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Child Friendly Cornwall

Safe at Home Activities For Easter Weekend

April 8, 2020 No Comments

We know more than anyone how disappointing it is not to be able to go on holiday this Easter. We’ve done our best to think of a few things that might help to keep you and your family entertained while you stay safe at home.

Below you’ll find a few ideas of how to while away the long weekend, from creative crafts to tasty cookery. Why not download and print the activity pack using the button below, and spend the weekend offline? We’d love to see how you get on, so please share your attempts at any of these activities over at @cornishholidays on Instagram, or @CornishHolidayCottages on Facebook.

This Easter lets also take a moment to think about our older and perhaps more isolated friends and family, giving them calls to check in on their health and sharing a few laughs along the way.

Wishing you and your family a very happy Easter. Stay well and and have fun.

Love, Emily and the CHC team x

What’s in bloom?

Easter is the time when Spring really gets it’s groove on. We’d love to know what you can spot growing outdoors.

Play eye-spy with us and see if you can catch a glimpse of any of these spring flowers from your window, garden or on your walks this weekend. We’ve included the Latin names here, see if you can learn them and impress those around you!

  • Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora)
  • Primrose (Primula Vulgaris)
  • Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
  • Daffodil (Narcissus)

How to pull off the best egg hunt…

We asked our in-house Easter ‘eggs-pert’ Rosie (aged 10 and a bit) to share her top tips for an egg-hunt in the house or garden.

Rosie’s guide to egg hunts

  • Don’t put them where dogs can get to them.
  • Put them in a shady space so that they don’t melt.
  • Remember where you hide the eggs otherwise you might not be able to find them again.
  • Don’t buy the eggs too small or they will be very tricky to find.*
  • Buy fair trade wherever possible.

*Parents heed caution with this particular tip… we suspect it may be a clever ruse for even more chocolate this Easter…

Make an embossed fish ornament…

This easy little craft can be made with just a few things that you might already have in your kitchen! Use an empty tube of tomato purée to make this lovely little fish to hang inside your home. If your tube of puree is full, perhaps making this is the perfect excuse to have pizza for dinner…

What you’ll need…

  • An empty purée tube
  • A pair of scissors
  • A spoon
  • A biro
  • Someone to help you if you are young (or clumsy)

How to do it…

Take your empty tube of purée and carefully cut off the top and the bottom (you might need someone responsible to help you with the sharp edges)

Cut one of the long edges of the tube so that you can unfold it into a flat piece. Rinse it and you’ll see the inside is golden! Using the back of a spoon smooth it out all nice and flat.

Print out or copy our drawing of a fish and using a biro trace around the outline on top of the metal. You’ll see the outline transfer to the metal. Carefully cut out the fish shape.

Smooth your shape down with a spoon again and go over the template again to add some detail. Make sure you put in an eye, some scales, and the detail in the fins!

Finally, make a hole in the fish and tie on some string. Your ‘golden’ fish is ready to hang pride of place, or to dangle over your veg patch to protect seedlings.

Bake an Easter cake

A tasty way to spend time at home this Easter, we’ve adapted this recipe from one we found on BBC Good Food. You might already have some of these ingredients lying around at home. For this recipe you’ll need…

For the cake

  • 200ml vegetable oil
  • 250g plain flour
  • 6tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 280g soft brown sugar
  • 250ml milk (add 1tbsp lemon juice to this before you begin)
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

For the frosting…

  • 150g butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 4tbsp milk

Method

Heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Oil and line two round cake tins (about 20cm wide is best). Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb, sugar and a large pinch of salt to a bowl. Whisk it all up and squeeze any big lumps of sugar through your fingers. You should end up with a mix a bit like sand.

Add a spoonful of lemon juice to the milk, and after waiting about 5 or so minutes whisk the oil with the milk in a jug. Stir in the vanilla and eggs, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until there are no more streaks. Split the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 10 mins, then transfer to wire racks to cool down.

To make the icing, beat the butter, cocoa, icing sugar and milk together until smooth, adding a splash more milk if it’s still to thick. Stacking the sponges with icing in between, topping with more icing. For an extra touch, put some chocolate or mini-eggs on top!

Colour-in Cornwall

Oh dear, it looks as though someone left their stargazey pie out on the table, and it’s been spotted by a hungry cat. Save the image below to print off to colour in. We’d love to see some grown-ups have a go with this too!

We hope you all have a lovely Easter at home, and have fun with these activities.

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.

Bonfire Night

November 1, 2017 No Comments

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Bonfire night, dragging us away from the warmth of our homes and out into the starry night.

There is always such a lovely atmosphere no matter where you are. In Falmouth there is a large bonfire with fire works at the Cricket Club, organised by the Falmouth Fire Fighters. For a smaller affair The Ferry Boat Inn have their fireworks on the beach, this year they promise sweet treats including toffee apples – yum.

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Returning home to a delicious meal always helps after all that fun, and there are lots of interesting meal ideas for bonfire night. Jamie Oliver’s smokey baked beans are sure to warm the cockles, and don’t forget the marshmallows for the fire, why not try making you own this year with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe.

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Family half term fun come rain or shine!

October 19, 2017 1 Comment

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The October half term holiday will soon be upon us and the children are desperate for a break from school.  We’re big fans on getting outside and love rounding the children up and taking them on an adventure in the fresh air.

We know there’s no guarantee with the weather but don’t let the rain spoil your plans. A rainy day doesn’t have to mean sitting inside trying to wrestle screens from the families’ hands.

A bracing rainy coastal walk can be an exhilarating experience but may not appeal to young children or teens. So, here is our guide to Family Rainy Days Out. You’ll find inspiration for local attractions to visit and cheaper/free suggestions too.

Many museums are undercover and free to enter. Museums can provide memorable, immersive learning experiences and these days, many of them have interactive exhibits and hands-on play activities so children can take ownership of their own learning and develop and explore at their own curiosities.

Have you taken the children out on rainy days? Let us know your favourite rainy days out in a comment below!

Raze The Roof– Fantastic indoor soft play area in Penryn. http://razetheroof.co.uk/

Granite Planet – Climbing centre http://www.gpclimbing.com

Eden Project – provides many undercover places to enjoy. Roald Dahl’s Halloweden is a must visit this half-term  http://www.edenproject.com/

National Maritime Museum – Lots of summer activities & performances at the fascinating and inspiring maritime museum https://nmmc.co.uk/

Mounthawk Skatepark– Indoor skateboarding, scooting and BMX playground. https://www.mounthawkeskatepark.com/

Tate St Ives – Visit the iconic Tate St Ives gallery situated overlooking the Atlantic ocean. http://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-st-ives

One to Eleven -This is a great indoor play area for one to eleven-year olds which is open 360 days of the year. http://www.one2eleven.co.uk/

Crabbing Spots– Ferry Boat Inn Pontoon, Mylor Harbour, Port Navas Quay, The Pandora Inn.

 

 

Easter Fun in Cornwall

March 7, 2017 No Comments

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Our little darlings are soon breaking up from school; Easter is the perfect time to get away, kick back and relax – it’s time to go on holiday.

With the daffodils blooming and crocuses appearing, Cornwall’s mild climate is the perfect place to soak up some spring warmth and have some fun as a family on any one of Falmouth’s three sandy beaches.

To tempt you a little more, we are offering a 20% discount* on all full week bookings over Easter so it’s the perfect time to head for the coast! (* Quote ‘blog03’ on booking to be eligible for 20% off a week’s stay)

Once you’ve chosen your fabulous seaside holiday home, it’s time to pack a bag and hit the road. Don’t forget your wetsuit!

Once you’ve arrived here, you’ll instantly feel at home. (Ninety per cent of our cottages are second homes and as such ooze personality, charm and home comforts).

It’s time to go exploring! Why not share some of the special Easter traditions that you enjoyed as a child. I always make ‘Easter gardens’, so it’s off to collect some greenery, daffs, wild flowers and pebbles. Having an exciting end goal in mind is always encouraging for little legs – sourcing plants and bark is half the fun, then back home to make a little garden with the treasured finds.

It’s time to play! Off to the beach, trusty flask and Easter cake in the bag, along with the important glistening golden goodies which will soon be hidden, found and readily enjoyed. The children have been looking forward to this holiday for many weeks and now it’s here; even the dog is excited!

Once at the beach, Mum keeps the children occupied skimming stones across the mill-pond water, while Dad goes off to lay the treasure for the hunt. Something you may think about and plan for days is often over in moments but look at the joy that is spread across the children’s faces as they find a golden egg hidden under a stone or beside a rock pool! Once found, all the eggs are placed carefully in a bucket and then readily enjoyed. The Easter Egg hunt is a huge success!

So when did the popular Easter egg hunt originate?  It is believed that Easter eggs go back thousands of years and are largely a pagan tradition. Hunting for eggs date back to the 1700s when it was believed there was an egg-laying hare. Children were encouraged to build nests for the hare to lay in and then search for the eggs it left behind.  The tradition stuck and now children all over the world go hunting in anticipation of finding chocolate eggs each Easter.

Sound like fun to you? There are some fabulous family Easter egg hunts and events for all the family happening in and around Falmouth this Easter.

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Glendurgan Gardens, Mawnan Smith 14th-17th April are offering Easter egg hunts for young children in the Olive Grove and older children in their beautiful gardens.

Trebah Gardens, Mawnan Smith 11th and 13th April are holding Easter workshops for the children to make their own Easter nest, plus a special Easter lunch on Easter day (pre-booking required).

Pendennis Castle, Falmouth 3rd to 23rd April have ‘Pirates ahoy’ fun for all the family!

Trelissick, Truro 14th-17th April have a Cadburys Easter egg hunt through the gardens with a chocolate prize at the end!

Flambards, Helston 1st – 23rd April have Easter activities throughout the holidays including a Victorian Easter quiz trail and a grand Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday!

‘Wild Spring Hare’ play with Rogue Theatre, Tehidy Woods 7th – 17th April. An adventure set in the woods amongst bluebells and birds which the whole family will love. (photo above)

After all that exploring, now it is time to eat. 

Get stocked up with all your essentials in the large variety of great shops in Falmouth offering artisan bread, organic vegetables, freshly-caught fish, local meat and a fabulous health food shop full of cooking ingredients.

For your tasty Easter meal, there are a large choice of cafes and restaurants in Falmouth which offer something for everyone’s taste, whatever time of day. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a Cornish pasty on the Prince of Wales Pier, while watching boats bob about in the harbour, or purchasing some fish and chips from Harbour Lights (recently voted Britain’s best fish and chip shop) and eating them on the beach. Finish it off with a Cornish Roskilly’s ice cream at Gylly Beach Café.

It’s time to get creative and decorate some eggs! This delightful artistic activity is an age-old tradition. I remember my mother annually bringing out the precious box of eggs decorated from previous years; some a little faded and cracked but this only adding to the beauty. All you need are some hand blown eggs and whatever you fancy decorating them with. You can use paints, natural dyes (beetroot, cabbage, turmeric or onion) or food colourings. Get experimenting with crayons, sponges, rubber bands or string to create pretty patterns. Once done, why not hang them up on a branch you’ve collected from the woods (some thread on a match stick works well) to enjoy over Easter.

Now for the sweet treats! Getting the little ones involved in the kitchen is a great rainy day afternoon activity. This super-simple, delicious recipe for peanut butter-filled chocolate eggs is a winner every time, plus the children will love getting their hands all chocolatey!

 

Peanut Butter filled Chocolate Easter Eggs

 

Equipment required:

•              Egg moulds

 

Ingredients for filling:

•              3/4 cup peanut butter

•              2 tablespoons coconut oil

•              1 teaspoon vanilla extract

•              1/2 teaspoon maple syrup/honey

 

Ingredients for coating:

•              1 cup chocolate

•              2 tablespoons coconut oil

 

Recipe:

 

To make the filling:

•              In a small pan melt the peanut butter, honey and coconut oil together then stir in the vanilla until mixed well.

•              Pour the mixture into egg moulds and freeze for an hour.

•              Remove and leave to one side.

 

To make the coating:

•              Melt the chocolate and coconut oil over a hot pan of water until it’s well mixed then pour into the egg moulds.

•              Place the peanut butter eggs in the chocolate, pressing down so the chocolate covers the eggs.

•              Place in the fridge to set for half an hour.

 

All ingredients can be sourced locally from The Natural Store in Falmouth.

 

 

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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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Christmas in Cornwall – What matters?

September 8, 2016 No Comments

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Every family has different ideas of the perfect Christmas. From sitting around a large dining table with all the gang, to a walk on the beach, or playing monopoly in the comfy living room. Lots of people like to make the most of the time off work and get away, for many that means a trip to Cornwall. There is nothing like a dip in the sea on Christmas morning (no wet suits allowed) before you tuck into your turkey.

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We’ve got something for every one, from cosy cottage for two complete with log burner to decadent house by the sea to fit all the family. The girls in the office know all our properties well, tell them what is important to you and we will help you find that perfect property to help make Christmas 2016 a gooden.

Try us on 01326 250339

Cottages with family dining areas

June 9, 2016 No Comments

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When you’ve got all your friends and family in one place meal times bring the whole group together. It’s the one time of the day when everyone is in the same place at the same time.

 

Even when you’re all inhabiting one area children, husbands and wives can end up as disparate satellites, remembering how to play together or talking shop. Some people wander the shops of Truro, others hit the beach for a surf lesson and yet another group zoom off to the Tate St Ives.

 

Everyone has to eat. Not only do we have to eat, but if you ask us at Cornish Holiday Cottages, it’s one of life’s pleasures. While smart phones and tablets have given us connections to the rest of the human race, meal times bring us closer to our own clan.

 

The Italian’s have it right. Family meals are epic undertakings spanning afternoons and evenings, often stretching long into the night. If you’ve been invited round for an Italian lunch or dinner you can cancel anything else you have planned for the day. Yes, the food is great and hours upon hours of preparation have gone into it, but the secret ingredients are family, friends and good conversation. They are multi-generational affairs where grandchildren and grandparents learn to converse together, the source of family in jokes and the time when you realise that yes, there’s nothing like mum’s home cooking.

 

Many of our best holiday memories centre around dinner tables. There’s the time we all watched a cousin end up covered in chocolate mousse, or an auntie have a few too many Chardonnays and spill some embarrassing stories about our parents. Or the time we made a Thai curry that was far too spicy everyone…but Granny went back for seconds.

 

They can be stressful affairs, especially for those in the kitchen but the effort is worth it when you see everyone sat round the table together. Amidst the hubris of our busy lives, mealtimes unite us.

 

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Wills Cottage

The huge, open-plan kitchen and dining area has space for everyone. Push open the two south facing patio doors to let the summer breeze through, or bring everyone outside to unwind in the summer sun. Two huge patio tables can be pushed together for family style dining and the garden opens out onto sixteen acres of south facing garden and fields, ending up at the Helford River.

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Ridifarne

Ridifarne’s old style country kitchen can really take you away from it all. Although the Ferryboat Inn is only a couple of hundred metres down the road, you’d be foolish not to play with their Aga. With a dedicated dining room with views over the river Helford, getting the whole family round the table, away from electronic devices is no problem whatsoever.

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Roseladen House

A large Georgian fireplace dominates Roseladen’s dining room. Cosy in the winter, bright and airy in the summer with a fabulous woodland view.

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Calamansac East Wing

If you love spending time in the kitchen, East Wing is the place to be. Spacious seems too stuffy a word: you could film a BBC food show in there and sit the whole crew round the table.

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Calamansac West Wing
A giant round table sits in the middle of West Wing’s dining area. There’s no table end to put anyone at the head of, orchestrating conversation and affirming family hierarchy. It’s a pure joy for the jumble of family dining.

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Trolver

Trolver’s dining room opens out on a rear garden through beautiful French doors. At its centre is a weighty country style table that sits eight.

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Helford Point

Part of Helford Point’s pulling power is its position on the Cornish coast path. So expect to sat round the table with weary legs. This kitchen diner has got everything you need to whip up a family meal and have the whole family joining in before sitting round the solid oak table that sits in the centre.

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The Garage

A stunning hand crafted dining table with built in bench and beautiful views of the Port Navas creek. Perfect for the whole gang – seating 15!

 

 

 

Helford River Wildwatch: June

May 27, 2016 No Comments

Helford River Wildwatch: June with Hetty Wildblood,

Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises (business supporters of Cornwall Wildlife Trust)

 

At long last summer really feels like it is on its way. The trees are in full bloom bright green ancient brightening up the banks of the Helford River and creeks. The wildlife is blooming too here’s what to look out for on the Helford River and Creeks in June:

Heron, Polwheveral Creek - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Herons:

The heron colony on Polwheveral Creek. Herons sit up in the tree tops of Merthwn Woods, just before Polpenwith Creek, scrawking at eachother as they fly between the branches. They can also been seen on the ancient oak tree lined banks of Frenchman’s Creek made infamous by Daphne du Marier’s novel of the same name.

Little Egret on the banks of Frenchman's Creek - Koru Kayaking

Egrets:

Little egrets, their bright white feathers so clean despite living on the creeks which become mud flats at low tide have been quite scarce earlier in the year, but with the wamer weather more can be sighted on the banks and in the trees along Port Navas and Frenchman’s Creek.

Cuttlefish and Mussels on the banks of the Helford River - Koru Kayaking

Cuttlefish:

A growing number of cuttlefish, glamped to the mylor slate that form the banks of the Helford River are proving very popular with the Herring Gulls.

 

Mussels:

As the tide ebbs the exposed mylor slate shows the hundreds of fat mussels that line the banks of the Helford River. Completely natural, they grow lovely blue / black clumps, safe for another year as old folklore states that can only be picked on Good Friday!

 

Duckings:

Always lovely sight to see the mallards followed by a long line of their little ducklings a regular sight in June on Frenchman’s Creek

Cormorant on buoy, Helford River - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Cormorants:

Their jet black oily wings can be seen stretching their wings and drying them out on the buoys in the river before they drive down again to catch if. Fun to watch these amaing birds who can swim to depths of () and for distances of upto (). A fun sight to see them dive under and watch where they pop up on a Helford River Cruise or Frenchman’s Creek Koru Kayak Adventure.

Kestrel, Helford River & Creeks - Koru Kayaking & Helford River Cruises

Kestrals:

An all year round treat, but they can bee see gracefully gliding over the Helford River and creeks. It is amazing watching nature in action from the water as Kestrals dive down attacking crow’s nests and the crows gather round this majestic bird to protect their young – a real David Attenborough moment!

Dolphin fins, Helford River, Helford River Cruises taken by our customer Peter Skeggs

Dolphins:

Speaking of David Attenborough moments we had a real treat at the end of April when our Helford River Cruise was joined by a pod of frolicking Risso Dolpins in the Helford River just in the bay between Helford and Trebah Gardens.

Happy Wildlife watching in June!

You can follow our wildlife sightings on our social media: facebook, twitter and Instagram

www.helfordrivercruises.co.uk – 1 ½ hour cruises along the Helford River and Creeks – bring your cameras and binoculars! From Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG

www.korukayaking.co.uk – 2 hour Guided Kayak Adventures – Frenchman’s Creek Kayak Adventures from the Budock Vean Hotel, TR11 5LG. North Coast Kayak Adventures from Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes are also available.

Tregothnan Gardens – Open day 2016

May 19, 2016 No Comments

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Lord Falmouth opened his beautiful gardens at Tregothnan to the public a few weekends ago, proceeds raised went to “Cornwall Carer’s Service”.

 

The sun shone as we were allowed to enjoy the delights of this normally private estate.

 

We were treated to magnificent specimens of Camellias, Rhododenrons, Magnolias, Azaleas, grasslands with sweeping areas of bluebells and primroses.  We also enjoyed a refreshing cup of tea from Tregothnan’s very own tea plantation.

 

A wonderful day out.

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