A wildly romantic little hideaway, surrounded by 5 acres of gardens and forest.
Sleeps 2 + a baby
Days at this magical little retreat pass in an almost dreamlike fashion. You awake to morning light dancing on the ceiling and the chirrups of moorhens, just outside. Eat breakfast on the deck, bathed in sunshine even in winter, followed by an invigorating wild swim (or just hot soak in the alfresco tub, it’s practically the same thing). Drive to West Cornish beaches (Godrevy, Gwithian) for long walks, sea air and body boarding. Or head to Porthleven — the new Padstow — for fresh moules in The Mussel Shoal and independent galleries overlooking the pretty harbour.
Back at the ranch, take time to wander the wild gardens, forests and lakes, watching kingfishers dart and herons stalk through the shallows. And after dark, light a firepit beneath the stars (constellations galore) or drift into a cosy evening inside, warmed by the woodburner. Sleep, wake, repeat.
Getting here: drive, or train to St Erth/Hayle then taxi (15 mins)
Full marks for eco measures. The boat house was made from natural materials and recycled, upcycled and salvaged items such as the outdoor bath. The owners added 500 native trees to the site, created wildflower meadows to encourage bees and butterflies and planted 1000 bulbs across the gardens; this array of natural habitats sustains a diversity of wildlife, including moorhen chicks and duckling each year. Lakes and water features are all interconnected and gravity-fed, removing the need for electric pumps. Recycling is key and guests are encouraged to shop locally.
- The grounds are a mini paradise, with lush exotic planting, Buddha statues and a secret garden at the top of the land.
- West Cornwall’s surf beaches — Godrevy, Gwithian and Praa Sands — are 15 mins by car. You can book lessons and hire boards at all 3, or borrow body boards from the yurt’s owners for something more sedate!
- Porthleven (15 mins’ drive) is known as a ‘mini Padstow’, thanks to its foodie restaurants. The owners like Kota Kai, a Cornish-Asian fusion bistro with lots of fresh seafood on the menu.
- You can walk along glorious woodland trails at the National Trust’s Penrose Estate, past one of the UK’s large inland salt lakes and out onto the wild beach at Loe Bar. Another NT favourite is Godolphin House, which has carpets of bluebells in spring.
- The sweet little branch-line train from St Erth winds along the most beautiful stretch of coastline, a string of white-sand beaches and blue seas. St Ives is at the end of the line, and arriving this way means you don’t have to search for a parking space in town!
- St Michael’s Mount is a must-see; a fairytale castle perched on top of an islet, which is connected to the beach at Marazion by a walkway at low tide and accessible only by boat at high tide. Views from the top are amazing (and well worth the steep climb).