Review: The Wellington Hotel, Boscastle, Cornwall, UK

The Wellington Hotel, in the delightful coastal village of Boscastle, Cornwall, is an imposing sight.

Located in a 17th-century coaching inn with a castlesque turret, the hotel is tucked into the hillside overlooking the bridge that crosses Boscastle’s Elizabethan-era harbour.

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We booked online before leaving Australia and – with the exception of Trip Advisor reviews – we knew little about the Wellington Hotel at the time.

However, all our research suggested that Boscastle was one of the most beautiful spots on the northern Cornish coast – and a ‘must-see’ destination.

Everything we had heard about Boscastle proved correct.

And the Wellington Hotel proved to be the icing on the cake.

On the way to northern Cornwall, we read that the hotel had counted among its guests Thomas Hardy, who fell in love in Boscastle; Guy Gibson of Dambusters fame; and members of the Royal Family. And we were soon to find out why.

Detailed review
Q: Were there any problems with the booking?

A: None at all. We had booked two months ahead of our arrival, yet when we checked the night before reaching Boscastle, the staff knew who we were and were expecting us.

Q: Was there adequate parking space at the hotel?

A: This is always a concern in southern England, as on-site parking can be difficult to secure at some coastal hotels. However, at the Wellington Hotel, we were able to park our hire car directly outside the front of the building, in a well lit and secure parking area.

Q: Did check-in run smoothly?

A: Like clockwork. the reception staff were friendly and efficient. Check-in took only a few minutes and we were shown to our room.

Q: Was the room as expected?

A: The room was spacious and straightforward, with traditional furnishings, a comfortable bed and an en-suite bathroom. There was a TV and tea and coffee-making facilities. The free Wifi worked well and the room had adequate and well-placed power points.

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Q: Did the room have a view?

A: Yes. there was a pleasant view over the front of the hotel to the heart of the village and harbour walk.

Q: Was breakfast included?

A: Cooked breakfast was included. As usual at English country hotels, the breakfast was hearty and filling.

Q: Did you use the restaurant?

A: Yes, we had dinner on our first night at Boscastle – and the restaurant offered a large range of European cuisine in a stylish dining room.

Q: Would you return to The Wellington Hotel and recommend it?

A: Without hesitation.

Independently owned, the Wellington Hotel has 14 bedrooms, three suites and a public bar.

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A bewitching reason to visit Boscastle

The north coast of Cornwall boasts some of the most striking scenery and charming villages imaginable.

We’ve spend treasured time in this lovely area of England, visiting villages like Portreath with its unspoilt coastal character; ‘Doc Martin’s’ Port Isaac with its whitewashed cottages and narrow alleys; Tintagel with its eye-catching Cornish castle ruins; and picture-postcard Bude by the sea.

But, among all this Cornish beauty, tradition and friendliness, we’ve developed a particular fondness for the quaint harbourside village of Boscastle.

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Located a short distance north-east of Tintagel, the Boscastle area has a particular appeal.

For a start, it has a wonderful Elizabethan-era harbour protected by two stone walls built in 1584.

The village of Boscastle then extends inland from the harbour up the valleys of the River Valency and the River Jordan.

The mainly stone cottages, visitor’s centre, hotel and sprinkling of shops are set against tree and bush-lined hills that creep right to the edge of the village.

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Streams and rivers dominate the landscape and the sound of water can be heard running beneath many of the buildings in the heart of Boscastle.

Because rivers converge in the harbour and hillsides loom almost above your head, Boscastle has suffered severe flooding, never more so than in 2004 when heavy rain caused extensive damage to the village.

The village lies within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which affords it the same status and protection as a National Park.

Boscastle was once a small port, importing limestone and coal, and exporting slate and other local produce.

Forrabury Stitches open fields

These day, much of the land in and around Boscastle is owned by the National Trust, including both sides of the harbour.

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The Trust also owns an area of land high above the village known as Forrabury Stitches – a site of great historic, landscape and wildlife value.

The fields on Forrabury Stitches are farmed in the ancient ‘stitchmeal’ open field system – once widespread in England but now extremely rare.

Oats, barley and grass are grown in the stitches and sheep or cattle graze there in winter.

Like much of the Cornwall’s north coast, the Boscastle area is popular with hikers and England’s South West Coast Path winds through the village.

A special enchantment

With such haunting natural beauty, it’s probably apt that Boscastle is also known for its link with witchcraft and the occult.

The village is the site of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, which houses exhibits about folk magic, ceremonial magic, Freemasonry and Wicca.

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Established in the area since the 1960’s, the museum is a popular tourist drawcard and, on our last visit to Boscastle, the village was hosting some type of European witchcraft conference.

In an area of the UK where stunning natural scenery and quaint villages are around almost every corner, the geography of Boscastle stands out from the crowd.

It is a beautiful and peaceful village, in a tranquil setting along one of the finest stretches of coastline imaginable.

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Distance from London

Boscastle is in Cornwall, about 250 miles or about four-and-threequarter-hours drive from London via the M4 and the M5.

Alternatively, the journey can be done by train and bus from London Paddington. This journey takes about eight hours.

Thanks: Main harbour photo courtesy JUweL Wikimedia Commons 2hoto of witchcraft museum courtesy of Überraschungsbilder Wikimedia Commons.

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