Sought after St Agnes: A second home for all year round
As the weather warms up, thoughts turn to holiday homes. Community focused villages such as St Agnes in Cornwall are now the most sought after locations for second homes. Here, Rocky Lane offers a collection of ten individually designed homes, which combine outstanding architecture and luxury interiors in an attractive coastal village location.
St Agnes is one of those places everyone likes to think they have discovered and wants to keep as their little secret. This village on the north Cornwall coast, with its strong community spirit, colourful annual events and variety of independent shops and businesses, embodies what is best about English village life.
Simon Blackburn, Managing Director of Living Structures, the developer behind Rocky Lane, comments: “Everyone remarks on the feeling of unforced welcome they get in St Agnes. It is somewhere that has a year-round community, unlike some of the more obvious second homes enclaves, which are ghost towns in winter but where parking is impossible in the summer. As there is a tendency nowadays for people to take shorter breaks and impromptu long weekends throughout the year instead of just a summer holiday in July or August, they want to go somewhere that is full of life all year round. People love the sense of belonging and perhaps particularly in this Jubilee and Olympic year, this desire for a sense of community spirit and local patriotism comes to the fore.”
The people of St Agnes embrace their traditions with gusto – in particular the Bolster Festival on May Day bank holiday weekend, an event that villagers have really taken to their hearts. It is the creative re-enactment of a legend about the felling of a giant, performed by more than life-sized carnival figures and held annually for the last 15 years. Other highlights of the calendar include the St Agnes Festival in August and the annual World Bellyboard Championships at Chapel Porth beach in September.
The village itself offers several cafés, restaurants, pubs, craft shops, surf shops and galleries. Locally sourced food is plentiful, with fresh fish from the fisherman, locally bred meat from the butchers and organic produce from the greengrocers. Welcoming inns include the characterful Driftwood Spars, which serves delicious, local food and hosts a vibrant live music scene. St Agnes is also home to some dynamic and successful companies and organisation, such as Finisterre, a hip surf brand awarded the Observer Ethical Business Award, and Surfers Against Sewage whose campaign for clean waters is now a global endeavour.
Beyond the village itself of course is the spectacularly beautiful north Cornwall coast, with its rugged cliffs and secluded beaches. Averaging more hours of sunshine than anywhere else in the UK, the area is an enduringly popular holiday location with numerous outdoor activities. Being within walking distance of a beach is the other big pull factor in the location of a second home. The local beach at Trevaunance Cove is popular but never gets very busy. This stretch of coast forms part of the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), maintained by the National Trust and has some of the UK’s best surfing spots.
The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006 as part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape, in recognition of its tin and copper mining heritage. Many of its historic caves, engine houses and mines are now open as visitor attractions. Also within easy reach are Cornwall’s major tourist destinations such as the Eden Project and Minack Theatre. St Agnes is situated 10 miles from Truro and 20 miles from Newquay International Airport, which offers frequent direct flights to Gatwick, Manchester and other UK destinations.
Rocky Lane is a newcomer to the second homes market in St Agnes, raising the bar in terms of quality of architecture. This unique collection of cutting edge eco homes is set among 3.5 acres of secluded woodland, their exteriors clad in Western Red Cedar to complement their surroundings. Designed with outdoor living in mind, each property has at least one generous, sheltered deck or terrace. Inside the homes, flexible and open-plan living areas are designed to maximise space. Floor to ceiling windows and double glazed doors make the most of natural light and the views.
The homes are finished with great attention to detail and a luxury specification. Kitchens feature high-gloss units with stone worktops and integrated “A” rated NEFF appliances. They have numerous energy saving features incorporated to ensure lower utility bills for the owner. Engineered wood flooring and a wood-burning stove are fitted as standard, while optional extras such as hot tub and built in wine cooler are available for a touch of luxury.
Current prices range from £499,995 to £650,000 and are exempt from stamp duty. Visit rockylanecornwall.com for further information.