National Maritime Museum in Summer

August 10th, 2018

With most of Cornwall surrounded by the sea, it is no surprise that the National Maritime Museum finds itself in Falmouth, home to one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. This summer, the museum is putting on a full spread of family fun, from educational exhibits to exciting play zones. We take a look at what’s on offer.



Titanic Stories

One of the must-see events on at the National Maritime Museum this summer is the Titanic Stories exhibition, which, as the name may suggest, takes a look at some of the stories surrounding the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Exploring the myths, controversies and tales of the time, the exhibition sees a collection of items from private collectors and other museums put together in an impressive display. Coming together as a retelling of the historical event, you’ll also get to read some incredible stories of survivors, victims and the families of those on the impressive ship.


Some items in the collection include photographs belonging to passengers aboard the ship, passenger lists and belongings, as well as one of the iconic costumes worn by Kate Winslet in the 1997 classic cinematic adaptation of the disaster. As part of the installation, artists have been commissioned to recreate a life-size replica of one of the lifeboats, as well as produce a recreation of the iceberg! The impressive iceberg sculpture is put together with 2208 monkey’s fish knots, which represents the number of passengers on the ship.


The Titanic Stories exhibition will continue running until the end of the year, so if you can’t make it over to the National Maritime Museum this summer, there’s still time to see it all!



Pirate School

While the kids may have broken up for school for the summer, Pirate School continues throughout August, giving the little ones a lesson in Buccaneering! Find out what it takes to be a pirate with the fun school sessions running Monday to Friday, four times a day, then join in the crafty make and take tables to create your own pirate cutlass, hook, parrot and a treasure chest to stash all your loot away in! Pirate School will teach you how to load a cannon, find your way around a ship and a few sea shanties to entertain you on your travels across the ocean. Once you’re all geared up and certified as a pirate, head off on the Pirate Parrot Treasure Trail and find the missing treasure!



Treasure Island Play Zone

Fun for all ages can be found at the Treasure Island Play Zone, if ye be brave enough to pass the Pirates! All sorts of fun and games can be found. Solve the treasure map maze, attempt to pin the buckle on the pirate, beat the giant magnetic picture puzzle and – if you dare – walk the plank!


The National Maritime Museum is only a short drive away from our luxury Cornish cottages, so if you want to see all that Falmouth has to offer, come and stay at The Valley for an incredible holiday away in Cornwall!

Places to Go for Animal Lovers in Cornwall

July 30th, 2018

Cornwall is full of natural beauty, from the moorland to the coastline, so it should be no surprise that the county also provides a haven for an interesting collection of creatures. There are several zoos, sanctuaries and sea life spots around Cornwall, so we’ve picked out five of our favourites.


Porfell Wildlife Park

The largest exotic animal sanctuary in Cornwall, Porfell Wildlife Park provides a home for an amazing assortment of fascinating animals, many of which were injured, neglected or unwanted. There is an incredible mix, with wallabies, lemurs, meerkats, capybaras, zebras, porcupines, marmosets and lynx. Many of these animals now live at the sanctuary having retired from zoos. Over on the children’s farm, you can pet and feed the little guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as the donkeys and goats.


red panda

Image Credit: Michelle Turton


Paradise Park

A true paradise for nature lovers, Paradise Park is home to a vast assortment of tropical birds and mammals, set in stunning exotic gardens. Over 600 birds from 140 different species can be found here, from colourful parrots to powerful birds of prey. A number of bird shows will take place each day, including parrot feeding and Eagles of Paradise display, giving you the chance to get up close and interact with the fancy flyers. Also at Paradise Park is the Fun Farm, an assortment of farmyard favourites such as mini donkeys, pygmy goats and sheep. Straying into the wilder side, there are also cute red squirrels, adorable otters and cuddly red pandas to watch as they play, as well as penguins that you can watch getting fed.


Healey’s Cyder Farm

While their ciders, spirits and preserves are what they are best known for at Healey’s Cyder Farm, beyond the orchards you will discover a sweet range of friendly farm animals. With peacocks roaming freely throughout the site, the courtyard area is home to Shire horses, Shetland ponies, pygmy goats and Cornish black pigs, as well as the slightly smaller rabbits, ferrets and chickens!



Image Credit: tracey_dw


Cornish Seal Sanctuary

As a coastal county, it is only fitting that Cornwall is also home to a number of sea life rescue centres and aquariums. There is only one seal sanctuary though, and it is definitely worth a visit. Home to a number of very cute seals, as well as equally adorable sea lions, otters and penguins, these rescued marine animals are in the best of hands as the sanctuary doubles up as Cornwall’s only seal hospital. Nestled in by the Helston River, the sanctuary is both a site of special scientific interest and an area of outstanding natural beauty and also features a woodland trail, complete with a quiz for the kids!


Newquay Zoo

There are over 1000 creatures who find their home at Newquay Zoo, so there will definitely be something there that every animal lover will be excited to see. Here you’ll find animals from all areas of the world, from the African Savannah exhibit, where wildebeest, zebras and antelopes roam, to the vibrant Madagascan Walk, featuring the bright and brilliant parrots and lovebirds. Zoo favourites, including monkeys, lions and penguins, can also be found here. Newquay Zoo is an incredible day out for families, with feeding sessions, a maze and play areas to keep the kids entertained.


Animal-based activities are perfect for keeping both kids and parents entertained, making for a great family friendly holidays in Cornwall. What animal are you most excited about seeing while on holiday in Cornwall? Let us know in the comments below!



Image Credit: Airwolfhound


5 Best Rainy Days Out In Cornwall

March 29th, 2018

We’re not going to lie to you; being in Britain, it is quite likely that there are going to be some rainy days during your holiday to Cornwall. When the sun is shining there are endless beaches to play on and gardens to explore, but where should you go when the weather isn’t at its best?


National Maritime Museum

Experience the wonders of the seaside without having to step outside at the National Maritime Museum. The museum pairs galleries and collections with the interactive workshops and play areas; you can even catch a glimpse under the sea! There are plenty of activities and opportunities to dress up, play and hear pirate stories, making it the perfect indoor adventure for families on rainy days.


Eden Project

The rainy weather brings some much-needed water to Eden, helping the beautiful blooms grow throughout the Eden Project gardens, making sure it can be enjoyed no matter the weather. If you simply cannot stand exploring the grounds in the rain, then it is no problem, as the biomes protect from the outside world, meaning that you can keep dry as you take in the wondrous sights. Although it is the RAINforest biome, so maybe a little drizzle will add to the authenticity of the experience!


Tate St Ives

Tate St Ives is a must visit whatever the weather, displaying the very best of the St Ives Modernists, such as Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and Terry Frost, in the very place that inspired them. Alongside the local talent is a wide variety of international modern and contemporary art pieces. St Ives also has a number of uniquely quaint shops to explore, plus, if the skies do clear up a bit, the beaches there are fantastic!


National Lobster Hatchery

While it’s easy to head to some shops, the nearest indoor play centre or just stay in when it starts to rain, why not try something completely new!? You probably won’t have experienced anything quite like the National Lobster Hatchery before, but it certainly is a memorable trip. The main attraction is, of course, the tiny baby lobsters, grown until they are ready to be released. Accompanying the young ones are some older giant lobsters, as well as both edible and spider crabs.



When it is wet and rainy out, why not get wetter!? The beaches are the main attraction in Cornwall, so make the most of them. There are plenty of surf schools running year round, so all of the equipment that you need will be available on most major beaches around the coast. If you are already a surfing fanatic, then there is no excuse not to go out on the waves!


If you have any favourite child-friendly Cornwall holiday days out that we have missed, then let us know via our social media channels!

See spring come to life at Trelissick Gardens

March 09th, 2017

As we enter the glorious season of spring, we’ve decided to take a look at one of the beautiful National Trust gardens situated near our Falmouth resorts. The Trelissick Garden is vast, with many paths to wander that make for a great day out for you and your family. The daffodils are blooming, along with many other flowers dotted along the flower beds, the birds are flying around, with many to spot, and you may even see a squirrel or two darting along the fields to climb up the tall, tall trees.


Take to the seas on your Falmouth holiday

January 11th, 2017

Falmouth is a beautiful fishing town, sat on a harbour, with the river Fal bordering it. It is therefore unsurprising that this town has strong ties to the sea, with a rich maritime heritage. The beautiful landscapes appeal to holiday makers across the nation, as well as worldwide, and one of the best ways to explore this exquisite place is by taking to the sea.

One cruise service that offers you a guided tour of the marine life around the Falmouth coastline is AK Wildlife Cruises, who run year-round. With plenty of wildlife and landscapes to admire, as well as a long and interesting history linked to the sea, Falmouth really is best viewed by boat. AK Wildlife Cruises can offer you a heated cabin, for those who get cold easily. This tour is an interesting way to get a little closer to the rich nature around this seaside town. However, if this is not close enough, the company also run snorkel trips for even closer encounters (on the condition you bring along your own snorkelling gear!).

The cruises available in Falmouth are a great activity to try for people looking for family-friendly holidays. Cornwall really is the best place for families to spend some quality time together, and make life long memories!

Expect to see some dolphins, seals, basking sharks and birds on your tour. There are eight species of whale and dolphin swimming around in the waters around Falmouth, from the small harbour porpoise to huge fin whales. During your winter breaks to Falmouth, you are likely to see super pods of common dolphins wavering alongside the boat. Whilst the bottlenose dolphin pods are generally around most of the year.

If you come to stay with us on your Falmouth holidays in summer, you will likely be able to see some basking sharks leisurely swimming in the water. Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the world, out-championed by the whale shark. Impressive specimens can grow up to 12 meters in length, which equates to around the depth of the average swimming pool- twice over! Nothing can beat seeing these sharks skirt along the side of the boat.

Another bizarre, but equally fascinating, fish you could possibly encounter is the ocean sunfish. For anyone not acquainted with this funny-looking fish, be sure to search Google images for a picture so you can be sure of who to expect when you come face to face.

Be sure to check online guides for the best time to view all of these majestic creatures, to avoid any disappointment.

One friend, or two, you are highly likely to see on your sea-bound journey are seals. The grey seal will pop up, almost anywhere all year-round. One place where they are regularly spotted is the Carrick Roads. Seals are naturally very curious, so will often pop their heads out of the surface of the water to have a look at what’s going on.

Falmouth and the local areas become the home for many birds during the winter, including the black-necked grebe, red breasted merganser, Slavonian grebe, sea ducks and waders. When the warmer weather graces Falmouth with its presence Manx shearwaters, storm petrels and pelagic seabirds can be viewed on a boat tour.

Other birds to note include the razorbills, guillemots, ospreys and skuas. Although, even rarer birds can turn up on your tour, it’s just a case of keeping an eye out for them. For any bird fanatics out there, grab your binoculars and head out to sea to spot some of the birds that soar around the Falmouth sky, or bob along in the water. Whilst the peregrine falcons can be seen along the Cornish coastline during breading season. The rich wooded estuaries that surround the Fal and Helford rivers are particularly great habitats for many varieties of wading and woodland birds, and you may even spot a cheeky otter here and there, playing in the estuary.

Expect to learn a thing or two on your tour, as the team are particularly knowledgable about all the local wildlife, and are even endorsed by the Seawatch foundation; as well as being recommended by the WiSe and The Whale And Dolphin Conservation Society.

Many cruise options are available around Falmouth, and on these cruises you will cross along the third deepest natural harbour in the world. Information can be found and bookings can be made at the offices at the Falmouth harbour. Sea routes can take you past the maritime museum, past landmarks and historic houses that are dotted around this quaint sea-side town; cruises available in Falmouth can take you to Truro and Malpas for a great way to travel.

Be sure to look into the cruises that take you over to the small fishing village of St Mawes, located on the Roseland peninsula. This beautiful waterside village climate is particularly appealing to many, remaining very mild all year round, and in summer temperatures match that of the Mediterranean. The glorious weather experienced by this sea-side location allows for the local gardens to bloom with incredible fauna and flora.

So, if you do one thing on your Cornwall escape, be sure to hop on a boat and get a grand tour you will never forget!