Stretching out into the sea off the southwest coast of England, Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK with a warmer climate than the rest of the country, stunning beaches, and fresh seafood. It’s also the home of British surfing due to those dramatic waves on the north coast. Cornwall is predominantly thought of as a beach resort, which it is, but you’ll also find ancient woodlands, stunning gardens, and quaint towns and villages.
In such a summery and picturesque part of the UK, it’s no wonder there are some amazing places to stay. From woodland hideaways to beachfront hotels, Cornwall has every kind of accommodation you can think of. Here are 5 incredible places to stay in picturesque Cornwall, UK.
1. Merchant’s Manor
Once the private residence of a merchant, this hotel and spa is a lot more than it appears to be at first glance. Slightly set back from the main road on a row of mainly private houses and just a 10-minute walk to the beach, Merchant’s Manor is a beautiful old house that’s now a luxury hotel.
You can stay in one of the house’s original rooms for authenticity, in an additional room overlooking the pool, or in one of the incredible residences. The Lookout residence, where I spent two very relaxing nights, is a spacious self-catering lodge with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and living space, and a long balcony with a private hot tub. There are views of the sea from the balcony, making it a glorious place to wake up and watch the sunset.
If you fancy treating yourself, the spa rooms are located in the original linen rooms of the house. I had a full-body massage in one of these rooms that tell a story of pampering with fresh clean linens from long before this was a spa. There’s also a good-sized indoor swimming pool and a garden area with alcoves, outdoor seating, and barrel hot tubs.
The hotel’s Rastella Restaurant has won three AA Rosettes, and it’s easy to see why. It’s an intimate and cozy restaurant that serves local produce and local English wines. Try the tasting menu — which starts at 7 p.m. — and you’re in for an entire evening of quality food and wine.
You can walk to Swanpool Beach, a small pebbly beach, in just 10 minutes. But if you take the coastal path from there onto Gyllyngvase Beach, you’ll find a larger stretch of sand with shops, restaurants, and bars. The beaches on the south coast are a little pebbly, but the sea is very calm here making it ideal for swimming and paddleboarding.
2. Fistral Beach Hotel
With incredible views over Newquay’s Fistral Beach, the Fistral Beach Hotel and Spa is perfectly placed for exploring Newquay, taking surfing lessons, walking, or just sitting back and enjoying the air.
There’s a good range of rooms at the hotel, from budget rooms right through to suites, so there’s something for everyone’s spending capabilities. I stayed in one of the “best rooms” which have free-standing tubs in the bathroom with an unrivaled view over the beach. There’s no better place to have a soak!
The hotel’s Dune Restaurant overlooks the sea and the beach, so you can dine with more of those incredible views. The hotel’s Bay Bar recently won Best Bar List at the 2022 Trencherman’s Awards. But one of the best things about this hotel is its way of transporting you to another place entirely. If you get the good weather, which you usually do in Cornwall, you could be anywhere in the Mediterranean.
The comfy outdoor sofa-style seating on the front of the hotel, overlooking the sea, is the perfect place for a drink in the afternoon, or early evening, and creates a true holiday atmosphere. Newquay town is a little built up, but it does provide many opportunities for shopping and trying out the pasties in the many pasty bakeries.
This is a popular couples hotel by the sea and the spa does get busy. If you wait until later in the afternoon, you’ll find most people are getting ready for dinner and the pool and hot tub becomes much quieter. There’s also a steam room and sauna. This is an adults-only hotel.
This very unique hotel is a converted naval hospital and once you begin exploring its corridors and basement rooms, the evidence of its former life is very apparent. Just the layout of the hotel and the shape of its walls tell you exactly how it once existed.
Now, though, Bedruthan is a quirky, fun hotel right by the beach at Mawgan Porth. Mawgan Porth is a cute little seaside village with a few beach shops and a couple of restaurants and bars. The hotel is perched up on the hill with a path and hillside trail down to the beach. It’s a stunning location and Mawgan Porth is a place where the pace of life really is slower, everything is relaxed, and the views are incredible.
In the hotel, you’ll find a lovely bar terrace where you can relax with a drink overlooking the beach, and a very spacious indoor bar and restaurant area. This is a family hotel, so there’s a lot going on. I was very impressed with how many different facets there are to this hotel. Some of the lower-level rooms are now little craft and workshop areas where the children can have a go at various arts and crafts. There’s an artist in residence with a small shop, and an indoor spa and a garden spa. The garden spa is curated and needs to be booked in advance for a time slot, but the indoor spa is open and free to use anytime. The food here is extremely good and the taster menu is a fantastic way to spend the evening.
The path down to the beach from the hotel is steep and a little uneven underfoot. If you need wheelchair or stroller access, you’ll need to go around to the village where you can walk directly onto the beach from the road.
4. Wrinklers Wood Treehouses
The woodland setting for Wrinklers Wood Treehouses is a world away from the beach hotels and busy towns. Nestled amongst ancient oak trees, these two treehouses are cozy, unusual, and very private. They each sleep two people and have every amenity you need to glamp in the forest, including a private hot tub. You can even book a massage treatment right there on-site. Bike rentals are available, and if you like to hike, there are some beautiful walks in this area. You’re never far from a beach in Cornwall, but if you want a day on the sands, you’ll need a car since the treehouse is not within walking distance of the nearest beach.
Wrinklers is the perfect way to really get away from it all, in cozy treehouses in the woods, amongst one of Cornwall’s beautiful natural settings. In nearby St. Ives, the closest town to Wrinklers, you’ll find a seaside town that’s big on art. For a small coastal town that was once a quiet fishing village, there’s an amazing number of art galleries and pop-up stalls. The thriving art scene here is due to the sheer beauty of the place. Situated on the north coast of Cornwall, to the west, St. Ives is perfectly placed for exploring more of Cornwall.
5. Tremaine Country Cottages
Tremaine Country Cottages is a selection of old stone cottages arranged around a village green. The setting for these cottages, and the cottages themselves, have a true English garden atmosphere about them. Wrought-iron patio sets sit on the gardens and outside front doors, where rose bushes climb the walls. The cottages range from sleeping two people to six people, so there’s something for small and large groups. There are tennis courts and a croquet lawn on-site, and Ploughman’s Cottage and Farmhouse Cottage each have their own private hot tubs. Plus, Tremaine is only a 10-minute drive to the nearest beach.
Inside the cottages, the English country charm continues with bare stone walls, original wood-beamed ceilings, farmhouse kitchens, and sleigh beds. It’s a slice of traditional English country heaven, and there’s everything you need right there, but if you want to venture out, the coastal town of Looe is only 10 minutes away. This is a working fishing port, but it’s also a busy summer tourist destination.
There is also a manor house on the grounds at Tremaine, which is now a hotel, and you can book some of the hotel experiences while having your own cottage space. You can also order a private chef to come and cook for you, or a beauty therapist to arrive for a treatment in the comfort of your cottage.
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