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 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
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 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 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 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.
Rinsey Cove, Breage
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 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 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
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
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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!
The Ultimate Guide to Cornish Folklore
May 31st, 2023
Cornwall is renowned for its folklore, with various myths, legends and tales associated with the magical stretches of countryside and sea throughout the county. We take a look at some of the most popular Cornish folktales.
Mermaid of Padstow
While there are many references to mermaids throughout Cornish folklore, one particular tale relating to mermaids is that of the Doom Bar, a sandbar at the mouth of an estuary of the River Camel on the North coast of Cornwall.
It is said that, upon being shot by a Cornish sailor, a mermaid set a dying curse on the harbour, forming the sandbar. There are several variations on the details of this tale, but many involve the mermaid and the sailor falling in love, and at the end of their relationship (in one version she refuses a proposal, and in another she tries to lure him under the sea), he shoots her.
Her curse on the harbour stated that it would become unusable, desolate and unsafe, and in doing so destroyed many boats and formed the sandbar.
Living under the sea isn’t a life only limited to the ‘maids in Cornwall, with it said that sea spirit mermen came to shore to inhabit coastal communities during stormy weather.
The Tale of the Sea Bucca describes the being as having the dark brown skin of a conger eel, with a mound of seaweed hair. Legend suggests, he was once a human prince who got cursed by a witch. He helped local fishermen by driving fish towards their net, and in return, the fishermen left fish on the beach to placate him. Throughout the 19th century, these offerings were particularly common in Newlyn and Mousehole.
The Bucca is also thought of as having two forms, good and evil; Bucca Widn (White Bucca) and Bucca Dhu (Black Bucca). Now known as Bucca Boo, the evil version of the spirit has been used by parents as a ‘bogeyman’ to make children behave better!
Mermaid of Zennor
Another mermaid tale is that of the mermaid of Zennor, a woman who enchanted the parish with her incredible singing voice when she attended the service at St. Senara’s Church. She returned to Zennor infrequently over many years, but never appeared to age.
One day she returned and took an interest in a young man named Mathey Trewella, who had the best singing voice in the parish. He followed her home, and the two disappeared and were not seen in Zennor again.
She was believed to be a mermaid after a ship cast its anchor a mile away from the village, and a mermaid requested they raise it again as it was blocking her door, leaving her unable to reach her children. Upon hearing of this, the villagers concluded that it must be the mysterious woman and Mathey Trewella. The story is commemorated in a 15th century carved bench depicting a mermaid.
The knocker can be seen as a sort of Cornish equivalent of a leprechaun, as they are said to be around two feet tall. They live underground and are spotted wearing tiny miners’ outfits. Here they play pranks and get up to mischief, stealing miners’ tools and food.
The name ‘knocker’ comes from the sound a mine wall makes before it caves in, so it was believed that the noise was either a warning that the mine would collapse, or that they were malevolent spirits trying to bring the mine down.
Those who believed the knocker was giving a warning often thought that they were the helpful spirits of those who had previously died in tin mines. To appease their mischievous behaviour or to give thanks for the warnings, food offerings, such as the crust of a pasty, were typically left out for the knocker.
Piskies are, as the name may suggest, the Cornish version of a pixie. They are thought to be located in the moorland areas of Cornwall, and around ancient sites. One particular myth regarding the piskies is that of Joan the Wad, who is Queen of the Piskies.
There are two interpretations of the character; firstly that she is a will-o’-the-wisp type being, who lures travellers off their path, but others consider her to be good, saying that she uses her Wad (a torch) to light the way to safety and good luck.
Early legends see links between King Arthur and Cornwall, with the belief that his birthplace was in Tintagel, at the court of King Mark of Cornwall, who was his uncle. The Arthurian legend connections continue with Dozmary Pool, on Bodmin Moor, which is believed by some to be the lake in which Sir Bedivere threw Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake!
Tales of giants are very common in Cornish folklore, with the events of Jack the Giant Killer said to have taken place in Cornwall. Giants have been used to explain various dramatic landscaping features throughout the county, from the striking cliffs to the mysterious form of St Michael’s Mount.
Cormoran is one such giant, believed to have been responsible for creating the island of St Michael’s Mount as a base from which to visit the mainland to steal cattle and sheep. Cormoran was stated as the first giant Jack slew.
The second giant killed by Jack is said to be Blunderbore, another of Cornwall’s legendary giants. Blunderbore, and his brother, Rebecks, were giants who kidnapped lords and ladies, aiming to eat the men and wed the women. After recognising Jack as the Giant Killer, he was abducted to be eaten, but Jack managed to make a noose and hang the two giants.
The Beast of Bodmin Moor
The Beast of Bodmin is considered to be a phantom wild cat, which has been reported to stalk the moorland, slaying livestock. After multiple sightings from the end of the 1970s, the alleged panther-like creature became known as the Beast of Bodmin Moor.
Many theories have been raised about the origins of this beast, including claims that these alien big cats have escaped from zoos or private collections. Reports of the beast were so widely covered that the Ministry of Agriculture even got involved, attempting to put a stop to the claims by stating that there was no evidence of such big cats loose in Britain!
If these tales don’t scare you away – or you want to investigate some of this magic yourself – why not take an excitingly magical trip to our 5-star holiday park in Cornwall?!
5 Best Fish and Chip Shops in Cornwall
August 23rd, 2021
Fish and chips are a British staple, and we think that nowhere does this dish better than Cornwall!
Cornwall has a range of great places to eat some classic dishes, but you can’t go wrong with freshly-caught flaky fish, crispy batter and chunky chips.
No luxury family holiday in Cornwall would be complete without trying some local fish and chips – discover some of the best spots for your next foodie adventure.
Harbour Lights, Falmouth
Among the top 10 finalists for the 2019 National Fish & Chip Awards, this spot located on the Falmouth high street certainly has a brilliant reputation for a top-notch
Harbour Lights offers a range of fresh, locally-caught fish, with bestsellers being classic cod and haddock. The chips are also made from Cornish potatoes, so you can be sure you’re getting the full Cornish experience! You can also now enjoy a vegan version of ‘fish and chips’ with nori-wrapped, battered tofu on the menu.
You can choose to dine in and enjoy the harbourside views or takeaway and enjoy your meal by the beach.
The Fisherman’s Chippy, Mevagissey
If you’re after a truly idyllic setting to enhance your fish and chip experience even more, you won’t find much better than The Fisherman’s Chippy on Oliver’s Quay in the stunning harbourside village of Mevagissey.
The classic options of cod, haddock, plaice and scampi, along with the deliciously fluffy chips, are sure to more than satisfy you and have garnered a loyal local following. With a strong focus on sustainability and using local produce, you can also eat happily in the knowledge that you are supporting the local community.
The Fisherman’s Chippy is now also taking their menu on the road with their new Chip Van that caters to public and private events!
Mariners Fish & Chips, Penryn
Serving MSC certified fish, Mariners has a wonderful menu with a modern take on the classic fish and chip shop. All the fish is caught locally from Falmouth bay, and the shop is run by a family who have been in the chip shop business for three generations.
Along with a no-nonsense portion of fish and chips, you’ll also find fish tapas, panko-breaded Japanese-style fish, tortillas and burgers. There are plenty of veggie and gluten-free options available, ensuring everyone can enjoy a delicious bite to eat.
Harbour Fish & Chips, St Ives
After a busy day at the gorgeous St Ives beach, treat yourself to a spot of fish and chips at this perfectly situated beachside chippy. Served alongside the stunning views, you can enjoy locally caught fish and seafood, with battered and grilled options available.
Aside from a classic portion of fish and chips, there are also scallops, muscles, squid and more to choose from. All of the fish on the menu comes from a local fishmonger, and the potatoes are supplied by Cornish farms.
Lewis’s Fish and Chip Shop, Newlyn
Newlyn is famous for its harbour that has been exporting fish for over 500 years, and Lewis’s has capitalised on that accessibility to serve arguably the freshest fish around – you can even spot it being carried from the harbour to the restaurant where it is quickly prepared by the chefs!
This is the place to visit for something a bit different from cod, with the restaurant serving delicious john dory, hake and monkfish!
We hope your Cornish adventure is full of plenty of delicious food – a visit to one of these fish and chip shops is sure to hit the spot!
If you’re still looking for the perfect place to stay on your holiday in Cornwall, check out our luxury accommodation here at The Valley.
5 Best Canoeing and Kayaking Spots in Cornwall
August 20th, 2021
Cornwall has miles and miles of gorgeous coastline and various waterways to explore, and there are so many ways to do it. You can trek along the coast paths, lounge on golden sands, swim in the crystalline waters, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, then why not take to the seas and rivers with a canoe or kayak?
If you fancy the adventure and excitement of trying canoeing or kayaking, there are some fantastic spots across Cornwall for both beginners and seasoned pros.
Fal-Ruan Upper Creeks, Truro
Situated in the Roseland Peninsula and Fal-Ruan nature reserve, this spot is shielded by woodland, adding to the total tranquillity of being out on the water.
This remote part of the tidal river Fal offers a peaceful, leisurely canoe or kayak experience that’s brilliant for all skill levels.
The Fal River is also connected to a network of waterways stretching from Truro to Falmouth, so there are plenty of other great spots to paddle down for those that want a longer journey.
Carbis Bay, St Ives
The scenic beaches at St Ives offer more than just picturesque views; there are also some lovely water sports spots to check out.
Carbis Bay is just one of the stunning canoeing and kayaking areas along the St Ives coast. With calm, gentle waters at low tide and great breaks at high tide, there’s something for everyone to enjoy here.
Porthcurno Beach, Penzance
Another top beauty spot in Cornwall, Porthcurno Beach offers gorgeous views with the white-gold sand, aquamarine waves and dramatic cliffs. A paddle along this stretch of coast showcases Cornwall’s beautiful countryside in the best way!
The nearby Minack Theatre is another must-visit attraction, giving you the perfect opportunity to relax with an open-air play or show after an active day in the sea.
Cotehele Quay, Saltash
A paddle along the Tamar via Cotehele Quay has a lot to offer in the way of interesting sights to see and places to stop off at along your journey.
The Cotehele Quay is located on the National Trust estate of the same name, which makes a picture-perfect backdrop for your leisurely paddle along the river. You’ll pass the historic property, canopied by woodland banks. If you’re lucky, you may see deer, kingfishers and falcons on your watery journey.
Mullion Cove Beach, The Lizard Peninsula
Take to the glorious shores of the Lizard Peninsula and explore Mullion Cove. The cove is well protected thanks to an off-shore island, meaning you shouldn’t fall victim to the stronger ocean currents.
A guided tour from Mullion Cove to Kynance Cove lets you enjoy the dramatic cliffs from a new angle and provides a more lively swell. If you paddle further out, you may also get the chance to see dolphins gliding past!
If you’re new to canoeing or kayaking, there are countless watersports centres around Cornwall where you can hire equipment and learn from professionals!
After a tiring day out on the water, you’ll want somewhere comfortable to put your feet up. Our luxury Cornish cottages make a great base for your adventures – discover more about accommodation at The Valley.
5 Best Picnic Spots in Cornwall
August 16th, 2021
If you’re planning on spending your holiday at one of our holiday cottages in Truro, then why not make the most of the stunning countryside with a lovely al-fresco lunch?
We’ve picked some of the best picnic spots in Cornwall for you to enjoy, so, pack up your favourite finger foods and let’s get going!
1. Gwithian Beach
Whether you want to sit among the wild grass atop the dunes or set yourself up on the golden sands to watch the windsurfers go by, Gwithian Beach makes the perfect spot for a seaside picnic.
Tuck into your favourite sandwiches with a fantastic view of the Godrevy Lighthouse, looking out over St. Ives Bay.
2. Tehidy Woods
With over 250 acres of peaceful woodland, Tehidy Woods offers some fantastic picnic spots no matter your preference. With over 9 miles worth of walking trails, you can even make a day of it!
Be it lakeside, in the woods or in a meadow clearing with space for the dogs to run free; you’ll find your perfect picnic spot in Tehidy Woods.
3. Carn Marth
Southeast of the town of Redruth, you’ll find Carn Marth, one of the highest points in Cornwall.
At 771 ft tall, it’s not Cornwall’s highest point (that honour goes to the Brown Willy on Bodmin Moor), but it still delivers spectacular views of the surrounding area, including St Agnes beacon, the St Austell area, Falmouth and Stithians lake on a clear day.
4. Castle Cove, St. Mawes
Castle Cove is the perfect secluded spot to hide away for an hour or two with some of your favourite goodies!
Whether you drive or hop on the ferry from Falmouth, you’ll find this beach just a stone’s throw from the astounding St. Mawes Castle. And if you haven’t brought a picnic with you, don’t worry. You’ll be close enough to all the amenities that St Mawes has to offer, including local shops and the castle’s car park.
5. Trelissick Gardens
With astounding panoramic views over the Fal estuary, the National Trust owned Trelissick offers some of the most perfect picnic spots near Truro.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly day out, then why not check out their onsite gallery to see some authentic, local art or take a wander through the colourful garden paths.
Grab yourself some refreshments or a light lunch from the onsite cafe, and then just pick your favourite spot to settle down!
Now you know some of the best picnic spots in Cornwall, it’s time to pack your basket and get on down!
If you want to see more of the great outdoors while on your holidays, why not check out these top outdoor attractions in Cornwall?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is Cornwall Famous For?
June 21st, 2021
Cornwall is celebrated for many reasons; the gorgeous coastline, the incredible ales and locally produced foods and the welcoming feeling you get when you arrive. There are a number of things that Cornwall is famous for – we take a look at what puts Cornwall on the map!
If you’re feeling inspired for a stay at our luxury accommodation in Cornwall by the end of this post, then The Valley is the perfect place to make your base for visiting all that Cornwall has to offer!
For many, Cornish Pasties will be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the coastal county.
The reliable and delicious pasty and all its glorious variations have been part of the British diet for hundreds of years. With fillings to suit all tastes, seasons and locations, the pasty is, for many, a true and unique taste of Cornwall.
What are the Origins of the Cornish Pasty?
During the 17th century, miner’s wives in Cornwall would send their husbands off to work and wanted to provide a filling and practical bite to eat, which was when the beloved pasty became popular in the area. A hot filling, with vegetables, meat and a delicious gravy, all wrapped in crumbly pastry, was the perfect option for a long, hard day at work.
Some of the mines in Cornwall even installed pasty ovens, so the workers could bring their raw pasties down, and cook them fresh on their lunch.
Cornwall is famous for delicious short-crust pastry pies. Family recipes that have been passed down through generations, with variations in each family, offer an authentic taste of Cornwall.
What is Stargazy Pie?
The Stargazy pie is the most recognisable by the smell and sight, with the heads of pilchards that poke their way through the pastry being not easily forgotten. The heads mimic the idea of staring up at the night’s sky, with the fish admiring the stars.
The creation supposedly began in Mousehole and was a tradition which celebrates the fisherman Tom Bawcock, who, as legend has you believe, braved a ferocious sea in the hope of bringing back a large catch to feed his starving village. When the catch was brought back, it was made into the famous Stargazy pie.
This celebration still takes place around Cornwall on the 23rd of December every year.
While the books were first published back in 1945, it has been the most recent BBC interpretation of Poldark that has truly put Cornwall on the map.
The series has formed a whole new tourism spin for the county, with fans of the show flocking to Cornwall to head off on tours to see the gorgeous landscapes that make up the filming sites for the show for themselves.
With over 300 beaches across 300 miles of coastline in this coastal county, it is no surprise that there are some incredible seaside spots to visit.
From the tropical feel of lying on the sand in the sun to catching some waves from some of the best surf in the country, the beaches in Cornwall provide something for everyone and are beautiful all year round.
The Cornish Bagpipes have been used as part of ceremonies and celebrations as early as the 14th century. The instruments take true craftsmanship to create, which very few people today can still accomplish.
The recognisable Cornish sound, which is pitched in a low D, is made by the two long chanters, which can be played independently to produce a pleasant harmony.
Kilts and Tartan
Each colour and pattern of tartan have an important meaning, with each Kilt worn for a variety of reasons. Tartans can be worn as a representation of a family, special occasions such as the Cornish National Day or hunting expeditions, in combat, and others represented a specific location within Cornwall.
One of the earliest records of tartan and kilts being worn is from the early 19th century, although it is believed they have been worn for much longer.
Cornish wedding traditions consist of unique, bizarre and, in some cases, completely odd practices. One of the many historical customs was the ‘giving pepper.’
A complete gorse bush would be placed in the bed of the newlyweds, and once they had reached the room and settled, the guest would rush in and beat the couple with an array of apparatuses that were all intended to cause pain.
It was said that this ritual had to take place before midnight to avoid any bad luck that could curse the marriage.
Gorse was often the primary plant used for the decoration of chapels, houses and bouquets for wedding ceremonies. The flower represented bountiful times to come, and the attractive bright yellow flowers and the summery scent was perfect for such a special occasion.
Handfasting is another Cornish wedding tradition; the couple holds hands and makes a pledge to one another, then a cord or ribbon is tied around their hands to represent the bond of their declaration to one another. Handfasting is still popular today among many Cornish couples and other newlyweds in search of an alternative wedding ceremony.
A 17th-century recipe and name that is recognised worldwide – Yarg, a sumptuous lemony cheese wrapped in nettles (don’t worry, they won’t sting) that is produced in the heart of the Cornish countryside.
The recipe was found by a Cornish farmer named Alan Gray, which is where the origin of the name of the cheese comes from, contrary to common belief that it is a word from the Cornish language; Gray spelt backwards is Yarg.
The cheese continues to win awards for taste, appearance and the traditional methods used to make it.
The Cornish language originates from the Celtic races that occupied parts of England and Europe. The language is said to be similar to Welsh, and both of the languages date to pre-Roman periods.
The Cornish language is now being promoted, and many individuals and communities are being encouraged to learn it, to keep the history and tradition alive.
One of the most famous Cornish legends is that the birthplace of King Arthur was the picturesque and postcard village of Tintagel. The remains of the powerful and breath-taking castle also remain on the coastline of the village, with folklore claiming that the cave below is Merlin’s.
Cornwall has an endless supply of myths and legends, from mermaids to giants! You can read about more of these tales on our blog.
There have been several famous people who have grown up and lived in the beautiful part of the country, Cornwall.
Mick Fleetwood from the world-famous band Fleetwood Mac was born and raised in Redruth. Roger Taylor, the drummer from the band Queen, went to school in Truro and now lives near the beautiful town of Falmouth. The famous actor, Robert Shaw, from the films ‘Jaws’ and ‘From Russia With Love’, spent much of his childhood growing up in Truro.
Your Cornish holiday would not be complete without trying a Cornish pie or pasty or visiting one of the magical places that are immersed in folklore. Where will you head on your holiday?
Pancake Day: Pancakes with a Cornish Twist
February 12th, 2021
With pancake day on the horizon, we take a look at the history of the celebration and how you can add a little Cornish twist to the classic pancake to get that holiday feeling!
Although travelling still isn’t possible due to restrictions, we can still look forward to trips in the near future! Once COVID restrictions begin to ease, why not visit our luxury cottages in Cornwall to enjoy some classic Cornish treats against a stunning Cornish backdrop?
In the meantime, try out these Cornish-inspired pancakes!
Why Do We Celebrate Pancake Day?
With all the excitement around eating the tasty treats themselves, it can be easy to forget what pancake day is really all about!
More officially known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day is a celebration before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Celebrated 47 days before Easter, it falls on a different Tuesday each year.
For Christians, Lent is a time of fasting during the 40 days leading up to Easter. Traditionally, Shrove Tuesday was a day to confess your sins and be ‘shriven’ or absolved before the period of penance during Lent.
For those that observe Lent, Shrove Tuesday was the last opportunity to use foods like eggs or butter – pancakes are the perfect way to use such ingredients!
Traditionally, the four main pancake ingredients are also said to represent four significant elements surrounding the approach to Easter – these being:
Flour – the staff of life
Milk – purity
Eggs – creation
Salt – wholesomeness
And there you have it – the Pancake Day we know and love today was born!
How to Makes Pancakes with a Cornish Twist
Any kind of pancake will follow the same basic recipe. To start off your Cornish pancakes, use the recipe below to make a batch of twelve.
• 100g plain flour
• 2 large eggs
• 300ml milk
• Pinch of salt
• 50g butter
1) Sieve the flour into a bowl and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk and salt, until a smooth batter is formed.
2) Heat your frying pan on a medium heat and melt a sliver of butter. When hot, pour a thin layer of batter into the pan, heating on high for thirty seconds before reducing the heat and flipping the pancake. Cook on a medium heat for a minute or so, until golden on both sides.
3) Repeat this process with the rest of the mixture. You can keep the pancakes warm in a low-heated oven or eat them straight away.
4) Serve the pancakes with one of the delicious Cornish topping ideas below!
Cornish Pancake Topping Ideas
When it comes to quality local produce, you’ll rarely find any better than what Cornwall has to offer. With famous ice cream and clotted cream, as well as renowned seafood, there are plenty of both sweet and savoury topping ideas for those looking to add Cornish twist to their Pancake Day celebrations!
Cornish Clotted Cream – It’s the obvious choice, and sure to taste delicious with a heaping of jam or fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries or raspberries!
Cornish Ice Cream – Another delightfully creamy option. Just a spoonful of the beloved Cornish ice cream would make a heavenly topping, but add some sliced banana, chocolate chips or even a taste of Cornish fudge, and you’ll have created something truly indulgent!
Savoury Seafood Options – Although many tend to favour sweet pancakes, they can also work exceptionally well with savoury toppings. Why not get inventive with your pancakes and add things like cod, haddock or salmon, or get even more decadent with shellfish like lobster, crab or prawns?
Cornish Brie – Another great savoury option, especially if you can get your hands on true Cornish brie. The heat from the pancakes will help melt the brie, giving you a deliciously cheesy treat. Adding garlic mushrooms or ham can elevate this savoury idea even more!
What’s your topping of choice? Let us know whether you opt for any of our Cornish-inspired pancake ideas on our social media!
Flowers on the Cornish Coastline
January 18th, 2021
Cornwall is renowned for its gorgeous countryside and coastline, and with so much space for wildlife and nature, there are plenty of brilliant blooms to be spotted.
As we head into summer months, the flowers are out in full force, popping up over the Cornish coastline in a stunning display of colour and life. As the days begin to warm up, wildflower meadows can be spotted along coast paths, adding to the spectacular sea views!
Here are just a few of the flower varieties you may see when out and about by the Cornish coast!
* While at the moment, we can only admire this wildlife through our screens, once it is safe to travel again, why not come to see the coastline and wildflowers for yourself? Our 5-star cottages in Cornwall would make the perfect base for your adventures in Cornwall.
This flower thrives in salty air, making it a common sight atop cliffs around Cornwall. The tall plant features bursts of small yellow flowers, which have a distinctive smell.
Originally, the plant was introduced to the UK by the Romans, when it was used as a foodstuff, as it is edible. While not many people would consider munching on one of these flowers nowadays, they are still enjoyed by many a horse!
This dainty succulent will be found all over the coastline and other rocky areas in Cornwall.
The red buds of the plant burst into star-shaped white blooms, scattering some colour across the rocky faces of each cliff.
Found in clumps along most coast paths, this flower grows well on the coastal grasses found atop cliffs. The purple-tinged buds open up to reveal neat white flowers.
As a maritime species, it is almost solely found around the seaside in Britain.
As well as being found in grasslands, the round, blue heads of the Sheep’s-bit flower can also be found along cliffs.
Growing between May and September near to the sea, this plant is often found alongside many others, forming a flowery carpet.
While daisies can be found countrywide, beautiful swathes of these larger oxeye daisies spread across the coast and countryside in Cornwall. These flowers are out in full force over the summer months.
Oxeye daisies are also known as ‘Moon Daisies’, as their bright white petals appear to glow as the day turns to night.
Another plant for the summer months, the sea carrot pops up with rounded flowerheads across the South coast. It predominantly grows in grass areas on the tops of cliffs and in sturdier sand dunes.
The saucer-shaped heads contain many tiny flowers in pink or white.
These star-shaped purpley-blue flowers can be found in grassy spots near to the sea. The flowers on this compact plant are often crammed close together, forming a dainty cluster.
Like most coastal plants, they are a low-growing flower. A member of the lily family, the spring squill is also related to bluebells and wild garlic, although they do not have a smell!
What is your favourite Cornish coastal wildflower? Let us know via our social media channels! If you love flowers, gardens and nature, then you should also check out five of the best gardens in Cornwall.
Image Credit: Rod Allday