Mother Ivey’s Bay, Cornwall

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    • Sleeps2
    • Bedrooms1
    • PetsNo

    Cottage in Padstow’s Old Town. Open plan ground floor. Double shower. WiFi. Courtyard. Short walk to Padstow’s Harbour and amenities. (Ref. 960094)

    Last booked within the last 2 days

    7 nights from £423

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    • Sleeps4
    • Bedrooms2
    • PetsNo

    Delightful, homely cottage in the wonderful Cornish fishing port of Padstow. Open-plan living. Near Padstow Harbour. Camel Cycle Trail. South West Coast Path. Harlyn 2.9 miles, Constantine Bay 4.2 miles. (Ref. 983593)

    7 nights from £345

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    • Sleeps3
    • Bedrooms2
    • PetsYes

    This heart-warming cottage rests just a couple of minutes' walk to the harbour and right in the centre of the popular resort of Padstow in Cornwall. Harlyn 2.9 miles; Constantine Bay 4.2 miles. (Ref. 992568)

    Last booked yesterday

    7 nights from £422

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    • Sleeps7
    • Bedrooms4
    • PetsNo

    Excellent house in Padstow. Two-storey. Estuary views. En-suite bathroom. Sky TV. WiFi. Garden. Decked area. Coast and amenities 5 min walk. (Ref. 959622)

    7 nights from £899

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    • Sleeps4
    • Bedrooms2
    • PetsYes

    Charming converted barn tucked away in a small rural courtyard near the colourful, harbour town of Padstow in Cornwall. Dog friendly. WiFi. Enclosed patio with furniture. Shop 10 mins walk, pub 1 mile. (Ref. 982841)

    7 nights from £350

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    • Sleeps10
    • Bedrooms5
    • PetsYes

    Lovely holiday home in the hamlet of Little Petherick near Padstow. Five bedrooms, woodburner, pet-friendly. WiFi. Ideal for a family. Padstow 3 miles. (Ref. 964289)

    7 nights from £867

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    • Sleeps4
    • Bedrooms3
    • PetsNo

    Traditional stone cottage with modern twist, in quiet hamlet near Padstow. WiFi. Sheltered courtyard. Countryside views. Roadside parking. Padstow 2 miles. (Ref. 983368)

    7 nights from £329

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    • Sleeps8
    • Bedrooms4
    • PetsNo

    Beautifully styled and furnished family home near Padstow. En-suite shower room. WiFi. Landscaped gardens. Off road parking. Padstow 3 miles. (Ref. 959628)

    7 nights from £828

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    • Sleeps3
    • Bedrooms2
    • PetsYes

    Smart Cornish cottage in the pretty village of St Issey, just three miles from holiday hotspot Padstow. Pets welcome. Enclosed patio garden. Log burning stove.. Ensuite bathroom. Wifi. Padstow 3 miles. (Ref. 965177)

    7 nights from £371

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    • Sleeps12
    • Bedrooms6
    • PetsYes

    This grand, detached Georgian manor house is a Grade II listed former vicarage situated in the pretty village of St Issey, which is 2 miles from the delights of Padstow and the north Cornish coast. (Ref. 966430)

    7 nights from £1702

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I’ve read loads of these “top beaches in Cornwall” lists over the years, and I’m constantly amazed that one of my favourite beaches never seems to get a place. Mother Ivey’s Bay, one of the Seven Bays (along with Porthcothan, Treyarnon, Constantine, Booby’s, Harlyn and Trevone) just south of Padstow is a world class beach. It has perfect white sand, is nicely sheltered by Trevose Head, has a bit of character with the nearby RNLI station – and it’s often so quiet you can have it to yourself.

One reason it’s fairly unknown is that it doesn’t appear on many roadmaps, so is not the easiest place to find. It doesn’t have its own designated carpark, but you can park at Trevose Head – just follow the signs from the B3276 coastal road from Padstow to Newquay. You’ll have to drive on a private road for a while, and pay £3.50 for the privilege, which includes parking. If you’re lucky, you might be able to squeeze onto the lay-by near Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park, who own the beach, for free.

Alternatively, you could walk here from Padstow (if you’ve got the energy) or Harlyn as the beach is on the South West Coast Path. Once here there are no facilities such as shops, toilets or lifeguards – it’s not going to win a Blue Flag anytime soon, although the dramatically sited lifeboat station on the rocks should give you comfort.

When you’ve had enough of lazing on the sand, gazing at the off-shore islet or even having a dip or a surf, it’s well worth the short walk to see the lifeboat station. A thick iron gate greets you at the entrance, and pedestrians can fit through it and walk downhill on the twisty path to see this RNLI facility. The flag that flutters outside the station’s house has seen some stories, and has been so battered by the wind over the years that the “N” and “I” no longer exist.

There are several plaques on the walls of the house, giving a brief description of each rescue that has taken place per year. From “saved four men and a dog” to “took out doctor and landed a sick man”, any Hollywood scriptwriter with writer’s block should spend some time here to get some inspiration.

The launch is open for the public (Mondays to Fridays, 10am – 4pm) to look around.

After a hard day on the beach, hunger will be calling, and you’ll be pleased to hear that one of the best country pubs in England is only a couple of miles away.

The Cornish Arms in the village of St. Merryn is owned by Rick Stein. The bar is well stocked with St. Austell Ales beers on draught, and the food is high quality pub grub. My wife says the mussels are the best she’s ever eaten, while I’ve never had a bad burger, pie or steak. It’s a victim of its own success, and gets extremely busy. You can’t book a table – it’s first come first served, so order a drink, get your name on the waiting list and grab a seat in the beer garden.