Cornwall LivingIssue #80

From Derby to Cornwall

We catch up with Tim Wood about the lure of the sea and how it drew him and his wife, Heather, to open Cornwall’s luxury getaway for grown ups – the Oceanic Suite Hotel, Falmouth.

We hear from Tim and Heather, who give us an insight into their creation and share just a snippet of their story.

“I have lived in Derbyshire most of my life,” Tim tells us. “I’d recently sold my publishing business and was wondering what to do next. Whilst chatting idly to my now-wife Heather, she told me of her many childhood holidays to Cornwall, especially the Isles of Scilly, and of her long-held desire to live in Cornwall. Well, I didn’t need telling twice!”

Within months, their house was on the market, four of their seven children had flown the roost and Tim had rented a large old house behind a garden centre just outside of Bude.

“And so, with three children still in tow, our adventure to Cornwall to live by the sea began.”

Tim continues: “Having initially settled on the north coast, one of the ejected sons decided to go to university in Falmouth and within weeks, was telling us that this was the place to be. We were not convinced – what appeals to an 18 year old is often not the same as would appeal to a slightly more mature 45-plus year old!”

However, two trips to see him later and having sampled a good selection of the pubs, restaurants and activities on offer, Tim
tells us, “we had to begrudgingly admit he might be right. We have now lived in Falmouth for over six years and we still think it’s fantastic!”

Having decided that Falmouth really was the place to be, Tim and Heather set about looking for a business to run and a place to live. After a few days spent scouring the internet, Tim explains, “we came across a dilapidated old hotel which appeared to be going cheap but was in a perfect position – on the edge of town, so only a five-minute walk to the shops bars and restaurants, but not too close to be noisy, and again, just five minutes away from the beach, Pendennis Castle, and the lovely walks that the peninsula has to offer. What was not to love?

“We soon found out! On arrival for our first viewing, I thought Heather was going to run away screaming. Walking into the Palm Court Hotel, as it was then, was like walking into a 1970s time warp – a mixture of Faulty Towers and Rising Damp. The dining room sported a plywood railway carriage as the main serving area and there was a particularly hideous mural covering the main wall.

“The top floor was condemned so we could only imagine what it was like. In addition, there were no foundations at the back – in fact, a tree was actually growing through the back wall! – and the side extension was falling away from the main house.

“So, I took Heather to the pub and after a few bottles of wine, persuaded her that it could be a fun project. Six weeks later, we were the proud owners!”

To read Tim and Heather’s full story and to see the incredible finished result, visit

“And so, with three children still in tow, our adventure to Cornwall to live by the sea began.”