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Chronicles of old

Nestled amongst the rolling green hills of Duloe, not far from Liskeard, is where you’ll find a collection of countryside cottages known as Old Lanwarnick.

Words by Rebecca Hawkey

If we start from the very beginning, we will find ourselves recounting history with the help of the Domesday Book. Up until 1801 this book was the most detailed account of life in England and parts of Wales in medieval times, compiled in 1086 by order of King William I to ascertain assets owned by his subjects and land-dwellers. It contains records for 13,418 settlements and is still available to view at The National Archives in Kew, London. If you managed to succeed in the impossible task of finding a single specific entry, you might be able to find an entry for Old Lanwarnick which, at the time, was noted to house five pigs, fifteen sheep, fifteen goats, two villagers, three smallholders and one slave. Its entry forms a remarkable slice of history that has lasted for over 900 years.

If we take a step forward in time to 2010, we will arrive at the moment when Old Lanwarnick was converted into a holiday facility, with the barns and farmhouse undergoing extensive renovations to make them habitable. The conversion gave the place a modern feel whilst staying true to its heritage, retaining its original character with the addition of some contemporary comforts.

Since then, Old Lanwarnick has become a thriving and successful business under the proprietorship of several different owners. When 2021 came around and this little patch of paradise entered the property market once again, husband-and-wife team Matthew and Vicky couldn’t help but snap her up, with a view to maintaining and enhancing the standard already set.

Given the history held here, Old Lanwarnick’s new owners had some big shoes to fill if they were to the uphold the site’s reputation, which they have done so with ease. They understood the importance of the lineage that Lanwarnick holds and for them, it was a challenge worth undertaking. With family ties to Cornwall, it seemed like the perfect match, and as a self-proclaimed couple that struggles to sit still, managing the holiday homes and the 35 acres of land that they now reside on seemed like something that would keep them busy, and they were not wrong! With Matthew happy to keep an eye on the finances, and mowing the very large garden when he has time, Vicky ensures that your stay is the best it could possibly be. They are determined to make your time at Old Lanwarnick feel like a home-away-from-home experience, whilst leaving the stresses of daily life firmly behind. Matthew and Vicky both love the outdoors and all that Cornwall has to offer, so they are always on hand for guidance on how to make the most of your surroundings here.

Matthew and Vicky aren’t the only ones running the show, with their youngest son Isaac also becoming a key part of the team, and a small number of valued employees that help maintain the high standards that are set here. “If our guests are happy,” says Vicky, “then so are we. We love seeing our guests’ appreciation of the hard work and attention to detail that we put into trying to provide an enjoyable stay. It’s incredibly rewarding.” Matthew and Vicky come from very different backgrounds, Vicky being a former tennis coach and the owner of two successful toy shops, and Matthew having spent his time managing a myriad of projects in the finance industry. Unsurprisingly, these are two skillsets that have translated well into their new venture, fusing unrivalled organisational skills with business acumen to form a formidable team.

Whilst understanding how a business operates is essential, Matthew and Vicky also understand the need to pour their heart into something that means so much to them and their guests. When speaking with them both, they were adamant that visitors to Old Lanwarnick enjoy the combination of tranquillity, the views and the open spaces, as well as the comfort and attention to detail in the cottages and surrounding grounds. In short, by tapping into the needs of guests and identifying what makes a holiday in Cornwall special, they continue to set Old Lanwarnick apart.

The past few years have been challenging, for obvious reasons, but one sector that seemed to flourish in the wake of such darkness was the tourism industry. Particularly here in Cornwall, with residents of the surrounding areas and the larger UK opting to retreat closer to home, not just due to lack of options, but because staying nearby offered the comfort and safety that so many were seeking, as well as the hassle-free organisation that comes with avoiding international airports. The UK ‘staycation’ underwent something of a revival, and it’s a trend that doesn’t seem set to slow down anytime soon. As Vicky says: “With the continued disruption to international travel and price sensitivity, we hope to be able to offer our customers a real alternative – a restorative break in the countryside that’s as, if not more, enticing than some trips taken abroad.”

It is no secret that Cornwall experiences all four seasons in full force, from the bitterly cold winters to the scorching summers. When speaking with the team at Old Lanwarnick they settled on September as their favourite month of the year to be in Cornwall, with its muted weather fronts, quieter roads and warmer seas. But the beauty of Cornwall is that every season has its perks. Summer brings glistening blue oceans, vibrant country walks bursting with colour, azure skies and soaring temperatures. In autumn we get the auburn hues dappling the treeline and that crisp morning air that heats up at midday. In spring we see life returning to our shores with the blossoming of sea thrift and hawthorn with nights getting shorter once the rugged, raw wilds of winter have passed.

Regardless of when you decide to explore this wondrous slice of paradise, staying at Old Lanwarnick all year round offers a peaceful retreat in a beautiful setting. Surrounded by forest walks, rolling hill rambles, daytime adventures further afield and cosy nights in your cottage with your loved ones, you are guaranteed to make memories that will last a lifetime. If this doesn’t sound idyllic enough for you, then perhaps their dog-friendly attitude will add to this dreamy escape. No one gets left behind on a trip to Old Lanwarnick, so you can truly enjoy this retreat as a family. Matthew, Vicky, and the team at Old Lanwarnick are looking forward to welcoming you.


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