Large dog friendly holiday cottage, Helford, Cornwall

Kestle Barton Farmhouse

In quiet countryside by Frenchman's Creek and near Helford village

Sleeps 8 in 4 bedrooms (+ cot) Friday arrival Up to two well behaved dogs welcome
The Retreat

Sensitively restored and retaining its historic character, this property provides spacious and cosy accommodation for larger families of up to eight. With private gardens and plenty of space it makes a great base to explore Helford River with its woods and creeks, as well as local beaches and bays.

Kestle Barton Farmhouse is at the heart of the ancient farmstead of Kestle Barton, the whole of which has been lovingly restored. Here you will also find the Kestle Barton galley, with its changing displays, workshops and imaginative sculpture garden. As well as the farmhouse, there are three barns here that have each been converted into stunning contemporary retreats sleeping two, six or eight — making this a great place to book separate accommodation with friends and family. You’ll find the barns AvallenMowhay and Howthere on our website too…

The superb architectural quality of Kestle Barton has been acknowledged with several awards including the Conservation Category in the RIBA South West Town and Country Design Awards 2011, and the Green Apple Award 2011 for The Built Environment and Architectural Heritage.

Twin beds at Kestle Barton Farmhouse holiday cottage

Across the daisy and buttercup-strewn lawn and through the entrance porch of warm local stone — roof held high on hand-hewn granite plinths that may once have held up a hayrick — you will step into a welcoming interior that invites exploration, conversation, and happy memory-making.

There are two living areas inside; first the generous and sunny family living and dining room, with its huge inglenook fireplace housing a contemporary wood-burner, sofas and armchairs, a big flat-screen TV, lovely scrubbed-pine dining table with benches, chairs and a window-seat where you will enjoy meals with family and friends. Secondly you have the snug, a great escape from (or for) kids and teenagers, with its two 3-seat sofas, and a further large TV/DVD.

Beyond the living areas find the original farmhouse kitchen, with ancient flag-stoned floor, Cornish ‘range’, ‘cloam oven’, and gigantic walk-in larder. Don’t worry, alongside these fascinating original features you have a wonderfully equipped contemporary kitchen, with granite work-tops, convection hob, electric over, fridge-freezer, dishwasher and so on. By the window is an additional breakfast seating area to seat six. There is also a massive utility room, with washing machine, tumble-drier, and space to hang and dry (note the ceiling with original lime-wash and hooks!).

Up the front stairs (yes there are back stairs too) you’ll find four bedrooms, two double and two twins. All have original pine floor boards, comfy beds and carefully-chosen furnishings — some have original fireplaces, others window-seats or Georgian wooden panelling. There are also two bathrooms – one with a lovely big double-ended bath to linger in, the other with a big walk-in shower.

Lawn with garden table and chairs outside Kestle Barton Farmhouse

The Garden

To the front of Kestle Barton Farmhouse is a large lawned garden, with elegant garden table and chairs for eight. It’s south-facing, and a lovely place to relax. Behind the farmhouse, and accessed though a side gate or direct from the kitchen, is a further large garden with barbecue area, surrounded by mature ash, beech, alder and sycamore trees.

Opposite Kestle Barton Farmhouse, across the old farmyard you will find the delightful (and free) Kestle Barton gallery. When open, you will also usually be able to find your hosts here, so you can always find someone if you need them. You can also get good coffee and often nice baked treats here too. Beyond the gallery the beautiful and imaginative sculpture garden, wildflower meadow and orchard are all here for you to enjoy. Many of the artists showcased by Kestle Barton gallery have international reputations, and exhibitions change regularly throughout the summer.

Things we love…

Stepping into Kestle Barton Farmhouse feels like stepping into the pages of Country Living. And the wonderful thing is, it’s the real thing — a grand Cornish farmhouse, meticulously restored. We love the kitchen. Find the old cloam oven, where bread would have been baked by first lighting a gorse fire inside the oven to heat it. Enjoy having not one staircase but two! Come in the autumn or early spring to light a fire and hunker down, farmer-style after a cliff-top or creek-side ramble…The setting, too, is very special.

You will have reached this tiny hamlet via a wiggly Cornish lane, but your first venture out should be by footpath… down to the village for a creekside pint, a family lunch, or just a loaf of freshly-baked artisan bread…Find out more about Frenchman’s Creek, Helford Village, the local area, Kestle Barton’s history, the gallery and gardens, and the Lizard peninsular.

Clean and welcoming
So good to be back at Kestle Barton. We live not far away but this place just soothes us so much! Thank you for a beautifully clean and welcoming house — perfect for 50th birthday. We hope to return again with dear chums. Walking, swimming, kayaking, exploring the meadow...pure bliss!
Adam, Chris & Tom — June 2022

Retreat Features

  • A countryside stroll to the stunning Frenchman's Creek
  • Just a woodland walk from Helford Village
  • Luxury furnishings including a double ended freestanding bath
  • Free WiFi
  • Front and back garden with furniture and a BBQ
  • Shared use of orchards and wildflower meadow
Principal bedroom: king bed
Bedroom two: king bed
Bedroom three: twin beds (91cm width)
Bedroom four: twin beds (75cm width)
All bed linen and bath towels provided
Fridge freezer
Additional fridge
Hob and oven
Two dining areas
Two living rooms
Comfy sofas and chairs
Two big TV/DVDs
Free Wi-Fi
MP3 music player
Two bathrooms
Bathroom towels provided
Garden front and back
Barbecue area
Garden furniture
Shared meadows and orchard
Art gallery next door
Footpath to Frenchman’s Creek
Footpath to Helford Village
Private parking for three cars
Travel cot (no linen) and high chair on request
Up to two well behaved dogs welcome
Garden is not dog secure
Washing machine
Tumble drier
Essential cleaning items
Central heating
Wood burner
Friday standard changeover
Check in after 5pm
Check out before 10am
Internal steps with handrail
Stairs to second floor
Access to bedroom via stairs
Not suitable for wheelchairs
Please contact us for more accessibility information


The Helford River forms one side of the Lizard Peninsula and is to the west of Falmouth, and is one of Cornwall’s most dramatic and beautiful areas. Here you’ll find award winning sub-tropical gardens, scenic wooded creeks, typical Cornish villages and access to some of the quieter beaches of Cornwall. The river has long been one of the most important rivers in Cornwall and has a rich history. A few fishing boats still head out to sea from here and it’s a haven for wildlife as well as leisure boats and yachts. There are mussel and oyster beds here and rich farm land, giving the area a great food and drink reputation.

Travel times

  • Kestle Farmhouse is about 17 miles from the nearest mainline station at Camborne. Regular and convenient services run from all over the UK.
  • A short stroll from Frenchman’s Creek, Kestle Farmhouse is situated near the picturesque village of Helford, just 25 minutes away from the market town of Helston. Driving time from London is five and a half hours in normal traffic while Exeter is around two and a half hours away. We’ll send you detailed route information before your departure.

Things we love

  • The ideal retreat from which to explore the hidden beaches and villages of The Helford
  • Easily spend a day discovering Falmouth or The Lizard
  • Amazing farm shops, pubs and restaurants within a five mile radius
  • An utterly idyllic, secluded location - perfect for relaxing

The helford river guide

Aerial view of the Helford River close to dog friendly holiday cottage called Little Wood On The Helford

Helford Village

The picturesque Helford Village with its riverside cottages, thatched roofs and stunning views is a true countryside village, with a village shop, cafe, and a great pub… be sure to take the time to visit all three. The village shop is brilliantly stocked with fresh bread, homemade cakes and local farm produce as well as all the basics, whilst the Holy Mackerel Cafe, housed in an old church, serves delightful food and show-stopping hot chocolates, complete with toasted marshmallows. Spend an evening at The Shipwrights Arms in Helford, sit out on the waterside decking as night falls and sample Cornish spirits, local ales and an excellent choice of wines too.

Helford Village may be small but what it lacks in size it certainly makes up for in quality. In addition to the local eateries, Helford Village has a certain charm that can only be found in small, rural villages. Sit on the quayside with a crabbing line, watch the sailing club race on the river or explore the river and nearby creeks on foot. On a sunny day, the river’s waters are crystal-clear but equally captivating on a grey, dull day.

On the water

The sheltered waters of the Helford River are a haven for those seeking watersports from our holiday cottages — and when the wind picks up, they’re also a favourite with those who are after a little more adrenaline, particularly sailing. There are several sailing clubs in the area, with Helford River Sailing Club in the heart of the village offering holiday membership if you really want to get in on the action.

From sailing boats to kayaks, whether you want an afternoon of fishing, exploring or paddling, the guys at Sailaway St Anthony can sort it out for you and can drop kayaks, motorboats and canoes for you in Helford Village. If you’re after a spot of fishing, you can expect pollack, wrasse, ray or even gilthead bream, and there’s plenty of shore fishing that’s accessible via the coastal footpath from Helford Village.

Creekside walks and garden exploring

The banks of the Helford River are delightfully sheltered, allowing flora and fauna to thrive along the coast paths. From woodland carpeted with bluebells and fields bursting with the yellow of daffodils in spring, to the scent of wildflowers in the heat of the summer sun, there’s always something colourful popping up through the soil in this area of Cornwall. It’s no surprise that these creeks provided inspiration to one of the country’s greatest novelists, Daphne du Maurier, whose popular novel, Frenchman’s Creek, takes its name from the creek just a short stroll from the village.

Of course, if you’re after something a little more rugged then head further around the Lizard Peninsula to the dramatic cliffs of Coverack, Cadgwith and Lizard Point. With grazing ponies on clifftops, crashing waves below and stunning views across the Atlantic, this part of the coastal footpath will blow the cobwebs away.



From the National Trust carpark at Bosveal, it’s a 5-minute walk down to this sand and shingle river beach flanked by huge pine trees and ancient oaks (the Helford is one of the very few places in the UK where ancient woodland meets the sea). It’s a favourite swimming and paddleboard spot with beautiful views across the river. There aren’t any facilities to speak of, but you can wander along to the tiny hamlet of Durgan next door for ice cream in the little hut — the beach here is at the bottom of the National Trust’s Glendurgan Gardens

Helford Passage

Helford Passage

On the northern banks of the Helford River, this sand and shingle river beach is a picturesque spot for a swim or paddle, with the ever-popular Ferryboat Inn just behind — grab a table on the terrace and watch the boats sail by. There’s a ferry crossing which operates between here and Helford Village on the opposite bank (April to October only) — this is where the South West Coast Path crosses the river on continue its course around the Lizard Peninsula.

Porth Saxon

Right on the South West Coast Path, this little sandy cove is a 10-minute walk down through fields and woodland from the church at Mawnan. It’s off-the-beaten-path location only adds to its appeal — it’s a beautiful, sheltered spot, a favourite place for ramblers and dog walkers. As the tide recedes, a stretch of sand is revealed and there’s a small stream and a boathouse set back from the shore.

Bosahan Cove

There’s a string of pretty coves and idyllic swimming spots along the southern banks of the Helford, too. Park in Helford Village and take the South West Coast Path east and you’ll come across several pretty swimming spots within a half hour walk. A favourite is the secluded Bosahan Cove, a sand and shingle beach backed by tall pines and with wonderful rocks to clamber on. Even on a beautiful day, chances are you’ll have the whole cove to yourself.

Food & drink

Pubs and inns

The ultimate summer dining spot, the 300-year old Ferryboat Inn is right on the coastal path. Their ‘farm to table’ policy means everything is as fresh as can be, with things like mackerel tacos, seafood linguine, and an unbeatable fish and chips on the menu. Grab a table out front and watch boats sail lazily past. Over the water, The Shipwrights Arms in Helford village is a pub for all seasons. The daily changing menu features the likes of Kynance crab, lobster, monkfish and mackerel, hauled onto the pub’s own slipway outside. Check out the pizza evenings in summer. On the southern slopes of Constantine, the family-run Trengilly Wartha sits in six acres of beautiful gardens. The menu features plenty of fusion cooking as well as seafood dishes and all the pub classics. This is wonderful walking country so muddy boots and wet dogs are welcome.


Colourful, wholesome, feel-good vegetarian food, much of which comes from the extensive veg gardens, is served in the beautiful converted greenhouses at the dog friendly Potager Garden Cafe. Outside, paths wind amongst the sprawling kitchen gardens, there are hammocks amongst the trees, chickens roaming about and flower gardens to explore. At the head of the Helford you’ll find the lovely Boatyard Cafe in Gweek open daily serving light lunches, such as flatbreads, bagels and chunky sandwiches, as well as craft beer and wine, coffee and cake. The courtyard garden, right on the water, is a little suntrap. The stylish cedar-clad Slice of Cornwall has become a bit of a local favourite, popular for its brunch, waffles and amazing cakes — dishes are fresh and packed with flavour. It’s a happy little place, with lovely staff, local textiles and pottery for sale on the shelves, and a terrace when the weather’s fine.

Buying local on the Helford

The Helford area is made up of lots of little country and creekside villages, each one with a strong and fiercely independent community spirit. In the villages of Mawnan Smith, Constantine, Gweek and Mawgan, the village shops support local producers and you’ll find fresh fish and meat, local milk (many have refill stations), and fruit and veg from the surrounding farms.

Find out more about buying local produce with our handy Local Food Guide to the Helford 


Things to do
Aquilegia At Glendurgan

Explore sub-tropical gardens

Take the ferry across the river to Helford Passage and visit the sub-tropical gardens of Trebah Garden or Glendurgan Gardens, and stroll through the gardens that tumble down to the riverside for a little more exotic horticulture. Come for the carpets of bluebells and primroses in spring; in summer for the cool and tranquil woodland glades, and ice cream on the beach. At Glendurgan you’ll find a second hand bookshop, plants for sale and a 180-year old maze. Trebah is packed with wild and wonderful flora and fauna, including 100-year old rhododendrons, an award-winning cafe, and a playground for children.

Discover creeks by kayak

Soak up the Helford from the water with Koru Kayaking. Although they’re based in St Agnes, they run guided kayak and paddleboarding trips from a private beach near Mawnan Smith. The two-hour trips are a great introduction to the area: paddle past oyster farms and the ancient oak woodlands that line the Helford and down Frenchman’s Creek, made infamous by Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name. Fantastic wildlife (sometimes a seal might pop up to say hello), shipwrecks, hidden creeks, and the chance for a dip on sunny days.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Located in the quiet creekside village of Gweek, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a great day out. It’s home to otters, sea lions, penguins and of course, seals, and is dedicated to educating people on the struggles of marine life and why conservation for these animals is so important. Visit the penguins at feeding time, become a keeper for a day and see seals on their way to recovery at the seal hospital. You’ll need a few hours to wander around the various pools, and there are nature trails, a team of brilliant, informative staff who hold interesting talks about the sanctuary and its inhabitants throughout the day, and a good cafe serving vegan food.

Guests Say
  • Special time

    What a special time to gather with a new baby on the way. For three it was our third time in the Farmhouse, for two their second and for one their first. We hope to return soon (plus one).

    Duncan & family — Christmas 2022
  • Terrific

    We have had the most wonderful family holiday in this lovely spot! Coastal walks, beach swims and pasties by the harbour. Thank you for a terrific week — we'll definitely be back soon.

    The Love family — September 2022
  • Second stay

    We have had a great second stay here and been very lovely with the weather. Had some lovely meals out, our favourite being the Holy Mackerel in Helford. Love the Farmhouse, very comfortable.

    Dawn, John, Sally & Jamie — April 2022
  • A wonderful and happy stay

    Thank you for such a wonderful and happy stay over Christmas. We so appreciated the incredible tree, baubles, mince pies and crackers — what a special way to start our festive break! Our fourth time staying at Kestle Barton, but our first in the Farmhouse. We had such a restful time exploring around the creeks and beaches, and I even met up with the hugely talented Louise McClary — the lady behind much of the stunning artwork in all the properties at Kestle Barton. We'll definitely return again soon, and hope you all enjoy your future stays as much as we have.

    Sylvie, Steve & Ruby — Christmas 2021
  • Tranquil setting

    A wonderful return to such a peaceful, tranquil setting. Already looking forward to our next visit.

    The Morgans — November 2021
  • A tremendous week

    We have had a tremendous week here. The house is wonderfully comfortable and atmospheric with everything we could possibly need. The weather stayed largely dry, and we were able to walk the coast path locally and a little further away at Lizard Point and Kynance. We know the area well, and it was lovely to see old favourite places again. Thank you very much for a wonderful stay. We hope to be back soon.

    Jessica, Roger, Joseph & Thomas — October 2021
  • Absolutely loved our stay here!

    Absolutely loved our stay here! The peacefulness of the surroundings is one of my favourite things about staying here — along with the walks into the village in the morning, accompanied by the local farm dog. Gear Farm pasties — yum! I would definitely recommend a visit there. Lots of sandy walks along the beaches, a very chilly dip in the sea, and lots of great food have made this wonderful break. Sad to be leaving, but hope to return again soon.

    Louise & Alan — October 2021
  • The best time

    We all enjoyed Kestle Barton and the outstanding area! We had the best time, and sure we will come back soon.

    The Hilliers — July 2021
  • Wonderful stay

    What a beautiful, comfortable and lovely house! We had such a relaxing and wonderful stay — walking down the creek, listening to the birds, exploring the area and enjoying wonderful local food. Thank you so much!

    Bryan & Niamh — May 2021
  • Very relaxing!

    Gorgeous and very relaxing! We made friends with the gorgeous horse 'Ebony' opposite too. I particularly loved all the original artwork around the farmhouse and loved the history. Thank you!

    Ella & Will — May 2021
  • Lovely stay!

    Lovely stay! This is a beautiful part of Cornwall — we're so glad we came here and hope to be back. The gardens are really pretty and peaceful — thank you!

    The Thomsons — June 2019
  • Memories to last a lifetime!

    We have had a fab time in this beautiful farmhouse. The house has everything you need for a stay and is furnished and decorated lovely. Going home heavier but happier with amazing memories to last a lifetime! Thank you!

    The Western family — May 2019
  • Lovely quirky farmhouse

    For me, a first in this lovely quirky farmhouse but for my friends — reminiscing visiting as a working farmhouse to buy eggs, complete with chickens coming in the kitchen door! I would love to come back with my family.

    The Pace Group — March 2019
  • So cosy during the storms

    Our second visit to Kestle Barton but this time to stay in the Farmhouse. Every bit as lovely and so cosy during the storms. Many adventures had, sandcastles built and fun at The Shipwrights.

    The Atkins — March 2019
  • Wonderfully relaxing

    Wonderfully relaxing week in super comfortable property. So lucky with the weather — lots of coastal walks watching lively, mesmerising seas. Here's to the next visit to Kestle Barton.

    The Morgans — February 2019
  • Really unique

    We have really enjoyed our stay this week. The house is really unique and with peaceful settings — a complete contrast to London.

    The Brown family — June 2017
  • Dazzling

    It was a wonderful house with beautiful surroundings. When it was high tide, Frenchman's Creek was dazzling. We also loved the added bonus of the horse in the garden. Every year me and my grandparents go on holiday to Cornwall. This year has been one of the best! Thank you, we would love to come again.

    The Tatchells — June 2017
  • Wonderful holiday

    We had a wonderful holiday here with our family — ferry boat trip from the Helford, Trebah Gardens, Kynance Cove, The Minack, St Ives, Frenchman's Creek, Seal Sanctuary — all fabulous! Thank you Kestle Barton, we'll be back!

    The Banks family — April 2017
  • Amazing!

    Amazing! Thank you for this wonderful place to stay. The home and setting are perfect, and the walks and weather were fabulous. I'm leaving full of ideas and energy.

    Lucy & friends — November 2016
  • Handwritten testimonial in visitor book of Kestle Barton Farmhouse
    Duncan, Mike, Nick & Becky — September 2016
  • The house was fantastic

    What a beautiful setting here, the house was fantastic too. The beds were very comfy and the kitchen very well equipped. We've had a wonderful week here in Cornwall and will be back!

    The Gould family — August 2016
  • A delightful house

    A delightful house with everything we could wish for. Sam and the staff were extremely helpful and friendly. Perfect!

    Tina & David — July 2016
  • A beautiful farmhouse

    A beautiful farmhouse in a stunning spot. We have loved or stay here. Helford is idyllic. Thanks for letting us stay in this very special place.

    The Turner family — June 2016
  • An idyllic spot

    What a lovely break we've had! An idyllic spot to get away from it all and very well equipped accommodation for me and my friends to stay. A perfect setting for my week long birthday celebrations! Thank you for all your hard work.

    Sophie & friends — May 2016
  • Another lovely stay

    Another lovely stay at Kestle Barton and our second time in the Farmhouse. We love the peace and tranquility, the creek, Helford and all the beautiful places to visit in this part of Cornwall. I'm sure we will be back again.

    Sally & Mark — May 2016
  • Really big garden

    It is our leaving day and we don't want to go. We love staying here and come every year for Easter. There are eight of us and it works really well. Really big garden, so it's lovely for Easter egg hunts or just playing outside, can't wait to come back!

    Ruby, Ruth, Simon, Danny, Gemma, Sonny & Lynne — April 2016
  • Delighted

    Lovely stay here at Kestle Barton; we stumbled upon this place on a walk last summer and were delighted to come back for a whole week. Daffodils and welcome tray on arrival, delicious bread, thank you! Despite gale force winds and rain we've had a great stay, mastered the log burner and made good use of the bath! Great walk from Coverack to St Keverne and back along the coast path. Coffee from Esspressini in Falmouth highly recommend. Also the pub in Helford for Sunday lunch. Thanks, we'll be back!

    Laura & Nick — February 2016
  • A lovely week

    We’ve had a lovely week here at the farmhouse. Highlights have been: hiring a boat from St Anthony, great fishing, wild swimming, surfing at Poldhu beach and walking near the Lizard.

    Sam, Steve, Harry & Grace — November 2014
  • Wonderful farmhouse

    A wonderful place to stay with the family. The most well-equipped holiday accommodation we have ever stayed in! Would definitely recommend to others as we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this wonderful farmhouse.

    Sue & family — October 2014
  • We'll be back

    Amazing week here in beautiful weather. Church Cove/Gunwalloe beach was stunning, as was the circular walk along Frenchman’s Creek to Helford. We’ll be back.

    Ruth & family — April 2014
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Please note, we only release dates 11 months ahead, so please check back or enquire for more availability.