Why You Should Rent a Holiday Cottage in Cornwall

A county surrounded by, defined by and occasionally battered by water. Take a holiday cottage in Cornwall and you’re never far from it; if you like towering cliffs and crashing waves, hidden coves and harbours full of working fishing boats, this is the place for you.

But there’s another side to it too. As Cornwall pushes west, it also pushes south, and the relatively mild climate means you can find lush exotic gardens just a little way inland.

An Unmatched Coastline

Cornwall accounts for nearly half the total length of the South West Coastal path – 300 miles out of 630. It’s wilder on the Atlantic coast, but the south still has its fair share of drama, including the Lizard Peninsula – an endlessly explorable grab-bag of rocky outcrops and sandy beaches, and the most southerly point on the UK mainland. Take a holiday cottage on the north coast to be within reach of surfing hotspots Rock and Fistral Beach, as well as Padstow, made famous by celebrity chef Rick Stein.

Fresh Fish and Seafood

From the famous pilchards (aka sardines) to local crab and lobster, it’s here in abundance and it’s as fresh as you could wish for. Most fishing charter companies will let you keep your catch – so if you’ve rented a cottage you can whisk it back to your own kitchen and tuck in knowing you caught it yourself just a few hours ago. Finally, don’t leave before trying a Cornish cream tea, with lashings of strawberry jam and clotted cream – the perfect pick-me-up after a long hike or a day on the water.

Amazing Gardens

They’re endlessly varied and constantly surprising. Try Glendurgan, which tumbles into a steep gorge and emerges onto a picture-postcard pebble beach by the Helford River; the small but riotously colourful Hidden Valley; and of course the huge Eden Project, one of the most influential ecotourism projects in the world. For something more formal, head to Mount Edgcumbe House, whose Grade I-listed gardens feature English, French and Italian styles.

Charming Pubs

Cosy quayside bars with wooden interiors and nautical memorabilia on the walls; patios and beer gardens where you can relax in the late afternoon sun while boats bob up and down on the water. Cornwall does pubs exceptionally well, and real ale fans will love sampling the wares of much-loved regional breweries such as Skinners, Sharp’s and St Austell. More of a cider fan? Head to Healey’s near Truro, a working farm where you can see the process from orchard to barrel – and taste the results for yourself.

Rich Culture

A holiday cottage in Cornwall puts you in a landscape of big characters and big stories, from notorious smugglers to hardworking fishermen and miners. Redruth is the place for mining heritage, with East Pool Mine and Tolgus Tin Mill both nearby, and you’ll find the fun, interactive National Maritime Museum in Falmouth, which buzzes with creatives from the local arts college. If you’re a big art fan, you’ll also want to visit St Ives, whose light, airy Tate Gallery overlooks Porthmeor beach.