Holidays in Cornwall are back! – Pengelly Retreat Reopens

Yes it’s true! Today, 4 July 2020, we have reopened the doors to our Cornish luxury yurt and lakeside log cabin to welcome back guests to our countryside retreat once more. Hooray! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever and I expect everyone else feels the same. At last, holidays in Cornwall are officially back ‘on’! Read on to hear our news and are some of our top tips on how to get the best out of your visit to Cornwall in 2020…

Luxury wood cabin by a wild swimming lake in Cornwall
The Boat House wood cabin in a gorgeous spot by the lake!

We’re all set and good to go for a busy season ahead – we’re fully booked in both our Sail House luxury yurt and Boat House lakeside cabin through all of July, August and most of September. And we’re filling up in October and November too. So if you haven’t already booked your Cornwall holiday, have a look at our Sail House luxury yurt and Boat House lakeside cabin to see what availability remains for autumn and winter 2020.

Luxury yurt in Cornwall by a wild swimming lake
The Sail House luxury Cornish yurt with tranquil lake views on either side

Of course reopening has meant us putting new procedures and protocols in place to make sure we are in line with government and industry advice for holiday accommodation in England. I’ve been glued to Visit Cornwall and Cornwall Council Webinars each week, to follow the new directives as they came out. It’s been a lot of information to digest and stay on top of but we’re confident we have everything in place , included enhanced cleaning protocols that we will follow very carefully in between each set of guests.

Just one of the many tweaks and adaptations we’ve put in place are these lovely wooden signs on the entrance doors of our log cabin and luxury yurt in Cornwall, as a reminder to use the hand sanitiser provided. These were created for us by Jamie from Zennor Made in Carbis Bay. We hear that quite a few of the shops in nearby St Ives have chosen to commission similar signs. It’s a very Cornish way for us to keep in line with advice without having to plaster up no-so-pretty Health & Safety posters…

Wooden signs from Zennor Made in Cornwall
Beautiful wooden door signs made by Zennor Made

And for the hand sanitiser itself, we’re giving the This Works Stress Check Clean Hands product a go. I’m liking it so far, it conforms to regulations but the essential oils make it smell lovely and it feels much kinder to hands than the bog-standard stuff.

We’ve also signed ourselves up to the AA’s Covid Confident and Visit England’s ‘Good to Go’ schemes as a commitment that at Pengelly Retreat is in line with all the government and industry standards and advice. And although running our business is a little more complex than before… to be honest we feel very blessed here that with just two lakeside properties and a peaceful spot in west Cornwall we are probably in one of the best locations for fresh air and social distancing!

Visit England’s Good to Go scheme is the industry standard

If you are one of our lucky guests this year, coming for your own romantic getaway or solo holiday surrounded by Cornish nature and lakes, you can simply relax here by the wild swimming lake. Or if you are looking for things to do in Cornwall there are plenty of highlights within an easy 15-30 minute drive. We expect it will be busy in some of the Cornwall hotspots like Padstow or St Ives this year… but they always get busy in the summer months! As a family we only ever visit (the very lovely) St Ives and Padstow outside of the busy season.

Peaceful lakes and countryside in Cornwall away from the crowds
Tranquility at Pengelly Retreat’s lakes

Our top tip to get the most out of your holiday is to plan ahead. If there are National Trust properties, Great Gardens or other Cornwall attractions you’d like to visit, such as St Michael’s Mount, the Eden Project or Trengwainton, then you can, but you must book your tickets in advance of your visit. Each Cornwall attraction has a different approach so always check their websites well in advance. For example, the National Trust release their tickets each week on the Friday for the following week (Monday to Sunday). Availability is limited each day to ensure the gardens and attractions are not overcrowded and tickets do sell out quickly in some cases.

St Michael's Mount and Marazion Beach
St Michael’s Mount and Marazion Beach

Beaches will also be busy, so our best advice here is to go either early or late when it will be quieter. And if the beach you head to feels too busy and the car parks are full, head up the coast and try a different location. There’s plenty of stunning West Cornwall beaches to visit nearby.

Wild swimming lake and luxury wood cabin in Cornwall
The wild swimming lake view from the Boat House log cabin

For more ideas on the best beaches and off the beaten track highlights in Cornwall have a look at our recommendations on the Explore pages of our website. Or just kick back and relax here at Pengelly Retreat, in a gorgeous area of countryside and lakes that never feels crowded or rushed. And – whisper it – if you come in the autumn or winter it will be even more peaceful and lovely down here in Cornwall! We look forward to seeing you at either the Sail House yurt or Boat House cabin for your countryside escape at Pengelly Retreat :).

Spring 2020 at Pengelly Retreat – what’s new?

We could never have predicted how 2020 would turn out for us here at Pengelly Retreat and for everyone else round the country and the world. Sometimes it feels like everything’s been tipped upside and given a good shake. And we’re still not sure how it’s going to feel when we get turned the right way up again.

We’ve been closed to guests since the UK corona virus lockdown was made official back in the middle of March. It feels like a lifetime ago! The good news is that we are all keeping well and healthy – and feel so very lucky to have all this space and fresh air to play in during lockdown. This really is the perfect place to socially distance! We still aren’t sure when we can reopen our beautiful Boat House cabin and Sail House yurt to guests, but we have our fingers firmly crossed for July, following Boris’s latest update on how and when restrictions may start to slowly lift.

Meanwhile we’ve been keeping ourselves busy during lockdown with regular checks and updates to the our beautiful accommodation here. The biggest of which is this fantastic outdoor bath at the Boat House cabin. WOW we absolutely LOVE this and hope all our future guests will too. Clever Jim built the outdoor bathroom deck and we will get the bath plumbed in very shortly. So keep your eyes peeled for the classic bubble bath and fizz pictures coming your way very soon (I hope!).

Wow… what a view! The outdoor bath at the Boat House

While in the depths of lockdown we really enjoyed exploring more of the countryside around Pengelly Retreat and have a new favourite walk, following the course of the stream which runs along the boundary of our land, along a rather wild and overgrown footpath to the neighbouring hamlet of Trenwheal. The footpaths and lanes are so pretty at this time of year with all the campions, bluebells and cow parsley growing in abundance. We’ve also enjoyed exploring Crenver Grove, an ancient oasis of glorious woodland and bluebells, just up the road from us.

Discovering new footpaths…

With the gentle lifting of restrictions this past week, we’ve ventured back to the beach too. It’s only a short 15 minute drive from Pengelly Retreat, but we felt we shouldn’t get in the car if we could help it during lockdown. Now that we know we’re ‘allowed’ to venture back to the coast again we’ve made the most this week! And honestly I don’t think we’ve ever appreciated the stunning beaches we have on our doorstep so much. We feel a bit like we’re on holiday ourselves being able to spend time here once more.

Stunning Praa Sands, so beautiful

And meanwhile the bookings keep coming in – we are truly so grateful for the support of all our lovely guests who have decided to rebook their cancelled dates with us. And for those who haven’t been able to shift back their holidays we’ve refunded their payments in full. Because of the uncertainty we know everyone is facing this year, we are operating a fully flexible cancellation policy for all 2020 bookings made directly with us via our website or email. This means that if a guest who has booked direct with us needs to cancel their booking at any time, up till the day before they arrive, we will refund in full, no quibbles and no questions asked. We hope this gives everyone the reassurance they need to book their holidays and start dreaming about their next stay at Pengelly Retreat.

‘Relaxing’ in the bath

Much love from us and hope to see you all sooner than later. Meanwhile stay safe and keep well xx

Winter Wonders: our favourite things to do in Cornwall in Winter

Winter might be thought of as the low season but here at Pengelly Retreat we have been busy with lovely guests all year round. And some might say that it’s the guests in the know that visit Cornwall in the winter months as you get the most amazing places pretty much all to yourself. Yes the weather can be stormy but we do get our share of gorgeous crisp sunny winter’s days here. And you can be sure of blowing away the cobwebs if you visit at this time of year too!

So to celebrate the winter months and those intrepid visitors who aren’t put off by cold and frosty mornings, here’s some of our favourite things to do in Cornwall in the winter months:

A cold and frosty morning by the lake

Winter welly walk on the beach – Cornwall boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Bold statement, but I don’t think anyone would disagree! And while the summer months draw the big crowds, the winter months are the best time for getting these beautiful expanses of sand, sea and fresh air to yourself. We love that we can be on a beautiful north or south coast beach within 15 minutes’ – being in the middle has it’s benefits! So pull on those wellies and get a lung full of fresh air. We are big fans of Gwithian & Godrevy on the north coast and Praa Sands and Poldhu on the south.

Dreamy Godrevy Beach in winter

Cold water swimming – open air swimming is all the rage at the moment with a list of health benefit as long as your arm. Amongst other things, plunging into cold water can help relieve anxiety and depression – and help you sleep better too (although best to check with your GP before taking the plunge). Now I’m going to be completely honest here, there is no way I’m going to leap into cold water in the middle of winter. However Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jim both swear by it. So you can’t argue with that. And where better to test it out than a beautiful Cornish beach – or the even more freezing at this time of year wild swimming lake at Pengelly Retreat!

Get those wellies on for a beach walk!

Chilling out in a cosy pub or restaurant – if you’ve had enough of the bracing fresh air, then how about spending some time in one of Cornwall’s lovely pubs or restaurants with some hearty food to keep you toasty warm. We really like Sunday lunches at Kota Kai in Porthleven, Trengilly Wartha near Constantine, Heron Inn at Malpas and Pandora Inn at Restronguet. Porthleven is one of our favourite places if we’re wanting to pop out for a meal, it’s only 10 minutes’ drive from us and there’s a whole range of cafes, restaurants and pubs to choose from. Also a great spot to watch the intrepid surfers catching the waves by the pier, even on the chilliest winter day.

Porthleven potter

Hang out in St Ives, without the crowds – we do love beautiful St Ives and it’s only 20 minutes’ or so drive from Pengelly Retreat. But for us it’s a bit of a no-go zone in the summer months as it gets so busy. In the winter it’s a fab place to visit, parking is easy-peasy (something you won’t be saying in the summer) and there are lots of independent shops and galleries to browse around in the charming cobbled streets. The Tate St Ives is a always a winner on a rainy day, potter round the exhibits, enjoy the views of Porthmeor Beach out of the windows and head up to the cafe for a well-earned cup of tea and a scone.

Porthmeor Beach, St Ives on a stormy day

Catch a movie at the artsy Newlyn Filmhouse – Newlyn is a one to watch on the up and coming lists. Traditionally a bustling fishing port there’s been a recent burgeoning of eating places, shops and galleries here. The Newlyn Filmhouse is a great place to head off to on a winter’s afternoon or evening for a meal at the restaurant/cafe. After refuelling, head into one of the plush cinema rooms to curl up on a very comfortable chair (or sofa!) and watch a movie. It’s so posh, they even have a no-rustle policy with only drinks and ice cream allowed in to the cinema rooms. Ideal for those of us who get a bit annoyed by someone crunching through a large portion of popcorn during the crucial bits of the film…

The tranquil Boat House on a sunny winter’s afternoon

We hope that’s given you some winter inspiration for your next Cornwall visit. If you fancy a winter – or indeed a spring, summer, autumn – stay in one of our lovely lakeside houses, then head to our availability calendars now to check out which dates are still free. We’re booking up fast for 2020 so you need to get in there to get the dates of your choice! Look forward to seeing you soon and look out for the next Postcard from Pengelly.