We value your privacy
Looking for the perfect family staycation? Try Tremaine Manor on the Cornish coast for ultimate cottagecore cool...
We can see the animals from the bedroom window!’ shouts 11-year-old Seth, grabbing his mobile and snapping away. This, to me, sums up tweenagers – old enough to be superglued to a phone; still young enough to be excited by the proximity of Shetland ponies and pygmy goats. And that’s just one of the reasons why Tremaine Manor – an exclusive, private hamlet not far from Looe and Polperro, consisting of a manor house and 12 cottages – makes a brilliant family stay.
There is enough nearby to occupy everybody, from parents to teens and toddlers. It’s not just the children’s bedroom, overlooking fields and the mini-farm, that feels close to nature. Apples fall from the trees around us with a thud, and whenever we get in the car, parked in an adjoining garage, we disturb clouds of swallows, who swoop in and out of nests that peep from the rafters. At night, deep in the countryside, we hear owls hooting. It is absolutely idyllic.
All the cottages that surround the manor house have been named after the different tradespeople who would once have worked on the estate. Our home for the weekend is Cobbler’s Cottage, which comes complete with cobblers’ ironmongery on the walls, antique wooden shoe moulds balanced on the fireplace, and a traditional sewing machine. The rooms are cosy; there’s a well-stocked kitchen and a delicious welcome hamper awaiting us. The children disappear to explore the grounds and are thrilled to find tennis courts and a games room. But that can wait… after a five-hour drive we want only one thing – a sea swim.
We head to Millendreath Beach, a short drive away, which lies in a sheltered cove at the foot of a wooded valley and greets us with soft sands, numerous rock pools and a cafe. We dry off on the beach while eating ice creams, then drive back via Looe – the seaside town close to Tremaine Manor. The next morning, Seth is up bright and early to feed the goats and ponies, and we then head to the world-famous Eden Project, half an hour’s drive away.
The last time we visited, the children were small; this time, they grasp the significance of the project and the scope of its aims. Martha, ever interested in conservation, is in her element, and Seth becomes fixated on spotting one of the animals that reside secretly in the rainforest dome. We visit Polperro that afternoon, a 10-minute drive from the cottage, and marvel at its wonky, whitewashed pubs and cobbled streets that wind down to a cove steeped in smuggling history. We eat sandwiches and buy Cornish fudge for the journey home. That evening, we follow the Looe locals to The Coddy Shack for superior haddock and chips, and zoom back to the cottage to eat on the picnic tables outside. As we get ready for bed, I feel sure that all our close encounters with wildlife are over for the weekend. But a shriek from upstairs tells me otherwise.
A drama-prone Martha has come face to face with an enormous, but very jolly-looking, cricket, sitting calmly on the side of the bath. It’s disappeared by the morning – but as I check the house before we go, I find it again, sitting on Martha’s pillow. I could almost swear it winked at me.
Cottages start from £150 per night in low season (Nov to Apr, excluding Easter and Christmas) and £195 per night in high season. Two night minimum. Visit tremainemanor.com.