Cove Cottages, St Agnes: Cornish bay has all you need for surf fun
- Credit: Emma Bartholomew
Emma Bartholomew stays at Cove Cottages in St Agnes with her family, where they take surf lessons en masse in the bay right below
“You’ll see us on the beach, from your garden,” Tom messaged as we hurtled down the M4, headed for Cornwall.
“Sun is shining and the breeze is light so put your foot down!”
We did, and reached Cove Cottages in St Agnes by mid-afternoon – just in time for our first surfing lesson with Breakers surf school.
Located in prime position atop Trevaunance Cove, the three stone houses sleep four, six or eight.
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We unpacked in record time leaving our luggage in Seaview.
Taking the steep steps we were on the beach within a couple of minutes where our instructors Tom and Jadine were waiting to size us up for wetsuits.
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My nine-year old daughter Ines and my partner were absolute beginners, and although I’ve tried plenty of times, I was hoping for a breakthrough if I went back to scratch and learned properly.
Jadine shared some safety tips as we gathered around her on our boards at the water’s edge, before elegantly demonstrating how to jump to your feet in a split second.
Apparently the yoga we did as a warm up can help with the manoeuvre she told us encouragingly, as we attempted the same.
By this point Ines was having such a great time and asked if we could come back again tomorrow.
And once we were in the sea and she got to her knees on her board, propelled along by her first wave, she was clearly having the time of her life.
In fact we all were, and what’s fantastic is the lessons at Breakers cater for all ages.
You can feel happy knowing your child is in safe hands while you have fun on your board further out.
I’m a firm believer in throwing a lesson at everything nowadays, and only wish I’d done this years ago, as Jadine’s top tips really made a difference.
It’s clear Tom and Jadine are passionate about helping people learn to surf, and when I looked up to see if they’d noticed I’d caught what I personally felt was a good wave, they looked as thrilled as I was.
It’s exhilarating while you’re in the sea, but sometimes getting your kit off after a surf session can be a bit of a drag - especially in the colder months as the wind whips around you and you tear off the moist wetsuit to expose your limbs to the elements.
One of the amazing things about staying at Cove Cottages is the proximity of their warm baths to the sea.
In no time at all we were back at the comfy, bright and airy cottage - and its uninterrupted views along the stunning coastline.
Relaxing with a cup of tea at the table outside, with the sea - which we had just been in - still in sight below, I felt blessed to be here.
Breakfasts at Cove Cottages were serene, reading the paper and watching the sun rise above the cliffs while the sea was like a millpond.
The cottages are let by Kay Jones, whose family ties here stretch back three generations.
Along with her son Nick and his family living next door, there are still three generations on hand if you need them, living the good life keeping chickens for eggs, bees for honey and fishing for mackerel off the cliff.
The kitchen in Seaview is well stocked with everything you need to rustle up a meal, but if you want to take a break from cooking there’s no need to jump in the car to eat out.
Schooners restaurant completes the offering in this little cove.
It only launched in June when chef Adam Vasey took on the beach-side café which his family ran in the 90s.
Along with a couple of his mates, they have turned the space into a sophisticated yet relaxed diner which gives the best places in London a run for their money with its refined menu.
What you would never get in the city though is the fabulous view of one of the nicest bays in England from its dining room.
We gazed out to sea as people in canoes paddled by, and spotted men catching mackerel off the cliffs - which we were about to eat too.
I have to admit I have a huge soft spot for St Agnes, having been inspired to live in the next village along a decade ago after a holiday here.
Cove Cottages must surely be the best spot to enjoy St Agnes.
As we set off in the car back to London after one last thrilling surf lesson, stuffing down pasties from the village bakery, we had fresh in our minds the feeling of floating down those waves.
Prices start from £475 for six at Sea View.
For more information about surf lessons, which cost £110 for five days, see surf-lessons.co.uk.