How to light a Wood Burning Stove

Published: Thursday 12th Feb 2015

Written by: Powells Holiday Team

Although the chills of winter are not looking to retreat for the near future, a stay in one our Cornwall, Devon or Pembrokeshire holiday properties can still be a wonderful thing. Imagine spending days walking in the brisk but beautiful fresh air of the coast and countryside, before snuggling down in your cottage with a blanket and hot chocolate in front of a log fire. Fortunately, many of our properties come with log burners fitted, ready to warm your cottage into a cosy abode!

If you’ve never lit a Wood Burning Stove before or would like a reminder, here’s our handy guide to help you get a roaring fire in minutes. After all, being cold is the last thing you would want on your holiday.


Step One: Preparation is Key

In order for a fire to blaze at its best it needs three main ingredients: oxygen, fuel and heat, and it’s for this reason that you must always prepare and clean the woodburner before trying to light another fire.

Of particular importance is to clean the airwash and primary air controls, ensuring that the fire gets the air supply it needs and doesn’t starve. You should also make sure the viewing window is as clean as possible, meaning that you can keep an eye on the progress of the fire.

If you’re staying in a holiday cottage then you may only need to give the woodburner a quick check as the cleaning should already have been done for you.


Step Two: Create a firebed

A fire is something that requires patience, and trying to rush it without taking the necessary steps almost always ends in failure. The importance of creating a decent firebed is second to none, and using dry kindling – small pieces of wood and twigs that easily catch alight – and paper often yields the best results. Remember to spread the firebed evenly to ensure a firebox that is the same heat in all areas. 


Step Three: Light the kindling and watch it burn

Now take your lighter and light your fire bed in different places so that you’re not relying on one area to catch. After the kindling catches, leave the door open slightly to increase the air flow and so that warmth is built up. You can now start adding some medium-sized logs on top, but make sure they aren’t too big as this may smother the fire.


Step Four: Close the door and enjoy the warmth

Once the fire starts to roar, you can close the door and your work is done. As long as the air flow is open and there are logs on the firebed, it should stay roaring for hours. You will have to continue keeping an eye on the fire to add logs if necessary. 


Step Five: Now time to enjoy a hot chocolate around the fire

If you’re staying in one of our cottages in Pembrokeshire, after sitting around the fire you will not want to go outside again. With this in mind, what could be better than sitting next to a roaring fire with a beautiful hot chocolate? Follow this recipe from BBC Food below to enjoy exactly this.

Ingredients (For 4-6 cups)

600ml Milk

142ml Pot of Double Cream

100g chopped Chocolate


This great recipe couldn’t be easier to rustle up. All you have to do is place all the ingredients into a pan and then bring to the boil. Now just keep whisking until you have a smooth solution. Serve in individual mugs and add a few marshmallows for the finishing touch. If you want to spice the mixture up with an alcoholic kick, why not add a few tablespoons of brandy into the mix?


Hot Chocolate Three Ways

Another fantastic recipe comes from The Domestic Geek, and with her step-by-step video below, there’s hardly any room for error and with three fantastic recipes to try, it’s the perfect way to keep you warm during those cold winter nights.


This content was written by Ben Edwards. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.

Powells Holiday Team
Powells Holiday Team


Powells Cottage Holidays - Cottage holidays est. 1965


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