Few places evoke a sense of nostalgia like Cornwall. With its beautiful beaches, idyllic villages, incredible food and traditional days out on the boat, it is no secret that Cornwall really is a special place to create lifelong memories for family holidays. 

Highcliffe is owned and run by the Mably family, with Rob, his daughter Becca and their excellent team who manage the day-to-day operations. It has been in the family for three generations, after Rob’s father settled there, looking for a quieter life after WWII. Just a stone’s throw away from popular Polzeath beach, with 46 beautiful holiday houses, a tennis court, a yoga studio and an impressive gym, it really is the ultimate home away from home you are guaranteed to fall in love with ( and we did).

They are in the final stages of completing their latest collection of fantastic new modern homes, and I was so excited to get the opportunity to review one of their newest houses “Botallack” with my darling husband, 2-year-old son and cocker spaniel ( yes these gorgeous houses are also dog friendly).

Highcliffe is all about creating somewhere to relax, unwind, and make the most of enjoying the local area. Walking into this house I immediately felt a sense of calm ( let the holiday begin). It strikes the perfect balance of feeling both luxurious and modern, whilst still cosy. With the ideal blend of raw materials, earthy hues, polished concrete floors and double-height entrances, every detail of the house is so beautifully considered. And the views!! Oh my goodness did I mention the views yet? With the kitchen and living room on the top floor, this stunning house is designed in a way to maximise the impressive and far-reaching seascape. 

All four bedrooms were so peaceful, and our master bedroom with an ensuite opened straight out into the garden with deck chairs. Outside, there is even a hot shower to wash the sand off after the surf with side access into the utility room, so you can do your laundry before heading home.. which of course is the ultimate win, especially with kids. 

Highcliffe is perfectly situated to take advantage of all the best things Cornwall has to offer. Our favourite day was taking the ferry over to Padstow (which my little one absolutely loved – “BOAT” he giddily yelled the whole voyage…) to walk around the stunning town. We visited the National Lobster Hatchery, bought some delicious seafood from Rick Stein’s fishmonger to cook for supper that evening and we also popped into the sweetest little bookstore to buy my son a cornish story book to read at bedtime. 

Holidays can always feel tricky with a 2-year-olds napping schedule, so holiday homes are perfect for this age, and Highcliffe even more so for its incredible location. You can spend the mornings out exploring, and then head home for lunch while your kiddo sleeps.  

For lunches we picked up delicious food in Polzeath; an amazing pizza from (Paradise Pizza) an artisan horse box on the beach and the fish and chips from The Waterfront was incredible. My little one’s first fish and chips did not disappoint and note to future self (and to you) buy your kids their own, because it’s far too delicious to share!  So while our son napped we got to enjoy a lovely long lunch on the balcony, looking out over the ocean with a couple of glasses of rose and some much-needed adult time. Our afternoons were always spent on the hunt for ice cream (check out Cracking Crab) and a lovely long walk along the coast with our dog Boss. 

With the spacious and stunning kitchen ( which has everything you will need to cook and entertain) at the heart of this wonderful house, cooking something in the evening was pure joy! Watching the sunset with a negroni in hand and Boss lying at our feet, followed by delicious locally bought crab and samphire pasta or an incredible steak from the local butcher, we got the chance to properly unwind while our son slept, leaving us feeling like we really had the opportunity to relax and enjoy our perfect family holiday. Highcliffe you were the dream and we will be back.

My Family Holiday Packing List 

words by Louise af Petersens