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Visit the real Poldark country

June 6, 2018 No Comments

The popular BBC1 show, Poldark, returns to our screens this Sunday, 10th June at 9pm.  The series showcases some of Cornwall’s most spectacular rugged landscapes, stunning beaches and historic buildings.

If it’s just too tempting and you feel the yearn to follow in Ross and Demelza’s footsteps, firstly call our friendly team to help you find the perfect base for your break, then read on for our handy list of beautiful filming locations and must-see attractions to visit during your holiday.

 

Botallack Mine – Wheal Owles, on the Tin Coast, near St Just

The abandoned buildings, owned by the National Trust, were the perfect location for the Poldark family mines. The ruined engines houses, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage site, are set on the side on the cliff with breath-taking views.

Read more at the National Trust website/Botallack.

 

Charlestown Harbour, St Austell

Built in 1792 by Charles Rashleigh, Charlestown is still a working harbour for china clay exports. Now privately owned the port has been used in well over one hundred shows and films. It’s just like stepping back in time as you walk along the flagstones and explore the 1939 Tall Ship “Kajsamaoor”.

Read more at Charlestown Port

 

 

Wheal Coates, St Agnes Head

Wheal Coates Engine House is perched on the side of the cliff at St Agnes over looking Chapel Porth. This is Poldark country at its best with purple heather, yellow gorse and miles of ocean.

Visit Wheal Coates’ National Trust website

 

Bodmin Moor

A great place to stop on your way to Falmouth. Used as the location for Ross Poldark’s cottage, Nampara, and the dramatic horseback scenes.

Read all the Poldark filming locations at the BBC website.

 

 

 

Poldark Tin Mine, Wendron, Helston

Although the Poldark Mine has not featured in the current series it was seen by millions all over the world when it featured in in the original BBC drama in 1970s. The only complete tin mine open for underground guided tours for a real atmosphere of times gone by.

Opening times and prices are available on the Poldark Mine website.

 

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 No Comments

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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.

 

 

Kitchens where meals and memories are made

October 3, 2017 No Comments

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and we couldn’t agree more.

It’s always exciting to experience local restaurants on holiday and Cornwall has its fair share of the best, from country pubs with roaring fires, fine dining and stunning beach front cafes.

Yet, there is still something very special about the whole family preparing, cooking and enjoying a delicious home cooked meal together and it seems so much more fun to cook on holiday.

If you’re planning a large group-getaway or a romantic couples retreat, here’s a selection of our holiday homes with kitchens that make cooking a special occasion.

When you’ve found your perfect holiday home we recommend talking to The Cornish Food Box Company. They have hundreds of Cornish products including fruit and veg, fish, meat and dairy which they will pack and deliver direct to your door.

Eat. Drink. Enjoy!

Perfect for large groups:

Calamansac East Wing

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East Wing sleeps up to 11 people and the glorious open plan kitchen with granite worktops, two electric cookers and hobs plus two dishwashers is the perfect room for entertaining. After a delicious home cooked meal head into the playroom for fun and games, including two RS Barcelona Ping-Pong tables, piano, library, games, indoor swing and comfortable seating area.

Nancenoy Farmhouse

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New to our portfolio in 2017, Nancenoy Farmhouse is a beautiful country cottage full of charm and character which extends to the kitchen. Sleeping 7 people it has a traditional Aga and log burner for the winter months along with big comfy sofas and a Nespresso coffee machine… bliss.

The Coach House

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Originally build in 1904 as a coach house and stables, The Coach House is now a stunning, contemporary home in an idyllic position within The Trerose Estate. Perfect for up to 8 people the kitchen is a vast room with solid wood cupboards, two under counter fridges and two ovens, the perfect place to feed a crowd.

Grown-up Getaways:

Kerensa an Mor

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Another new property to the portfolio in 2017. The no expense spared interior of Kerensa an Mor exudes a feel of calmness and quality. The spacious kitchen with AGA and separate cooker and hob will appeal to keen cooks while everyone will enjoy dining on the sunny terrace.

Seventh Heaven

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With open vaulted ceilings and quirky interior the state of the art kitchen has breath-taking sea views of Falmouth Harbour. The kitchen is high-tech with black gloss units and wonderfully capacious drawers. Perfect for two couples.

Pumpkin Cottage

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Picturesque charm with a modern powder blue electric AGA in a large open plan kitchen/dining room, just perfect for a family get together. Pumpkin Cottage offers everything you need from your holiday home.

Sunrise

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Don’t be fooled by the elegant outer façade of this Edwardian period property. The interior is surprisingly contemporary, spacious with underfloor heating throughout. The quality of the fixtures and fittings are second to none.

 

Universally Accessible:

Calamansac Sail Loft

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Guest comfort is paramount at The Sail Loft. If you have a mobility impairment this is the house for you. Equally if you are completely able bodied and looking for a five star retreat close to the sailing waters of the Helford River, two private beaches and fifty acres of meadow garden and woodland then this is also the place for you.

The kitchen is fully accessible, u-shaped with Corian work tops and a NEFF ‘slip and slide’ fan oven. The worktop and sink are capable of being lowered and raised to suit the user’s preference.

The Sail Loft really does cater for your every need.

 

View all our cottages

Afternoon Tea in Cornwall

August 18, 2017 No Comments

Afternoon tea is all the rage these days, birthdays, hen do’s or just your average Friday. There is nothing like a relaxing afternoon tea followed by a dip in an outdoor hot tub with a view…

We’re celebrating Afternoon Tea Week by researching the best options around.

Here are a few Cornish afternoon teas we think you should know about:

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The Scarlet – Adults only

A romantic hotel built into the hillside on the north coast of Cornwall. Why not stay for a massage or a dip in their outdoor hot tub on the cliffs?

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The Greenbank

Sit back and enjoy the view. Watch the bobbing boats and the ferries going to and fro up the river. What a variety to choose from, there is certainly something for everyone, here are their current options:

Greenbank Afternoon Tea, Children’s Afternoon Tea, Champagne Afternoon Tea, Chocoholics’ Afternoon Tea, Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea

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Dollys Tearoom

Located on Falmouth High Street, Dolly’s is well known for their selection of over 200 gins! Not only do they do a delicious afternoon tea, you can choose between tea or gin in your teapot.

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Tresanton

A little bit of luxury, pop on the St Mawes Ferry and arrive in style to one of the most exclusive hotels in Cornwall. The Tresanton has breath taking views and its own beach. Perhaps the best part is the outdoor terrace with stunning views, baked in sunshine it’s the perfect place for afternoon tea.

Budock Vean

Budock Vean

Our lovely neighbours at the Budock Vean offer a lovely spread. Take a stroll through the gardens down to the Helford River, or why not take your swim stuff and have a dip in their pool/outdoor hot tub?

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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

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.

The experts guide to building sandcastles.

April 15, 2016 No Comments

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Last weekend, for the first time in a long long time, we decided to make a sandcastle. Now, it’s not like we, as a family, don’t make sandcastles when we go to the beach, but this time the children wanted to build a ‘real’ sandcastle: the kind that uses a french château as a blueprint and is adorned with buttresses and spires.

So, tooled up with two brightly coloured spades and neon pink and blue buckets – one optimistically castle shaped – my two little helpers and I set forth to build our sand sculpture.

Needless to say, it didn’t go well. With all the will in the world, the sands of Swanpool Beach were never going to transform themselves into a Disney Palace. Not with two pairs of tiny hands and spades the size of dessert spoons. What we built looked more like a slag heap than a castle.

But it did get the Cornish Holiday Cottages team thinking about sandcastles and the amazing sculptures we’ve seen from time to time on Cornwall’s beaches. Exactly how can we go from our sand mound to constructing something do impressive, that it won’t be crushed by the Godzilla like stamping of the next young boy that comes? So I did some research.

Turns out you need to be a little bit more prepared than your average trip to the beach, but you already know the basic ingredients: sand and water. Lots of water.

To start with, you need to take the right tools. Two buckets are recommended by champion sandcastle builders – one for gathering water and a second, with the bottom cut out, for creating towers. Instead of those small plastic shovels that come with a children’s bucket and spade set, bring a more robust spade for hauling and flattening your fortress. Finally, if you’re really going for it, bring a selection of scraping devices for finer detailing. The sort of thing found in the back of kitchen draws and utility rooms – old spatulas, butter knives, plastic rulers.

Location is everything. The beach beneath your castle should consist of fine grains and, as a guide, be firm enough to cycle on. The same consistency can be made by dousing the sand with water. If the children are still up for building a sandcastle and not begging to get back to the holiday cottage after getting enough water to create the base then you’re onto a winner.

Create your base by piling up sand, pouring water over it and then stamping it down with your feet.  The larger the base area and the more compact the sand, the easier it will be to sculpt your castle.

Somewhere near your castle you will want to have a water supply. The best bet is to dig a nice big sandy hole until you reach water – this will be your mixer. Grab large handfuls of the watery sand and place them on your foundations. While it’s still malleable, mould the sand into whichever shape you’re going for and compress it firmly. As you build higher you’ll spend less time compacting sand and more time jiggling it into shape.

That bottomless bucket is for gaining altitude. Lay it on your foundations, fill it full of sand and let little feet compact it down. You’ll be surprised how quickly your castle shoots up.

Walls are a slightly trickier proposition though. After scooping up a big handful of sloppy, wet sand begin forming it into bricks using the flats of your palms. With a little jiggling you should be able to get a nice compact brick of sand in place between your towers. Don’t be afraid of building walls two, even three bricks high.

Lastly, there’s the carving and shaping. The key is to always work from the top downwards, brushing away loose sand as it builds up. As someone whose hands get shakier the finer the detail I’m working on, the trick is to keep it conservative. Sand comes off easier than it goes on.

And there you have it: a sand castle to be proud of. This is all hypothetical of course – we’re yet to put any of this into action. But as soon as we do, you can guarantee there will be pictures. We’re imagining sand spires and sand turrets with arches and little windows. But to be honest, it will probably still look more like a slag heap than a château.

Cornish Crabbing

April 4, 2016 No Comments

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Crabs are bizarre little creatures. Their hard shells and snippy pincers should instill a sense of fear in children, but instead they’re endlessly fascinating, funny little things. From their rock pool habitats to their sideways crab walk, they are the main event when rock pooling and the star of coastal exploration.

Crabbing is a truly British Seaside activity that keeps the children occupied and is surprisingly addictive for the adults. It’s the stuff of childhood nostalgia: fun, daring and occasionally hair raising.

It’s more fun in the sun, but crabs can be caught all day long and all year round. All you need is a bucket, a line, something to weight it and some bait: we have it on good authority that crabs are bacon fiends, so a try tying some to the end of your line.

There are loads of great crabbing spot around our Cornish Holiday Cottages. The most well known spot is down at the Pandora Inn, at the end of their pontoon. Sit down and have a pint while the children occupy themselves with the crustaceans.
Crabs like to hide and they tend to live in places where there is plenty of cover from rocks, seaweed or other structures. Favourite hideouts include around piers and harbour walls, and on beaches with larger rocks and stones. So if you are anywhere that meets these conditions grab your bucket and bacon and start crabbing.

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Cornish Holiday Cottages’ Top Crabbing Locations

1.    The Harbour! There are many quays in Falmouth with perfect spots for doing a bit of crabbing.

2.    The Pandora Inn at Mylor, enjoy delicious food on the pontoon and you can crab while you wait. Crabbing lines and bait are sold inside.

3.    Castle Beach, get your hands dirty at low tide and enjoy some rock pooling.

4.    Flushing Quay, enjoy the views of Falmouth from Flushing.

5.    Mylor Quay, the perfect spot for sitting and relaxing by the quay.

6.    Helford Passage, the rocky beach is the perfect spot for crab hunting.

The most important thing to consider when crabbing is the safety and happiness of the crabs themselves. These handy tips from the good people at gonecrabbing.co.uk have created a great guide to crabbing aimed at children and this handy dos and don’ts list:

Don’t …. put too many crabs in one bucket. Stick to 10 per pail
Do …. add rocks and seaweed to the bucket to help replicate the crab’s natural environment and reduce stress
Don’t …. keep them all day long – return them to sea
Do …. change the water every 10 minutes to avoid asphyxiation. Only keep the crabs in sea water.
Don’t …. store your bucket in the sun
Don’t …. use a line with a hook on. Either tie your bacon on or use an old pair of tights/bit of net to hold your bacon in.
Do …. hold your crab correctly – gently hold it either side of its shell or pick it up with one finger on top of the shell and one finger underneath – avoiding the claws though!
Do …. remove any crabs which are fighting – male crabs tend to be more aggressive than the ladies.
Do …. remember to take all your equipment and rubbish home with you.
Do … go crabbing. When done responsibly, crabbing is an excellent way to introduce children to the marine ecology.

Upside Down Living

March 24, 2016 No Comments

Why is it that, when the best views are often to be had from the upstairs windows, we continue to have our main living spaces downstairs?

Our bedrooms get all the luck, but then we just go and shut the curtains and close our eyes for eight hours. That’s why some of our Cornish holiday homes have flipped convention upside-down.

Inverted living has lots of benefits and people from Bude to Land’s End have started building houses with all the living space upstairs, giving them an unbridled views. Kitchens and living rooms prosper from the sun, daylight warmth and of course, views that look onto open blue sea, shale beaches and stunning estuaries. While downstairs rooms are cool and secluded by shade. By spending our days upstairs we begin to capitalise on a different perspective of our homes. We maximise our use of the parts of our holiday cottages that we actually paid to use.

Also, shoes, wellies and the debris from days out at the beach stop cluttering up our living space.

We have three holiday properties that make use of this unique way of living.

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The first is Headlands, a three bedroom house with a panoramic view over Falmouth Bay. It’s perfectly situated. Just two minutes walk from the sea front in one direction and a short stroll towards the quaint pubs and restaurants of Falmouth in the other.

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Down in the tiny hamlet of Durgan, there’s Rose Cottage 1. Upstairs there’s a beautifully furnished open plan living space with a giant stone hearth taking centre stage below the cottages beamed ceilings. Beyond that the mouth of the Helford river flows elegantly. Each morning you can gaze out at the beach, 50ft from your front door and ponder what you’re going to do with the day.

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Finally we have the Sail Loft at Calamansac. You enter over a wooden bridge into the wide open upstairs space. Surrounded by woodland and an abundance of light, the best view peers down a tree lined path  towards Polwheveral and  across the river to the famous Frenchman’s Creek. It’s an unparalleled scene.

So whether it’s to savour splendid sea or woodland,  upside-down living can turn your holiday thinking on its head.