Sometimes life slaps you around a bit and the only way to get to survive is to get away for a few days and clear your head.
So after a particularly testing month, I made a mayday call to a good friend and embarked on an impromptu trip to Cornwall with my kid brother to do just that.
Luckily for me my friend is head chef at Whitesands Lodge and hooked us up with a gurt lush yurt, for a spot of ‘glamping’ – glam camping – or cheating as some like to call it.
I’ve only ever enjoyed ‘glam camping’ before at festivals; PodPads at Bestival, Hotel Bell Tent at Glasto – but this was the first time I’d indulged in ‘glamping’ without a muddy boot or band in sight.
My little brother is just 17 and didn’t know what to expect by ‘glamping’, I’m sure he thought I’d made the word up. His reaction to our beautiful two bedded yurt was a laugh of disbelief and the exclamation ‘this is not a tent!’
Indeed it wasn’t, the traditional Mongolian hut, had a little wooden door, wooden floorboards complete with home comforts like a carpet, two beds with proper mattresses, bedside table and even a pot plant.
The structure is a lattice of wooden slats, covered by a waterproof canvas – traditionally this is made from felt, which rouches up like a crown with a glass box which holds tea lights hanging from the centre of the ceiling.
There was a traditional burner outside to keep us warm at night, and toilet and shower block to freshen up in the morning.
Our yurt was flanked by two giant tipis with space for four blow-up mattresses and round the corner was a huge yurt sleeping up to 14 and a surf lodge. There’s also a selection of boutique themed rooms for those not so keen on the great outdoors. ‘Rome’ and ‘Paris’ are not to be missed!
The hotel does a mean breakfast and has a great restaurant, as well as a TV room, loads of outdoor seating and BBQ space guests can use.
Whitesands Lodge is located in Sennen, 8 miles outside of Penzance in Cornwall and a ten minute walk downhill to the beach. Just remember to save enough energy for the journey back up hill!
It is run by a fab Bristolian couple, Teri and Daz, who couldn’t have been more hospitable or helpful. The restaurant is run by my good friend Jimbo, who introduced me to this little refuge and accommodated our impromptu visit.
Sennen Cove is stunning, we picked a good weekend for it. The beach and coastline was some of the most beautiful I’ve seen in the UK.
I’ve truly forgotten how amazing our coastline is, the sea was an array of blues and turquoises. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in tropical climes until you take a dip – being on the Atlantic it is beyond cold!
First stop on Saturday, was the Old Success – a perfectly positioned pub on the seafront with amazing views. Try the local Rattler cider, a cloudy little tipple that goes down a treat, I have it on good authority that after a few pints you start speaking like a pirate. Well after a couple of halves my once-forgotten West Country twang reared its head.
Day two, we took a stroll from Sennen Cove a mile down, or rather up, the Coastal road to Lands End. Passing a shipwreack and more awesome views of coastline along the way.
After just two days away from it all, I felt truly refreshed and bizarrely came back with a better tan than I’d got from two weeks in Spain.
I hope to be back again soon, whether for another weekend escape, romantic break, or time away with a big group of mates – Whitesands and Cornwall is the perfect place for it all.Whitesands Lodge, Sennen, Nr. Land’s End, TR19 7AR
Tel: (01736) 871776 http://www.whitesandslodge.co.uk/
I arrived back in Madrid, Spain last weekend after four long months away. I’ve collected a lot of stories on my travels