“Luxe but laid-back cottages for 2-4, a stroll from a beach and an easy drive from Cornwall's top restaurants”
Darrel has transformed old farm barns into 3 attractive Eco-Cottages, and the super-stylish Trevone Cottage, all with floor-to-ceiling glass fronts giving spectacular valley views. Outside, each has a small garden, with infra-red heaters for night-time stargazing. Inside, no expense has been spared - underfloor heating, Smeg appliances. Egyptian cotton bedlinen and REN toiletries make you feel like you’re staying in a boutique hotel but with the flexibility of self-catering. But best of all are the eco creds: ground-source heat pumps, high-spec insulation, solar-powered hot water... you can even bring a tree to plant on the farm.
Watch our Merlin Farm video.
- The owners' friendly manner, and the extras they surprise you with, like freshly laid duck eggs (when available!)
- Large open-plan kitchens with high-quality gadgets and equipment; cooking is a pleasure
- Great for young families: there's loads of equipment to borrow; kids love the donkeys and chickens; you're a 15-minute stroll from the beach
- Excellent off-peak prices for a romantic break; walk the coastal paths then cosy up by the fire with a DVD
- Or dine out: Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen is a 5-minute drive away, and you can walk to other eateries and pubs
- The Eco-Cottages are joined but staggered with high willow secludes; for more privacy opt for the detached Trevone Cottage
- You need a car to get to supermarkets so stock up on your way here or pre-order groceries to be delivered
- Very patchy WiFi
- The long farm lane is pot-holey, so you'll need to drive slowly
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Cottages
- 4 cottages for 2-4
- Self-catering (+ walk to restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Communal lawn area
The 3 Eco-Cottages are identical, with 2 bedrooms apiece (a double and twin/double) and an open-plan lounge, diner and kitchen. Bi-fold glass doors open onto a gravel patio garden; wood-burning stoves are a treat in the colder months. Decor is simple but stylish - creams, browns, chic lighting. Coastal artwork by Darrel’s father, artist David Wheeler, adds splashes of colour.
The detached stone cottage, Trevone, is much bigger and more private - plus it has a large garden. Its 2 bedrooms are light-filled, with colourful cushions and throws, and its all on one level.
White travertine bathrooms are a highlight in all cottages, with waterfall taps, free-standing baths and drench showers. You get REN toiletries and bathrobes too, unusual luxuries in self-catering accommodation.
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Cots Available
- DVD player
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Ipod dock
- Satellite TV
- Tumble dryer
- Washing machine
- Woodburning Stove & basket of wood
Open-plan kitchen diners are fantastically kitted out with Smeg appliances including a blue retro fridge, double oven and dishwasher. And you'll find everything you need to to cook: Hell’s Kitchen knives, a wide range of utensils and lovely ceramics. There's a table for 4, plus outdoor furniture for sunny days (and heaters to warm you up on colder ones).
A welcome tray of tea, coffee, sugar, milk and shortbread awaits, as do essentials like bin bags and washing-up liquid. There are supermarkets within a short drive (Sainsbury's, Asda and Tesco can deliver, too), and a minimart opposite the beach sells a wide range of groceries and has a cash point.
If you want a complete break, you can order fantastic frozen meals from local company Angels in the Kitchen in advance, and they'll be waiting in your freezer: lamb tagine, steak and ale pie, amaretto and apricot crumble, that sort of thing. A local Thai restaurant can deliver fresh meals.
Within walking distance are Mawgam Porth's cafes, and the adult-only Scarlet hotel, whose restaurant is headed up by Michelin award-winning chef Ben Tunnicliffe. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen is a 10-minute taxi ride in Watergate Bay, and the foodie mecca of Padstow is just 14km away.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Full kitchen
- Hob or stove
- Meal delivery service
- Restaurants nearby
- Learn to surf at Mawgam Porth (the boys at Kingsurf school will have you standing up in no time!), or take kids rock-pooling
- Stroll or hike along the miles of country and coastal paths
- Visit Cornwall’s other beautiful beaches and coves - Watergate Bay, just 5 minutes away, has a watersports centre for surfing, kite surfing, wave-skiing and blokarting, plus a mile of golden sand backed by dramatic cliffs. There's great surfing at Newquay, too
- Nearby Padstow, where Rick Stein's seafood eateries are located, is a charming old fishing town with narrow cobbled streets crammed with boutique shops, restaurants and places to buy fresh fish or pasties
- Competent sailors can hire vessels in Padstow for a day on the open sea. Beginners can take sailing lessons in Rock
- Hire bikes (which can be delivered to you) and cycle the beautiful, flat and car-free Camel Valley Trail along the riverside
- For a day trip, the spectacular Eden Project, a dramatic global garden with 3 giant biospheres of tropical and temperate plants, is just a 30-minute drive away
- There are 2 great day spas nearby; the Scarlet Spa at The Scarlet hotel and Ocean Spa at Bedruthan Steps hotel
- An 18-hole golf course and fishing lakes with tremendous views are adjacent to the farm, although we were warned about the maddening winds. There's a riding school nearby, too
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
Families can be accommodated in all 4 cottages. Kids will love the donkey and horses, there are chickens, geese and ducks too. The guest information folders detail child-friendly restaurants, attractions and babysitting contacts. The nearest shop/pub/beach is 5 minutes by car or a 15-minute walk.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Family friendly accommodation:
Eco-Cottage Constantine is fantastically well kitted out with stair gates, a fireguard, highchair and wooden cot, plus other equipment (see right). Trevone Cottage has the same facilities (excluding a stroller and baby monitor) but is all set on 1 level, which could be preferable for some families.
If Constantine and Trevone are booked, a travel cot, highchair, stairgates, plastic plates & cutlery, fireguard and changing mat can be provided in the other cottages.
Experienced and CRB checked babysitters are available by arrangement
Baby monitors to borrow (except in Trevone).
- Changing mats
- Toddler toilet seat and step up
- Baby bath
- Black out blind
- Bed guards
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
- Plastic plates, bowls and cutlery and sippy cups
- Mini blender
Kids Activities on site:
- Toddler play area, slide and grassed picnic area
- Become a Merlin Farm 'Eco Ranger' with a fun worksheet for spotting wildlife
- Selection of children's DVDs and toys
- In the summer, kids get a certificate for grooming the donkey
- Chickens to feed
Kids Activities nearby:
- Sandy beaches, rockpooling and surf lessons
- Newquay has a swimming pool, Waterworld, with slides and more, for rainy days
- The Eden Project or Lost Gardens of Heligan are an hour's drive as other rainy day options
- Airport: 10 minutes (Newquay)
- Hospital: 20 minutes
- Shop: 2 minutes