The Cornwall holiday park home to ‘best family friendly lodges’ – with indoor play barn, Gruffalo trail and huge pool


THERE are two welcoming committees at Bosinver Farm Cottages – the official one, and the one from DD, or Danger Duck.

Within minutes of us arriving, DD waddled over, slipping under a DD-sized hole in the fence (he’s clearly done this before) to greet us with a few welcoming quacks.


Fall in love with the quaint Bosinver Farm CottagesCredit: Handout
The ducks are friendly at the farm


The ducks are friendly at the farmCredit: Handout

We instantly fell in love with the friendly mallard, and with Bosinver Farm itself.

The 20 luxury self-catering cottages are located between St Austell and Mevagissey, in the south of Cornwall, not far from the coast.

Set up 25 years ago by Pat and Dave Smith — better known to guests as Nanny Pat and Farmer Dave — the holiday site has become a haven where families can reconnect with not just each other, but nature too.

It was hailed Visit England’s Best Family Friendly Accommodation in 2017 and it’s easy to see why.

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We stayed in the eight-person Lowen, a zero-carbon, energy self-sufficient house, made of reclaimed wood and straw bales — the beams are from an old hospital in the nearby town of Bodmin.

Lowen, which stands for “low energy” but is also Cornish for “happy”, uses energy from the sun and ground to provide electricity to power not just our cottage, but two other properties during the day.

As a mum to a toddler, previous holidays have been far from stress-free, but when you’re surrounded by 35 acres of meadows, landscaped gardens and woodland, it’s hard not to feel relaxed.

We loved the private hot tub with valley views, and homemade cake tucked in the fridge.

It feels as if the owners have thought of every little detail.

If you’ve forgotten something, there’s a store cupboard full of everything from wellies and windbreakers to cots and highchairs.

There’s a delicious range of SOS (Save Our Supper) home-cooked frozen meals that you can pre-order so they are waiting in your freezer.

For those visiting with kids, there’s an on-site indoor-play barn with soft-play equipment at one end and comfy sofas for parents at the other.

Have fun at the farm and enjoy the daily animal feedings


Have fun at the farm and enjoy the daily animal feedingsCredit: Handout

There is also a games room and several outdoor playgrounds, including a zip wire, and a Gruffalo trail based on the popular children’s book.

Plus, there’s forest school sessions where kids can learn about nature and wildlife, pony-riding and a solar-powered heated indoor pool.

There’s also so much to explore in the area, and in each cottage guests will find a handy guide detailing nearby attractions, all road-tested by Nanny Pat — aka Action Nan — and her grandchildren.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are close by. Its accidental discovery in 1990, led to Europe’s largest garden restoration project.

The wall above the Thunderbox Room — an outside toilet — bears the signatures of the Heligan gardeners before they went off to fight in the First World War and is now recognised by the Imperial War Museum as a Living Memorial.

The network of woodland walks and farmland set over 200 acres is perfect to tire little legs out.

For more garden fun, The Eden Project, which opened in 2001, is a 15-minute drive from Bosinver.

For more garden fun, The Eden Project, which opened in 2001, is a 15-minute drive from Bosinver. It has something for everyone.

While I preferred the Mediterranean biomes, with the plants’ heady scents reminding me of holidays to Italy, my partner and daughter loved the huge Rainforest biome, braving the steps and humidity to enjoy the view over the tree canopy.

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You can still connect with nature back at Bosinver too, with daily animal feedings and interactions — my daughter loved collecting eggs under the watchful eye of Farmer Dave.

Even now, she’s still asking me when we will get to see DD again.

Giddy up for pony-riding sessions


Giddy up for pony-riding sessionsCredit: Handout

GO: Bosinver Cotts

STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ self-catering in a smaller cottage, sleeping up to four people, is from £750 in low season or from £1,700 in high season.


OUT & ABOUT: Entry to the Eden Project costs from £33 per adult, £11 per child and under fives go free.


Entry to the Lost Gardens of Heligan costs from £22.50 per adult, £9.50 per child (under 18) and under fives go free.


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