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Once you go B&B you never go back – why you should chose a bed and breakfast on the Cornish coast.

Over the last 15 years, Cornwall’s brand stock has risen faster than at any other time in its history, making it an even more sought-after holiday destination than ever before. The recent success of Poldark has certainly helped too.

Judging by the number of celebrities who have homes here, Cornwall has become the coolest place to be seen – even the Prime Minister has joined the crowd.


It’s all about the Cornish B&B

But away from the palatial homes of the rich and famous, the best way to explore this ancient county is to base yourself in a bed and breakfast on the Cornish coast.

We always chose this option, mainly because we (that’s me, my wife, daughter) love home comforts and the personal touch. We want to feel like it is ‘our home, our kitchen and our bed’ (just for a few days) while we explore the local area.

So, we choose a bed and breakfast in Cornwall which is family friendly and child friendly – and one which is, hopefully, friendly all over. And, of course, a bed and breakfast in Cornwall has to be near the beach…with a sea view (we don’t ask for much).

Local knowledge

B&B owners in Cornwall are usually from the local area, so they are proud to show off its heritage. Then there’s the breakfast. And herein lies the real jewel in this accommodation crown – no, not the breakfast, the history. (Although, there is nothing like a home-cooked meal in a Cornish bed and breakfast with meat and dairy from just down the road..but that’s another story).

Trevigue-Jan2013-LowRes-8Steeped in Cornish history

Every area has a unique story to tell and there is no substitute for hearing stories from real people whose families go back generations. And, because it is their home too, it’s relatively informal, and you get a level of personal service which is often lacking in today’s tiny world.

The best B & Bs in Cornwall, in my experience, are based on a farm – you can’t beat farmhouse charm – or in a proper Cornish cottage. These buildings have their own story to tell, and so many Cornish farm holdings date back to the Doomsday Book.

King Arthur, Doc Martin and the National Trust

The National Trust protects 80 properties throughout the UK which are used for B&B accommodation. There are six National Trust bed and breakfast properties in Cornwall, and three are near Bude, in North Cornwall – my favourite area to explore.

Basing yourself in a bed and breakfast near Bude or Crackington – with its surf beaches and laid back, seaside charm – is the key to discovering the treasures of North Cornwall.

Bude lies just north of the famous English Heritage-owned Tintagel Castle (famous for its connection with the legend of King Arthur) and the fishing villages of Padstow and Port Isaac (or, Portwenn, if you watch Doc Martin). And, yes, the beaches of Crackington Haven and Widemouth Bay are nearby. There is also a walk from Bude to Crackington Haven along the South West Coast Path.

It’s all in the planning

But before you get a chance to meet these B&B owners and hear their stories, they should make your holiday planning easy for you. Any B&B worth its salt will include a list of local attractions on their website (with web links) so you can plan ahead.

The list should include beaches, walks and activities to keep the kids occupied, plus restaurants, cafes and pubs; country estates, gardens and castles, as well as fishing villages, filming locations and, not to mention art, music and theatre.

Now, back to that breakfast…