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Stay in one of our en-suite luxury yurts set in the peaceful rural surroundings of Woonsmith Farm, in an area of outstanding natural beauty in West Cornwall. Featured in issue 64 of DogFriendly Magazine. See review below.Read More
Woonsmith Yurts offer charming ensuite accommodation and the opportunity to roam the fields, meadows and lake, where the adventurous can swim wild.
Dogfriendly Magazine Review
Read our comprehensive review of this listing printed in our bi-monthly magazine.
“You want to stay where?! That’s a lot of money for a big tent.” My ‘other half’, Steve, was less than enthusiastic when I excitedly showed him the listing for the yurt I had found on Air B&B. After a bit of gentle persuasion, however, I got my own way and we booked 4 nights at Kewni Yurt at Woonsmith Farm for us and our dog, Pepper. There was no extra charge for Pepper to join us, although dogs do need to keep off the furniture and you need to take your own bits and pieces for them (bed, bowls etc).
We wound our way down the narrow Cornish lanes until we found the farm nestling in the countryside village of Nancledra. The setting is rural, and feels more much remote than it is, being only 15 to 20 minute drive to both Penzance and St Ives.
As we arrived at the farm, we spotted our yurt nestled in its own little garden area, complete with decking, table and chairs and a small barbecue outside. The garden is unsecured and there are cows nearby at times, so dogs need to be kept under control, but they are very welcome. As we opened the solid wooden door to the yurt, Steve’s eyes widened as he exclaimed “Oh, wow! It’s great – I feel like a hobbit!” The yurt was stunning. Spacious and beautifully decorated with an artistic, wooden bed (made by one of our hosts, Alan), a wood stove, twinkling lights, a large swivelling cuddle chair and a table – complete with a tasty Cornish cream tea to welcome us after our journey.
There was also a kitchenette and - a real bonus for a comfortable glamping experience – a well-equipped ensuite bathroom. Result! We had everything we needed and were set for a comfortably and relaxing stay. Pepper quickly settled in, and within minutes she had found a little window at perfect dog-eye height to gaze out of – no doubt checking for native wildlife.
For our first night in the yurt, the British weather decided to do what it does best and a mild storm blew in. Listening to the wind and watching the rain beat against the ‘skylight’ in the yurt, we felt safe and cosy (once we had managed to successfully light the fire!) Pepper must have felt the same as she didn’t bat an eyelid and slept happily next to the bed.
The next morning dawned, calmer and brighter. We took a morning walk to explore, checking out the farm’s beautiful private lake and making a mental note to have a swim when the temperature picked up a little. Reluctant to stop exploring the glorious countryside, a 5 minute “pop to see the lake” evolved into an hour long walk around the adjacent Bakers Pit Nature Reserve, where we all enjoyed getting thoroughly lost among the cows and undergrowth. Long trousers and sturdy boots a must for the humans here – this is a little slice of Cornish wilderness!
After a tasty brunch cooked on the yurt’s little dresser top hobs, we decided to venture to the nearby town of St Ives. A long walk from the car park took us down hills and along the coast into town. (We parked at the Rugby Club: £6 for the day) The town is pretty, quaint and picturesque, although it was extremely busy during our visit and social distancing was made difficult by the sheer number of visitors trying to negotiate the one way walking system that had (sensibly) been put in place. For this reason, our visit was relatively short and sweet, enjoying a Cornish Pasty on the sea wall (beware thieving seagulls!) and a little meander down some of the quieter streets. I would love to visit St Ives again at a quieter (or non-Covid) time, to properly explore the narrow, arty streets and beaches – it’s on the list for further investigation once things are calmer!
As we strolled back up the hill to the car, the weather began to turn and the rain and wind descended once again. In a shameful display of disorganisation, we had failed to make any dinner plans for the evening, and thus commenced a little road trip to find ourselves somewhere to eat that would a) have availability and b) allow dogs indoors during these odd pandemic times. As a welcome by-product of our ineptitude, we found ourselves sitting in a car park opposite the famous tidal island of St Michael’s Mount, watching the waves crash over the submerged causeway and up the sea walls. As we watched intrepid kite surfers make the most of the fiercesome weather, we pondered our next move. (Do not fear dear reader; we did finally manage to find ourselves some hearty food at ‘The White Hart’ pub in nearby Ludgvan. Dogs allowed indoors and out.)
If we’d thought last night had been stormy, we hadn’t seen anything yet! Fortunately we returned to the yurt just in time to snuggle up with Pepper and a game of cards before the heavens opened completely. The memory of listening to the howling wind and pelting rain against canvas, while watching the lighting flash across the skylight is a memory that will stay with me for a long time – a really magical (and very British!) summer experience. Our hosts, Alan and Julie, were even good enough to send a message to check we were OK, obviously fearing for our comfort in the yurt. They needn’t have worried – we were all snug and snoring while the storm raged on outside.
Not a trio to be phased by the weather, the next morning we headed out for more exploring, first of all climbing to the top of Cape Cornwall to battle the wind and take in the views over to Sennen Cove and Land’s End, with Pepper safely on lead to keep her secure.
Bit windy! Plays havoc with the ears and fur.
As we made our way down, the wind dropped. Our next stop was Botallack on the wild ‘Tin Coast’. Part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, Botallack is owned and maintained by The National Trust. It was a key filming location for BBC’s Poldark series, and is simply stunning. Engine houses nestle dramatically at the foot of the cliffs and the area is a wonderful spot to explore amazing feats of history and engineering. (The car park is pay and display, free for National Trust members.)
After all this exploring, hunger was starting to set in. Thankfully, we had learnt from yesterday’s mistakes and booked ourselves a tasty late lunch at The Tinners Arms. Built in 1271, this welcoming, friendly pub is the beating heart of the little village of Zennor. Normally extremely dog friendly inside and out, dogs are currently only allowed in the garden area due to reduced capacity inside. This suited us fine. Pepper was able to lie peacefully watching the cheeky sparrows trying to sneak the odd dropped piece of food from nearby tables, as we took in the countryside views. We ordered a burger and a vegetarian chilli which were generous, well presented and very tasty. A short 15 minute drive from the yurt, the pub definitely got a thumbs up from us! There is also a walk over the fields from the yurt to the pub which our hosts recommended – we didn’t attempt this on this occasion but plan to give it a try when we visit again!
Pub lunch after a hard days exploring
Exhausted from the day’s exertions, we headed back to the yurt for some well deserved rest and recuperation time!
The following day, Pepper was keen for a beach run. We hit the road early to avoid the 10am to 6pm dog ban which is in place on many Cornish beaches, venturing the 35 minute drive to the picturesque Porthcurno Beach. Here, we all enjoyed frolicking in the sand at this beautiful bay, backed by impressive granite cliffs.
The morning saw another food fail with a silver lining: We had arisen especially early to make some tasty breakfasts to take on the road…and promptly left them behind. Oh well! Fortunately, the beach café at Porthcurno was on hand to step into the breach and provide us with some tasty snacks instead, including a delicious warm scone and the most enormous baguette I have even seen.
After our playtime and unexpected breakfast, we embarked on another day of adventuring, following the circular ‘Cliff Theatre and Cliff Castle’ walk, taken from the Ordnance Survey book of walks in Cornwall. This stunning walk takes in Logan Rock, St Levan Church, the impressive Minack Open Air Theatre built into the rocks (book in advance if you want to access the theatre itself), and wonderful views of some stunning little bays including the very inviting looking Porthchapel Beach. After our walk, The Logan Rock Inn provided us with a lovely outdoor lunch (good local fish pie and crab sandwiches!) while Pepper snoozed under the table.
Upon returning to the yurt, we finally plucked up the courage to don our wetsuits (too wimpy to go without!) and take to the water in the private lake at Woonsmith Farm. Our fears of the cold water and wind combination had been unfounded – the lake was much more sheltered that we had assumed and we had a lovely swim while Pepper (not a big water fan) watched from the banks. As the lake is deep without any shallow paddling areas, she was safer (and happier) staying on the edge of this occasion. Lake time was a perfect end to a wonderful stay in Cornwall. A stay full of weather, adventures, explorations and memories for us and, hopefully, for Pepper too.
Wonderful wild swimming
As we packed up our belongings to leave the next morning, I asked Steve what he thought of my ‘big tent’ idea now. His response? “Brilliant. I’d definitely come back here! What quirky place can we go to next?!”
THE WOONSMITH REVIEW APPEARS IN DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE ISSUE 64. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE VISIT WWW.DOGFRIENDLY.CO.UK/MAGAZINE.
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