For surfers, active families or avid foodies, the North Cornwall coast is a destination that delivers. From the bright lights of Newquay to quiet coves, the wild Atlantic coastline with its big-name chefs — Nathan Outlaw, Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver — provides homes and holidays that lure families back again and again.
This year has started strongly, says Miles Kevin of Chartsedge estate agents, helped perhaps by the popularity of the BBC’s Cornish-based serial, Poldark. After a long, post-recession hiatus, new developments are being built and are selling.
“The market switched on at the start of spring,” says Kevin. “We launched Seascape, an off-plan development of 12 units in Newquay priced from £170,000 and immediately sold 10 homes. Prices are still between five and 15 per cent off their pre-recession peaks, but sensibly priced properties in good locations are selling well.”
Bay Retreat, a resort in St Merryn, 10 minutes from Padstow, stalled in the recession, but new owners have refurbished it to offer 28 two-bedroom modern holiday homes for £145,000. Annual service charges will be about £1,250.
Also new to the market in New Polzeath, 30 minutes from Newquay Cornwall airport, Atlantic House has nine apartments available through fractional ownership. This was the site of a successful 27-room hotel built around 1900 directly over New Polzeath’s impressive, family-friendly beach.
Families would return every summer for old-fashioned bucket-and-spade holidays. Helen Schofield from Henley had holidayed at Atlantic House since the Sixties. Now married with three adult children, she and her husband, Brian, knew the hotel well.
With Brian’s brother Christopher, they bought the hotel in 2009 and, after securing some financial backing, last autumn had it demolished to make way for a new building.
On completion next spring Atlantic House will become a 14-room hotel with nine contemporary two- and three-bedroom apartments available on a 999-year lease. These apartments average 1,100sq ft, all with balconies facing the sea, and will be sold fully furnished on a fractional basis priced from £105,000 to £145,000.
Owners get five weeks’ use each year and can rent any weeks they don’t use. So far, 46 per cent of the 90 fractions are sold, most to families who knew the hotel but also to couples like the surfers who wandered up from the beach and ended up buying into the project.
Surfing couple realise their dream
After three years renting The Yellow Cottage in Trebarwith Strand, two miles from Tintagel, Ruth and Hugh Pitman from Wiltshire asked the owners to give them first refusal if they ever sold. The owners responded and, in 2007, the Pitmans bought the small bungalow overlooking the sea.
“We holidayed there so we could take our three children surfing at Polzeath, but we discovered the surfing was excellent in Trebarwith Strand,” says Ruth, a chartered surveyor. “We completely fell in love with the village and have never bothered to go anywhere else.”
The bungalow, however, was run down and the Pitmans replaced it with a spacious house, keeping the distinctive yellow cladding and creating a comfortable New England-style home less than 100 feet from the beach.
The family use it often, but also rent it through Perfect Stays, a rentals company offering a bespoke concierge service in some large, exceptional holiday homes.
“It is easy to let during school holidays, Christmas and new year,” says Ruth. “May, June and September are increasingly popular months. In fact, you could let it for 18 to 20 weeks as well as some long weekends.”
The Yellow Cottage is available through Perfect Stays from £1,400 for three nights.