24-Hour Room Service: The Cove, Lamorna, Cornwall

Just seven miles from the south-western end of England you turn down a wooded lane and a couple of minutes later arrive at The Cove, with a tantalising glimpse of the sea behind. But only once you have checked into one of the 16 apartments in the hill-hugging granite pile, and taken in the view down through the narrow headlands does the beauty of the place become clear.

Around you is a verdant valley with a stream running through it; below you is what has to be one of the best-sited swimming pools anywhere, with views down to Lamorna Cove itself and the waves crashing in off the Atlantic.

Is this really England? The quality of light is amazing, which is what attracted the Lamorna School of Artists here in the early 20th century – as it did their contemporaries in nearby St Ives and Mousehole.

Calling The Cove a cluster of self-catering apartments does it scant justice and brings to mind homogeneous prefabs and caravan parks. This is something else. And in spite of the luxury it's also a perfect place to bring children on holiday, wallet permitting: all the benefits of a hotel with the facilities to cater for yourself and any small fussy eaters you may have brought along with you.

Service is personal and friendly but unobtrusive, and staff can arrange all manner of activities from bike hire to tickets for art galleries or flights to the Isles of Scilly, or tell you about the best local beaches, walks and pubs.

There's a sauna and gym, and the pool is invitingly warm even on a chilly English summer's day; sun-loungers are also available for when the weather becomes as Mediterranean as the scenery suggests. The restaurant-cum-bar is cosy, with a wood-burning stove centre stage, and the food is superb – I particularly enjoyed a starter of oysters, hand-dived scallops and lobster followed by fillet of Cornish beef. There's a simpler children's menu and you can also eat in-room if you'd prefer not to call on the services of a babysitter or the baby-listening service.

Lamorna is a few miles from Land's End, but unless you have a sudden yen to pass up Cornwall's spectacular scenery in favour of the "35,000 square feet of undercover attractions" that include the West Country Shopping Village and Dr Who Up Close, explore elsewhere. Stop off at the fine sand and turquoise water of Porthcurno beach (selected as one of Europe's top 50 beaches in The Independent, and perfect for a family day with buckets and spades). Above, the world's most improbable theatre, the Minack, looks out from the cliffs.

Alternatively, press on past Land's End to surf-friendly Sennen Cove. Another 25 minutes along the north coast brings you to the Gurnard's Head pub, a laid-back gem with sofas, open fires, books and board games where you can lunch on a pint of prawns and locally caught fish and chips, washed down with a locally brewed beer.



LOCATION

The Cove, Lamorna, near Penzance, Cornwall (01736 731 411; www.thecovecornwall.com). It's remote and a bit of a trek to get to, especially if you drive the whole way with bored children in the back of the car. Roads are narrow and some dirt tracks are deeply rutted so don't expect a low-suspension sports car to survive unscathed.

Time from nearest airport and rail station: Newquay, airport, which is around an hour's drive from The Cove, has links from Gatwick, Stansted, Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester. For a more relaxing journey, take a train: Cross Country, First Great Western and South West Trains serve Penzance, from where you can get a cab or hire a car.



COMFORTABLE?

The rooms are big and airy with International Chic design: neutral tones (a mostly caramel and white palette), Egyptian cotton bedding, big mirrors and oak floors.

There's lots of gadgetry, such as touch-sensitive bedside lights (marvel at how long it can take to work out how to turn a light off...) and flat-screen DVD-TVs in both sitting room and bedrooms.

The rooms range from studios in the old building – which was converted in 2006 from a fusty hotel – to two new-build, two-room apartments perched high above the pool with even more spectacular views and their own car park for extra privacy. Each room has a king-size bed, and the deeply comfortable sofas can be made up as beds as well. When you arrive there's a starter pack of essentials: the fridge is stocked with milk, juice and butter, plus there's bread, cereal, tea and proper coffee, and the dishwasher and washing machine are ready to clear up the day's mess. Each morning warm croissants and pastries are delivered to your door.

Freebies: Gilchrist and Soames Spa Therapy bathroom products.

Keeping in touch: each room comes with a direct-dial phone and complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.



THE BOTTOM LINE

Studios sleeping two start at £225 per night or £1,350 per week during high season including breakfast; or £150 per night during low season.

I'm not paying that: Trewoofe Orchard bed and breakfast (01736 810 214; www.lamorna-valley.co.uk), a mile up from The Cove at the head of the valley, has doubles from £80 per night.

News
US comedian Bill Mahr
people
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Sport
football
News
Rob Lowe
peopleRob Lowe hits out at Obama's snub of Benjamin Netanyahu
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Davies (let) says: 'Everybody thought we were having an affair. It was never true!'
people'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
News
Staff assemble outside the old City Road offices in London
mediaThe stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century at Britain's youngest paper
Life and Style
The Oliver twins, Philip and Andrew, at work creating the 'Dizzy' arcade-adventure games in 1988
techDocumentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Arts and Entertainment
Krall says: 'My hero player-singer is Elton John I used to listen to him as a child, every single record
music
News
Friends for life … some professionals think loneliness is more worrying than obesity
scienceSocial contact is good for our sense of wellbeing - but it's a myth that loneliness kills, say researchers
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
News
i100
Environment
Number so freshwater mussels in Cumbria have plummeted from up to three million in the 20th century to 500,000
environment
Life and Style
Models – and musicians – on the catwalk in Dior Homme for the men’s 2015/16 fashion show in Paris
fashionAt this season's Paris shows, various labels played with the city boys' favourite
News
i100
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - York

    £18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - Y...

    Day In a Page

    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
    Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

    Diana Krall interview

    The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
    Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

    Pinstriped for action

    A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

    Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

    'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

    Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

    Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
    Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us