Over the past few years we've discovered the curious corners of Cornwall and the wonders of this part of the west country. A truly beautiful part of Britain, it holds some of the most beautiful beaches and quaint curiosity villages I've seen. Traditionally I'm a Dorset stalwart, but Cornwall is rapidly growing on me.
We were recently invited to stay at Bosinver Farm Cottages, just on the edge of St. Austell. As we normally holiday in north Cornwall, I was keen to see what the south had to offer, plus the opportunity came at what has been a very stressful time for me and my family of late.
Our stay was arranged for February half-term and the cottage we were staying in had a Saturday changeover which suited really well for us (some of the cottages are a Friday changeover) and meant we could travel down during the day on the Saturday. After a four hour journey from Cardiff, we arrived around 7pm and although there wasn't anyone on the reception we had already notified the owners of our arrival time and followed instructions to head straight to the cottage where the keys were waiting for us.
Hydrangea cottage is a single-storey stone cottage situated at the end of one of the lanes around the Bosinver estate, and has nearby parking for one car. We found our way in and were greeted with a cheerful cottage decorated in apple red and green, perfect to embrace Spring! The vibrant and modern floral upholstery is complimented with crisp white and red gingham bedding in both the twin and double bedrooms, both of which have bathrooms attached. The double has an en-suite with a shower, and the twin has a family bathroom next to it. Off the main living area there is a large conservatory with views over the fields of Bosinver towards the valley. There is also Internet available in the cottage and around the site, although this did drop off quite a few times during our stay. However the technician was available to remedy this quite quickly, and we were able to pick up a data connection intermittently.
Ideally these photos would have been taken in daylight, but we didn't arrive until early evening and I wanted to take them before 'we descended' on the tidiness with the chaos that we normally bring!
I sauntered back to reception to let Dave and Pat (the owners) know we had arrived, signed us in and picked up the welcome pack, then Dave explained where all the additional resources, recycling points, and amenities were situated, before accompanying my up to the cottage and explaining a few of the particulars about Hydrangea.
The next morning dawned bright and early accompanied by tweets from feathered friends both large and small outside the conservatory window. One of the great facilities offered to engage the children in learning about the countryside is that they are offered the chance to borrow a bird feeder for the week which we hung outside our window, a bird spotting book is placed strategically on the coffee table to give the chance to identify the visitors.
Every morning the guests of Bosinver are given the opportunity to meet and feed the poultry and goats that live at Bosinver, with a daily feeding session at around 9.45am. Farmer Dave allows around ten minutes for the guests to finish gathering and then for the next fifteen-twenty minutes the children can feed all manner of ducks, chickens and other fowl. All the children seemed to thoroughly enjoy this opportunity, and it's a nice short activity which gives guests the opportunity to have a quick chat. On Tuesdays there is a pony-riding session straight after this on three of the farm's ponies.
On Monday afternoons there is a wonderful, two-hour long activity session for the children called 'Wild Kids', very similar to Forest Schools style of exploration. Led by a specialist, the children are given the opportunity to create natural windchimes, mud pies, fairy dens, or a Stickman, before roasting marshmallows on the fire inside the purpose-built log round-house. This is a really good session and one of the draws of Bosinver, having it at the beginning of the week also provides parents and children with ideas of the types of activities that they could enjoy during their stay.
There are plenty of facilities and play areas at Bosinver, although one of these play areas is in the woods and near a lake while the other is next to one of the lanes running through the sites, so supervision is recommended. If the weather is too cold or wet for outside play (it does sometimes happen!) then there is a play barn with a great soft play area, and an indoor heated swimming pool. There's even a Gruffalo trail and guests can borrow the book from reception to read whilst walking around the woods following the signs.
Bosinver Farm Cottages scooped not only Gold for Self Catering and Bronze for Sustainable Tourism at this year's South West Tourism Excellence Awards, but also the overall Winner of Winner's Award! They were awarded this special prize in recognition for their 'constant striving for excellence' and for 'sharing ideas with other businesses'.
As part of their 'striving for excellence' strategy, Bosinver's other news is that they are also adding a hot tub to the Farmhouse and extending the ground floor bedroom to include an en-suite bathroom. Pat and Dave hope that these enhancements will make the most characterful cottage an even more attractive proposition for groups of family and friends wishing to share a special occasion or holiday to remember. No photos are available yet but the new hot tub will be available from the beginning of April and to celebrate they have a special offer of 10% off the normal price for customers, quoting HOTTUB.
Despite having to cut our stay short due to a work emergency for my husband, we did have a great time at Bosinver and returned home refreshed and ready to welcome Spring.
We received a stay at Bosinver in order to write this review, my opinion is honest and unbiased.