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01 March 2022

Three Mile Beach Backstory

by Craig Burkinshaw

Vietnam to Gwithian

My previous life as the guy who founded Audley happened by accident really. I was heading for a job in IT or finance when my itch to travel got in the way.


How it all started

I caught the bug for it when I went around the world just after finishing Uni. I’d only saved enough to live off £5 a day, so it was the proper skint backpacking experience. I got to India, SE Asia, Nepal, Australia, and New Zealand on that. It was all wonderful, but the pivotal bit was when I got into Vietnam (which was pretty unheard of – it wasn’t a tourist destination at the time) and stayed for a month.

Once home, and saving to travel again, I was stuffing envelopes at the Association of Anaesthetists one day for £3.50 per hour, and I thought, ‘I have all that Vietnamese knowledge – people must want to go there.’

I put a £45 ad in the back of the Sunday times saying, ‘Guided trip to Vietnam’ and four people signed up. I didn’t lie – I told them I hadn’t done the guide thing before, but they were up for an adventure, and we had a riot of a time.

It was a while before Audley became Audley, but that was its beginnings. Even when we upgraded the accommodation to a more luxurious level, it was always about culture over gold taps.

For me, travel is about getting under the skin of a place. That might mean homestays, tent stays, or hotel stays. It’s whatever is characterful, unique, and real – the opposite of the templates that big hotel brands use to roll out across the world. So, when we found the location for Three Mile Beach, it felt the same. It’s tucked away. It’s a hidden gem. But it’s within reach of everything too.


Three Mile Beach

We live in Gwithian, and we’ve designed Three Mile Beach to offer the lifestyle we enjoy down here. Surfing, swimming, walking, farm-shop shopping, foraging, cooking, being outdoors most hours of the day, fires, hot tubs, parties, reading books, watching films, doing nothing, and feeling zero guilt about it. We love the lack of formality here, the wildness of the area, and the Cornish characters we meet.

The houses are the starting point, and then there are loads of things on offer guests can choose from to make their holiday their own. They can get our private chef in to cook up a storm for them. They can get water sports lessons. They can get their kids involved with various energy-venting adventures. They can get involved with our wellness activities. They can borrow books from our curated library. We can organise PT sessions for them on the beach. There are all sorts to do, and we’ll always look to grow the list of ideas we offer. 

So now with Three Mile Beach, I’m the host rather than the guide. It’s my turn to work hard at making a great place to stay. I’m lucky to have experienced so much travel so that I can bring the best of it in and leave the worst at the door.

More about Three Mile Beach

Three Mile Beach is a collection of 15 luxury self-catering 2, 3, and 4 bedroom beach houses in the wilds of St Ives Bay, Cornwall.