- Credit: Archant
Bosinver Farm is a place where magical things can happen whether you are nought or ninety and everything in between, discovers CAROL BURNS.
Tucked off a main road near St Austell, but in many ways a million miles away from the bustling town, is Bosinver Farm. This complex of 20 fairytale cottages surrounded by a countryside idyll (not least 30 acres of wildflower meadows and woodlands) is where my seven-year-old son and I landed in the Autumn.
We were headed for a weekend at the snug Rose Cottage, a beautiful two-bedroom snug house with roses growing around the door, for a weekend of countryside fun and to ‘discover the magic’, as Bosinver Farm’s logo encourages.
It is handily placed within easy reach of many of Cornwall’s attractions, but it boasts quite a few ornaments itself and we spent most of the weekend happily exploring the complex (there was also a sweet welcome with a lovely homemade cake in the fridge, but there was no time to eat with so much to explore!).
We are greeted by owner Pat Smith, who with husband Dave (who is better known to all as Farmer Dave) has invested so much in creating Bosinver in their image of a safe haven where kids can run free and families spend time together and rediscover nature (incidentally they are one of the most sustainable holiday destinations, and have the awards to prove it).
The Smith family arrived in 1998 and completely renovate four existing properties and built 16 cottages where holiday chalets once stood. Despite being in a complex of 20 solidly built and pretty cottages of varying sizes to accommodate most families and which in total can house more than 160 guests, Rose Cottage sits as though alone, hidden by foliage on one side and opening out to fields on the other.
Our first stop was the farmyard where mornings begin with animal feeding, offering holidaymakers of all ages the chance to meet the farm’s permanent residents. These include sheep, goats, horses, chickens and ducks. There are also pony rides available, wild food foraging, and regular activities as part of their Wild Kids Club which includes den-building , fire-making and pond dipping. Whatever the weather and whatever else you pack, wellies and waterproofs are a must!After the farm yard we head for the brand new pool, beautifully designed, environmentally-friendly and endlessly enjoyable, allowing children to swim and parents to sit and relax – or head for the sauna or outdoor tennis courts nearby if the children are old enough.
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Our Saturday morning began with the farm and swimming pool, and of course we made time to test out the endless fun to be had in The Play Barn for younger visitors and the outdoor playground where a trampoline proved to be the main attraction, after a ride on the tractor, combine harvester and swings.
Pat and Farmer Dave’s love of the outdoors is infectious: alongside the interactions with the farm and its feathered and furred residents, guests are encouraged to follow the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re 11-and-three-quarters’ – you can currently do 43 at Bosinver including hill rolling, exploring ponds and kite flying – and Pat and Farmer Dave are working on the last seven.Other attractions to be tried out were the games room – with table football, ping-pong and pool and the adventurous outdoor play with its zipwire, tube slide and tyre swing. The lake also offers the chance to fish – rods and nets can be borrowed from the office which acts as the info hub for the farm.
With so much to explore, there’s barely time to visit restaurants or stock up on food, and Bosinver Farm has already thought of this - they work with
local restaurants and catering companies, not only offering a pre-ordering service to stock up on groceries in your cottage, but also have gourmet ready prepared meals which can be bought from the shop. In fact, it’s no surprise Bosinver can boast so many awards including a Highly Commended at the 2013 Visit England Awards and Gold at the 2013 South West Tourism Awards.
Exploring the complex and sitting back to enjoy the view over open fields from Rose, we spot a duck and her six ducklings cross the field in perfect formation bringing my son’s head up from his games console with a cry of joy. It really is a place where magical things can happen.