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Holiday Cottage, Helford, Cornwall

Kestle Cottage

Dog friendly holiday home by Frenchman's Creek and close to Helford village

Sleeps 4 in 2 bedrooms (+ cot) Friday arrival Up to two well behaved dogs welcome
The Retreat

Kestle Cottage is part of the historic farmstead of Kestle Barton, which nestles in countryside above Frenchman’s Creek on the spectacular Helford River. It sleeps four and has been renovated to an exceptional standard. There are four other holiday homes here, with Helford village and numerous beaches in the area…

Kestle Cottage is one of two small terraced cottages that form one wing of a seventeenth century building. The second cottage is used by resident artists at Kestle Barton gallery and is not available as a holiday cottage. Kestle Barton Farmhouse forms the other wing of the building. This new renovation conserves the architectural heritage of the cottage, combined with thoroughly contemporary touches. You’ll find lovely design touches and hand-crafted features, both new and original, adding to the charm.

Inside Kestle Cottage

Double bed inside Kestle Cottage self catering holiday cottage near Helford village

Heading through the garden from the wooded car parking area takes you down to the pretty little cottage. Opening the door into the generous hallway you are greeted with the comfort of a stylish holiday home. Beyond is the open plan living, dining and kitchen area, complete with window seat, natural light and a wood burner. Here a décor of soft grey tones, natural wood and low beamed ceilings make the perfect place for socialising and relaxing on your holiday.

There are sofas and armchairs for four, as well as a dining table and stylish modern kitchen. Upstairs you’ll find a spacious master bedroom with a king sized bed, and next to it a twin room with bunk beds. Both bedrooms have views over the farmstead and countryside, looking across the garden of the main farmhouse. Also upstairs is a family bathroom. There is a second WC downstairs, off the reception hallway. The central heating and hot water at Kestle Cottage are supplied by a biomass boiler, fuelled by locally-sourced wood pellets, making it very eco-friendly as well as cosy.

Outside and in the area

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

The garden is tranquil, and is mostly laid to lawn. A natural woven fence along one boundary, and trees and shrubs on the other ensure it’s very sheltered — and it catches the sun for most of the day, making a great place to relax or to have a barbecue. If you fancy sitting somewhere else for your morning coffee you can always pop over to the gallery where there is a beautiful sculpture garden as well as changing displays.

The whole of Kestle Barton has been lovingly restored, and the superb architectural quality 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. Because Kestle Cottage is in situated in a wing of a larger building, the living area and bedroom windows overlook the pretty front garden of adjoining Kestle Barton Farmhouse. In turn, two of the farmhouse’s windows look over the cottage’s garden.

Things we love…

We think this cottage has a really nice feel about it. The building’s story can be seen in beams and exposed timbers, and in the Cornish slate roof-lines. It’s a continuing story, as the renovation had been carried out with great care and imagination, leading to a thoughtful blending of very old and very new that works brilliantly. Kestle Barton itself is a hidden gem full of little surprises. The tiny art gallery (it’s free but note that it’s seasonal) has fascinating exhibitions from acclaimed artists, and the garden, wildflower meadows, orchards and ponds are there for all visitors and guests to enjoy. The farm itself continues its ancient role with beef cattle and a new walnut nuttery, and is managed in a benign, organic system to allows the rich and varied wildlife to thrive.

The surrounding area is one of Cornwall’s most tucked-away secrets, with its sheltered woods and ancient pathways meandering down to secret creeks. Scenic, wooded footpaths beckon in both directions from Kestle Barton. In one direction is Frenchman’s Creek (made famous by Daphne du Maurier) — and in the other direction the tiny village of Helford, with its unforgettably ancient pub and foot ferry to the other side of the river. The superb sailing waters of the Helford — as well as wooded valleys and creeks, impossibly charming fishing villages, stunning National Trust cliff-tops, pristine beaches and sweeping heathland — are all to be found within a fifteen-minute drive.

Very comfortable
Lovely holiday in the loveliest part of Cornwall. Cottage is very comfortable, very spick and span. Some wonderful gardens visited including Bonython, Glendurgan, Trebah and Penbothidno. All in all, a perfect holiday and the dogs loved it too, especially the walks to Frenchman's Creek and Helford.
The Jowitts – July 2022

Retreat Features

  • Cosy woodburner for colder evenings
  • Plenty of outdoor space including a private garden with furniture and a barbecue
  • Free WiFi
  • Private parking
  • A woodland walk to Helford Village
  • Shared access to Kestle Barton's wildflower meadows
Principal bedroom: king beds
Second bedroom: bunk beds
All bed linen and bath towels provided
Well equipped kitchen
Slimline dishwasher
Fridge freezer
Neff convection hob
Neff electric oven
Dining area seating for four
Comfy sofas and chairs
29″ TV and DVD player
Books and rainy-day games
Free wireless broadband
Family bathroom with bath and shower over
Bathroom towels provided
Sheltered lawned garden
Garden furniture
Shared meadows and orchard
Art gallery next door
Footpath to Frenchman’s Creek
Footpath to Helford Village
Private parking for one car
Cot and high chair available on request (linen not provided for cot)
Up to two well-behaved dogs welcome
Please note the garden is dog-friendly but not completely secure
Washing machine
Essential cleaning items
Biomass fuelled central heating throughout
Contemporary wood burner
Friday standard changeover
Check in after 5pm
Check out before 10am
Internal steps with handrail
Stairs to second floor
Not suitable for wheelchairs
Please contact us for more accessibility information


On the Helford river, by the banks of Frenchman’s Creek in the heart of a breathtaking Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, lies this hidden gem. Kestle Barton is a beautifully restored,  award-winning Cornish farmstead, offering thoroughly contemporary eco-friendly barn conversions. It nestles between trees and farmland, with the dramatic river nearby. Footpaths lead to local villages and pubs — and beaches, fishing villages and the spectacular Lizard Peninsula are just a short drive away.

Travel times

  • Kestle Cottage 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 Cottage 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

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

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
  • Fabulous

    Fabulous cottage and location. We've had a great week exploring the area. Walk along to St Anthony and Manaccan is superb. Shipwright's very friendly. Ferryboat Inn very good food. We'll be back next year!

    The Wilson's & Stevo's — October 2022
  • Great location

    A lovely cottage in a great location. We really enjoyed the walk into Helford via the woods, especially on the way home in the dark. The Shipwrights is excellent...great food, wine and bar! We loved Dollar Cove, a small dog friendly beach close to car parking, toilets and cafe. The body boarding was better than the North Coast! Kestle Cottage is as near to perfect as it gets.

    James, Cathy, Connie, Ed & Ruby the sausage dog – August 2022
  • Very comfortable

    Lovely holiday in the loveliest part of Cornwall. Cottage is very comfortable, very spick and span. Some wonderful gardens visited including Bonython, Glendurgan, Trebah and Penbothidno. All in all, a perfect holiday and the dogs loved it too, especially the walks to Frenchman's Creek and Helford.

    The Jowitts – July 2022
  • Recharge

    Our third visit to Kestle Cottage to recharge our batteries in this glorious, secluded, peaceful, clean aired spot. The local walks continue to draw us back time and again, rain or shine. Just lovin' it!

    Mark, Vanessa & Indie — July 2022
  • Lovely welcoming atmosphere

    We discovered Helford many years ago and have returned to this beautiful area many, many times. Our first stay at Kestle Barton and have enjoyed being in Kestle Cottage which has a lovely welcoming atmosphere. There are many magical walks in the area to explore, and further afield stunning cliff walks as well (Kynance, Lizard and Gunwalloe to name a few). The opposite side of Helford is beautiful too, with Glendurgan and Trebah Gardens to visit. Always sad to leave, but will be back. Thank you.

    Helen & Frank — New Year 2022
  • Cosy stay

    A lovely, comfy cosy stay with lots of walks and views. A great place for a little family — we hope to be back soon.

    The Woolley family — December 2021
  • Lost count how many times we've been back

    Four years since we first came here (May 2017) and we have lost count how many times we've been back to Kestle Barton — it's either eight or nine and we've already booked twice for next year already! Cracking location, great cottages, amazing pasties at Gear Farm and lovely walking.

    Joy & Steve — November 2021
  • A delight

    We loved the peace and tranquility of Kestle Barton. The cottage was a delight and the kitchen really well equipped so cooking meals was super easy! Walks were beautiful. We love Frenchman's Creek.

    Gill & Paul — September 2021
  • Super week

    Super week at Kestle Cottage. Wonderful location — we enjoyed lots of walks down to the Shipwright's Arms and Frenchman's Creek. Kynance Cove was a highlight — get there early. Beautiful part of Cornwall – we will be back!

    The Pegram family — August 2021
  • Wonderful

    Wonderful stay at Kestle Cottage — will definitely be back. Such a fabulous part of the world — our week here delivered everything we were longing for after you know what.

    Philip & Victoria — July 2021
  • Peaceful

    Another peaceful and restful week at Kestle Cottage, deferred from last year because of you know what! Hoping to return again.

    Vanessa, Mark & Indie — July 2021
  • Outstanding

    Kestle Cottage is outstanding for peace and tranquility — overseen by the resident robin! Our highlights include: dinner at The New Year Restaurant Trelowarren, the Lizard, Mullion, Praa Sands and Coverack, the enchanting Helford village and ferry ride across the Helford Passage and Roskorwell Lavender Farm.

    Philip & Rosemary — June 2021
  • Magical

    What a fabulous, magical place Kestle Barton is. Cottage is beautiful and being part of a larger art gallery, garden, meadow and orchard with such impressive eco-art credentials felt really special. All of the staff, owners, gardeners and resident garden robin were really friendly and welcoming. We will be back. Thank you.

    Elaine & David — May 2021
  • Fantastic walks on your doorstep

    Wonderful time had by all. Amazing location, lovely cottage and fantastic walks on your doorstep. Cannot recommend highly enough.

    Craig, Kathryn & Patch — May 2021
  • Loved Kestle Cottage

    What a wonderful week's holiday. We loved Kestle Cottage and surroundings. Several walks through the woods to Helford and along Frenchman's Creek through wild garlic and bluebells. Outings further afield to Trebah and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. So sorry to be leaving.

    The Smiths — April 2021
  • Grateful

    Really enjoyed our stay here at Kestle Cottage — second time we've booked with Forever Cornwall. Celebrating end of lockdown with walks through the woods, Porthleven beach and harbour, and walk from Lizard Point to the beautiful beach at Kynance Cove. Been really grateful for the favourable weather too. Thank you.

    The Adams family — April 2021
  • Gorgeous cottage

    Our third time staying at Kestle Barton and we hope to be back again next year. Wonderful time enjoying the beaches at Poldhu and Gunwalloe. Gorgeous cottage, clean and well equipped as usual — great system in place for staying safe amid covid. Thank you!

    The Morgan family — July 2020
  • We didn't want to leave!

    Our first time staying in this part of Cornwall having visited numerous times on previous visits. Really enjoyed our stay and how peaceful and homely the cottage was — we didn't want to leave!

    The Murray family — June 2019
  • A beautiful cottage

    A fabulous week staying at this beautiful cottage and exploring the surrounding area. Thank you!

    The Kirwan family — April 2019
  • Cosy Christmassy stay

    Staying at Kestle Barton for the first time was a lovely getaway, and it was our first holiday alone together as a couple which made this week extra special. Poldhu and Church Cove were a must visit with views that quite literally blew us away (very windy). Thank you for a cosy Christmassy stay to remember.

    Lu & Josh — December 2021
  • Lovely, relaxing break

    A lovely, relaxing break. Beautiful weather, lovely scenery, great walks and a fantastic comfortable cottage — and a nice bottle of wine! Perfect!

    Andrew — March 2019
  • Perfect blend of rest and relaxation

    Our second time at Kestle Cottage — we spent a very happy first wedding anniversary here. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect time with incredible weather, and that perfect blend of rest and relaxation. The cottage is beautifully appointed and we can't wait to book in to Kestle Barton again later this year. All the best to you all staying in such a perfect place.

    Mr & Mrs Hockey — February 2019
  • Fantastic cottage

    Fantastic cottage and thank you for the bottle of wine on arrival. Beautiful area and lovely walks, especially from the cottage down to Frenchman's Creek. Thank you for our stay.

    Mr & Mrs Whiting — November 2018
  • A really homely characterful base

    Wow! What a week! Kestle Barton is fabulous... a really homely characterful base to come back to after our beach and exploring days. Annie gave us a lovely warm welcome over at the gallery which was really appreciated. We've just had non-stop sunshine for our entire week so have been extremely lucky. Needless to say we did a lot of beach visits. Our favourites with the kiddies were Kennack Sands and Praa Sands. Sennen Cove and Porthcurno are also worth a visit. We felt like this was a magical holiday. You cannot help but fall in love with Cornwall every time, and Kestle Barton is the cherry on top.

    The Cross family — June 2018
  • Perfect for our family of four

    Kestle Cottage is the most beautiful cottage we've ever stayed in! Perfect for our family of four. Highlights were: the gallery's beautiful gardens and lunch, Poldhu and the Helford Passage. Great pizza at the Shipwrights Arms and lovely dinner at the Ferryboat Inn. Cosy nights with the fire, we wished we had longer! Many thanks.

    The Morgans — August 2017
  • A wonderful, practical cottage

    A wonderful, practical cottage located conveniently near Helford and Manaccan. The walks from here to various points were just lovely, returning to this lovely cottage to rest and recover for the next hike. Coverack and nearby beaches are a must, particularly if you fancy just lying in the sand and soaking up the sound of surf booming! The ferry crossing from the Helford is also a must. We shall return!

    The Madni's — August 2017
  • Peaceful corner of South Cornwall

    Thank you for a wonderful week at Kestle Barton! We loved the cottage and exploring this peaceful corner of South Cornwall. The kids enjoyed muddy walks through the woods to Helford, attempting the rope swing at Glendurgan and the monkey bars at Trebah. We spent a rainy day at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, admiring the boats and checking out the fascinating Tattoo Exhibition. Fish and chips at the harbour in Coverack was a hit with everyone and the Potager Cafe and garden near Constantine is a magical place for coffee/cake/lunch. Very sad to leave but hope to be back again one day!

    The Hume Smiths — June 2017
  • Ultimate chill out

    Fourth visit to Kestle Barton and second to Kestle Cottage. Still plenty of new things to find. Ultimate chill out and peaceful week. Grow more attached to this area every time we visit!

    The Medgetts — May 2017
  • Fabulous

    Sun, bluebells, wild garlic, creeks, coastal walks, good pubs and food. Another fabulous week in Cornwall. Loved Kestle Cottage. Fabulously warm and well equipped.

    The Andersons — May 2017
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