The best cosy cottages and high-end holiday homes to rent in Cornwall

Zoe Gunn

16 April 2021

Do self-catered in style with these brilliant holiday rentals in one of the UK’s most popular destinations

16 April 2021 | Zoe Gunn

Whether it’s the glorious white sand beaches, the acres of countryside seemingly designed with outdoor sports in mind or the world-class seafood restaurants, there’s little not to love about Cornwall. Which is probably why it was voted this year’s most popular staycation destination in the UK.

If it’s on your bucket list but you’ve left it a little late to secure a room in one of Cornwall’s best luxury hotels, don’t panic. The county is full of cute holiday cottages and grand home rentals that offer self-catered accommodation with five-star style.

Kingfisher Barn, Lower Marsh Farm, Saltash

We can’t think of anything more quaint and quintessentially British than holidaying on a former daffodil farm on the banks of the River Tamar. Lower Marsh Farm, which was once part of the estate of the Duchy of Cornwall, has since been converted to offer a variety of self-catering accommodation, the most luxurious of which is Kingfisher Barn.

Housed in a converted traditional stone barn, it offers space for up to eight people across two storeys. Its unusual design sees a top floor dominated by a lofty open kitchen and living area, perfect for gathering in after dark, while the home also has a private hot tub, outdoor dining space, barbecue and herb garden. If you can drag yourself away from the barn, however, Lower Marsh Farm’s 40 acres of land offer plenty to keep guests entertained. Ramble through the Salt Marsh Nature Reserve, try your hand on the tennis and basketball courts, or take part in a foraging workshop. The farm also offers in-room spa treatments, a menu of home-cooked meals to be delivered to your barn and wine and gin tasting sessions.

From £130/night (min. three night stay), lowermarshfarm.com

Manor House, Botelet, Fowey

This beautiful estate in the heart of rural Fowey has been owned and cared for by the Tamblyn family for more than 150 years and, in recent years has been opened up to the public to offer the ultimate in old school relaxation. Three self-catered cottages, as well as a yurt, are available but the best of these is undoubtedly the Manor House. A Grade II-listed building that was recorded in the Domesday Book, it has been sensitively renovated to provide elegant accommodation for five, including a pretty sitting room and dining room with piano. There’s also a private walled garden with dining area where your only visitors will be a passing chicken or two.

Botelet’s location means there are days out aplenty to be enjoyed but, should you find yourself looking for entertainment closer to home, the estate offers plenty of options. Once a month Botelet hosts a Breakfast Club, offering seasonal vegetarian fare and artisan coffee, all sourced from within Cornwall. There’s also a treatment room for bespoke massages as well as a range of wellbeing courses and workshops, including meditation, yoga and sketching.

From £78/night (min. two night stay), welcomebeyond.com/property/botelet-cottages/

Manor House, Tresillian House, Newquay

If you’re the kind of surfer that prefers to return to a four-foster bed and rolltop bath, rather than a converted van, at the end of a long day on the waves, the manor at Tresillian House is for you. Built in 1846 on a 22 acre parcel of bucolic land just two miles from the coastline, the main house, along with the apple store and laundry outhouses, have all been converted into some of the finest private rental homes in Cornwall.

Sleeping up to 16, the Manor House is the largest of the three and features sumptuous decor very much in keeping with the Georgian architecture of the building. The centrepiece of the house in undoubtedly its 20-seat formal dining room, which begs to host some seriously memorable dinner parties, while a large kitchen with dining space and walk in fridge provides everything the budding chef in your party needs.

There’s also a cosy library, elegant drawing room overlooking the house’s famed landscaped gardens and lakes (ideal for afternoon tea and cocktails) and a large terrace primed for long lunches when the sun is shining. If your idea of a great British staycation comes straight from an Agatha Christie novel, this is the house to book.

From £6,000/week, tresillianhouse.co.uk

Treverra Cottage at CK Rock, Rock

The past few years has given rise to a new kind of hospitality that walks a fine line between hotel and holiday rental – and CK Rock excels at this low-key luxury. Located in the popular North Cornwall resort of the same name, not far from Polzeath, a stay at CK Rock's Treverra Cottage is the definition of added value.

On arrival at this chicly minimalist stay, you’ll find a welcome package of kitchen basics, Balance Me toiletries and homemade cake and jam. Rented on a weekly basis, a mid-week clean comes as standard, as do all towels and linens (so no need to lug your entire bathroom down the A303) while the 14 acre estate is also home to an outdoor infinity pool, jacuzzi and tennis court. The cottage itself, meanwhile, can sleep up to 10 in modern surroundings characterised by white-washed walls, wooden floors and colourful antique soft furnishings.

From £2,000/week, ckrock.com

Martindale, Trevone Farm, Padstow

Images courtesy Andreas von Einsiedel

He may be better known for his epicurean empire, but king of Cornwall Rick Stein also runs a thriving trade in upmarket hotel and rental accommodation. Among them is Martindale, a quintessentially Cornish cottage nestled on Trevone Farm in the village of Penrose, not far from Padstow.

Designed by Stein’s wife Jill, the cottage sleeps eight across four double bedrooms and has been created to cater in equal measure to cosy nights in and glorious summer days. The ocean (and its edible inhabitants) are referenced throughout, with nautical art found above the log-burning fire in the living room, on decorative plates in the modern country kitchen and on throw pillows in the spacious attic bedrooms. There’s also a secluded courtyard for outdoor dining while guests are privy to priority bookings and a private chauffeur to Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant in Padstow.

From £1,103/week, rickstein.com/accommodation/martindale/

Read more: The best luxury holiday homes in the Cotswolds