Hampshire Life editor Elizabeth Barnett visits Watergate Bay in Cornwall
PUBLISHED: 16:50 06 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:50 06 November 2014
Kirstin Prisk Photography 2013
Overlooking the magical Watergate Bay in Cornwall
Struggling down to the Cornish coast, as that is often what it feels like, there is inevitably a moment half way along the A30, as you meet yet another line of traffic, when you think “Why are we doing this again?”
There we were four adults, a toddler and a poor dog - who thought we were trying to administer some sort of tortuous discipline regime - stuffed in to a people carrier with most of our worldly belongings heading for a ‘nice, family holiday.’
Arriving in the pitch black, wind howling and rain pouring ironically over our bags of wellies and waterproofs, we hurried up the flights of steps to take shelter in what was to be our home by the sea for the next few days.
With tensions somewhat high, I cannot describe the calm that befell us as we opened up the door to our Village property at Beach Retreats in Watergate Bay. A beautifully decorated large, open plan living area and two stunning bedrooms with ensuites greeted us; and all memory of the five hour-odd drive floated away as we sunk in to the stylish sofas, glass of wine in hand. Shutting the wind and rain out for the night we kept our fingers crossed that the morning would bring with it a much brighter outlook.
Throwing the curtains open the following day I remembered exactly why it was that we spent the entire evening battling through traffic. The rugged cliff top loomed over Watergate Bay like a protective cloak; and the white, frothy tops of the waves seemed to beckon at us from our sleek balcony. This view was simply breathtaking, and well worth the journey to enjoy it. We started off the day in high spirits with a lovely breakfast hamper full of local produce, before piling in to the car to visit the other big local attraction in the area, The Eden Project.
Never having been before, none of us were sure what to expect. A fun and vibrant entrance set the tone and as we set off around the site, we discovered lots of hidden hideouts and games along the way; which especially pleased our little traveller.
Tucking in to a bowl of paella in the Mediterranean Biome, we shut our eyes and it was almost like we were in a rustic courtyard in a small, unknown Spanish town – pure bliss. Once adjusted to the warmer climate, we embarked on our expedition in to the Rainforest Biome. What an incredible space! Tropical birds chirped from the treetops as multi-coloured butterflies fluttered around our heads. The Rainforest Canopy walkway was a particular highlight, offering up a unique view from above.
With the call of the sea in our ears, we stocked up on some good Cornish cider before heading back to Watergate Bay for a run around on the beach. There really is nothing like the sound of crashing waves and the taste of salty air to clear the head. There may have been a touch of autumnal drizzle, but we didn’t care – we were so far removed from our everyday lives that even the rain couldn’t put a dampener on things.
Back in the apartment we opted for a local takeaway for dinner, but you could head back down to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant to sample some of the Cornish coast’s famous flavours.
The following day, putting off the inevitable drive home, we built up an appetite with a long beach walk before going for lunch at The Beach Hut, the sand-side restaurant linked to The Watergate Bay Hotel. Guests staying in The Village properties can also enjoy the benefits at the hotel such as The Swim Club (the massages are incredible) and the bars and restaurants. We had a great meal and they were really family friendly.
Not quite ready to say goodbye to Cornwall we stopped off at Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm for an orchard tour and tasting; a great way to end our little mini-break. Belly’s full we felt well prepared for our journey back to reality. The magic of Cornwall never fails to disappoint and Watergate Bay has become another family favourite.
Find out more
• A three-night stay in Tudy apartment in Watergate Bay will cost from £705 in October 2014. To book call 01627 861005, 9am – 6pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 9am – 5pm and closed Sundays or visit www.beachretreats.co.uk to enquire online.
• Entrance to The Eden Project costs £19.95 for adults; £11.50 for children aged 5-16 and is free for under 5’s if booked beforehand at www.edenproject.co.uk.
• A tour around Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm costs £7.50 per adult or £5 for children aged 6-16, those under 6 go free. To find out more visit thecornishcyderfarm.co.uk or call 01872 573356.
• To book a table at The Beach Hut call 01637 860877 or visit www.watergatebay.co.uk for a sample menu. Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall can be reached on 01637 861000 or visit www.fifteencornwall.co.uk.