Housel Bay Hotel stands on its near-perfect position at the Lizard in Cornwall, overlooking the western approaches of the Atlantic Ocean where it meets the English Channel. Designed and built in the early 1890’s with the approval of Prime Minister, William Gladstone, Housel Bay is a fine example of late Victorian architecture.
The Cornish Coast Path runs through the hotel gardens and provides access east and west to many of the most stunning locations in the British mainland’s most southerly county. All 21 bedrooms have their own bathrooms and those in the gable-ends are furnished with sitting areas, where guests can relax and contemplate the endless passage of ships entering and leaving the channel, or enjoy glimpses of sandy Housel Cove nestling just beneath the cliffs.
Our restaurant serves breakfast, lunches, snacks and dinner to AA Rosette standard and is widely patronised for its style and high standards. Guests can enjoy a glass of wine on the wide terrace or lower deck before dining in the veranda or more formal dining room.
Imagine this scene. Just over a hundred years ago, a small group of men stand on the cliffs close to Lizard Point, top hats silhouetted against the bright sky, frock coats fluttering in the light breeze. They gaze down at the Atlantic waves crashing on the rocks below, a vista of wild natural beauty. Agreement is reached, a decision made. This will be the perfect place for a new hotel.
Tourism was just beginning in Cornwall. The first tourists were rich people. There was none of the mass movement of holiday makers that there is today. In Cornwall and Devon a number of hotels were under construction around the coast to accommodate wealthy and discerning guests. The Housel Bay, developed by a group of substantial, local business people was one of these. Keen to extol the virtues of Cornwall and The Lizard in particular they planned to benefit from the increasing number of tourists who were beginning to come to the county.
The Directors commissioned a well known local architect, Silvanus Trevail, to design the new hotel. In 1894, shortly after the hotel was open
ed, he was to become Mayor of Truro. Trevail designed many of the “more modern buildings in Cornwall”. He was widely travelled in Europe and the Americas and was celebrated ‘as far afield as London, Sydney and Paris’.
Plans were laid, designs approved. The hotel was, in the words of the original builder, Mr. Carkeek, ‘positively carved out of the rock – for the stone with which it was built came from the hill on which it stood and was carved and formed upon the spot’. Down the narrow roads of the Lizard were transported Cornish slate, wood, glass and the many other materials needed to build Housel Bay Hotel.