The trappings of modernity can often shield us from the basic beauty of nature and the tranquillity of our gorgeous country. The essential antidote to all that is wrong in our modern lives is precious time spent with those closest to us in a holiday cottage by the sea. Finally free from the daily commute, many of us instinctively migrate south west to the home of some of the most pristine coastline in Britain. Where better than the enigmatic seaside village of Sennen Cove in Cornwall and the delightful nearby cottages at Vellan Dreath.
Invigorated by that first intake of clean crisp sea air and reassured by the wistful chirp of a passing skylark, you are immediately absorbed by the stunning and inviting sea vista that greets your senses. The cottages at Vellan Dreath mould into a rolling valley that borders a huge golden sandy beach which in turn frames a beautiful azure bay. The cottages themselves have evolved into their surroundings, an almost perfect symbiosis between man and nature, to the extent that you can’t really imagine the valley without them. This is epitomised by the carefully crafted cottage gardens which are perfectly balanced with the surrounding undulations and dunes beyond. The picture perfect setting is made for relaxing and with a glass of chilled rose, the pleasant scent of rosemary in the air, there really isn’t any incentive to move anywhere fast.
The peace, punctuated only by casual bands of marauding seagulls fending off buzzards, is all pervading. Children will be delighted by glimpses of local families of rabbits resident in the adjacent fields, and in the summer months the bay is visited by pods of dolphins and lumbering basking sharks. The walk beside the dunes to Sennen Cove is entrancing and short enough not to become onerous. The reward at the end is a centuries old inn which serves some of the county’s famous ale. Bedecked with fishing images from the 19th century the walls are echoes from a different world and a village tied to a lifestyle governed by the ravages of the unrelenting Atlantic.
This sometimes cruel ocean has by the same token created a rugged coastline sublime in its raw beauty. The walk from the cove to Land’s End is stunning and teaming with wildlife. The old coastguard’s lookout overlooking the cliffs is the ideal spot to swat up on the local seabirds, into whose home we are just careful visitors. On a clear day you can see land on the horizon offering a tantalising glimpse of the Scilly Islands or maybe instead you will spot a seal fishing for mackerel in the rocks below. If all of this sounds too energetic then don’t worry, you can relax in the anticipation of falling asleep in your character cottage to the gentle sound of evening waves lapping against the Cornish shore.