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Discover our longings for exploration and discovery via this eclectic luxury travel blog, crafted to inspire the most seasoned of travellers.

Finding the family treeFinding the family tree

Put away in the attic, there is a cardboard box; and in the box, there is a photograph; and in the photograph is a secret. No shutter fast enough to capture it. No dark room that could process it. No pigment able to render it. The secret is the feeling, known only by the ones who were there; the kind of truism that can’t be mimicked by a million photosites or shrunk to a 3:2 aspect ratio. We’ve introduced homes of storybook character and given life to those days when rivers were lava and ledges were crevasses. Now, we’re finding the family tree; places made for the inner child, for sitting cross-legged with sister in the garden, and – with any luck – arriving to mum and dad waving in the doorway. One of life’s great nostalgias is rooted in a falsehood. You can go home again.


Alba Beach House

A pale pink beach house right on the sand, with a bright blue sky
On the left, the end of a bathtub with artworks; on the right, a mother and daughter with binoculars

Alba Beach House, the darling of St Ives, happens when the comfort of a coastal home meets the gratification of setting down roots in one of Cornwall’s most illustrious spots. As sunset makes a mirror of the sea at Porthmeor Beach, there'll be choral pleadings of "let’s go fly a kite" that send children whistling onto the glass balcony. The walls of this fisherman’s cottage have seen many a late summer supper, and enough midnight feasts of milk and hand pies to match the tides. Naturally, it was made for the young and young at heart, for those who so earnestly love the ocean that they must start and end each day with the score of the sea.

Photo credit: Piglet in Bed


Atelier Rose

A beautiful white house sits on a riverfront, surrounded by a green lawn and bushes

On the left, a little boy with a book on a sofa; on the right, a vintage football table~


Photo credit: The Michalaks

Somewhere in rural Herefordshire, where castles dot the rolling hills and cider runs like water, a medieval sugar cube hides behind topiary pyramids. At Atelier Rose, time is spent dealing cards by the open fire, turning to prunes in the giant tin bath, playing hide-and-seek in secret gardens, and sinking into sofas as Alice in Wonderland plays over the Harmon Kardon projector. Larger groups can book the entire enchanting estate, The Sculptor’s Gardens, taking the house in conjunction with timber-framed cottage Hollyhocks next door. Here, between the topiaries and orangery, you'll believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Photo credit: The Michalaks


The Fable

A white, traditional thatched cottage surrounded by trees down a lane
On the left, a cosy lounge through a doorway; on the right, a toddler sits at a typewriter desk


Inside the sweetest thatch in Perranporth – decorated in collaboration with The White Company – there’s signature scents wafting from the sash windows, flocculent bathrobes for the moonlit dash to the hot tub, and cashmere blankets made for midday naps on powder puff sofas. At this whitewashed thatch in Cornwall, children start conga lines beneath the pergola’s string lights and hounds gallivant around the garden. Think of The Fable as a luxe coastal basecamp with a touch of laid-back SoCal cool; the kind of storybook cob cottage where families come to hatch grand plans for little more than blue skies and cherry pies.

Photo credit: My Little Country Life


The Stack

A fairytale stone tower surrounded by green fields and trees
On the left, a woman prepares a meal in the kitchen; on the right, a table set for dinner

It could be the most photogenic dwelling in the entire county. Pluck yourselves out of the norm and into a Rapunzel-esque wonderland at The Stack, a 19th-century engine house where wool blankets from the Rhodope Mountains and all sorts of fairytale aesthetics combine in something of a grown-ups' playhouse. But it’s not all linen cushions and earthen ceramics made by the hands of artisans and craftspeople. Set in a Cornish hamlet, yet without a whiff of rural humdrum, this is a tower of many nooks; find a built-in hot tub, a cinema snug, and lashings of west country charm within its rustluxe interior.

Photo credit: melonmade



A long conservatory hallway with an exposed stone wall and glass side, overlooking the ocean
On the left, a subterranean pool; on the right, children walking with surfboards on beach

Here is a hideout on high, a familial homestead encased by sea swells and seashells. Take safe harbour from the westerly wind at Galleon, cannonballing into the subterranean basement pool or spending all morning in the wraparound conservatory. This Portreath home whips up visions of the kind of summer that belongs in the family archives, with one of Cornwall’s loveliest Blue Flag beaches at its feet, an immersive woodland theatre at the top of a nearby hill, and all-night-long barbecues with baby new potatoes and crème fraiche that happen under the kind of crimson sky that can never be caught on camera.


The Pandy House

A large, stone cottage in the centre of woodland, called Pandy House in Snowdonia, Wales
On the left, a man wearing a tweed suit stands in front of wallpaper; on the right, a modern kitchen

Take your place in the mountains, where a whole National Park is waiting to be your playground. There’s joy to be had between these old stone walls; with string bulbs that throw dappled light upon barefoot kitchen dancers, its the sort of home where every room echoes with a merry din. Think of it as a summer pilgrimage for all generations, a chance to take your place in the mountains, then return to the flamboyance of toppling tables and printed wallpaper. One of those places that goes particularly well with clinking celebrations, The Pandy House guarantees a familial adventure in one of Snowdonia's wildest segments.


Browse the full collection of luxury family homes in the UK and Ireland.

Properties featured in this article: The Fable, Galleon, The Stack, Alba Beach House, Atelier Rose, Hollyhocks, The Sculptor´s Gardens, The Pandy House

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