5 West country wellbeing stays
Looking for a Devon or Cornwall escape? Hell yeah! Check out these stunning self-catering properties, all with on-site extras, from yoga and wine tasting to massage.
I admit it, I have a thing for Devon and Cornwall. I spend a lot of time looking at the Muddy Instagram accounts for those two beachy, beautiful counties and it’s where I automatically look to escape when being landlocked starts to feel constricting, particularly at this time of year.
If you’ve ever tried to book a self-catering place in the West Country you’ll know that the internet is literally riddled with holiday let sites, but save yourself a whole load of fruitless googling and go straight to Perfect Stays – their properties are absolutely gorgeous (perfect in fact, it’s no exaggeration).
But what they also do so well is think about the holistic and nurturing extras that lift your stay beyond the ordinary. In a month like January, where Wellbeing is top of our agenda on Muddy, it’s the perfect excuse to book a break that does more than give you four walls away from your home. Want some inspo? You got it, lady.
FOR WATER LOVERS
Beachfront, sleeps 8-10
Where: Right on the goddam beach in Bigbury-on-Sea.
Deets: An open plan living area encased in glass gives you amazing views out across the water. Four bedrooms (two twins at the back perfect for kids) and a sofa bed if you need more space.
Nearby: Bigbury on Sea is joined by a causeway to the iconic Burgh Island – go over on the iconic sea tractor! Other gorgeous beaches in the area include Bantham, Thurlestone, Hope Cove and South Milton. You’re close to harbour towns like Dartmouth and Salcombe. Sharpham Vineyard a 40 minute trundle in the car, is worth a trip.
Wellbeing extra: Ready to surf? Bigbury-on-Sea has several fantastic local surf schools, as well as other watersports such as kayaking, windsurfing or SUP to get the blood pumping. Slip out of bed, walk to the beach and off you go. There are dozens of beautiful coastal walks from your front door if you want the endorphins but prefer to stay dry.
The Nook, sleeps 2
Where: Set in rolling hillside and equidistant from Polzeath and Rock, this is ideal as a romantic hideaway with plenty of home comforts (wish my house looked this good, just saying).
Deets: Scandi-cool single level property, with open plan kitchen and living area, large master bedroom and bifold doors out onto the garden.
Nearby: The stunning beaches of Polzeath and Daymer Bay are both within a 10 minute drive. Rock and the foodie thrills of Padstow are both deliciously close too.
You can book in-house one-to-one yoga sessions here. The instructor will along all equipment needed and will tailor the class to your ability. Nip 10 metres to the kitchen for a green tea (and sneaky biscuit) once you’re done.
FOR SPA LOVERS
Salubrious House, sleeps 9
Where: St Ives – the artiest district in Cornwall. The property itself was once home to artist Douglas Portway and was a big party house of its time, visited by Barbara Hepworth. Tate St Ives is just down the road.
Deets: Er, have you clocked the view from the dining room?! Bang in the heart of the town, Salubrious House has upside-down design places the first three bedrooms on the ground floor so you can get the best of the views. Unusually for St Ives there’s a large garden – plus you’ll find Douglas Portway’s artist studio at the bottom!
Wellbeing extra: Fancy a beauty treatment or three? The Salubrious concierge will arrange for a mobile therapist to visit the house, or if you fancy visiting a spa (our tip is for Una St Ives), consider it sorted.
Nightjar, Sleeps 8
Where: A beautiful barn conversion in Dulverstone, bang in Exmoor National Park and ideal for exploring both Devon and Somerset.
Deets: Awesome for two family groups as there’s a huge open plan kitchen and living space on a single level with two bedrooms at either end of the property. Particularly lovely for equestrian fans – you can bring up to three of your own horses as there’s stabling on site.
Step away from the kitchen! Organise a private chef to step in and take care of the foodie stuff so you can focus on eating it outside with these views (above). Either bespoke meals or chef-prepared meals delivered – gotta say, I’m loving that idea – including vegan recipes.
FOR WINE BUFFS
Pentyak, Sleeps 14
Where: Harlyn Bay, with its gorgeous horse-shoe white sand beach. Close to Constantine Bay and Padstow.
Deets: A family party house for sure. For kids, a sunken trampoline and treehouse in the garden plus a den inside, for adults stupendous views across to the beach from this Grand Design-style house.
Nearby: Beaches galore of course but plenty of great food options too. Five minutes away is Rafferty’s restaurant (think relaxed tapas). In Padstow you can eat your weight in seafood at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Paul Ainsworth (No 6) and St Petroc’s Bistro.
It’s official, drinking is good for you! Arrange for a bespoke wine tasting at the property, or the concierge can arrange tours and tastings in local vineyards including Camel Valley or the super-local Trevibban Mill.