Review: Skylark Beach House, Gwithian Towans in Cornwall
Stunning sunsets, vast white sand beaches, dramatic coastlines and a far more relaxed vibe than you’ll get anywhere else awaits you in Cornwall, and St Ives Bay is no exception.
A recent stay in a swish beach chalet in Gwithian Towans promised all of the above and more and, with a stylish place to reside, a gorgeous piece of beach a two minute stroll over the dunes and peaceful walks to partake in, this couldn’t have been better for a chilled summer break.
I shared the trip with family for part of the stay and the rest was spent with just my partner and I, meaning that it was a great way to really test what worked across the ages. My five-year-old nephew loved the toys that were waiting in his room, my brother-in-law was happy to take control of the Weber gas barbecue, my father loved the location, while we were all happy that the beautiful beach was so close.
Skylark, run by Forever Cornwall, is a three bedroom chalet that has been recently refurbished to make use of every space, it contains top-notch appliances and is decorated in a fresh style with calming tones and has a definite laid back luxury feel.
On arrival we found a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge, a beautiful bunch of flowers on the table as well as some essentials for our stay including Cornish butter, gingerbread, tea and a loaf of granary, which I think is a really nice touch. There are also plenty of extra items in the kitchen cupboards such as cooking oil, herbs and washing up liquid for use during the stay so you don’t have to bring your entire kitchen contents with you.
Two bedrooms hold double beds with bedside tables, artworks above the bed to match the colourful cushions and throws with space to hang clothes and under bed storage too. First impressions were that space was at a minimum but the drawers under the bed were ideal. The beds were very comfy and offered up relaxing sleeps.
A third bedroom has a built in bunk bed with a cupboard and storage under the bed with toys for differing ages. I thought this was a great idea – and my nephews were thrilled to have new toys to play with throughout their stay. There is also space in one of the bedrooms to fit a cot and the bathroom had a shower over the bath, some storage space behind a mirror and modern style dark grey tiling around the bath.
The white wood panel walls and light wood floors run throughout the property to embrace the beach style décor and one of my favourite aspects of the place was the upstairs snug area. This made good use of the roof space with two low armchairs holding cushions and throws, offering a relaxing area with plenty of light coming in. The space also offered up views of the beach and held a big shaggy rug, radio and binoculars too, making this ideal place to escape to with a book.
The main area downstairs was an open plan lounge and kitchen with a large wood table in the centre with bench seating. With windows galore, the area offered a bright, summery space and, for the evening, fairy lights along a ceiling beam gave us a bit of atmosphere. The coffee table was packed with a good selection of DVDs and board games, which we made good use of and there were a few books to read too.
The kitchen is fully equipped for meals in with an induction hob, built in cooker and microwave and good quality appliances, crockery and cookware. There’s also a built in washer-dryer, dishwasher and cleaning products so you can clear up as you go!
We were unlucky enough to lose hot water during our stay due to a fault with the boiler, however, we called the number of the caretaker and she arranged for a plumber to visit, who turned up within the hour on a Saturday evening and who kindly returned the next morning with a spare part to fix it. You don’t get better service than that!
Decking surrounds the outside of the chalet with a patch of grass to one side for children to play securely as there was fencing all around. The shed held the barbecue, some deck chairs and body boards and there’s a bench for al fresco dining when the weather is agreeable, luckily we picked an excellent few days and sun shone throughout our stay. This meant that we experienced some first-class sunsets too on the beach – this is a must-do during your stay, I couldn’t stop taking photos, it was a beautiful sight every evening.
Dining nearby was limited to The Rockpool, which is a twenty-minute walk across the dunes but is certainly worth a visit for the food, live music and friendly staff. Try the classics such as fish and chips – they were delicious – and international dishes including a Shawarma cauliflower steak, sticky jackfruit steamed bun and a Caprese salad. There was a more local pub to the chalet but it was under renovation during our visit.
Within a minute or two of Skylark you’ll find the Jam Pot cafe and Sunset Surf cafe, which are open during the day for snacks and lunches on certain days. If you want more you’ll have to get in the car, Hayle is few miles away and has an array of restaurants to suit all tastes, Lidl is close by for supplies and, further afield, you can visit Carbis bay and St Ives. Both of which would be a shame to miss as this really is a gorgeous part of Cornwall.
St Ives is a bustling town in summer with plenty to do such as boat trips, beaches to relax on, shops and art galleries to peruse and restaurants to dine in while Carbis Bay offers up a lovely stretch of beach, where you can often spot water-based wildlife.
St Ives Bay stretches for 6 miles from Godrevy Head and lighthouse, which you can see from the snug in the chalet, to the island in St Ives and is reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Bright blue waters shine against the fine, white sand beach and, as mentioned, the sunsets over the water are really something to be relished.
I love visiting this area and this part of the bay was a first for me so I took a hearty walk around the coast path at Godrevy, attempted to spot seals (they were elusive that day) and stopped off at Hell’s Mouth Cafe before returning. It’s a beautiful part of the country and there’s so much to explore, while the stretch of beach also gives you the opportunity to sit back and relax too.
IN A NUTSHELL
Skylark sits in a fantastic location by the beach and brings the surroundings inside with a laid back luxury style, while offering the luxuries that make your holiday all that more enjoyable. It aids a relaxing break to the beach that children and adults will enjoy and remember and reminisce in for a long time.
For more information on Skylark visit forevercornwall.co.uk