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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Unique Beachside Cornish Engine House - 2019 DATES NOW LIVE!

Bedrooms 3
Space 2,000 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

3/4 bedroom, 2 bathroom beachside house, as featured on C4 "Homes by the Sea"

The Engine House in Porthtowan is a completely unique part of Cornwall's heritage and lifestyle. Built at the height of the Cornish mining boom, it is a Grade II Listed beachside property with infinite character, comfort and convenience. The reverse level layout gives stunning beach views from the open-plan first and top floor, and the wrap-around first-floor level deck with pizza oven and outdoor furniture make for a perfect setting. In the heart of Poldark country, Porthtowan is located between Illogan and St. Agnes (known as St. Annes in the book and TV series) with spectacular countryside walks in both directions along the South West Coastal Path. Featured in Charlie Luxton's C4 Programme "Homes by the Sea" in September 2015 (, The Engine House is a genuine part of Cornwall's heritage. Charlie says in the show "I could live here - I could definitely live here"!. Other TV coverage includes Robson Green's Wild Swimming Adventure, when he swam in the Victorian tidal pool on the beach, describing it as "perfect". Kevin Mcleod briefly featured The Engine House in Grand Designs (Series 7, episode 18 -, where he said "The Engine House at Porthtowan is one of the more successful conversions I have seen. It is unconventional."...."It proves that it is possible to make a beautiful home from these industrial dinosaurs".

Robert Salvoni
Member since: 2013
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks English, Italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
13 September, 2018

About Robert Salvoni

Having bought the amazing Engine House (property number 8125960) in 2000 and enjoyed every holiday and weekend we could possibly have there as a family from our Twickenham home, we made the decision to move to Cornwall full time in 2011. After a year or two at The Engine House, we bought a huge but tired Listed Georgian pile in beautiful St Clement, just outside of Truro. With two kids in local Schools, Sam owns a ladies fashion shop in Truro ( and I am a Director of a number of local businesses.

Robert Salvoni purchased this house in 2000

Why Robert Salvoni chose Porthtowan

Cornwall's metals have been mined since Roman times, and the dramatic landscape owes much to the extraction of tin, copper and Gold. In the 19th Century, local boy Richard Trevithick developed the massive steam Beam Engines that allowed deep mines to be dug without flooding. These had to be housed in tall thin buildings called Engine Houses, the ruins of which punctuate the Cornish countryside.

The Grade II Listed Engine House in Porthtowan is one of only a handful that have been converted to residential use, and of these, the only one actually on a beach! This makes it completely unique, and a fabulous way of enjoying both the heritage and natural wonders of Cornwall together.

What makes this house unique

Apart from staying in a true part of Cornwall's heritage, Porthtowan is a seaside village with everything you might want from a Cornish holiday - a superb Blue-Flag sandy beach, amazing surf with RNLI Lifeguards, long walks along the Coastal Path to the Chapel Porth National Trust Cafe, great food and atmosphere at the renowned Blue Bar ( and other village amenities including a pub, cafe, fish and chips, post office and general store. It is also centrally located for day trips to the beautiful cathedral city of Truro, Newquay, Falmouth and St Ives. St Michaels Mount, Padstow, Lands End and The Eden Project are all within in a 45 minute radius.

Guestbook comments from the owner

"Just want to say a massive thank you for letting us have the Engine House at short notice....a fantastic place in itself and a great base to explore Cornwall from" Paul - March 2015

"....amazing piece of history, and perfect location. The kids just grabbed their boards and were in the sea in under a minute when they saw dolphins in the sea from the deck. Unforgettable!" Rebecca - September 2014

"Dinner from the woodfired oven and wine on the deck made for a spectacular week - thanks so much for let us share your special place." Joel and Fiona - August 2014
Apr 2013
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house around the Porthtowan around the Cornwall

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 2000 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • beach
  • near the sea
  • Ocean View
  • Oceanfront
  • village
  • waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Shower room 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • Family bathroom with wc, sink and bath with hand-held shower between bedrooms 1 and 2. Wetroom with separate electric shower, sink and wc near the entrance and bedroom 3.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Lounge - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , Very comfortable double day-bed in top-floor lounge.
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 6 to 8 (3 Bedrooms and one double day-bed) Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with double bed, Bedroom 2 with twin beds, Bedroom 3 with double bed, Lounge with double extending day-bed)
  • Television
  • Balcony ...
  • Golf ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Private Chef
  • autumn foliage
  • bay
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • golf
  • golf pass optional
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • sailing
  • diving
  • snorkelling
  • bay fishing
  • caving
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • wind-surfing
Outside: The extensive first-floor deck is a major feature of the Engine House, with a wood fired pizza oven as well as fabulous views over the beach, the common and village. Outdoor entertaining watching the stunning sunsets in the summer months are simply unforgettable. There is parking for several cars in the driveway and there is a free car-park directly in front of the property. Utility Room: Washer and Dryer adjacent to wetroom. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Fresh towels and linen provided. Please bring your own beach towels. Other: The top floor is accessed via open tread stairs and runs the length of the property and into the beams. Comfortable sofas and a hammock give views across the beach. Television and DVD player. Free WiFi.


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(18 traveller reviews)

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Unique Beachside Cornish Engine House - 2019 DATES NOW LIVE!
average rating of 4.611111 based on 19 reviews

Good base / location

  • 4 of 5

Enjoyed our week stay, all you need is provided , good central heating which you need as very open , did not get chance to sit outside as weather was very windy , took my 1yr old granddaughter, had to be very careful at first as the stairs in the kitchen/dining area not suitable for a toddler crawling around , not the best beach in Cornwall but good location for sight seeing , we enjoyed our stay , if it hadn't been so windy would have been even better , contact with the owner very good , I'm sure any problem would be quickly resolved

  • Review Submitted: 27-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: September 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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authentic relaxed beach location

  • 5 of 5

Perfect location for a relaxed holiday. We were 6 adults and easily fitted in with plenty of space for eating & relaxing Each morning was a joy sitting in the sun drinking coffee waiting for everyone to wake up. Great views of the sea and beach and people watching. Brilliant position for the beach so that you don't have to worry about parking, drying wet suits, showering, etc. Only down side is the sun disappears in the late afternoon from the main terrace but you can then go to the beach, Blue Bar or Cafe to hang out if sun is your thing.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Best break in Cornwall ever !

  • 5 of 5

Stunning building .....superb location , close to so many Cornish destinations , a fantastic hub for travel to Lands end or St Michael's Mount . Been to Cornwall on numerous occasions and this was by far the best time we have ever had .

Can't wait to book again

  • Review Submitted: 11-Apr-2017
  • Date of Stay: March 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Hey James. Do you know, it is reviews like this that make letting out our beloved Engine House so rewarding. Sam and I are delighted you had such a great time and you are always welcome back. Very best wishes, Robert and Sam
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Perfect stay in a stunning location

  • 4 of 5

This was one of the first properties we looked at as a group for somewhere to unwind after our Graduation. The house was beyond what we expected, incredible views and immediate access to the beach and sea (Literally across the road), friendly neighbours, an enormous beautiful building with all the comforts, beautifully decorated. Staying at the engine house made our experience that much more special spending time with friends, it became part of the holiday. Will definitely be visiting again.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Oct-2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks guys! So pleased you had a great time. You are welcome back anytime!
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Great property in a great location

  • 4 of 5

This is a fabulous and memorable place to stay for a full Cornish experience!

The house is brimming with character, is right on the beach with direct access to the coastal path and is close to the coast-to-coast tin trail.

The accommodation is spacious for 5 or 6, and the beds very comfortable.

Three minor improvements could be made:

- Provision of a welcome pack with instructions for the house. There was none, and we had to work out everything for ourselves.

- Improve the ambiance of the bedrooms, which smelt quite noticeably of damp.

- Sort out the bump in the driveway that must scrap the underside of just about every car.

  • Review Submitted: 02-Oct-2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Beautiful setting

  • 4 of 5

Engine house on Porthtowan cove. This is a lovely place to stay if you enjoy long coastal walks with your dogs it is also very peaceful.

The house itself is rather narrow the bedrooms are on the ground floor and are very dark,they are also very small ! The kitchen is on the second floor which is lovely with a dinning table at one end. The sitting room is up another flight of stairs this is the whole length of the house which has lovely coastal views.

We really enjoyed our stay but where ever you went in the house you had to go up or down stairs even to get in !!

Our loo did not work and we also had to dry our own towels before we could use them ! This did not really matter but I was quite surprised when the price was high in the first place!!!

We were not told the code for getting in untill we were nearly at the house having driven for 7 hours and repeated phone calls!

All in all if you want a sea view and like walking or surfing and dont mind climbing loads of stairs this is the place for you.

  • Review Submitted: 12-Sep-2016
  • Date of Stay: September 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
15 Miles
Nearest Barpub
100 Metres
Blue Bar
Nearest Golf
3 Miles
Nearest Train
4 Miles
Nearest Restaurant
100 Metres
Blue Bar
Nearest Beach
30 Metres
Car: recommended

Special interest holidays:

Chef Ben Quinn is an awesome local private chef who specialises in local produce and food experiences such as "catch and cook" and "cook together, eat together" as well as more traditional Dinner Parties. He has produced some incredible meals from our Pizza oven over the years (as well as in our kitchen and on the beach!), and can be booked directly through his website or on 07710 149377


The Engine House is directly adjacent to Porthtowan beach, a Blue Flag sandy beach which at low tide stretches to around a mile and a half in length. The beach, which is west-facing and backed by impressive cliffs, is a popular surfing venue and a fine family beach.

Chapel Porth Beach is less than a mile north of Porthtowan and can be reached on foot along the beach at low tide, or via the cliff top South West Coast Path at high tide.


Porthtowan is 4 miles from the A30, just past Truro.

Newquay Airport is 45 minutes away by road.

Truro and Redruth train stations are within 8 miles.

Further Details:

Absolutely no smoking please.

Clean pets are welcome at The Engine House. There are plenty of outstanding walks along the Coastal Path and beyond and a common in the middle of the village, although the village beach operates a dog ban between Easter and 1st October.


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Cleaning Fee £75
Additional Guest Fee £20 per person per night
Pet Fee £10

Changeover Day:
Saturday changeover, departure before 11.00 am. Arrival after 3.00 pm please

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.

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