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.
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.
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 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.
12 of The Best Beaches Near Truro
July 07th, 2023
With almost 300 miles of coastline, there are plenty of must-see beaches to visit on your Cornish break. If you’re staying in Truro, you’re in a great central spot with good access to the county’s north and south coast – but this can mean you end up feeling spoiled for choice!
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite beaches that are a short drive away from our luxury holiday village in Cornwall to ensure you can make the most of Cornwall’s stunning shores.
What are the Best Cornish Beaches Near Truro?
- Perranporth Beach
- Porthtowan Beach
- Trevaunance Cove Beach
- Gyllyngvase Beach
- Chapel Porth Beach
- Swanpool Beach
- Crantock Beach
- Carne Beach
- Maenporth Beach
- Porthcurnick Beach
- Portreath Beach
- Church Cove
As one of the best-known beaches across Cornwall, Perranporth beach has it all, and it’s easy to see why so many rave about it!
The huge expanse of sand and sea makes it ideal for all beach activities, so you’ll see everything from surfers catching waves to horses riding across the golden stretches. Framed by impressive sand dunes, there is also plenty for wildlife lovers to discover, with a plethora of beautiful butterflies and lizards to spot.
Perranporth is also famous for being the only beach in the UK to have a bar actually on it! Celebrate the sunny weather with a pint or two and catch a local band (and some famous faces) performing at this beautiful spot by the shore.
How far is Perranporth Beach from Truro: 9.6 miles.
Found within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Porthtowan’s golden coastline, surrounded by dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waves, truly lives up to the accolade.
With plenty of sand and a play park at the top of the beach, Porthtowan is a favourite for families. It is also one of the top spots in Cornwall for surfers.
As a Blue Flag Award winner, you’ll find a host of great, well-managed beachside amenities, with the beachside Blue Bar being an ever-popular spot for enjoying a sip by the sea!
How far is Porthtowan Beach from Truro: 9.8 miles.
Trevaunance Cove Beach
Located near the village of St Agnes, Trevaunance Cove Beach is another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With a sandy cover sheltered by rugged cliffs and boasting crystalline waters, it’s not hard to see why this beach is a particularly popular spot, especially for families during the summer months.
The St Agnes Heritage Coast in northern Cornwall offers some particularly dramatic views, and this sheltered cove makes the perfect base to appreciate all that this portion of the coast is famous for. The beach and local villages are rich in history, with a heritage in 19th-century mining and roots that go much further back to a Bronze Age settlement.
With rock pools, good surf, a beach shop, cafe and pub (not to mention all the quaint local shops in the nearby village), Trevaunance Cove has everything you need for a great day at the beach.
How far is Trevaunance Cove Beach from Truro: 10.3 miles.
Also one of the most popular beaches in the Falmouth area, Gyllyngvase is ideal for those who want a classic beach experience! The stretches of soft golden sands are ideal for relaxing on, and the waves are perfect for a whole host of water-based activities.
Why not hire a paddleboard and take to the waves before relaxing on a sandy strip for a seaside barbeque?
Gyllyngvase has also received a Blue Flag Award, highlighting it as an outstanding beach of cleanliness and safety.
How far is Gyllyngvase Beach from Truro: 11.5 miles.
Chapel Porth Beach
Owned by the National Trust, Chapel Porth is located on the northern coast, near the village of St Agnes. An expanse of golden sand meets the intense salty waves on this Cornish beach, making for fantastic surf.
When the tide is out, there are plenty of exposed rock pools and fascinating caves to explore – at low tide, you can also walk over to neighbouring Porthtowan beach. This area is great for coastal walks too, with the ruins of the Wheal Coates tin mine perched dramatically atop the cliffs.
Chapel Porth is perhaps most famous for its inventive ‘hedgehog ice cream’; a scoop of classic Cornish ice cream topped with clotted cream and sprinkled with crushed hazelnuts!
How far is Chapel Porth Beach from Truro: 11.5 miles
Another peaceful little cove, Swanpool is just outside of Falmouth, making it a great place to visit if you’re heading off on a Falmouth day trip. The sand and shingle beach meets gentle, azure waves, surrounded by tranquil views.
The nearby water sports centre makes it a good spot for those wanting to try their hand at kayaking or sailing. And the outdoor Swanpool Beach cafe provides the ideal base to recharge after a day out in the sea.
Dogs are banned from this beach between July 1st and August 31st.
How far is Swanpool Beach from Truro: 11.8 miles.
If you’re heading up to Newquay, you’ll want to stop by Crantock Beach, which is a picture-perfect sandy beach with golden sands, rolling dunes and a grassy plateau that’s home to a plethora of wildlife.
Crantock marks where the Gannel estuary joins the sea and is a great family-friendly beach, with plenty of water-based activities to enjoy, along with rock pools and large expanses of sand perfect for sandcastles. It is all dog-friendly all year round.
This beach is owned by the National Trust and has various nearby facilities, including various cafes and pubs in the village, parking and toilets.
How far is Crantock Beach from Truro: 12.2 miles.
Another National Trust beach, this popular beach sits on the gorgeous Roseland Peninsula, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a picturesque seaside stroll. As Carne is dog-friendly all year round, it’s the perfect beach for all the family!
As a particularly sunny spot, Carne beach is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and rock pooling. You can also cool down afterwards with a delicious Cornish ice cream from one of the vans that regularly frequent the beachfront.
How far is Carne Beach from Truro: 13 miles.
A perfect beach for families, Maenporth beach gently slopes into a shallow shore that is ideal for kids who love to paddle.
The beach boasts some incredible scenery, with views out over the Bay to Pendennis Castle and St Anthony Head. The great water conditions make this another popular space for swimming and watersports.
How far is Maenporth Beach from Truro: 13.3 miles.
Just down the coast from Carne is Porthcurnick Beach, a wide sandy spot nestled between rock pools and sweeping cliffs. The surrounding coastal footpaths make for a great adventure and unbeatable views, leading you to the various stunning beaches along this stretch.
Dogs are welcome at this bay all year round and are sure to enjoy the splendid expanse of beach just as much as you. Once you’ve spent the day exploring and relishing the calm, turquoise waters, head to the beachside cafe, The Hidden Hut, for some characteristically good Cornish grub.
How far is Porthcurnick Beach from Truro: 14.2 miles.
With two surf shops sitting on the seafront, it’s pretty clear that Portreath is the place to go if you’re into catching waves.
The soft sand at the top of the beach is loved by families, making this a great location for all. There are also plenty of things along the front to keep everyone entertained all day long, with an amusement arcade, café, restaurant and takeaway.
The village is just a short walk away from the beach – there, you can find a tearoom and no less than three pubs, perfect for taking in the gorgeous seaside views with a pint!
How far is Portreath Beach from Truro: 14.7 miles.
Although a little further away from Truro than our other mentions, Church Cove is well worth the visit. Also known as Gunwalloe, this little beach is renowned for the tiny church, St Wynwallow, that sits almost on the sand.
When making your way down the beach, you’ll find a collection of quaint seaside cottages and fishing boats to complete the serene picture.
More recently, the beach has become famous for its scenes in Poldark, where it became a filming location for ship-wreck and smuggling scenes in the show.
How far is Church Cove from Truro: 22.3 miles.
Can’t wait to feel the sand beneath your feet and sea breeze on your face? Check out our current offers and deals to book your Cornwall break!
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
Days Out With Dogs In Truro
November 28th, 2022
With so many countryside paths and beach walks to explore in Cornwall, it is one of the best places in the UK if you are looking for a getaway for the whole family – dogs included!
While some places may be obvious as to whether or not they welcome pups, other spots may surprise you, so to help you plan your holiday activities, we have come up with a guide to some of the best dog-friendly attractions in and around Truro, Cornwall’s capital.
When visiting Cornwall with your pups, stay in our dog friendly holiday cottages in Cornwall, which are situated close to Truro and all of these amazing days out.
Healey’s Cyder Farm
While primarily a cider farm, this free attraction has enough to entertain the whole family all day, the dog included! Dogs are allowed in all of the outdoor spaces, provided that they are kept on a lead, and are also welcome in the courtyard area of the farm’s restaurant.
With some friendly farmyard animals to encounter, as well as tractor rides to take and a museum and distillery, there is plenty for the rest of the family to explore. Water bowls can be found placed throughout the farm, perfect for pups visiting on a warm day.
Four miles to the East of Truro sits Pendower Beach, a huge expanse of sand stretching for a mile, making it the perfect spot to walk your pup. This beach boasts some incredible views out along the coastline and is framed by rock pools and low soft cliffs.
Pendower is the perfect activity beach, too, with great conditions for swimming, surfing, canoeing, sailing, fishing and scuba diving!
Pendower Beach is dog-friendly all year round, although dogs need to be kept on a lead and under close control during the summer months.
Perfect for garden lovers, Trebah Gardens allow you to bring your dog along for the day, provided that they are kept on a lead. The gardens offer up a sub-tropical haven, leading through to a breathtaking coastal backdrop.
Walk on down to the accompanying beach for a quiet stroll along the sand in this secluded section that provides an intimate space for you to relax while taking in those stunning sea views.
Visiting in the spring is particularly nice, as you can enjoy the Camellias, Magnolias and Rhododendrons blooming throughout the grounds.
While dogs are not allowed to enter the actual National Trust gardens, Trelissick has a number of circular walks on offer around the grounds, which are dog-friendly. Located within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you’ll be in for a tranquil day amongst nature.
A twenty-minute drive from Truro city centre, this popular beach has an area designated for dogs to be walked. This is also one of the most easily accessible beaches if you have little ones, especially when near the village, with cafes serving snacks and drinks throughout the holiday seasons.
Dogs can run free here, except in July and August, when they must be on a lead between the hours of 10am and 5pm. Perranporth Beach is also huge for surfing, so you’re bound to see a good show!
Not only are dogs allowed in this park, but there is a dedicated area here for exercising your dog. Located next to the River Truro, there is also a new play area for children, sporting facilities, and an abundance of wildlife here.
Dogs can be walked through the main park area on a lead, or can run free along the riverside stretch, before reaching the exercise area perfect for throwing a ball or two!
Pendennis Castle sits in neighbouring Falmouth, giving you an incredible insight into the area’s history. Originally a coastal fortress for Henry VIII, the castle has an incredible heritage, leading to exhibits on Victorian life and WWI defences! This is a fun family day out, with dedicated tours or the chance to explore the castle walls yourself.
Dogs are welcome here in all of the buildings and grounds, provided that they are kept on a lead. While pups are not allowed inside the tearoom, there is ample seating outside for you to refuel with a quick bite to eat.
If you and your family (dog included!) are looking for a dog-friendly holiday in Cornwall, then take a look at the cottages we have available in Truro for the perfect family getaway!
4 of the Best Animal Sanctuaries to Visit in Cornwall
September 06th, 2021
Make the most of your family friendly holiday in Cornwall and get to know some of the local inhabitants with a trip to an animal sanctuary!
Cornwall’s breathtaking landscape is home to a vast array of native wildlife, including seals, dolphins, lizards, adders, turtles, and so much more. There are numerous brilliant animal sanctuaries across the county that do wonderful work to protect and rehabilitate all sorts of animals from Cornwall and around the world.
Each wildlife sanctuary offers a unique experience, with many including other great attractions to entice you and plenty of ways to support the animals on a long term basis.
We’ve narrowed down some of our favourite Cornish animal sanctuaries below.
1. Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Hayle
Situated along the north Cornish coast, Paradise Park and Jungle Barn is the place to go for birds of every kind. This exciting bird sanctuary is home to over 130 species of birds from all over the globe.
You’ll also find red pandas, farm animals, Asian seals, red squirrels and miniature donkeys.
Things to Do and See at Paradise Park
There’s lots to do here with plenty of opportunities to see rare birds you might not find anywhere else. You’ll find everything from flamingos to kookaburras, bald eagles, penguins, golden eagles – and lots more.
The tropical aviaries are a must-see – these awesome exhibits include areas where you can sit or meander and watch the birds as they fly above you. Don’t forget to catch one of the brilliant bird shows where you can learn all about these wonderful animals.
From there, take a tranquil stroll through the tropical gardens where birds fly free amongst the beautiful botanicals, streams and ponds. Here, you’ll also find a children’s play area, bee garden and other features to explore.
Stop by the Fun Farm, where the kids will adore the chance to get up close and feed the sheep, rabbits, goats, guinea pigs and miniature donkeys. You can then head to the Jungle Barn indoor soft play area for even more fun.
Conservation at Paradise Park
Additionally, Paradise Park is home to the World Parrot Trust and the brilliant Cornish conservation project – Operation Chough.
Thanks to the great work of Operation Chough, you can see some of the red-billed choughs the charity is working hard to bring back to the area permanently.
Ticket Prices for Paradise Park
- Adults: £14.75
- Children: £10.75
- Family of 4: £47.50
- Over 60s: £13
(Add a couple of extra pounds for entry tickets to the Jungle Barn)
2. Porfell Wildlife Park, Liskeard
Porfell Wildlife Park is another fun-packed adventure. As Cornwall’s largest exotic animal sanctuary, you can expect to see all sorts of animals here, with plenty of great opportunities to learn about the natural habitats they would usually call home.
Things to Do and See at Porfell Wildlife Park
The park is home to more than 250 animals who live in enclosures designed to replicate their natural environment. One of the most memorable sections is The Great Rift Valley which contains an authentic Maasai village constructed using traditional methods.
Native animals surround the village to replicate the beautiful way the Maasai people and local wildlife cohabitate. Inside the village, there are all sorts of artisan crafts to enjoy as well as insight into the clothes and the history of the people.
Another stand-out space is the Ancient Woodland, where you can follow the many trails to learn about the wetlands. You’ll also find woods filled with ancient Cornish ash, willows, alders, oak, plants and lots of other native botanicals.
The Children’s Farm is also tons of fun with everything from pigs to chickens, chipmunks, rabbits, sheep, goats and more. Ultimately, it’s a great day out with an enormous range of animals from around the world to see.
Tickets Prices for Porfell Wildlife Park
- Adults: £10
- Children: £7
- Family of 4: £31
- Over 60s: £8
3. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
The beautiful Cornish coast is famous for its population of grey seals and lesser numbers of common seals. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is part of The Sealife Trust, a charity that comes to the aid of Cornwall’s grey seals when in need.
Things to Do and See at The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
At the sanctuary, alongside grey seals who are rehabilitated then returned to the waters, you’ll also find common seals, South American or Southern sea lions and Humboldt penguins. Out in the paddock, there are also ponies, goats and sheep.
There are lots of great ways to see the seals and other marine animals during your visit. You can join the morning rounds on the Cornish Seal Sanctuary’s Breakfast Tour to uncover why seal pups end up getting rescued.
Or, why not discover how the seals are looked after on the Keeper For a Day Tour? For a private afternoon visit that starts with an exclusive Cornish cream tea, check out the Afternoon Seal Tour.
For an extra special experience, you can see the seals, sea lions and penguins up close with a visit to the underwater viewing experience.
Ticket Prices for The Cornish Seal Sanctuary
- Adults: £15
- Children: £12.50
- Family of 4: £48
- Over 60s: £14.50
4. Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary, Looe
Wild Futures is a UK charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of primates in need. The Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary is home to 40 primates, including Barbary macaques, capuchins, marmosets and woolly monkeys.
Things to Do and See at Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary
Alongside the monkeys, the children’s Wild Play Area will provide plenty of fun. This area has lots of room to run around, plus an adventure playground, children’s craft workshops, face painting and sanctuary-themed activities.
The Monkey Sanctuary’s south-facing garden is a resplendent space, surrounded by woodland and meadows with views across the coast. You’ll find over 285 types of wildflowers, 23 species of butterflies, 60 species of birds and lots more within the grounds.
Watch the bees busy at work on the live feed in Bumblebee Corner, then take a quiet moment to sit and spot all the birds from the Bird Hide.
Before you go, visit the Wildlife Room to learn about all the animals and plants that inhabit the site’s nine acres, as well as the essential work done by Wild Futures.
Ticket Prices for Wild Futures’ Monkey Sanctuary
- Adults: £9.50
- Children: £5
- Over 65s: £7
A trip to any one of these attractions is sure to make your holiday to Cornwall one to remember!
To round off your perfect Cornwall break, you’ll need the perfect place to stay. Take a look at our luxury award-winning cottages today and start planning your next break.
Image Credits: Visit Cornwall
What’s on August 2021| Cornwall Guide
August 02nd, 2021
With dozens of fabulous events taking place across the county, this August may just be the best time to go on your family-friendly holiday in Cornwall.
From live music festivals to spectacular displays of modern art and dance, we take a look at some of the best events taking place in Cornwall this August, so you don’t miss out!
6 – 15 Aug
What started as a local sailing regatta in 1837 has since evolved into an amazing week full of events for all the family to enjoy!
Falmouth Week has been drawing in visitors from across the UK thanks to its fantastic activities right in the heart of Falmouth. With live music, sailing races, an eclectic market and even a carnival complete with a demonstration by the iconic Red Arrows, there’s truly something for everyone at Falmouth Week!
Drive-in Summer Cinema
16 Jul – 5 Sep
If you’re looking for a fun attraction that all the family can enjoy, then look no further than the Drive-In Summer Cinema at Watergate Bay in Newquay. With giant LED screens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, you can experience some of your favourite films such as The Goonies, Moana, Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean (to name a few) in a whole new light!
Showings take place every Thursday through Sunday at 12 pm and 6.45 pm. Plus, there’s the special Sunday Summer Singalongs where you and the family can rock out in the comfort of your own car to hits from The Greatest Showman, Grease and Mamma Mia.
Spectacular Summer Season at Flambards
4 Aug – 25 Aug
Make the most of your family holiday in Cornwall by coming along to one of the wonderful events hosted at Flambards Theme Park in Helston.
The park itself is open throughout the day for hours worth of family fun, but everything changes when the sun goes down. Every Monday and Wednesday this August, Flambards is offering guests an evening they’ll never forget. With after-dark rides, spectacular firework displays and live music from local Cornish artists – a visit to Flambards is a must this August.
Summer of Celebration at the Eden Project
This summer, the Eden Project becomes the backdrop for a whole range of performances from parkour to storytelling to dancing, all inspired by Eden’s unique setting.
With carnivals, jazz performances and a whole host of other performances on offer, there’s never been a better time to visit the Eden Project. Some of the most notable performances are:
- Emergent Ensemble (9th – 13th August)
- Mandinga Arts’ Carnival (16th – 20th August)
- UPG’s Beyond The Strandline (23rd – 27th August)
The summer celebration has been running since March of this year and doesn’t wrap up until early September. This means there’s plenty of time for you to catch one of these fantastic performances during your trip to Cornwall.
We hope you make the most of your Cornish holiday this August by visiting one or more of these fantastic events! It’s not too late to book! Browse our range of family-friendly cottages available 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.
8 Facts About Falmouth
January 08th, 2021
Falmouth is a beautiful town on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall. As a port town, Falmouth has a rich maritime history and a strong connection to the sea. Here we take a look at some of the most fascinating facts about this area of Cornwall.
Henry VIII Built Pendennis Castle
Perched upon the hillside, overlooking the bay stands Pendennis Castle- a strong and dramatic castle that adds an element of charm to the scenery around Gylly Beach.
However, its purpose couldn’t be further from adding scenic wonder. It was actually erected in 1540 on the instruction of Henry VIII to defend the Carrick Roads.
Together with the castle situated in St Mawes to the east, the Falmouth estuary was well defended from potential attacks.
Sir John Killigrew Created Falmouth Town
It wasn’t much time after the completion of the castle that the town of Falmouth was created in 1613 by Sir John Killigrew.
In 1665, the town was bestowed with a new church entitled the “King Charles the Martyr” and soon after, a few hundred homes were built around the area for church-goers.
Great Tourism Rates Since 1863
With the development of Falmouth Docks in 1858 and the introduction of railway services to the area in 1863, the town was thriving with business and tourism.
Falmouth currently has three railway stations to service the town – Falmouth Docks Railway Station, Falmouth Town Railway Station and Penmere Railway Station. Falmouth is noted as one of the key resorts in the UK’s number one tourist destination, with Cornwall attracting an average of 4 million visitors a year!
Falmouth is an Award-Winning Town
In 2016, the town was credited with the highly prestigious accolade of GB High St Best Coastal Community.
Falmouth is a Hub of Creativity
Falmouth is home to one of the leading art universities in the UK, but in addition to the creativity the students bring to the town, there are many creative industries located in Falmouth. With a host of shows and exhibitions, Falmouth arguably holds the title for the most creative town in the UK!
Falmouth Has the Third Deepest Natural Harbour in the World
Falmouth’s harbour is the third deepest natural harbour in the world. It measures up to 34 metres in depth. It is only beaten by Sydney Harbour and The Port of Mahon.
Many notable events have taken place on Falmouth’s waters – and has been the starting or finishing point of many sailing achievements, including Robin Knox-Johnston’s in 1969, who was the first person to sail around the world non-stop and single-handedly.
In addition to that is Ellen Macarthur, who also completed this challenge in 2007, and is the fastest person on record to do so.
There are 111 steps up to Jacob’s Ladder
Something that catches the attention of tourists is the steps from The Moor in the heart of the town up to the Jacob’s Ladder pub. There are 111 steps in total and they were built by property owner and builder, Jacob Hablen, to link his business to the tourists and locals who gather in the town.
To discover more about Falmouth, be sure to follow us on Facebook to see our latest blog posts, photos of the stunning local scenery and deals on staying with us at our luxury cottages in Falmouth!
4 Activities for All the Family in Cornwall
May 11th, 2020
Cornwall is the perfect holiday destination in the UK; with numerous seaside towns, plenty of delicious restaurants and so many activities, you will never be short of somewhere to visit or something to do!
Whether you are looking for adventure, heritage or simply a fun-filled day out, Cornwall has plenty to offer. We share some of our top activities for all the family so that you can all enjoy your time in the Cornish countryside.
Flambards Theme Park
Come rain or shine, Flambards Theme Park is a brilliant day out for the whole family. From soft play areas for the little ones to sky-high adventure rides for the thrill-seekers and a life-size Victorian Village for the aspiring historians!
Flambards Theme Park features award-winning indoor attractions, so if you find yourself visiting on a day that is a little wet, not to fear because there is still lots to see and do. Additionally, when purchasing a full-price ticket, you receive a free return for a further six consecutive days from the date of the first admission. So, you could always visit again to experience the whole park!
Take the day to explore the 30 acres of lush gardens and discover some beautiful and picturesque scenery. Each season offers a different experience as different flowers come into bloom. No matter what time of year you visit, you can be sure to have a wonderful time spent with loved ones unwinding in the countryside.
From ponds and flower gardens to woodlands, there is lots to discover. The gardens are huge, so there is plenty for the little explorers to see! There is also Enys House to visit; step back in time and see the old Georgian house that was built in the 1830s!
After building up an appetite from walking around the stunning gardens, you can stop at the Garden Café for a bite to eat and light refreshment. With sandwiches, salads and homemade soup, there is lots to choose from for your lunch. There is also an array of freshly baked cakes and scones for a little treat. After all, you are in Cornwall, so it’s only right to have a cream tea!
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
While visiting the Cornish seaside, why not learn more about the big blue sea? The National Maritime Museum features 15 galleries that span over five floors! Each of the galleries shares insight and information on the sea’s history and culture. Here are just some of the things you can explore at the National Maritime Museum:
- A variety of boats from around the world
- RNLI Rescue Zone
- Boat Building Workshop
- Cornwall and the Sea
- Tidal Zone (you can look underwater at the harbour through two large windows)
- The Treasure Island Play Zone
- The Lookout Tower (look at breathtaking views over the harbour, docks and estuary)
- The Boat Pool (you can sail small model boats)
One of the most well-known attractions in Cornwall is Newquay Zoo. With over 130 species, there are plenty of animals to meet and learn all about. From monkeys and reptiles to zebras and big cats, you can get up close to some of the world’s most fascinating animals.
You could spend the whole day at Newquay Zoo exploring the 13 acres of the park. There are two onsite cafes for you to grab a bite to eat, or you can pack your own picnic and settle down in one of the eating areas.
If you want to add something extra special to your trip, you can pay extra to meet the animals up close and personal. Animal experiences are something that you will remember for a lifetime. The following animal experiences are available at Newquay Zoo:
- Lion Feeding: Help the keepers feed the lions and learn all about these incredible cats.
- Red Panda Experience: Meet the loveable pair of red pandas, Germaine and Zou, feed them and learn all about them from the panda keepers.
- Penguin Encounter: For those who love penguins, this could be an incredible experience. Get up close with the animals, feed them some fish and learn from the keeper all about the fascinating species.
- Junior Zookeeper Experience: For those aged between 8 and 14 years old, this is the perfect experience! You can get first-hand experience of what it’s like to work with the fantastic animals at Newquay Zoo.
- Zookeeper Experience: Are you an animal lover, or maybe you wonder what it would be like to be a zookeeper? The zookeeper experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close with so many different animals.
If you would like to visit any of these attractions, why not stay with us at The Valley? We offer luxury family holidays in Cornwall, perfect for a getaway with loved ones!
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Cycle Trails in Cornwall
May 07th, 2020
Cornwall is a beautiful part of the UK, and a brilliant way to explore the glorious Cornish countryside is to cycle along its many trails! You can immerse yourself in the greenery and discover some local towns and villages during your trips.
Whether you are a beginner or more advanced, old or young, here is a list of some excellent cycling trails to visit when on holiday in Cornwall that you can ride along either alone, with family or friends.
Mineral Tramways Trails: Great Flat Lode Trail
The Mineral Tramways Trails are traffic-free routes based alongside the old transport network of the 19th-century mining era. It is 37.5 miles long and offers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside while also discovering the mining heritage.
The Great Flat Lode Trail circles the hill of Carn Brea behind Camborne and Redruth. It is situated amongst the mines that worked the Great Flat Lode! So, you can get in some exercise, enjoy stunning views and you can learn all about some of Cornwall’s finest old mine workings.
The Camel Trail
A route that is perfect for all abilities and ages, the Camel Trail is an 18-mile long, surfaced and mostly level trail. Parts of the route runs alongside a disused railway line, and while travelling the route, you will capture some of the most beautiful scenery in Cornwall.
The trail is suitable for walkers, horse-riders and wheel-chairs users, as well as cyclists, so be aware of any traffic that may occur during your cycle. The trail falls into three routes:
- Padstow to Wadebridge: 5.5 miles
- Wadebridge to Bodmin: 5.75 miles
- Bodmin to Wenfordbridge: 6.25 miles
If you don’t have your own bike, then you can hire bikes at Padstow, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Wenfordbridge. Toilets are also located Wadebridge alongside the trail, Wendfordbridge, and in Padstow town centre.
The Cornish Way
Perhaps one of the most well-known routes in Cornwall is the Cornish Way. It is a mighty trail as it runs from Land’s End all the way to Bude and consists of 195 miles!
Along the route, you will come across some beautiful beaches, stunning seaside towns and wonderful wildlife. It is great because you can pick a part of the route you wish to cycle that is nearest to you.
A beautiful part of the trail is where it runs along the coast until you reach Marazion. You can enjoy spectacular coastal views along with a sea breeze. At Marazion, you could stop for a refreshment and then head inland towards Hayle Estuary and Camborne.
Bodmin Beast Cycle Trail
For those looking for more of an adventurous ride, the Bodmin Beast Cycle Trail could be the perfect option. The trail is 12km and stretches through the wooded slopes of the Cardinham Valley. Along the route, you will be faced with some challenging climbs and descents, as well as some tight corners, steps, tabletops and rollers.
Clay Trails: Bugle to Eden Trail
There are Clay Trails dotted around St Austell and offer some unique views. The China Clay industry was situated in this area for over 300 years, and it left a fascinating stamp on the land. What were once clay pits are now turquoise lakes and former spoil heaps are now miniature mountains.
The trail that runs from Bugle to Eden is four miles and is a fairly easy trail, making it perfect for all ages and abilities. Once you arrive at the Eden Project, why not head inside and explore?
If you are interested in visiting one or more of these cycle trails, why not stay in Truro; a town that is well located among these routes making each cycle path easy to access. We have a range of hot tub cottages in Cornwall to add some much-needed luxury to your trip to the Cornish countryside!