We take Covid-19 very seriously - as much for our own sakes as for yours! - so please scroll down to see how we're keeping us all as safe as possible in these uncertain times.
Accommodates up to 6 adults, with optional extra studio flat for 1 or 2. (NB we don't let the flat to other holidaymakers.)
Come and stay in a large and comfortable longhouse in a very private, very quiet and unbelievably beautiful place. And what's so very special about it? It's offgrid! Enjoy life to the full while making good use of our local resources – you'll probably be surprised and delighted to find out how easy it is to use our super-sustainable systems.
We’d like to encourage you to explore another way of helping the planet continue to be a good place for our children and grandchildren ... so if you come here by public transport, or on foot, or by bicycle, we’ll offer you a discount.
So, what does off-grid mean? There’s no mains electricity, or gas. Yet the house has lighting and heating and loads of hot water. The kitchen has a fridge/freezer, a large range cooker with hob and oven, and a gas hob. It’s amazingly easy to live really comfortably!
Why go off-grid? Two main reasons: first, it's really good to know it's easy to live comfortably, yet independently of the big energy companies. And second, this is one of the rare places in the UK that's virtually free of electrosmog (though the house is in range of some mobile phone signals, and there is a very faint wifi signal. Many visitors have commented on the wonderful feeling of calm and peace in the house.
How? The electricity is 12V DC, and the lighting comes from solar pv panels and a big battery bank; the lights work just like normal ones.) The hot water for sink, washbasins and showers comes from solar tubes and the woodburner range (and firewood's included in the price, of course). You may be comforted to learn that most of the firewood we use is from branches supplied by our local tree surgeon from trees whose branches he's had to cut for the health of the tree or the people around it, and some of it from our own trees that have died or need trimming.
To heat most of the house, it’s the woodburner again; its warmth diffuses gently through the fabric of the building. There's another woodburner in the sitting room, for colder weather. There are no thermostats, though, so the temperature indoors will probably fluctuate a lot more than you're used to; there’s no heating in the bedrooms and bathrooms, so in colder weather they rely on some of the warmth spreading from the woodburner in the kitchen. Hot water bottles are provided!
To cook food it’s the woodburner again, and (for summer) an LPG gas hob. The fridge/freezer's powered by the sun. For food prep it’s people-power … ever heard of Spong? We provide pots, pans and utensils, plates, mugs and cutlery. We also provide loo roll, and washing-up liquid, brushes etc and drying-up cloths.
And when you’ve been here a few days, you’ll find how many of our 21st-century energy-guzzling 'essentials’ we don’t really need after all … microwave, central heating, dishwasher, hoover, food processor, toaster, electric kettle, washing machine, tumble drier, iron, TV, DVD player, sound system, landline phone/ broadband, hairdryer, shaver...
For sleeping, we have a really comfortable king-size bed in a room downstairs, plus two double mattresses on a platform upstairs, for up to 4 adults (or more not-too-wriggly kids). There's a shower room downstairs, and conventional flushing loos. We provide bedding and towels for everyone.
And as an optional extra, there's a separate studio flat (see photo) with a double bed, wc and kitchenette, with its own entrance. So your group can include one or two people who'd prefer their own private space. NB To shower, they will need to use one in the lean-to at the end of the house or yours in the main part of the house.
For your entertainment, edification and delight indoors, we provide some books, packs of cards, board games (including scrabble), and a few simple musical instruments. We also have a mobile recharging point, and most networks seem to be in range.
Your privacy in and around the house is considerable. There's no other dwelling in sight - except 4 miles across the bay - and even in the garden you're unlikely to hear any other people, except occasional walkers and/or dogs in the fields nearby.
Our home-built hot tub is small and intimate - for 2 or 3 people - and out in the open air, so you can stargaze while steaming gently in the sea salts that we use as a sanitiser. Because it draws on natural resources - water, salt, firewood - and labour, and not everyone wants to use it, we offer it as an optional extra for a supplement - see the Prices page.
For information about weather, children, elderly, blind, dogs, food, camping, groups, events: scroll down.
For more about Windsworth - our precise location, our history, our animals, the wildlife here, our local area, and things to do - please see under the 'More info' tab.
If this is enough information for the time being, and you want to check if the house is available, see Availability.
Booking in the current circumstances (as at March 2021):
1. if government policy still allows you to visit Windsworth on the dates booked, fine.
2. but if your visit here were to be banned by a government lockdown, then I'd offer you the option of
* either postponing your visit here to dates of your choice (as long as the house is available), and I would adjust the price accordingly.
* or a full and immediate refund of the money you have paid to me for that reservation.
Re option 1: we'll keep the house empty for more than 24 hours before your arrival, and during that time we'll be deep-down cleaning to Covid-19 recommendations. As I'm over 70 and asthmatic, and my housekeeper's husband is highly vulnerable, you can be sure that this will be OTT!
NB In addition, we have gained the required certification from Visit England, and the (more rigorous) AA certification as well.
Things we'll ask you to do:
1 Follow all government hygiene and social distancing guidelines while on our property and elsewhere in Cornwall.
2 If anyone visiting the coach house develops symptoms likely to be Covid-19, they must take a test; if it's positive then their entire party will need to leave that same day and go home, self-isolating on the way.
We welcome children of all shapes and sizes - and they'll either love it or hate it here. Any kids irretrievably hooked on electronics and computer games may have a tough time, but those that are up for exploring the Real World Out There will have a fantastic time they'll never forget.
There's 70 acres for them to explore in comparative safety. They can check out the fields, the woodlands, the coastal slopes, the foreshore. They may get a bit wet and dirty, and perhaps find out about the sharp end of gorse bushes - but they'll be finding out at first hand what the natural world is like, a wonderfully memorable experience for most kids! We don't have a playground as such - our climbing frames have been quietly growing for the last 200 or so years ...
Indoors, we have a good range of board games, cards, books and music instruments suitable for kids, plus several pages of information about silly indoor games people have played over the years. The sleeping platform in its own room upstairs is a delight for independent-minded children of about 3 or 4 years up; it's about 3ft 6in off the ground (with low cupboards to climb up and down on).
Cornish weather - credit to Edson Rosas
We provide a toddler loo seat and step, a wooden high chair for toddlers to sit at table (see photo in gallery), and a fireguard. If you have children under about 4, or ones who need attention in the night, you might like them to sleep on the futon just outside the main bedroom. Or you might prefer to sleep upstairs with them – it’s a splendid family room with two double mattresses on a platform under the eaves. Oh, and they'll need to use their own legs to get about outside - it's too rough and steep for wheels.
The old coach house is reached by a 100-yard track suitable for most cars, and it's on a steep coastal slope. The ground has been levelled between the car parking area and the front door – but that’s almost the only level bit of ground on our entire 70 acres; the rest of the land ranges from steeply undulating meadow and woodland to 45-degree scree. So to explore our stunning seaside location you'll need to be reasonably fit and have a head for heights. We have an access statement available on request.
Windsworth is a perfect place for you to bring animal companions. Well-behaved small animals - dogs, cats, birds and reptiles – are very welcome to join you in your explorations of our 70 wildlife-filled acres and half-mile of seacoast, and of course in the house. We ask you to be aware of our sheep and goats, though. And we ask for a supplement of £20-£30 per stay to cover the extra cleaning needed.
Most animals enjoy a change of scene, and this unspoilt corner of Cornwall is ideal for exploring with your dog. There's our own half-mile of dog-friendly beach where they can discover the joys of the sea - there are footpaths and tracks where they can pick up the nostril-quivering scents of the fertile grasslands and rich woodland floors ... and the old coast path (now officially closed but which we keep open for you) runs just 100 yards from the front door!
You'll need to bring your own food and drink. Forget bottled water, though - most people reckon our tap water is delicious. So bring your own reusable bottle for days out.
For food, there's a good local farm shop, which will deliver a box of goodies, if you order at least a couple of days before your arrival; see https://www.food4myholiday.com/. Otherwise you could buy your own supplies at that same farm shop - Tredinnick Farm Shop - 2 miles away at Widegates, on the road to us from Plymouth.
There's also a farm shop in Looe nearby: Quayside Fresh
If you really want a supermarket, then there's a Sainsburys as you approach Plymouth, and a Waitrose a mile into Cornwall from the Tamar Bridge. The other supermarket alternatives before your arrival are a Morrisons, Lidl or Coop at Liskeard, 8 miles away.
Food storage - there's a fridge/freezer running off-grid in the Coach House.
Cornish cream tea - credit to Sam Edwards
If there are more than about 8 in your party, you're welcome to put up one or two tents, or park a campervan, on the flat area nearby, once a grass tennis court. We ask for £10 per van/tent per night. For campers we've put in an extra washroom, shower and loo under a lean-to roof (the shower may also be used by people staying in the studio flat).
The coach house is great for a small group of people – either adults, or a bunch of teens/children – to stay somewhere tranquil, calm, isolated; up to 8 people can stay in the house, and more can camp alongside (see above). If you want to run a course for a few special people to learn yoga, painting, foraging skills, bushcraft, then this could be a memorable setting for it.
Wedding reception, handfasting, naming ceremony, birthday …?
Your small and intimate (max 30 people in normal times) ceremony will be set in barely-tamed countryside, with an unforgettable view over the Cornish coastline, sweeping from Rame Head to the Eddystone Lighthouse, to the Lizard peninsula, 40 miles away across the sea. Or perhaps we'll all be immersed in the depths of a mysterious mist, whirling and swirling, concealing and revealing ...
You will have the use of the coach house and its grounds for at least four nights, and as an optional extra we may be able to provide a small marquee. We might also be able to lay on some lovely food and drink to order.
In 2017 we were awarded Highly Commended in the hotly contested Cornwall Tourism Awards Wildlife category, and in 2018 its Eco-tourism category. In 2019 we were awarded Silver in its 2019 Tourism Innovation category for our home-built woodfired hot tub, and Commended in its Wildlife Friendly category. And we've been in the SECTA Green Acorn scheme for several years.
Contact us and let's see what we can achieve between us!
If this is enough information for the time being, and you want to check if the house is available, see Availability.