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Easter events in Cornwall

March 23, 2015 No Comments

Yay! After the long winter, spring is finally here. Yes, I know: we’re an optimistic lot here at Cornish Holiday Cottages, but it appears that that we’re in for one of the hottest Easter weekends on record. According to the Met Office’s long term forecast and our local rag, ‘The West Briton’, temperatures could rise to more than 26C between Good Friday and Easter Monday (April 3 to April 6).

That’s fantastic news for everyone, unless your Easter eggs spend too much time out in the sun that is. But if you’re looking for something a little more festive or an alternative family day out over the Easter holidays, then we have a few suggestions for you. We’ve also thrown in a recommendation for an appealing evening of pop-up opera for good measure.

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Helston Museum Celebrates 150 years of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’

Between March 30th and the 8th of April the museum will be taking a trip through the looking glass and into Lewis Carrolls’ Wonderland. You’ll have to follow your nose to navigate the museum’s maze and also have the chance to design your own Mad Hatter’s hat – perfect for a tea party and free of charge too. There is also the chance to win a prize by following the White Rabbit’s Clock Trail through the museum.

On Wednesday 8th April the celebrations reach their peak with The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party between 1.30pm and 3.30pm. There will be tea, cake, fun and games that are perfect for the little ones. Visit their website here.

National Trust & Cadbury Easter Egg Trail – Glendurgan Gardens, Mawnan Smith

3rd to the 6th April

Glendurgan Garden have littered the grounds with hints and clues to create an exciting Easter trail which, mixed with their fantastical grounds, giant stride swing and beach, will create a memorable Easter day out. For those that complete all the activities there’s a Cadbury’s Egghead prize too.

Pop-up Opera at Knightor, St Austell.

7.30pm 4th April.

This one is more of an adult affair, but is one not to be missed: Pop-up Opera perform in the beautiful Knightor Winery & Restaurant in Trethurgy, Cornwall. The Pop-up Opera crew will be performing a Mozart comedy about two young men, Belmonte and Pedrillo, attempting to rescue their lovers Konstanze and Blonde from an Ottoman harem.

All kinds of high jinks and mishaps occur as they don disguises, make merry with the servants and sing an ode to Bacchus god of wine, in an attempt to save their beloveds.

The music contains some of Mozart’s most spectacular and virtuoso arias, and is richly embroidered with his interpretation of Turkish music. An opulent and highly entertaining treat.

Trereife House Easter Food & Craft Fair. 10am.

3rd — 6th April

Trereife has developed a reputation for attracting some of the finest local food and craft producers which is set to continue this Easter with Farm Cheeses and Fish sales, locally produced beer, cider and wine, as well as a selection of high quality art and craft from Cornish designer-makers – if you’re looking for some holiday mementos then this is the place to get them.

Away from the food demonstrations and at the top of every younger visitor’s list of things to do has to be the taking part in Trereife’s Grand Easter Egg Hunt.  Set within the woods and around the walled garden, the Egg Hunt has become very popular with hundreds of happy children expected to be eagerly following the clues this year.
As well as the egg hunt, youngsters can have a go in the Funky Food Workshop or be totally amazed by story tellers and Trereife’s popular craft workshops.

The event will be open from 10am-5pm Friday 3rd to Monday 6th. Admission for adults is £3.50, children £2 and under 5s free of charge. Family tickets are £11 (two adults and three children).

The National Maritime Museum’s Viking Voyagers Supersized Weekend

28th – 29th March

To mark the launch of their epic Viking Voyagers exhibitions, there is a weekend of Viking themed events from the 28th to the 29th of March. Create your own helmet, sword and shield, join in a Viking battle and see Vikings brought to life by Morvleydh, the Sea Wolves. Plus make a monster scale and add it to their dragon art installation.

The Viking Voyagers exhibition carries on throughout the school holidays with some make and take activities for your own vulgar little Vikings. They can make a long-ship model and Viking brooch and become a mighty warrior or a fearsome dragon.

All activities are free with entry.

Truro prepares for a spectacular spring festival

27th March to 5th April

Plans are afoot in the city of Truro to deliver some big surprises at this year’s Truro Festival.

The city’s annual cultural festival will be taking place from 27 March to 5 April, and is set to bring a hive of creative, cultural activity to the city during the Easter holidays.

Art, music, theatre, film, literature, dance, comedy and more will be buzzing in all corners of the city with the return of intimate theatre performances, live music and art exhibition.

The festival organisers plan to turn Lemon Quay into a ‘Festival Village’ complete with yurts, acoustic stage and a green area for people to relax and soak up the atmosphere.

Many events are exploring the festivals ‘journeys’ theme for 2015. The Story Republic will be in residence at the Royal Cornwall Museum for the duration of the festival inviting intrepid story travellers to begin their own voyage into a realm of tales, poems and song. There will also be a Scavenger Hunt which will take families on a trail around the city to solve cryptic clues and the possibility of winning a cash prize.

Another returning event is the Easter Sunday party on the 5th April. A free party with live music, arts activities, food and drink for all the family. Being the main hub for the festival, the ‘village’ on Lemon Quay will be open from 10am – 4pm during each day, with an abundance of family friendly events and activities.

Events will also take place in venues around Truro, including the Royal Cornwall Museum, Waterstones, Truro Library, the Plaza, Truro Arts Shop, B Juicy, Reids Café, Innertide and the City Hall. Further updates on events can be found by visiting www.enjoytruro.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

March 9, 2015 No Comments

 

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With mother’s day just round the corner, there’s no better place to celebrate it than down here in Cornwall. Whether it be day trips or lunch time treats, there’s a plethora of ways you can thank your mother for all that hard work she put into raising you.

We’re beginning to get glimpses of spring here at Cornwall Holiday Cottages and that’s the best thing about Mother’s Day; it feels like the first of the season’s many celebrations. Because of this we usually get the whole family together and take the coastal path down to the Ferryboat Inn for Sunday lunch. It’s tradition.

But in case you are looking for another way of pampering your mum – or looking to be pampered – here are some handy suggestions.

 

Newquay Zoo flower show

Offering half price entry to all Mums and free entry to any children that bring their own posies, Newquay Zoo’s flower show attracts some very inventive flower displays in its competition.

With over 130 species of animals Newquay Zoo is always a great family day out and the abundance of beautiful bouquets complement the lions and llamas, red pandas and penguins well.

Also, the Lemur Cafe is on hand with homemade lunches and hot drinks, Newquay Zoo has everything you need to keep both you and your little monkeys occupied.

 

Glendurgan Gardens Posy Making

With its ornamental garden maze and manor house Glendurgan Gardens is perfect for Mother’s Day. The expansive grounds welcome dogs and open out onto the Helford footpath – a short walk from the Ferryboat Inn.

Plus the kids will get the chance to treat mum to a beautiful handmade posy, put together using lovely colourful spring flowers picked from the Glendurgan estate.

 

Visit a National Magnolia Collection

To continue the flower theme

The Woodland Gardens at Caerhays, near St Austell, are a real springtime wonder. Camellias, Magnolias and Rhododendrons grow in abundance and are nothing short of spectacular. Gardens entry is priced from £8.00 and as a special Mothering Sunday treat all mums will receive a free Camellia with garden entry. Visitors can also book a special Mother’s Day High Tea within the beautiful grounds of Caerhays castle in the Magnolia Tea Rooms. Offering a selection of exquisite finger sandwiches, an array of little homemade cakes, and butter scones with Boddington’s strawberry jam and Cornish clotted cream, all served with a pot of Twinning’s tea or a coffee, High Tea is priced at £25 for two and booking is essential. For further information and to book Tickets, Tours or High Tea, please visit: www.caerhays.co.uk or call 01872 501310.

 

Sunday Lunch at the Pandora Inn.

Situated on the shores of Restronguet Creek, The Pandora Inn’s food seems to have jumped up a notch since reopening after 2011’s fire and they are offering a The children will enjoy crab fishing on the pontoon while you sip afternoon drinks. Park on the quay at Mylor Bridge and walk the coastal path for a full day out. Booking is essential.

 

Top Dog Friendly Pubs

December 1, 2014 No Comments

photo (4)Anyone who has been into the Cornish Holiday Cottages offices knows that we are massive dog lovers. There’s nothing better on a crisp autumn day than a coastal or woodland walk with man’s best friend darting between the trees, jumping in puddles or diving head first into the sea, playing fetch. These walks usually have us wrapped up warm in our hats and scarves, enmeshed in a cagoule and our feet are wrapped up warm in woollen socks and squeezed snuggly into a pair of wellies.

 

As dog lovers we know how important it is to be able to find those places that welcome dogs when you’re out and about: places that will allow you and your pet to dry off, enjoy a hot chocolate, a beer or a refreshing bowl of water.  Dogs are well catered for here in Cornwall, but we do have a few favourites in and around the Helford and Falmouth area.

 

The Trengilly Wartha Inn, Constantine

The Trengilly is a proper country tavern serving fantastic food, local beer and strangely, one of the longest lists of whiskeys we’ve ever seen. Tucked away behind the village of Constantine, and short walk from Port Navas, the pub itself has six acres of gardens to explore.

 

The Ferryboat Inn, Helford Passage

With a prime location on the Helford River, The Ferryboat Inn serves as great base for visits to Trebah Gardens, Glendurgan garden or numerous coastal walks and boat-trips around Mawnan Smith, Durgan and the Helford Estuary. Dogs are made extremely welcome at anytime of day. There are various dog bowls dotted around and there are normally dog biscuits on the bar. With a small beach a literal stone’s throw away, you can enjoy a relaxing drink or nibble while your dog dips its paws in the water.

 

The Pandora Inn – Restronguet Creek, Mylor Bridge

All low beamed ceilings, flagstone floors and a thatched roof, parts of the Pandora date back to the 13th Century. A cosy and intimate establishment with lots of nooks to hide yourselves away in, The Pandora offers bowls of water for your dog and some stunning local food for yourself, whether you fancy a sandwich or a substantial three-course meal. For their recent website revamp The Pandora’s owners commissioned outdoor writer, Sue Viccars to create some circular walks around Restronguet and Mylor. On the site you’ll find a map with all the routes on as well some handy parking spots too.

 

5 Degrees West, Falmouth

5 Degrees West can be found near The Maritime Museum and is a modern, relaxed pub with no dog restrictions, water bowls, the odd dog biscuit and very friendly staff.  Their restaurant area is family friendly and unpretentious and there is an open fireplace to cosy up to as well.

 

Halzephron Inn, Gunwalloe, Helston

Perched on the cliff top near Gunwalloe beach is the 500 year old Halzephron Inn. The pub is ideally situated for coastal walks south, towards Church Cove and The Lizard or west, across a mile of golden sand towards Porthleven. The beauty of this rugged coastline cannot be underestimated in any season. The Inn is home to Olly, the Red Irish Setter, and you just know they are a dog friendly bunch when they have a photo gallery dedicated to dogs propping themselves up at the bar, on their website.

 

 

 

 

Cornish Craft and Gift Fairs

November 28, 2014 No Comments

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We’re experiencing a pressureless hinterland at the moment. I’m talking about Christmas of course. December the 25th is still miles away and it feels like giving it your full attention now is like caving in to the onslaught of high street consumerism and belittling the event itself.  But, alas if we don’t keep half an eye on it now, it’ll rear its horns and we’ll be back to the mid-December dash that we’ve promised ourselves we’ll avoid this year.

 

This weekend is the perfect opportunity to grab some unique stocking fillers at Truro’s Made In Cornwall Christmas Fair: a five-day extravaganza that takes place from Wednesday 26th to Sunday 30th November.

 

Closer to home, this Saturday sees the opening of Penryn’s Christmas Pop-up shop, on Islington Wharf. Islington Wharf is a small, hidden Penryn gem, housing one of our best-kept-secrets in ‘The Wharf’, a Spanish tapas restaurant, who do great king prawns and fried calamari, as well as a fish-mongers, and a deli, for those of you who fancy cooking with local ingredients while on holiday. The Pop-up shop itself is a quiet celebration of local produce and crafts with hampers of mixed food items, cushions, prints, woodcarvings and clothing.

 

A personal favourite on the gift front this year is produce by the Cornish Ketchup Company. For not much more than a bottle of Heinz, this small, growing business offer an intense variety of flavours. I think quite a few non-Cornish relatives of my own will be getting a bottle this year.

 

So, there are no excuses for not getting ourselves Christmas ready at a more leisurely pace this year. And for those of you who are reading this away from Cornwall, but with something Cornish in mind this Christmas – watch this space. We’ve just caught a glimpse of something that may hit the spot, but more on that next week.

 

Soggy Family Suggestions

November 8, 2014 No Comments

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As we look towards the Christmas holidays with glee and merriment, we can’t always guarantee perfect weather. In fact, we’d be foolish to pretend that Cornwall offers a break from the rain and wind that the rest of the country endures at this time of year. After all, we stick out into the Atlantic like a sore thumb round these parts.

 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m a lover of braving the outdoors in my hiking boots and wet weather gear with the dog and children in tow. There’s nothing like throwing stones into the roaring ocean or listening to the pitter-patter of rain reverberating through the trees, watching the children jump in puddles. But sometimes we just want to stay warm and dry, and that’s where today’s recommendations come in.

 

Children often have other ideas about staying dry and can end up bouncing off the walls going from shop to coffee shop to shop again. So here are some fun alternatives to keep everyone entertained.

 

Raze The Roof – Penryn

Raze the Roof is your classic indoor play area. This one is guaranteed to help younger children burn off plenty of energy with their mega-structure of slides, ball pools, trampolines, ball cannons, rope walks and no end of soft surfaces to bounce off of. Raze the Roof houses a laser tag arena, which is open to all ages throughout the day and in the evening you can use the whole building for laser tag, allowing us adults to relive our more agile years. There’s also a café with wi-fi for those of you looking for respite from the limitless energy of children.

 

Granite Planet Climbing Centre – Penryn

For those of you who fancy a literal climb up the walls there is this indoor climbing centre. The centre caters to complete beginners and they are great with children too. There are taster sessions for families or groups of friends and induction courses if you’ve never climbed before. Through Granite Planet you can also book outdoor climbing sessions if you are an experienced climber. There are loads of routes up the walls and a bouldering cave to test your strength on. All safety equipment is provided.

 

Blue Reef Aquarium – Newquay

Meet sea cucumbers and spider crabs, watch the giant octopus at feeding time and see baby turtles. As well as informative talks about some of the sea creatures, the highlight is the underwater tunnel, where you can come face to face with stingrays, reef sharks and all sorts of colourful fish.

 

Heartlands – Pool

Born out of a former mining complex, the area surrounding Heartlands is now a World Heritage Site and supports other mining attractions in the area such as Geevor and Poldark. As well as an outdoor adventure playground, café and Cornwall Visitors Centre there are a series of ‘mould-breaking’ exhibitions including geology experiment tables, soundscapes, an engine house and electric and steam winders and boilers which are epic in size. Entry to the site is free, but you do have to pay for parking.

 

Helston Museum – Helston

A hidden gem, Helston’s Folk Musem is Tardis like: a lot bigger on the inside than it first appears and housing a range of curiosities, from 19th century children’s toys to mangles, kitchens and school rooms. There are exhibits covering different aspects of life in Helston, including Flora Day as well as the World Wars. You should definitely keep an eye out for a macabre two-headed pig in a jar. Outside the building is a cannon salvaged from the wreck of the frigate HMS Anson, which foundered off Loe Bar in 1807.

 

Maritime Museum – Falmouth

More than just a museum about boats, you can explore the stories of the people who used these vessels and the adventures they had in them.  Ascend the 100ft Look Out tower and see Falmouth’s famous harbour from the skies, then descend into the Tidal Zone to one of only three underwater galleries in the world. You can also climb aboard a Sea King helicopter, meet the crew and discover what it takes to bring people home safely. There is a lot of interactivity for the children at the Maritime Museum and you can also enjoy some great food in the great cafe overlooking the harbour. On the way out you are sure to be tempted by the array of goods in the gift shop.

 

The Eden Project – St Austell

The Eden Project is the family Mecca for days out in the rain. I’m sure you know about the biomes but there are some great events for children too. In The Core there are lots of interactive displays and mechanical wonders. Storytelling sessions happen at 12pm and 2pm everyday with each session lasts between 15 and 30 minutes. Over the winter period there’s also an ice-rink for getting your skates on. Just remember to book in advance for the ice-skating. Look out for discount vouchers online to make the entry fees more palatable.

 

Ships and Castles Leisure Pool – Falmouth

Ships and Castles’ pool is not designed for doing lengths in. With a wave machine and a river rapids it’s a pool designed for fun. There’s a 70-metre flume and a shallow beach area for younger children to paddle in. There are also geysers periodically bursting from the pool and jacuzzis for those looking for a slightly slower pace.

Books and Beer, who would have thought it!

September 18, 2014 No Comments

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Cornwall: In The Know – Beerwolf Books

Beerwolf Books in Falmouth started as a book stall on the weekly market and is now one of the trendiest pubs in town.

By day they have an olympic sized table tennis table, a fantastic book shop selling cheap second hand and new books, and a bar serving a large selection of different ales, coffee and soft drinks.

By night the bar is alive with people of all ages, buying books, drinking and playing games.

Although they don’t sell food other than snacks, they are happy for you to bring your own, and there is a good choice of outlets nearby! The Courtyard Deli next door sells delicious local produce, or a couple of minutes walk is Belly Timber, a delicious pizza takeaway. Dogs welcome too!

Beerwolf Books is located in Bells Court, opposite Marks and Spencers.