A quintessentially Cornish break

Porthcothan is a little-known village with a stunning, quintessentially Cornish Bay with grassy dunes, a huge swathe of sand and fantastic rock-pooling at low tide.

Despite being close to the tourist draw of Padstow, it has a ‘step back in time’ quality reminiscent of the beach holidays we had as children. Ruddy cheeks, flip flops and sandy picnics. It’s idyllic for body boarding and water sports, for playing cricket or rounders, for fishing or sunbathing, picnics, winter walks or crabbing.

Looking out over rolling fields and to the Atlantic in the distance is The Roundhouse, a large self-catering cottage perfect for a beach holiday in any season. Aptly named, because of its circular sitting room with a focus fireplace all along one wall and a roaring log burner, large comfy sofas make for great movie viewing.

The Roundhouse is super-equipped and luxurious without being stuffy. It has a genuine home-from-home quality, where pushing open the door after a day on the beach, makes you take a deep breath before you flick on the kettle or pour an ice-cold beer.

The house features on the excellent self-catering website, Beach Retreats. There are five bedrooms but, a little disappointingly only two bathrooms, which can cause some disputes when everyone comes home in sandy wetsuits looking for a shower.

There’s a pub and a shop and an easy walk to the Bay, featured in Poldark as Nampara land, so traditionally Cornish is its appeal. A short drive takes you to St Merryn, home to Rick Stein’s inn, The Cornish Arms, serving traditional pub food done well. It’s large beer garden makes it especially dog and child-friendly, perfect for an easy lunch or supper.

A short drive from Porthcothan takes you to the fishing village of Padstow, for a stroll around the harbour, some retail therapy in the quirky winding streets, or to pick up some supper from Stein’s Deli with its specialities, cheeses, fish, chutneys, pate, breads and olives.

Also close by is: Watergate Bay, for serious surfers when there’s a swell; Port Isaac (aka Portwenn of Doc Martin fame); or Rock, home to Nathan Outlaw’s foodie offerings; the pretty hamlet of Boscastle; and the Cornish surf capital of Newquay

This selection on the doorstep makes eating out simple, it would also make for an awesome foodie-themed break. Or you could of course just plump for an iconic hot Cornish pasty and a St Austell ale on the beach.

W: The Roundhouse, Beach Retreats