the-most-glamorous-private-houses-to-rent-this-summer-in-cornwall-and-the-isles-of-scilly

The most glamorous private houses to rent this summer in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

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  • MOLENICK FARMHOUSE

    In beautiful countryside on the Port Eliot estate in East Cornwall, this ineffably romantic farmhouse (which sleeps 16) somehow manages to mix country-estate grandeur with a cosy retreat vibe, transforming an ordinary staycation into a restorative escape on the Port Eliot estate. This Grade I-listed farmhouse absolutely sings inside and outside, with two huge sitting rooms, a Great Hall and a host of dreamy bedrooms (some with antique beds). There is an ethereal quality to the whole place, especially felt in the ancient stone circle, or in Port Eliot’s maze, or in fact any corner of the estate’s fantastical gardens. Across the grounds, there are other properties to rent, from the intimate Gatehouse, which sleeps four, to the new Stable Cottage (converted from the great neoclassical architect Sir John Soane’s fine stable block) – you can even bring your own horses.

    porteliot.co.uk

  • TRESILLIAN HOUSE

    Tresillian is home to one of the most beautiful Victorian walled gardens in the country, thick with cosmos, stocks and dahlias, and abundant apple orchards, which all thrive here under the touch of renowned ‘moon gardener’ John Harris (who follows the different phases of the lunar calendar for planting and harvesting). Amid its sheer expanse are dreamy places to stay, including the Manor House (which sleeps 16 people), the Apple Store (12) or the Laundry Cottage (made for two), where seafood suppers are a highlight, with BBQ lobsters and turbot supplied by local fisherman Buck, who lives next door.

    tresillianhouse.co.uk

  • BOCONNOC HOUSE

    Built in the 18th century by the Pitt family, Boconnoc is a stately Georgian mansion whose architecture is as perfectly proportioned inside as it is out. Its current custodians have refurbished extensively, giving the grand rooms (the house sleeps 18) a homely feel – though they remain shoo-ins for interior shots in The Crown. Four dwellings around the Sir John Soane-designed stableyard offer extra accommodation, while those who want to go off-grid can opt for a gypsy caravan or yurt and enjoy a bedtime story around a campfire.

    avenueproperty.com

  • SUMMER HOUSE

    This atmospheric hideaway on the Duchy of Cornwall estate is a place of dappled sunlight and birdsong overlooking the River Fowey. The house (which sleeps two) has a relaxed atmosphere and is styled to perfection with antiques, wildflowers and Egyptian cotton sheets. There is access, too, to the indoor swimming pool at neighbouring Restormel Manor, a Gothic pleasuredome (which sleeps 18) – a wonderful location for a landmark celebration.

    duchyofcornwallholidaycottages.co.uk

  • TREGOTHNAN COTTAGES

    A shingled beach cottage is a timeless fixture of the Cornish landscape, and the collection on the Tregothnan estate, buried deep in plum orchards, is particularly special. With romantic names like Turn-A-Penny and Penjerrick, which both come with amazing sea views, the other biggest luxury here is being free to roam across the grounds, which in the summer become a Persian carpet of wildflowers and bluebells shaded by huge magnolia trees. This, as well as special tours on offer of the estate’s renowned tea plantation, is one of the privileges afforded to lucky guests here.

    tregothnan.co.uk

  • PENOLVA

    This charming former family-hotel was much-loved by the Queen Mother, who was a great friend of the owner Dick Wilkins, where she would often come and stay after sailing on the H.M.Y Britannia. All is secluded and serene on the coastal stretch of St Mawes, which remains a sail and surf mecca. Today, this elegant house (which sleeps eight) comes with chefs and spa therapists, absurdly comfy beds in the Med-meets-New England rooms and its own jetty, and various hangout spaces, not to mention a spectacular Cornish garden with a great stone staircase that cascades down to the water’s edge.

    stmawesretreats.co.uk

  • TRESCO ABBEY GARDEN

    In the Isles of Scilly archipelago, Tresco Abbey Garden is the epitome of subtropical splendour, where the sparkling cerulean sea is glimpsed through a veil of palm trees. The gardens are often described as ‘Kew with the lid off’, home to 20,000 plants from more than 80 countries. Down at the southern edge, there’s a blissfully shady glade filled with gigantic tree ferns that seem straight out of Jurassic Park. On the opposite fringe is a eucalyptus grove. On a hot summer’s day, it’s gloriously shaded, and the sight and scent of these magnificent silvery trees is quite remarkable. Another romantic highlight is the shell house decorated by Lucy Dorrien-Smith, while the Mediterranean terrace is a peaceful haven at the garden’s heart. The best thing about summers on Tresco is the pace of life. It’s island time. The day’s pace is set by the tide, so everything feels laid-back and relaxed. Stay in one of the cottages scattered across the island that are managed by Tresco Abbey, where you can absorb the sleepy charms of the archipelago; even at the height of summer, you can walk onto one of the most beautiful beaches – Pentle, Appletree, Blockhouse – and have it entirely to yourself. Those first, barefoot steps onto a deserted, mica-specked beach lapped by cobalt waters is a feeling that never gets old. Tresco is only 28 miles from the mainland – and by far the best way to get there is with Penzance Helicopters. The flight time is just 15 minutes, and the aerial views of the Cornish coast and the islands are out of this world.

    tresco.co.uk

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