Review: Classic Cottages 5 Valency Row, Boscastle, Cornwall
Bring your witch’s broom, your hiking boots and your swimsuit to one of my favourite spots on England’s coastline. The village of Boscastle in Cornwall really feels like a world of its own. Three rivers come together in a valley which shelters the cluster of whitewashed cottages set on their banks, and where a calm harbour leads out to the wild Cornish sea. Boscastle has been an important natural harbour since the 12th century, when clever local witches used to sell ‘wind’ in the form of magical knotted ropes to the captains of becalmed ships waiting around for better sailing weather. Myth and enchantment are still weaved into the stone and mortar of Boscastle, a place where the devil is said to live in a cliffside blowhole and where King Arthur’s birthplace is just a ramble away, along the cliffs to Tintagel.
Active types will love exploring this corner of Cornwall just as much as lovers of myths and legends – you can go for a sea swim in crystal-clear water straight from the old walls of Boscastle’s harbour, while the South West Coast Path climbs the cliffs on both sides of the village. The perfect Boscastle base? Classic Cottages have beautiful boltholes all over Cornwall, including a Grade II listed gem right in the heart of the village harbour that makes for a wonderfully cosy place to hole up – meet 5 Valency Row.
5 Valency Row may look charmingly old-fashioned from the outside, but indoors this two-bed cottage has been carefully modernised, making for a bright, calming space that’s still packed with original features. This former fisherman’s home is pleasingly topsy-turvy – downstairs is a spacious sitting room with a wood burner and a smart bathroom with underfloor heating, while upstairs there’s a spacious kitchen painted in coastal blues and two bedrooms decked out with white linen, with wood-shuttered windows looking out on Boscastle’s cobbled streets.
This is the perfect cottage for all seasons. On chilly nights, while away the evening in the snug sitting room – light the woodstove and curl up on the big L-shaped sofa with a book or a game from the cottage’s shelves. Sun shining bright? Outside 5 Valency Row there’s a little secret haven – a sun-soaked terrace looking out over the village. Up slate steps, a wooden table surrounded by herbs and flowers is the perfect spot for a morning coffee or an evening glass of wine while you keep watch over Boscastle from your eyrie.
EXPLORING THE CORNISH COAST FROM 5 VALENCY ROW
Ready to go exploring? Boscastle is right on the South West Coast Path, and is the jumping-off point for one of my favourite walks in the UK – Boscastle to Bossiney Haven, a wonderful hidden beach perfect for a sea swim. You’ll also pass through Rocky Valley, a deep gorge with rushing waterfalls and ancient rock carvings along the way as you hug the spectacular coastline on this 7-mile walk (find my Komoot route of the hike here). We timed our walk back to the cottage as the tide was rising and went for another dip off the harbour walls in the village – the water is a wonderfully clear emerald green.
5 Valency Row was the perfect cosy home to retreat to after a busy day of swimming and hiking – we could warm up with a hot bath, cook up a storm in the kitchen with local produce from the Boscastle Farm Shop and then toast the sunset from the terrace with a glass of wine and half an eye kept out for witches on the horizon.
Classic Cottages offer beautiful boltholes across Britain, ranging from the Cornish coast to the hills of Snowdonia and sleeping groups from 2-29. Get inspired by their curated collections, including sustainable eco stays, dog-friendly pads and, of course, cottages near cosy pubs!