Harvey in Hayle is a 1950’s converted train carriage, that is available for holidays and short breaks in the beautiful south of the UK. Cornwall holds 5 majestic carriages, in different areas, complete with original fixtures and fittings for the train lovers dream. Harvey sits adjacent to a train line and the trains can be watched from a viewing deck in the grounds of the holiday home.
We booked the corridor coach as a getaway for Dicky’s 40th birthday and also as our main family holiday for the year. Both of our mothers and Dicky’s sister came along too. With the carriage able to hold 13 people, there was ample space for us all to live for the week comfortably.
Harvey is Magnificent!
As you enter from the far end door, a small hallway opens up to a separate shower and toilet on the right. To the left, the train length is revealed and the kids bounded down to explore and to see which room they could claim as their own.
First is a kitchen, with all utensils, crockery, cooking equipment and a lovely welcome gift of local cyder, apple juice, tea coffee and sugar. As well as postcards and a tote bag. Fresh flowers were on display welcoming us to our temporary home.
Through the next door is a living room, with 2 facing sofas, a small TV with DVD player, plenty of books and board games to keep adults and children entertained. The sofas convert to beds and there is a slot for a table – which we discovered there are 2 sizes of table top. A shorter one, to save space and a longer one for when we were all playing games together. A very novel feature, which came in very handy.
A double bedroom came next, which is the most comfortable holiday bed we have ever slept in. There was a fight for the window side, of course, but I took the aisle side as I would hear the kids better! The room came equipped with a hair-dryer and small side table drawers for storage, which are actually very generous in depth.
The kids bedroom came up next. 2 sofas facing each other were adjusted to become beds, Molly slept on one side and all of their toys and clothes were on the other. The boys raced up to the luggage racks which were indeed bunk beds and got themselves comfortable. A ladder is positioned in the middle to help them up and down, and I must say, they absolutely loved it. Storage drawers are available under the beds, which helped with shoes and dirty clothes.
After the kids bedroom, a middle door to the outdoors can be accessed and there is also a small pantry cupboard, filled with cleaning equipment, iron and ironing board, small stool, extra light bulbs, and more toys and books for the kids.
The West End
The big bathroom comes after the sliding door that splits the train in to two. It can be hired as an 8 sleeper for a fixed price, but if you want the extra part of the carriage to sleep up to 13, the west end can be hired too at just an extra £120!! The sliding doors are lockable and they also come with a full length mirror attached!
The big bathroom, is certainly big. It features a shower, original toilet and sinks, heated towel rail and small storage area. Again, fresh flowers sit on the small window, creating a natures touch. I could comfortably shower all 3 kids in one go, with no fighting over space or tripping over each other. I will say though, the showers are very hard to regulate. The water is so very hot, but SO very cold at the slightest touch of the dial!
Onwards past the bathroom is another double bedroom with another luggage bed on top. This room could easily sleep 3. Then another living room that can be converted into a 2 sleeper (or double as there are middle partitions to put down if needed).
Lastly is a second kitchen with all the same items as the first one. Cutlery, crockery and cooking items. There is a microwave oven with convection cooking facilities (as there is no conventional oven) and induction hobs and hot plates to cook on. It took a bit of getting used to but we managed to cook a few homely meals such as spaghetti bolognese, and a curry. We had cooked breakfasts and there was ample space above our head for the snacks! Each kitchen contains a fridge with a small freezer compartment, a bin and plenty of facilities for recycling.
The Railholiday group have won awards for their sustainability and green efforts, and this is shown throughout the train and it’s grounds. They are the proud winners of Visit England’s 2016 National Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism, and Harvey has a gold rating from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Outside, there is a butterfly and herb garden integrated into the old train lines, on which Harvey sits. We had a large scale game of hide and seek, with many of us hiding under the train itself!
In the Garden
The garden adds to the wonder of this holiday home, with more features unveiling as we walk down the garden. They have thought of everything for the kids, with a signal box playhouse that adults are not allowed in – (according to my kids!) The walls are covered in information about insects, flowers and birds, so the kids can sit and spot the wildlife. The playhouse is stocked full of toys, trains and dolls that captivated Molly. We didn’t see her for 60% of the holiday! Outside is a swing ball set, picnic table, small sit on toys and swings.
Further up the garden is a wooded area, complete with perfect den building places, compost bins, and a small nature pond. Right at the very end of the garden is a fire pit with tree chairs, ready for toasting marshmallows.
This accommodation has to be one of the best places we have stayed in. They do also accept dogs, which is nice to know.
Initially, I had my reservations, as when I google imaged the location, it didn’t look very appealing. The entrance to Harvey is accessed through the car park of Hayle train station, and I was worried about heavy foot traffic and loud trains! In actual fact, all of us shouting ‘TRAIN’ whenever one came past was probably louder than anything else I heard! The trains can be watched from a viewing platform and there is also a decking area to eat on. All of the train and it’s grounds are secure with a large gate that can be locked. We managed to park 3 cars inside the gates, so they were safe too.
Location Location Location.
The location of Harvey is perfect for jumping on the GWR train to Penzance. We rode the train back from St Ives, with a quick change at St Erth. In Hayle itself, there is an Asda across the road and also 2 small supermarket shops at the bottom of the hill, 2 minutes from the train.
You must have the chips from Sanders fish and chip shop, if you are ever in Hayle and Warrens bakery is the oldest Cornish pasty maker in Cornwall.
Harvey In Hayle – a train holiday
We had a perfect holiday in Cornwall, all made possible by staying in this unique abode. You can read more about what we got up to here. And if you have any questions about our holiday, I would love to answer them.
Please check out Rail Holiday if you want to book one of their amazing carriages.