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Dog Friendly in Cornwall

A winter evening in Durgan on the Helford River

January 20, 2020 No Comments

As a winters day draws to a close, a hush envelops the Helford. The only sounds are those of waves rocking pebbles on the shore and a cormorant splashing as he catches dinner in the last of the light.

All year round, the hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River has an enchanting draw- nestled as it is against the water, cocooned by woodland. Durgan was originally a collection of fisherman’s cottages, and protected from over development by the hard work of the National Trust, it timelessly remains one of the most idyllic waterside villages in Cornwall with just 17 properties.

Guests staying at our cottages in Durgan often regale us with stories of swims before bed or of taking their morning coffee down to the water, enjoying the peace and quiet before the day ahead.

Upriver from Durgan you’ll find the villages of Helford Passage and Helford, along with various inlets and creeks like Frenchman’s Creek, made famous by Daphne Du Maurier in her novel of the same name.

On a clear evening the crisp light that you only see in winter makes marvels out of the everyday, and even things like lobster-pots become beautiful. The waters of the Helford River run clear even in the winter.

The occasional walker will pass by with a nod and a smile as if to say ‘we are both here, both so lucky’… and aren’t we just.

Holidays on the Helford River are inspiring and rejuvenating all year round. To see our cottages in Durgan, click here and start planning your holiday to this beautiful and secluded part of Cornwall.

Ideas for dog friendly days out in Cornwall

June 21, 2019 No Comments

The Falmouth and Helford River area of Cornwall is the perfect place for a day out with your dog and these tips are bound to get tails wagging. In celebration of today being ‘bring your dog to work day’, we’re championing everyday as bring your dog on holiday day! With over 50 dog-friendly properties in the portfolio of Cornish Holiday Cottages and with our resident doggy experts on duty, we’re well qualified to advise you on the very best days out with you and your beloved pet in Cornwall!

Beaches

We are spoilt for choice with beautiful beaches in Cornwall. Long stretches of golden sand with clear waters line the coast. But come the summer, many of them become off limits to our hairy companions.

Luckily, the waters of the Helford are full of little coves and beaches which are dog-friendly all year round. You and your dog can scamper to your hearts content along the 2,000 foot long stretch of sand at Prisk Cove, or the sheltered cove of Port Saxon. Grebe Beach near Mawnan Smith is perfect for a spot of sunbathing, and for a swim with your pet.

Pubs

We Cornish folk have a soft spot for our dogs and our pubs, so we love being able to combine the two with the welcoming dog-friendly places to eat and drink in Cornwall. We love the Pandora Inn outside Mylor near Falmouth, where dogs are welcome to sit outside with owners on a pontoon stretching out onto the water.
The Ferryboat on the banks of the River Helford in the village of Helford Passage is another marvelous option for drinking and dining with your dog in tow. Dogs are allowed inside and outside of the restaurant.
If looking out onto the ocean and the beautiful Gyllyngvase beach in Falmouth at sunset appeals, dinner on the terrace at the award winning Gylly Beach café is an absolute must. With outdoor heating and blankets on standby, it’s cosy for everyone even as dusk settles and the moon rises over the ocean.

Walks

The South West coast path. Need we say a single word more? So much of beautiful Cornwall is accessible to walkers via the footpath that hugs the coastline, taking in all of what makes this part of the world truly magic. Walk with your dog along the Roseland Heritage Coast for wonderful views of the sea, or along the Lizard peninsular for dramatic cliffs. The Penwith Heritage Coast provides all the drama and mystery of Poldark country. Not to mention the gentle lanes and pretty paths that criss-cross all along the Helford and Falmouth area. You and your dog will find that there is so much scenery to explore, you’ll simply have to come back year after year to see it all!

Shopping

Sometimes we just need a bit of retail therapy. Here is where the harbourside market town of Falmouth comes into its own. A farmers market on Falmouth Moor every Tuesday, and a market on a Saturday provide ample opportunity. Browse for music at Jam in Falmouth, or search through tomes for a ‘tail’ to read at the dog-friendly Beerwolf Books.

On the Water

Visitors come from far and wide to Cornwall in order to delight in being on the water. With ferries to get from A to B in leisurely style or for a scenic sightseeing trip with your dog, catch one of the many boats departing from Falmouth pier. Perhaps you’ll be bound for a beautiful trip up the Helford river, or set for a lovely day out in beautiful St Mawes for ice cream and fish and chips.

Attractions

Trelissick House and Garden is a dream day out for dogs and owners. Whilst our four-legged friends might not be permitted within the main House and Gardens of this spectacular historical estate on the banks of the River Fal just outside of Falmouth, there are dog walking opportunities aplenty in the acres and acres of historical woodland and meadows. After a scamper around, the wonderful courtyard café has sheltered seating outdoors for you and your best friend to enjoy a cream tea.
The Cornish Seal Sanctuary on the Helford in Gweek allows dogs on leads, so curious pooches can finally get a glimpse of the marine life within the blue waters of the Cornish coast.
Pendennis Castle in Falmouth is run by English Heritage, and allows dogs on leads both indoors and outdoors. With exhibitions on the Tudor history of Cornwall, along with fascinating insights into our maritime past. Great views are to be found from over the battlements to Falmouth bay and the mouth of the river Fal (smaller dogs might need to be picked up to appreciate the views!)

We hope this gives you some idea of just a few wonderful things you and your dog can get up to on your holiday in Cornwall. Don’t forget to browse our pet friendly properties to find a place to snuggle up after your busy days out!

Canine escapades in dog-friendly Falmouth

March 1, 2019 No Comments

Loyal and ever present, my boys and I venture into Falmouth town several times a week to run errands, grab a coffee (me not them) and do some shopping.

Mostly we go the ‘long way round’ and head to Gyllyngvase Beach for a scamper on the beach (them not me – although it has been known!) and we meander our way across the rocks at low tide to Castle Beach. Marvin likes to chase the birds, although at only five months old his lack of sure foot means he some times ends up submerged in a rock pool! Mingo, the Spanish street dog rescue, now aged 6, stays close and together we navigate the textures and variances of the rock below us. What is it that is so satisfying and life affirming about clambering the rocks on low tide? Is it that the ebb and flow of the tide uncovers delights each time it does its thing, or that there’s only a certain window in each 24 hours where access is possible and the knowledge that in just a few hours, all will be at one with the sea again.  Whatever it is we are there, breathing in the essence of the sea and the life force energy.

From Castle Beach we head back along the road a little, passing Port Pendennis Harbour village and the Events Square at Discovery Quay, also the home of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. First stop has to be Espressini for what is undoubtedly the best ‘Flat White’ Falmouth has to offer. (For convenience there is an Espressini at either end of town). I perch on a high stool in the window, with the former, iconic Harbour Commissioners building opposite. Now a pizza/pie/cider restaurant, The Stable; here you and your four legged can delight in some carbs (or a salad if you must) on the ground floor and adjacent to the harbour and Customs House Quay. 

Nearly every trip to Falmouth includes grabbing some provisions from the Natural Store. Organic fruit and vegetables, delicious yoghurts, vegetarian delights and the best chocolate selection in town means I often come out with more than I intended. Mingo and Marvin reside on the front step outside tethered to the dog hook. As I tie them up I pray a postman won’t pass!

Lunch plays out at Good Vibes; Daniel Rossiter and his partner Jade make a brilliant duo. Daniel creates nutritious culinary delights and is always pushing the boundaries with the vegan and gluten free options. Mingo and Marv munch on a homemade doggy biscuit under the table, on high alert for any other scraps that might follow.

As we walk, we meet and greet many, such is the world of dog lovers and friendly Falmouth folk.

Summer in Cornwall

January 30, 2018 No Comments

 

I’ll be 40 this year and with a young family, I am often caught trying to emulate my magical childhood summers spent on beaches on the Helford River. Of all that I can remember of being little, these are by far the strongest recollections I have.

The smell of freshly caught mackerel cooking on a barbeque instantly transports me back to those long, light evenings on Grebe beach, where a group of friends and I would be skimming stones and clambering boundlessly on the rocks, while the adults would languish on rugs on the beach and sup on red wine and get that little bit louder as the evening went on.

My Mum, partner, brother, dogs and I would spend the afternoon slipping and sliding on the shingly beach, splashing about in the clear blue sea and relishing in each other’s company, with not a care in the world. As daylight fell a crowd would form, a bonfire would be lit and the delicious treats would start to be cooked. Oh how I still love now, to be under the starlit sky, with flip-flops, damp hair and a cosy sweater – with my skin glowing from the heat of the day.

What gives me most pleasure now though is to create these moments for my children (10 and 7), who in a digitally challenged world, are transported to the same off the grid world on the Helford, where there’s little mobile signal, limited 4G and the only things that matter are life’s simple pleasures and our beautiful, natural world.

A few crab lines and a pack of bacon provides hours of entertainment, whoops of delight and unadulterated joy for small people. Sure I remember grumbling as a child, about having to walk back up to the car, but I think that was more about not wanting the evening to end.

So here’s to many more warm beach days with our loved ones. Magic.

Exploring the Helford on foot

August 25, 2017 No Comments

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Come rain or shine the Helford amplifies all the brilliance of a perfect Cornish walk.

This is the county’s coastal scenic splendour at its best. All routes are well-signed and lead to picture-perfect locations, whether woodland or by the water.

Tiny hamlets, time almost at a standstill, pebbly beaches and sandy shoreline, plus rockpools and rocky outcrops to explore. Shells and all manner of splendid distractions, it’s a feast for the eyes, picturesque and easy on the foot.

Take your time, stop, look and listen. You’ll see, hear and feel the natural beauty, the sweeping curves, the treeline edges of the Helford River and the glistening seascape. Calm or storm, there’s nothing to compare with a walk by the sea.

Fascinating houses in picturesque, ‘chocolate box’ villages like Durgan and wildlife in abundance. Tiny tracks and trails giving hints of the plentiful nocturnal activity.

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Sweeping to the shoreline, natural garden mixed with planted perfection of Trebah and Glendurgan.

And always a buzz, put-put of tiny boat engines, yachts and boats at anchor dotted about. In the creeks at higher tide all’s awash with hustle and bustle. Fish jumping, boats bobbing and waves lapping. Low tide brings its wealth of wonder too. Perfect for ‘Swallows and Amazons’ playtime as children skim stones and small dogs pant as barbecues sizzle at the waterside.

Mostly sheltered from the ravages of wind and tide, it’s an excellent place and space for on and off the water. There’s nothing like walking round then taking a boat trip to see the ‘other side’.

This is postcard-perfect Cornwall, where holiday memories are made. This makes all the things we have do to get here… worthwhile.

Here’s one of our favourite Helford River walks:

Mawnan Church to the Ferry Boat Inn, Helford Passage

Park at the pretty church at the end of Church Lane just outside the village of Mawnan Smith. From here walk through the kissing gate and into the sweeping field down towards the Helford River onto Parson’s Beach. A gentle stroll for about an hour along the coast path pass Porth Saxon, Grebe Rock and on to the tiny fishing village of Durgan, like stepping back in time. Carry on along the coastpath past Trebah Gardens and onto the Helford Passage.

Here, you can reward yourself at the family run Ferry Boat Inn. Take a seat in the pub’s outside terrace and enjoy homemade pub classics, whilst drinking in the view, ready for your return journey back.

View Helford River Cottages.

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A Winter Picnic with Cornish Maid

February 9, 2017 No Comments

Whether it’s the weekend or you are on holiday, nothing beats that feeling of not having to get up at the crack of dawn! After a lazy morning, it’s time to head out the door for some much-needed time in the great outdoors…

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Falmouth is close to the beaches and the countryside and offers endless things for a family to do whatever the weather. Today it’s time to go walking in one of our favourite spots: the Helford river.

 

Just a short drive from Falmouth is Mawnan Smith: a quiet, friendly village, complete with all the amenities you might need. Nestled within the heart of the village is a lovely, friendly cafe called ‘Cornish Maid’. It’s the perfect spot to sit and relax with a hot brew and piece of cake while watching the village comings and goings. They also make ready-to-go picnic hampers, which suited us perfectly today. We love nothing more than a hearty picnic, especially one that’s been lovingly prepared for us. A picnic in winter you might say? As long as you’re wrapped up with appropriate weather gear, you can enjoy it whatever the weather. Somehow food always seems to taste better al fresco and after a long walk, feels very much deserved!

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A short hop down the road by car, we park at Bosveal, ‘The National Trust’ car park.

We tog up: hats, scarves, gloves, baby slings and raincoats (always prepare for every weather eventuality in Cornwall!). Daddy has the picnic, I have the baby and the eldest little nipper has disappeared off into the woods to search for bears!

 

Off we stomp – through the woods, past the cows, down a well-trodden path until we reach our favourite destination: Grebe beach!  We timed it just right – low tide – so there was plenty of space to run around, throw stones, build a sand-castle and find a good spot to set up camp for the afternoon. The ten minute walk is perfect for little legs.

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After our beach fun it was time to re-fuel and tuck into our picnic: a delicious hamper full of tasty and satisfying treats! The family hamper, for 2 adults and 2 children, more than filled us up with its delicious selection of fresh vegetarian sandwiches, tasty homemade cakes and Cornish biscuits. It took away the hassle of having to pack a picnic and the kids loved the surprise of not knowing what was in the hamper!

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After our filling picnic, it was time to sit back and relax while the kids occupied themselves. It is such a wonderful place to just stop and totally immerse ourselves in nature; the rugged tree-lined coastline running parallel to fields of cows, the gentle lapping of water, seaweed-covered rock pools and hundreds of pretty shells and pebbles along the shoreline to keep the kids occupied. “Treasure Mummy!’”, my four-year-old excitedly exclaims, when he discovers some glistening sea glass by his feet.

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We had a lovely afternoon spent in a beautiful place. That’s the beauty of Cornwall – no matter what time of year, if you go exploring, you can always find a peaceful spot to escape to. Each season brings its own, unique sights, smells and sounds. During the summer the stunning beaches would have you believe you’re in the mediterranean. Come the quieter winter months, the rugged beauty of steel-grey seas and deserted wind-swept beaches never fail to impress!

 

 

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A foggy morning at Durgan, Helford River

January 3, 2017 No Comments

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Bluebells at Calamansac

May 14, 2016 No Comments

One of our favourite times of year… the stunning display of Bluebells at Calamansac. The 50 acre estate on the Helford springs to life in May with incredible carpets of blue. Here are some photos from the estate from this week..

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Cottages with an outdoor shower

April 14, 2016 No Comments

 

The sun’s out, it’s a perfect day for the beach, but you only own one wetsuit. And it’s wet. Most probably because you spent yesterday playing in the surf and plan on spending tomorrow the same way. It’s a recurring problem for Cornish Holiday Cottages.

 

Dragging a cold, damp wetsuit over your limbs is not going to inspire a love of the sea in anyone. While us adults might be able to suck it up, children are definitely not going to be enamoured by a clammy neoprene clamour. A soggy wetsuit takes ages to wiggle into and immediately gives you the chills.

 

The other option is to have a family’s worth of wetsuits hanging up in the bathroom and a bath or shower full of sand underneath. Those wetsuits need a good rinsing after being in the sea to keep them at their best and the bath is a good place to give them a good dowsing – this does tend to lead to clogged drains though.

 

Of course, there are better places to prep your swim wear. In fact, the thought of all that outside inside, dirtying up the sinks and tiles will give some people nightmares; especially dragged through by tiny feet. But that shouldn’t let that temper your love of being outside and some of our holiday cottage owners feel exactly the same way, having created designated wetsuit washing, drying and storing.

Carrick Treath.Feock.Holiday home (41 of 75)

Carrick Treath is the perfect home for the water sport lover. It’s south facing bedrooms and dining room offer an unparalleled view of the glistening Carrick Roads. And at the bottom of the garden there’s Loe Beach and Loe Water Sports centre for all your sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding requirements. Back at the property there’s a wet room with a double shower for washing the beach from yourself and plenty of airy space to hang your suit.

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Chy-An-Dour sits on the banks of the Helford Estuary and whether you’ve been surfing over on the north coast, or are scampering back from the river after a paddle , the heated outdoor shower will expunge the sand and salt from children, dogs or swimwear, before using the washing line to dry out your gear ready for tomorrow .

Roseladen Cottage. Falmouth. holiday (103 of 104)

Roseladen Cottage’s cosy living room and large kitchen make it the perfect spot for couples on a surfing holiday. Attached to the side of this idyllic farm cottage is an outdoor drying area with hooks for hanging wetsuits and space for dunking buckets, wellies and muddy leads. Set at the top of an idyllic country valley and a stone’s throw from Falmouth, you may find you spend so much time exploring what’s on your doorstep, you never actually make it up to the north coast.

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Primrose Cottage’s new porch includes an outdoor heated shower perfect for washing down you, your dog and your wetsuit. Just inside the porch you will then find the utility room with plenty of space to hang your wet gear up to dry for the next day. Then you can cuddle up by the Aga for a hot chocolate after your days adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

Porthtowan Minehouses

March 14, 2016 No Comments

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You might find it hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner. Despite the mild chill that’s still in the air, we’ve already been taking advantage of the bright sunny days that are being sent our way. Last weekend, when the grey clouds lifted we took ourselves to Porthtowan, a small town nestled within some of the most stunning coastline that our fine county has to offer.

The remains of the mining industry dot the landscape as you drive towards Porthtowan. Like scars on the landscape, chimneys stand like bare trees on the hillsides. It’s an area steeped in mining heritage.

 

Porthtowan itself fighting against the tumbling dunes that continually blow through the town. As we got closer to the car park we found half the road and pavement completely covered with sand. It’s all part of its charm.

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On the beach families and dog walkers stretched their legs and splashed around in the sand.
But our mission wasn’t to stroll on the beach. We we’re heading East, up the steep assent from the beach and onto the coastal path.

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As we came to the brow of the next headland and stood high above Chapel Porth beach, the reason for our visit made itself known above.
The remains of Wheal Coates, or more accurately Towanroath engine house, will be familiar as the image that graces a thousand postcards, but nothing beats the real thing.
Wheal Coates mine was opened in 1802 and miners worked in its tunnels up to 1889. Towanroath Engine House was built in 1872 to drain the seeping sea water from the 600 feet deep mine shaft.
What if this was the view from your work window?
In reality, the 138 men of the mine were working in tough conditions. The fragile mineshafts extended far beyond the shore line. As storms raged, miners could hear huge boulders being dragged across the seabed which was only feet above their heads.

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Next, we took a short scramble up the hill to two more engine houses: the Stamps and Whim engine houses. They were used to hoist and crush tin ore from the shaft below. As you walk around this site the remains of an old boiler pond can be seen. There’s also a calciner, where the ore was roasted at hight temperatures to drive out impurities – in this case arsenic.
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As we turned around to head back to Porthtowan we caught sight of the ocean spray rising over the coastline (and met a friendly dog bounding towards us.
On our return we tumbled into Porthtowan’s famous Blue Bar for a much needed refreshment. Roll on the rest of spring!

 

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