Cornwall

Our Amazing Weekend of Fantastic Family Adventures at Anchor Cottage, Boscastle

Late on a wild and wintery Friday afternoon our not so little family escaped north of the county for a weekend coastal retreat.  A Boutique property with doorstop vitamin sea therapy, Anchor Cottage seemed just perfect for Dan and I with our delightful brood of five children. 

As we headed for the beautiful village of Boscastle, dusk was setting in, and so was storm Eric!  The warm glow from the twinkling lights of the village in the distance filled us all with a mist of merriment as we approached signs for Boscastle harbour.

 

We slowly navigated our way down the cosy roads, taking in as much of the scenery as we could until we arrived at Anchor Cottage. We parked the van with ease on the adjoining driveway and were immediately blown away by the breathtaking scenery that greeted us.  Already we were planning our first walk out along the coastal path that passes the property and we hadn’t even taken our seat belts off!

 

The weather began to turn, and the children could not contain their excitement anymore, so I took them inside and allowed Dan the pleasure of bringing in our luggage in the brief hail shower. 

 

The beautiful open plan aspect of the ground floor hits you as soon as you step through the front door.  From the well laid out living area with large sofa and chairs, past the incredible log burner complete with two comfy sitting chairs, to the large dining area that leads you to the impressive kitchen.

 

 

The warmth that greeted us when we stepped inside made us feel instantly relaxed.  We removed our coats and shoes and could feel the under floor heating on our toes!  The fire had been carefully prepared so all that was needed was the single strike of a match.

 

As the children ran off upstairs to claim their bedrooms, I took some time to admire the impressive fully stocked hamper and fridge that had been left for us, it oozed local and Cornish goodies aplenty.  

 

 

We hadn’t planned anything for dinner, so the children tucked into the hamper to tickle their taste buds while Dan headed out in to the storm to see what he could get from the local supermarket.  20 minutes later he returned, a little wet and windswept but with five deliciously smelling wood-fired pizzas.  Apparently he didn’t make it to the supermarket as there was a small trailer outside and the smell was too enticing for him!  We sat at the dining table and shared out the most delicious pizza we’ve ever had! Even the fussy six-year-old triumphed herself, demolishing an entire pizza, much to Dan’s disappointment. We deservedly opened the complimentary bottle of prosecco to accompany and wasted no time unwinding thereafter.   

 

 

The rest of the evening was spent chatting peacefully in front of the fire whilst the children snuggled up watching a film on Netflix. Needless to say once we said good night, everyone slept tight in their beds.

 

The next morning could not have started any better, not only had we spent the night in the cosiest most comfortable beds, but we only had to settle the twins once during the night – we felt amazing!  They did however both wake early enough to watch the sun rise over the harbour mouth from our master bedroom windows. The views from every angle of this property truly are amazing. Even the nine month olds gazed in amazement, as we captured the awesome morning view.

 

 

The appeal of the rainfall shower meant there wasn’t the need for constant nagging the children to get a shower and dressed.  In fact they were all ready before we’d even prepared breakfast! 

 

A sound night’s sleep and a slow sunrise Saturday seemed to set us all up just right for the day ahead. The girls played sweetly with the beautiful wooden dolls house in the sitting room, which is mostly unheard of whilst the boys made sure they had fully explored the many gadgets Anchor cottage has to offer, by which I mean the American style fridge with ice and water dispenser, fully stocked Nespresso and impressive speaker system to ensure we were all well hydrated and saturated in the true slow Saturday ambience! The spacious lounge allowed the twins to explore safely and comfortably and the open plan aspect was just fantastic for keeping an eye on everyone, big and small. It gave an awesome sense of togetherness, yet each individual space felt separate and generous.

 

Feeling fully refreshed and recharged we grabbed our wellies, layered up and eagerly headed off out to explore the pretty little village which footed the passageway leading up to Anchor Cottage. Timed by the 10 and 11year old, it took all of 58 seconds to reach the riverside from our front door!

 

 

A fine mizzle filled the air and the bite from Storm Eric was still amidst the atmosphere. Stepping out of Anchor Cottage in the light of day really was something else. After arriving in almost darkness and seeing just a glimpse of the breathtaking backdrop which encircles the property, both adults and children were completely blown away by its stupendous, spectacular setting. A heavy dose of vitamin sea was most certainly on the agenda for our weekend ahead. 

 

On the hunt for goodies to fill our tummies we strolled through the village passing the National Trust cafe just adjacent, it was bustling with locals and visitors and oozed a definite slow weekend vibe. Right beside here too is the Witchcraft museum, closed at present until season but nonetheless has a firm presence and magical attraction within the village. With its sweet little ‘lucky wishing well’ and tales displayed of its mysteries and the Boscastle flooding. Plenty more about Boscastle’s history can be found inside the National Trust visitor centre. With an abundance of playful and interactive pieces to keep all ages entertained.

 

 

The children were keen to saturate in the outdoors. Playing pooh sticks over the bridges and any excuse to test the durability of their wellingtons, skimming stones across the rushing ripples of the river that channels the heart of Boscastle Village.

 

Being in Cornwall we opted for nothing other than a good old Cornish pasty to fill our tummies. I had spotted an independent local bakery on our way in and it really did not disappoint. All handmade, rustic and robust. As we stepped into Boscastle Bakery everyone’s eyes lit up and senses were sparked with an amazing smell that greeted us. Five pasties and a few little sweet treats, no encouragement was needed and all was gone in a short moment.  

 

The charm and history which oozes from this village really is something rather special. There are sweet little gift shops aplenty. Perfect for me and the girls to browse while the boys babysit and chatter on ahead.  I suggested a trip to the local farm shop for dinner this evening and willingly volunteered as chef. With the spectacular kitchen service Anchor cottage has on offer, it would have been rude not to volunteer.

 

The farm shop is located just under a mile away from Anchor Cottage and is an absolute must to visit. Be it for groceries, gift or treats, although you will be most definitely tempted into at least a coffee and cake as a side if you do. They also offer fabulous breakfast and lunch services with the occasional evening events.

 

 

It is easily accessible on foot, though it is important to note that there is no public footpath and would therefore not be suitable for walking with pushchairs or very young children. The route from the village up follows the main country road leading in and out of Boscastle. We opted for an afternoon welly romp to the farm shop with our babies in their carriers which meant they settled soundly for the whole journey, we could then also hands free, peacefully browse the impressively stocked shop. Resisting all the beautiful Cornishware we came away with all the goodies we could have wished for. Local ales, wine, steaks, pies, veggies and sweet treats of course - this place did not disappoint!

 

 

Back home after our outings, fire lit, everyone unwinding and getting cosy. I began cooking dinner in the spectacular set up at Anchor cottage. The impressive island, range style cooker and all marvellously equipped, the kitchen really did make dinner service for seven an absolute dream.

 

Satisfied and settled after dinner the children were keen to snug with a movie, whilst the grownups soaked up the serene and tranquil mood. Naturally, bedtime was a breeze and another sound night’s sleep was had by all.

 

Everyone well rested and satisfied after a lazy morning breakfast of giant tea cakes which we had stocked from our visit to the farm shop, we were ready to adventure the coastal path and explore the famous ‘blowhole’.

 

The blowhole, often called ’The Devils Bellows’ can in fact be spotted thumping and heard snorting from Anchor Cottage. It is hidden beneath Penally Point and can be seen around an hour either side of low tide. We were lucky, Storm Eric had brought stormy seas, meaning it could show itself at its best! As we stood watching the water rush through its opening, awaiting the magnificent show, there was a dull, thrilling Thud! which filled the atmosphere. Then, Boom! A terrific Bang! Crash! An impressive horizontal water spout blasted before us. It was spectacular and fascinating for us all ages to see.

 

 

We stood and gazed the show for some time before heading off up the cliff to take in the breathtaking views of dramatic coast line. Approaching the cliff tops we rambled across a few surprise visitors. We were greeted by a little family of beautiful wild horses. These weren’t just any wild horses either, they had certainly absorbed the inner coastal calm, as they allowed the children in turn to get up close and stroke them.

 

 

Having definitely blown away the cobwebs we started back for Anchor cottage to seek some warmth and comfort. Soon passing the Anchor Cottage, Dan carried on with the energetic older children, and I wasted no time getting inside with the twins to put the kettle on and enjoy some cosy snuggles.

 

The older children were keen to spend their pocket money. We had spotted some little pocket kites amongst the hundreds of other goodies in the National Trust shop the previous day. It was in fact the perfect blustery conditions to fly a kite! They merrily chased one another, giggling away at the rapid flight of their kites. Dan and I could sit contentedly indoors with a watchful eye through the pretty shutter windows that frame the view of the beautiful doorstep coastal path.

 

 

With the offering of food we managed to round up the children from their fun and take them a short drive up to Boscastle Farm shop. We had booked in advance for our Sunday dinner on recommendation. It was essential, the place was fully booked out and it was most clear why as soon as we stepped in to the rustic country style restaurant area. The smells, the views and the service were all faultless. We were extremely lucky with our table reservation too. Being such a large party, eating out can be quite a challenge. We couldn’t have been further from that vibe here. The breathtaking cliff top costal view through the floor to ceiling glass windows instantly filled us with inner calm. Having eaten, the Twins, Dan and I were in state of pure relaxation whilst the children were eager to explore the fabulous play park located just outside. We could safely keep a watchful eye from our table as they burned off some of their giant chocolate fudge cake, and allowed us to soak in some ultimate Sunday chills with the sun setting in the background.

 

 

Having an earlier dinner than usual we were ready for some supper back at Anchor Cottage. The children were keen for supper and games night after discovering the entertainment stash at Anchor cottage. Entertainment with no technology involved- perfect! Conversation and laughter flowing, we devoured through the last of the hamper offerings, some delicious Cornish cheeses and crackers and took defeat from the nine year old at scrabble! The most heart warming way to spend our last evening in front of the fire at Anchor Cottage.

 

 

Monday morning arose the calm after the storm. Bright blue skies prettied the landscape and Boscastle seemed to look more beautiful than ever. Sad to be leaving, but with so many wonderful memories made we packed up in readiness for one last family adventure.

 

A place of Zen, calm and collectiveness, St Nectans Glen is a woodland area located nearby Tintagel, a short drive away from Boscastle. Within the woodland is the most magnificent 60 feet waterfall and its siblings. It is said to be sacred and healing. Fully loaded after a delicious hearty breakfast at Charlie’s Cafe nearby we felt ready to take on the woodland walk up to the glen. Thankfully we had packed our wellies as things promptly became quite muddy! A definite added extra to the adventure for the children.

 

It is important to note that St Nectans Glen is only accessible on foot, not suitable for pushchairs and cannot be accessed by vehicles. But don’t be put off by this. This extraordinary area of natural beauty takes you on the most amazing woodland journey along its riverbanks. We found ourselves pausing frequently to absorb its beauty and you might just find you lose yourself into a daze whilst being serenaded by beautiful bird song. The mellow rushing of crystal clear waters sheltered by stunning surroundings makes it clear to see why people gather here. It is almost as though you are entering another world alongside a state of true, deep tranquillity. A definite place to reflect, recharge and absorb natures embrace.

 

 

The children were even keen for connecting with their inner Zen, laying lucky pennies with a wish in fallen tree stumps as we walked along the enchanting valley. We left well wishes of love and peace amongst all the stunning colourful ribbons that radiated peace and harmony as we waded the waters of the channel leading up to the foot of the fall. As we approached the foot of the fall and adventured across the stepping stones, a magical mist encircles you. Drawing a breath at its mighty magnificence it truly does blow you away. We shared a few special moments of true tranquillity peace and love. The twins remained settled, sleeping throughout - result! It felt like time had stood still. We really did not want our amazing weekend to end!

 

Reality checked by rising babies and enticed by the smell of wood fire, we hiked back up to the beautifully enchanting Eco cafe situated in the most stunning setting. With spectacular views across the Glen we settled at the cafe under some blankets and got cosy in front of the fire. We recharged for one last little bit of time and refreshed with some delicious organic drinks. It was reluctantly time for our amazing family adventure to come to end. So many precious memories made. Anchor Cottage really was the perfect coastal family retreat and much more. Boscastle, we will most certainly be back!

 

Feeling inspired? Take a look at Anchor Cottage here.

 

 

 

 

 

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