I’ve had many an amazing holiday on the North Cornwall coast, but West Cornwall was a whole new area to me, and one that I really fell in love over a recent weekend there. I was staying at the Lakeside Yurt near Porthleven, and though I’ve swooned at its beauty many a time online, the actual stay was even better than I’d imagined — especially after being rescheduled twice due to lockdowns.
With 5 acres of lakes and meadows, the grounds are a mini paradise: lush exotic planting, Buddha statues, even a secret garden hidden amongst a bamboo forest. At the centre of it all is one big lake, bookended by a cabin and the yurt, both gorgeous hideaways for a couple and cleverly angled for privacy. Although the cabin is the more popular unit, I absolutely love staying in a yurt, with that magical feel of camping and being outdoors, but in ridiculous levels of comfort. And in terms of comfort, this yurt had it ALL. Underfloor heating, a rolltop bathtub, a full kitchen, kingsize bed with an electric blanket, even a slow cooker and home-cinema kit.
It was made for lazy days, whatever the weather, and we had the full gamut. When the sun shone, we swung in the double egg chair, with coffees, with breakfast, and at sunset, which turns the water an incredible russet gold. When the rain fell, we cosied up indoors, listening to that delicious sound of rain falling on canvas, watching movies and playing Bananagrams by the fire. I’d been determined to wild swim in, and SUP upon the lake, but in reality I hate the cold, so I contented myself watching birds take the plunge instead. And as we sat out around the firepit each evening, we heard owls calling from the nearby woodland.
West Cornwall itself was just as enchanting. Pretty Porthleven has a foodie reputation, with little seafood restaurants and fresh-catch shacks. We came for a wander and a pint on the harbour, then stocked up on groceries at the incredible Trevaskis Farm Shop to take home and BBQ a feast by our lake. The sweet little branch-line train from St Erth winds along the most beautiful stretch of coastline and into St Ives, home to golden beaches and masses of independent galleries.
But our favourite jaunt out was Godrevy and Gwithian beaches. Two glorious sweeps of golden sand, with very few people bar surfers, and a stunning headland punctuated by a lighthouse. We walked for miles, through the dunes and scrambling over rock pools, then had a brilliant lunch at the Godrevy Cafe (fresh mackerel wraps and a dark chocolate raspberry brownie I bought to share, but then hoarded jealously).
If you’re after a chilled, romantic time, the Lakeside properties are such gems for 2022 adventures. Book the cabin (below) for a chalet feel, plus an alfresco bath and little rowing boat, or our beautiful yurt, for a wilder feel, SUP, and that hanging egg chair. Or book both and come with friends. Imagine having this all to yourselves.