As the UK’s most south-westerly county, Cornwall boasts 422 miles of stunning coastline to explore. And with the tropical climes we’re experiencing right now, it’s all too easy to imagine you’re on foreign shores.
Kynance Cove on the Lizard peninsula could be mistaken for Australia’s Hyams Beach, for instance, while other bays, cradled by cliffs, aren’t dissimilar to those of southern Thailand.
But the relaxing vibes don’t just start and end with the county’s beautiful beaches. It’s home to some incredible spa hotels, including Bedruthan Hotel and Spa, just above Mawgan Porth beach and a 15-minute drive north of Newquay.
Bringing the outside in, the venue overlooks the dramatic Atlantic coastline and provides pools and steam room for those seeking that restorative feeling – along with a plethora of Instagram-worthy backdrops to make your friends green with envy.
With its breathtaking views of Mawgan Porth beach, the Scandi-inspired four-star retreat is ideal for those wanting to reconnect with nature. The rooms are bright, airy and wonderfully tranquil.
Elsewhere, the hotel’s sauna, steam room and Roman-style caldarium are ideal for discovering that much-wanted sense of stillness.
Inside, the shared hammam treatment at Bedruthan Hotel is a must-do for couples. Far more laid-back than a therapist-led treatment, it allows you and your partner to have some messy fun as you treat one another’s skin with handmade scrubs and muds that exfoliate and purify from top to toe.
A therapist will give treatment tips before leaving you with the hammam room to yourselves to either follow their pointers or freestyle your therapy.
And as the sun sets on another glorious Cornwall day, what better way to watch the orange hues take over the blue sky?
Take in the sights, fragrant herbs and flowers and wind down with the Sensory Spa Garden Experience and let your body feel truly alive. The bubbling hydropool even overlooks the Atlantic.
Besides, with its lavender bushes, cedar saunas and a copper firepit, the experience is perfect for plenty of photo opportunities, too.
No stay is complete without a selection of mouth-watering meals and the clifftop Wild Café at the Bedruthan is the perfect spot to start the day. Chow down on the breakfast buffet of dreams – waffles, fruit, meats, cheeses and all the bread and pastries you could wish for.
The Herring restaurant offers dinner with a view. The menu may be short and simple, but that’s because the food is anything but. You’ll be treated to a selection of starters packed with mind-blowing flavours, then it’s a choice of meat, fish or vegetables. Finish with a sweet or savoury dessert as you watch the sunset.
If that wasn’t enough, you can also nip to Bedruthan’s nearby sister hotel, The Scarlet, to enjoy the eco spa with its holistic therapies, clifftop hot tubs and reed-filtered pool. Climb into one of the suspended cocoon pods and let your cares drift away. Its seven-course tasting menu, complete with wine flight doesn’t go amiss either.
Away from the comfort and luxury of Bedruthan, Cornwall makes for the perfect roadtrip. To navigate the winding roads of Kernow (the county’s Cornish name), a car is handy, so we hired a classic convertible from Perranwell Garage, Truro.
Prices start at £195 and you can choose from four vehicles: eye-catching two- or four-seater Morgans, an MGB Roadster or a Morris Minor. The lads will talk you through the controls and offer advice on routes.
If you’re looking for a day out, we recommend going to Marazion and The Minack Theatre, then up the north coast taking in Sennen, St Just and St Ives.
Watching the rays dance across the azure Atlantic as the waves rolled on to the golden sands of Bedruthan Steps beach is the stuff of dreams, too.
But if it’s heart-pumping excitement you’re after, how about daring each other to try the Hangloose Adventure at the Eden Project, a 40-minute drive away. On the Skywire, England’s longest, fastest zip wire, you’ll zoom, Superman-style, at speeds of up to 60mph while suspended 100m above the ground.
Once you’ve got your blood pumping, take a trip to Truro and nip into the Art’s Café for a fresh smoothie with a wedge of Davidstow quiche. For the freshest of fish suppers, head to St Petroc’s, Rick Stein’s laid-back bistro that celebrates the best of Cornwall’s catch. The menu evolves, but if you can, try the gremolata prawn starter, while the pistachio panna cotta is to die for.
How to Book
Rooms at the Bedruthan start at £165 on a B&B basis – visit bedruthan.com. A spa day at the Scarlet, including lunch at the Scarlet Restaurant is from £170pp; scarlethotel.co.uk. Book a Skywire experience at hanglooseadventure.com. Booking in advance is advised. Hire a car from perranwell.co.uk/classic-car-hire-cornwall or call 01872 863037. Reserve a table at St Petroc’s Bistro at rickstein.com/restaurants/st-petrocs-bistro