Trundling up the country lane the excitement was building as we approached our holiday cottage.

We had gone from an A-road, to a B-road to an unclassified lane, and then a rural track where the foliage was growing up so much a green 'tunnel' was forming over our car.

It felt like the middle of nowhere – in fact we were just a couple of miles from Helston deep in the lush Cornish countryside.

And then it was up a cobbled driveway and into a large courtyard where we came upon the place that would be our home for the week; Tregoose Barn.

We knew as we opened the big entrance door and stepped in that we had arrived somewhere special, a rural retreat of the highest order.

For a start, the place was huge; a large country kitchen well stocked with all the appliances you would need plus all the mod-cons, dining area, lounge with big comfy sofas, a cosy conservatory and as for outside, wow! A large patio perfect for alfresco dining with big sloping lawns surrounded by beautifully planted mature gardens and trees, and little paths leading to shady areas.

We visited during the beginning of the summer’s heatwave so spent much of our time outside, relaxing, playing, exploring, barbecuing (one is provided, of course), sunbathing – just perfect.

The interiors are full of country house charm and upstairs is no exception. Tregoose sleeps six – there are three large bedrooms, all with ensuite, lovely countryside views, high quality linens and individually decorated.

Our ‘Superking’ room had a walk-in shower and bath, while the King and Twin rooms had shower-room ensuites.

Tregoose Barn and the neighbouring property Tregoose Farmhouse were part of a former farm complex, originally part of the Trevarno Estate.

The properties have been sympathetically converted and beautifully refurbished into luxurious and comfortable family accommodation. Dogs are welcome here and there is free wifi (albeit very slow).

Helpfully, an information book tells you all you need to know about the property, plus there is a wealth of information about local attractions, facilities, dog-friendly beaches, etc.

Tregoose Barn can be booked together with Tregoose Farmhouse to accommodate 18 guests, ideal for extended family holidays or special occasions.

Tregoose is in the portfolio of Porthleven Holiday Cottages, offering self-catering holiday cottages in and around Portleven in south west Cornwall, close to Helston, Penzance, Falmouth and the Lizard Peninsula.

The distant whirr of agricultural machinery heard from our cottage was a reminder you are deep in the countryside while the occasional hum of Merlin helicopters and roar of Hawk jets is a reminder you’re a few miles from the Royal Naval Air Station at Culdrose.

That was the beauty of the place – while it's perfect for families wanting to 'get away from it all' it's also within easy reach of the coast and attractions.

When we finally managed to haul ourselves away and take trips out we passed by the naval base as took a trip to Flambards, which is very close by.

Flambards has lots of thrilling rides (only open during peak season – check the website – plus some very interesting indoor attractions including a Victorian Village – a lifesize village from yesteryear featuring more than 50 shops.

Visitors will have their own ideas of what they want to do in Cornwall – there is much on offer here – but I would heartily recommend a visit to Porthleven (holiday cottage guests get free permits to park in the town), the vast beach at Praa Sands, and a trip to St Michael's Mount (walk over at low tide or else take the ferry from Marazion).

Just a final word on Porthleven, a pretty (and weather-beaten) seaside and harbour community which has become a foodie destination thanks to its good restaurants including Rick Stein's and Kota.

We munched on our fish and chips at the harbour wall as the sun started to sink – and I realised there were no gulls lurking with an eye on our food.

They seem to have them under control here – perhaps they've drilled the 'no feeding' warnings into visitors so much and kept a tight lid on their bins.

Anyway, Tregoose is calling. Just don't tell anyone as it's Cornwall's best-kept secret.

PRICES for Porthleven Holiday Cottages start from £300 per week, and vary depending on time of the year and size of cottage.

There are 33 cottages to choose from. Many are dog friendly and some can sleep up to eight people.

To book, or find out more, email, call 01326 574270 or visit