John Lewis
Dinner Plate £3 and Salad Bowl £6 both Sainsbury’s Home
* My 10 Favourite Places to See and Stay & Things to Do and Eat in Cornwall *
These are just a handful of places we have been to in Cornwall over the years – some with the in-laws and some while on holiday – and are by no means an extensive list.
We too, still have so many places we want to visit like Lands End, Penzance and Newquay. I’m not sure our love affair with the Cornish Riveria will ever go… in fact we’ve even talked about moving there one day.
1. One of my all time must-visits is FOWEY. This small town and cargo port was home to Rebecca and Jamaica Inn author Daphne du Maurier. You can take a small boat tour past her home, visit the museum and literary centre.
This quaint little town also has some of my favourite little antique shops, a tinny-tiny Aquarium (ideal for toddlers) and The Lifebuoy Cafe – the best place for a filling brekkie or a stuffed crab sandwich.
2. The EDEN PROJECT is one of those places that one visited it’s never forgotten. It’s truly amazing and even if you’re not that into plants you will come out amazed. The two huge domes emulate natural biomes housing thousands of plants – stimulating a Rainforest and Mediterranean environment.
Open all year and always popular – best to go on a sunny day (as the outdoors is lovely too). Stay at the nearby modern ‘glamping’ site Ekopod and pick up some fresh, herbal beauty products from St Kitts Herbery (especially the ever popular Rosemary & Bergamot as used in nearby hotels and Jamie Oliver Fifteen)
3. On a sunny day the seaside town of ST IVES could be mistaken for any European coast with its film set quality light. Hence why it has become such a stylish holiday hotspot. The Tate Modern, The Barbara Hepworth sculpture garden, the Harbour and Porthgwidden beach are all must-sees.
4. Ignore the fact that this is the backdrop to TV show Doc Martin (unless that’s your thing) PORT ISSAC is a must-see. The beautiful picturesque fishing village is worthy of the long downhill walk from the main carpark – I did it at 6 months pregnant!
5. The ancient fisherman’s village of POLPERRO almost remains untouched. This postcard-perfect idyllic and mostly unspoilt area is only accessed by foot. Walk the half mile route from the car park to the harbour through the narrow streets – or take a horse and cart or a milk float disguised as a tram.
This smugglers cove is ideal for a pint and a pasty. Some of our favourite waterholes include The Ship Inn, The Blue Peter Inn and The Three Pilchards. A cute B&B that most of our family stay in when visiting is The Cottage – does great food too.
6. ST MAWES is a small town opposite Falmouth and worth a little trip. This now sleepy fishing port is the perfect place for a walk, a bag of chips and a some light shopping. The place to stay is the Hotel Tresanton.
This stunning coastal inspired hotel designed by Olga Polizzi (of the Rocco Forte hotel family name) has views over to St Anthony’s lighthouse. The hotel boasts a cinema, playroom, children’s garden, 30 rooms and a private yacht that can take you sailing around Falmouth Bay.
7. No trip to Cornwall would be complete without a walk on the granite moorland of BODMIN MOORS and a pit-stop at The Jamaica Inn on of the oldest pubs dating back to 1750. It’s a 4 mile walk from Brown Willy the highest hill in Cornwall.
Stop for a real ale or cider (and if you dare a visit to the musty free museum that haunts me to this day and not for the reason intended!). On a clear day there is no view quite like Bodmin. Or, take the Bodmin & Wenford Railway – a steam train that takes a 13 mile round trip with dining options for special occasions.
8. I can’t really mention Cornwall without mentioning Rick Stein and PADSTOW. Padstow is a fishing port on the North Coast and often referred to as Pad-stein due to the famous chef owning many restaurants, shops and buildings in the area.
You cannot escape his influence so I say roll with it – plus Stein’s Fish & Chips on the harbour are so infamous the queue starts from the minute it opens – and are worth every last bite!
9. North Cornwall again is the villages of BOSCASTLE & TINTAGEL where much of the land and building is owned by the National Trust. Boscatle is famed not only for the terrible flash floods (2004 and 207) but for the Musuem of Witchcraft, an amazing pottery shop and the South West Coastal Path (a national trail taking in Somerset, Devon and Dorset).
Tintagel home of Tintagel Castle is infamous for its legends surrounding King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. You can explore the iconic castle ruins, walk the steps, cross the beach and discover the hidden beach. One of my personal favourite spots is the Old Post Office. This stone house dates from the 14th century and such a beautiful step back in time.
10. The port town of FALMOUTH is shaped by its strong connection to the sea and maritime heritage. Very much still a working harbour the docks area and seaside promenade is a tourist destination with The National Maritime Museum, its also one of best places for sailing and of course, ferry rides, boat trips and water taxis to St Mawes and Truro it also a great shopping destination.
** I couldn’t actually pick my fave place to stop for a proper Cornish Cream Tea – so here is a list of 30 of the best places. My only requirements are: warm, freshly baked scones, fresh clotted cream (not whipped) and dare I say, eaten the Devonshire way of cream first then strawberry jam on top!**