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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.

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.

 

 

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

Cottages near award winning pubs

March 9, 2016 No Comments

We go on holiday to relax, to saunter, to wander and to lounge. And there’s nothing like a good pub to saunter into, relax and lounge around in.

A good pub is a great place to soak up some atmosphere, get in touch with local culture (or local beer) and watch the world go by. We all have our favourite pubs here at Cornish Holiday Cottages; my personal favourite is The Front in Falmouth. It’s a vibrant local pub down on the waterfront an ever revolving selection of beers and ciders.

But we’re not here to talk about our favourites. There are award winning pubs within a stone’s throw – or a tipsy totter – of our holiday homes. These are the sort of pubs that our guests seek out before they ever cross the Cornish border. They are pubs that have history, individuality and excellent food. They have roaring fires in the corner, friendly staff and a fine selection of local ales, spirits and wines to choose from.

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Down on the banks of Restronguet Creek sits the Pandora Inn. Stepping into the 13th Century thatched building is like stepping back in time. Low beamed ceilings, crooked flagstone floors and warming fires create a cosy atmosphere inside;  whilst outside, a long pontoon stretches over the water for languid summer drinking.

That’s without mentioning their fantastic grub. Steamed mussels, fish and chips and doorstop sandwiches are the order of the day.

Nominated for Tourism Pub of the Year at last year’s Visit England Awards – it came third – as well as winning gold at the Cornish Tourism Awards, The Pandora is a short walk from our two holiday homes, Acorn Cottage and Willow Cottage, in the centre of Mylor Bridge. Both holiday homes boast wood burners for cosy nights in, beautiful modern furnishings and sun trap gardens.

Down on the Helford river there’s not one, but two award winning pubs within walking distance of our Cornish Holiday Cottages.

Our Polwheveral holiday homes, including Trenant, Gwel-an-Dowr, Little Trenant and Melyn Goth, and the famous Calamansac properties are both just down the hill from the Trengilly Wartha, a family run traditional country pub with a silver award from The Taste of the West. The bar staff are incredibly friendly and you are bound to bump into some loquacious locals. The Trengilly boasts one of the largest whisky menus in the counties and a food menu full of locally caught seafood and meat from nearby farms.IMG_8129-47

 

For those of you eyeing up our Durgan holiday cottages or the panoramic views of our expansive Helford Point home, the Ferryboat Inn is a holiday gem. Dating back to the 16th century the Ferryboat sits on the banks of the Helford river and is a mere stretch of the toe away from a sheltered beach, so you can have a drink while the children play. It’s the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon. There’s a fine selection of local beers and a comfy sofa placed right in front of their fireplace to warm your cockles in front of on chillier days. Their menu offers a selection of seafood dishes and there’s an ever changing specials board to look out for.

The View From The Star and Garter

Finally, for those reading our blog posts on a regular basis you will have noticed us mention the Star and Garter in Falmouth a lot over the last few weeks. So it’s a pub that will need no introduction to our Cornish Holiday Cottage guests. An enticing view of Falmouth Harbour, creative food and a relaxed, stylish bar are ready to greet anyone staying  in our Packet Quays apartments and houses. There’s the Crow’s Nest with its unparelleled living room views, the newly refurbished Harbour View with its beautiful attic bedroom or Cross Trees with its 39ft balcony and lavish L shaped sofa. That’s without mentioning Janes Court and its slipway, or Cormorants. Basically, if you want to be close to the fine pubs of Falmouth, there’s no shortage of options.

 

 

 

Great Holiday Cottages for an Easter Egg Hunt

February 25, 2016 No Comments

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We exist in an age where technology gives our children all their entertainment needs. Now, forgive us for sounding like old luddites but the Easter egg hunt is just as flash as any tablet game and is a great way of entertaining your little bunnies this Easter. What’s better than a mystery with an edible prize or the anticipation of a treasure trove of chocolate? Just pop on a pair of silly bunny ears and you’ll be good to go.

The most important part of creating your Easter egg hunt is the trail. Something cryptic that’ll get their brains working will do the trick. If it rhymes then all the better. But not all of us know our iambs from our kennings, so we’ve been brainstorming clues at the Cornish Holiday Cottage office that would suit any holiday home.

You could start off by sending your children to the fridge: somewhere cold.

The Easter Bunny has been today
Dropping off some eggs along the way
Follow the clues to find the gold
The first place to look is somewhere cold

Next, it’s up to the bedroom;

The second hiding place might be out of sight,
Think of somewhere cosy where you sleep at night

This clue could be in their wellies;

This clue is hiding in the dark
In somewhere squelchy and rather smelly
We put these on to jump in mud, puddles and bark
That’s right, it’s hidden in a ……….

Or hidden in the wardrobe?

Lambs have wool, chicks have feathers
How do you keep warm in colder weathers?

One for the bathroom;

You’re nearing the end of the Easter gold rush,
Now head to the place where you’d find your toothbrush.

You then just need to think of a place to hide that final payload. A large cooking pot will do the trick;

The end’s in sight so take a look
The last clue’s hidden in something you’d use to cook.

Now all you need is an establishment for your treasure trail. And boy do we have some holiday cottages that are practically crying out to be the venue for a cracking Easter hunt. We’ve got some Cornish holiday homes that would appear labrythine to your little egg hunters and accommodation with gardens almost jungle like in their abilities to hide chocolate from mini hoarders.

Calamansac (East Wing, West Wing and Sail Loft)
Calamansac’s garden wouldn’t just make the perfect venue for a sunny day egg hunt. It would be an awe-inspiring, super egg hunt. You could hide a lifetime’s supply of Easter eggs out there without difficulty. There’s the garden itself, a large meadow strewn with seasonal flowers. The garden then leads to a bracken and bluebell woodland which which takes you down to the creek’s edge. The children could be hunting eggs all day!

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Rose Cottage 1
There are a wealth of hiding places at Rose Cottage 1. There are wood beams, a stone hearth and loads of nooks and crannies to place your loot.

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The Coach House
The Coach House has access to the Trerose Estate Garden, it’s beautifully manicured lawns and immaculate boarders and beds. All perfect places to snaffle away a few chocolatey surprises.

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Willow Cottage
It may not look like there are many hiding places from the outside, but the large conservatory adds plenty of original and egg-siting hiding places.

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The Foreshore
With a garden that arches its way down towards the water, The Foreshore offers multi level chocolate seeking. In the multiple flower beds and small garden trees, you’ll be able to hide little treasures high and low.

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Tehidy House
This grand town house has so many hiding spots, I don’t think I’d know where to start when creating an egg hunt here. There are antique sideboards and lots of little pots for depositing mini treats within. The creak of the floorboards as your children scamper back and forth will let you know how their progress is going.

Living On The Beach

February 9, 2016 1 Comment

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There are many perks to Cornish living, but none are as evocative as the pull of the ocean. People travel here, move here or stay here to be as close to the beach as possible. And for most, even those of us that live here, we get the opportunity to actually plonk our houses within a stone’s throw of the beach. And there’s nothing like having the beach on your doorstep.

Even as we write this, in the post-Christmas wait for spring, we still love the beach. Wrapping up and taking a stroll along a deserted beach is a uniquely invigorating experience.

There’s no excuse to be bored either. Ever. The beach is an adventure playground for children and even if you’re just sitting on the beach, that’s a perfectly fine way of whiling away the hours.

Living by the beach awakens all the senses: there’s nothing like the sound of lapping waves. As you’re lying in bed with the window open, the reassuring sound will soothe you to sleep, it’ll be there to accompany you as you have a lazy morning coffee and it’ll be a soothing soundtrack to reading a novel in the afternoon. There’s also no better smell than fresh, salty sea air. It’s air that has been cleansed by miles of ocean, instead of towns, cities and A roads. And even if you stayed with us for a month or more, you’d never get tired of the sunsets and sunrises painting the sky different shades of pink, purple and orange, or of looking at the deep blue sea melt into the horizon.

Our cottages are all self-catering. It seems a bizarre thing to mention in a post about the beach, but what better kitchen to have than the beach itself. Every day can be a barbeque day, and with a little creativity, you can still get those greens in.

That’s why we at Cornish Holiday Cottages feel privileged to be able to offer you some fine self-catering holiday homes only a hop, skip and a jump from sandy shores. Below is just a sample of our Cornish beach side cottages.

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Little Nest
Little Nest is a romantic cottage for two perched on the edge of Maenporth beach. Despite its generous views of the beach and its open plan living space, it is a snug and well insulated cottage, even in winter. A fantastic romantic retreat after skimming stones, rock pooling or sauntering along the coastline.

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Carrick Treath
Sitting at the northern end of the Carrick Roads and boasting luxurious furnishings and ample space, Carrick Treath is perfect for large groups. If you choose the right room you can even wake with the ocean just beyond your toes. Otherwise there’s the floor to ceiling windows of the living area to admire the view of Loe Beach from.

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Ridifarne
Perched just above the beach at Helford Passage, Ridifarne is a large home that sleeps eight in its four expansive bedrooms. It’s less than a minute from a beach just perfect for launching kayaks and rowing boats from.

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Chy-An-Dour and Rose Cottages 1, 2 and 3
We love being able to offer four seperate cottages in the tiny fishing hamlet of Durgan. They are all cottages that would have been owned by working fishing families who would have dragged their boats onto the shore and practically up to their front doors. Chy-An-Dour is a large, recently refurbished cottage with open beamed ceilings and plenty of character, whilst the 3 Rose Cottages, built in an L shape, all ooze old Cornish charm and are perfect for dog loving families.

Holiday Cottages with Moorings

September 1, 2015 No Comments

It’s up there with the best of dream holidays: stepping out of your front door, strolling down to the shore and launching your own boat into the waters. Setting out for days on the river straight from your Cornish holiday cottage, avoiding the roads and towns. It’s a romantic picture. Having your own mooring gives you that extra sense of freedom and connects you more intimately to the water.

Here at Cornish Holiday Cottages we are lucky enough to be able to offer have a number of homes with places to moor and launch kayaks, rowing boats or small tenders – all within the Helford Estuary. The Helford is a yachtsman’s paradise, completely unspoilt with sheltered waters and there is an extensive network of footpaths connecting many of the villages along its shore.
So if you have your own small boat, or want to hire one locally and have it waiting for you just outside your door, we have just the cottage for you.

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Shearwater, Port Navas

Shearwater holds a special place in the hearts of us all here at Cornish Holiday Cottages as it was the holiday home of choice, of our founder Mrs Ruth Austen. Situated just a few feet from Port Navas creek and with its own mooring, Shearwater offers the perfect opportunity for exploring the Helford River by boat. Rowing boats, small sailing dinghies, kayaks and motor cruisers can be roped up just in front of the cottage, at Shearwater’s quay – just make sure you check the tide times before you with to head out.

Port Navas is excellent for sailing, motor-boating or rowing and a perfect base for those wishing to explore the Helford River and its upper reaches, including Frenchman’s Creek, immortalised by the late Daphne Du Maurier. There is nothing quite like seeing the area from the water, enjoying a picnic on Tremayne Quay at sundown or dropping into a waterside pub for a pint of ale and some fresh seafood.

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Calamansac

Calamansac is a private 50 acre estate of meadow garden and woodland which forms the western headland of Port Navas Creek and overlooks the Helford River. There are 3 self-catering holiday homes to rent on the estate – East Wing (sleeps 11), West Wing (sleeps 9) and Sail Loft (sleeps 5) – accommodating up to 25 people in total and providing a unique holiday setting for large groups or as individual holiday homes.

Direct access to both the Helford River and Port Navas Creek provides a unique opportunity for sailing. A private road through the woods leads to the slipway, safe anchorage and a boat house. Visitors to Calamansac are also given free temporary membership to the Port Navas Yacht and Social Club.

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Rose Cottages 1, 2 and 3, Durgan

Durgan is a small, unspoilt fishing hamlet on the north bank of the Helford River principally owned and managed by the National Trust. Cornish Holiday Cottages has three cottages to offer in Durgan with use of a mooring, sleeping between a maximum of 4 to 5 people. There is space for one boat or kayak per cottage in the boat park, which is situated just behind the cottages, near to the pebbly shores of Durgan beach: safe for swimming and ideal for boating, windsurfing and sand castle building.

There is also one deep water mooring available at the west end of Durgan bay to accommodate boats up to 45′ long which is available to the guests of Rose Cottages. If you would like to keep your sailing dinghy (Laser, Wayfarer etc) on the mooring, there is a charge of £30 per week, whilst for boats above 20′ the charge is £60. The owners also have a small rowing boat, which is available for £50 per week.

 

Foraging for Mussels

January 12, 2015 No Comments

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For the Cornish Holiday Cottages team, there’s no meal more Cornish in feel than a big bowl of mussels in a creamy white wine sauce…apart from a pasty, of course. A bowl of mussels with chips will cost you about £10 in the restaurants, but there’s no need to think of moules marinière as a dish that can only be ordered.

Foraging for these mouth-watering molluscs is both easy and a great way interact with the beach in a more personal manner. It turns the beach into a hunting ground, an adventure, a provider.  It gives your visit the same purpose it gave to our ancestors – to sustain and feed. Why wouldn’t you want to end the day feasting on a delicacy that you can say, with satisfaction, that you caught, prepared and cooked yourself? I know I would, anyway.

The Cornish coast is ideal for harvesting mussels; it’s rocky, it’s got deep beaches and warm waters. All you really need is a bucket and a low tide.

You see, the best mussels are picked at low tide. They are the ones that are only out of the water for half an hour or so. And to pick them all you need to do is pull or twist them off of the rock. Use your thumb as a size guideline. The smaller ones won’t have had the opportunity to breed yet and helping mussel colonies sustain themselves is a big part of the appeal of picking your own.

Make sure that the waters you are taking your mussels from are clean – we’ve all heard the stories of people eating dodgy mussels, but it’s easy to avoid this yourself. You don’t want there to be an open sewage pipe near your picking site. Also, when exposed to the air, the mussel shells should be closed and they’re the ones you should pick. Avoid any with damaged shells – a damaged shell means a damaged mussel. But after cooking don’t even think of eating any with closed shells.

There’s one small rule for mussel picking: only harvest mussels during months with an ‘R’ in. May to August time is breeding time, but for the rest of the year – go nuts.

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If you are going to be on the beach a while, keep your catch in a bucket of seawater. When transporting home you can either soak a towel in seawater or use seaweed to cover the mussels and keep them alive.

To avoid a side order of grit with your mussels it’s a good idea to soak them in clean salt water for a few hours. This gives the mussels time to purge any particles from themselves. When this is done, lift them out of the water instead of pouring the water back over them and reintroducing the sand.

Next, you have to remove the beards – the part that attaches the mussel to the rocks – by pulling and twisting them. Then scrub any barnacles off of them. Don’t worry if they don’t all come off, but try your best to get the shells as clean as possible. Don’t forget to tap each mussel as it comes out of the water and discard any that don’t close.

There are a number of recipes for cooking mussels, including a delicious Thai variety, but our favourite is this one by Rick Stein – he’s lived here long enough to know what he’s doing. We usually accompany ours with chips, crusty bread and a glass of white wine.

Moules marinière with cream

Ingredients
1.75kg/4lb mussels
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
15g/½oz butter
a bouquet garni of parsley, thyme and bay leaves
100ml/3½fl oz dry white wine or cider
120ml/4fl oz double cream
handful of parsley leaves, coarsley chopped
crusty bread, to serve

Preparation method
Wash the mussels under plenty of cold, running water. Discard any open ones that won’t close when lightly squeezed.
Pull out the tough, fibrous beards protruding from between the tightly closed shells and then knock off any barnacles with a large knife. Give the mussels another quick rinse to remove any little pieces of shell.
Soften the garlic and shallots in the butter with the bouquet garni, in a large pan big enough to take all the mussels – it should only be half full.
Add the mussels and wine or cider, turn up the heat, then cover and steam them open in their own juices for 3-4 minutes. Give the pan a good shake every now and then.
Remove the bouquet garni, add the cream and chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
Spoon into four large warmed bowls and serve with lots of crusty bread.

Durgan Regatta

August 22, 2014 No Comments

Durgan.Helford.Cornwall-8 Durgan.Helford.Cornwall-11The Hamlet of Durgan is getting ready for their regatta this Sunday. The bunting is out and it’s sure to be fun for all the family (and even your dog) if you’re in the area.

We have 4 cottages in Durgan, see them here.

Calamansac in Spring

April 30, 2014 No Comments

The Beautiful 50 acre estate of Calamansac on the Helford River, comprising of two private beaches, The Helford River Sailing Trust, beautiful woodlands, East Wing, West Wing and Sail Loft.

In spring as many of the Cornish gardens Calamansac is alive with stunning flowers and plants, as you can see below! There are two gardeners who work very hard to keep the estate looking it’s best.

It truly is an incredible place to holiday!