Cornwall has always been a popular holiday destination, even during “normal” times. But after 18 months of Britain being stuck on “Plague Island”, the county’s rugged shores, big skies, wonderful microclimate and glorious food scene have become as desirable as seven numbers on the Euromillions.
However, as desirable as Cornwall currently appears, finding Cornish accommodation right now is rarer than a lottery win. With demand outstripping supply for some time, it’s good to have a secret weapon to get around the limitations of Airbnb or Trivago. And that’s where Cornwall Hideaways kicks in.
Working along the lines of Airbnb, Cornwall Hideaways is a collection of homes that are available for rent across the county, via a website that’s actually pleasurable to use and broken down into sensible sections, based on size, short notice availability, location, etc. Sadly it can’t do anything about the distance or the traffic. That’s still very much a case of get up early or buy a boat. Possibly both.
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The property we stayed in, Valley View, was, frankly, a cracker: three bedrooms, a wet room, a well-appointed kitchen, a comfortable lounge with a TV, DVD collection and wood burner, good Wi-Fi – you name it.
Sadly, as this was quite a fleeting visit – well, it’s Cornwall, when you can get a room you have to go for it, even if it’s for only two or three days – we didn’t get to enjoy the outdoor space much or use the outside grill. We did, however, appreciate the welcome pack – the fudge and shortbread were inhaled, the coffee, tea, milk, local salt and pepper came in very useful - plus the standards of cleanliness, the comfort of the rooms, and the squidginess of the guest towels.
Check-in was easy too: clear instructions were received in good time via email, the location of the key safe was clearly explained and the in-house information book was very useful. Having had a few less-than-straightforward check-ins over the years, this was all very slick and efficient.
Driving instructions were also clear, although the final leg of the journey was slightly confusing on our first go. This wasn’t helped by the nearest pub – a convenient turning point and alternative car park – being shut due to the pandemic, so it’s hard to bear a grudge against Cornwall Hideaways for that one (unless you know something we don’t).
Location-wise, things couldn’t have been better. We had a couple of things to do in Newlyn and Penzance, and Valley View is just a few minutes west on yet another achingly beautiful cove called Lamorna.
St Ives is an easy commute, Land’s End and Mousehole ditto. It’s a fine spot for exploring that westernmost tip of the UK. And, frankly, Cornwall Hideaways – and its sister sites covering Norfolk, Suffolk, the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and other areas of the UK and Europe – are fine sites for exploring the UK in general.
Prices at Valley View start from £467 per night; cornwallhideaways.co.uk
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