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Wild Swimming in Cornwall

August 2, 2019 No Comments

During these warm months, windows are open to tempt a breeze and here at Cornish Holiday Cottages we are looking at creative ways to keep cool.

Recent talk of the health benefits of wild swimming has brought about a new appreciation for our closeness to beautiful bodies of water. It seems strange to call it ‘wild swimming’, when for so many of us living in the Falmouth and Helford river area it’s simply ‘swimming’. Such is the way of life here in Cornwall, that it is routine to take to the ocean before or after work, during lunchbreaks, or when really you just meant to exercise the dog.

To be in the water is to be untethered. Phone, wallet and keys left on the shore allow a rare opportunity to simply be.

We can only tell you of the incredible feeling swimming in open water brings and urge you to be brave – after that initial chill you’ll find your muscles soothed, circulation increased, your mind clear and your soul revitalised. Below are a few of our recommendations of our favourite ‘wild swimming’ spots in Cornwall.

An evening at Maenporth

1. Gyllyngvase Beach, Falmouth

At first light on Gyllyngvase Beach, you’ll see swimmers of all ages taking to the water before work or school, the bravest of the bunch swimming all year round, even through the depths of winter. Some swim for companionship, others are solitary swimmers having a moment of escape. Gyllyngvase Beach offers safety in the water with an RNLI lifeguard during the summer months.  Go as early as you can for maximum atmosphere.

2. Grebe Beach, Helford River

The Helford River provides many a sheltered spot for swimming and it’s branching topography results in places for the water to reach warm temperatures. Grebe Beach close to Durgan holds a special place in many of our hearts. A favourite for a sundowner BBQ and a swim of an evening.

3. Maenporth, Near Falmouth

Maenporth beach with it’s golden sands is perfectly positioned to catch the very best of the sunlight rising over the horizon in the morning. Or with the Maen Valley behind creating the perfect channel for the evening sun to filter through, there are few places better than here for sheltered swimming in the ocean.

4. Castle Beach, Falmouth

For a peaceful dip within walking distance from your holiday home in Falmouth, the little coves to the left of Castle Beach are perfection, facing south to allow you to bask in sunlight after you exit the water.

5. Nansidwell Beach, Mawnan Smith

At high tide here the unique landscape creates calm, clear shallow waters (apart from in an easterly) and wonderful views over to Falmouth, with the lighthouse of St Anthony Head visible on the horizon.

The beach opposite Pedn Billy Boathouse -ideal for wild swimming

As with any outdoor activity, do make sure you are safe whilst you enjoy your wild moment with nature…

Holiday cottages available to rent from us here at Cornish Holiday Cottages which are perfect for a wild swimming holiday in Cornwall are

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

Seventh Heaven. Falmouth. Holiday-0335

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

pumpkin cottage. selfcatering. mawnan (51 of 86)

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

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.

Bluebells at Calamansac

May 14, 2016 No Comments

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

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The Perfect Romantic Getaway

February 1, 2016 No Comments

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With holiday cottages nestled within secluded nooks, crannies and creeks, Cornwall is the perfect choice for a romantic getaway. Whether you are craving some time alone, celebrating an anniversary or looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day mini-break, Cornish Holiday Cottages has the perfect romantic bolthole.
So what makes the perfect romantic getaway? Well, imagine surprising your other half with an impromptu weekend away, their face lighting up as you pull up towards your holiday home. There’s a bottle of white wine, chilled and waiting to be sipped, there’s a generously filled bath fragranced with bath bombs waiting for you to pour yourselves into, and there’s the perfect solitude of the countryside.

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Our holiday homes come in a variety of designs. There are spacious townhouses with contemporary décor to wood-beamed cabins with rustic details. Some have roaring log fires and burners to create that cosy, romantic atmosphere, made even more snug by the cold February weather outside.

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Location-wise, we have cottages tucked deep in the Cornish countryside on the banks of deserted creeks, surrounded by walking country and rural pubs. There are also sea view holiday homes with spectacular sunsets and the sound of the rushing waves, as well as apartments and town houses in the heart of Falmouth, amidst its acclaimed restaurants and pubs.

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Whatever your perfect Valentine’s getaway, whether it’s enjoying champagne in front of a crackling fire, huddling together as the winter sun sets over the horizon, or the candle-light of a three course meal, Cornish Holiday Cottages want to help you create that special romantic moment.
So, let us get your romantic break off to a start with this list of some of our favourite romantic holiday homes.

Gwel-an-Dowr
Willow Cottage
Little Trenant
Treetops
The Old School Room
The Boathouse
Acorn Cottage
Fisherman’s Haven
Chestnut Cottage
Gwel-an-Heylyn

Christmas is here

December 22, 2015 No Comments

Just a few photos of some of our cottages in their Christmas gear! Not all of our cottages get dressed up but here is a couple that have:

Trenant at Polwheveral Creek.

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Melyn Goth at Polwheveral Creek.

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Tops’l Cottage in Falmouth.

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The Joy of Sailing

January 5, 2015 No Comments

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Casting off from Mylor Harbour and sailing out into Falmouth Bay is one of life’s great pleasures. The feeling of escape associated with the slow shrinking of land into the distance, is like nothing any land-dwelling activity can offer. Sailboats conjure up romantic visions: blossoming sails arching in the wind or silhouettes of boats against the fading sun at dusk make it easy to think about chucking it all in and heading off into foreign seas.

In reality though, a sailboat is a few tons of fibreglass and steel you do need a little bit of skill to operate. We have a boat in our family. What started off as Dad’s little retirement project quickly became a family affair: he’s the skipper and we’re the crew, mostly. There have been some epic adventures around the Rock of Gibraltar and there have been many a leisurely day spent cruising the Carrick Roads and Helford River. There have also been the days where I’ve nearly run us aground cruising up the river, paying too much attention to the wind direction instead of the depth gauge.

My favourite part of sailing is pushing the boat as fast it will go. Essentially making a boat go at speed means trimming the sails so they are the right shape and angle for the wind that’s pushing across them. There are a variety of ways of controlling the sails: bending the mast, flattening the sail bottom to make it curve and hook the wind or a billion other things. But the best thing is that you are reacting to the environment around you and harnessing its power. It makes you feel awake, alive and in tune with your surroundings.

Sailing involves so much more than just understanding how a boat uses the wind to move through water. Sailing requires a certain appreciation for what’s around you. If you don’t respect whatever amount of water you’re sailing in, whether it’s a pond, river, lake, or ocean, nature will not be nice just for you. The trick to treating your surrounds with respect while sailing is to constantly stay vigilant so that if the wind begins to shift, you can stay on top of it and alter your course accordingly so that you aren’t caught off guard later. Of course, it’s not hard to keep your eyes peeled when you are surrounded by such beautiful views.

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At Cornish Holiday Cottages, one of the joys we take from boating is the opportunity it gives us to connect as a family. There’s no TV or internet out at sea, there’s no mobile phone signal. There’s just us and none of the daily clutter that widens the gap between us. Some of the most memorable parts of sailing as a family are of us drifting, sail down, as we tuck into lunch under the sun, nothing but the sound of the waves lapping at the hull and the lulling rock of the boat.

Boat ownership has allowed us to avoid the holiday throngs of Falmouth in August, too. While most were fighting through the street traffic during the Tall Ships weekend we were at sea, racing the ships, drawing up alongside them and, later on, admiring their hulls, anchor down, with a bottle of Prosecco, celebrating a birthday.

If you’re keen to get some sailing in yourself whilst in your Cornish holiday cottage, there are many places you can charter a yacht or get involved in a sailing course. Falriver.co.uk have a pretty good guide for boat hire.

There’s not only boat hiring though, for those of you wanting your first foray on the waters, there’s the Mylor Sailing School, who offer introductory courses, helping you to get afloat.

Or if you really fancy a treat why not go for a trip on a beautiful old sailing boat, Pinuccia is owned by the Tresanton Hotel in St Mawes and runs half or full day sails from May to September (photographed at the top).