While things are slowly returning to normal in a year still very different to those that came before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s safe to say that one thing many people have been looking forward to is coming to Cornwall on holiday – or for those already here, visiting somewhere different.
As Cornwall’s vast number of hospitality and public-facing businesses awaken out of a heavily disrupted 16-month slumber with a platitude of rules and other challenges to face, for both staff and visitors, this year won’t be without its challenges.
But with experiences being very different this year, how do those visiting Cornwall find their trips?
In order to give a snapshot of opinions, we’ve picked a range of venues and places across Cornwall, in both north and south east Cornwall as well as mid and west Cornwall. In each one, we’ve selected a venue from Tripadvisor ranging from a luxury hotel, a mid-range hotel, a holiday park, a restaurant and a tourist attraction whether a theme park such as Flambards or an open-space venue such as the Camel Trail.
In each one, we’ve selected three recent reviews. Given the fact this is Tripadvisor and sometimes deliberately negative reviews are included, the reviews we’ve selected, which are all since tourism reopened on May 17, may exclude ones where the owner has disputed the claims made in the review.
Here’s what those visiting Cornwall currently think of their experience.
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North & South East Cornwall
Luxury Hotel: Bodmin Jail
The Bodmin Jail Hotel is most likely the newest of the newcomers on this list, having only fully opened in May 2021 when the changes in the coronavirus restrictions permitted it to do so.
The four-star hotel situated in what was formerly a derelict hotel is a new addition to Cornwall’s tourism experience that has certainly got people talking. But what do those who stay there think?
K Shetty wrote: “We loved our stay at the Bodmin Hotel. The property is unique and despite the massive renovations to the jail, they have still maintained the integrity of the history of this site. Loved the spacious bathroom with heated floors and great toiletries. Rooms are stylish, modern and tastefully furnished.
“Our meals were great with impeccable service. Would highly recommend staying at the Bodmin Hotel for a truly distinctive experience!”
Mark T said the rooms were tastefully renovated, adding: “Absolutely superb Hotel great rooms tastefully renovated from the original Jail built-in 1700’s. The staff made us and our dog very welcome. Definitely worth a visit. Easy to reach great coastline places of interest.”
Kevin D said it was “uniquely unique”, adding: “This is a good hotel. Everything about this hotel works well, from the restoration, the masterplan design. the blending of the original with the new. All made possible by an efficient and friendly staff. Highly recommended. Post-visit, I’m still reading up on the history of the prison.”
Mid-range hotel: Trehellas House and Hotel, Wadebridge
Situated between Bodmin and Wadebridge, Trehellas House and Hotel were built in 1745 and according to its description on Tripadvisor “still retains its charm with original stone floors and a converted courthouse on the first floor. Now a comfortable hotel situated close to Padstow and Fowey.”
It’s average rating on Tripadvisor is 4.5 out of 5. Here’s what three recent visitors had to say.
“All COVID rules were adhered to”
Kathryn T was delighted by the food offered during her stay, writing: “Staying at Trehellas House Hotel was very relaxing. My accommodation in a cottage in the garden was clean, warm & with a huge bathroom. All staff were extremely helpful & informative.
“Alistair & his team went out of their way to make sure all Covid rules were adhered to. One felt extremely safe. Above all one doesn’t need to pay high prices for excellent meals.
“Just download their menu- it is astonishing. Great choice. I will return as it is such a great spot for touring both North & South Cornwall. 5 stars.”
Can’t get your head around the traffic light travel lists or just don’t fancy a holiday abroad this year? There’s plenty of options if you want to stay local and still have a break.
We’ve rounded up some of the best options for a UK holiday in 2021.
Holiday cottages and cabins: With properties in pretty much every corner of the UK and something for every type of family, Sykes Holiday Cottages have a number of deals for school holidays and term time. New coronavirus measures are in place so you know your holiday is covid safe. Or get back to nature with a Forest Holiday, with cabins set in beautiful woodland.
Holiday parks: There’s something for everyone at the big name holiday parks. Haven has deals starting at as little as £179, while Pontins has a huge number of offers and free room upgrades on selected breaks.
Hotel deals: If you don’t fancy self catering or fancy a city break then Booking.com has rounded up some of the best hotel deals for the summer, you can book attractions and car rental too.
This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate.
“If you’re a hair hunter, stick to four in a bed”
Bonnappytit said it was a “peaceful countryside hotel with excellent food”, adding: “Alastair and the team are wonderful. The rooms are clean and tidy and have everything needed for a country stay. The food in the restaurant is excellent. Expertly cooked well presented and flavoursome.
“Alastair is a jovial host and nothing was too much trouble for himself and his team. This is a genuine comfortable countryside retreat. Good value for money and near to most of Cornwall’s villages and attractions. If you’re a hair hunter stick to 4 in a bed!”
“A pleasant stay”
Rating it four out of five, Garry P wrote: “Excellent position for touring north Cornwall, reasonable room, shower could be improved, but adequate, lovely breakfast & evening meal, overall a very pleasant stay and good position for camel trail.”
Holiday Park: Seaview Holiday Park, Polperro
Situated between the historic fishing villages of Looe and Polperro, Seaview Holiday Park offers self-catering holidays in a range of caravans, bungalows and chalets for families and couples and are on offer throughout the season.
“First and Last Time I’m afraid”
Claire C said it would be the first and last time she visited the holiday park. She wrote: “The accommodation really needs updating. The kitchen isn’t too bad, but no proper shower in the accommodation. Very dated bathroom with no hooks for towels or coats. The bedroom has one pillow each and no headboard. No extra pillows or blankets supplied.
“The park itself was quite disappointing. No adult swim sessions. I booked a swim session, but I was unable to swim as so many children were playing and a cross lifeguard who looked like didn’t want to be there. (Even in term time) . Very grumpy bar staff with limited choice at the bar. No local ales or lager, and no choice of slimline /diet mixers. Bar staff also have very limited knowledge of the area they work in. (Difference between ale/lager etc).
“The lady in the shop was lovely. She could show the bar staff some customer service etiquette.”
Samantha I’s holiday experience however was vastly more positive. She wrote: “Would highly recommend Seaview, the staff are so friendly especially the entertainment team. The facilities and restaurants are great. Our chalet was basic but for the price, we paid but more than adequate and was clean. Thank you to everyone at Seaview we had a lovely holiday”
“Clean, Tidy and Friendly”
John was also positive about his experience. He said: “The site was very clean and had everything you needed in one place, its also perfectly situated between two towns and walking distance to Polperro, perfect for family or couples, variety of accommodation too, we stayed in an 8 berth van and couldn’t have wished for a more comfortable stay.”
Restaurant: The Deck, Bude
The Deck Bar and Grill in Bude say they offer an “exciting concept infusing great British classics with the vibe and flavours of international dining. It combines the best tastes and flavours from all of their travelling adventures from Street Traders in Asia, to Seafood from Europe added to the chargrilled flare from Down Under”
“You will not be disappointed”
Poppys247 clearly enjoyed their visit, writing; “If I could give it 6 stars I would. Perfect friendly service, Lovely atmosphere, Worth every penny. I will be back, thanks for a lovely evening meal!”
“Food of the best standard”
Sue S, from Southampton, visited with some friends. She said: “We visited as two couples, the food and service were fabulous, our waitress was so nice. The menu was explained well, the food was so good, the menu was not huge but the food served was of the best standard and we would love to visit again when we are in the area. highly recommended.”
“The pretty Polly loo is a destination in its own right!”
Also down from Hampshire, Pads_M_UK was highly complementary, writing: “Absolutely delivers what it says on the tin! Relaxing, convivial, loud(sometimes) & friendly, with great staff under the brilliant leadership of Emma & her husband. Lovely people … and the Pretty Polly loo that should be a destination in its own right! Oh … and the food was gorgeous & healthy. And the booze. Holidays begin here.”
Attraction: Camel Trail
A former railway line turned into a multi-use surface trail, the Camel Trail which stretches from Bodmin to Padstow as well as a deviation towards Wenfordbridge and Bodmin Moor offers picturesque views and a relatively level surface for all the family. Along the route there is an abundance of amenities such as cafes and also multiple cycles hire businesses for those who want to enjoy the route on wheels.
Amy R, from Leeds, said she loved her visit. She wrote: “A wonderful trail varied along the way. We cycled Bodmin to Padstow, which was a lovely route. Lots of places to stop for a drink /rest to take in the spectacular views. If it’s a hot day Bodmin to Wadebridge is the more shaded part.”
“A lovely walk along the river”
Keefnjojo decided to visit the trail after staying just outside of Wadebridge. They wrote: “We were staying just outside Wadebridge and decided to make a day of getting to Padstow but by walking. You can hire bikes but we wanted the challenge of the walk.
“There is some beautiful scenery along the way and plenty of benches to rest and just enjoy the view. As it’s along the old train track, the walk is flat so not too difficult to walk. Halfway along is The Atlantic Coast Express which does takeaway drinks and food.
“This is a lovely walk along the edge of the Camel River and makes for a very pleasant day out.”
“Perfect for walkers and bikers”
Roger E seemed to enjoy his day out, saying: “Such an asset All the way from Padstow to Bodmin, this level, the well-maintained track is ideal for cyclists and walkers. Plenty of kerb-side parking in Padstow at the start of the trail.”
Mid & West Cornwall
Luxury Hotel: Carlyon Bay Hotel
Located on the picturesque Carlyon Bay beach, this is a hotel that says it offers “an ideal mix of value, comfort and convenience. It offers a luxury setting with an array of amenities.
“Ideal for short summer breaks”
Linda L rated it four out of five, writing: “Lovely location with beautiful views, an ideal place to stay if the weather is good. Been to this hotel several times as a couple. The staff very helpful and friendly. It’s not a hotel for young children as there’s only an outside pool to entertain them and more formal dining. I would not be able to relax bringing my energetic grandchildren here.
“They do hold a lot of weddings here and certain areas of the hotel are restricted on these days.”
“Such a lovely place to be”
Silverfox was also a fan, saying: “We have been to this hotel quite a few times over the years. Always a very good quality stay. Although it’s been a while since we last came, the standard of the hotel has not diminished. Our room was superb, lovely sea view, and very comfortable. The staff were faultless, and the golf course, as ever was in great condition.
“Our stay was only for 3 days, but we will book a longer stay next year if we can.
“The breakfast was excellent, and dinner was good on all nights, however, we both chose from the A la carte menu on one evening, and sadly my Dover Sole was not quite as expected. Having said that, we will definitely be back next year. Such a lovely place to be.”
Flight deals and holiday offers
Holidays abroad may soon be in sight and if you’re thinking of jetting off on a plane after lockdown then you’ll want to check out these deals.
Here are the best travel companies to book including their latest deals.
Tui: Has launched sale on summer holidays with thousands of free places for kids you can book now. They also offer exclusive testing packages and covid cover is included on every holiday departing up until the end of August.
EasyJet: Reported a 337% surge in flight bookings and a 630% jump in holiday bookings – they have plenty of offers on holidays later in the year for more peace of mind. And there’s a long list of Green List flights to choose from.
Booking.com: You can now book an early 2021 deal in pretty much every city in the UK
Expedia: Some of the most popular European destinations including deals to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and Rome.
Jet2: One million free child place holidays available. All inclusive holiday packages from £60pp deposit. Summer 2021 holidays start from £400pp and they have a refund guarantee with all bookings.
On the Beach: Holiday deposits start from £30pp. Family holidays start from just £169pp. Discounts and deals on last minute escapes
“Enquire about the golf and menu before you arrive”
Sue W from Redditch only gave her stay a three out of five, writing: “A family favourite hotel for many years especially with our children.. Treated me and my partner to an overnight stay with a game of golf and dinner, bed & breakfast £390.
“The golf course was holding a competition, no warning from the hotel, no golf. Dinner was only included off one menu but you could order off the ‘a la carte ‘ and save 35% of the cost! Eg a prawn cocktail would cost you £8.45 on top. Our room was quite small and overlooked the car park but we booked late. So disappointed.”
Mid-range Hotel: Housel Bay Hotel, The Lizard
The hotel describes itself as being situated in a spectacular location on the Lizard in Cornwall, adding: “A lovely sandy cove nestles beneath the hotel and the Cornish coast path runs through the gardens and cliff lands.”
“Sick of the sight of my dining room table.”
For Eternal5, 15 months of working from her home dining room table prompted her to book into the Housel Bay Hotel for a workplace with a difference. She said: “I’ve been working from home for over 15 months now and I am SICK OF THE SIGHT of my dining room table so last week I decided I would wake up this Monday morning somewhere new! So I booked an impromptu last-minute stay at this hotel and I’m really glad I did. I’ve left my husband at home to just have a little me time and as a woman, on her own, I can say I feel completely comfortable and at home here and not even slightly self-conscious. All the staff are lovely, the service is great and the food is lovely.
“My room is modern, airy and light and super comfortable too. The Cornish weather isn’t kind but that’s probably for the best as it means I am getting on with my work instead of lolloping on a beach somewhere. The view is incredible, the gardens are pristine and literally buzzing with nature and in short, it has been well worth the 9-hour journey down here! Love it and will definitely return and might even let my husband come with me next time.”
Helena N was also a fan, saying: “My husband and I stayed at the hotel in June to celebrate our ruby wedding. We could not have picked a better place! The location, right on the coastal path means there is a fantastic view of the sea and wonderful walks right on the doorstep. The food was excellent, the staff were friendly and we were delighted to see a little treat in our room when they knew it was our anniversary. Thank you Housel for a truly memorable weekend”
“Book a sea room”
Charlotte827 from Berkshire praised the view from her room, writing: “Fantastic stay at Housel Bay Hotel, outstanding location with the coastal path at the bottom of the garden.
Staff are very helpful and friendly and covid measures are taken seriously. Hotel is very clean.
Definitely book a sea view room as the view is amazing”
Holiday Park: Pentewan Sands Holiday Park
Describing itself as a five-star holiday park, Pentewan sands, near St Austell has recently been named one of the top holiday parks in the South West and a stay there comes with access to a privately owned beach, two indoor swimming pools and a range of holiday accommodation.
Tev811 rated it four out five, saying: “Love this campsite, all covid regs adhered to very helpful, very friendly. Can’t recommend it highly enough- Chip shop is diabolical which is a shame as it was nice just don’t do it. Showers and toilets are very clean and cleaned regularly.
“Would recommend to friends”
Ianpender1466 thoroughly enjoyed his holiday, writing: “Absolutely beautiful campsite and a lovely relaxing holiday Mobile home lovely and comfortable and very clean Shop had all essentials Tried the hub box one lunchtime burgers absolutely delicious Would recommend to our friends and family Will be returning hopefully next year.”
Restaurant: Hub Box, Truro
Since it opened in a converted church from a shipping container, the Hubbox in Truro has become something of a destination for those seeking a different culinary experience. Covering two floors and an outdoor garden, their mission is “tasty food done the right way.”
Noynoy1 said they loved the experience of eating at Hubbox, writing: “We went for lunch today, it was our first visit and wasn’t disappointed. We were greeted by friendly staff, we booked online but arrived early and seated upstairs. A friendly girl took our drinks order quickly! Then we took our order! Didn’t wait too long food was amazing !!
Lovely lively atmosphere, mostly young clientele but a few families mixed in, enjoyed our visit definitely will return !! Well done guys at the Hubbox!!”
“Wonderful food, even better service”
Davesheppys was another happy customer, saying: “The food was excellent and the service was great. In such a difficult time, where the whole hospitality industry is struggling for staff, the service was exceptional. One of the waitresses (I think Beth was her name) was great and provided quick and easy service, quenching my thirst in no time. Good beer as well.”
“Great food, excellent service”
Lyssafeec praised Hubbox, writing: “We went to the Hub Box yesterday for some burgers and shakes and the food was great. We had incredibly good service from Lee and the whole team who are working hard during a difficult time! Already planning what to eat next time we go.”
Attraction: Flambards, Helston
For years, the tagline was “Flambards – the best day of the week”. The iconic attraction in Helston promises a great family fun day out with plenty of things to do.
But how was it for those who visited?
“Could have been better”
Kaz4919 said it was alright, but could have been better, saying: “It was a good drive (approx 45 mins from our base in Newquay) so really was looking forward to the best day out, however, not all rides were open, I found the park dated and in need of a little TLC, from the kids’ point of view. They enjoyed it and covered everything in under 2 hours. It wasn’t really what I was expecting from a theme park; however, the staff were very polite and had good parking facilities.”
“Fabulous for all the family”
Adele F was more positive, saying: “A fabulous experience for all my family.
The adrenaline rush for the 2 teens. Plenty of history in the Victorian street and London in the blitz.. I like the way there is a kiddies bit and the arcade was mainly 2p push games and video games for the older kids. All in all, we have been twice so far this week, and a third time is on the cards!”
“10/10 day out”
OliverTtravels from Hereford highly rated their experience, writing: “Had a lovely day out here with our 2 years old, able to get on a lot of rides with hardly any queues. The museums were interesting and overall there was a lot to see and do, we spent the best part of a day here.
“Food and gift shops were both reasonable and there were lots of places to sit down throughout the park. Staff were also really friendly and the park felt COVID safe.”
What tourism destination do you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
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