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The Boat House | Luxury Self-Catering | Downderry, Cawsand

The Boat House

Downderry, Cornwall, UK

Originally the seaside lodge to Lord St. Germans of the Port Eliot Estate, this luxury self-catering retreat in Downderry retains all the authentic character from its previous life as a Cornish boat house. With luxurious, contemporary interiors and no less than five acres of secluded wooded grounds bound by National Trust land, The Boat House provides an unparalleled coastal escape in "the forgotten corner of Cornwall". Tiptoe down the garden path and you'll be right on the glorious South West Coast Path.


Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors give way to breathtaking sea views here at The Boat House, whilst the terrace provides an idyllic spot to spy boats on the horizon. Quirky additions such as the suspended woodburner and ultra-modern kitchen combine to make this coastal self-catering retreat in Downderry a blissful haven throughout the day. And, when you are ready to tear yourself away from this glorious nook, Kingsand and Cawsand are just a short drive away and offer a smattering of renowned eateries.


This coastal property is all about its connection with the sea and the stunning views are utterly captivating, both on still days and in tempestuous storms. Whether it’s a lazy morning or a well-deserved early evening, the living area’s floor-to-ceiling sliding doors bring the outside in. Gather some treats from the kitchen and set the woodburner roaring as you wholeheartedly relax. When eyes get tired, The Boat House’s dreamy king-size double and twin provide sumptuous cocoons for all the family.


The secluded landscaped gardens are the idyllic place to sit a-while, with gentle birdsong and the hypnotic crashing of waves to ease the mind. On sunny afternoons, pour a glass of something cold and set the barbecue a-sizzling with the freshest catch of the day, before tucking into a divine al fresco feast. For adventures further afield, a hop, skip and a jump down the private garden path leads through the gate and onto the South West Coast Path, with miles of unbridled exploration at your disposal.

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 4 guests from £1,695 per week
  • Alternative group optionUp to 2 guests
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere is one double bedroom with king-size bed and one zip-and-link bedroom on the first floor, plus one first floor family bathroom with bath and overhead shower and one ground floor shower room.
  • FeaturesHot tub
  • PetsSorry, no pets
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Day: FridayArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyYes, children are very welcome. A travel cot is available, and a highchair on request.
  • PracticalitiesThere is parking for up to three cars at The Boat House. The well-equipped kitchen has a double oven with induction hob, a dishwasher, fridge, washing machine and dryer. The house is well-insulated with underfloor heating and a woodburner. The property sits alongside the owners´ house, in which they live for part of the year. The Boat House has a privately owned path down to the beach; please note this is an unmade track and can be uneven in places.
  • Homestay includesWelcome hamper, garden chess, TV, Blu-Ray DVD player, Bang and Olufsen Beolab 1 speakers, WiFi internet, gas barbecue, linen, towels, waffle bathrobes, logs and kindling to get you started...House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more little luxuries
  • Private cateringDiscover your options for private dining and fully catered breaks.
  • Additional extrasA handpicked selection of unique experiences are available at this property.
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsEV charger locationsCheck mobile signalRecommend to a friend

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Tiptoe down the garden path to join the coast path
The Boat House is a luxury coastal abode in Cornwall
Families will love wandering the gardens

Prices & Availability

Please note, availability for this property is to be confirmed by Unique Homestays on receipt of your enquiry


On the soft south coast of Cornwall, right at the top just before the Devon border, this unspoilt coastal village has a sprinkling of stunning cliffside houses looking out to sea, a sweep of sand and shingle beach, and plenty of rockpools for little explorers.

View on maps


Getting there

  • On the Map The Boat House sits in the village of Downderry close to Cawsand in South East Cornwall.
  • By Car From London, take the M4 toward Bath, take M5 South and A30 to Cornwall and follow the directions provided to the property.
  • By Train The nearest train station is St Germans, approximately five miles from Downderry.
  • By Air Approximately one hour drive from Newquay Airport.

From the owner

“The setting of The Boat House is what struck us the most; hidden away in this quiet little-known corner of Cornwall, the seafront location is really quite spectacular.”

From the owner

It is wonderful to introduce you to the Fernbach family home. We are a musician and artist couple, and prior to The Boat House, we owned Jacobs Residential Recording Studios in Surrey for 30 years. 

Stumbling upon our dream house in July 2006 changed our lives. This coastal property was built around 1890 and originally belonged to Lord St. Germans of the Port Eliot Estate, who used this Arts and Crafts home as his seaside lodge.

We spent two years restoring the ramshackle stone and timber boathouse. Our objective was to retain its authentic essence but also introduce some contemporary, minimal and open living areas too. We are thrilled with the results and hope you are too!

The Fernbach Family

Owner recommendations

Live like a local, discovering the best hidden gem restaurants, walks and attractions during your holiday in Downderry with an insider’s perspective.

History and Intrigue 

To Do

History and Intrigue 

The twinned villages of Kingsand and Cawsand are well worth a visit – especially on May Day. In the summer months, a passenger ferry will take you to the historic Barbican area of Plymouth to see where the Pilgrim fathers set sail for America.

Antony House

To See

Antony House

Antony House in nearby Torpoint was the location for Tim Burton´s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp. Children and adults alike will love exploring the grounds - just be careful not to fall down any rabbit holes!

The View, Torpoint

To Eat

The View, Torpoint

Incredible views and food! The View uses local suppliers and small producers ensuring superb ingredients and taste. In spring and summer, the menu emphasises local fish and seafood, whilst in the cooler months meat and game start to feature.

Adrenaline Quarry

To Do

Adrenaline Quarry

For the bravest thrill-seekers among you, make sure you head to Adrenaline Quarry adventure park in Menheniot. Opened in 2009, you can experience the UK´s longest zip line and defy gravity with a go on the giant swing.

Guest Testimonials

Returned from our stay at The Boat House I must tell you that this property completely exceeded our high expectations! The location is perfect, at the edge of a village but still secluded. All we could hear was the sea in front of us. The Boat House is furnished with love and at a high standard, but nevertheless sensible and practical. We had great storage in the kitchen and the electric equipment is of the highest quality. Watching films in the living room was like being in the cinema because of the high-quality speakers and professionally coated walls. This is more than luxury self-catering.

The Boat House at Downderry is totally superb in every way. Very well appointed and immaculate in every respect with great attention to detail, uninterrupted sea views and a private location. Easy approach and parking with lovely grounds and access to the private beach. Charming, unspoilt villages to discover nearby, and Looe and Fowey are within easy reach . A great find and one to where we will return, as it really is unique.

What a splendid property. The morning sunrise over the sea, experienced from the comfort of the master bedroom was worth the drive from London alone. The fireplace is a wonderful feature and the Cornish tea left for us was a real unexpected treat. The owners are wonderful hosts, the perfect combination of giving you your own space but on hand if needed. They made our trip to the beach perfect by surfacing a kid’s bag filled with beach essentials. What a great break with the family! We will be back.

We loved the property it was very clean, quaint and peaceful. We loved that we got the property all to ourselves as we really needed to switch off from the world. The sea views were delicious and the fireplace and living room so relaxing. Hiking the paths and visiting the local villages was delightful. The people were so friendly and we even got lucky one day on our walk buying fresh fish from a mobile fishmonger. The garden was beautiful and the owners were so sweet. We would love to stay longer but we will be back! Thank you for a wonderful experience.

Absolutely fantastic stay! The Boat House was exactly as it appeared online, just gorgeous, in the perfect location and beautifully furnished. The owners were lovely and whilst only next door should we have needed them, they weren´t at all intrusive. We had an absolutely heavenly week of relaxation in a beautiful unique home in a fabulous location - thanks so much!

The photos online do not do this place justice. So much more than we expected. Peace, tranquility, noise of the sea and spectacular views. Everything was thought of with care. Just to sit and view the garden and sea gave such peace and happiness.

Stunning location and the views are breathtaking. During our stay there England was hit with some very stormy weather, it was very atmospheric watching the sea and changing landscape from the comfort of the house!

The Boat House was a great place to stay for a week in a wonderful setting. The owners were very helpful but not intrusive. We had a fantastic week and could not have wished for more.

We just wanted to say a huge thank you to the owners for making our stay last weekend so amazing. We had a great time, The Boat House is beautiful and you made us feel really at home, you have such a gorgeous property and an amazing setting.

This was our fourth Unique Homestay in Cornwall and by far the best!! Our 2 year old loved the space and hiding in every nook and cranny. We enjoyed the fire, the sound system and of course the view! The nearby Monkey Sanctuary was terrific, the local restaurants were excellent with ´The View´ being outstanding. Saving the best to last ... the private cove just a short walk from the garden gate, we had the beach all to ourselves!! Thanks to the owners for a wonderful stay.

Really lovely property, super quiet location right by the sea with superb sea views from the floor to ceiling windows. Awesome sound system, we watched a film each evening as we enjoyed the sound and music so much.

A stunning property with excellent owners who were extremely welcoming and helpful.  A superb property that delivered in all areas of comfort and luxury. The level of service from start to finish was very good and look forward to using Unique Homestays again in the future.

The owners were lovely. Very welcoming and helpful for our check in. The Boat House setting is spectacular. It has a remote and relaxing location. You feel like you are the only people on the coast and that is perfect!

The owners were very friendly and helpful, we were slightly worried about staying in a property so close to the owners home but they were very unobtrusive and when we needed some help it was good to have them so close by

Unique extras

Enhance your stay with a unique experience from one of our preferred suppliers. From professional in-house chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and wine delivered to the door, see what’s on offer for your bespoke escape.


Below are a selection of features in which The Boat House and Unique Homestays has appeared. If you would like to feature the property in an editorial capacity, please contact the marketing team on +44 (0)1637 882014.

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Disclaimer: These particulars, whilst believed to be accurate, are set as a guideline so should not be relied upon as a statement of fact. The photographs show aspects of the property at the time they were taken and it should not be assumed that the property remains precisely as displayed. If there are points of particular importance that need clarifying before you book, please contact us.

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