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Talisman | Luxury Beach House | Mawgan Porth, Cornwall


Mawgan Porth, Cornwall, UK

Layers of softened light, sculptural lines, and the honey-drizzle of home comforts make Talisman the baklava of beach houses. It's the realised vision of a number-cruncher turned creative designer, who transformed a little 1970s bungalow on the dunes of Mawgan Porth into a luxury RIBA award-winning family fortress complete with an indoor pool. One part stone and slate, one part blackened conifer, and between them a passageway to the sea.



As far as self-builds go, this is the architect’s edition of a “choose-your-own-adventure” book, every inch of it polished and personalised — from the Tiffany blue barn door to the last marigold alcove. Glossy, open-plan spaces marked by corduroy conversation pits and poured concrete bring a slick, Silicon Valley headquarters feel to Cornwall's A-list oasis, whilst clapperboard walls lined with longboards balance those industrial aesthetics with laid-back surf soul. Despite its frameless corners and functional form, Talisman is familial luxury to its fingertips; proof that good design and the good life really can coexist.


Picture an art gallery: all harmony and geometry. Then, imagine a troop of younglings were appointed as its curators. In studio-meets-street market fashion, the design choices are a riot against essentialism: there’s pickle green steel beams, bulbous table lamps, ruffled valances, and no less than two colourful cast-iron and chrome porthole bathtubs. Artworks, too, like the original ruby and mustard canvas by Robyn Denny and personal pieces couriered from Lebanon. This is a place for sippers and surfers, storytellers and mezze-makers; those intrigued by tagine alchemy and rosewater martinis shaken poolside at sunset.


While yogis recite their Sanskrit mantras beside the dune grass, others can pass billowy tamarisks on the trail to the surf beach. All this while the warmth of the indoor pool, sheltered by glass corners, tempts those paddlers with skin too thin for Atlantic temps. It’s the kind of place that makes a case for shoes off, sitting crossed-legged on woven rugs, passing vibrant plates of harissa kabobs and tabbouleh, and pouring mint tea from a pitcher. Once in a while, stroll into the village to find inns and eateries and shacks that trade in good wine and matcha; and perhaps spot one of the A-list residents of “Hollywood-on-Sea.”

The Facts

  • SleepsUp to 15 guests (10 adults and 5 children)
    From £9,995 per week, £7,495 per short break
  • Bedrooms and bathroomsThere are six bedrooms, two on the ground floor, three on the first floor, and one family suite in the pool house. Each of the bedrooms has either an en suite or a dedicated bathroom. There are three additional WCs.
    View bedrooms
  • FeaturesHeated indoor swimming pool, sauna, ice bath, gym
  • PetsOne small well-behaved dog is welcome on prior request
    Pets are charged at £60 per week or part thereof
  • Arrivals and departuresArrival Time: 4pmDeparture Time: 10am
  • FamilyBabies and children are very welcome. One travel cot and one highchair are available, but there are no stairgates.
  • PracticalitiesThere is gated parking for ten cars. The kitchen has a pizza oven, Mercury double oven with hob, dishwasher, and tall fridge-freezer. The utility room contains a washing machine and tumble dryer; there is also a surf storage and wetsuit drying area. There is underfloor heating throughout. Please note that, whilst the garden and decking is enclosed, it does have a bank that could lead to the beach, so do exercise due diligence if you are travelling with an adventurous dog.
  • Homestay includesA luxury welcome hamper, iPad, Wi-Fi internet (and 4G access), projector screen, Sage coffee machine, coal barbecue, books and board games, luxury bed linens, towels, and bathrobes, and logs and kindling to get you started.House book - your property and destination guideDiscover more
  • Private cateringSeeking a celebratory dinner or fully catered escape? Our recommended caterers will work with you to create personalised menus for your stay. Details are shared through our house book on confirming your booking.
  • RetreatsFrom foraging weekenders to crash courses in cold-water therapy, our bespoke retreats bridge the gap between luxury and back-to-nature philosophies. Create a hand-crafted stay that puts connectivity at the fore.
  • Eco-friendlySedum grass roof, Tesla electric car charging point
  • RestrictionsParties considered on prior permission from the owner
  • Other informationProperty terms and conditionsFrequently asked questionsView floor plan

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The indoor pool has frameless glass corners that overlook the surf
A contemporary, eco-conscious beach house on the dunes of Mawgan Porth

Prices & Availability

Mawgan Porth

There was a time when a stay by the sea meant rockpools and buckets and shells of some description — but this is no ordinary beach. A melting pot of trad cottages and contemporary dwellings, it´s as laid-back as it is lively, with a holistic underbelly that speaks to bon vivants.

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Mawgan Porth
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Getting there

  • On the Map This luxury beach house is located in Mawgan Porth, ideally located for visiting the bays, coves, and port hamlets of North Cornwall.
  • By Car Talisman is around one-and-a-half hours from Exeter, three hours from Bristol, and five hours from London by car.
  • By Train Newquay is fifteen minutes away by car, or thirty minutes by public transport. There are regular trains from London Paddington with a journey time of five-and-a-half hours with GWR. St Columb and Quintrell Downs are both within fifteen minutes.
  • By Air Newquay Airport is five minutes away, while Exeter Airport and Bristol Airport are one-and-a-half and three hours away by car respectively.


From the owner

“In a coastal environment characterised by a sense of tradition, it was important that Talisman was a cleverly-considered build: contemporary and bright, whilst still blending unobtrusively with this iconic Cornish landscape.”

From the owner

Our home is a fusion of luxury, contemporary architecture, colourful design choices, and vibrant spaces that were designed with the entire family in mind: from the sunken living area, which encourages everyone to gather in front of the fire, to the welcoming kitchen with its large table and pizza oven. There’s a cinema room, a pool annexe, and a large decking that’s a favourite place to be on summer evenings.

This blend of traditional and modern living resulted in a mix of secluded and open-plan spaces, making it perfect for a family holiday to Cornwall. From dinner parties in front of structural glass walls to panoramic sunsets seen from the frameless-cornered pool house, there’s something about Talisman that feels like a private resort.

Built by local tradesman, using a plethora of reclaimed and eco-conscious materials, Talisman is an environmentally conscious house that still caters for every single member of the family, from the children to the grandparents. Its surf beach access and closeness to the village mean that Talisman feels utterly secluded, whilst still being a stone’s throw from convenience and entertainment.

The Al-Bader Family

Owner recommendations

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

Bedruthan Steps

To See

Bedruthan Steps

The huge granite stacks rising from the beach were, according to legend, stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan. Access to the beach is difficult, down a steep narrow set of steps, but the beach you end up on is worth it.

Trenance Riding Stables

To Do

Trenance Riding Stables

Offering both one-to-one tuition and group riding sessions, Trenance Riding Stables in Newquay offers multi-generational appeal. From pony trekking and hack riding to coastal rides, horse-lovers are guaranteed a fun-filled day.

The Beach Hut

To Eat

The Beach Hut

Right on the sand at Watergate Bay, this is a vibrant restaurant serving a range of mouthwatering dishes, including fresh seafood. With wall-to-ceiling windows, cosy corners, and an outside terrace, it´s a year-round winner.

Retallack Resort and Spa

To Do

Retallack Resort and Spa

Home to a FlowRider, zip-wire, wake park and aqua park with inflatable obstacle course, Retallack Resort and Spa is the top water sports destination in Cornwall! Whatever your age, unleash your inner child.

Unique extras

From private chefs to luxury at-home spa therapists and adrenalin-fuelled retreats, once you’ve booked your stay we’ll introduce you to our owner-recommended suppliers to create a truly bespoke, memorable escape.


Below are a selection of features in which 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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