Some hotels have to be visited at least once, and Housel Bay, perched on the top of Lizard Point is one of them. Natasha Harding and family couldn’t resist.
Family run and outdoorsy Housel Bay is great for kids
Family run Housel Bay, which is very close to the fully operational Lizard Lighthouse, first opened in 1894 and has been welcoming guests ever since.
They pride themselves as being a perfect spot for walkers, nature lovers, foodies and for anyone who wants to take some time out – and its remote location hits the spot on all scores.
I visited recently with my husband Paul and daughter Lexi, to discover it’s a great hotel for kids because of all the outdoors space, as well as its close proximity to the Housel Bay beach, which can be accessed from the hotel’s garden.
Housel Bay Beach is peaceful and pretty all year round
When we were there, the tide was high, but we were assured that at low tide there is plenty of sand.
During the summer, this Cornwall beach is often only used by hotel guests and a handful of locals which must be pretty special.
So close to the lighthouse you might need a sleep mask
The hotel’s bedrooms are slowly undergoing a refurbishment from the current 1980s decor to a more contemporary style.
There are 23 rooms and we stayed in an updated family inland room; a compact but functional space which included bunk beds and a small double bed which wasn’t really big enough for two taller-than average adults.
You can guess where I ended up spending the night – yep, the top bunk.
Many of the rooms face the ocean and the hotel recommends the use of an eye mask and earplugs for more sensitive sleepers because of the light and alerts from the lighthouse.
Luckily, we didn’t have that issue in our inland room – but there are frequent complaints from people about the light…. from the lighthouse.
The restaurant vibe is laid back but the food is exceptional
Food is a thing at Housel Bay and it’s the kind of place that you’d pop to for a special brunch or dinner if you lived in this part of Cornwall.
On site is Marconi’s Bar, a lovely environment to enjoy a pre-dinner drink or two. I had a delicious Bailey’s Espresso Martini in front of the fire while the husband enjoyed a pint of Korev or two.
We ate in The Terrace which overlooks the Atlantic and is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
It’s got a laid back vibe so you can savour the exceptional food courtesy of head chef Joseph Fallowfield while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere.
Offerings include fennel & fried onion focaccia, monkfish scampi, crab linguine and roasted pumpkin, kale & truffle risotto.
The children’s menu was good and included fish, sausages and pasta.
They promise to source as many products as locally and sustainably as possible and believe in the importance of supporting local businesses.
Breakfast is delicious too; as well as fresh fruit and homemade granola from the buffet table, you can choose a hot meal, which will be cooked to order.
Lexi was delighted that there were pancakes on the menu – especially as they were served with syrup.
The real beauty of Housel Bay is its extraordinary location
The beauty of the hotel is of course its location and the fact it manages to be both comfortable and luxurious.
There are some lovely nooks to escape to if you want a time out including the downstairs snug, a lovely space to sit and read the papers while enjoying the views.
There is also an onsite yoga studio if you’re able to escape there for a while for a down dog or two.
Because of its location, the hotel is ideally located for walkers.
Younger visitors might only want to stroll down to the beach or across to the lighthouse which is open for tours in spring and summer.
However, if you’ve got adventurous children in tow, Kynance Cove which is renowned for its white sand and dark red and green serpentine rock is an hour away. I confess we opted for the five minute car journey instead but can confirm it is beautiful.
The Lizard Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty and whether you want to challenge yourself physically by taking a long walk, run along the cliffs, or go for a bike ride – or just enjoy the views, it’s a truly stunning place to visit.
How to plan Housel Bay Hotel
How to get there
Lizard Point is the most southerly point on the UK mainland, 40 minutes’ drive from Falmouth and an hour from Penzance.
Where to stay
Housel Bay Hotel, family rooms from £115 per night