ADVERTORIAL • April 2017
With its pretty fishing villages, expansive beaches and rolling green pastures, there is no better place for an English road trip than Cornwall and Devon. And thanks to the local St Austell Brewery – which, in addition to its award-winning Cornish beers found at bars across the country, owns a collection of traditional inns and coastal hotels across the southwest – you’ll be spoilt for places to stay along the way
Begin your West Country road trip in east Devon. Chances are that a substantial part of your day has been spent in the car, so stretch your legs (and hunt for fossils) on the dramatic Jurassic Coast. A good starting point for a walk is the picturesque village of Branscombe. After filling your lungs with fresh air, check into 14th-century inn The Masons Arms (pictured), with its contemporary bedrooms, rustic restaurant and cosy bar. Bag a seat by the fire and enjoy a pint of St Austell’s Tribute Cornish ale. You can also sample it on your next flight: Tribute is available for all customers flying long-haul and for those in Club Europe on short-haul flights, as well as in British Airways’ network of global lounges.
Refreshed and raring to go, hop in the car to Exeter and spend a morning exploring the cathedral, a fine example of Decorated Gothic architecture. Feeling peckish? Take a short stroll to the Samuel Jones, a gastro pub situated on the city’s vibrant quayside where a diverse menu and a great selection of quality craft beer awaits. Leave the city behind and make a beeline for Topsham, an idyllic spot with riverside walks, characterful shops and a bustling weekend market. Here, The Globe, a 16th-century coaching inn-turned-gastropub with rooms, serves up hearty, locally-sourced dishes such as confit pork belly and homemade pies.
After lunch, follow the A30 (crossing into Cornwall as you do) towards the charming fishing port of Padstow on the north coast. While away a happy afternoon on one of the nearby sandy beaches or simply watch the ebb and flow of harbour life. Rest your head at boutique bed-and-breakfast The Old Custom House (pictured), located on the quayside and offering picture postcard views.
After a hearty breakfast, it’s a 30-minute drive to St Austell, home to the famous St Austell Brewery, where some of Cornwall’s most celebrated ales are passionately created. Dedicate a morning to the visitor centre, with its new interactive brewing experience, and learn all about the brewery’s 165-year-old history (the non-drivers can sip a few ales, too). A five-minute drive will bring you to the village of Charlestown – famed for its collection of tall ships and Georgian harbour – which masquerades as Truro in the BBC’s historical drama Poldark. Grab a front seat view and lunch at The Pier House Hotel, which is set on the water’s edge. Also worth a visit is the nearby Eden Project, home to the world’s largest indoor rainforest.
The final leg of your journey takes you an hour further west to famed artist colony St Ives. Pop into the contemporary Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Gardens, before making your last night one to remember at the Pedn Olva (pictured). Built on the granite rocks of St Ives, the hotel is just 30 feet above the sea and, thanks to an abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows, offers coastal views that you won’t forget in a hurry.
To find out and to book, visit westcountryinns.co.uk. British Airways Executive Club Members can enjoy 15 per cent off any booking of two nights or more with St Austell Brewery Hotels and Inns Collection when using code BA2017. Valid on bookings for stays from 1 April until 13 July 2017. Subject to availability