Friday 15 May 2015

Sykes Cottages, Cornwall

Last week, the three of us (And Bump!) headed off for a little family holiday to Cornwall.

We were very kindly invited by the ever so lovely people at Sykes Cottages to experience one of their holidays, and with being so close to the end of my pregnancy we thought it was an ideal time to enjoy one last little break as a family of 3 before the newborn mayhem starts!

Sykes allowed us to choose whereabouts in the country we wanted to go, as they have cottages all over the UK!

We decided that we wanted to stay reasonably close to home (just incase baby decided to make an early appearance!) so we opted for good old Cornwall!

The Sykes Cottages website is really easy to use, and you can narrow your cottage search down to find exactly what you're looking for - they have cottages that cater for anything from 2 to 35 people, cottages with special extras such as hot tubs, and cottages that are pet friendly as well as ones that aren't.

For us personally, we wanted a family friendly cottage which was in a nice quiet location but not too far from the tourist attractions either - my personal preference is always to go for accommodation that doesn't allow pets as we don't have any and so therefore I really dislike being exposed to any lingering smells or hairs from other peoples pets, so I was pleased to be able to easily whittle out the pet friendly cottages.

We eventually decided on Wheal Honey - a charming barn conversion just 4.5 miles from central Newquay.

The stay was booked, and we received an email to inform us of how to check in - the email stated that we should call the owners 48 hours prior to our arrival to confirm the details, which we did - they were very helpful and we arranged our arrival time and how the keys would be collected (the owners lived in the house just around the corner, so this was very easy!)

Wheal Honey is part of a group of 3 barn conversions all grouped together, and is the only two storey one.

There is a large space outside for parking, and a lovely large field at the back of the cottages - there were guests in the other cottages while we were there but we only knew this because of the cars parked there, we never actually saw or heard anyone else for the duration of our stay so it was very peaceful.

The field at the back of the cottage joins on to some farmers fields, and Tyne was delighted to see the sheep and cows so close to the house!

He absolutely loved having such a huge space to run around in, and asked to go outside to run every single morning.

The cottage itself was absolutely beautiful.

Cleanliness in accommodation is always a worry for me as I'm pretty OCD about these sorts of things, but I needn't have worried as the cottage was PRISTINE - in fact I wondered if anyone had ever set foot inside before, it was seriously that clean and well kept!

The decor was very fitting for the surroundings, and the owners had really thought of EVERY little detail to make our stay comfortable.

The kitchen was equipped with everything we could possibly need and more, there was a little bookcase which was full of a variety of books and dvds and even board games and card games for children which I thought was a really lovely touch.

They provided a little book all about the history of the cottages and the process of restoring/converting them, and an information book which listed not only important emergency contacts such as local dentists and so on but also a list of recommended local restaurants, even including the menus for them which I found very handy indeed.

The cottage had a decent sized TV and dvd player in the living room, and the wifi worked perfectly throughout the cottage.

There was a seperate dining table area which was nice, and a downstairs toilet.

The owners knew that we were coming with a toddler so they fitted a safety gate on the stairs which again I thought was a very considerate touch - they had also offered us a highchair/booster seat and travel cot should we need them.

Upstairs, the decor was simple but lovely and everything felt very fresh.

There were lovely high beam ceilings, and lots of quirky little touches like the little door in the ceiling of our bedroom which intrigued us throughout our stay!

The owners had also very kindly left fresh milk in the fridge, toilet rolls and a bottle of wine out - again little touches like these really make a huge difference to welcome guests and I think its these little touches that matter and encourage guests to return.

Linen and towels were all provided.

The cottage had a large bathroom, under floor heating which kept it lovely and warm despite the very cold temperatures outside, and consisted of two bedrooms - one a double and one with twin beds which could be joined together if required.

The beds were very comfortable, everything in the cottage worked perfectly, and our stay could not have been more comfortable.

I usually like to include some points for improvement in my reviews where possible, but I simply cannot find any to mention! 

The location was absolutely perfect for us, as it was so very quiet and peaceful but such a short drive from the attractions of Newquay itself (and a stones throw from Dairyland farm, too!)

There are a couple of restaurants very close by too, if you fancied a meal out but didn't want to venture to Newquay itself.

So...what did we get up to on our holiday?!

(Our FAILED family selfie!)

After travelling on the first day, we pretty much just spent the day familiarising ourselves with the cottage, letting Tyne run wild in the field and then we popped into Newquay for a nice meal at an Indian restaurant.

The next day we got out and did more exploring!

We headed for Newquay zoo - it was quite small compared to the one we live by (Paignton zoo) but it was nice nonetheless and Tyne really enjoyed seeing the animals as he was too little when we last visited one to remember!

That evening we got a Pizza Express takeaway which we had back at the cottage, and once Tyne was settled in bed we sat down to watch a movie from the cottages dvd collection - I was delighted to see that they had The Help, so that's what we watched!

The next day, we headed to the Aquarium - I didn't take any photos in there as obviously flash photography isn't allowed but Tyne had a really good time!

Afterwards, we headed to The Headland Hotel as I really wanted to have a look at it - it's where one of my favourite childhood movies The Witches was filmed, so I was very excited to take a look being the movie nerd I am!

We decided to have a look inside and when we discovered that they offered gluten-free cream teas, we just HAD to stay and try one!

On our final day, we drove to Padstow to have a look around - this is a very picturesque little harbour town and was really delightful to stroll around!

There was a little shop dedicated entirely to Christmas ornaments which is my idea of heaven - and Tyne's too!! I loved the sign on the door counting down the number of days until Christmas! So kitsch!

We had a lovely lunch from Rick Stein's fish & chip shop (more on all of the dining we did in my Gluten Free Guide To Cornwall post next week!), and enjoyed some lovely ice creams while looking out at the boats too!

We then headed to Dairyland farm - unfortunately the farm itself was closed as it was out of season but the soft play centre was open and Tyne had a blast running wild around there!

We thoroughly enjoyed our week at Wheal Honey, and we are 100% certain that we will be returning to stay there again in the future - we really loved it!

A big thank you to Sykes Cottages for hosting us.

To take a look at the many cottages available throughout the UK, please visit or to visit Wheal Honey in particular please click HERE

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