Swim retreat Cornwall
EXPLORE,  EXTRA,  FEATURES,  February 2024

Weekend swim retreat: The Boathouse, Cornwall

Ella Foote enjoys a windy weekend in north Cornwall with a swim outside her bedroom window

Cornwall is littered with fantastic places to stay, which means it can be daunting to find somewhere ideal and trustworthy to spend your time and money. It’s a great, varied county to spend time exploring with family or friends and meet fellow swimmers.

Latitude50, named after Cornwall’s geographic coordinates, is a self-catering business specialising in impressive properties on the North Cornwall Coast. They have a range of places to stay from cosy places for two and bigger properties that can accommodate up to 14 people. You can stay for three nights over a long weekend or for longer and get a proper holiday! Out of season is more affordable, but prices are competitive in season.  

The Boathouse

A former boathouse will always be an appealing location to any outdoor swimmer. We know that means waterside, which means easy access to the water for a swim too.

Swim retreat Cornwall

This spot promised a private beach, off the beaten track adventure with night skies full of stars and it delivered, even over a gloomy, blustery weekend in December. We arrived late at night, but as soon as we flung open the car doors we were welcomed with the sweet, salty smell of the sea. Inside, the house was warm with a stylish interior and sinking, super cosy beds!

The biggest selling point is its location, alongside the Camel Estuary with Padstow in the distance. At the back of the property there is a wall of glass that offers stunning views in the comfort of the home and outside is a huge decking area for alfresco dining, and I imagine sunbathing in warmer months! 

The swimming

The water is on the doorstep, the old boat slip could still be used to launch a boat if you have one! The estuary is tidal, so you need to check the tide-times, but we managed to swim at both low and high tide with plenty of water to swim in. You could enjoy a longer swim using the tide to your advantage in warmer weather and decent conditions.

Swim retreat Cornwall

The beach is a sandy-shingle mix with lots of shells and treasure to discover. The Boathouse is at the end of a dirt track with only fields surrounding, so the privacy is super – making a cheeky skinny dip wasn’t so cheeky after all. Being so close to the water meant warm drinks and dry clothes were nearby for cold-water swimmers but in summer you could spend all the time in your swimwear dipping in and out of the water and house.

The food

As a self-catering property it is best to take some staples, like tea, coffee, bread and milk then head to local food shops to stock-up. There are also a huge number of brilliant places to eat nearby and you could also order-in from Latitude50’s recommended suppliers, which include fish-boxes and private catering.

We loved taking the water-taxi from Rock to Padstow, where we had lunch and then grabbed freshly made Cornish pasties which we warmed later in the oven. The kitchen is well equipped so you can easily make meals from scratch and outside there is a barbecue and fire-pit! Padstow has lots of places to buy locally caught fish and on arrival you are sent local recommendations for places to eat. 

Best of the rest

We loved the location for its privacy, wildness and closeness to the water. It is also a great base to explore the North Coast. There are brilliant places to swim and enjoy, including the brilliant Saunas by the Sea at Baby Bay, a short drive away. As well as Padstow, there are other nearby towns like Wadebridge and Bodmin as well as cute places like Port Isaac. The Camel Trail is right across the water, which is an 18 mile, traffic free path which is brilliant for walking and cycling and a lovely way to see the area. 

Our fav thing

Swimming in the estuary at sunset, then sitting in the glass conservatory looking at the starry sky with hot tea and Cornish biscuits.  

With thanks to Massey Travel and Latitude50. For more information and to book visit latitude50.co.uk


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Ella is renowned outdoor swimmer and journalist. As well as leading the editorial, digital and experiential outputs for Outdoor Swimmer she is also Director of Dip Advisor, a swim guiding business helping people enjoy wild water. Ella also teaches swimming to children and adults, is an Open Water Coach and RLSS Open Water Lifeguard.