These are the Cornish self-catering cottages we’re eyeing up for an escape, courtesy of Classic Cottages.

There is nothing that beats the personal touch. While the web is full of holiday properties to book online, there is no substituting expert advice when it comes to bagging the perfect idyll in which to unwind. And, given the eighteen months we’ve all had and the fact that foreign travel is still mired in green, amber and red lists that may change at a moment’s notice, now feels like the perfect moment to ensure that your staycation this summer and beyond lives up to the long-held dream.

Enter, then, Classic Cottages, a company that has specialised in making British travel as glorious as can be for the past forty years. And central to its operation is, and always has been, its people. As they say, ‘Our team of Property Managers only take on properties that meet our exacting standards – yes our business is marketing holiday cottages, but people are the foundation of everything we do. We make that extra effort – we’re particularly choosy when it comes to finding cottages and their owners, and we follow that up with regular inspections – we keep checking to make sure everything is above and beyond your expectations.’

Classic Cottages has UK-wide properties on its books. But for now, we have our covetous eyes on Cornwall; for who could beat lazy days spent in a microclimate, dipping in and out of the sea and then refuelling on seafood so fresh it still glistens? Are you with us? Then you too may well be in market for one of these lovely self-catering cottages.

Tregwelan Shepherd Hut


We have eulogised the romance of a shepherd hut before and will reliably do so whenever the moment calls for it. This one, just 1.2 miles and twenty minutes’ walk along The Camel Trail south-east of Padstow’s profusion of Rick Stein eateries, is even more exceptional than most, since it comes complete with a dazzling view of the sea. Designed with couples rather than families in mind (babies up to six months old are welcome, however), this is a cosy dream replete with log burner and outdoor space for a sundowner. Heaven. Book it here.


Port Isaac

Anyone who has ever set eyes on Port Isaac will know that one glance at its vista tells you all you need to know about why artists flock to Cornwall. This pretty low-slung house is just four miles away in the idyllic hamlet of Treligga and has exceptional views across the glistening coastline. Its position makes it ideal for summer getaways, while the country comforts – think AGAs and log burners – make it equally great to hunker down in winter for windswept walks, roast suppers and red wine-fuelled reading marathons by the fire. There are four bedrooms, French doors onto a patio and it is stocked with board games aplenty. An ideal hideaway for a family holiday. Book it here.


St Ives

This well-appointed and luxuriously comfortable apartment sleeps four, and comes with private parking, WiFi, underfloor heating and a travel cot. But while those things are all excellent, it is the balcony that steals the show here; overlooking Porthminster Beach, you are so close you feel as though you could dive right in. Find more details – plus other available apartments in the building – and book it here.

The Garden Cottage


‘The Garden Cottage’ conjures images of sweetly rustic tumbledown cottages. Not so in this case, since the cottage in question is a state-of-the-art house just outside the Bone Valley. Light-filled and fresh, guests can step out onto the duo of balconies through bi-fold doors and glory in the sea views across Mount's Bay to St Michael's Mount. There is a well-kept and large garden, private parking for two cars and the nearest pub is just a mile away. An idyllic spot for honeymooners. Sleeps two. Book it here.

The Hideaway


Deliciously snug and cosy, this pretty cottage is right in the heart of Mousehole and sleeps four (a cot is available). Tucked away down a quiet and very pretty little lane, it is the perfect characterful bolthole, all within striking distance of the harbour. Expect higgledy-piggledy features befitting of the age of the property, which has a charmingly winding steps up to one of its two entrances and beams aplenty. Gorgeous in summer and cosy in winter, there is a courtyard garden for al fresco lunches and sundowners in the warmer months. Just the thing for small families, honeymooning couples or two couples sharing alike. Book it here.

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.