We caught up with our fun-loving Canine Critics 2022 winners Darcy and Darla after their latest adventure – this time to Trevnor Farmhouse in Cornwall. They had a great time on this last trip before they hand over their Canine Critics duties to our 2023 winner, who you can read about here.
You can catch up with their previous trips to Scotland, Wales and Dorset and, if you’d like to keep up with their future antics, you can follow them on Instagram – @darcyanddarla.
In the meantime, let’s follow them on their recent Cornish holiday. If it inspires you to head to the South West yourself, check out our fabulous range of dog-friendly cottages in Cornwall by clicking the button below.
Canine Critics’ review of Trevnor Farmhouse
After leaving at 5am, we were very happy to arrive in the sunshine at our cottage in a small village called St Hilary, Cornwall. The cottage is at the end of the village with its own large driveway and is connected to the owner’s building next door, but you honestly wouldn’t know, it felt so private and great for us (especially Darla) as she isn’t always a fan of new people!
The cottage was really light and airy, there was a big hallway with high ceilings and a large kitchen with lots of fridge and freezer space for our food. The lounge/dining room looked out onto the best part - the garden! We absolutely loved sniffing for ages in this garden, there were so many bushes, trees and even apples growing. It was completely secure, so Mum had peace of mind letting us play outside while she sat and relaxed after our long adventure days. There is a patio area with a table, chairs and a large umbrella so the humans did make use of the beautiful Cornish weather while we relaxed with some sunbathing on the grass.
This place had a gate on the stairs like the one we have at home; Mum said it was perfect as we usually have to find something to block off the stairs so we don’t go wandering, as apparently, we’re quite nosey?! Mum loved her bedroom because it looked out onto the pretty garden and had lots of space for clothes and storage. The other human's room was even bigger and also had a pretty window seat over the back garden. The bathroom was huge with a lovely roll-top bath and separate shower. There’s also another toilet downstairs which is always useful for multiple people! Especially with how long Mum spends in those posh baths.
As we weren’t far from stunning St Ives, we decided to spend our first day exploring the famous harbour and cobbled streets. We used the park-and-ride service from St Erth which was about a 10-minute drive from the cottage. It cost around £10 for three adults (and two dogs, but we got in for free!) to park and get a return ticket to St Ives. The trains were around every half hour and it was only 10 minutes and two stops. We had never been on a train before so we were a bit unsure at first because it was very busy, but we got lots of cuddles from Mum and enjoyed the beautiful scenery out the window.
St Ives was so pretty! We wandered around the harbour, had a look at some quirky shops and even had a Cornish pasty! Well, the humans did, all we got was dog treats - but we did do a good job of keeping the seagulls away so Mum was very thankful for that.
Even though most of the beaches are closed to dogs this time of year, there are still a few that are dog friendly all year round. They’re signposted clearly so Mum found us a spot to have a swim and play in the sand for being such good girls all day. The water was so clear it didn’t even look real, we could see our own paws in it!
On the way home we visited the Natural Cornish Pet Shop, which was just two minutes from the station and was loaded with so many natural treats that our noses were doing overtime trying to get a sniff of everything! Mum bought us lots of smelly treats to enjoy in the garden.
On day two, we headed to Porthkidney Beach which is dog friendly all year so Mum could do some coastal paddleboarding with us! Unfortunately, the wind picked up and the current got a bit too strong so we just enjoyed some swimming time with Mum while the other humans relaxed on the beach in the sunshine. On the way back, we found a lovely cafe called Birdies Bistro and they welcomed us dogs with open arms! The food was delicious and the beer garden decor made us feel like we were abroad, we would highly recommend it!
Mum decided that evening on a last-minute trip to the famous Kynance Cove. Dogs aren’t permitted before 6pm so it was perfect timing and we even got to see a pretty sunset. Also, we practically had the place to ourselves! Mum said it looked like something from Pirates of the Caribbean and although we don’t know what that is, we agree. Definitely worth a visit.
It was Mum's birthday while we were on our holidays so we did what every 27-year-old dreams of doing on their birthday… we visited a dog-friendly seal sanctuary! It felt like it was our birthdays because we had the BEST time. We got to see these weird-looking sea dogs swimming around and some of them were even spotty like us! Darla made friends with a big boy called Diego and we even met a seal called Banana who was epileptic just like Darla. It was a brilliant day out, with lots of space and even a big woodland walk to spot some beavers and give our little legs a proper stretch.
Another one of our many adventures on this holiday was a coastal walk from Zennor. It’s a beautiful 12-mile round trip from Zennor to St Ives but we decided just to walk about halfway to St Ives as Mum’s legs weren’t quite up for 12 miles. We even spotted a wild seal in the water sleeping with its head bobbing around! After our walk, we went to The Tinners Arms in Zennor and Mum had a lovely pub lunch in their beer garden while we had a rest on the grass, and she slipped us a sneaky chip now and then.
One of the main day trips Mum wanted to do in Cornwall was Port Isaac. She’s a huge Doc Martin fan so she couldn’t come to Cornwall and not see where it was filmed for the last 18 years! It was the most beautiful little fishing village and we even walked up a massive hill so we could see the whole village below.
On the way back, we stopped at Padstow as we had heard it was a can’t-miss little harbour town. It was so picturesque with so many independent businesses making one-of-a-kind things. We had a lovely pub meal there before heading back to the cottage for a well-deserved nap.
We did A LOT of exploring on this trip, but one absolute must-see was, of course, Land’s End. Mum decided to park at Sennen Cove so we could have some breakfast at the local cafe before heading along the coastal path to Land’s End which was about a 25-minute walk with breathtaking views. We stayed on long leads as those cliffs were no joke!
Once we got to Land’s End we lined up for the classic photo with the sign and they even put ‘Darcy and Darla’ on it and sent us the print in the post alongside taking some photos on Mum's phone too. We sat and had a drink overlooking the edge of England and took it all in on our last day in paradise.
We had the best time on our last trip as Canine Critics. We made the most of it with so many adventures and days out; we explored as much as we could and still didn’t cover even half of Mum’s list! This cottage was the perfect base for everything you could possibly want to see and the garden is a haven for us dogs so it’s a win-win.
Mum has been wanting to visit Cornwall since she was really young so when we were selected as Canine Critics she knew that would be our final trip. We are really sad to be handing over our duties to the 2023 Critic but we hope they enjoy it as much as we did and don’t take any of it for granted!
Thank you all so much for following along on our journey this past year and we hope you’ve liked seeing our adventures because we have loved sharing them.
Stay in Cornwall
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