Our Brilliant Cornwall holiday

Bedroom at the Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Watergate Bay Hotel, February 2018

Matt and I had a full and frank conversation about our holiday needs a few weeks ago. We put our cards on the table and admitted exactly what we wanted from our getaways in 2018. I’m often a bit agitated on holiday and feel the need to see and experience the country that we are visiting. But for my husband, that is just not a priority. His favourite breaks are when we ‘flop and drop’ and don’t move further from the sun lounger than is absolutely necessary. My favourite holidays are in Cornwall. I just bloody love it there. I love how we all are, in the fresh air, walking on beaches. We’ve been going down to the north coast as a family for the past 5 years. Normally at Easter. This time we tried a new place to stay, the Watergate Bay Hotel, in February half term.

The Bay

Watergate Bay Beach at low tide

Watergate Bay is a gorgeous 2 mile stretch of golden beach just north of Newquay and a few miles south of Padstow. It is slap bang in tourist territory, where affluent holidaymakers travel in their droves to experience fresh air and fantastic food. It is the home of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen (for the past twelve years, believe it or not), and a Rick Stein establishment never seems to be more than a stone’s throw away.

Living Space at the Watergate Bay Hotel

The owners of the Watergate Bay Hotel have tapped into the surfer-luxe-foodie vibe brilliantly. It is nautical interiors done to perfection. You can swim, surf, walk and then relax in a beautiful restaurant, bar or chill out area.

Library at the Watergate Bay Hotel

Cornish comfort


Breakfast at the Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

A fine breakfast indeed

There are two dining options in the hotel, Zacry’s, a grown-up restaurant that is open for dinner and the Living Space, which serves food throughout the day. To be honest, we rarely seem to have a bad meal in Cornwall. The quality of, and commitment to, local produce seems to win out at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. We also visited the Beach Hut, a casual dining option right on the beach. This was our most disappointing meal because the service was a wee bit slow, but I have no complaints about the food itself. Fifteen, also a 2-minute walk, is one of my favourites. You are well advised to book all restaurants in Cornwall in advance, especially at busier times of the year. Food and fortune favour the well organised.

Watergate Bay Hotel pictures from the beach

Watergate Bay is popular with surfers and dog walkers and at the right tide offers a 2-mile walk


We stayed in a Family Room, which included a small separate area with bunk beds for the children, that afforded complete privacy for mum and dad. It was very spacious and very well appointed. Storage was excellent (a real bugbear of mine in hotels) and there were nice touches like fresh milk in the fridge for your morning cuppa. Dear Hotel, Matt would have appreciated some biscuits. If I was being mega picky I would say that the bathroom was on the small side, but overall we had plenty of space and were very happy.

Bedroom mirror, Watergate Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Things to do

Swimming pool at the Watergate Bay hotel

A swim with a view

There is a lot to do in Cornwall, admittedly most of it outdoors. I was nervous coming down to visit in the winter, and the weather forecast was pretty miserable. I need not have worried, there was a mere smattering of rain and the temperatures were milder than at home (Berkshire). It is just a case of having the right coat and boots. We walked on a beach every day, whether it was Watergate, Fistral, Mawgan Porth or Bedruthan. There are beautiful coastal walks too, so long as the wind isn’t up. We also visited the Lost Gardens of Heligan and popped into Padstow to browse the shops. Compared to other visits (Cornwall can get extremely busy) it felt like we had the place to ourselves.

Breakfast at Watergate Bay Hotel and 2018 National Trust Manual

National Trust membership is a useful thing to have in Cornwall

A bit about the kids

This is Not About the Kids, but if the kids are happy, we are happy yes? The hotel offers a children’s High Tea at 5 pm, which includes vegetables! And for the first time ever, our two actually wanted to go to the Kids Club. Perhaps it is their ages (9 & 8), and the fact that it was a bit cooler, and in the evening, but they just couldn’t wait to get there. Will wonders never cease? There is also a good sized indoor swimming pool, and board games and books available to borrow in the library.

Watergate Bay Hotel library

Hotel library

Read about my first ever skiing holiday, I don’t usually go away this much, honest!

The bottom line

This is not a cheap getaway, we paid £320 a night B&B. A lot for a staycation right? I get it if that is not everyone’s bag. But for me, it is our finest holiday of the year. If we can manage to do it in style once in a while, I certainly don’t feel short-changed.

Blogger Helen Perry at the Watergate Bay Hotel

Me, happy in Cornwall

We paid for our stay at the Watergate Bay Hotel, and I am not being paid for this blog post.

Shadows of two people on Watergate Bay Beach in Cornwall

Not About the Kids

Please share your favourite destinations on the UK coast or any other coast for that matter. There are too many places to go and not enough time, so let’s live vicariously through each other….


What's your View?

4 comments on “Our Brilliant Cornwall holiday

  1. Ruth Martin on

    Loved reading this! It’s a part of Cornwall I haven’t been to but have it’s lovely. Every year we go to Kingsand on the south coast of Cornwall which is a picture perfect quiet little village. This summer we are venturing to Porth Levan also on South coast but much further down…cant wait!

  2. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    Hello Ruth, thank you so much I’m glad you enjoyed the read. There are too many beautiful places to visit in Cornwall. There’s only one thing for it. We’ll have to move there! We are thinking of staycationing down there in the summer of 2019, it would be nice to be there when the weather (fingers crossed) is at its best for once. Maybe even leave the wellies at home!!! I hope that you have a wonderful holiday. Hx

  3. Karen Grey on

    I totally share your love of Cornwall. We always have a week in Padstow each year which we call our ‘Doug Holiday’ (our beloved dog!) And venture further afield during our time here. We’ve been to Watergate Bay (tho’ not the hotel) and have spent many beautiful afternoons taking a late lunch at Jamie’s and watch the surfers – bliss. Also very lucky that our eldest currently plays rugby & is based in Penzance so we get to spend lots of weekends down there. I love your review so maybe we’ll splash out and have an overnighter at TWH this year as a little treat! To me, as soon as I pass that ‘welcome to Cornwall’ sign, I immediately sigh with relief and relax from the rigours of a busy city life!!

  4. @not_about_the_kids2017 on

    Hi Karen, you sound like a woman after my own heart. We went to Padstow while we were down last week, and it was heaven like we had the place to ourselves! Treat yourself to WBH sometime, you won’t regret it. I fantasise about owning a little place down there so that we could go more often. Thank you so much for popping by the blog for a read, it makes my day. Helen x

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