Self-catering holidays are certainly not new. Holidays of this type were once viewed as a low-budget option where you could expect to find tired decor inside a property. However, things have changed considerably. Today, you can expect owners of properties to offer an ideal ‘home to home’ experience where you can expect to find yourself in a property worthy of adorning the cover of a glossy magazine.
With international travel continuing to hang in the balance as we enter 2022, we decided to look into upmarket rental properties on our doorstep. A simple search online and we found numerous agencies are offering rental properties of various sizes and budgets. And while the lockdowns have curtailed our opportunities, we found it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.
From huge manor houses with exquisite interiors to secluded cosy bothies as well as modern architectural wonders overlooking the coast, there are a plethora of properties to choose from.
For this feature, we focused our attention on Aspects Holidays mainly because it was Cornwall I wanted to head to with the family to celebrate my father’s milestone birthday, which was cancelled on three occasions due to coronavirus.
Aspects offers over 700 self-catering holiday cottages throughout the Cornwall area. Family-friendly properties are available in locations including St Ives, Newquay, Marazion and Porthleven. And if you have a four-legged family member, it need not stay behind as Aspects also has 250 cottages on their books that are dog friendly.
We settled for Fairway House, a beautiful property on Downs View Bude, a real seaside Cornish charm within striking distance of the beach like many of the properties offered by Aspects.
From booking the townhouse with Aspects to the contactless check-in, there was excellent communication. No one needs any hassle after a long car journey. Our own was not short by any means but the five-hour drive to get to Fairway House was well worth it.
This townhouse is decorated in a contemporary minimalist style with ample spacious living areas. The open plan superbly equipped kitchen is ideal for the budding chef (or baker like me), which leads to a generous family dining and seating area. I am a fan of properties that combine the outdoors with the indoors.
I was pleased to see this area unfurl through the bi-fold doors into the small but intimate garden with its cedar wood fencing and Italian porcelain patio area. To top it off and for some ultimate chill-out time, I was pleased to see a hot tub.
A separate living room and games area complete with a pool table are situated at the front of the house parallel with the Bude golf course and the beach to the side.
Upstairs and set across two levels are seven bedrooms of varying sizes with the same number of bathrooms – mostly en-suites. Again, the rooms are large and allow plenty of light. Local artists’ modern bespoke furniture and original colourful artwork give the property a real beachy holiday vibe.
And while the holiday feeling was felt within the house, the weather didn’t live up to it. Typically British, it rained pretty much throughout our stay, but it didn’t dampen our spirits to venture out and enjoy what Bude has to offer.
There are miles of beautiful coastline and scenic countryside surrounding this area of Bude on the North Cornwall Coast, and it would have been a pity not to see it. Plus, the Wi-Fi was not so good in the house (there’s an out-of-hours emergency line to assist with such issues), so it made for a great excuse to take some time off our tablets.
We decided to walk around the clifftop on level close-cropped grassland; to blow off the cobwebs, we headed to National Trust owned Sandymouth. The views were spectacular, and the rugged land beneath our feet was great to get the heart pumping. The promise of a café serving hot drinks and hearty food was a real sweetener too, and we were able to look far into the distance and admire the coast.
If you’re brave and like to take a swim whatever the weather, head to Summerleaze Beach.
Here River Neet runs into the sea, and an-open sea pool nestles against the cliffs topped by the Atlantic. It’s a safe place for swimmers, especially when the sea is choppy and attracts paddleboarders too.
Bude town centre has two main shopping streets – Belle Vue and The Strand. The former fishing port was a hub for commerce throughout the 19th century. Today, it pulls in tourists who can stroll their way through souvenir shops, surf and activity centres, cafes, fudge and cake shops selling local treats such as Hevva cake – a type of fruit cake baked in a slab with a criss-cross tab. With all the green grass to munch, cows produce some fantastic dairy products, and the ice cream here is to die for.
Hotels and the like often bandy the phrase’ home to home’ willy nilly, but Fairway House really does feel like home. It was easy to float from room to room as I would in my own home. I enjoyed a spot of reading in the living room, a soak in the bathtub when I fancied it and then skipping down the stairs to the kitchen to the wafts of Indian food cooked by mother’s fair hands. Now you can’t get a more homely feel like that, right?
Aspects Holidays – Where and How?
For more information on Aspects Holidays or browse their cottages visit www.aspects-holidays.co.uk There are several Aspects Holidays office locations in the local area but for general enquiries call 01736 754242. You can also get in touch by emailing [email protected].
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