Cornwall has always been a popular holiday destination, even in “normal” times. But after 18 months of Great Britain stuck on “Plague Island”, the rugged coastline, the big sky, the wonderful microclimate and the wonderful food scene are as desirable as seven numbers from the Euromillions.
As desirable as Cornwall may seem right now, finding accommodation in Cornwall is rarer than winning the lottery. With demand outstripping supply for some time, it’s good to have a secret weapon to bypass Airbnb or Trivago restrictions. And this is where Cornwall Hideaways comes in.
Modeled on Airbnb, Cornwall Hideaways is a collection of homes that can be rented across the county through a website that is actually pleasant to use and divided into meaningful sections based on size, last minute availability, location, etc. Unfortunately, it can’t change the distance or the traffic. That still means getting up early or buying a boat. Possibly both.
The property we stayed in, Valley View, was honestly a blast: three bedrooms, a wet room, a well-equipped kitchen, a comfortable lounge with a TV, DVD collection and wood stove, good WiFi – whatever? .
Unfortunately, since this was a pretty fleeting visit – well it’s Cornwall, if you get a room you have to go even if it’s only for two or three days – we didn’t enjoy the outside area much or use the outside grill. However, we appreciated the welcome pack – the fudge and shortbread were inhaled, the coffee, tea, milk, local salt and pepper were very useful – as well as the cleanliness, comfort of the rooms and the squidginess of the guest towels.
Check-in was also easy: clear instructions were received in good time by email, the location of the key safe was clearly explained and the in-house information book was very useful. Having had a few less straightforward check-ins over the years, it has all been very smooth and efficient.
Driving directions were also clear, although the final leg of the trip was a bit confusing on our first ride. This wasn’t aided by the closure of the next pub – a handy turning point and alternative parking space – due to the pandemic, so it’s hard to hold a grudge against Cornwall Hideaways (unless you know something we don’t know).
In terms of location, it couldn’t have been better. We had a few things to do in Newlyn and Penzance, and Valley View is just minutes west of another painfully beautiful bay called Lamorna.
St Ives is an easy walk, Land’s End and Mousehole ditto. It’s a good place to start exploring the westernmost tip of the UK. And frankly, Cornwall Hideaways – and its sister locations in Norfolk, Suffolk, the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, and other areas of the UK and Europe – are great places to explore the UK in general.
Prices at Valley View start at £ 467 per night; cornwallhideaways.co.uk