We are Nick Cole and Greg Smith. We bought Okel Tor Mine in the autumn of 1998. It was a leap into the unknown and, whilst we had exciting visions of life in a tin mine, there was also the feeling of nervous trepidation. There was no grand plan. An extraordinary chain of events and coincidences led us here and we then had to turn our ideas into reality.
During our first winter we set about restoring The Count House and in May 1999 welcomed our first guests. We assumed that the cottage would be popular mainly in the warmer months but soon realised that guests loved it all year round. Perfect for couples wanting a bit of peace and quiet, whatever the weather.
In 2005 Nick bought out part of the mine from Greg and proceeded to convert The Smithy into a second holiday cottage. This did mean that Nick had to live in a caravan for a few years whilst he turned a ruin into his new home - all character building stuff. Part of the site is now under Greg's sole ownership with both Nick and Greg jointly owning most of the ruined structures and publicly accessible areas, which they share responsibility for under the watchful eye of Historic England.
Nick lives at the Mine and looks after the two cottages whilst Greg lives up-country and handles all the administration through his Unusual Retreats.