History of The Nare

Purpose built in 1929, The Nare Hotel has since undergone extensive upgrades and improvements


The Nare was built in 1929 as a thirty-six bedroom hotel by a group of local business men. It opened in 1930 with a tariff of 5 guineas per week (£5.25). In 1940 at the beginning of the second world war, The Nare was taken over by St Peter’s Boys Prep School from Seaford, Sussex, for one summer term before being requisitioned by the Army who were defending the coast from invasion. The White house was the Commanding Officer’s residence, with its own tennis court. Concrete battlements can still be seen in the gardens from that time.


When the hotel was de-requisitioned after the war in 1945, Mr Edward Carpenter Stringer was appointed General Manager. He had previously been Controller of Catering to the House of Lords and was an excellent host. He brought with him a silver carving trolley from the House of Lords and would carve joints in the Dining Room himself, sometimes in the summer just wearing a long white coat thrown over his beach shorts and portly figure. His personality matched his figure, he was hugely popular, and under him the hotel flourished. The garages were converted into guest accommodation which gave the hotel 50 bedrooms and slept over eighty guests. He retired in 1963.


In 1963 The Nare was taken over by a Birmingham based company, with John Stringer, E C‘s son, as one of the directors. The new company was ambitious. They redesigned the ground floor, built a new dining room, the outdoor swimming pool and had plans for a further 24 bedrooms. Unfortunately their ideas exceeded even their large funds and they went bust, so infuriating one local tradesman that he deliberately drove his old lorry into the new outdoor swimming pool – in lieu of payment.


During the 1970’s, The Nare was put on the market and proved difficult to sell due to the difficult financial times caused by raging inflation. Eventually the hotel was bought in 1979 by Mr Hall, a retired wholesale Smithfield butcher, and his three bachelor sons. Although not hoteliers, the sons John and Martin ran the hotel for 9 years in a rather homely way. John’s personality at the front of house maintained the hotel’s cheerful holiday atmosphere and many guests returned year after year.

However there was little maintenance, the rooms were becoming shabby, run down and outdated. In 1988 they had a difficult year, the manager and the restaurant manager both left, the hotel lost its 3 star AA rating, and John was advised firmly by his doctor to retire.


Tommie and Bettye Gray purchased the hotel towards the end of 1988 and, with Mrs Burt their loyal General Manager from the Edgcumbe Hotel Newquay, they re-opened the hotel in 1989 after a major and complete refurbishment. The gardens were completely re-designed and landscaped by Tommie Gray. The seriously upgraded 40 bedroom hotel began to take on a country house feel, and the comfort and standards were much improved.

The hotel was awarded a four star rating in the early 90’s and acknowledged as the highest rated hotel in Cornwall. It has retained that accolade for over 25 years. Over that period much capital has been invested, including the installation of the indoor swimming pool, building the west wing of six rooms, installing the lift, The Quarterdeck Restaurant, beach huts, hot tubs, new sewerage systems and coastal protection measures. The hotel laundry has been relocated to a site 5 miles inland together with a delivery depot. Read more about the Econitiatives The Nare has put in place to reduce the impact on its beautiful, rural location.


On Millennium night, Mrs Burt retired as General Manager as planned. Toby Ashworth became Managing Director and completed a buyout of family shareholders in 2004. The Nare remains firmly in the same family ownership, and Mrs Gray’s succession plan was realised several years before she died in 2011. The Nare has continued to flourish with much upgrading of rooms, suites and facilities. The hotel was invited to join as a member of both Pride of Britain Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and became more approachable for a global market.

Future Plans

Throughout the whole history of hotel, through the tenure of several owners, The Nare has retained two essential ingredients – that of a stunning unspoilt location and a renowned reputation for being an exceedingly agreeable and hospitable establishment. The Nare remains under the direction of Toby and Katie Ashworth and the ever loyal Mrs Burt, and it is their firm intention that The Nare should maintain those two essential qualities above anything else.

The country house hotel by the sea