Our love affair with Kilminorth started about eight years ago.
Well for me, it started more than twenty years ago when I used to spend a couple of weeks there during hot summers with my parents. I’m not entirely sure how my mum ever knew about this special place. It’s a secluded village, on the outskirts of Looe, hidden in a valley on the edge of one of the UK’s last remaining ancient woods.
Back then, we didn’t have the luxury of the internet to find such secrets, I’m guessing it was word of mouth that brought her there, or possibly the holiday section in the Radio Times! Either way, it was a blissful escape and part of my most treasured memories.
Anyway, back to eight years ago. I introduced my then fiancé to Cornwall. He had never been, and I wanted him to see some of the places I would visit with my parents. We headed straight for Looe and while strolling along the seafront with a bag of chips dodging a potential seagull attack, I remembered Kilminorth. He suggested we try and find them to see if the holiday cottages were still there. Of course, they were, and we were welcomed by the new owner, Jayne.
Jayne explained that the cottages were on a journey of refurbishment and offered to show us around. I was blown away by the restoration. The cottages were now bright and full of natural light and while the décor has a luxurious contemporary look, the exposed beams and stone walls are there to remind you of their long-standing history. We instantly felt at home and knew that we had found the perfect place for our wedding guests to stay the following year.
Eight years on and we are still regulars. We have watched Kilminorth grow and flourish into an incredibly special place. Our family has grown too, and for our son Leo, now seven, it’s very much a part of his life. It’s our home-from-home, our charging point, and our hidden paradise.
The beauty of so many visits is our growing knowledge of one of Cornwall’s most beautiful places to visit. The south Cornish coast is bursting with beauty, history, and treasures. While staying at Kilminorth, you are only a stone’s throw away from the seaside town of Looe. As a working fishing port, fresh fish is always available here. Many of Looe’s restaurants rely on the daily catches of the local fishermen and Pengelly’s Fishmongers at the Quay have a wonderful selection of fish from sustainable stocks to take home at cook just the way you like it. If you stay at Kilminorth during the warmer months, I recommend requesting one of the BBQ packs and making the most of Pengelly’s king prawns!
About food, we have discovered some fantastic places to eat over the years that are well worth a visit during your stay at Kilminorth. Our favourite pub is just a 5-minute drive away and located in the near village of Pelynt. The Jubilee Inn is steeped in history, this sixteenth- century inn swamped in original features, including a grand fireplace and slate flooring is nothing but welcoming. So much so, we chose to dine there after our wedding! If a roaring fire, a pint of Cornish cider, and huge roast dinners are your thing – the Jubilee Inn is the place to go. It’s family and dog-friendly and the ideal place to relax after a long walk or just pass the time.
During the summer months, one of our favourite places to go for lunch is The Black Rock Bistro. The bistro is located on the beach edge of Millendreath; a very pretty and quieter beach not far from Looe. The staff here are so friendly and welcoming. Within a few minutes, you will feel like one of the locals, chatting away as though you have known them for years. If the sun is shining, you will want to sit outside on the decking and make the most of the sun while dining on delicious tapas and a bottle of wine goes down very easily, so establish your designated driver before you start! And if the weather isn’t so good, take a seat inside; it’s cosy and warm and the hot chocolate is amazing. I would recommend booking in advance during busy times of the year. The secret is out with this place, it’s popular with locals and visitors alike.
While staying in Cornwall it would be wrong not to sample a Cornish Cream tea, and there is one place that we favour above all. Not just for the amazing scones but also for their magical location. Talland Bay Beach Café is situated down a narrow winding country road between Looe and Polperro. Talland Bay is an area of untouched natural beauty. The two shingle beaches are fairly small, but they are loaded with a plethora of rock pools that the kids adore exploring. Each visit introduces the kids to the creatures of the ocean. The beach café itself looks down onto the beach, you can sit outside or cosy up in one of the three beach huts available. The cream teas are glorious, but then so is the ice cream and the lunches are pretty good too!
However, head down to Talland at dusk and watch the sun go down, it’s simply one of the most beautiful spots in Cornwall. The bay has a well-known history of smuggling. While looking out to sea, it’s easy to imagine the ships appearing with the rolling mist while smugglers offload their contraband. If the kids (and adults, let’s face it) love tales of pirates, this is the perfect spot for a bedtime story or two.
As you can see, Cornwall is an excellent place to eat good food, so walking it off might be a good idea. As previously mentioned, Kilminorth resides on the edge of Kilminorth Woods. These ancient woods are a walker’s paradise. The woodland dates back to 1600AD, and its rich history has provided it with an abundance of wildlife, plants, and fauna. Over the years we have made our way into Looe via Kilminorth Woods several times. The walk takes you along the West Looe Valley River, with spectacular views at every turn. Eventually, you will arrive at the Millpool carpark in the heart of Looe, that’s the point you head to one of the many pubs for a pint of Cornish Rattler. Over the years we have spotted some beautiful Roe Deer and foxes, not to mention many birds. We have even sighted these from Kilminorth on occasion.
Of course, no walk with the children would be complete without looking out for the Kilminorth Dragon (invented purely for our entertainment). We haven’t seen the Dragon as yet, but we do sometimes hear it in the distance and a misty day provides excellent Dragons breath! Personally, my favourite time to make the walk is around April/May, the woodland is transformed into a breathtaking blanket of blue as the bluebells blossom.
The great thing about the location at Kilminorth is that you have all of this on your doorstep, so if you don’t want to travel, you don’t need to. But if you are up for some adventures further afield, just an hour in the car will take you to some of Cornwall’s other most loved destinations. We love to visit Padstow on the North Coast of Cornwall. Surrounded by golden sand beaches, Padstow is a working fishing port. In the summer months, it is busy, but it’s just as wonderful at any time of the year. Home to Rick Stein’s restaurant, bakery, and takeaway, you won’t be disappointed with the food here. It’s also a great place to stroll around after a Sunday lunch. I like popping into all the shops and grabbing some ice cream too.
Padstow is also the start and end point of the Camel Cycle Trail, and bikes can be hired if you fancy giving that a go. They can also provide you with trailers for little ones, so all the family can enjoy the experience. It’s an enjoyable day out without having to go very far, and after all that exercise you head back to Kilminorth to relax in the garden or maybe the hot tub!
Thank you SO much to Sarah Jane for this amazing review of her experience and we hope to see you very soon in the future!
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