There's a lot to consider when you're heading off on a UK family break - the location, the amenities, how baby-friendly it is... Thankfully Bosinver Farm Cottages ticks all the right boxes, offering 20 luxury holiday cottages on a 30-acre farm in Cornwall plus plenty for children and parents to enjoy. Here's how mum-of-one Nikki got on when she paid a visit with her family.
Where are Bosinver Farm Cottages?
Bosinver Farm Cottages are nestled in the beautiful Cornish countryside, around a ten-minute drive from St Austell. When we arrived in our cottage, one of the first things we spotted was owner Pat’s Nanny Pat’s Adventures in Cornwall book on the coffee table (based on her blog on the Bosinver website), which was packed with ideas of where to visit and lots of extra, child-friendly information, including the distance from Bosinver, how to get there and lots of tips and ideas for day-tripping with children. It was such a great resource and was the inspiration for all of our mini trips out!
Our toddler Louie, 22 months, loved Pentewan beach, which was a 15-minute drive away, as it stretched for miles and there was plenty of space for him to run around, kick a ball and have a very brief paddle (the water was a little chilly as we visited in March!). We also visited the harbour village of Mevagissey and the beach at Gorran Haven, however, the tide was in so there wasn’t much sand around but we had a lovely walk along the harbour wall.
We enjoyed a morning in the Lost Gardens of Heligan – a beautiful National Trust run property and gardens. Louie enjoyed walking around the little walkways and paths and we popped him in the backpack for longer walks. He loved the rope bridge in the jungle area and there were lots of grassy areas for him to run around on and animals to see – it was a little on the pricey side though – even with Louie getting in for free – but well worth a visit.
The highlight of our week was a train trip to St Ives – another Nanny Pat recommendation! Louie loves trains, so we decided to drive to St Erth (around an hour from Bosinver) and catch the park and ride train to St Ives (around 15 minutes). The views of the sea and bay were stunning and we headed straight for the beach where Louie played, made sandcastles and ran about. The sea is shallow, clear and warm. It was perfect for a paddle and we didn’t want to leave! We had fish and chips in the harbour front café and then Louie happily dozed in his buggy while we strolled around and took in the sights.
Where will I sleep?
Our accommodation was stunning. We stayed in Pentree cottage and loved everything about it from the moment we walked through the door. It has a large living, dining and kitchen space, which was perfect for Louie as it meant that we could cook, eat and relax while keeping an eye on him and there was plenty of space for him to play and explore.
I loved the bright colour scheme – from the art on the walls to the throws on the beds, everything was thoughtfully picked out, visually appealing and of high quality. It was bliss to curl up in the king-size bed (complete with luxury White Company bed linen) and I especially appreciated the firm mattress for my achy back after lifting a toddler all day.
Pentree can sleep five in two bedrooms, so there was ample room for Louie in the twin room. Pat had thoughtfully arranged for a cot to be set up in his room, and with blackout blinds in place, he settled really easily and slept like a log from the first night. The twin bedroom also has its own en-suite, which was handy for post nappy change hand washes! There was also a separate family bathroom away from Louie’s room, which was great for me as I love a long soak in the evening!
We had requested a highchair, stroller and backpack, which were all waiting for us when we arrived and saved us a lot of space in the car. Even more excitingly, there was a selection of tea and coffee, milk and a delicious fresh cream cake in the fridge – which was just what we needed after the long drive.
The kitchen was stocked with everything we could possibly need, including an array of plastic bowls, plates, beakers and cutlery for Louie – which are often overlooked in other accommodation! The fridge and freezer were huge and there was plenty of cupboard space for the bags and bags of food we had brought with us. Pentree also has a washing machine, which meant we could pack a little lighter – and get Louie’s sandy clothes washed after a trip to the beach.
Everything in the cottage was absolutely spotless too! There was also a patio and bbq area and a garden for Louie to run around on and say hello to the visiting ducks and geese who roam freely around the farm.
What is there to do at Bosinver farm cottages?
Our cottage was right next to the play barn, which meant we could pop Louie’s shoes on and be inside in around ten seconds – perfect for an impatient toddler! I was absolutely blown away by the play barn, which is in a beautiful building with beamed ceilings. At the far end is a squishy soft play area and in the rest of the space there were play tables, ride-on toys, a playhouse, cars, games and books – and quite a few times we had the whole barn to ourselves to play – Louie was in absolute heaven! Parents are also taken into consideration as there’s a comfy sofa (if you get a minute to sit on it!) and a toilet too, so you don’t have to leave and go back to your cottage when nature calls!
At 9.30am every morning there was the opportunity to meet Farmer Dave and help feed the animals and gather eggs. It’s made into a fun game where children jump over the gate (we lifted Louie over so he didn’t miss out on the fun!) and then crowd around the shed to wait for the chickens to fly out! Farmer Dave is on hand with animal feed to pour into everyone’s hands while the chickens, ducks and cheeky goats gather around for breakfast. Louie loved meeting the cows and sheep, feeding the Guinea pigs and then collecting an egg from the chicken coop! He also had his first (brief!) pony ride – he wasn’t completely sure but the lady running them was so patient and lovely, it didn’t matter! There was a big playground with tractor climbing frames, slides, a sandpit, swings, a large playhouse and big outdoor trampoline which Louie loved to bounce on.
On-site there’s a pool room with a heated indoor swimming pool. It had spotless changing rooms and it was such a treat to be able to book a private slot via the app and have the whole pool to ourselves. The pool is all one depth, which is perfect for an adult to stand up in, however, it was a shame that there wasn’t a baby or toddler pool for Louie to splash about in.
I particularly loved the onsite gym – it had a cross trainer, treadmill, bike, rowing machine and free weights – all in a beautiful room with big glass windows that overlooked rolling countryside, with chickens happily wandering around outside. It was lovely to have some ‘me time’ – and work off the Cornish cream teas too!
What is there to eat?
We had arranged for an Angels in the Kitchen frozen meal delivery for our first night so we didn’t have to cook when we’d been travelling all day – and it was there waiting in the freezer for us when we arrived. We chose Indian meals – a king prawn tikka, cauliflower and split pea yellow curry, saag aloo and basmati rice for us and a kids lasagne for Louie, followed by sticky toffee pudding!
It was delicious! The Indian food was of restaurant standard quality and it tasted really fresh and homemade – the portions were a good size too! I’m vegetarian and there was lots of choice on the menu for me – plus all the dishes were available in the stocked freezers in the reception.
Louie wolfed down his lasagne - it actually lasted him for two meals as the portion was generous (even with Daddy (Dave) pinching a bit – he said it was delicious!). The sticky toffee puddings (and toffee sauce) were divine and we had one each as a holiday treat!
There was an Asda in St Austell, around 15 minutes drive away, where we picked up essentials for the week and Dave enjoyed a leisurely 15-minute stroll to the nearest pub for a cheeky pint while Louie napped! We ate out in both St Ives and The Lost Gardens of Heligan and cooked in the rest of the time. There was every possible cooking utensil and pan you could ever need in the kitchen.
How much does it cost to visit?
Our stay cost £1,350 for a stay in a 5 person cottage for a week at the end of March, however the price does vary based on the size of the cottage, length of stay and time of year. I also felt that we saved a considerable amount of money with having the farm, soft play and swimming pool on-site and included in the price. Everything that Louie loved to do was included so we easily saved £50-£100 (not to mention petrol!) by not having to visit separate farm parks, swimming pools and soft play centres.