Monday, 15 July 2013

Holiday Cottages to Rent Cornwall

Self Catering Holiday Accommodation Cornwall –that covers a pretty wide spectrum as Cornwall is a large county.   Here at Rayle Farm Holiday Cottages our visitors are always pleasantly amazed to find how very accessible pretty well all of Cornwall is from our lovely, peaceful, tucked away location.   You see, we are, in fact, only 5 minutes away from the A.30 so Cornwall is your oyster or, possibly one should say crab!
Our Cornwall cottage rent facility at Rayle Farm is actually based in quite a narrow part of the peninsular with both coasts being easily accessible, the North Coast only just over a mile away so that one can lie in bed at night and hear the Atlantic waves breaking on the shore at Portreath.   Heading South from Rayle Farm, our nearest South Coast village is Flushing, named thus by the Dutch sea captains of the clipper ships.   They chose to live there because  it has an exceptionally mild climate.    This village looks across the water towards Falmouth, a really delightful maritime town with the third largest natural harbour in the world, believe it or not!

Harking back to our Self Catering Holiday Accommodation Cornwall.   Although so rural, we are in the midst of what was the heart of Cornwall’s mining heritage.   The wonderfully rugged landscape round about this area is dotted with the iconic chimneys from the old mines.   A couple of years ago, one of the preservation societies down here lit a fire in all the old chimneys around the Camborne area and it really was an amazing sight to see.   It brought it home that this now peaceful, picturesque landscape was once a massive,smoking, noisy industrial site.   Camborne and Redruth were, of course the heart of this great industry and Redruth was the hard rock mining capital of the world.

Our Cornish cottage rental facility also offers the opportunity to head West and visit Penzance or Lands End or St. Ives.   Head East and the county town of Truro  is now the hub of Cornwall’s administration and is, of course, home to the beautiful Cathedral.    There is a tempting array of shops available here.
Head up the County further East and there is Bodmin, the old County Town with it’s grim reminder of past crimes in the old County Jail, now a tourist attraction.   Jamaica Inn with its association with pirates is not far away.    Liskeard and Launceston , ancient Cornish towns await you further up the County as you head towards Devon.

Finally, mention should be made of some of the charming little towns and villages that line Cornwall’s coast.   Perranporth,   Newquay, Padstow and Tintagel, Fowey, Mevagissey, Looe, Polperro, all conjure up visions of happy days spent on a Cornish holiday.

Holiday Cottages Portreath

I remember seeing the following ad.  “Portreath Cottages to Rent” many summers ago before I ever knew this delightful little village on the north Cornish coast.   For some reason it stuck in my mind but I never thought that several years later I would be living on our farm only a mile from Portreath and would be the proud owner of my own holiday cottages to rent.   Anyway, this ad conjured up a vision of a Cornish holiday in a cosy holiday cottage enjoying all that that would mean – blue, blue, skies, sandy beach, rock pools, coastal walks, lashing of Cornish ice cream with a dollop of Cornish clotted cream of course, cream teas, pasties, crab sandwiches - I could go on and on.

Well of course, Portreath does indeed offer all these treats in abundance.    What anyone taking up the ad “Portreath Cottages to Rent”  today  would see a very different village from the one pictured in the old prints and photographs  of the 19th century when Portreath harbour was a very busy scene indeed.   Being only two miles or so from Redruth, then the heart of the massive Cornish mining industry, the tin and copper ore would be transported down to the harbour on what is now the Mineral Tramways Trail to be shipped to Wales.   Incidentally, this trail is now a delightful open path for walking and cycling.   The incoming boats would arrive laden with Welsh coal, the ship’s captain having had to negotiate the decidedly tricky entrance to Portreath harbour.   To-day the holiday maker will find the harbour a tranquil scene with fishing boats bobbing in the sunshine and crab pots lined up on the quay.

Fishing, of course, once played a very important role in Portreath’s life.  To-day, the Waterfront Inn stands on the site of the old Fish Palace where the abundant pilchards were processed.

Apart from such healthy pursuits as swimming, surfing, cycling and walking Portreath caters well for the indulgent side of life, with three pubs and several cafes, not to mention its own well-regarded Portreath Bakery known for its Cornish pasties and wicked cakes.  Holiday cottage residents can enjoy a pre-breakfast trip for fresh rolls with their coffee.

Mention should be made of the magnificent Tehidy Country Park on the west side of Portreath.   Once the home of the immensely wealthy Bassett family (they even cut their own swimming pool out of the rocks on Portreath beach which still exists to this day) this wonderful area of woodland walks is a haven for wildlife.  The bluebells in the spring have to be seen to be believed.

If anyone today saw the ad “Portreath Cottages to Rent” all the above pleasures would be available to them and one extra treat is in store.   Anyone enjoying a winter holiday in Portreath will be captivated by the occasional opportunity for “Storm Watching” when one can park on the hill and watch the massive Atlantic breakers crashing on to the harbour wall – almost like a daylight firework display as the spray flies skywards in huge clouds.

Cottages to Rent Cornwalll

The headline Holiday Cottages Cornwall UK conjures up visions of a bolt-hole from the hassles of modern life in this most beautiful of all counties.   Cornish Self Catering Accommodation is another one inspiring pictures of coming home to one’s own holiday base after a fantastic day out and being able to make one’s delicious meal with all the wonderful local Cornish produce available.   One of the joys of self-catering accommodation is not having to get up in a rush to get to the hotel breakfast buffet in time, or not having to race back in the evening in case one misses dinner.

Here at Rayle Farm our self-catering holiday cottages started life as our milking sheds.   In the 70’s,   due to a sad change of circumstance following  the untimely death of farmer Tim, the milking herd had to be sold and, instead the milking sheds were converted into comfortable Cornish  self-catering accommodation. 
 The buildings were particularly attactive at the outset.    They had been built at the start of the 19th century and centred around a courtyard with Pump Cottage as the focus.   The buildings are of lovely golden local stone with magnificent granite quoins and lintels.   Pump Cottage is, in fact, much older and was the original farmhouse of the Rayle family in the sixteenth century.

Talking of Pump Cottage, when our marvellous team of builders, Mike, Gerald and Eric, not to mention Barry, the designer, got to work on what had been the accommodation for our machinery for the milking, they uncovered a superb inglenook fireplace with a cloam oven where the bread used to be baked.   Above the fireplace near the ceiling is a little alcove where the baby was put to sleep because of the warmth from the fire.

Our other self catering cottages are named after our favourite cows, Daisy, Buttercup, Girlie, Jessica and Bridget.   Daisy’s Cottage and Buttercup’s Cottage are ideal for couples seeking cosy holiday accommodation with lots of comfort and character.   Girlie’s Cottage and Jessica’s Cottage are more family oriented self-catering accommodation and both have an upstairs.   Long before our family came to Rayle, the upstairs in Jessica’s Cottage housed a billiard club for the residents of Bridge.   Finally,   Bridget’s Cottage is always a favourite as the living room has windows on three sides making it particularly light and bright.   Having said that, of all the many, many loyal visitors who have been coming to Rayle Farm time and time again during the 46 years we have been here, they all have different favourite cottages.  

Holiday Cottages to Rent Cornwall

Here at Rayle Farm, I’m celebrating having lived in this beautiful place for 46 years now.   As I look down our valley towards the sea and Portreath, the trees are all coming out in their different shades of green, the bluebells and campions and wild garlic are going mad in  our hedgerows and the birds are singing their heads off.   The fields are full of buttercups, pretty to look at but now always ideal!   Judging by the closeness of the tu whit tu whoos (strange spelling?!), I think we have a resident owl. 

We moved down here from Worcestershire in 1967 and built up our milking herd of red and white Ayrshire cows.   We had the most marvellous support and help from our neighbours, the Phillips family.    My husband,  Tim,  ran the farm and our two children, Sally and James, together with myself, used to lend a hand getting the cows in for milking and feeding the calves etc.   A highlight for the children was riding on the trailer behind the tractor to put the milk churns outside the gate for the milk lorry every morning.  Our holiday visitor’s children loved this as well.      I also ran a Guest House in our spacious farmhouse and we used to welcome two holiday families at a time.   Each family had their own sitting/ dining room where they used to relish a proper Cornish breakfast.   I would bake fresh rolls every morning and there would be a bowl of clotted cream on the table.   Incidentally, clotted cream on cornflakes is one of life’s great pleasures!   In the evenings, when our holiday visitors returned from their days out, there would be a High Tea for the children, and then, later on, each couple would enjoy sharing their own roast duck, joint or whatever for dinner.   I had a repertoire of fourteen different menus.

After four years of doing the catering, with the family growing up and the farm side of things establishing  itself,we went down the Self-Catering holiday route by making a self-contained wing of the farmhouse and letting out Rayle Farm cottage  to holiday visitors.   So we happily continued.   The children left our local Illogan School which they had greatly enjoyed and moved on to their next schools.   James had just started at  Redruth Grammar School when Tim was taken ill and within a very short time he died.   What a dreadful time that was for us all.   Our family, friends and neighbors were absolutely wonderful in their support.

The dilemma was what should  we do.   Sally and James and I loved living at Rayle Farm.   There was no way I could run a dairy farm on my own.   So we decided to see whether it might be possible to get permission to turn our milking sheds into holidaycottages.   In 1975 this was still  far from the situation it has become today with barn conversions everywhere.   Anyway, we were lucky enough to be granted planning permission for 6 holiday cottages.

We were so lucky with the group of craftsmen who converted the cottages – Mike, Gerald and Eric in particular and Barry, our designer.  I, of course had no experience of building projects at all and they were absolutely wonderful in the way they handled the project and the guidance they gave me.     The cottages are, of course, named after our favourite cows, with the exception of Pump Cottage (incidentally the original farmhouse, built in the 1600’s) which is thus named because that is where the milking equipment was housed.

So, in 1976 Rayle Farm Holiday Cottages were born and here we are 46 years later still welcoming our lovely visitors.