New Year Stay in Cornwall

Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall

I don’t normally have the chance to stay in hotels or B&Bs in Cornwall, because we’re lucky to have a base we can use. But this New Year’s Eve, we branched out for a one-night New Year stay in Cornwall. It would also be my first opportunity to try Air B&B.

The reason we did this, I’m not ashamed to say, was alcohol. We’d booked tickets for a night at the Watering Hole pub on Perranporth beach, but lost our designated driver to a bug.

Air B&B

While being a bit sad our friends couldn’t join us, I was quite excited to have an excuse to stay somewhere different, and for my first go at Air B&B. We found an en suite room in Perranporth, a 10-minute walk to the beach, which sounded just perfect.

I hadn’t realised you have to pitch yourself to the owners before they accept your booking on Air B&B. I was a bit concerned, being last minute on NYE, they might think we’d be drunken partygoers. Luckily for me, Mr Skylark, who already has an unblemished profile on Air B&B, must have sounded acceptable.

Padstow

En route to Perranporth, we stopped in the small town of Padstow. I’m a big fan of Padstow, even though it gets crammed with visitors throughout the holiday season. I thought it would be a little quieter during a New Year stay in Cornwall, but it was still pretty busy. In fact, I’m now wondering, whenever isn’t Padstow busy?

This town, on the Camel River, sits around a small harbour, full of fishing boats, and has a charm of its own. While it’s a big tourist draw, it is also a working fishing town.

 

Padstow on our New Year stay in Cornwall
Padstow on our New Year stay in Cornwall

If you stand on the harbour wall, you can see the golden sand banks at low tide, as well as the trendy village of Rock across the water. To the left of Rock, are the beautiful sands of Daymer Bay, as the river makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean.

View across to Rock and Daymer Bay
View across to Rock and Daymer Bay

The best fish and chips

It’s chef Rick Stein that seems to have really put Padstow on the map. So much so, it’s earned itself the nickname ‘Padstein’. We have eaten at the newer kid on the block, Paul Ainsworth’s No.6, before now, which was fantastic, but not yet at Rick Stein’s.

While I’d love to eat at The Seafood Restaurant one day, we were looking for just a casual lunch this time. I was keen to try Rick Stein’s Fish & Chips. As it was chilly during our New Year stay in Cornwall, we opted to eat inside the fish and chip restaurant and joined the queue.

This slightly defeated the object, as we queued outside for 30 minutes in the cold. Whereas we could have just spent 5 minutes in the takeaway queue and eaten them in the car. But we Brits love a queue (don’t we?) And once you’re in one, it’s hard to leave it!

Fortunately, my lemon sole and chips were definitely worth the wait. While Rick’s fish and chips are admittedly more expensive than your average, the fish itself was beautiful. The three pieces of lemon sole came coated in a light, tasty, crispy batter. Deep-fried in beef dripping. Although the chips compared favourably with those of my local chippy, the fish was definitely a cut above. I’m still dreaming of it now.

Rick Stein's fish and chips
Rick Stein’s fish and chips

Perranporth

We were full and ready for our trip south to Perranporth. After getting a tiny bit lost, we found our accommodation, for our New Year stay in Cornwall, tucked down a lane at the back of the town. The Cornish long cottage looked like a beautiful house.

Our host, Alan, warmly welcomed us into his home. We thought it best to explain that, in just less than two hours, we would be transforming ourselves into Slash and Madonna for one night only. Alan seemed to take this in his stride and he invited us to join him, and his wife Jo, for tea and biscuits.

While I was really enjoying our chat in their cosy lounge, I was keen to set foot on the beach for the first time in ages. We set off into the dusk and had a beer on the beach at the Watering Hole, not something we would normally do in the middle of winter.

It’s a beautiful, long, wide, golden beach at Perranporth. The Watering Hole is a unique spot, being the only UK pub on a beach. I loved sitting in the cool December dusk, listening to the Atlantic waves thundering onto the beach, Cornish ale in hand. We watched some crazy surfers in the half-light.

Perranporth Beach on our New Year stay in Cornwall
Perranporth Beach on our New Year stay in Cornwall
Beer on the beach
Beer on the beach

Back at the B&B, we persuaded Alan and Jo to join us for a few drinks later. Amazingly, Jo managed to rustle up a fancy dress outfit in about 20 minutes, while it had taken me several weeks of charity shop hunting to construct mine. We had a fun night with our new Air B&B friends. The Watering Hole is the place to go for a New Year stay in Cornwall. They certainly know how to put on a New Year’s Eve party, with great bands and an impressive array of food.

The Watering Hole, Perranporth
The Watering Hole, Perranporth
New Year's Eve at the Watering Hole with Alan and Jo
New Year’s Eve at the Watering Hole with Alan and Jo
Living the Dream at the Watering Hole
Living the Dream at the Watering Hole

 B&B Accommodation

Our Air B&B room in Perranporth was lovely, with views over the garden. We had a really comfy king size bed, Now TV, WiFi and a small en suite bathroom with shower. Alan and Jo thoughtfully provide shampoo, shower gel etc. if you forget to bring your own. There’s a cosy lounge with a wood burning stove, while, in summer, I imagine it would be lovely to sit outside on the deck.

Breakfast items, including fresh bread, were laid out for us on the kitchen table in the morning, and we were invited to help ourselves to anything on the top shelf of the fridge. I enjoyed this well-needed, relaxing start to the morning on New Year’s Day.

All we had left to do, with regards to Air B&B, was wave good bye to Alan and Jo and their lovely home, review them on the website, and hope to get a favourable one in return.

Air B&B room for our New Year stay in Cornwall
Air B&B room for our New Year stay in Cornwall
Air B&B breakfast
Air B&B breakfast

Watergate Bay and Bedruthan Steps

We headed back up the coast and stopped off at Watergate Bay for a walk on the beach. This is another favourite spot of mine. I found breathing the salty air and listening to the waves was a great cure for a fuzzy head. There were a few people walking on the beach, and we watched some kite-surfers playing with the waves.

Watergate Bay
Watergate Bay

Our final stop along the coast for our New Year stay in Cornwall was Bedruthan Steps. We had lunch in the little Carnewas Tea Rooms. Although we fancied something more savoury this time, they do a great cream tea here.

For a final burst of sea air, we set off along the blustery coast path in our waterproofs. Unexpectedly, we bumped into our Air B&B hosts and shared a bit of the walk with them, before leaving them to go in search of their picnic spot.

The beach steps were closed off for maintenance, which meant the view was even more beautiful with no one on it. This section of the coast is wild and rugged and, in my mind, our equivalent to Australia’s Great Ocean Road.

Bedruthan Steps
Bedruthan Steps

My first Air B&B experience was a very favourable one and I can’t wait to book another. It’s lovely to be invited into someone’s home and be made to feel so welcome. Combined with sea air and beach walks, I couldn’t have asked for a better start to 2017.

Have you had any great experiences of Air B&B? I’d love to hear some recommendations.

 


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10 Comments

  • Karan

    January 17, 2017

    Reading your article Sara helped revive my memories of Cornish holidays and what a stunning location to welcome in the new year. Karan

    Reply
    • Skylark

      January 17, 2017

      Thank you for reading my post Karan. It really was a wonderful place to start the New Year!

      Reply
  • Claire Robinson

    January 18, 2017

    Ok – I’m sold! I’ve never heard of The Watering Hole but I SO want to give it a whirl next New Year’s Eve! You’ve inspired me to head to Cornwall for the celebrations – thank you!

    Reply
    • Skylark

      January 18, 2017

      Hi Claire. The Watering Hole is a brilliant NYE venue, and in fact, anytime of year. I’m sure you’d love it. They’ve got such a great location!

      Reply
  • Roseann

    January 18, 2017

    This sounds absolutely brilliant! And those chips look amazing! We had our first Air BnB stay last weekend at the beautiful Duckling Cottage in Chideock, Dorset. Will definitely be doing it again. x

    Reply
    • Skylark

      January 18, 2017

      Hi Roseann. Ah yes, the chips were great and the fish even more so! The cottage in Dorset sounds lovely, I will have to check it out x

      Reply
  • Lucy

    January 19, 2017

    This looks fab. I love Cornwall (writing this from Falmouth in fact!) but wouldn’t have thought of it for New Year, but consider me sold. Glad your AirBnBing went well too, I’m a huge fan of it but never actually stayed in someone’s house while they’re there yet!

    Reply
    • Skylark

      January 20, 2017

      Hi Lucy. Lucky you being down in Cornwall now. It really is a great place to spend New Year. I really enjoyed staying in the Air B&B in Perranporth. Our hosts were so welcoming.

      Reply
  • Sarah - Craft Invaders

    January 19, 2017

    Sounds like a fab way to start a new year – the beaches are stunning, so lovely to see them without crowds of people and sounds like your hosts were delightful – Cant think of a nicer way to spend a weekend 🙂

    Reply
    • Skylark

      January 20, 2017

      Thanks for reading Sarah. I think it’s lovely to visit Cornwall in winter, when the beaches are so much quieter. And can look much more dramatic. We were very lucky to have such lovely hosts.

      Reply

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