Botelet Cottages are a part of an organic farm offering unique holidays in Cornwall, including a yurt, meadow camping, wellness courses and retreats.
How would you describe Botelet Yurt in a nutshell?
Botelet Farm near Liskeard, Cornwall has an interesting mix of accommodation, among them the yurt for two adults that is raised on poles and set into a wild flower orchard. The yurt is sturdy, yet blends into the scenery and allows guests to become immersed into the unique Cornish landscape. The yurt has a wood stove and basic kitchen equipment. Botelet Farm truly is a magical place, rustic, quaint and very relaxed. All the while Botelet is more than just glamping, you’ll find that our mission is to give a glimpse into life on a Cornish farm, slowly evolving over generations. Saving the good bits of the old and adding snippets of timeless modern design is what they succeed in doing.
What is the history of Botelet farm?
Our great grandparents lived in the Manor from 1860 until the farmhouse was built in 1884. Our grandfather was born in the ‘new’ farmhouse in the November of that year. Our father was also born here and lived here until he passed away aged 93 in 2018. The fourth generation now, my brother Richard and myself, are continuing the family tradition. We're not organically registered but we do farm in an organic style — using neither fertilizers nor sprays. We belong to the Environmental Stewardship Scheme in which small grants encourage farmers to look after wildlife, protect nature and prevent overproduction. Hedge, gate and fence renewal coupled with the planting of one thousand hedging plants take place each winter. We do most of this work during off season when we have more time.
And when did you start renting Botelet out to guests?
The Bed & Breakfast was started by our grandmother in the 30s. There were few B&Bs around at that time and it soon became an enterprising sideline. Our mother continued the B&B when we were children. Together our parents renovated a redundant railway carriage (a banana van) during the early 60s and let it out as a self-catering chalet. It was amazing for its era and continually booked. We’ve been letting our present two cottages out since about 1987.
It’s all about healthy lifestyle, sustainability, being good to the environment, isn’t it?
Yes, that’s what we try to promote here and hopefully that’s what we’re doing. We installed two wind turbines, so our primary sources of energy are from our domestic wind turbines and solar panels, topped up with green tariff electricity when required. And the cottages are supplied with logs for the woodburners that have been harvested from the farm, so staying at Botelet leaves only a gentle footprint!
Our water at Botelet is from our own borehole. It's fantastically pure water. We recycle everything and use eco products for cleaning. We’ve always lived a sustainable type of lifestyle even before it became fashionable — we were brought up that way.
When you are away from the farm, what is it that you look forward to most when coming back to Botelet?
Well, I have just come back from a short trip and this morning I went out for a long walk, before breakfast, up to the top of the farm. I just looked down and I thought, well, Denmark was lovely, the people and the food were lovely, but just to see the undulating hills down towards the coast, the sea glistening and the greenery of some valley stretching off down towards the Eden Project... just to look down over the old clay hills, which are like little tiny alps, just to see the patchwork of the different-coloured fields with their hedges — it was lovely. I could see up to about 20 miles from up there. I think it it’s just such a beautiful and quiet area where we are.
What else is there to do and see around Botelet?
There are little villages around here that are just that. They’re very small villages, they hardly have a shop. One of them has a pub, but all of them have a church. You have to go down into Fowey & Lostwithiel, Polperro perhaps and to some extent Looe. Looe’s a little bit more touristic. There are one or two fine restaurants there and if you go down in the evening and walk around on the coast, it’s really beautiful. It’s too crowded in the daytime — there are too many coaches that come there — but in the evening it’s very nice. Fowey is nice all the time. You can get to Fowey by passenger ferry or car ferry, as we’re on the other side of a small river.
And there is the Eden Project, which is about a 20 mins drive. The lost gardens of Heligan are about 40 mins and the north coast to the surf beaches is about 40 mins away as well.