admit that first glances at Bedruthan belie what’s inside
– the sprawling clifftop complex could be mistaken for a
picturesquely placed office block – but the lack of presence works
to the hotel’s advantage. Blending into the surrounding landscape,
this family-run stay puts the wave-swept Cornish beaches centre stage. You’re here for the
swell; the salty sea air; the ease of access to the UK’s best surf spots. If you spend your days holed up
inside the mid-century architecture of this shoreline stalwart,
you’re doing a Bedruthan holiday wrong.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows frame the dramatic vistas
beyond, everywhere from the bedrooms and dining rooms to the spa.
But don’t expect airs and graces. Rather, you’ll feel like you’ve
landed at a big family home, ready to let loose with a Boden-clad
extended clan for a few days. It’s a summer holiday wrapped up in
Seventies fabrics, with bucket-and-spade-touting broods pottering
through the meandering halls, sandy-footed and sun-soaked kids
zipped up in neoprene. Bar the spa, children are free to roam, so
silent tranquillity is not on the cards. The buzz; the movement;
the sense of adventure, though, is what makes this clifftop stay
unique. Think of it as your very own summer camp.
First things first: ask for a sea view. The best of the 101
rooms come with ceiling-height picture windows overlooking the
dramatic North Cornwall coastline. Airy, spacious and
colourful, interiors feel suitably eclectic, in keeping with the
hotel’s character. Expect soft furnishings in Austin Powers-esque
patterns and splashes of vivid colours throughout, with paintings
on the walls by artists from up and down the coast. We want to say
the vibe is craft-table cool, and we mean that in a nice way. It’s
fun, graphic and a little bit funky. In the bathrooms, you’ll find
Cornish-made toiletries that smell like the sea breeze,
What’s for breakfast?
There’s a buffet of locally sourced produce on offer at the
low-key Wild Café – think chocolate and banana muffins, cereals and
apple juice from down the road – but we opted for the kitchen’s
specials each morning. Eggs and bacon or a Cornish cheese
charcuterie board? Yes, please. Head to this relaxed eatery when
the weather gets stormy, too – our Cornish cream tea enjoyed while
overlooking turbulent seas was a highlight.
How about lunch and dinner?
Make a reservation at The Herring for thoughtfully plated local
fare with views across the Atlantic. Decked out with wooden
flooring and heavy red curtains, and atmospherically lit, you’ll
want to take a window-side seat for front-row sunset views.
The menu is small, but purposeful. Expect locally caught seafood
and produce sourced from farms down the road. We had colourful
courgettes served with dollops of whipped goat’s cheese and
drizzled in wildflower honey one night; the next, crispy skinned
hake precariously balanced over seasonal vegetables.
Lunches are the domain of The Wild Café, and lean heavily on
fishermen’s favourites – the likes of smoked haddock and mussel
chowder. If you’ve got little ones in tow, the relaxed restaurant
is great for early-evening meals. Bangers and mash will go down a
Is there a bar?
Yes, with a banging Eighties soundtrack.
Let’s talk about the spa. Tucked beneath the hotel proper, a
little lower down the cliff, it’s the place to spend an afternoon
soaking and experiencing the foliage-filled sensory garden, all
with uninterrupted Atlantic views. Wrap yourself in a fluffy
bathrobe and head down to dip into the lavender caldarium and
defuse stress with a eucalyptus steam room session. The spa’s
speciality is the garden experience: you’ll be dry-scrubbing in the
Cornish sea air with Himalayan salt paired with foraged herbs, then
heading into a cedarwood sauna to sweat out your toxins. Take a dip
in the outdoor hot tubs, then scrub down for a second time with a
seaweed concoction and end the experience around the fire pit.
There’s plenty to keep you busy elsewhere, too. There’s the surf
school, of course, and beach art sessions, but also plenty of
non-weather-dependent activities. Indoors, you’ve got painting
sessions, seasonal fairs featuring local artisans, storytelling
workshops and candle-making classes. And, new for 2022, is the
chance to get creative with the hotel’s artist in residence.
Tucked down one of the never-ending hotel corridors, you’ll find
the gift shop. Head here for local ceramics, cute stationery and
works by local artists.
How about their green credentials?
We couldn’t find much on the website. Most of it pointed to the
hotel’s sister property.
What about accessibility?
The hotel has one adapted room and the restaurant, bar and spa
are all accessible. Note that there are steps down to the beach,
Things I should know
Bedruthan is dog-friendly, so pooches can join you on your great
Cornish escape, and kids are very much welcome. If sandy-toed kids
aren’t your vibe, you might want to check out the hotel’s sister
property, the adults-only Scarlet Hotel.
Within a short walk I can find
Windswept beaches, Cornwall’s famous surf and long, blustery
walks along pretty coastal paths. Lace up your boots and head out
on the Bedruthan Steps circular walk to visit the rock stacks
mythologised as giant’s stepping stones, or jump in the car in
search of Watergate Bay, Porthcothan, Treyarnon or Harlyn Bay
beaches, surfboard strapped up top.