Our Visit to Bosinver Farm Cottages

As part of the service we offer at Spectrum Holidays, we personally visit each holiday home we list on our website. We do this for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is important that we meet the holiday home owners or management team to both introduce ourselves (we would have spoken by phone/online meeting up until now) and talk more about Spectrum Holidays, the way we work and the service we provide to our families. It is also important that we get a good understanding if the holiday home, holiday park or site, so that we can share as much information with our families as possible. We require access to all of the area that holiday makers would have access to, as well as viewing as many properties as possible (if the site offers a range of accommodations)

Bosinver is one of the largest sites we have visited so far and offers such a huge range of activities and amenities that we knew we would need to schedule more than a day to view it all. After speaking with the team at Bosinver we arranged to visit over a 2 day period in Apple Cottage. Luca is a very important part of our property visit and as an autistic person we really value his input, and by seeing his reactions to various things and how he adjusts to various stimuli, we get a really good snapshot of what a holiday would be like for us which will hopefully give other families a good insight into what would work well for them.

Before our visit we chatted with Jenny, who arranged our accommodation and a few activities for us to try while we were there. We live 8 hours away from Bosinver so we knew it would be a long journey and we had to prepare Luca for that. Luca and I were accompanied on our trip by one of our Trustees, Courtney, for her first property visit as part of Spectrum Holidays!

Luca travels really well in the car now (this was definitely not always the case) and as long as he is well prepared for the journey, knows that we have arranged some rest stops, has his favourite snacks, and of course, the mobile phone he couldn’t possibly live without, he is great on long journeys.

We had decided to stop for dinner in St Austell before going to Bosinver as it was so late when we arrived. Our restaurant choices are based on where offers Luca’s safe foods and thankfully we had lots of choose really close by. There is a McDonalds, KFC and loads of places to eat as close as a 6 min drive from the cottages. 

We got to Bosinver around 7pm. The site was really easy to find, and we followed Jenny’s directions down to Apple. As we arrived in the dark, we didn’t get a chance to see all of the site on our drive down to Apple, we expected a huge site that may be difficult to navigate. We were very happy to find that was not the case at all and we did wonder where the other cottages were as we only passed another 4 that we could see from the car.

Our cottage was the last one on the track that leads out of Bosinver and to the local pub (a handy short walk away!) The first thing we had to do was get Luca into the cottage, He is petrified of the dark and it causes extreme responses in him if his fears aren’t managed. Luca’s particular interest is characters, specifically anime and superhero/villains, and he loves playing computer games with his favourite characters in. It was really important that we got his Xbox set up quickly so that he had some time to self-regulate after the long drive and the fear that being out in the dark caused.

Apple is a reverse level cottage meaning that the sitting room and kitchen were upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs. This made unpacking very quick and easy so we were very thankful for that. Once Luca was set up in the sitting room with WIFI codes and his Xbox, Courtney and I were able to have a good look around the cottage. We loved the layout and design of the cottage; it has a lovely Scandinavian design complete with bright orange Smeg fridge freezer. There was lots of space in the kitchen for Luca’s safe foods, as well as space for him to get comfy in the sitting room (which involved moving chars to where he needed them and making sure his WWE wrestlers (his other obsession) were in view. There are double doors that lead to a patio area outside the sitting room as well as the main bedroom and we looked forward to seeing the view in the daylight. 

Night times can be difficult for Luca. Like many autistic people, new places, beds, unfamiliar surroundings, can cause some anxiety. We had prepared Luca for the trip by showing him images of the site, the cottage, the bedroom, as well as showing him the route we were taking, and preparing a visual story for the visit. We always take Sharkey (Luca’s childhood soft toy shark) and his pillow (Pilly). We co sleep whenever we are on holiday or property visits, this makes Luca less anxious and means we all get a better sleep. Luca slept really well and only took around 2 hours to get him settled enough to sleep (this can take up to 4 hours, even at home!) 

The next morning, we were booked on to animal feeding which we were all excited about! The first job was to check out the daylight views from the patio doors which did not disappoint at all! The cottages have all been designed to offer privacy while still being within easy reach of each other and none of them are overlooked. 

After breakfast we took the very short walk up the hill to the farmyard to meet with Farmer Dave. The walk gave us a great opportunity to see the site in the daylight and we loved the layout, some of the cottages were off to the side of the hill, up a few steps, and we could see others a little further away next to the entrance. Some were totally hidden from view which we discovered on our walk around later that day.

At the Farmyard we found Farmer Dave preparing the feed for the animals. We were with 1 other family which suited Luca as he isn’t known for being particularly social and prefers his own company. Farmer Dave is fantastic and so passionate about sharing knowledge of the animals at Bosinver and it was a pleasure to listen to his talks about them. 

Our first meet and greet was with the farm Cockrel which involved some group participation which children will love! We were then introduced to the rest of the chickens and the ducks, and we were all given the chance to hand feed them! Luca was a little worried about hand feeding the so settled on throwing the feed down for them. 

Next came the goats which were my absolute favourite thing ever! They were so gentle and obviously used to being handled. Again, we were all able to hand feed the goats and at one point I did worry that Courtney may try to sneak one of them home with us as she loved them so much! Farmer Dave got the goats in to the field, and we moved along to feed the sheep. Baby lamb feeding is also available depending on the time of year!  Farmer Dave was so patient with Luca and didn’t push him in to hand feeding but did encourage him to have a go at every stage of the activity which was great as Luca did try feeding the chickens that were in the roosts which was a big deal for him. I think if we had stayed for the week Luca would definitely have been handfeeding the animals by the end of our stay. 

After Animal Feeding we made our way back around to the stable block to meet Ginger, One of the ponies at Bosinver that offers pony rides around the site! 

After some strokes and chats with Ginger, we met up with Jenny who took us on a tour of Bosinver and showed us the cottages and the rest of the grounds. The site is amazing and until you are there, you don’t appreciate just how much thought has gone in to making Bosinver what it is today. From the placement of the cottages, to the child centred activities and even the message of sustainability that runs throughout Bosinver.

The cottages all offer something unique, whether it’s a quieter location, or proximity to the play areas, there will a cottage to suit the needs of all families wishing to holiday at Bosinver.

There is a DVD library offering a huge selection (Luca chose a movie for our last night) and a laundry room which is really handy for longer stays. 

Bosinver offers a huge amount of equipment for families to borrow, such as beach toys, nets, body boards, buckets and spades, as well as waterproof coveralls, coats and wellies!

There is an indoor Softplay with some ride on toys and playhouses. The softplay is open 24/7. There is a large outdoor play area with swings and slides and trampoline. This is also where you will find the farm Guinea Pigs! 

Bosinver offers EV charging points which are located outside the play barn which houses foosball table, pool table, Ping-Pong Table, as well as an electronic gaming table that Luca really enjoyed.

After meeting with Jenny, we set off to explore the grounds of Bosinver and walked down from the Games room to the meadow where we found the huge slide, the Gruffalo Trail and nature walk, Zip line and the lake.  

After lunch we were booked into the swimming pool so we walked down to where the indoor pool is, which is close to the Farmyard. As you enter the pool, you walk into a entranceway with some chairs and tables which you can use to remove outdoor clothing. The sauna room is to the left which also houses a changing room. As you walk down the steps from the entrance you come to the doors leading to the pool. The pool is large and offers individual booking slots so that you have private use of the pool. There are also a few general swimming slots available throughout the day. Luca really loved swimming, and the pool was so peaceful and relaxing he didn’t want to get out. 

The pool is also where you really get a chance to understand the Eco friendly and sustainability messages that run through Bosinver. This is courtesy, in large part, to “Action Nan” AKA Pat Smith, who you may know from Social Media, as well as a recent Cbeebies episode. There are some very thought provoking, interactive art pieces in the entranceway that we loved and even started Luca off on a conversation around litter and looking after our environment. 

After swimming we headed back to Apple for dinner and to get Luca prepared for going home the next day. He had already asked to stay longer so I knew it would be difficult to get him settled so I allowed some extra time for his Xbox and we all watched a movie together which Luca chose from the DVD library. 

We absolutely loved our stay at Bosinver, and for our family it worked really well. Luca really liked the fact that we could do all our activities in the same place without leaving the grounds. The site is not overwhelming even though there is so much to do. I think we could holiday there every year and still find new things to do each time. We always holiday in low season as work commitments mean we are unable to holiday in summer or school holidays, which also works better for Luca as he prefers quiet locations. Even though we visited at the tail end of the storms that Cornwall had experienced, the weather was not a problem at all. We packed wellies and jackets, but with lots of the amenities being indoors, we really didn’t notice the rain on the occasions that the weather was against us.

We are planning another family holiday to Bosinver next autumn and are very excited to go back.