Top 5 Woodland Trails

Cornwall’s alluring countryside is filled with unusual wildlife, cascading waterfalls and ruins of Cornwall’s past. Here is our local’s guide to five enchanting woodland trails.

 

1. Tehidy Woods

Tehidy Woods is the largest area of woodland in West Cornwall, with over 9 miles of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods and lakes ready to be explored. The woods have a series of colour-coded footpaths and cycle routes leading around them. A 90 foot monument built in memory of Sir Francis Basset in 1836 can also be seen on top of Carn Brea. Tehidy Country Park has five main access points with free car parks. Beautiful and tranquil year round, Tehidy is well worth a visit whether you are taking the dog for a walk, going on a weekend stroll or orienteering with a group.

tehidy woods

Darren Shilson/Flickr

2. Golitha Falls

This popular spot occupies a steep-sided valley gorge with the River Fowey flowing through in a series of cascades. This ancient woodland is an enchanting site with an easily-accessible path along the river side. For the more adventurous, veer off the foot path when you reach its end and venture up the hill to discover tranquil meadows and beautiful woodland. The best time of year to do this is in Spring, where you will come across a blanket of bluebells covering the woodland’s floor.

golitha falls woods

Andy Powell/Flickr

3. Kennall Vale

Take a walk through history at Kennall Vale; a picturesque woodland with rich undergrowth, open glades and remnants of the old gunpowder works. Scattered through the reserve are the remains of the 19th century Kennall Vale Gunpowder Works, including several granite mills and buildings, as well as a complex system of leats. After walking the first part of the path at the top of the slope you will discover the first of these remains, including the aftermath of a series of explosions in 1838. The river rushes down a valley of moss and over an abandoned weir. Look up and you will see a canopy of beech trees, allowing the ground to be clear of the brambles and rhodendrons that cover the floors of many other Cornish woodlands. Kennall Vale is also filled with wildlife, including the pipistrelle bat.

kennall vale woods

Martin Bridgen/Flickr

4. Cardinham Woods

Ramble through 230 hectares of woodland in the beautiful valley of the Cardinham Water river. Waymarked trails will take you deep into the woods to discover stunning viewpoints and an intriguing history. For the adventurous try out the Bodmin Beast Cycling Trail, and for the kiddies explore the Superworm Trail. Take a look at our ‘Meet the Chef’ feature on the Woods Cafe a quaint cottage amidst the trees and slopes of Cardinham, where we picked owner Lara Spurrell’s brain on the delicious treats and hearty meals on offer at her cafe. Or why not bring some treats for a picnic of BBQ using their BBQ’s and seating area.

cardinham woods

5. Respryn Woods

Part of the National Trust Estate of Lanhydrock, these woodlands take in fantastic scenery along the River Fowey through semi-natural ancient woodland. Follow the Respryn Ramble to see the first of the daffodils in March, followed by the bluebells in April and May. Cross the river over the  Respryn Bridge, dating from the 15th century. Admire magnificent 400-year-old oak trees, spot dippers, wagtails, kingfishers and otters along the River Fowey, and see the Daubentons bats fly above you. Tin streaming, one of the earliest forms of tin mining, dating back to the 1600s can be seen in the mix of banks and ditches throughout the woods.

Robert Pittman/Flickr

Robert Pittman/Flickr

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‘Top 5 Woodland Trails’ is taken from our Aug/Sept 2013, Vol.2 Issue 19. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.

5 Reasons To Visit Mevagissey

In search of a relaxing weekend break in Cornwall? Look no further than Mevagissey. Spot dolphins, houses coloured like neapolitan ice cream, walk through narrow streets, visit the picturesque harbour and see the Lost Gardens of Heligan all at Mevagissey.

Mevagissey

1. Dolphins!

Mevagissey is renowned for being one of the top spots for dolphin watching in Cornwall.  If you’re lucky enough to see them they make the perfect start to your tranquil weekend break.

2. Mevagissey Bay Hotel

A warm welcome awaits at the Mevagissey Bay Hotel, seated barely half a mile from the centre of the picturesque harbour village itself. The hotel is smart, very clean and well stocked with all necessary comforts. Though this is all overshadowed by the hotel’s amazing panoramic views. Unpack yiour bags and see the rippling sea lay in front of you through the windows of your room. Eat downstairs at the Bay View Restaurant for your evening meal.

RoomView1

3. The Lost Gardens of Heligan

The Lost Gardens are world-renowned, and offer a truly magical day out. Originally created by the Temayne family in the mid-18th century, they were neglected after the First World War and not restored to their former glory until the 1990s. We highly recommend a visit to the stunning gardens, included on our list of ‘The Most Glorious Gardens in Cornwall‘.

4. The Harbour

Arguably one of the most picturesque harbours in the British Isles, a wander around Mevagissey’s harbour is a must. There’s plenty to see and do in the village itself with pubs, restaurants and an aquarium. But perhaps a simple fish and chips on the harbour wall from the Fihserman’s Fish and Chip Shop might be more your thing…yummy!Harbour Boats Mevagissey

5. The Bessie Vee

Take a short fishing trip  or a deep sea fishing day trip on board the Bessie Vee, with experienced skipper Dave Hunkin. Enjoy trips to Fowey River, Looe, Falmouth, St. Mawes or the Helford Passage and catch a glimpse of seals, dolphins and basking sharks! 

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‘5 Reasons Why You Must Visit Mevagissey’ is taken from our August/September 2014, Vol.2 Issue 25. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.

The Unexpected Guests: WW2 Prisoners of War in Cornwall

 

During the Second World War, Cornwall became home to hundreds of men who were not born and bred here. These unexpected guests arrived in the form of prisoners of war, most prominently Germans and Italians, but a large number of different nationalities were based in camps all over Cornwall.

 “Ordinary people do not cause wars. They are just the ones who pay the price.” Rudi Mock

ww2 prisoners of war

Geoffrey Richard May (top left) with the PoWs who worked under his management at the Treluggan Quarry.

Perhaps one of the most well known PoWs linked to Cornwall was Rudi Mock, a German soldier who was brought over to Britain following capture and who volunteered to stay in 1948 following the end of the war. He went on to marry a Land-Army girl in 1951 and moved to Crowan in West Cornwall where he began as a farm worker and gradually started his own business growing and selling daffodil flowers and bulbs and eggs. Over time his business thrived and he became a self-made millionaire.

Of the 400,000 PoWs were held in prison camps across Britain there are records of five main camps in Cornwall. The White Cross Camp near St Columb Major, Pennygillam Farm Camp and Scarnecross Camp in Launceston, Consols Mine Camp in Tywardreath, Par and Bowithick camp on Bodmin Moor. Considering the enormity of some of these camps, often holding hundreds if not thousands of prisoners and the length of time that they were present, it is strange that there are not more records about these camps. There were in fact a large number in Cornwall, but it seems many were not recorded.

ww2 prisoners of war

Treluggan Quarry brass plaque

One such camp was the PoW camp at Bake, Trerulefoot in Saltash, which is now the site of Bonds Timber Sawmill. This camp although small in comparison to its counterparts in Launceston, housed many PoWs including a large number of Germans. The site was laid out with rows of large Nissan huts (with just one hut still standing today) and inside were a number of wooden ‘bunk beds’, as was typical of the living quarters within the camps. These men although ‘prisoners’ were treated extremely well and played a vital part in war torn Cornwall, from working in fields to repairing bomb damaged homes, yet despite this it is almost forgotten that Cornwall housed PoWs at all.

A short description recorded in ‘A Pictorial view of East Cornwall: Parish of St Germans’ by Kevin Reilly and Jo Lanyon states that Bake House (situated next to the camp and known as Bake Manor now) was used as ‘an Officers Mess by the U.S Army and the troops were stationed in the fields adjacent to the house looking towards Hessenford, and that the camp was used as a Displaced Persons Camp’, which we can only assume is a reference to the PoW camp.

The PoW camp at Bake and the site of the local quarry at Treluggan (now the site of Boating World) became the focal points for a tale of wartime friendship forged in the most unlikely of circumstances.

ww2 prisoners of war

Men working in Treluggan Quarry, Geoffrey May, site manager is sanding in the bucket of the digger.

Local man Geoffrey Richard May was a member of the Home Guard and ran Treluggan Quarry. As with many men in professions that aided the war effort he was not allowed to go to war but instead was to continue overseeing the production of granite stone. He worked as part of a large team, and the quarry worked continuously to provide stone, often crushed, which was loaded on to barges and then taken down river to a dispersal site mostly Plymouth dockyard for various jobs including the building of Mulberry Harbour.

As the demand for stone increased, Geoffrey searched locally for more men to help work the quarry. This in turn led him to Bake and the site of the PoW camp. It was not uncommon for many of the well mannered and anti-Nazi PoWs to find work locally and it was for this purpose that Geoffrey made a visit to the site. The exact number of German PoWs who worked at the quarry is unknown but it is certain that at least eleven men were employed between the years of 1940/41 until 1945/46.

             “It was not uncommon for well mannered and anti-Nazi POWs to find work”

 

The PoWs worked alongside local men, many of whom lived in Landrake and were soon accepted as part of the community, often being allowed to wonder down to the local village of Tideford. Many were paid in cigarettes or a small wage, which seemed to be a common practice in camps across Britain.

At one time a small number of Americans who were based at Lanjore at the top of St Germans worked at the quarry driving the lorries, but it was well known that they were wreckless. Steven Collins recalls his grandfather, Geoffrey, telling him about an incident when two Americans got stuck up the quarry.

ww2 prisoners of war

Some of the men and young lads taking a break at Treluggan quarry.

‘I remember him telling me about a time when two of the Americans climbed the quarry for a joke but ended up getting stuck. My grandfather then had to climb up and rescue them.’

A number of the lorries also ended up wrecked after they were used for races and more often than not crashed as a result. The Americans were also known for testing tanks in the River Tiddy which is a main tributary of the River Lynher and flows south east past Tideford village.

“We would all sit and share our evening meal”

Some remains have since been found in the river and Geoffrey’s daughter Pauline Collins recalls memories of the tanks when she was a young girl. ‘On a Sunday afternoon many of the local young people would go down to the river and watch the tanks as they charged through the water.’ She goes on to explain that she was just five or six years old when the PoWs arrived at Bake and her and her twin sister Delphine have vivid memories of days out at the seaside town of Seaton, where they would find tins, hats and bandages washed up from recent ship wrecks.

Pauline tells me that; ‘on the way back from the beach we would stop by the camp and hand our leftover sandwiches through the hedge to the PoWs that would often be hanging around there smoking.’ The food available to PoWs generally consisted of bread and cheese and so their sandwiches were always gratefully received.

ww2 prisoners of war

Karl Vinoff with his wife and VW car back in Germany after the war

The PoWs who found themselves detained in the camp at Bake were mostly conscripts who were captured locally. One such man was spotted crawling through a hedge and was shot through the foot, he was later found to be a left wing Nazi along with one other prisoner and as such was sent to one of the Launceston camps which had a lot more security. Among the other men at the camp were a number of talented tradesmen, including a piano tuner, carpenter and jeweller.

Over time these valued and gradually trusted men became part of Geoffrey’s extended family so to speak and Pauline has fond memories of the PoWs from the quarry joining them for evening meals.

‘We would all sit together and share our evening meal with the men. They couldn’t eat much at first as their stomachs had shrunk but they soon built up a healthy appetite.’

However perhaps the most poignant and heart-warming moment came as the winter months drew in and the Christmas lights went up. For many, Christmas is a time for giving and for the PoWs there was no exception. In exchange for a warm invite to Christmas dinner and festive celebrations with Geoffrey and his family, the PoWs, some of whom Pauline remembers as being called Walter, Karl Vinoff, Kurt Kichastand and Hans, would sing along to her mother Muriel playing the piano and put their skills to work making the family Christmas gifts.

These manifested in the form of melted down spoons turned in to signet rings, handbags made from stripped and dyed bark and beautifully crafted wooden heart photo frames. Of which the latter are still in existence today, and perfectly preserved by Pauline and her sister.

As the years passed and the war ended all but two of the PoWs returned to Germany to continue their lives. Geoffrey remained in touch with many of the men and in particular Karl Vinoff, the piano tuner. In later years Geoffrey and some of the other men from Treluggan Quarry were invited out to Germany for a reunion. Many of the men went but Geoffrey, suffering from ill health, unfortunately did not attend. A decision his grandson Steven tells me he later regretted.

ww2 prisoners of war

Quarry workers standing next to the trucks used to transport the stone.

Time passed and as old age took hold a surprise visitor arrived at the house of Geoffrey, his wife Muriel and daughters Pauline and Delphine. A young man walked towards the house and although Geoffrey had sadly passed away, his family recognized him and it was soon revealed that this was Karl Vinoff’s grandson. He explained that he wanted to see where his grandfather spent his time as a PoW, and the place that he held such fond memories for. He was given a tour of the quarry and old camp and was welcomed by the family, rekindling a connection that had long since dwindled.

In a time of bloodshed, heartache and despair, I think it’s important for us to remember the smallest beacons of hope and humanity that flowed below the surface of wartime Cornwall. This snapshot of kindness and acceptance allows us to remember that in a war of thousands, they were all just ordinary men, wanting to make their families proud and told to fight in a war that many, Germans included, wanted no part in.

 

Words by Rebecca Holden

 

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‘The Unexpected Guests: WW2 Prisoners of War in Cornwall’ is taken from our December/January 2013, Vol.2 Issue 21. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.

CORNWALL’S COOLEST DAYS OUT: Carbis Bay

We continue our journey this month in search of Cornwall’s coolest days outs. You’re bored of your local town, believe you’ve seen all Cornwall has to offer and are more eager than ever to find somewhere new to visit this summer. So discover these hidden spots you’ve probably driven through a hundred times and fall in love with Cornwall all over again.

Following last month’s visit to Boscastle and Tintagel, we venture to the opposite end of Cornwall at Carbis Bay; a haven of white sand and azure water.

carbis bay

Duncan, Flickr

Indulge in ultimate relaxation at Carbis Bay. With a beach, hotel, spa, beach club and water sport centre, a visit here is like a luxury holiday on your doorstep. The long stretching sandy beach and sensational sea views don’t disappoint either and provide visitors with every reason to return.

Dependant on our famously unpredictable weather, we suggest starting your day with a visit to the beach. If it’s warm enough, take a dip in the stunning azure waters, rent a kayak or a sail boat and get a taste of the ocean. Alternatively go for a swim in Carbis Bay Hotel’s pool and spend the afternoon on a poolside lounger with a book. Either way you’re sure to find something to keep everyone entertained.

carbis bay

Katherine, Flickr

Afterwards dry yourself off and head to the beach club for lunch. From steamed local mussels to beer battered halloumi, they offer a heavenly menu, using only fresh, local produce. Then stop at the spa for an opportunity to truly unwind. Get yourself a facial or spoil yourself with the Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience in their beach side treatment room, with its own private balcony overlooking the breathtaking bay.

If you fancy extending your visit to Carbis Bay, the award winning, family run hotel guarantees to provide you with a tranquil paradise to escape to. For offers and more information about the hotel visit their website: www.carbisbayhotel.co.uk

carbis bay

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‘Cornwall’s Coolest Days Out’ is taken from our April/May 2015, Vol.2 Issue 29. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.

The Best Cornish Beer and Cider

The team at myCornwall held a tasting session and narrowed down 70 samples from Cornish beer and cider brewers to our top 7 favourites. Judged by look, smell and taste, here are the very best of Cornish real ales, lagers and ciders. Also, check out our downloadable map of Cornish orchards, vineyards and breweries.

 

Sharp’s Cornish Pilsner

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Lager

Sharp’s Brewery

‘Perfect for a summer’s day’

Fermented with Czech yeast and Saaz hops, this lager has zesty herbal notes and a delicious clean, citrus flavour.

www.sharpsbrewery.co.uk

 

Rebel’s Penryn Ale

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Lager

The Rebel Brewing Company

‘Sweet scent’

A take on the classic Indian pale ale, Penryn Ale is fruity, hoppy and leaves a nice mellow bitterness. It was one of our editor’s absolute favourites!

www.rebelbrewing.co.uk

 

Rebel’s Cornish Sunset

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Golden Ale

The Rebel Brewing Company

‘Well worth a try’

Our tasters thought that this crisp, refreshing and zesty golden ale was the perfect accompaniment to a beautiful Cornish sunset.

www.rebelbrewing.co.uk

 

St Austell’s HSD

cornish beer and cider

 

Dark Ale

St Austell Brewery

‘Perfect’

This full-bodied ale is full of strong flavours. It is great alternative to a well-rounded premium red wine.

www.staustellbrewery.co.uk

Keltek’s Magic

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Bitter

Keltek Cornish Brewery

‘Cracking flavour’

This bitter has the perfect balance between hops and malt. It is not too bitter and our tasters thoroughly enjoyed it.

www.keltekbrewery.co.uk

 

 

Granite Rock’s Glasney College Porter

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Porter/stout

Granite Rock Brewery

‘Intense’, ‘Smooth’

With aromas of coffee and dark chocolate, this intensely flavoured porter was deliciously silky and “surprising” according to one of our tasters.

www.graniterockbrewery.co.uk

 

Touchwood Cider

cornish beer and cider

 

 

Cider

Touchwood Cornish Cider

‘You can imagine the country farm and apples as you drink it’

If you are a real enthusiast for great cider, all of our tasters absolutely loved Touchwood. Produced entirely organically and made using a variety of Cornish apples, all from a farm in St Agnes, this cider is definitely one to try!

www.touchwoodcider.co.uk 

 

 

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‘The Best Cornish Beer and Cider’ is taken from our June/July 2014, Vol.2 Issue 24. Subscribe to myCornwall magazine for more stories like this one.

CORNWALL’S COOLEST DAYS OUT: Boscastle and Tintagel

It’s the weekend. The house is spotless, you’ve completed everything on your ‘to do’ list, made the obligatory visit to the in-laws and now you’re in search of the perfect day out. But you’re bored, you’ve trudged the same walk at least a hundred times, those same views just don’t do it for you any more and if you have to eat another soggy pasty from that cafe you’ll give up on eating out altogether. So head out and discover the undiscovered Cornwall, the cool Cornwall, try stopping in those places you normally drive through, ditch the car and take a stroll through the unknown, enjoy the wacky and the unusual and eat some tasty food in the process.

This month’s coolest day out visits Boscastle and Tintagel, locations defined by their history and beauty.

boscastle and tintagel

Flickr/Ben Salter

Tintagel

Steeped in history, Tintagel is a must for anyone visiting, or living in, Cornwall. Renowned for its  connections to the legend of King Arthur, a day trip here makes for a culturally captivating and exciting day out.

Stop off at King Arthur’s Great Halls, venture round the corridors and be drawn back to a time of round tables, bloody battles and enchanting magic. Then bring all you’ve seen to life at Tintagel. Nestled into the rugged North Cornwall coast, this iconic castle is an astonishing sight.

Climb the steps cut into the cliffside, cross the bridge which joins the mainland to the island and discover what remains of the Great Hall, before exploring the garden, chapel, tunnel and well.

boscastle and tintagel

Flickr/Giuseppe Milo

Boscastle

Afterwards complete your visit to Tintagel with a coffee and delicious cream tea at Charlie’s Cafe and Restaurant, before heading to the wonderful village of Boscastle, only a ten minute drive away. Boscastle, which tragically suffered a devastating flood in 2004, remains a beautifully unspoilt harbour village. Whilst you’re here be sure to visit the Witchcraft Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection of witchcraft related artefacts and makes for a strange yet fascinating visit. Once you’ve explored the museum follow the nearby footpath to Boscastle’s harbour and give yourself a chance to appreciate the exquisite view. Complete your day with a pint of proper Cornish ale in The Napoleon Inn, a traditional cosy pub sat on Boscastle’s hill.

boscastle and tintagel

Flickr/Robert Lindsell

King Arthur’s Great Halls – www.tintagelweb.co.uk

Tintagel Castle – www.english-heritage.org.uk

Charlie’s Cafe and Restaurant – www.online-deli.co.uk 

Witchcraft Museum – www.museumofwitchcraft.com

The Napoleon Inn – www.napoleoninn.co.uk

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10 Cornish Locations For The Ultimate Staycation

Millions of visitors choose Cornwall each year as their vacation of choice, to enjoy its miles of sandy beaches, stunning scenery and relaxed atmosphere. But many of us lucky enough to live in Cornwall are guilty of overlooking this desired holiday location for our own summer holiday. The right ‘holiday at home’ doesn’t just save you money on flights, it allows you to rediscover your homeland and seek out the exciting and enriching experiences happening on your doorstep. So whether you are a Cornish resident and want to discover places you never knew existed, or are from further afield and want to see for yourself why we love Cornwall so much, here are 10 incredible ideas for your dream holiday.

1. All About the Adventure: Sea Kayaking Expedition

Destination: Falmouth, and around Cornwall

Accommodation: Wild Camping

www.seakayakingcornwall.com

For the thrill seekers, fitness fanatics and lovers of the ocean, on this five-day expedition you will kayak around the Cornish coast, find spectacular hidden coves and caves and discover great wild camping locations along the way. Your adventure leader will help you to improve your paddling technique, teach you the art of food foraging and set you up with some essential camp craft skills. If you’re looking for a challenge and want to see Cornwall from a whole new perspective, this one’s for you.

2. City Break: Capture Culture & Shop Till You Drop

staycation

Destination: Truro

Accommodation: The Alverton

www.thealverton.co.uk

Although Truro is a small city, it’s packed with excellent places to eat and wine bars where you can toast cocktails after a day of browsing the diverse selection of shops. Meander through the Georgian streets absorbing the impressive architecture, book a show at the Hall for Cornwall and stop for a lecture at the Royal Cornwall Museum. Truro Festival (27th March – 5th April) is well worth timing your break with, celebrating arts, culture and music, expect intimate theatre shows, unmissable exhibitions and dozens of free events to throw yourselves into. www.enjoytruro.co.uk

3. Art Break: Immerse Yourself

staycation

Flickr/Martyn Wright

Destination: Carbis Bay

Accommodation: Chy-an-Kerris. This beautiful house was once the home of renowned local sculptor Barbara Hepworth and artist Ben Nicholson.

www.carbisbayholidays.co.uk

With magical views, Carbis Bay Beach on your doorstep and the art-hub town of St Ives just a stone’s throw away, this is the ultimate destination for any arty break in Cornwall. Be inspired by your surroundings, visit the enormous collection of galleries and enjoy a little history at the Barbara Hepworth Museum. Make sure you head to an event at St Ives Art Club, book a course at St Ives School of Painting and admire one of the incredible exhibitions at Penwith Galleries.

www.penwithgallery.com www.stivesartsclub.org

4. Escape the Rat Race: No Mobiles Allowed

staycation

Flickr/R. Nial Bradshaw

Destination: The Isles of Scilly

Accommodation: Star Castle Hotel (St Mary’s)

www.star-castle.co.uk

These magical islands offer an escape from everyday life and are the perfect excuse to leave your mobile phones at home and spend quality time with your partner or family. Explore the gardens and nature trails, relax on the beaches, book a sea safari and lose yourself in the beauty that surrounds you. There are quite a few festivals on the islands throughout the year, Walk Scilly in the spring is one of our favourites.

For more info www.visitislesofscilly.com

5. Family Fun Holiday: Run Wild

staycation

Flickr/_dbr

Destination: South West Lakes Trust, Tamar Lakes Country Park, Bude

Accommodation: Camping (in a tent of one of the park’s snazzy camping pods)

www.swlakestrust.org.uk

Sometimes it’s wonderful to arrive at your holiday destination, put down your car keys and know that everything your family needs for a fantastic break is right there. With exhilarating water-sports, cycling routes, fishing, children’s play areas, a nature reserve and enough activities to excite and exhaust everyone from the little ones to the big (adult) kids, enjoy your time bonding, learning new skills and make lasting memories with the ones that you love.

 

6. New Foodie Favourite: Eat, Sleep, Eat, Repeat

staycation

Saclara Cottage

Destination: Porthleven

Accommodation: Saclara Cottage

Enjoy a secluded patio overlooking the sea, a wood burning stove to sit next to with a hot chocolate and a quaint kitchen to whip up some midnight feasts.

www.porthlevenholidaycottages.co.uk

Explore the vibrant town’s enticing 20+ places to eat, from its swanky restaurants (Kota, Blue Haze) to spectacular fish and chip shops, every turn will have your tummies rumbling. Don’t miss the tasty treats at Porthleven Harbour Market (Tue, Thurs & Sun from Easter to the end of October) and burn off all those extra calories (if you must) with a wander along the coastal path.

 

7. Recharge & Re-Energise: A Little Luxury

staycation

St Moritz Hotel

Destination: Wadebridge, Cornwall

Accommodation: St Moritz Hotel

www.stmoritzhotel.co.uk

If you struggle to find time to relax and unwind, a weekend at St Mortiz might be just what you need. Visit in the winter and as well as indulging in mood enhancing treatments in the spa, you can explore the dynamic Cornish coastline and beautiful beaches. If you’re on a romantic break, be sure to treat yourselves to a massage side by side in the spa’s double room and then watch the sunset go down from your balcony, it’ll leave you both feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

 

8. A Party Break: A Location to Celebrate

staycation

Beach House Cornwall

Destination: Whistand Bay

Accommodation: Beach House Cornwall

www.beachhouse-cornwall.co.uk

Instead of visiting a party town, bring your favourite people to this beautiful house in Whitsand Bay. Complete with an outdoor hot tub, a games room den (with gadgets to keep you entertained for hours) and plenty to do in the surrounding areas (if you decide to leave the house!), here you can have endless fun with the people you care about. If you fancy some fresh air after all of the celebrations, go surfing and coasteering with Adventure Bay or get the feel for two wheel travel with a Segway Adventure.

 

9. The Wild Card: Cool & Quirky

staycation

The Duchess Wagon at Spring Park Quirky Holidays

Destination: Rezare, Launceston

Accommodation: The Duchess Wagon at Spring Park Quirky Holidays

www.quirky-holidays-cornwall.co.uk

Step back in time by staying in this beautiful 1940s showman’s wagon, nestled in its own private garden complete with hot tub and a quirky wooden bathroom lit at night with twinkling fairy lights. Head along to a craft Cowslips workshop, venture to the top of Kitts Hill for spectacular views, cross the border for a trip to Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre and enjoy hearty, warming meals in the local pub just a short walk away.

 

10. Feel Good Factor: The Voluntary Experience

staycation

The Monkey Sanctuary Looe

Destination: Monkey Sanctuary, Looe

Accommodation: Shared Accommodation in the Sanctuary House

www.monkeysanctuary.org

Created for animal lovers who want to get stuck in, the Monkey Sanctuary provides volunteers with a chance to become part of the community and share the commitment of caring for the resident monkeys. Whether you want to stay for a few weeks, or a few months, this is a great experience for independent travellers (you must be 18+) who have a love of nature and want to learn more about primates. You will clean the enclosures, learn to collect wild leaves, prepare food, hear talks from the keepers and make enrichment items for the monkeys.

 

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6 Wild Animal Close Encounters In Cornwall

Have a wild animal close encounter in six different locations across Cornwall. Perfect for a day out with the kids, or for those of you who are simply love animals.

 

1. Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay

Wild Animal Close Encounters

Experience a dazzling undersea safari through the oceans of the world including recreations of Cornwall’s world famous coastline as well as vidi warmer Mediterranean waters and the tropical splendour of the Caribbean and its stunning coral reefs.

www.bluereefaqaurium.co.uk/newquay

 

2. Wild Futures Sanctuary

Wild Animal Close Encounters Take a tour of the monkey enclosures and learn about the fascinating 37 individuals at this active rescue centre. You can also venture into the bat cave and catch a glimpse of these mysterious upside down animals.

www.monkeysanctuary.org

 

3. National Lobster Hatchery

Wild Animal Close Encounters

See baby lobsters growing up and waiting to be released, admire the resident giant lobster and lots of his other fascinating crab pot friends and learn the importance of marine conservation at this unique day out.

www.nationallobsterhatchery.co.uk

 

4. Paradise Park

Wild Animal Close Encounters Meet the penguins, feed nectar to the lorikeets, follow the new Dinosaur Quiz Trail spotting life-size dinosaurs and tiptoeing around their eggs, then watch macaws sweep over your head at the incredible flying displays.

www.paradisepark.org.uk

 

5. Screech owl Sanctuary

Wild Animal Close Encounters

Watch fascinating flying displays, have close encounters with these majestic creatures and you might even get the chance to see some baby owls. There are also meerkats, emus, alpacas, pgymy goats and Shetland ponies to visit!

www.screechowlsanctuary.co.uk

 

6. Tamar Valley Sanctuary

Wild Animal Close Encounters

Be greeted by the 26 rescue donkeys and many other animals at this lovely day out. Whether you decide to zoom around in the play barn, try your hand at donkey grooming or guinea pig cuddling, Tamar Valley Donkey Sanctuary offers fun for all the family.

www.donkeypark.com

 

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6 Incredible Wild Swimming Spots

It’s available to everyone, doesn’t cost a penny and is a great pick-me-up; what could be more appealing than a dip into one of Cornwall’s rivers, lakes, bays or coves for some? This is the world of wild swimming: the act of swimming in natural waters.

Many of us are missing out it seems. Swimming in the outdoors was once a common occurrence but with the creation of indoor pools and pollution of the post-war years people moved inside. Recently however, jumping into chlorine-free waters has seen a resurgence and the wild swimming community is a thriving one, ranging from a few friends meeting up in secret locations to mass events organised in the name of charity. To get involved you just have to be up for it, know how to stay safe and be respectful.

Whether you choose to dive in for a big swims or just a casual dip with a friend, the waters are open and available to all (but maybe come equipped with a wetsuit this time of year!).

 

Portheras Cove

Portheras is one of the last remaining truly local beaches in West Cornwall. Located on one of the wildest stretches of Cornish coast between Pendeen and Morvah it isn’t that easy to find.

Owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, the beach itself is a lovely sandy cove located at the end of a shallow valley with sheer cliffs at the northern end. Parking: Either park in the farm car park at the end of ‘Rose Valley’ or park in the Pendeen Watch car park – to find out more about Portheras Cove click here.

wild swimming

Jim Champion, Flickr

 

St. Nectan’s Kieve

St. Nectan’s Kieve is a tall, slender waterfall or gorge hidden at the head of a wild woody dingle. It falls into a high basin, flows through a circular hole and drops into a small plunge pool, 1.5m deep, 5m across. There is a small tea room in hermitage above. This isn’t for the faint hearted or unfit as there are many steps. Entrance fee is £3 – to find out more about wild swimming at St.Nectan’s Kieve click here.

Pedn Vounder Sands

Perhaps the most beautiful beach in Cornwall. Framed by Logan’s Rock on one side and the Minack cliff-top theatre on the other, it’s a tricky scramble down, but at low tide off shore sand bars form with shallow lagoons which warm in the sun. Above there is a basic cliff top campsite with superb views – to find out more about wild swimming at Pedn Vounder Sands click here.

Golitha Falls

Beautiful stream of young river Fowey runs through ancient oak woodland. First 700m wide path provides access to shallows for paddling. At top of cascades rough tracks continue 200m down to shady secret plunge pool at bottom. Swim against the current. Golden sandy bottom. Don’t slip on rocks! A car park and toilet are accessible – to find out more about wild swimming at Golitha Falls click here.

wild swimming

Prussia Cove

Secluded and romantic with small coves of sand and shingle revealed at low tide. Prussia Cove has an olde-world poetic feel, famous as the home of the Carter family, smugglers in the 18th century, one of whom was known as the King of Prussia. Formerly called the King’s Cove, Prussia Cove is on the coast of Mount’s Bay to the east of Cudden Point.  No lifeguard cover, but surf rescue equipment located on the beach. Parking and toilets, with a 5 minute walk down an unmade track to the cove – to find out more about Prussia Cove click here.

 

Lansallos Bay

This is an enchanting walk, through woods and streams lined with bluebells and wild garlic in spring. As you reach the cove you’ll find a deep passage hewn from rocks where smugglers hauled up brandy and French lace contraband. The farm in the tiny village serves excellent organic cream teas – click here for more information about wild swimming at Lansallos Bay.

wild swimming

Robert Pittman, Flickr

(Information from this article was adapted from http://www.wildswimming.co.uk/).

 

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16 Reasons Why Cornwall Makes Us Happy

1. The Language

There aren’t many places in the world where you can expect everyone from the lady behind the till in the supermarket, to your postman to call you “my ‘andsom” or “my lover”, irrelevant of your appearance or relationship and that’s just how we like it.

2. The Cornish Pasty

It would be wrong not to mention this delicious pastry coated meat and vegetable delight, after all, it is our creation – A fast food to eat while on the move and packing its famous peppery punch. Gosh we love a good pasty and NO, you cannot get anything close outside of Cornwall.

Cornwall

 3. The Pace of Life

Probably the number one reason why city dwellers flock to Cornwall at every opportunity they have. Surrounded by sea, perhaps it’s the fresh air that keeps us in touch with what is actually important in life. Just relax, everything will be done dreckly.

4. How Everyone Knows Everyone

If they haven’t just moved here, chances are you will have five mutual friends on Facebook and you know their next door neighbour. We love that we can always expect to see friendly, familiar faces wherever we go.

Cornwall

5. The People

Here in Kernow, if you smile at a stranger in the street you’re not met with a scowl and secretly suspected of being an axe wielding maniac, a kind smile is returned and you’re sure to have made a passing friend. You never know, next time you see them they might just return your smile with “ALRIGHT”?

6. We are always on holiday

Surrounded by turquoise waters and breath-taking beaches, including a sneaky few which are yet to be discovered by tourists, it’s paradise on our front door. At this time of year, if the sun is shining and it’s a weekday, it’s not unusual for your footprints to be the only ones in the sand.

Cornwall

7. The Free Fun

If you grew up here, you should know that your parents probably saved a fortune. Yes, you did spend every sunny birthday on the beach with a party picnic – but wasn’t it great?

8.  We Always Have An Excuse When We’re Late

It was a tractor, scrap that, a tractor behind a bus… the road was closed because of a loose sheep, cows were crossing – the possibilities are endless.. ENDLESS. Plus they’re all absolutely believable… And 99% of the time they are actually true.

cornwall

9. The Incredible News

Stolen milk, slurry perverts, big cats, seagull attacks and our yet to be spotted resident Great White Shark (perhaps he’s hiding with Nessy?). There’s no other news like it.

10. The Magic

As the witch hotspot of England, it’s no surprise that Cornwall has mystical powers running through its water. From nighttime celebrations with horse skull masks to the wild moors and the Merry Maidens, this fascinating land has us under its spell. The Cornish calendar is full of festivals, from Port Eliot to Let Loose at Looe, so there’s always an opportunity to celebrate and share our vibrant art scene.

Cornwall

11. You Can Be You

No one blinks an eyelid if you have decided to dye your hair three shades of blue, or if it’s so matted you’ve tied it in ribbon on the top of your head. Seeing as you’re usually only a few miles from the beach, it’s also pretty acceptable not to wear shoes if you don’t fancy it.

12. The Weather

The Cornish weather is something that we can’t help but talk about at least once (or maybe four times) a day. It’s become a replacement for hello “Lovely day”, a reason to rant and its always a conversation starter… It’s probably the only place to have its own type of weather – mizzle – a cross between drizzle and mist. It may be pretty unpredictable, but hey, where else can you experience all four seasons in one day? And remember, when it’s good, it’s REALLY good. Oh and what’s with the hose pipe ban always being followed by torrential rain?!

Cornwall sunset

13. The Cornish Food & Drink

Whether it’s fresh fish landed at Newlyn harbour, fluffy homemade scones slathered in jam followed by a good dollop of clotted cream or a massive ice cream there’s no food that makes you happier! As for drink, Cornwall is packed with independent breweries from Penpont to Keltek and there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a pint of Cornish cyder when the sun’s out.

14. The Quiet

Cornwall is the perfect destination if you’re in need of escape. Whether it’s an empty stretch of beach or a large deserted field, wherever you are, you can head out for a stroll and make the most of simply being alone. Sometimes a chance to just be by yourself is all the happiness you need.

Cornwall gardens

15. Our Thriving Independence

Yes, some may see us as a little bit ‘behind the times’ but we’ll take a Cornish coffee at a beach hut cafe over a chain restaurant any day! Nothing makes us happier than discovering a new hidden Cornish gem. We love to embrace the unusual and support our varied high streets. We have our own wonderful selection of shops, restaurants and companies and we wouldn’t change it for the world!

16. We Can Truly Relax

Here in Cornwall we’re a trusting bunch. If the front door gets left unlocked we’re not seized by panic, we feel fine leaving the dog in the care of a stranger whilst we pop in to buy some milk and don’t worry about leaving our bags on the beach whilst we go for a dip in the ocean. We live in Cornwall after all, where the innocence of living in one of Britain’s last true communities is still alive.

 

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