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Christmas in Cornwall

Home is where the heat is

November 10, 2014 No Comments

Polwheveral - woodburner

Many of our cottages eschew central heating in favour of wood burning stoves or ‘wood burners’. Far more efficient than gas electric heating, lots of country folk with easy access to wood swear by their wood burners for heating their house and in some cases their water too.

As a guest in one of our holiday cottages, there’s something comforting about the whisper of air being dragged into the warming stove and the crackle of wood as you cosy up on the sofa in the evening. It’s second only to an open fire (we have those too!) but gives you far more heat around the house.

But keeping a fire going is a lot like having a pet in the house. It needs regular attention or it’s in danger of sulking or running amok. With careful maintenance though, the dedicated ‘stovie’ can sometimes get the stove to burn through the night, providing they’ve got the right wood and weather conditions.

A few tips on how to run the stove efficiently won’t replace reading the instructions, but they will give you a helping hand getting it going and keeping it lit.

Firstly, you need to make sure that the wood you are using is dry. Wet wood has a water-content somewhere between 65-90% and produces large amounts of tar and soot, which can lead to chimney fires. Don’t worry though, the logs we provide are all dried and seasoned for your heating pleasure.

This video shows you how to position your logs in the burner. The important thing to note is to use plenty of paper at the bottom of the stove.

Next, use thin sticks on top of the paper for kindling. Also, make sure you have all the vents open on the burner when lighting and to leave the door open until the fire takes hold. Once it has, fill the burner three quarters full with wood and close the door.

To get the fire really hot, leave the vents open for a short while to build up the heat, then half close the vents to slow the burn down.

So there you have it. All you have to do now is keep that fire going!

To be in with a chance of keeping that warmth going through the night, you need to have had the fire burning for a few hours before you go bed to build up a layer of ash on the bottom.

You also have to specially select the wood you are going to use for overnight burning. It will need to be wood of a fairly regular size and shape to enable you to get plenty in with minimal air gaps. Fill your burner right up.

Once filled, you should allow enough air to enter the burner until the smoke stops and the fire is up to temperature, then close all the vents and head up to bed. With any luck and if you’re an early riser, you will still have a few embers to wake up to.

Truro City of Lights 2014

October 17, 2014 No Comments

Truro City of Lights 2013-7

We’re not far now from this year’s City of Lights festival in Truro, where has time gone!

The wonderful hand made lanterns are paraded through the town, made by local schools, groups and businesses. It also marks the turning on of the city’s Christmas lights. There will be a market and lots of delicious street food to try!

This years theme is ‘Heroes’ so we’re all very excited to see what is produced. Highlights from last year must be T-Rex and the ballerina. The parade takes place on the 19th of November and starts at the earlier time of 6.30pm for 2014.

For more information visit their website.

Nautical chic on the Helford River

April 16, 2014 No Comments

East Wing - Sitting Room - Port Navas - Holiday Home - Cornwall - 4

The East Wing, Calamansac is situated within fifty acres of meadow garden and woodland and has two beaches and an ambience so magical you may never want to leave! Decoratively the sitting room has undergone a total refurbishment and the style we adopted is nautical chic. Cotton ticking curtains, sumptuous cushions and throws, plus bespoke, luxurious settee seating , a woodburner and a 40″ wall mounted TV creates a wonderfully relaxing space for a large group.

The East Wing sleeps 11-13 and is in Port Navas, near Falmouth and offers direct access to the Helford River. Dogs and children are welcome.

Truro City of Lights, a must see in the Cornish events calendar

November 21, 2013 No Comments
The impressive T-Rex lantern

The impressive T-Rex lantern

Last night was the 2013 Truro City of Lights, for many this marks the beginning of the Christmas period in Cornwall. This years theme was ‘expect the unexpected’ which didn’t really give anything away. Local schools, colleges and businesses joined together to make a large variety of different lanterns from a pregnant lady to a giant dinosaur. As always there was a brilliant atmosphere. Thank you to the organisers and everyone who made a lantern for making this event so brilliant for the public.

Truro City of Lights 2013-9 Truro City of Lights 2013-8 Truro City of Lights 2013-7 Truro City of Lights 2013-6 Truro City of Lights 2013-5 Truro City of Lights 2013-4 Truro City of Lights 2013-2 Truro City of Lights 2013

Our Favourite things to do at Christmas in Cornwall

October 24, 2013 No Comments

Here at Cornish Holiday Cottages we’ve been talking about what our favourite things to do in Cornwall at Christmas are! It may seem a bit early but with all the shops already geared up for Christmas and mince pies already being eaten, Christmas is sooner than you may think…

So here’s a little snippet of what we love about Christmas in Cornwall.


  • Nearly all of my Christmas’ have been in Cornwall and whilst I am lucky to be able to walk my dogs on one or other beach, everyday of the year,  the post Christmas dinner walk is a special one. The atmosphere is that bit more special and I am surrounded by my nearest and dearest in a place that I adore.
  • My children are young, (5 and 3), so Christmas is hugely exciting for them of course and it is impossible not to get caught up in this frenzy. Last year we saw Father Christmas row ashore onto Durgan beach on the Helford River – pure magic.
  • Lots of my friends left Cornwall for pastures new in their late teens, but at Christmas most return, so I love this time of year for catching up. You know what they say about old friends….



  • Last year we went for a walk around the coast to the beach at Prussia Cove on Christmas day, it was really beautiful and surprisingly busy!
  • Going to a midnight service at my local church, it’s lovely to see all the children getting excited about staying up late.
  • Playing a variety of card games around the table with all the family, my favourite thing about Christmas.



  • Christmas starts for me in Mylor my village, with the switching on, of the Christmas lights.  The village turn out in force to await Santa’s arrival then residents gather around the Christmas tree to join in singing some carols, for me this marks the start of the festivities.
  • A trip to Truro to visit their amazing “Christmas Victorian Market” held on Lemon Quay is a must, I can always find something a little different for gifts.  Usually produced or crafted locally.
  • Weather permitting Boxing Day is usually the day to get out and walk off some the of extra calorie intake.  A favourite of ours is to travel over to the North Coast, usually Gwithian and walk along the long sandy beach or on the cliff top.  At this time of year you can look down on a sheltered cove at Godrevy and if you are lucky spot the baby seal cubs venturing out with their mothers.  Hot chocolate and marshmallows is a must if the cafe is open.



  • Going to Rogue Theatre’s ‘Winter Wood’ at Tehidy, perfect for getting excited in the run up for Christmas.
  • Doing all my Christmas shopping at the markets, Truro Christmas market is a good one or Trebah Gardens.
  • Christmas baking! I don’t like mince pies so make jam tarts instead! And of course stained glass window biscuits to hang on the tree. I don’t do any of the cooking on Christmas day as my dad monopolises the kitchen so it’s good to do some before/after.
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