Accommodation

Offbeat Cornwall Accommodation

We recently stayed in this fabulous accommodation near Launceston in Cornwall, but Cornwall has more than just cottages, hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses!

Cornish cottages and other accommodation might seem boring when you’ve seen where else you can stay, like a pig-sty, tipi, temple, old arsenic mine or Egyptian house

The Cornish cottage used to be the fashionable thing to book for your holiday, but now it’s just corny. Been there, done that. The converted barn is boring these days, when the entire county is covered in curiosities. For your vacation in the southwest you can stay in anything from a former cattle shelter to an old arsenic mine, so here are some selections to fire your imagination.

THE WILD SOUTHWEST

Mention the Wild West and you’re more likely to think of Kevin Costner than Cornwall. But at Tamar Valley Tipis you can live out that western fantasy by staying in tipis made by the people who did them for Costner’s hit Dances with Wolves. Of Sioux design, the open-plan tipis have wood-burning stoves and barbecues for outdoors.

MINE, ALL MINE

The Okeltor Mine is a former Cornish tin mine, and is walking distance from the Tamar Valley Line, one of the loveliest little train lines in England. The granite Miner’s Cottage was home to a tin miner in Victorian times, though it’s not hard times these days with gas central heating, a TV and video to keep you amused.

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE

Arsenic mining was once an industry in parts of Cornwall, though there was apparently quite a large staff turnover. Danescombe Mine might have an eerie past, but its location can’t be faulted. It stands in a wood by a stream which leads down to the River Tamar, the boundary between Cornwall and England, as they like to call it.

COW’S WEEK

Was Whiteford Temple really a temple? No-one knows for sure what this 1799 building was used for, although it is known that before it was restored it has a corrugated iron roof, an earth floor and was a cattle shelter. It has been done up since then and now it sleeps two people in the one large room, with a kitchen off one side and a bathroom off the other.

SOUND CHOICE

Don’t stay in the beautifully-named Song of the Sea if you don’t like the sound of the sea as this former fort is only a few feet from the water’s edge. Fort Picklecombe was built overlooking Plymouth Sound in 1860 and converted into apartments in 1977. Book through Classic Cottages.

TOOT AND COME IN

The Egyptian House is on Chapel Street in Penzance, a 3-storey town house with startling Egyptian-style frontage. It was built in the 1830s when there was a vogue for this ornate décor after Napoleon’s 1798 campaign in Egypt. It now has one apartment for three people and two apartments for four people through the Landmark Trust.

BACK TO SCHOOL

History buffs will love going to The College, in Week St Mary, halfway between Bude and Boscastle. It was built in 1506, founded by a remarkable woman named Thomasine Bonaventure, one of the first schools in England to be founded by a woman. Some of the original building remains. Book through the Landmark Trust.