How to Book the Best Cottage by the Sea in Cornwall on a Budget
People often don’t associate the UK with sun and beautiful beaches, but that is exactly what you can expect with a visit to Cornwall. One of the sunniest destinations in the UK, Cornwall is nearly completely surrounded by water. You have the English Channel to the South, the Celtic Sea region of the Atlantic to the north, and the River Tamar to the east.
Nature lovers can flock to the rugged and wild northern coastline or you can choose to settle along the south coast which has become known as the “Cornish Riviera”. Foodies can feast on an abundance of fresh seafood and savoury pasties, while nature lovers can hike the many seaside trails. There is also a wide range of outdoor recreation which includes great surfing, and plenty of picturesque fishing villages to simply relax.
Whether you choose to visit St. Ives, Port Isaac, Truro, Padstow, Polperro, or all these options during your visit, there are several ways in which you can cut down on the costs of your Cornwall holiday. Here are some of the top ways to visit Cornwall on a budget.
Avoid Peak Season Periods
Identifying the most appropriate time to head out for a vacation is paramount when establishing a travel budget. Usually, most holiday destinations have high and low peak seasons where the volume of visitors determines the cost of visiting these destinations at specific periods.
For instance, during the summer months of July and August, coastal regions within Europe like Cornwall become very popular with travelers, especially domestic travelers within the UK who seek a scenic sun-filled destination to escape the big cities.
Consequently, with the high volume of visitors, most businesses and accommodation centers often hike up their prices to cope with the increasing demand, which can make these peak periods unaffordable for the average tourist.
Conversely, during low peak seasons, there are fewer visitors to these destinations which lead local businesses to offer incentives in order to encourage travelers to keep businesses running. Usually, these incentives come in the form of discounts and freebies, thereby making the trip less expensive and usually more fulfilling since there is less crowds to navigate.
The cheapest months to visit Cornwall would be the cooler winter months but a nice compromise would be to visit during the late spring or early autumn to take advantage of both nice weather and cheaper rates.
Accommodation and Amenities
Booking your holiday cottage in Cornwall will also require you to consider location and any included amenities or restrictions imposed in the rental homes. When searching for cottages by the sea in Cornwall, be sure you are aware of the total costs including how many people are allowed in each cottage or unit without incurring extra costs, the availability of parking, whether or not pets are allowed, and all the inclusions.
You may be quick to look at cheaper options like camping or holiday parks, but these often come with limited amenities and you may end up spending just as much on extras than you would staying at a seaside cottage which includes many things like a full kitchen for preparing your own meals which saves of restaurant costs and possibly complimentary wireless internet.
Booking a stay at a lovely Cornish seaside cottage or villa will often provide you with ample space which is great when traveling with family, often provides a library of books and movies to watch, is commonly stocked with maps and information on the local area, inclusive of bed linen and towels along with sometimes offering a washer and dryer to wash clothes more easily and affordably while travelling.
Plan Early and Well
Any successful holiday usually requires careful planning and planning early to ensure you get the accommodation you want and are able to create an itinerary that doesn’t miss out on attractions due to planning things at the last minute and not doing thorough research on what’s available to see and do.
Careful planning and doing so early also often prevents unexpected costs or delays and allows you to better create a budget for your trip. Planning early can also give you time to set aside enough money for your holiday and possibly additional funds to help you enjoy more activities during your holiday.
Planning early and determining when to go will not only help you create a suitable budget, but also ensures that you are better prepared for any emergencies that may arise during your trip.
Try to stick to your travel plans and budget as much as possible to avoid financial burden upon your return. It can be easy to overindulge while on holiday, especially if you are traveling with children who can often be insistent on doing activities or buying things.
Giving into demands or impulsive decisions that were not originally part of the travel budget can quickly add up and turn an affordable holiday into a rather expensive one. Be sure to not only set a budget for the overall trip but also daily limits that will help you manage your spending and see where you are at each day. It is easy to lose track if you don’t regularly monitor your spending while on holiday.
Book Further Inland
The appeal of booking a seaside rental means they are regularly in high demand and therefore priced accordingly. Everyone seeks to book accommodation right on the beach or as close to the beach as possible, but looking further inland could end up saving you a lot of money while not necessarily taking away from the holiday all that much.
Booking beachside accommodation also has its drawbacks for those with tight budgets, especially during peak seasons. The appeal of these homes results in hiked prices which we mentioned earlier, causing them to be beyond the budgets of average tourists.
Consequently, it is prudent to identify a cottage a bit more inland in Cornwall, choosing one that is far enough to be affordable, but also close to the beach for entertainment. These homes are usually more economical, even factoring in any transportation costs that you would incur going back and forth from the beach.
You will want to factor in the time cost as well in terms of how much time will be spent on travelling to get to the seaside attractions you want to experience from your inland accommodation.
If you are just taking a short weekend holiday, you may be wise to book closer to the beach to maximise your time. Remember, time is a form of currency as well. You should also consider whether there are any beach parking costs you will incur which could have been avoided if staying at beachside accommodation.
Getting to Cornwall
There are many ways to get to Cornwall, especially if coming from the UK. Some transportation methods are fast while others are much more economical. Flying of course would be the quickest way to get to Cornwall, with flights arriving at Cornwall’s airport in Newquay. Daily direct flights are available from UK cities like London and Manchester and flights from elsewhere in Europe are also readily available.
The next quickest options would be to rent a car and drive to Cornwall or take the train. Both take roughly the same amount of time, with rental cars being the more expensive option while rail travel provides a relaxing way to get there while also taking in the beauty of the countryside. You’ll discover that train services to Truro in Cornwall run regularly from many major UK cities and are affordable.
By far the cheapest option to get to Cornwall is by bus through companies like National Express. While it may be the most cost effective option, it isn’t exactly the most comfortable and the time it takes to get to Cornwall is generally nearly double that of driving or taking the train. Once in Cornwall, you’ll find public buses also connect Cornwall’s rural areas.
Saving on Activities
There are endless attractions on offer in Cornwall, some charge but many are free. Exploring Cornwall’s natural treasures is one of the highlights of any trip and most of these experiences are free. There are incredible coastal hiking trails as well as woodland hiking making it one of the best places in the UK to enjoy nature.
There are endless beautiful beaches on offer such as Kynance Cove, Porthchapel, Polzeath, Porthtowan, Carbis Bay, and Praa Sands to name a few. You can also explore the history of old mines like the Wheal Coates Mine and Levant Mine.
Many fans of the TV series Poldark visit Cornwall to witness the many filming locations for themselves. St. Michael’s Mount is another highlight which is only charged to enter the castle. Roaming the island and outside grounds is free of charge.
Nature lovers can flock to Cornwall’s National Trust sites and their gardens or the notable eco-attraction known as Eden Project. There are also a number of locations that are suitable for surfers such as Watergate Bay.
You can often find discounts online for the various attractions in Cornwall and the local weekly newspaper known as The West Briton often publishes special offers and discounts as well for various attractions.