Family enjoying the coastal path near Mawnan Smith

Our Story

Right from the start...

Cornish Holiday Cottages has been a family affair…

In 1978...

Ruth Austen founded CHC & granddaughter Emily (now the MD) was born.

Ruth Austen the founder, (1921-2012), moved to Cornwall in 1977. Ruth’s mother had spent the latter part of her life bedridden, crippled with arthritis and Ruth, fearing she would go the same way when her own stiffness kicked in, aged 55, jumped on her daughter, Jane Boriosi’s idea to start a local holiday home agency.

So with a clipboard, her beloved ‘Moggy’ Morris Minor and the ever-present French beret worn at a jaunty angle, Ruth set herself up as a self-catering agent, focusing on the Helford River.


Striped Fabric Portrait
In 1978...
Granddaughter Emily Boriosi was born. Grandpa 'Baa' celebrated by painting the gate to the family home.

Ruth was passionate about Falmouth and the Helford River.

She loved the friendly people, the tranquillity and the beautiful environment. As a young woman, she had holidayed here annually and so living here herself and enabling others to share in the experience was a dream come true.

Ruth was all of the values that are still at the core of Cornish Holiday Cottages to this day: kind, compassionate, honest, knowledgeable and with a passion for delivering excellent customer service. She was quite a character – a real eccentric and always did everything with conviction.


Ridifarne joins the portfolio – one of the most exclusive waterside houses on the Helford River.

Over twenty years later...

At eighty years young, Ruth was still running Cornish Holiday Cottages.

However, the demise of her husband Tony meant a slow down in her life and the physical disabilities began to take hold.

Jane, their only daughter had her own career and no time to take on the running of the company. Emily was summoned from her post-university home, Bristol!


A word processor was purchased to replace the typewriter. Nobody ever really got to grips with it.


Cornish Holiday Cottages purchased their first desktop computer.


CHC website goes live.

In 2004...

Emily takes the helm.

Being no stranger to the business, having grown up with it around her and cleaning cottages from when she was knee-high to a grasshopper, Emily threw herself into modernising the company’s marketing and embracing the technology that Ruth had distrusted (She used to double-check her calculator by hand!). Gradually the portfolio increased with a strong emphasis on quality, waterside holiday homes and holiday home owners with the same values and concept as those of Cornish Holiday Cottages.


Cornish Holiday Cottages Limited was formed and office premises in Mawnan Smith square were procured.


Cornish Holiday Cottages celebrates 40 years.

From ours to yours...

A family business through and through.

Today, you will often find Jane inspecting cottages and assisting with refurbishments, the family dogs draped across the office sofa and Emily’s children, Felix and Rosie, helping out back to fold letters, in the holidays.

Meet the Team...

Here for you

Emily and her team are zealous about delivering excellent customer service and enabling their guests to have happy holidays in the Falmouth and Helford River, just as Ruth was. Cornish Holiday Cottages has learnt so much in the last forty years and made so many friends along the way – thank you for being a part of this.

Meet The Team
Striped Fabric Portrait
Here for you
Have a question? Need help finding your perfect holiday home? Feel free to call us on 01326 250339

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