8 top holiday homes to rent in Cornwall

Jul 22, 2020

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In Cornwall, it’s almost like being abroad.

With its white-sand beaches, colourful fishing towns and hordes of surfers, you could be excused for thinking you’re in the Mediterranean. After all, 25% of the county is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The southwest of England also benefits from some of the most temperate weather in the U.K. and, maybe most advantageous right now, it’s a big place with thousands of fabulous holiday homes and glamping options to suit all budgets.

While we’re permitted to travel domestically again, many of us are still concerned about being around lots of other people and keeping to social-distancing guidelines.

So, from a private hideyhole perched on a cliff to rustic shacks on the beach and even a whimsical treehouse, Cornwall has something for everyone. Here are some of our favourites. And, as an added bonus, many of these holiday retreats feature hot tubs.

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1. The Island Cornwall in Newquay

(Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

You can’t get more remote than being on your own little private island — specifically, a 70-foot-tall rock stack that sits high above Newquay’s famed Towan Beach. This awesome hideaway house was once a Victorian tea room but is now refurbished to sleep up to six guests and is accessed by a private suspension bridge.

The interior is light and airy and there’s also a terrace where you can enjoy barbecues while gazing up at the stars. There’s also a bar room complete with a billiards table, a large 3D television and, naturally, a well-equipped bar. But our favourite feature is the red flag you can raise as soon as you arrive to let beachgoers below know there are new residents in town. Private parking is available for up two cars.

Price: £1,306 for a three-night minimum stay. Book at Host Unusual.

Read more: 6 fabulously remote UK home rentals

2. Lost Meadow Treepod in Bodmin

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)
(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

This forest retreat in Broom Park Farm in Bodmin is for the adventurous types out there. You’ll literally be hanging from a tree in a giant sphere while you slumber. It’s been described as a “wild experience,” as you’ll feel the movement of the small, dark space when you’re curled up in your sleeping bag when the cool night air settles in.

There are only beds in the pod, so be prepared for a bit of wilderness camping — the loo and showers are across the woods and a kitchen hut and fire circle are nearby. This rental is ideal for travellers seeking a totally remote experience, as there are 20-acres of wooded land to explore, and there’s river fishing. You’ll also have the expanse of Bodmin Moor in one direction and the sea in the other. The owner can even organise a sightseeing flight over the grounds.

Price: £105 per night. Book at Canopy & Stars.

3. The Haven in Carbis Bay 

(Photo courtesy of Cornish Gems)
(Photo courtesy of Cornish Gems)

The Haven’s clifftop setting already makes it a winner. Those views are unparalleled, especially when taken in from the cedar wood hot tub — you’ll feel like you’re on the edge of the world. From every angle, it seems you can see the ocean and the sitting room is more like a deck.

There are five luxurious bedrooms and the master suite boasts a deep stone bath at the foot of the bed. The bustle of St Ives is only a mile away and, of course, you’ll have the beach below at your disposal. This is your very own “beside the seaside” sanctuary. For bigger groups, The Chalet sleeps four and is also located on Hawkes Point where The Haven is, so both properties can be rented together.

Price: From £2,134 for a two-night minimum stay or £2,845 for seven nights. Book through Cornish Gems.

4. The Glass Lodge in Clowance

(Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

Located in Cornwall’s 97-acre Clowance Estate, this stunning triangular property is an architect’s dream — and yes, it comes with its own hot tub. There are three bedrooms, including a twin-bed mezzanine complete with sloped ceiling and funky wall art that would be great for children. There’s also a lovely, well-stocked kitchen perfect for rustling up summer suppers. After being cooped up inside during lockdown, the light in this space should be heaven.

Facilities on the grounds of the estate include a gym and a swimming pool, sports courts, a private golf course, a spa and a sparkling four-acre lake ideal for picnics. For the beach, St Ives is about a 20-minute drive away. 

Price: £500 for a two-night minimum stay. Book at Host Unusual.

Read more: The ultimate guide to visiting Somerset

5. Beach House in Smugglers Cove, Portreath

(Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

Smuggler’s Cove is famous for its pirate history, but no ne’er-do-wells welcome here! Portreath is a friendly beach that’s popular with surfers and bodyboarders as well as families, and if you wander into the village, you’ll discover some wonderful shops and cafés.

Related: The 9 best surfing destinations in Europe

This rental sits right on the beach so you have incomparable access, and there’s also a sprawling terrace so you have a bit of privacy if needed, without compromising the views. It sleeps eight and, despite the “beach shack” location, you’ll have every modern convenience you could wish for including a cinema den, Sonos sound system, an outdoor fire pit area and a hot tub that overlooks the sea. Inside, the vibe is fresh and coastal-inspired.

Price: £4,550 for a seven-night minimum stay. Book at Host Unusual.

6. Barford Beach House near Bude

(Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

This property is perfect for big groups — perhaps a socially distanced wedding or special event? It sleeps up to 16 people and has floor-to-ceiling glass windows with panoramic views of secluded Wanson Mouth beach. You’ll have everything you could possibly need here including an underground “party cavern,” a sauna, cinema rooms and an outdoor hot tub. There’s an enormous dining table made from reclaimed 18th-century granary oak.

All that’s to say nothing of the master suite, which you’ll want to be sure to nab for yourself — it has its own wood burner, cocktail bar, kitchen, double rainfall showers and golden roll-top bathtub. Bude and Boscastle are just 20 minutes away, and film buffs will enjoy visiting the set of “Fishermen’s Friends” over in Port Isaac.

Price: £2,750 for a four-night minimum stay. Book at Host Unusual.

Read more: 7 of the best train routes in the UK

7. Sangars Showmans Wagon in Lanreath

(Photo courtesy of Canopy & Stars)

If you’re a fan of the circus, you must stay in this 19th-century restored showman’s wagon near the village of Lanreath in southeast Cornwall. It’s a riot of colour and you’ll fall asleep under a hand-painted ceiling of swallows and hedgerow flowers, surrounded by bouquets, heirlooms and antique rugs. And, you guessed it, there’s a hot tub, too.

The area is super peaceful with just the local wildlife for company. The facilities aren’t in the wagon though — there’s a woodshed at the back with a flushing loo and across the way is a cabin housing the kitchen and shower room. If you want to get back to civilisation for a while, the town of Looe isn’t too far away and there are a shop and a few pubs reachable by foot. The owners will greet you with Prosecco and scones too — and fill you in on some circus tales!

Price: £100 per night. Book at Canopy & Stars.

8. Laflouder Thatch in Mullion, The Lizard Peninsula

(Photo courtesy of Cornish Gems)
(Photo courtesy of Cornish Gems)

A thatched-roof retreat with your own private heated swimming pool — can you think of anything more magical? This property only very recently opened up to renters, so you could be one the first to experience it. There are three beautiful bedrooms spread across the cottage so everyone has plenty of space and, despite the gloriously old-fashioned exterior, inside is anything but.

There’s an open-plan, country-style kitchen, sunken sitting room and modern bathrooms — but don’t worry, the place is still full of original features. Outside there’s a summer house and a large lawn with sea views. Nearby are also the beaches of Poldhu Cove and Polurrian and, of course, The Lizard, the most southerly point in the U.K.

Price: From £1,459 for a two-night minimum stay and £1,945 for a seven-night stay. Book through Cornish Gems.

How to get there

The nearest airport for Cornwall is Newquay (NQY). You can also travel by train to Cornwall from many mainline U.K. stations or it’s about a five-hour drive from London.

Bottom line

There are some seriously magnificent places to stay in Cornwall, whether you want to be completely left alone or want to be somewhere beautiful but have a pub within walking distance. Trust us, you’ll find in Cornwall.

Featured photo by Manfred Gottschalk/Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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