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Where to stay like the Queen in the British royals' favourite Cornish village St Mawes

Emily Nash
Emily NashRoyal EditorLondon
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Cornwall has long been a favourite destination for celebrity and royal visitors. With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealing they take Prince George and Princess Charlotte there for breaks and thanks to Aidan Turner’s Poldark, many more are now flocking to the south coast. For a truly exclusive taste of the Cornish Riviera, however, head for the picture-perfect village of St Mawes – a holiday destination quite literally fit for a Queen.

Tucked away from the crowds on the tip of the stunning Roseland peninsula, it was a regular stop off for the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret during cruises on the Royal Yacht Britannia. Now you can staycation just like a Royal at the luxurious waterfront property Penolva, where the British royal family used to come ashore via a private slipway for discreet visits. Princess Diana is also rumoured to have stayed there after her separation.

penolva house

The house and its terrace boast stunning views of Cornwall

Built by the Queen Mother’s close friend Dick Wilkins in the 1960s, the house and its magnificent terraced garden boast sweeping 180-degree views across the water. Inside the luxuriously appointed property, which sleeps eight in four en-suite bedrooms, is a vast living area with grand piano, dining room, snug and kitchen and walls covered in modern art.

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penolva cornwall

The Queen stayed at the stunning house during cruises on the Royal Yacht Britannia

The fabulous Amanda Selby at St Mawes Retreats offers a concierge service to cater to your every need, including private chefs, spa treatments and babysitting services. St Mawes Castle is moments away, while the shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafés of the village are a short stroll down the hill. With plenty of sandy beaches and rockpools for exploring, thrilling RIB rides and a regular ferry to nearby Falmouth – look out for the vessel named after the Duchess of Cornwall – there is plenty to see and do. But with such a beautifully secluded base, you may struggle to leave the sundeck even just to take a dip at the bottom of the garden.

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Prices for Penolva by St Mawes Retreats start from £4,500 for the week, while prices for the Christmas and New Year period are available on request. For reservations and more information please visit uk/ or call 0800 088 6622.

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