We were surrounded by views of pebble paths disappearing into green hills eventually dropping off to the near-endless blue ocean, and as we reached another rise in the road our destination, the Watergate Bay Hotel was nestled nicely overlooking the surf beach of Watergate Bay. For the next few days, we would get to know the North West of Cornwall a little better.
Kids bounded out of doors in front of us as we arrived and checked-in. Barefoot and smiling ear to ear, parents slightly struggling to keep their pace, we watched as they made their way down to the beach, knowing we too would be heading down the same path for surf lessons at Extreme Academy.
After we were fitted with wetsuits, the friendly instructor went through the lesson with the group and, with my husband taking up the challenge while I photographed, I timidly dipped my toes in the water and was surprised to feel the warmth of the sea. With the sun dancing between the clouds, I watched as the group hit the waves, one by one eventually up on their boards riding all the way into shore.
After an afternoon in and out of the sea, hunger was at the forefront of both of our minds, so after a quick shower, we returned to the beach to enjoy a burger at the Beach Hut. Perched just up on the end of the beach we had a great view of the late afternoon surfers endeavouring to catch as many waves possible before the day's end.
It could have been the slight wind coupled with the sounds of the ocean, or the fact that we had both wrestled with the waves earlier in the day, but that night we slept heavy, waking recharged and ready to explore.
Having noticed a path directly opposite the entrance to the hotel, we thought it would be a great walk to tackle before breakfast. Behind us with every step, the hotel slowly disappeared from view and once at the top of the walk's peak, we paused to take in the views of Watergate Bay with the town of Newquay in the distance. The route continued to wind around the cliffs and it wasn't long before we had worked up an appetite and decided to head back for breakfast.
The array of fresh fruit, pastries and eggs on offer made my mouth water but my eyes locked on the waffle maker in the corner and I got busy deciding between the choices of sweet or savoury toppings.
After breakfast, we retreated to the main restaurant/bar, the Living Space, where we would spend the next few hours until my treatment in the spa. To what I thought was going to be a pedicure the therapist informed me she had a full body massage scheduled. On giving me the option of either one, I felt a slight pang of guilt as I thought of my husband who, having had his surf lesson the day before, was probably more in need of it than I. But how I could I say no to such an indulgence? An hour later any tension that I was holding within my body had melted away - indeed, it took me a few minutes to steady my legs. I felt more relaxed than I had in a long time.
With the surf beach below and plenty of activities on offer at the hotel, we felt spoilt for choice when it came to filling the days during our stay. However, more often than not we found ourselves opting for a more relaxed pace, reading on our balcony or having a drink in the Living Space before heading to Zacry’s for a more formal dinner. Whether it be to recharge, take up an activity or explore more of Cornwall, we’ll definitely be back.