Things to Do and Places to Visit in Cornwall for Free 2024

April 01st, 2024

With some of the nation’s best beaches, unique museum exhibits and annual fairs, Cornwall boasts a brilliant range of attractions, many of which you won’t have to spend a penny on.

Here are a few of our favourite free days out that you can enjoy with all the family!

The Best Free Family Days Out in Mid/South Cornwall

Our luxury family holiday park in Cornwall is ideally situated between Falmouth and Truro, so when you stay with us, you’ll have plenty to do right on your doorstep.

  • Gyllyngvase Beach
  • Swanpool Beach
  • South West Coast Path
  • Pendennis Point
  • Falmouth Art Gallery
  • National Maritime Museum
  • Truro Cathedral
  • Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary

1. Gyllyngvase Beach

A trip to Cornwall just wouldn’t be complete without visiting a couple of the county’s picture-perfect, family-friendly beaches. Gyllyngvase is Falmouth’s most popular beach, with the stretch of golden sand and crystal waters providing fun for families throughout the year. From splashing in the waves to building sandcastles to exploring rock pools, there’s plenty to keep you and the kids busy.

Once you’ve had your fill of beach activities, you could also take a walk around Queen Mary Gardens, which are located directly behind the beach. Here you can peruse subtropical plants and take in the surrounding views from a peaceful vantage point.

 Gyllyngvase Beach

Gyllyngvase Beach by Nilfanion. CC BY-SA 4.0

2. Swanpool Beach

Just along from Gyllyngvase, on the outskirts of Falmouth, lies Swanpool Beach. This sheltered bay is ideal for water sports and offers a fantastic, calm swimming spot. The beach is only 20 minutes from the town centre, making for the perfect little side adventure after you’ve spent some time exploring the town and docks.

Swanpool is backed by Swanpool Lake Nature Reserve, which is a haven for wildlife and a lovely place to wander around. The walk around the reserve is flat, and only around a mile, so it’s ideal for the whole family.

Swanpool Beach

Swanpool Beach, Falmouth by Tim Green. CC BY 2.0

3. South West Coast Path

Both beaches are linked by the South West Coast Path, a 630 mile route going from Minehead in Somerset, round the Southwest peninsula across Devon and Cornwall, along to Poole in Dorset. Cornwall makes up over 300 miles of the coast path so there are plenty of stretches along the way where you can amble at your own pace, taking in the coastal views and hidden gems on the journey.

Whether you’re up for a whole day of walking or a relaxing afternoon stroll, there are loads of opportunities to stop for a picnic or some seaside fun.

South West Coast Path

South West Coast Path by N Chadwick. CC BY-SA 2.0

4. Pendennis Point

Pendennis Castle is a beloved Falmouth landmark perched atop the scenic headland. While you do have to pay for entry to the Tudor fort itself, if you’re after a totally free day out, head along to Pendennis Point which is a scenic spot with opportunities for walking and catching sight of occasional dolphins and seals.

For those who want to explore the rocks, you’ll also find a smaller fort known as Little Dennis, which was built in 1539 and is likely one of the oldest buildings in Falmouth.

Pendennis Point

Falmouth: Blockhouse, Pendennis Point by Chris Downer. CC BY-SA 2.0

5. Falmouth Art Gallery

Falmouth Art Gallery is an award-winning, family-friendly gallery with a vibrant, ever-changing roster of exhibitions. The gallery is home to over 2,700 artworks from across the centuries, including local Cornish-based artists, museum loans and community group pieces.

The collection also includes a children’s illustration archive and has plenty that little ones will love exploring.

Falmouth Art Gallery and Library

Falmouth Art Gallery and Library by N Chadwick. CC BY-SA 2.0

6. National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall is another must if you’re interested in local heritage. Learn about Cornwall’s maritime history and the issues relevant to the modern day through a range of intriguing, interactive exhibits.

With tales of pirates and what lies beneath, there’s a lot to get the whole family thinking about the sea and the people who live off it.

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

The National Maritime Museum Cornwall by Rod Allday. CC BY-SA 2.0

7. Truro Cathedral

If your Cornish break takes you to Cornwall’s only city, you can’t miss the cathedral in the heart of the bustling central hub. Admire the Gothic Revival architecture and stained glass windows. For those with a head for heights, you can also take roof tours for a unique perspective and to learn more about the architecture on display.

The cathedral is home to a number of events throughout the year, including various concerts, markets and fairs.

Truro Cathedra

View from the Train – Truro Cathedral by Tim Green. CC BY-SA 2.0

8. Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary

For the animal lovers among us, the Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary is a must-visit. The sanctuary does important work rescuing donkeys and other animals and provides a chance for you to get up close with these gentle creatures. You can see the donkeys roaming their paddock and go and say hello via the visitor walkways.

Entry to the sanctuary is free, but there are also ticketed experiences to get closer and help take care of the donkeys.

Two donkeys in a field

Your holiday itinerary doesn’t have to be packed with big, expensive events! With free entry and just a short distance from us at The Valley, these attractions are perfect for families looking for a cheap but memorable day out. For more Cornish fun, check out some of our favourite woodland walks.

The best family friendly woodland walks in Cornwall

Hidden Gems in Cornwall: Tregothnan Tea

August 25th, 2023

Wanting to explore a hidden gem in Cornwall? At The Valley, we’re always seeking the best Cornwall has to offer – with stunning grounds and an opportunity to learn about all things tea, this spot definitely provides a great day out!

Tregothnan Tea is known for being the only tea plantation in the United Kingdom and is renowned for producing high-quality, locally grown tea.

Tregothnan has a very rich history, with botanical firsts happening here since 1334. In 2005, the site sold Britain’s first homegrown tea – safe to say, if you’re a lover of tea or wandering around beautiful gardens, this is the place for you. Here’s all you need to know about visiting this Cornish gem.

Where is Tregothnan Tea Located?

Tregothnan is situated near Truro in Cornwall, just a 30 minute drive from The Valley. The unique microclimate of the region, created by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, provides an ideal environment for growing tea.

The best beaches near truro

History of Tregothnan Tea

Tregothnan has a long history dating back to the 1330s when it was acquired by the Boscawen family. Tea cultivation began on the estate in the 1990s, and since then, Tregothnan has become a pioneer in British tea production.

Tea Cultivation at Tregothnan

The estate currently grows a variety of tea plants, including Camellia sinensis (the tea plant). The mild climate of Cornwall allows for year-round cultivation, and the tea plants thrive in the rich, acidic soils of the region.

Tea Varieties

Tregothnan produces a range of teas, including black tea, green tea, herbal infusions, and unique blends. They also experiment with growing different tea cultivars to produce distinct flavours.

Sustainability

Tregothnan is committed to sustainable and ethical tea production. The estate employs traditional and modern techniques to ensure the highest quality tea while minimising its environmental impact.

Visiting Tregothnan Tea

While Tregothnan is primarily a working estate, they do offer limited guided tours of their tea plantation and gardens. This provides visitors with a chance to learn about the tea-growing process, explore the beautiful surroundings, and taste some of the estate’s teas.

With its connection to Cornwall’s landscape and history, Tregothnan Tea offers a piece of British tea culture that is quite different from traditional tea sources.

Places to go fruit-picking in Cornwall

Online Shop

If you can’t make it to Tregothnan while on your Cornish adventure but are still interested in trying some British tea, Tregothnan’s teas and other products are available for purchase through their online shop.

This allows tea enthusiasts from around the world to enjoy the unique flavours of locally grown British tea.

Visiting Tregothnan Tea is a wonderful way to learn about the art and science of tea cultivation in an unexpected location. It’s a testament to how dedication, innovation, and a bit of favourable climate can create something truly special. If you’re a tea lover or simply interested in unique agricultural experiences, Tregothnan Tea should definitely be on your radar.

If you’re seeking a base for your Cornish adventures, look no further than our luxury holiday cottages here at The Valley! Enjoy a prime location just a short drive away from Tregothnan and an array of other heritage sites and activities.

Book your perfect Cornwall holiday

Location Guide: Charlestown

August 21st, 2023

Imagine an unspoilt seaside village with an undisturbed Georgian harbour full of tall, historic ships, pretty cobbled pathways, endless views and cosy sea-front cottages that overlook turquoise Cornish water that touches a calm, tranquil beach. It sounds like a coastal dream, doesn’t it?

Well, this place does exist. Welcome to Charlestown! Charlestown is one of Cornwall’s gems known for being the set of many major Hollywood productions and full of welcoming and homey eateries.

Where is Charlestown?

Charlestown is an idyllic, picturesque village on Cornwall’s south coast. Only a 40-minute drive from our luxury cornish cottages, this peaceful village hosts a small shingle beach on either side of its Grade 2 listed harbour that overlooks St Austell Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the perfect place for couples and families to relax and take in the beauty Cornwall has to offer.

Image credit: Steve Cook under CC BY-NC 2.0

How Far is Charlestown From St Austell?

Charlestown is approximately 2 miles from St Austell’s town centre, so quite close! If you’re keen to stretch those legs and walk from St Austell to Charlestown at a relaxed pace, it’ll take roughly 25-30 minutes. Or, if you’d prefer to jump in the car, it’s only a 5-10 minute drive (depending on traffic).

Just a heads up, don’t be surprised if you struggle to find parking during the summertime (as this is a small village). You will most likely need to pay for parking, too, so our advice would be to arrive as early as possible during the summer holidays to make the most out of your day!

What to do in Charlestown, Cornwall?

If you want to visit a film or TV set, simply walk around Charlestown Harbour! Initially known for being a thriving fishing port of West Polmear exporting china clay, Charlestown is now famous for being the set of many major Hollywood productions such as Pirates of The Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, The Three Musketeers, Treasure Island, Doctor Who, and was recently the primary set of major BBC’s hit TV series, Poldark. In our previous blog, we go into more detail about movies and shows filmed in Charlestown. You may be able to recognise some parts of the village that have been on the big screen!

Charlestown is also home to Europe’s biggest shipwreck museum, the ‘Shipwreck Treasure Museum’, where you can see thousands of shipwreck artefacts recovered from over 150 wrecks.

Looking for a bite to eat? Charlestown has a range of traditional pubs, restaurants and tasty cafes, and you won’t be disappointed with the food or drinks. Indulge as much as you’d like (guilt-free) on the Cornish quayside!

How does a breathtaking coastal walk sound? Enjoy the beautiful views on offer by walking the circular route from the port of Charlestown to the sheltered cove of Porthpean. Charlestown is also on the South-West coastal path, so stop off here and look around if you’re passing through. It’ll be worth it.

The Eden Project

Image credit: Mr Eugene Birchall under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you’re in the Charlestown area, another must-see attraction you should visit is The Eden Project. Hosting the world’s largest indoor rainforest biome and a huge Mediterranean biome, immersing yourself in this architectural and biological engineering paradise will feel other-worldly.

Are Dogs Allowed on Charlestown Beach?

If you’re travelling with a furry friend, you won’t be able to take your beloved dog onto Charlestown Beach. Charlestown’s shingle beach is relatively small, so it’s understandable that there is an all-year-round dog ban, making it perfect for those looking for a dog-free beach to relax. However, you can bring your pet along the harbour and enjoy the rest of this stunning village, so don’t let that put you off from visiting! Our previous blog recommends the best dog-friendly beaches when making a trip to Cornwall.

Charlestown Beach

Image credit: N Chadwick under CC BY-SA 2.0

Is Charleston Harbour Open?

Exploring Charlestown Harbour is free of charge, and the inner harbour is open from April to October to the public all year round. The harbour may only be closed to the public if there’s exceptionally stormy weather. If so, check out our blog on rainy days in Cornwall. There’s still a lot of fun to be had.

If you’re looking for a place to relax and explore while enjoying good food and refreshments by the untouched blue Cornish coast, then adding Charlestown to your adventure is the perfect choice.

Feature image credit: Chris Hodrien under CC BY-SA 2.0


10 Best Secret & Hidden Beaches in Cornwall

July 17th, 2023

Cornwall’s picture-perfect beaches attract hordes of tourists every year, which means that all the popular spots can fill up pretty quickly, especially during the summer. But, if you want to escape the crowds or just enjoy a more private beach experience, there are plenty of secluded coves and shores to while away the hours.

Here are some of our favourite secret beaches, perfect for exploring when you’re staying in one of our luxury Cornish cottages.

The Best Quiet Beaches in Cornwall

If you visit some of these hidden gems at just the right time, you might find you have the whole beach to yourself.

  • Lantic Bay
  • Porth Nanven Cove
  • Porth Joke Beach
  • Pedn Vounder Beach
  • Nanjizal Beach
  • Rinsey Cove
  • Portheras Cove
  • Pentire Steps Beach
  • Prussia Cove
  • Hawkers Cove

With quintessential Cornish views, golden sands and turquoise waters, it’s well worth visiting at least one of these secluded treasures when embarking on your adventure. You’ll find the spots mentioned here on both the north and south coast, giving you plenty of options.

Explore Cornwall’s Most Beautiful Secret Beaches

Lantic Bay, Fowey

Lantic Bay

Lantic Bay by Nilfanion. CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re not purposely seeking out this secret spot, there’s little chance you’d stumble upon it! Nestled along the coastline between Fowey and Polperro, this remote bay boasts sand and shingle shores and inviting crystal waters.

Set against an impressive backdrop of plunging cliffs, the beach here actually includes two coves – at high tide, Great Lantic and Little Lantic are both accessible. The walk down is quite steep, but it is well worth it once you reach the tranquil haven below. The crescent beach here is a great place to stop for a picnic if you’re meandering along the coast path.

Be mindful that Lantic Bay really is remote, so there are no facilities in the immediate area, and the beach is not covered by lifeguards.

Porth Nanven Cove, Cot Valley

Porth Naven Cove

Cape Cornwall from Porth Nanven by Tom Corser www.tomcorser.com. CC BY-SA 3.0

Hidden at the base of Cot Valley is Porth Nanven, a cove of unique geology. While there is some sand on the beach, it is mainly framed by sculptural boulders and pebbles. It’s sometimes called ‘Dinosaur Egg Beach’ in reference to the many smooth round stones scattered across the bay and surrounding cliffs.

The valley here has its own microclimate, making it a great place for plant and wildlife enthusiasts. Porth Nanven also has connections to the area’s rich mining history – it definitely is the place to be if you want to escape the hustle of busy modern life!

The currents here can get quite strong, so it’s not ideal for a dip, and due to its remote location, there are no lifeguards. The nearest amenities can be found in the neighbouring town of St Just.

Porth Joke Beach, Newquay

Porth Joke Beach

Porth Joke beach by Steve Daniels. CC BY-SA 2.0

Porth Joke, or Polly Joke, is surrounded by a number of extremely popular beaches, so is often overlooked. Located in between the headlines at Crantock Beach and Holywell Bay, this small secluded cove of sandy beach and inviting blue waters is a great spot for escaping the crowds at nearby Perranporth and Fistral.

Depending on the time of year, the surrounding headlines will be teaming with wildflowers, making for some spectacular views. Not to mention that the shallow waters and trickling stream are lovely for a cooling dip in the summer!

The beach is around five miles outside of Newquay, making for a great place to visit when heading to the north coast. The car park is a little walk away, and there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity, so you might want to bring a picnic along.

Pedn Vounder Beach, St Levan

Pedn Vounder Beach

Pedn Vounder beach from the east by Sarah Charlesworth. CC BY-SA 2.0

East of Porthcurno, you’ll find perhaps one of Cornwall’s loveliest beaches (although there are certainly many contenders). Made all the lovelier for being so remote and a haven all to itself, Pedn Vounder Beach boasts golden sands and the clearest blue waters around.

The steep cliff path down to the beach isn’t for the faint of heart – which is why you won’t find too many beachgoers here despite its unbeatable beauty. The bay is surrounded by the Treryn Dinas cliffs, with the famous Logan Rock also gracing the view.

You’ll find Porthcurno Beach and the Minack Theatre along the coast path, but be warned, there aren’t any facilities in the immediate vicinity.

Nanjizal Beach, St Levan

Nanjizal Beach

Nanjizal Beach by Andrew Bone. CC BY 2.0

If you really want seclusion, look no further than Nanjizal Beach along Cornwall’s southerly coast. Unspoilt and untouched, the beach near Land’s End boasts clear waters and a boulder-strewn cove.

Look out for the natural rock arch known as Zawn Pyg or ‘the Song of the Sea’ and the formation known as the Diamond Horse, which has a quartz vein running through it that glistens in the sun. This stunning beach really does offer a magical experience.

Nanjizal is about an hour’s walk from the nearest car park, so getting there will take a bit of planning. Take a look at our location guide to make it part of your itinerary.

Location guide to Nanjizal Beach

Rinsey Cove, Breage

Rinsey Cove

Mylor Slate platform at Rinsey Cove by Richard Law. CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled between Porthleven and Praa Sands, you’ll find the remote Rinsey Cove, also known as Porthcew beach. Overlooked by the remains of the Wheal Prosper Mine Engine House, the sloping cliffs and shelter provided by rugged Rinsey Head offer a striking backdrop.

You probably won’t come across too many other people at the beach here as visitors have to journey through a man-made cut in the middle of the cliff to gain entry to the beach! Helston is the nearest hub of activity and is the perfect place to retire to after exploring the cove.

The small sandy beach is only really accessible at low tide, so take care when organising a trip. The swell can also be quite strong – it might not be the best spot for swimming.

Portheras Cove, Pendeen

Portheras Cove

Portheras Cove 2 Morvah Cornwall by Tom Corser www.tomcorser.com. CC BY-SA 3.0

To experience one of the quietest beaches in Cornwall, head to Portheras Cove along the wildest, most undisturbed stretch of the Land’s End Peninsula. Located between Pendeen and Morvah, the sands here were once home to the Alacrity shipwreck (which has since been cleared away).

Portheras is an oasis of calm, but swimming isn’t recommended as the rip currents can be powerful. There are some rock pools to explore, and remember to keep your eyes out for seals here, as they’ve been known to visit the cove!

It probably comes as no surprise that there aren’t nearby facilities – you really will be secluded on what will likely be your private beach for the day. The surrounding towns include Porthleven and Helston for when you’re ready to get back to civilisation.

Pentire Steps Beach, St Eval

Pentire Steps Beach

Pentire steps beach by Geertivp. CC BY-SA 4.0

Just metres away from Bedruthan Steps, a landmark that is generally regarded as one of the most iconic that Cornwall has to offer, Pentire Steps beach is located between Padstow and Newquay.

Complete with golden sands and high cliffs, this is another quiet spot that doesn’t attract too many visitors due to the slightly trickier access. Here you’ll see the landmark Diggory’s Island, which includes a small arch that’ll make for some fantastic photos!

Swimming here isn’t recommended as you can come across some strong rip currents.

Prussia Cove, South West Coast Path near Cudden Point

Prussia Cove

Bessy’s Cove by Philip Halling. CC BY-SA 2.0

Prussia Cove on the Lizard Peninsula is made up of three little coves; Piskies Cove, Bessy’s Cove and King’s Cove, offering plenty to explore. The series of secluded, rocky coves provide a sheltered spot that’s great for investigating rock pools and enjoying a peaceful swim on the calmer days.

The sweeping landscape provides plenty of fuel for the imagination, with the unspoiled nature of the beach creating a sense of stepping into the past. The coves have an interesting history, as they were once home to a family of 18th-century smugglers.

There is a nearby car park, which makes the beach slightly more accessible than some of the others on the list here.

Hawkers Cove, Padstow

Hawkers Cove

Hawker’s Cove by Maurice D Budden. CC BY-SA 2.0

At the mouth of the River Camel and just a stone’s throw away from Padstow sits Hawkers Cove. The shifting golden sands create shallow waters and the infamous Doom Bar sandbank. Visible from the cove, the Doom Bar itself is steeped in Cornish folklore – legend states that the Mermaid of Padstow created it after she was shot, cursing ships to wreck on the perilous sands.

Aside from the golden sands, you’ll also be greeted by views of old coastguard cottages that overlook the beach. The buildings here provide a real window into the past, further adding to the sense of escape this secluded spot encourages.

While Hawkers Cove is very much off the beaten track, there is a small tea shop nearby where you can recharge!

Guide to Cornish folklore

It’s worth mentioning that due to the remote nature of the beaches on this list, they are not covered by lifeguards and are often quite out of the way. Be careful when venturing to these secret coves and bays, and always keep a keen eye on the tide.

There are plenty more quiet, secluded beaches along Cornwall’s coast that we haven’t touched on – not to mention all the more well-known ones!

If you’re dreaming of spectacular shores and crystalline waves, why not book your Cornwall break today? At The Valley, we’re in a great central spot between Truro and Falmouth – you’re never too far from any number of stunning beaches.

Last minute holidays in Cornwall

Islands Around Cornwall to Visit

June 27th, 2023

 

Luxury doesn’t come much more indulgent than our holiday cottages in Cornwall, and with so much to see in the beautiful county, venturing away from your holiday accommodation for the day is a must

 

Cornwall has plenty to explore, especially along its breath-taking coastline. Scattered with captivating little islands, we have selected our top locations for those who are eager for a mini adventure! Discover how to get to them and why you should visit.

 

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael’s Mount

 

Where: St Michael’s Mount is situated just 500 metres away from Marazion.

 

Now part of the National Trust, St Michael’s Mount is one of the classic hotspots of Cornwall. The history of the island is vast, and the site greets visitors with captivating mediaeval architecture and fascinating sub-tropical terraced gardens to explore. It is believed to have origins as a monastery in the 8th and 11th century, though this is not confirmed.

 

The island can be accessed via a human-made causeway which is revealed during low tide, making St Michael’s Mount an exciting location to travel to by foot.

 

On high tides, the mount can be accessed or exited by boat.

 

Godrevy Lighthouse in a storm

Godrevy Lighthouse

 

Where: Godrevy is situated on the East side of St Ives Bay.

 

From the Cornish coastline, viewers can gaze upon the charming lighthouse which sits upon the island. The lighthouse is believed to have been the source of inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse.

 

The small 12-acre island is renowned for its rockiness and has been the unfortunate setting for many tragic shipwrecks due to the Stones Reef just off the island, until the lighthouse was created in-between 1858 and 1859.

 

The best way to view Godrevy island and lighthouse is to organise a walk on the South West Coast Path. The hike will take you across Godrevy Head which reveals incredible views of St Ives and Trevose Head, with Godrevy Lighthouse stealing the show.

 

The area is also known for inhabiting grey seals from autumn to January, so keep your eyes peeled when travelling past private beaches and coves.

 

A Shetland pony

Looe Island / St George’s Island

 

Where: Looe Island is one mile away from the Cornish town of Looe.

 

Part of the Whitsand and Looe Bay Marine Conservation Zone, Looe Island is the home of many unique species of animals and birds including Shetland ponies, Hebridean sheep and grey seals. It also boasts the largest breeding colony of the great black-backed gulls in the county.

 

You can visit Looe Island through the organisation of official guided trips. The boat leaves from RNLI station on East Looe, and the boat trips last around two hours in length.

 

St Clement’s Isle

Where: St Clement’s Isle can be spied just off the coast from Mousehole.

 

This small but fascinating rocky islet is full of wonder and charm and is said to have once belonged to an ancient hermit who resided there. It is about 500m from the harbour, and it is best viewed from the shoreline where you can see the energetic activity of wild birds. Some days it is also a vantage point to spot grey seals on its tiny beach.

 

Wild swimmers have been known to swim there, though this is not recommended!

 

If you walk from the village, you can find a huge cave which is rumoured to be how Mousehole got its name (Mouse Hole).

 

The Isles of Scilly
 

Isles of Scilly

Where: The Isles of Scilly are 25 miles off the tip of Cornwall.

 

One of Cornwall’s most unique features is the Isles of Scilly. Its beautiful collection of pretty islands draws visitors in search of its unique and unspoilt landscape. You may be pleased to know that hopping over to the Isles of Scilly is possible on a day trip!

 

The largest of the Isles is St Mary’s, which also happens to be the best choice for a one day visit. Find a secluded spot on one of its gleaming, white sand beaches or make your way to energetic Hugh Town.

 

The Scillonian III is a direct boat to the Isles and is acclaimed for its unforgettable views of the Cornish coastline in two hours and 40-minutes.

 

Which of the islands featured are you eager to visit? Why not let us know on our social media channels; we would love to know!

 


Fishing in Falmouth

October 18th, 2021

Falmouth is a seaside town located in Cornwall, in the south-west region of England. Here you will experience spectacular scenery along with plenty of independent shops selling everything from surf equipment and beach gear to handcrafted jewellery.

 

Within this tranquil section of the world is a series of activities and a plethora of history, with Pendennis Castle being a popular tourist spot. Not only is there much to do, but with it being right on the coast, there are plenty of hotspots for fishing! In this blog, we will explore the best fishing spots as a luxury Falmouth holiday awaits you!

 

The Best Places to Fish in Falmouth

There are numerous fishing spots dotted across Falmouth, but like most things, there are some better than others. For a better chance of a successful catch, make sure you visit one or more of these spots while you are visiting Falmouth.

The coast of Pendennis Point in Falmouth, Cornwall
CC by Tim Green

Pendennis Point

Pendennis Point is where Pendennis Castle is located, and this is a very popular tourist destination, especially in the summer as it boasts incredible views of Falmouth. Pendennis Castle was built by Henry VIII high up on the Fal Estuary – for more information on castles in Cornwall, take a look at our previous blog!

 

 

Like most of the Cornish coast, Pendennis Point is beautiful. The rocky location is perfect for spring and summer fishing, offering a wide variety of species. It is brilliant for a day of fishing; set up, have a picnic and enjoy the view while trying for a catch!

 

How to Get to Pendennis Point

Begin your journey in Falmouth and follow signs for Pendennis Castle. Once you have arrived, you will notice that there are numerous pay and display car parks along with road parking towards the castle.

The Prince of Wales Pier in Falmouth
CC by Tim Green

The Prince of Wales Pier

Anglers of all abilities can fish at the Prince of Wales Pier with ease. Access to the pier is straightforward, and it’s a hotspot for tourists to attempt to catch fish. Additionally, fishers love to camp around this spot for obvious reasons.

In the summer, the pier can become somewhat populated with tourists looking for crabs, so if you would prefer a quieter and more peaceful experience, it is recommended that you visit the pier at night on a flooding tide.

 

How to Get to the Prince of Wales Pier

Start your journey in Falmouth and follow signs for the front or the quay. You will know when you have arrived because you simply cannot miss the pier! In terms of parking, there is a pay and display service near the pier.

 

What Fish Can You Catch in Falmouth?

At both of the locations above, you can catch an array of fish throughout the seasons.

 

Summer

In the summer, you can expect to catch any of the following:

  • Bass
  • Pollack
  • Mackerel
  • Wrasse
  • Garfish
  • Mullet
  • Eels
  • Pouting
 

Winter

Then, in the winter, you can expect to catch any of the following species:

  • Flounder
  • Pouting
  • Whiting
  • Rare codling
 

Get the Right Bait with The Tackle Box

The local tackle shop for both The Prince of Wales Pier and Pendennis Point is The Tackle Box, and we would recommend you use any of the following bait:

  • Ragworm
  • Peeler crab
  • Mackerel
  • Lugworm
  • Lures
 

Fish of The Month in Falmouth

For those not familiar with fishing, or those who would simply like some more information, some species of fish are more common to catch in certain months. We have broken this down into months in the table below:

Infographic showing the fish of the month in Falmouth

Please Note: when catching Blue Shark you MUST tag and release

 

Boat Fishing Trips in Falmouth

If you would like to experience fishing but aren’t sure where to start and would prefer to go with an expert, then we would highly recommend trying one of the many fishing boat trips located in Falmouth.

 

These trips include going out into the sea on a boat and trying some deep-sea fishing. The experts will guide you the whole way, help you when needed and provide you with all the necessary equipment.

 

Top Fishing Tips for Beginners

Alternatively, if you are new to fishing or you are looking to take your family out for the day to try and catch some fish but want to go at it alone, then here are some top tips to ensure you have a fun-filled day while also remaining safe:

 
  • Do some research beforehand.
  • Learn the basics: adding bait to the hook, tying knots and casting the line.
  • Learn which bait attracts which fish.
  • Ensure you check the weather before you head out on your fishing trip.
  • Wear appropriate clothing (if it is sunny, remember plenty of sun cream!).
  • Take plenty of food and water to remain fuelled and hydrated.
 

We hope that you have found our guide insightful and have enticed you to try out fishing when in Falmouth! Come join us for new adventures, exciting memories and a t

 

We are a 5 star luxury holiday park in Cornwall based in Truro which is less than half an hour away from Falmouth and our holiday cottages are the perfect hub for your Cornish holiday! If you do decide to stay with us, check out some of the brilliant towns surrounding Truro to add to your holiday itinerary.

 

The Best Things to Do in Cornwall in Autumn

October 11th, 2021

As the season changes, the trees prepare for winter, and the days get shorter, Cornwall begins its autumn festivities. With a great range of activities to explore – from spending a weekend in luxury cottages in Cornwall to splashing around in piles of crisp autumn leaves – Cornwall is the perfect place to be this autumn.

Most of the activities that draw tourists to the county will still be available throughout the year. Still, autumn and winter offer a far less crowded and hectic period, allowing you to take your time and thoroughly enjoy each day of your luxury Falmouth or Truro holiday.

Let’s take a look at some of the best things to do in Cornwall during autumn!

Romantic Cornish Cottages

An open kitchen within a cottage

Visit The Valley and spend your time in an oasis of serenity. Our luxury holiday cottages offer an escape from fast-paced daily life and allow you and your partner to take some time to be pampered.

With so much to do right outside your doorstep, you can fill your autumn with romantic activities and places to visit. Autumn offers a moment of reflection and peace, so why not do this in a 5-star luxury cottage with a warm indoor pool?

Visit a Food Festival in October

A bag of Cornish potatoes

While the summer months are all about enjoying live music, autumn is all about food and drink! Autumn in Cornwall sees three big festivals – Falmouth Oyster Festival, Oktoberfest and the Big Cornish Market.

Here you’ll be able to enjoy local produce and sample some of the finest Cornish ciders and ales. The Big Cornish Market takes place in Truro, offering street food, local produce, live entertainment and craft stalls.

Go Surfing in the October Swells

People standing with surfboards on a beach

The milder autumn months are the perfect time to get active. How does a day of surfing sound?

Cornwall has some great spots to surf, including Fistral beach, Perranporth Beach, Porthmeor beach and many more. With potential 6-8ft waves moving into the harbour, you could break your record or discover a new skill.

We do advise using a winter wetsuit for those harsher autumn days!

Halloween in Cornwall

A brown dog sat next to three pumpkins

Halloween in the west country is a magnificent display of how to enjoy the spooky season. We recommend taking your family pumpkin picking! With some great pumpkin patches throughout Cornwall, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the perfect one!

Additionally, Cornwall holds a variety of haunted houses and scary mazes for everyone to visit and enjoy! For more information on what to do this October, check out our blog.

Go Rock Pooling and Catch Crabs

Sea life in a rockpool

Now the summer months are over, the beaches in Cornwall will be far less busy, meaning that you’ll get more of a chance to explore.

There are plenty of beaches with fantastic rock pools in Cornwall, with Castle Beach in Falmouth and Kennack Sands on The Lizard being two great choices.

Rock pooling is the perfect autumnal activity if you still want your fix of the beach when holidaying in Cornwall, as you can get up close to the shore without having to take a dip in the cooler water.

Crabs, fish, anemones and starfish are common Cornish rock pooling finds – what will you discover?

Head to the Beach With Your Dog

Two dogs running along a sandy beach

On October 1st, the seasonal dog ban gets lifted on most Cornish beaches until the summer months come around again. Your dog will be granted unlimited access to the sandy stretches and can splash in the sea to their heart’s content!

Plus, you’ll be able to visit a beach without worrying about leaving your pup behind at home. However, if you’re not sure, check the GOV website for more information.

Woodland Walks in Autumn

A dog in an autumnal forest

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the crunch of crisp, golden leaves underfoot, and the woodlands in Cornwall will be full of fallen leaves come autumn.

Explore the woodland paths of Trelissick, head out to Kennall Vale Nature Reserve or one of the many other woodland spots in Cornwall!

Whether you’re following a trail or embarking on your adventure, why not pack a picnic and make a day of your outing? Be sure to keep an eye out for local wildlife when out walking too.

Will you be joining us in Cornwall this autumn? For more information on what to do this October, you can check out our blog or contact us on Facebook and Instagram.


What to Do on a Rainy Day in Cornwall

September 27th, 2021

Whether you’re camping or staying in one of our Truro holiday cottages, if there’s one thing you can’t always depend on while on your holiday, it’s the weather.

Luckily for you, Cornwall is a fantastic place to visit, rain or shine! So, whatever the weather, you can be sure there’ll be something to entertain you and the family throughout your holiday in Cornwall.

Here are some of our favourite things to do in Cornwall on a rainy day.

Museums in Cornwall

Cornwall is rich in culture and history, so why not spend those rainy days learning all about Cornwall’s past and how it came to be what it is today?

Here are a couple of our favourite museums to visit in Cornwall on a rainy day.

National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

A child looking at a fish tank in a museum

You can find this award-winning and family-friendly museum tucked away in Falmouth. The museum is dedicated to celebrating how the influence of the sea has shaped Cornwall’s history and culture.

With permanent fixtures like the National Small Boat Collection as well as fantastic temporary exhibits, there is something to keep everyone entertained. There’s even a pirate-themed play area for the little ones to enjoy!

Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro

If you’re looking for a broad exploration of Cornwall’s rich and fascinating history, then look no further than the Royal Cornwall Museum.

Based in Truro, Cornwall’s only city, the Royal Cornwall Museum offers visitors the chance to browse thousands of historical objects that showcase Cornwall’s history.

The museum also has temporary exhibitions showcasing history from the rest of the world as well as its own art collection and programmes just for kids!

Art Galleries in Cornwall

Someone looking at a sculpture in the Tate gallery

If you’re a fan of the finer things, then why not check out one of the dozens of art galleries in Cornwall.

From small independent venues and local artists all the way to world-renowned collections, there’s something for everyone’s tastes.

Here are just some of the brilliant galleries you could visit while staying with us at The Valley:

  • Falmouth Art Gallery
  • Newlyn Art Gallery
  • Tate St. Ives

Shopping in Cornwall

 A man browsing clothes on a rail

Why not tend to those rainy day blues with a bit of retail therapy?

There are shopping centres dotted all across Cornwall filled with high street chains, boutiques and even cute little cafes to help you shop the day away!

Or, if you prefer to shop independent, why not lose yourself to some of the hidden shopping gems and bag yourself a memento of your time away?

As you can see, there’s no need to let the weather get you down! There are plenty of ways to make the most of your holiday in Cornwall, even if the weather isn’t always on your side.

Image credit: Visit Cornwall


10 Facts About The Eden Project

July 23rd, 2021

If you’re embarking on a family-friendly holiday in Cornwall, you likely already have the Eden Project in your sights.

With its bubble-like biomes and outstanding range of plants from around the globe, the Eden Project is a fantastic feat of biological engineering and is one of Cornwall’s premier attractions – a true must-visit!

You might recognise the iconic structure, but what else do you know about this attraction?

A pink plant inside the Eden Project

What is the Eden Project?

Built into an old china clay pit in south Cornwall, the Eden Project consists of a selection of biomes. These giant greenhouse-like structures are made from inflatable plastic cells that are supported by steel frames.

The unique structures allow for the creation of artificial climates, where a myriad of native plants from tropical and desert environments can thrive.

The two main biomes emulate rainforest and Mediterranean climates respectively and house a vast selection of stunning plants.

The site also includes expansive outdoor gardens and various art installations and exhibitions.

1. The Eden Project Opened in 2001

Funded by the Millennium Commission and intended as a way of re-energising the Southwest, the Eden Project opened in March of 2001.

With no building of this scale in the world, at the time a global audience referred to it as the eighth wonder of the world! It was hugely popular from the start, attracting over 1 million visitors in its first four months.

2. The Site Has Been Used as a Filming Location

After functioning as a working clay pit for over 160 years, the original site of the Eden Project was also used as a filming location for the 1981 BBC series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

In 2002, after the Eden Project’s construction, it once again became a filming location for the James Bond film Die Another Day.

The Eden Project biomes from afar

3. The Eden Project Cost over £100 million

Overall, the Eden Project cost £141 million to complete.

The build was funded through a series of government grants and loans from institutions like the Millennium Commission – with funding coming from the National Lottery – and European regeneration funds.

Since it was fully funded in 2000, the site has been a source of enormous economic revitalisation for Cornwall and the Southwest as a whole – it is believed to have contributed well over £1 billion to the local economy since its launch.

4. The Biomes are Made of A Special Plastic

The hexagonal shape of the biome’s cells was based on soap bubbles and were used for their ability to adapt to the uneven shape of the clay pit that they were built in.

Each cell is made up of three layers of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene copolymer (ETFE) that is inflated to create a pillow. Similar to clingfilm, ETFE is lighter than glass but also strong enough to withstand the weight of a car. It also lets in UV light for the plants inside.

If the plastic needs to be cleaned, this is performed by abseilers who scale the structure.

The canopy walkway in the rainforest biome

5. The Eden Project is Home to the World’s Largest Indoor Rainforest

Eden’s tropical biome houses an incredible selection of plants that make up the largest indoor rainforest in the world!

With over 1,000 varieties of plants, there’s plenty to see and experience, especially when venturing up to the canopy walkway that gives you stunning views from great heights. Temperatures in the biome reach between 18 and 35°C to create a humid environment that replicates climates of Southeast Asia, West Africa and South America.

6. The Eden Project is A Charitable Organisation

The Eden Project is a charitable organisation, although the amount of money it receives from government organisations has sharply decreased. Seen now as more of a social enterprise, the Eden Project is fully capable of funding its operations through gate receipts and other revenue streams.

Despite this, the Eden Project still values its charitable ethos, placing this at the centre of much of their work. They run many educational programmes at the site, while also using their reputation to push the conversation about our environment.

7. The Eden Project Hosts Musical Performances

Thanks to its unique venue, the Eden Project is also a popular place to host musical performances, with world-renowned musicians performing in these ‘Eden Sessions’.

Over the years, the Eden Project has hosted acts like Snow Patrol, Amy Winehouse, Elton John, Bastille, Kaiser Chiefs and much more.

2021 headliners are set to be My Chemical Romance, The Script, Lionel Richie and Diana Ross.

The inside of an Eden Project biome

8. The Eden Project Hosts The World Pasty Championships

Since 2012, the World Pasty Championships have been held at the Eden Project. This competition is, of course, centred around finding the best Cornish pasty, although there are rounds for other non-traditional bakes too.

The event sees amateurs, professional bakers, and companies compete to be crowned the pasty champion. Competitors come from all over the country and from further afield to get the chance to show off their baked goods.

9. The Eden Project is Home to England’s Longest and Fastest Zip Wire

Although the vast array of plants and spectacular gardens are the main draw of the Eden Project, a peaceful stroll in the greenery is not all the site has to offer.

The 660m long zip wire that takes you to speeds of 60 mph is sure to provide a thrill – not to mention the other adrenaline activities, including a giant swing, leap of faith and aerial obstacle course.

The Eden Project biomes on a sunny day

10. The Eden Project is Going Global

Eden Project International is an organisation chaired by many of the people behind the Eden Project in Cornwall. It was created with the mission of supporting other potential projects across the world in developing their own Eden sites based on the local environments.

There are both national and international projects proposed, with a site in Dundee most recently announced. Based in a former gasworks, this exciting project is set to bring in millions to the regional economy.

There are numerous other planned projects across the world, including in China, Australia and the U.S.A.

The Eden Project is a fantastic location to visit any time of the year and is just one of the many reasons to take a trip to Cornwall. Here at The Valley, our luxury holiday park in Cornwall makes a great base for your Cornish adventures – discover more about our 5-star accommodations today.


5 Activities For Thrill-Seekers in Cornwall

July 20th, 2021

When you think about a trip to Cornwall, your first thoughts may be of a peaceful stroll by the beach with an ice cream in hand. While you’ll certainly find plenty of opportunities to relax by golden sands, there are also numerous activities and exciting places to visit for those that prefer a more active adventure.

To entice all the thrill seekers, we’ve compiled a list of our five favourite adrenaline-packed activities that you can find in Cornwall.

If you can’t wait to start the adventure, take a look at our luxury cottages in Cornwall to find the perfect place to stay and relax between each action-packed day.

Adrenalin Quarry

Two people on the zip wire at Adrenalin Quarry

Based in Liskeard, Adrenalin Quarry has a diverse range of activities bound to get your adrenaline pumping!

When Adrenalin Quarry proudly states they’ve been ‘throwing people off cliffs since 2009’, that’s what they mean. Get a thrill from the main attraction, a 490m long zip wire that crosses the old flooded quarry.

If that’s not scary enough, you can also take a dramatic plunge from the quarry’s cliffs over the water in a giant swing, big enough to hold three people and reaching 170ft above the water.

Once you’ve exhausted all the cliff-jumping opportunities, you can also take to the Aquapark, a Wipeout-style inflatable playground filled with giant slides, trampolines and climbing walls. The 800m go-kart race track also offers endless fun as you compete for the top spot. For something a little different, you can also have a go at axe throwing, releasing your inner warrior.

Coasteering

A group taking part in coasteering

With more than 400 miles of coastline, Cornwall gives you plenty of chances to have fun with coasteering.

This activity is all about exploring the coastline, scrambling over rocks, jumping from rocky heights and swimming in the waves below. Coasteering gives you the chance to get up close to sea cliffs, discovering the secrets of the coastline in a more exciting way than walking.

It’s important to be mindful that this activity is not without its risks, and you should always take part in this activity with the support of a dedicated business that provides guides, equipment and professional safety procedures.

There are various coasteering centres across Cornwall, including:

  • Newquay Activity Centre
  • Kernow Coasteering
  • Cornish Rock Tors
  • Lizard Adventure
  • Cornish Wave Surf & Adventure

The Eden Project’s Skywire

The Eden project from afar

While the Eden Project is most famous for its incredible biomes, seeing a giant rainforest packed inside a massive bubble in England isn’t the only exciting thing to do there.

For the uninitiated, the Eden project is not only home to some amazing greenery, but also boasts England’s longest and fastest zip wire.

Make your way 100m above the ground and strap into the special flight suit before zipping 660m through the air at 60mph.

For even more exhilarating experiences at the Eden Project, you’ll also find an aerial obstacle course, the giant swing, leap of faith and base jump – a dream turned reality for true adrenaline-junkies!

For a deeper dive into the Eden Project and everything it has to offer, take a look at our blog below:

Surfing

A group of surfers in the sea

There’s no way we could write this list without mentioning surfing! This activity is often a main driving force behind many people’s trips to Cornwall, with people flocking to all of the glorious Cornish beaches for a chance to surf the waves.

With numerous surf schools located all around the coast, you certainly won’t be short on teachers and places to rent a board if you’re new to the experience. Fans of surfing will need no introduction to the beaches of Cornwall, as it is certainly one of the best spots in the UK to get out on a board.

Some great surf schools to help you get to grips with the sport include:

  • Harlyn Surf School, Padstow
  • Escape Surf School, Newquay
  • Fistral Beach Surf School, Newquay
  • Ticket to Ride Surf School, Perranporth
  • Smart Surf School, Sennen Cove

Zorbing

A zorbing ball rolling down a hill

Rolling downhill at great speeds in a giant inflatable ball will certainly help you see Cornwall from a new perspective.

With its expansive rolling hills and stunning scenery, Cornwall is the perfect spot for this action-packed activity, whether you’ve had a go before or have always wanted to try it.

This is a great activity to turn to when the sea and sky are too calm to catch some waves – come rain or shine, zorbing is a great all-weather activity for all the family.

There are several zorbing activity centres around the coast, including Cornwall Zorbing in Newquay and ZorBude in Bude.

Have we awoken the thrill-seeker within you? There are plenty of great adventures to be had all across Cornwall!

When you’ve had your fill of action and thrills, our Cornish cottages here at The Valley provide the perfect place for some much-needed relaxation and recovery.

Image Credit: Visit Cornwall