“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
- 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: plenty of eateries and pubs are within walking distance
- 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, 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:
- 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
Merlin Farm is just off the North Cornwall coastal road, halfway between Newquay and Padstow in the southwest of England. It's 83km from Plymouth and 260km from Bristol.
The nearest airport is Newquay, served by flights from London Gatwick, Dublin and Manchester. Exeter and Bristol are larger airports, and it's an easy drive from either. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
You'll want a car to explore the area, though you could manage without one. See our car rental recommendations. You can park by the cottages.
Regular trains leave London Paddington and Bristol for Newquay (4 hours from London, 2 from Bristol) and Merlin Farm is a 15-minute drive from the station.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to the UK and getting around
- Newquay 3.5 km NQY
- Exeter 144.0 km EXT
- Beach 1.0 km
- Shops 1.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km