Cornwall Holiday – Arrival

After an uneventful drive of just short of three hours we arrived in Stratton and found our cottage. It was evident that parking was going to be difficult, the ‘ample street parking’ as described by the owner is clearly only available at times when the village is deserted! We were very early for check-in anyway so headed off to Bude for shopping.

When we got back to Stratton, we were lucky that a kindly neighbour took pity on us trying to unload the car (parked halfway back to Bude) and directed us to a space nearby.

Higher Townsend cottage is very old and rustic shall we say! It’s very quaint with its thatched roof and rickety wooden door, complete with enormous key.

Cottage exterior.
Living room

The living room is comfortable but the furniture is shabby and a bit fusty smelling to be truthful. The staircase to the bedroom leads off the living room and is wonderfully wonky, typical of a cottage of this age obviously. The kitchen is a small extension and is adequately equipped for a holiday let but by no means as good as some we’ve stayed in. There is a sweet little courtyard area at the back next to the kitchen which was bathed in sunshine when we had unpacked the shopping so what better than to sit out there and enjoy a beer!

The bedroom and bathroom are furnished nicely and are clean and welcoming. The wonky floors slope just enough to fool you and trip you up late at night…. and Patrick found a little secret door in the bathroom that leads to another staircase down into the dining room.


It’s a really quirky little place but I have to say that the living room lets it down a bit for me. The place is old but that doesn’t mean the furniture has to be!

We decided to see the lay of the land around Stratton, or specifically the local hostelries of which there are two. We thought that we may eat at one or both of them during the week so a bit of a reccy really. First up was The Tree Inn. I was expecting a bit of a gastropub after reading online reviews but we only popped into the public bar so didn’t see the restaurant. We bought a drink and sat out in the yard at a table. There was a table of local characters at the next table who seemed to find us very interesting. I felt like a zoo exhibit and it didn’t endear the place to me. Next up was the Kings Arms. I preferred this one but Patrick didn’t care for it. We again sat outside as there was no one at all in the pub, as there hadn’t been in the Tree. We may give them another try one evening but we didn’t feel comfortable in either of them on Saturday afternoon.

Staithes – day one

After a lovely drive up the coast, we arrived in Staithes just after 2pm. Cottage check in was 3pm but we chanced our arm and found it ready. After unloading our stuff, we had to move the car back to the top of the village to our pre-booked parking space as there is no public parking in the old village.

On first impression, Coble Cottage was charming and right on the harbour.

View from the cottage with Cowbar Nab in the background

After parking the car, we walked down the very steep hill, through the high street back to the cottage to unpack and explore our home for the next 3 nights. It sleeps up to 8 in 4 bedrooms with 2 bathrooms over the two upper floors. A tiny but very well equipped kitchen and a lounge on the ground floor.

Having unpacked, we decided to pop to the shop for some butter, probably the only thing we didn’t bring with us. There doesn’t seem to be any general grocery shops in old Staithes and we didn’t really want to drive down to the next village to the co-op so we popped into a lovely shop called Betty Bo on the High Street. This was one of those shops that sells really nice but quite pricey artisan products. You know the sort of thing, hand made goats cheese and organic this, that and the other. It was nice though but the only butter they had was in a little wooden tub, raw butter which is apparently much better for you than Lurpak 🙄. It was a case of being more convenient than having to shift the car and drive to the co-op so we bought it at just short of a fiver! It is bloody nice though I have to admit.

Coming out of the shop, we decided to do a bit of exploring so went down a little snicket next to the Cobbles cafe which took us to a bridge over the beck.

We turned towards the sea, past a row of cottages, the life boat station and some lobster pots to the harbour wall for the obligatory walk to the end.

Cowbar Nab towering over the cottages.

It’s a pretty view from the harbour wall looking across towards the bay and we could see our cottage tucked in between the rest.

Our cottage is the buff coloured one behind the cream one across the road to the left of the pub.

On our way back and instead of crossing the bridge back to the High Street we continued up a very steep hill, just to see what was there really.

View from the hill

We didn’t realise that we were walking up the side of Cowbar Nab until we got to the top and there was a sign and a stile to climb over to continue to the top of the headland.

Well, we were already there so decided to carry on. Over the stile and through some undergrowth and a few hundred yards later we were on the top of the world! Next three photos are taken from the top of Cowbar Nab.

Back down the hill and on the way to the cottage, we’d hoped to pop into the Cod and Lobster but it was too busy and we couldn’t get in. Resourceful as ever, we got ourselves a beer from our own supply in the cottage and went and sat on a bench on the harbour just yards away from the front door.

What a lovely first day.