When your children declare this is the best holiday ever and don’t want to leave, you know you’ve been to a great place. And that’s exactly what happened when we stayed at Trecan Farm Cottages in Cornwall.
AD: We were given a five night stay at Trecan in return for this honest review.
After five days of freedom and fun on the Cornish farm, all three of my boys were sad to leave these fabulous holiday cottages. One (the eldest!) even cried for a full 20 minutes on our way home.
And I can totally see why. I didn’t want to leave Trecan either. We’d had such a brilliant time.
Trecan is a must for any Cornwall farm stay list
Cornwall has several farm stay type holidays and if you’re considering going on one, you need to add Trecan to your list.
Based in the countryside between Lostwithiel and Looe, Trecan is just 10 minutes from the A38 in south east Cornwall. Once there you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, the peace is amazing. (Until I let my three excitable boys, aged 6, 4 and 4 out of our van, that is).
We’d only driven 45 minutes from home in Plymouth for 5 nights in February half term, but it’s proof that you don’t have to travel for hours to feel like you’re on holiday.
The boys were ridiculously excited. They couldn’t wait to explore and find out what Trecan had to offer. The animals being the first on their list, obviously!
Animal feeding sessions were a highlight of our Trecan stay
Guests at Trecan can take part in animal feeding sessions, but also visit the animals anytime they like. Which was pretty handy as out the front of our cottage was the field with ponies Grace and Fudge, and to the side was a field of sheep. The boys instantly fell in love with the ponies, and were there at any given opportunity.
On the other side of the farm we found Twix and Mars the goats, ducks, chickens and the owners’ friendly dog Rosie and cat Tilly. My boys couldn’t believe their luck with the number of creatures to fuss over!
Their absolute favourite bit of our stay was the feeding sessions with Kirsty, who runs Trecan with husband Dan. They had the chickens eating out of their hands, and loved giving Twix and Mars their breakfast. One of the twins was laughing uncontrollably every time the goats licked his hand clean. They then collected eggs for our breakfast from the hen houses, and in the spring guests can bottle feed lambs.
They were then able to go in the field with ponies Grace and Fudge to brush them. Even the hailstones one of the mornings didn’t put them off. They weren’t going to leave their new pony friends for anything. And even when they did, they dried off and stood at the window of the cottage watching them again. They were in love!
Kids loved the play area and tennis courts
On site there is also a children’s play area the boys enjoyed with swings and a rope ladder, a slide and a trampoline. And a perfectly situated picnic bench in the middle for us parents to sip our coffee (or wine) on a sunny day. It was a bit chilly for us to do this in February, but in the summer it would be glorious.
There is also an all-weather tennis court around the corner and an indoor games room for when the weather isn’t up to much. It has a table tennis table, pool table, dartboard and lots of toys for little ones.
But one of the main things my boys enjoyed was the sheer space to be free. They rode their bikes on a daily basis around the paths by our cottage and were able to chase each other in the acres of open areas nearby.
Trecan is tucked away but perfect for exploring
Built from traditional Cornish stone, Trecan is tucked away down a long tree-lined private drive. So once you are there, you can switch off and enjoy a relaxing holiday. There’s hardly any phone signal (although don’t panic, there is Wifi) so you can literally leave your cares behind.
Having said that, you get the best of both worlds. Tucked away in the middle of beautiful Cornish countryside, but also perfectly located to explore south east Cornwall and all it has to offer.
If you’ve not been on holiday to Cornwall, then this is an ideal way to dip your toe in the water. Trecan is just over half an hour away from the Tamar Bridge – which crosses the border between Devon and Cornwall, and is easily accessible down the M5 motorway and A38. Or head straight off the M5 down the A30 to Bodmin – from basically the rest of the country! (Can you tell I live in Devon?!)
From Trecan, you can easily get to the local fishing villages and beautiful beaches nearby with just a short drive. Because you’ve got to get your daily holiday ice cream from somewhere, right? And the local beaches are as good a choice as any!
Seaside town of Looe is great for kids
We went to the picturesque fishing port of Looe a couple of times. The boys loved it there – and I’m sure the vast choice of award-winning ice cream shops had absolutely nothing to do with it! (By the way, I’ve yet to find an ice cream shop in Cornwall that’s not award winning…) Just watch out for the seagulls. They’re infamous for stealing pasties, cream teas and ice creams straight out of your hands.
There are also little boutiques, toy shops, cafes and bakeries to browse, but the best bit after the short walk through the town, is the beach. The boys spent hours digging holes, playing in the rock pools, and ‘paddling’ in the sea. Obviously when I say paddling, I mean getting their shoes soaking wet and complaining that it was cold. What can I say, it’s February? And if you wanted to explore a bit further you could head round the beautiful coastal path to Talland Bay.
Looe also has a river which is great for crabbing, with loads of nearby shops selling all the gear you need to give it a go. And there are also fishing trips and pleasure cruises around the bay for visitors to try. It’s an absolute must visit if you’re staying at Trecan.
Trecan is surrounded by stunning coastline and beaches
Other fabulous places worth checking out in the surrounding area are the stunning historic little fishing village of Polperro, Charlestown, Mevagissey, Mawgan Porth, Polkerris, Padstow and the beautiful riverside town of Fowey. All are under 50 minutes away and beautiful in their own ways, making Trecan an excellent holiday base and wonderful destination for plenty of walks.
And if you’re at Trecan Farm Cottages in the summer, you are perfectly situated for some amazing beach days. Favourites are nearby Lantivet Bay alongside Lansallos and Lantic Bay coves which are just stunning. Or if you want more accessible ones with children, Downderry and Seaton are ideal.
Another great day out from Trecan is the Eden Project which is about half an hour away. We’ve been lots before, but not since the pandemic, so the twins couldn’t remember it. They were loving life in the rainforest biome – especially when Daddy convinced them there was a baby diplodocus in there too!
We also went to Cardinham Woods, a firm favourite which is run by the Forestry Commission and is about 20 minutes away. There are different bike trails to do, of varying difficulty, as well as a Julia Donaldson trail. If you didn’t fancy cycling longer distances such as the Camel Trail, then Cardinham is still an excellent day out. There’s plenty of off road parking as well as a children’s play area and a cafe making it an ideal location – which would have been perfect for that particular day’s ice cream. Had we not reached it precisely one minute after it closed!
But to be honest the boys were happiest playing back at Trecan.
Six cottages to choose from when you stay at Trecan
There are 6 cottages at Trecan. Each are converted barns lovingly transformed to a high standard with fantastic views of the rolling beautiful countryside and sleep up to four or five.
We stayed in The Oaks, the most recently converted, and it was just the perfect setting in a secluded corner of Trecan Farm with stunning views out to the rolling countryside. It’s set apart from the rest of the farm a short stroll down a little lane and has a lake at the bottom of a huge garden with decking overlooking it. The Oaks is all on one ground floor level in an L shape, with a large fully equipped kitchen and lovely spacious lounge on one side, and two ensuite bedrooms on the other. We had an extra bed put in the large main bedroom for one of the boys. And they basically took turns in who was sleeping in it.
The Oaks is beautifully done out as a luxurious holiday cottage, with everything you need for a family self-catering holiday. The kitchen has a dishwasher, huge American fridge freezer, microwave and washing machine – in fact it was even better than that, it was a washer dryer! A life saver for us mums who tend to do at least 2 loads a day, and don’t want to bring home a week’s worth of dirty clothes! It was in a separate small room off the kitchen so was pretty much our laundry room for our stay.
Both bedrooms have a colour tv, as well as the kitchen and a huge one in the lounge with a DVD player, and although there is no phone signal, there is WiFi. Phew! The second bedroom has twin beds and there are excellent en-suite facilities off it with a double shower cubicle – literally, it has two showers! And there is a fabulous free-standing bath in the main bedroom’s ensuite, plus a fancy power steam shower complete with jets coming from all angles and even a built-in sound system! There was a double bed in the main bedroom with plenty more room to put an extra single bed or travel cot in there too for young children. There’s also a modern wood burner in the lounge, although despite it being February we didn’t use it as the cottage was so warm and cosy with the central heating on.
But do you know what the boys’ favourite bit of the cottage was? The reclining sofas! They’d not seen them before and were obsessed! Little things and all that…
Ideal holiday for families
Trecan is ideal for families with kids of all ages, whether they’re old enough to explore the site on their own. Or you bring your pre-schoolers during the quieter term time. Weekend breaks are available out of school holidays too. And all the main supermarkets deliver groceries so get an online shop done and you’re sorted!
With the freedom, fresh air, and fun the boys had during our five days there, it’s no wonder they didn’t want to leave Trecan. And as corny as it sounds, if the kids are happy, us parents are happy too, right?
We’ve only been home two days and my six year old is already asking when we can go back. The sign of a great holiday, I’d say!
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