STORM WATCHING ON THE CORNISH COAST
Think Cornwall is just for the summer? Long after the bucket and spade brigade have left its sandy beaches, the craggy coastline becomes a natural battleground where the sea and wind cause many a treacherous storm during the winter months. An internet search will offer several places to go to watch the storms, but why not try an independently owned, 5 star hotel in Newquay, full of history and sitting right on the cliff top to give you the best view in the house?
The Headland Hotel is one of Cornwalls most iconic hotels. A magnificent Victorian building sitting on a cliff top overlooking Fistral Beach, the hotel wowed early visitors with its luxurious, opulent interiors and incredible views. A huge ballroom with a maple dancefloor, special quarters for the servants and high society events made this the place to be seen. King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were the first royals to stay there and the current Prince of Wales and Princess Royal have also visited several times.
Bought by a couple in 1979 who restored and improved the building, they still own the hotel and have strived to create an atmosphere of comfortable luxury, adding some self-catering cottages, a spa, an Aqua Club which has six pools and several restaurants. Nearby Fistral Beach is considered one of the best surfing beaches in the UK; miles of golden sand and big swells make it home to some of the big names in surfing and several surfing festivals.
The conditions which make the area so perfect for surfing in the summer are also what makes the area ideal for dramatic winter storms. Seasonal gales and spring tides lash at the coast, and the Headland Hotel high on the cliff top overlooks it all. Ocean spray spatters the windows, the wind roars around the building and the cloudy grey skies loom above.
The hotel even offers a special Storm Watching package which runs from November to February - 3 nights in a room with a view which includes a three course dinner, two course lunch and very tasty looking afternoon tea, all with locally sourced food. Time can be spent in the heated pools watching the Atlantic rage in the distance, walking the coastal path to feel the spray on your face or hiding from the weather in front of a real fire.
It is a unique and luxurious way to visit Cornwall as a Slow Traveller; to enjoy the beautiful county without adding to the hordes of tourists who fill it in the warmer months, clogging up the roads and sites, whilst having an unforgettable experience.