Romantic Celebrant-Led Elopements at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

lakeside cabin for small weddings in Cornwall
Romantic elopements at the Boat House Cabin, Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

Desperately seeking… a romantic elopement venue in Cornwall!

Are you desperately seeking a romantic elopement venue in Cornwall? Somewhere you and your loved one can runaway to secret location for your own special and private day of celebration. Perhaps just you and a few of your closest friends and family with you. A place in nature, surrounded by the peaceful sounds of water and birdsong. Here at Pengelly Retreat, we think you might just find the perfect romantic elopement venue for your tiny wedding ceremony. With 5 private acres of wild gardens, lakes and meadows – and even a secret garden – this is the ideal place for a relaxed and intimate small wedding celebration focussed on just the two of you.

small weddings in Cornwall
Romantic and natural surroundings for your elopement in Cornwall

Why choose Pengelly Retreat for your tiny wedding?

Not only is the rural Cornwall setting absolutely magical, there are lots of other reasons to choose Pengelly Retreat for your tiny wedding or elopement.

Our experienced Wedding Co-ordinator, Phoebe from Piccolo Weddings, will be here to help you put everything in place and ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.  You can stay in one of our award-winning romantic lakeside houses at Pengelly Retreat on the night before and the nights after your wedding ceremony. We also have on-site accommodation for your 2 witnesses in the other beautiful lakeside house.  With additional accommodation available on-site for 2 more adults plus 1 child, if required. And lovely accommodation options within walking distance for friends and family.

You can celebrate your intimate celebrant-led ceremony in any number of beautiful Locations in the gardens with up to 10 guests in attendance on the day. Our gorgeous stream-side 18 foot tipi, will be exclusively yours for the day of your ceremony, whether for your wedding celebration meal or for an intimate under-canvas ceremony. Experience a very private and magical tiny ceremony in one of the loveliest pieces of land and lakes in Cornwall with a Wedding Packagetailored to you.

Wedding venue in Cornwalll
Celebrant-led weddings at Pengelly Retreat

Why Choose a Celebrant-led Ceremony?

Massively growing in popularity now, a Celebrant is a person who performs ceremonies marking some of life’s biggest milestones.  For weddings, a Celebrant will create a bespoke, meaningful ceremony that is unique to you. You choose your Celebrant, they get to know you and together you can craft a ceremony and a celebration that feels heartful and right for you, in your chosen location.

The process of legalising your Celebrant-led ceremony is straightforward: you will need to make the standard legal declarations and register your marriage with a Registrar at a Statutory Appointment. These short meetings can be booked online and can be either before or after your wedding day at your local registry office, it costs around £60.  There are some really wonderful Celebrants based in Cornwall who will very much take the time to get to know you and to create a beautiful ceremony with you.  We aren’t affiliated to one person in particular so the choice is yours as to who you’d like for your ceremony at Pengelly Retreat.  However, our Wedding Coordinator can recommend and tell you about Celebrants she has worked with previously if you’d like some suggestions

Romantic small weddings in Cornwall. Wild swimming lakes and boat trips.
Weddings on the water! The Lakeside Cabin at Pengelly Retreat

How to book your tiny wedding at Pengelly Retreat

If Pengelly Retreat sounds like it might be the perfect elopement venue for you then get in touch today! You can send us an email at to let us know what dates you’re looking for and we will take it from there. As I write, we are still taking tiny wedding bookings for 2023 and we are already booking up for 2024. We hope to welcome your here soon for your own dreamy celebrant-led celebration 🙂

Best Glamping in Cornwall

Award Winning Glamping in Cornwall

At Pengelly Retreat we offer truly unique and very beautiful, luxury glamping in the heart of Cornwall. We are also proud winners of Best Glamping awards too: we were awarded the Gold in 2021/22 and the Silver in 2022/23 for Best Glamping at the prestigious Cornwall Tourism Awards. We also won the Bronze Award for Best Glamping at the South West Tourism Awards 2021/22 – and those cover the whole of the South West including Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset. So we really were thrilled with that. AND we’ve just heard news that we are set to receive another Best Glamping award at the South West 2022/23 Awards to be held later this year.

The Boat House Cabin, Cornwall

What is Glamping?

So what is Glamping? And why do we (and the judges!) think that Pengelly Retreat is a worthy winner of the Best Glamping Awards?

Glamping is really an umbrella term for a huge variety of different kinds of accommodation, from the very basic to super-luxury. But at the heart of it is a sense of being in nature, surrounded by beautiful scenery and a feeling of being at one with the natural world.

The Sail House Yurt, Cornwall

Luxurious Lakeside Accommodation in Cornwall

At Pengelly Retreat, we’ve chosen to create accommodation at the luxury end of the glamping market. Our lakeside cabin is designed by an architect and is built to a high specification, as if it were a tiny house. Fully insulated, it stays cosy and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The log burner provides a romantic focal point but the underfloor heating is all your really need to keep warm. And the views over the lake from the huge french windows and wrap-around balcony are just dreamy. While our lakeside yurt boast underfloor heating to keep your toes warm, a cosy log burner, electric blankets on the bespoke carved wood frame bed, a fully equipped kitchen and a wonderful ensuite bathroom yurt complete with flush toilet and freestanding bath tub. Nope there’s no roughing it here!

Tranquillity at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

A Magical Lakeside Setting

However, the key to Pengelly Retreat’s success as the Best Glamping in Cornwall isn’t just the thought, care and luxurious touches that have gone into the accommodation. In large part it’s the setting that bring the awards flooding it: it is completely unique and magical. Both yurt and cabin look out onto a beautiful wild swimming lake and are set in 5 acres of delightful countryside encompassing meadows, forest, jungle gardens, secret gardens and walkways. It’s a tranquil and relaxing delight for the guests who stay here – but it’s also the perfect multi-layered habitat for the thriving wildlife and birdlife who reside here too. And that’s a kind of magic that just can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Wildflower meadows at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

Early Spring Special Offer!

If you’d like to come and experience the best glamping in Cornwall for yourself then please head to our Boat House cabin and Sail House yurt pages to make your booking. We’ve got a special offer running through much of March 2023 where you can bag yourself 3 nights for the price of 2, just use the code PENGELLY3FOR2 when you book online. Such a gorgeous time of year with spring finally starting to blossom in Cornwall, we hope you can come and enjoy it too!

Christmas 2022 Comes Early in Cornwall

We love Christmas in Cornwall! Especially because the Christmas activities, festive shows, craft markets and all things Christmas start happening from November onwards. So for those who just can’t wait for December 25th, a pre-Christmas holiday stay in Cornwall in November or early December is your perfect festive fix.

Snow at Pengelly Retreat – admittedly this doesn’t happen very often!

There’s a lot of Christmas festivities and fun to choose from in Cornwall so here are some of our Pengelly Retreat top picks for November and December 2022.

Christmas Markets in Cornwall 2022

There’s nothing better than getting all your Christmas shopping done and dusted way before the 24th December panic shop doom. Smug, us? Actually I never achieve this, but for those who like to find the perfect gift for all and in good time too, here’s our run down of the best Christmas markets in Cornwall in 2022.

Warm up with a bubble bath in the lakeside yurt, Pengelly Retreat (photo by @frankiethomas of Meet Me By the Sea)

Porthleven Christmas Market 2022 – held on Fri 2, Sat 3 and Sun 4 December 2022 with indoor and outdoor stalls around the quay and harbour area of Porthleven. Browse from a range of artwork, craft, jewellery, clothes, vintage, homewares, bathroom treats and artisan foods. Something for everyone! Porthleven is an easy 10-15 drive from Pengelly Retreat and also one of our favourites for a stroll around the picturesque Cornish harbour and a tasty meal at one of the waterfront restaurants and cafes.

Truro Christmas Markets 2022 – Truro is the main town in Cornwall and a really nice place to head for a day’s shopping at any time of the year – and an easy 35 minutes’ drive from Pengelly Retreat. At Christmas it really pulls out the festive stops with a calendar packed with markets and other events. On 25 & 26 November there’s the Made in Cornwall Christmas Fair in the evocative surroundings of Truro Cathedral. While on numerous dates throughout December (up till Christmas eve) you’ll find the large undercover festive gifts, crafts and foods market with over 100 traders on the Lemon Quay Piazza in the centre of town. The Lemon Quay Christmas market runs Fri-Sun through December and most Weds and Thurs too. Phew. Enjoy the Christmas lights of Truro while you’re there, those go on from 18 November 2022, or Festive Friday as it’s otherwise known.

St Ives Christmas Markets 2022 – most of our Pengelly Retreat guests love to visit St Ives and yes, we do too, particularly in the winter when you can enjoy the beauty without the crowds. It’s only 20 minutes from Pengelly Retreat, so easy to get to while staying here. The popular annual Christmas Market is held in the Guildhall and has a really good quality selection of stalls selling festive fare – expect to find funky jewellery, cute kids clothes, tempting handbags, yummy food produce and all manner of other treats. This year’s Christmas markets take place on Sat 19 & Sun 20 November and then on Fri 2 Dec, Sat 3 Dec and Sun 4 Dec 2022.

Makers Cornwall Christmas Fair, Penryn 2022 – this really is an excellent Christmas market and I defy anyone to go here and not end up purchasing all sorts (including some gifts for yourself too). The market is held on the Penryn university campus, just outside Falmouth and around 30 minutes drive from Pengelly Retreat. This year it’s taking place 4-6 November 2022 so you’ll have to get here early!

Gorgeous winter skies over the lake at Pengelly Retreat

Christmas Shows in Cornwall 2022

Everyone likes a Christmassy show at this time of year don’t they? Oh no they don’t, oh yes they do! Cornwall is home to some brilliant and very creative theatre companies who always put on an excellent festive show, here’s our picks for Christmas 2022.

Sleeping Beauty, Miracle Theatre – Miracle Theatre are one of Cornwall’s best loved theatre companies and this year they’ve come up with a new take on the old Sleeping Beauty fairytale. Expect the unexpected at their shows with surprises, quirks and whole heap of humour that appeals to adults and kids alike. The shows are on this year in St Ives and in Falmouth.

Elf Jr, Kidzrus, St Ives – this local theatre group always put on a fabulous festive show and their year they’re tackling on festive favourite Elf in their own particular style. Expect lots of songs, dancing, brilliant costumes and general silliness.

The Mousehole Cat, Mousehole – we absolutely love this show and have been a few times to see it over the years. Brilliant puppetry and the moving tale of a fisherman and his cat who set out to save the village one stormy Christmastime. And while you’re there, enjoy the fantastic Christmas lights around the pretty harbour of Mousehole, one of the best light displays in Cornwall. Shows from 13-31 Dec 2022.

Rogue Theatre, Winter Show, Tehidy Woods – Rogue Theatre are a local institution round here and their immersive shows set in the atmospheric Tehidy Woods are a winner for kids and adults alike. Opt for one of the evening performances for a more grown-up vibe and enter the woods if you dare!

Fairy lights in the lakeside yurt, Pengelly Retreat

Festive Days Out and Activities in Cornwall 2022

There’s so many fascinating places to visit and great days out in Cornwall, that really we’re spoilt for choice here. And with Pengelly Retreat’s central location in Cornwall it’s easy peasy to get around and visit all the best highlights. These are just a few of our favourite festive days out and places to visit in Cornwall.

Lost Gardens of Heligan – Night Garden, A Magical Winter Experience – we absolutely love the Lost Gardens of Heligan and feel that the gardens here at Pengelly Retreat reflect that wild beauty too. One of our favourite winter days out is a trip to see the Night Garden lantern trail around the gardens on selected dates throughout November, December and January. The gardens are lit up and enchanting with all sorts of fabulous and fantastic lantern creatures interspersed with handy pit stops for hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows.

The Eden Project, nr St Austell – one of Cornwall’s must-see attractions, the tropical and Mediterranean biomes are spectacular and also ideal for a warm up on a chilly winter’s day! This winter you’ll also find all manner of festive fun including the excellent ice skating rink from mid-October, an Xmas Market 23 & 24 Nov and festive light shows through December. Make sure to book your tickets in advance.

The National Trust Properties – ok so I’m cheating slightly with this one as this encompasses all of the brilliant NT properties in Cornwall. They all put on Christmas themed activities and attractions. One of our favourite for a festive visit is Trelissick, near Truro, with regular visits from Santa and his reindeer, a brilliant NT shop (ideal for xmas gifts), a craft market on 3 & 4 December and choirs a-singing on weekends throughout December. Or how about a winter wreath-making workshop at Godolphin, just 5 minutes’ drive from Pengelly Retreat, dates bookable throughout December online. Godolphin is also perfect for a winter welly walk around the woodlands, the mysterious Godolphin Hill and the walled gardens. Followed of course by a hot cup of tea and LARGE scone in the aptly named Piggery Cafe.

The fabulous Christmas lantern walk at Lost Gardens of Heligan

But what if I want to escape the Christmas rush??

Yes I hear you! Sometimes Christmas and the build up to it can be all a bit much. So if that’s where you’re at, then a stay at Pengelly Retreat doesn’t have to be all about gallivanting around the Christmas attractions. It can also be a soothing escape from all the rush around. Surrounded by nature and by the peaceful waters of the wild swimming lake, you could be a million miles away from it all. Even though you’re only actually an easy drive away :).

Peace at last! The lakeside yurt at Pengelly Retreat

Stay 3 nights, Pay for 2 at Pengelly Retreat this Winter

We have an absolute bargain of a winter stay offer running this year, valid on stays from 1 November 2022 through till end Feb 2023 (excluding 20 Dec-3 Jan). Enter the code PENGELLY3FOR2 when booking your pre or post Chrimbo stay and you’ll receive 3 nights for the price of 2, or 33% off longer stays. Christmas really has come early with that lovely saving.

Cosy and romantic at the lakeside cabin, Pengelly Retreat

And The Winner is…. Pengelly Retreat Wins Gold Award

Best Glamping Award Win

And the winner of this year’s Gold Award for Best Glamping Business in Cornwall is…. Pengelly Retreat.  Hooray! One of those dream-come-true moments happened today when we found out we’d won Gold at the Cornwall Tourism Awards 2021.

award-winning lakeside yurt Pengelly Retreat Cornwall
The Sail House yurt at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

The Online Award Ceremony

The Award Ceremony was online so we had a nervous wait at our computer screen as Daphne Skinnard from BBC Cornwall presented. We were completely thrilled (and a bit teary) when she announced that Pengelly Retreat had won the Gold for the Best Glamping Business of the Year.

We were up against some very strong finalists in the Best Glamping category so really weren’t sure how we would fare. The announcement genuinely came as a very lovely surprise for us. As you can see from the photo, we’d put on jackets and a spangly top (me, not Jim) for the occasion. And truth to tell there was a lot of tea-drinking and anxious biscuit-munching as we watched from Pengelly Retreat.

Nervous tea drinking! Lucky mascot on hand…

A Big Thank You from Us

We’d like to say a big thank you to the judges, sponsors and all involved in the Cornwall Tourism Awards: it’s a really great way to showcase some of the wonderful tourism businesses here in our beautiful country. To see the full list of awesome awards winners this year, head over to their page: .

Many congratulations to all the finalists and winners and a special shout out to Craig and the Three Mile Beach team in Gwithian who scooped the Best New Tourism Business Gold Award: We were in good company!

We hope that this award will help us get the word out about our beautiful lakeside retreat here in Cornwall. Thank you very much to all our guests and supporters for all your kind words and feedback, we really appreciate it and hope we’ll see you back at Pengelly Retreat soon.

You are Gold GOLD….


Cornwall Tourism Awards Finalist 2021/22!

Exciting News for Pengelly Retreat

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been selected as a Finalist in the prestigious Cornwall Tourism Awards 2021/22 in the Best Glamping Business category. Hurray! We think our dreamy lakeside yurt and cabin are really special and unique but it’s so nice to hear when other people think so too.

The Boat House cabin at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

We’re really looking forward to the award ceremony in early February when we’ll discover whether Pengelly Retreat has won a bronze, silver or gold Cornwall Tourism Award. The ceremony is online this year because of covid reasons so we won’t get to meet up in person – but we feel like it’s still a great excuse to get our glad rags on for the occasion. I’m thinking huge pink ballgown Jennifer Lawrence Oscars-style…

The Sail House yurt at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

There are lots of other fantastic finalists in all the categories this year, check out the full list at: We are up against stiff competition with East Thorne Cornwall ( and Ekopod ( also selected in the Best Glamping Business of the Year category. Keep your fingers crossed for us and we’ll keep you posted when we know the results.

And meanwhile, a massive thank you to all the suppliers we work with here in Cornwall who help to make Pengelly Retreat the wonderful place it is – and to our lovely guests who make it all worthwhile.

(The beautiful cabin and yurt images in this post by

Our Favourite Places for Ice Cream in Cornwall

Any day is an ice cream day we reckon, especially when you are on holiday in Cornwall! We’ve done a fair bit of ice cream eating ourselves over the years – all in the name of research obviously – and so we thought we’d share with you our top tips and recommendations for the best places to go for ice cream in west Cornwall. All of the places we’ve selected only stock locally-made artisan ice creams, so you can expect plenty of flavours, delicious creamy ice cream and the diet going out of the window….

spa treatments
Dreaming of ice cream…

Roskilly’s Farm, St Keverne, The Lizard

Roskillys is one of our favourite Cornish ice cream brands, you’ll found it sold at numerous cafes in Cornwall including Nauti But Ice in nearby Porthleven.  You can also go straight to the horse’s mouth (or the cow’s udders?) and visit Roskillys Farm itself during your stay. Located on the beautiful Lizard Peninsular, the farm is about 35 minutes drive from Pengelly Retreat, in an area of lovely countryside.  While you’re there, head to the cafe to buy an ice cream (of course!), feed the farm animals and then take the circular walk past the duck ponds, through woods to a view of the sea. 

Favourite flavour? Hard to choose as there are so many to pick from… Malty Mystery, Mint Choc Chip and Cornish Fudge are all favourites for us.

Gwella Dairy, St Martins, The Lizard

Gwella Dairy is less well known than Roskillys but highly rated by locals in the know (shhh don’t tell any one!). Their farm and dairy which produces their delicious artisan ice creams is located at St Martins on the Lizard and you can buy ice creams there on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Make sure you check their social media for opening times as these can vary. The farm is about 25 minutes’ drive from Pengelly Retreat so it’s easy to nip over and try their flavours for yourself.

Favourite flavour? Gwella Dairy have a mouth-watering selection including Mint Choc Flake, Blackforest, Chocolate & Peanut… but one of our favourites is Thunder & Lighting , a classic ice cream with golden syrup layers and a cheeky sprinkle of popping candy!

Moomaid of Zennor, Zennor

Moomaid of Zennor is another awesome Cornish ice cream brand, their ice cream is locally made and absolutely lovely! They have several cafes in Cornwall but we like to go their original Zennor ice cream shack to enjoy an ice cream before heading off on a coast path walk with stunning sea views. Don’t forget to check out the actual Mermaid in the atmospheric church in Zennor village (see if you can spot her!).

Favourite flavour? We particularly like their Shipwreck flavour which is sea salt caramel and honeycomb in case you were wondering….mmm what’s not to love?!

The Free Range, Dairy, North Cliffs

Gwithian is one of our favourite nearby beaches (15 minutes or so from Pengelly Retreat) and lots of our guests head there for beach time and surfing. From there it’s just a short drive along the coast road towards Portreath to the Free Range Dairy who sell their home made gelato ice cream, milk shakes, hot drinks, cream teas (with their own cream of course) and cakes.

Favourite flavour? The flavours change regularly and you never know for sure what’ll be on the menu. We do love the white chocolate and salted caramel flavours though!

Mr B’s, Hayle

And last but not least, Mr B’s in Hayle is a local institution and the queue is often out the door at their shop at the Copperhouse end of Hayle (about 10 minutes’ from Pengelly Retreat). They have a sizeable range of gelato style ice cream with lots of tempting chocolatey flavours as well as some weird and wonderful monthly/seasonal specials. Grab an ice cream and then head to one of the lovely beaches nearby. Very popular, particularly in the summer months – it’s worth the wait though 🙂

Favourite flavour? Ferrero Roche is usually our top choice!

Our Favourite Winter Beach Walks in Cornwall

A crisp winter walk on a beautiful beach in Cornwall is a sure-fire winner to blow away the winter blues. So if you’re looking for winter beach walk inspiration then here are a few of our favourites in Cornwall. We’re definitely spoilt for gorgeous beaches within easy access of our lakeside holiday houses at Pengelly Retreat. I know, we are SO lucky!!

The enchanting Prussia Cove

And although the country is stuck in a wintery lockdown at the moment, we can all look forward to the time when travel and holidays are back on the agenda. We hope these wintery Cornwall beach images give you inspiration and ideas for your future holidays in Cornwall. So grab your wellies, bundle your dogs/children/partner in the car and get down to the beach for a winter welly walk!

Gwithian & Godrevy Beaches

Just 15 minutes’ away from Pengelly Retreat, are the wild, windswept and always invigorating Gwithian and Godrevy Beaches. This huge sweep of golden sand, pebbles, rocks pools and dunes is part of St Ives Bay. The views across to Godrevy Lighthouse in one direction and St Ives itself in the other never fail to take the breath away. Perfect for a long stomp across the sand in your wellies, watching the hardy winter surfers in the waves and grabbing a cup of something hot and something sweet to eat from the Godrevy Cafe or the Horse Box cafe.

Looking across to Godrevy Lighthouse

Praa Sands to Prussia Cove

Heading to the south coast this time, one of our top choices for a winter’s beach and cliff walk is the stunning bit of coastline from Praa Sands to Prussia Cove. Praa is a gorgeous and enormous golden sandy beach overlooked by the small village of Praa. This beach is wildly popular in the summer, but much quieter in the winter when you’ll sometimes have the place largely to yourself. If you fancy a longer walk, follow the coast path from Praa all the way along the headlands and cliffs, passing more wild and windswept beaches along the way, to the enchanting Prussia Cove.

Winter sunset at Praa Sands

Marazion Beach and St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount is a fairy tale like castle set a top a little islet in the sea in Mounts Bay. At low tide you can walk across the causeway to reach the islet, but watch out for the tide times or you’ll get cut off! In winter time we often stick to a walk along the sands at Marazion Beach, enjoying the views of St Michael’s Mount as the winter sun dips low in the sky. Clamber up the rocks across the sea from the Mount and potter around the rock pools by the causeway. The Godolphin Arms in Marazion has gorgeous beach views, so you might like to pop in here for sit down, warm up and a good old Cornish cream tea afterwards.

St Michael’s Mount from Marazion Beach

Botallack’s Atmospheric Cliff-top Mining Houses

If you’re looking for cliff-top drama then seek no further! Much beloved of photographers the iconic mining houses at Botallack are perched on towering cliffs with the Atlantic rollers breaking beneath. Perfect for an atmospheric, winter walk over the cliffs with the mining houses framed against the winter sunset. Owned by the National Trust there’s a cafe here too and information about the fascinating history of the area.

Botallack’s mining houses against the winter skies

Church Cove Gunwalloe to Poldhu, The Lizard

Church Cove at Gunwalloe is one of my favourite wild and windswept coves, perfect for a winter welly walk across the sands. There’s a romantic little church here nestled into one corner of beach, sheltered from the wildest of the winds, known as ‘The church of the storms’. What a place for a wedding! Head south along the coast path and a short cliff top walk around the headland will take you to the golden sands of Poldhu. This is a great winter option at Poldhu’s beach cafe is open 364 days of the year and it’s hot chocolates are legendary.

Overlooking Church Cove, Gunwalloe

What are your favourite beaches in Cornwall for a winter’s walk? Wherever you are in Cornwall, you’re never far from the sea – the beautiful beaches await!

Beautiful beaches on the walk from Praa to Prussia Cove

Christmas in Cornwall – a few of our favourite things!

The news is looking good for enjoying a very happy Christmas here in Cornwall! We are looking forward to reopening our two lakeside houses, the Boat House cabin and the Sail House yurt, on 2 December 2020. We’ve found Lockdown 2.0 a tough one, so we’re thrilled to be able to welcome guests back to Pengelly Retreat again for December, Christmas and New Year.

There is SO much to look forward to in the coming month. Aggie is beyond excited already and has asked us about a million times how long it is till Christmas… Not long is always my answer! Meanwhile, here are some of the things we’re particularly looking forward to for the 2020 Christmas season in Cornwall:

Fairy lights in the Sail House, Pengelly Retreat

We can’t wait to reopen again to guests on 2 December – hooray! We are nearly fully booked for December 2020 but we do still have a couple of little gaps available if you’d like to squeeze in a Cornwall getaway before New Year. We offer a minimum 3 night stay up till Christmas week and a 4 night minimum stay over Christmas itself. So if you fancy a December holiday in Cornwall, then check out our availability on the Sail House and Boat House pages.

The log burner makes the Sail House yurt so cosy!

Christmas Shopping in Cornwall

Anyone who knows me will know I do LOVE to shop! And Cornwall is absolutely stuffed full of amazing artisans and makers so we are really spoilt for choice when it comes to Christmas shopping and beautiful gifts. Some of my favourite Christmas shopping spots are Porthleven, with it’s galleries and gift shops around the harbour; Falmouth, especially the independent and vintage shops on the High Street, Inspire Makers is a favourite there; and Truro, with it’s festive mix of independents, high street stores and markets on Lemon Quay.

The harbour and famous clock tower at Porthleven

Festive Events in Cornwall

We’ve booked up to go on a Christmas Lantern Walk at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, it looks amazing! Giant animal inspired lanterns will light up the beautiful gardens in the early evenings of December with marshmallow toasting and other festive treats. We’re also looking forward to checking out the ice skating at the Eden Project (wish us luck!) and heading to Trelissick Gardens to see their Christmas lights.

Amazing Christmas Lanterns at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

Festive Eats in Cornwall

While we always have a family Christmas at home, we do enjoy a few cheeky meals out in the run up to Christmas. Nearby Porthleven has an excellent selection of restaurants, we really like Kota Kai and The Square. The Pandora at Restronguet, The Heron at Malpas and the Packet Inn at Rosesudgeon are just some of our favourites for a cosy Sunday lunch in Cornwall.

A winter’s sunrise from the Boat House at Pengelly Retreat. Photo by @annac42, The Cornish Life Blog

December Walks in Cornwall

One of our favourite things in Cornwall at any time of year is the beautiful countryside, coast and beaches. In December I like to walk somewhere a bit more sheltered on the wild and windier days like the stunning Penrose Estate in Helston. The paths at Penrose weave their way through woodland alongside the UK’s largest inland salt lake out towards the coast. While on a crisp December day you can’t beat a welly walk on the beach at nearby Gwithian, Praa Sands or Poldhu Beaches. Or head to Prussia Cove to discover rocky coves and hidden stretches of sand.

A frosty morning at the Sail House yurt, Pengelly Retreat

Well that’s our December sorted. Bring it on!! We wish you a very happy run up till Christmas, stay safe and well and enjoy the festive season. And if you’re coming for a December stay at Pengelly Retreat, we look forward to welcoming you here very soon :).

The Great Escape – A festive mini break in Cornwall this December

A lot of us feel like holidays are on hold at the moment with all the uncertainty around what will happen next. But fear not, you can still book yourself a pre-Christmas treat with a mini break to Cornwall. Really? Yes really! We have some December 2020 availability in both our lovely lakeside houses: the dreamy Boat House cabin and Sail House yurt.

The view from the Boat House cabin at Pengelly Retreat

Fully Flexible Cancellations

It may feel like you can’t plan for the future right now but, a little treat of a getaway to Cornwall in the diary gives you something to look forward to. And we definitely all need treats in life right now! Pengelly Retreat guests have the added security of our fully flexible cancellation policy for 2020 and 2021. So if plans change and you need to cancel your stay at any time before your arrival day, we will refund you in full, no questions asked.

Please note, our fully flexible cancellation policy only applies to bookings made direct with us. We have found for those guests who book via Air BnB (rather than direct with us), sometimes Air BnB won’t refund their fee in the case of cancellation. Very frustrating and something we have no control over. So please always book with us direct – we also offer the best rates for our direct bookers too.

lakeside cabin for small weddings in Cornwall
The romantic Boat House at Pengelly Retreat. Photo by @oliviamoonphoto

The Perfect Cornish Hideaway

Our two lovely lakeside houses are the perfect Cornish hideaway for couples or single travellers looking for a rural retreat. Situated in 5 acres of private gardens, meadows and lakes with oodles of space and fresh air all around them. Perfect for social distancing! They both overlook a beautiful wild swimming lake, which is admittedly rather chilly for swimming in the winter months. But if you like cold-water swimming….! Some of our brave guests do indeed take the plunge at all times of year -even in January & February.

elopements and small weddings in Cornwall
Barefoot at Pengelly Retreat. Photo by @oliviamoonphoto

Cosy Logburners

Both the Boat House cabin and the Sail House yurt have large log burners which make them super-cosy once the fire is going. They also both have a little touch of underfloor heating which comes on morning and evening. It’s not going to heat your whole house in the winter but it gives a bit of luxurious warmth underfoot. And it’s those little luxuries that count.

The log burner in the Sail House yurt at Pengelly Retreat

Beaches & Countryside

The Retreat’s enviable location in West Cornwall means that you are just 15 minutes from the most amazing beaches. Gwithian & Godrevy beach on the north coast is one of our go-tos, with Praa Sands being our regular beach hang-out on the south. You’re surrounded by tranquil countryside for winter walks including the Crenver Grove woodlands and National Trust’s Godolphin & Penrose Estates. Or if you’d like to just chill out in your own beautiful space, surrounded by nature, then you can kick back and relax by the lake. Many of our guests choose to do just that.

Gwithian Beach, Cornwall

Cornish Eats

If eating out is your thing then the nearby harbour of Porthleven boasts some excellent bistros, pubs and cafes including Kota Kai, the Square and the brand new Michael Caines’ restaurant. Or if you’d rather eat in then grab yourself a fresh Cornish fish and chips at Sanders in Hayle and head back to your lakeside holiday home. For self-catering, we recommend stocking up from the tempting selection of local produce at Trevaskis Farm’s impressive farm shop just up the road.

The boat on the lake at Pengelly Retreat. Photo by

Unique Christmas Gifts & Treats

Cornwall is also absolutely brilliant for inspired Christmas shopping with a abundance of gift shops, galleries and local makers creating beautiful and unique gifts. If you’ve Christmas gift shopping in mind, we love the Four Crows and Customs House Galleries in Porthleven; Uneeka and The Truro Arts Company in Truro and Inspire Makers in Falmouth. And that’s before I even mention all the Christmas markets that happen down here in December….

Shopping in Truro, Cornwall

If I’ve managed to convince you that a December break in Cornwall is just the treat you need, then head to our Sail House yurt and Boat House cabin pages to read more about our gorgeous lakeside accommodation and check their availability. I don’t think that the December availability is going to be there for long, so better get your (ice) skates on…. 🙂

Our Favourite Dog-friendly Pubs in Cornwall

We often get asked to recommend dog-friendly pubs by guests who are staying with their dog at Pengelly Retreat’s luxury lakeside yurt. So we thought we’d draw up a list of our favourite pubs in Cornwall, all of which are just as welcoming to our much-loved dogs as they are to their human companions!

It’s a real paradise for dogs here in Cornwall with gorgeous countryside to explore, the most amazing beaches and coastal walks. The majority of beaches in Cornwall are now dog-friendly for the whole year (excluding July & August) meaning a lot more flexibility for dog owners.

dog-friendly yurt in Cornwall
Supper for two at the Sail House yurt in Cornwall! Photo by @annalieandted

Dog-Friendly Accommodation at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

At Pengelly Retreat, we welcome guests with one (well-behaved!) dog to come and stay in our gorgeous lakeside yurt, the Sail House, at any time of year. Dogs absolutely LOVE it here with 5 private acres of gardens, lakes and land to explore with their owners. Our central location in Cornwall also means it’s super-easy to head off for long walks at some of Cornwall’s highlights. St Michael’s Mount, Gwithian Beach ( with it’s dog-friendly sections all year round), National Trust’s Godolphin and Penrose Estates and the miles of stunning south-west coast path are all favourites.

the dog-friendly Sail House luxury lakeside yurt in Cornwall
The dog-friendly Sail House yurt at Pengelly Retreat, Cornwall

And after all that exploring, then it’s high time to head for a hearty lunch or dinner in one of Cornwall’s fab dog-friendly pubs. These are some of our top choices of dog friendly pubs, all within easy driving distance of Pengelly Retreat in west Cornwall.

The Victoria Inn, Perranuthnoe

This lovely old pub in a pretty coastal village welcomes dogs to their bar area and garden. The meals here are tasty and hearty and the beach, just a few minutes walk down the road, is a stunner. Just make sure you visit at low tide when there’s a lovely stretch of sand for your dog to race across.

Perranuthnoe Beach Cornwall
Perranuthnoe Beach, Cornwall

The Tolcarne Inn, Newlyn

We love the seafood at this traditional pub in Newlyn, looking across to the harbour. It’s run by acclaimed chef Ben Tuncliffe, with a focus on fresh, seasonal produce. Dogs are very welcome here and will enjoy taking a walk along the coast after lunch to check out the pretty harbour at Mousehole.

The Trengilly Wartha, Helford

This pretty countryside pub is tucked away down narrow lanes in the Helford Estuary area. There’s a cosy bar, restaurant, sunroom and gardens where you can tuck into lunch with your four-legged friend beside you. Just down the road from here you’ll find a hidden gem: Scott’s Quay. This is a small privately owned beach on the estuary accessed by footpaths across the fields. Perfect for a post lunch dog-walk and explore.

Scott's Quay, Helford, Cornwall
Scott’s Quay, Helford

The Pandora Inn, Restronguet

It’s often tricky to get a table at the Pandora Inn but if you turn up early enough you may be able to snag yourself a place in the dog-friendly downstairs bar area. There’s also a gorgeous riverside pontoon here: the ideal place to stop off and enjoy a glass of something cold before heading to explore the creek-side footpaths.

The Halzephron Inn, the Lizard

This traditional and welcoming pub serves up hearty Sunday roasts and hearty meals for a mixture of locals and visitors. And of course all dogs are made very welcome too! Just down the road, you’ll find the pretty Gunwalloe Church Cove overlooked by the windswept church of St Winwaloe. Or take a wander along Dollar Cove, a popular spot with dog walkers all year round.

dog paw prints in the sand in Cornwall
Doggie paw-prints on the beach in Cornwall!

We hope that’s given you some ideas and inspiration for some of the best Cornish pub and dog walk combinations! For more ideas of places to visit and things to do while on holiday with your dog, then check out our Dog-Friendly Explore page on our website. Where are your favourite dog-friendly places in Cornwall? Tell us if there’s more you think we should add to this list. And we look forward to seeing your and your lovely dog too at Pengelly Retreat soon :).