Cottage Review: Valency Wood, Nr Boscastle in Cornwall
For a home away from home in absolute luxury, Unique Home Stays can find you whatever it is you are looking for in a high end getaway. From rustic country retreats to contemporary coastal havens and much more in between, you can expect exclusive stays with the comforts of home and the luxuries of a stay away.
I was fortunate to enjoy a long weekend in the wonderful Valency Wood near the North Cornwall coast and brought with me four family members and a four legged friend. Many of the Unique Home Stay properties, which stretch throughout the UK, allow dogs, and Cornwall itself is a very dog friendly location so this was a real bonus for my guests and I.
The property itself is a converted stable and tack room, which serviced the neighbouring Old Rectory and has been refurbished to an excellent standard with contemporary décor and all the amenities you could ask for from a self catering cottage.
A stable partition still stands and separates the fully equipped kitchen from the open plan lounge and dining area. The downstairs space is very spacious with a log burner resting in a large stone fireplace at one end atop some stylish slate tiles. The lounge area also holds a large taupe corner sofa and chair on which to relax, while a surfboard sits in the corner of the room and contemporary paintings of beach scenes are dotted about to remind you of where you are. A thick wood coffee table holds an array of arty books and local magazines and matches the dining table and chairs, while there are plenty of windows upon which to gaze out onto the secluded grounds. The walls are painted white throughout and neutral tones add to the calming atmosphere, while splashes of colour add a bit of personality.
The kitchen is spacious with a breakfast bar, which held a bulging hamper containing lots of artisan food and drink treats including chilli and garlic olives and fire cracker rice puffs, which were very tasty. (A variety of extras are available for you to purchase and can be waiting for you when you arrive such as flowers or a hamper.) There is a dishwasher and coffee machine to make use of and anything you would expect to find in a working kitchen. To the back of the cottage beyond the kitchen is a large wet room leading from the back door with walk in shower and toilet, a utility area with fridge freezer (in addition to a fridge in the kitchen), washing machine, tumble dryer, sink, recycling boxes and outdoor games, among other things. There was also a single bedroom, stylishly decorated with red furnishings, which is ideal for those a little less mobile.
An ornate white spiral staircase in the main downstairs area leads to the upstairs, which holds another single room, this time with brown furnishings and a twin room with blue and green fabrics. The family bathroom is completely tiled in a stylish sandy shade with a bath, large sink and separate walk in shower with modern fittings. The master bedroom has natural green furnishings and holds an en suite shower room with a modern, powerful shower and dark wood furniture with a walk in wardrobe. A colourful painting sits on the wall as mirrored in many of the other rooms and I was interested to see a message in a bottle built into the bedroom wall. The bed offered me a very comfortable few night’s sleep and the shower was luxurious while the bottle in the wall made me want to go home and start some unique renovations of my own!
Outside, the cottage looks onto a gorgeous woodland, grass area, which leads down to a stream, and a church surrounded by huge trees. There is a lot of exclusive outside space to enjoy and the dog loved the grass and woodland area to call her own for a few days.
No expense has been spared to make Valency Wood a top class destination. I love the contemporary décor throughout and the fact that however spacious or modern, the cottage never lost it’s welcoming or cosy feel. The cottage really does offer the ideal escape and the finest haven at the end of a long day relaxing or exploring Cornwall.
If you don’t fancy making use of the kitchen there are plenty of pubs and eateries just a short drive away. We enjoyed a lovely meal at nearby, The Wellington in Boscatle, which has a 2 AA Rosette holding restaurant. A walk along the waterside and cliffs and the many gift shops of Boscastle gave us a very pleasant morning in the pretty village. My guests and I also enjoyed a trip to Bude’s beach and town as well as Tintagel Castle, which is a must see for all the history and the location, but perhaps not for those who are not keen to complete a cliff walk.
Established in 2001 by Sarah Stanley, the aim of Unique Home Stays is to “offer so much more than luxury accommodation. Our passion is tied up in the stories behind the houses, the owners and the guests that stay in them.” During a chat with the owner of Valency Wood, who lives nearby, he informed us that there is hard criteria to get onto the Unique Home Stays portfolio, which shows that the property you pick really is something quite special. There are 144 luxury properties on the list, which also include an elegant orangery in Wiltshire, a boutique boat house in Rutland and a romantic part boat house, part shepherd’s hut in Scotland. Whatever your interests, there is bound to be a property that will suit you. From art breaks to corporate escapes, stays for luxury hen do goers, honeymooners, garden lovers and eco-conscious travellers, you would be hard pushed not to find a luxury stay to suit your needs and surprise you, just as Valency Wood did for me.
In a nutshell
An exclusive cottage in North Cornwall, Valency Wood offers a tranquil escape. The converted stable is modern and comfortable with everything you could need to rejuvenate or relax before heading back to reality.
A week’s stay for 6 in August costs £2,200 while the same in April/May is £1,400.