Review of Pollaughan Cottages, Cornwall
> For contact details and to check availability, see our full listing of Pollaughan Cottages
When my partner and I, plus our toddler son, Owen, stayed at Willows - one of four cottages dotted around the grounds of Pollaughan Farm- we soon realized that the owners had achieved that rare combination of luxury and high environmental standards. The cottages - which were the first in Cornwall to be assessed by the UK’s Green Tourism Business scheme (and rated gold) - feature faultless wi-fi connections, well equipped kitchens, power showers and wet rooms, but they are also lit by low-energy lighting, powered by green electricity and there’s an easy-to-follow composting and recycling system. What’s more they are so well insulated, we barely needed the heating, even on a chilly October weekend. As well as being spacious and family-friendly, with baskets of toys and a toddler-proof garden, our cottage was remarkable for its view over the lake, which attracted dozens of varieties of bird. Best of all, our spacious double bed had high quality cotton sheets, puffy pillows and felt like five star luxury.
Arrive at Pollaughan by public transport and the owners, Tim and Valerie, will reward your efforts with a free meal. This meant that our first morning we were entitled to a vast fry up that could have kept us going for weeks. Laid out on a giant tray, the breakfast included eggs laid by the farm’s chickens, sausages from the pigs, as well as masses of toast, bacon, beans and everything else imaginable.
Although the cottages are offered on a self-catering basis, Valerie offers a supper service, which includes staples such as cottage pie, local fresh fish and other family favourites brought to your cottage. Just the thing if you don’t feel like cooking after a day exploring Cornwall’s beaches and coastal paths. For meals out, there are plenty of pubs and restaurants, recommended in the welcome folder in each cottage. We stumbled upon a family-friendly restaurant just a twenty minute walk and very near the beach, where we spent a relaxing few hours on Sunday afternoon.
Leave the farm and saunter across a couple of fields and you’ll reach the nearest sandy beach. It was a bit wild and woolly the day we visited, but I can imagine it’s a dream in the summer. To stock up on supplies, a little further on, there’s a fishing village called Portscatho with a shop, bakery, butcher, a couple of pubs and a post office. For rainy days, the Eden Project is only a short drive away and you could easily explore other parts of Cornwall from here.
Back at the farm, every morning, Farmer Tim welcomes children on his rounds feeding the animals, which include goats, sheep, ponies, ducks and chickens. The highlight, for Owen, was picking up a freshly laid egg from the hen coop and being allowed to carry it home to cook for supper. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an adult-size trampoline (just as fun for parents as little ones, I discovered), as well as a tennis court, a lake to explore and a very friendly donkey.
Valerie is on the board at the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project so she is keen to do everything possible to push the green agenda at Pollaughan. Plans for the future include wind turbines and a geothermal heat pump. I was impressed by how easy she has made it to take part in green activities, from saving water to recycling and composting. This is all done with gentle reminders and lots of access to information, but no green bullying.
Bring wet weather gear just in case. Although the climate is generally mild, it can be damp.
The closest train station is Truro (book train tickets here), which is about ten miles away. From here, the owners can direct you to bus, help you to book a taxi or even pick you up – if you ask nicely!
Once you’ve arrived, it’s easier to get around than you might think. There are regular buses and it’s only a short walk to the nearest village/beach/pub.
The best thing about Pollaughan is how family friendly it is. Valerie and Tim have thought of everything from high-chairs and all-terrain buggies to bath time toys and ride-on tractors. For older children, I can imagine its proximity to the sea would be a big attraction. For parents? The appeal is that you can unwind, safe in the knowledge your children are safe and happy. At the end of the day, there is also the option of someone else cooking supper – and don't forget the heavenly beds.
For contact details and to check availability, see our full listing of Pollaughan Cottages