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Review of Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England

Posted by at 03:42 on Monday 07 December 2015

With her wheelchair-using father, Lucy has a lovely time at the accessible, award winning, self-catering, gem of an eco lodge in Lowen, part of Bosinver in Cornwall.

>> To check availability and booking see our full listing for Bosinver

>> For more ideas of what to see and do, see our Greentraveller's Guide to Cornwall

The new eco lodge at Bosinver, Cornwall. Photo: BosinverThe new eco lodge at Bosinver, Cornwall. Photo: BosinverThe Setting
Close to St Austell and easily accessed by bus to Trelowth, Coliza Hill, you will find a lovely family farm which has been converted in to a small, self-contained hamlet of 20 cottages making up Bosinver. Centred around the pool, tennis and play barn, little lanes, fringed with moss and ferns, lead to your own private little corner of this gorgeous spot.

The Rooms
Bosinver offers a range of detached cottages sleeping from 4-12 some are dog friendly and two are wheelchair accessible. Everything you need is here, so no need to pack the travel cot and the toybox… you can ask for linens and towels, have food delivered or use the travelling chef. You can even borrow the buckets and spades, wellies and splashsuits. Oh, and for your trips to the beach in mid-summer, grab the special Bosinver wind breakers…. (this is England, after all).Bedroom in Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy SymonsBedroom in Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy SymonsLocal artist's work displayed in Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy SymonsLocal artist's work displayed in Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy Symons

The Food
There is a list of all the local providers who can deliver direct or whose shops you can visit. Sisters Tor Amran and Lucy Jones can deliver everything you could need in their Cornish food boxes, The Eden Project: “People and Gardens” supporting those with learning difficulties to grow great produce which can be delivered to Bosinver in bags or if you prefer to squeeze your own tomatoes before you purchase, you can pop to the Lobbs Farm Shop in Heligan (although they do deliver as well, you may well enjoy wandering the groaning aisles). There are also a few local places recommended if you can’t imagine leaving Cornwall without stuffing yourself with pasties (the local butcher Martin's Bakery, St Austell who has been baking the delicious creations since 1865)  they sell at Cornish Market World open every Wednesday, and the weekends. If you fancy a cream tea try the Courtyard Tea Rooms, at Pinetum Park. If you feel like baking your own scones you can borrow Nanny Pat’s baking box free of charge and release your inner Nigella.

The Activities
On site you can see the animals on the farm up close and personal, there’s a weekly pony riding day; daily sheep and goat feeding and egg collecting, an indoor pool, sauna and hot tubs in Lowen and the Farmhouse. There’s an outside play area and a trampoline (for grown ups as well as the kids) and if it’s raining you can pop the kids in the play barn. There are walks from the front door – including the Gruffalo Trail through the woods. You can ask Pat for her top tips for cycling and walking locally (she’s a super keen cyclist, but rarely wears lycra, so don’t be intimidated) or you can book with the local activity company Active-8 who can take you on a guided tour on your bikes or you can join their many and varied activity days.The fab indoor pool at Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy SymonsThe fab indoor pool at Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy Symons

The Green
Positively clanking with medals and heralded by an echoing sound of gongs banging, Bosinver are recognised for their super sustainability and winning combination of passion and hospitality. (On top of Bosinver's amazing achievement in 2015: Gold for best self-catering holiday homes at the Cornwall Tourism awards; South West Tourism awards and national Visit England Awards for Excellence; owner Pat Smith was recently personally honoured with an award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Cornish Tourism’. But that’s just the tip of the accolades iceberg…)

The new eco lodge at Bosinver is energy self sufficient, using PV panels and a ground source heat pump to provide electricity, heating and hot water to the house. Photo: BosinverThe new eco lodge at Bosinver is energy self sufficient, using PV panels and a ground source heat pump to provide electricity, heating and hot water to the house. Photo: BosinverOn site, they recycle and compost, there are PV panels and a ground source heat pump to provide electricity, heating and hot water, a type-2 EV charging point for electric vehicles. The interior décor also reflects the joy in Nanny Pat’s heart: you can’t help but smile as you admire her personality writ large in the interior design – especially in Lowen where everything is upcycled and restored where possible, locally sourced and covetable. The most eco friendly home in the Bosinver family is Lowen which was designed by the sons of the owners and then built by all the chaps. It is a structure of giant sized reclaimed beams from a local hospital (creating a frame) filled with straw bales and rendered with lime.

The tick shaped roof has 10Kw of solar panels on the southern pitch (and a glass panel between them to create a fabulous conservatory over the living area and mezzanine) The toilets, dishwasher and washing machine are fed with rainwater harvested from the roof (covered in reclaimed slate tiles). There is even a screen inset by the wall in the front hall that shows you in graphic form how the house is performing RIGHT NOW, which I found totally compulsive. The house is so delightful you may just be inspired to copy some of their fabulous ideas – which is part of the plan. All the details (including a list of their suppliers and the genius team they used) are available to download

How to get there by public transport
Jump on the train from Paddington to St Austell. Bosinver is around 3 miles from the St Austell railway and bus station in the centre of town. Western Greyhound and First Bus have services which stop nearby - for timetables and to plan your journey see Traveline. There are usually taxis waiting outside the train and bus station. If you prefer to book one in advance, try White River Cars: 01726 76244. And, if you come on holiday without a car the wonderful good eggs at Bosinver will pay your taxi fare to/from St Austell station. Hurrah!

Top Tip
Book Lowen if any of your party uses a wheelchair or a pushchair – such a cosy, welcoming place you may never want to leave. And if you are considering a self-build, or just upgrading your existing home, come and see what the experts have created and steal their splendid ideas.

Verdict
Perfect for a whole family holiday – everyone, from granny and grandchildren, Mum, Dad, Fido et al, will have a fabulous time, and it is a total no brainer: everything you could possibly need is already here, all within easy distance of everything Cornwall has to offer. You may not need to leave Bosinver at all, but if you can't imagine staying in Cornwall without the feel of the sand between your toes, the nearest beaches are Pentewan and Porthpean, with rockpools to explore and surfing to be had along this gorgeous coast.

>> To check availability and booking see our full listing for Bosinver

>> For more ideas of what to see and do, see our Greentraveller's Guide to Cornwall

Posted by Lucy Symons

Centre of the commune at Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy SymonsCentre of the commune at Bosinver Farm Cottages, Cornwall, England photo: Lucy Symons

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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