If it’s peace, tranquility and dramatic scenery you’re after, the choosing from these two converted mine buildings would be a good start. The Smithy and The Count House (each sleeping two) are the ideal getaway-from-it-all cottages. With period features and decoration but modern conveniences, these unique Grade II Listed properties nestle in acres of natural woodland and offer the perfect romantic retreat.
Situated at Okel Tor Mine in the Tamar Valley, on the borders of Cornwall and Devon, the area is A DESIGNATED AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The renovated cottages (set 15 metres apart, but divided by trees) are off the beaten track and give a wonderful feeling of seclusion. When you wake up to the spectacular views across the valley, you’ll want to leap out of bed and get outdoors to explore the local varied landscape of woodland, rolling hills and valleys, alternatively you might wish to just stay in bed and take it all in! Historically significant, you’ll discover picturesque ruins dating to the area’s industrial past as a mine site, recognised by English Heritage as one of the best surviving 19th Century mines nationally. Not only is it an Ancient Monument it is also part of Cornwall’s World Heritage Site for mining.
THE NATIONAL TRUST’S COTEHELE HOUSE is within walking distance of the properties and Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, Morwellham Quay and the sandy beaches at WHITSAND BAY on the south coast are a short drive away. The Cornish village of Calstock, where you’ll find a shop for supplies, an ARTS VENUE, pubs serving food and rail links to Plymouth is just a fifteen minute walk along the river bank.
To get to Okel Tor Mine by car, the journey is approximately 4 hours from London, or you can get the train from London Paddington and Reading to Plymouth, then on to Calstock. The owners will pick you up from the station if required.
- the feeling of being so remote and private, despite the local village being a short walk away, is wonderful
- the cottages are so comfortable and cozy, especially having a log fire blazing in the evening after a day exploring
- everything has been thought of by the owners; a generous stock of wood for the fire, games for relaxing evenings, walking maps and information leaflets will inspire you
- it’s so peaceful that you can hear sheep bleating across the valley and birds singing in the morning
- there is no Wifi access. Deep breath. It makes a fabulous and welcome break
- for warmer evenings, there’s a decked area outside the property, ideal for a relaxing glass of wine
- the view – simply stunning
- both cottages sleep two in one double bedroom, with an additional double sofa-bed
- both cottages have a log-burning stove for toasty evenings by the fire as well as central heating from a carbon neutral wood pellet boiler
- satellite TV, DVD player, CD player with radio and iPod dock are offered in both properties
- both cottages have en-suite shower rooms
- there’s a telephone in each property operated on an ‘honesty basis’. Mobile reception is not bad (depending on your network) but you may need to go outside
- garden furniture and barbecue facilities are available
- The Smithy and The Count House are no smoking accommodation. The cottages are dog friendly – there is a small charge of £25 per booking and supply throws for the soft furnishings
Nick and Greg bought Okel Tor Mine over 15 years ago, moving down from West Sussex. There was no grand plan – just an extraordinary sequence of events that led them to find, and fall in love with, this beautiful, unspoilt part of Cornwall. A chicken played an important role…
Greg soon found work at the National Trust’s Cotehele House and learnt how to make rope at the nearby Morewellham Quay Heritage Site. Nick, meanwhile, proceeded to convert the old Count House into the first holiday cottage. A few years later the Smithy joined it.
Nick, a boat builder, revelled in the task of transforming the stone ruins into warm, cosy hideaways. Greg contributed with his mortar mixing abilities plus his expertise in choosing paint colours. Farrow and Ball’s “Mouse’s Back” was a particular favourite.
ReviewsLeave your own
Janice, Wendy and Tank - May 2017
Our second visit to Okel Tor (Smithy) and we've booked to return to The Count House at Christmas. Peaceful, beautiful and relaxing.
Jo and Chrissy
Once again a much needed peaceful rest. What would we do without Okel Tor...?
Tom, Paul and Ollie the dog
Our fourth stay and once again a peaceful and enjoyable stay. Weather was freezing but enjoyed lovely log fires in the evening.
Tracey and Alison
What a wonderful way to spend your 40th birthday! Absolutely beautiful guys - a place to be proud of. Can't wait to come back.
Pete and James
What a fantastic place! Beautiful cottage. Perfect...
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Okel Tor Mine Cottages
Tamar Valley, Cornwall, England
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Okel Tor Mine Cottages
Tamar Valley, Cornwall, England