The Best Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve in Cornwall
December 16th, 2019
With preparations for Christmas festivities well under way, households all over the country are looking forward to relaxing holidays where they can indulge in great food, drinks and spend some quality time together. Some families might even be looking forward to packing up, and heading south, for a fantastic, festive celebration, Cornish style! Although time is ticking on, slightly faster than the less organised amongst us might like, there is still time to book one of our holiday cottages in Cornwall for New Year!
How to Spend New Year’s in Cornwall
December 05th, 2018
Stuck for something to do this New Year’s? Treat yourself to a five-star cottage in Cornwall for a fantastic holiday with family and friends, welcoming in the new year in style! Cornwall is a fantastic location, with lots to do throughout the year, and New Year’s Eve is no different. Below we take a look at some of the best events happening in towns and cities near our holiday cottages:
Fantastic Christmas and New Year offers at The Valley!
December 21st, 2016
Make the most of Cornwall’s mild winter climate and enjoy an unforgettable Christmas holiday on the beautiful Cornish beaches, walking through rolling landscapes or simply relaxing in a waterfront cafe in one the many picturesque fishing villages, all within easy reach from The Valley accommodation.
West Cornwall to celebrate alternative St. Piran’s Day festivities
January 07th, 2016
A novel event will be happening in Cornwall this March all within a short distance of our beautiful cottages in Cornwall.
The Cousin Jack Classic Coast Run will take place from 10am-4pm on March 5th and will stretch from Cape Cornwall to The Island in St. Ives, in order to honour and pay tribute to Cornish ancestors.
Cornish emigration happened for a variety of reasons, but the main reasons were for economic purposes due to the lack of jobs in the 18th and 19th centuries. This was the time Cornish people or “Cousin Jacks” migrated to various parts of the world in search of a better life, it’s estimated that around 250,000 Cornish men migrated between 1861 and 1901.
The Cousin Jack Classic Coast run will cover the 17 mile stretch between St Ives and St Just, which offer untouched and beautiful natural scenery from the lush green grasses that stretch to the water’s edge to the imposing 300 foot cliffs that jut out from this remarkable coastline.
It’s also home to the UK’s first ‘Environmentally Sensitive Areas’ where annual grant aid allows participating farmers to work the land traditionally using ancient field systems to define a small strip of land between the sea.
Also along the route you will pass the world famous mines of Crowns and Wheal Owles, Geevor Tin Mine, before grazing past Pendeen lighthouse.
You’ll know when the race is near its end when you spot the Tate Gallery, from there you make your way onto the golden sands of Porthmeor beach where the black and white flag of St Piran will wave you over the finish line.
Once you have completed this exciting route you will presented with a Cornish medal and traditional local cider from St Ives before the contestants head for somewhere warm to recharge and reflect on the Cousin Jack run.
Due to the terrain of the route, sensible footwear and clothing is advised, as well as any liquids or energy gels as this is out of season, so refreshment stops may be limited along the route. Waterproof maps will be given out to help you navigate certain parts of the trail and a first aider will be available if any problems occur.
This is a social run, and not an organised running race so you will need to sign a disclaimer to sign in and out. There is also a small donation of £5 that goes towards St Erth Charity Committee, who raise money to supply Christmas Lights to the village each year.
So try something different this year whilst taking in the beautiful scenery that Cornwall has become famous for.
For more information you can check their Facebook event page here.
Our Top 10 family day out suggestions for Summer 2015
July 21st, 2015
To help our guests at The Valley make the most of their holiday, we post ‘day out’ suggestions through their letterboxes based on tide and weather conditions for the next day. For those considering booking one of our last minute holiday cottages in Cornwall, we have put together a list of our 2015 Top 10 favourite family day out suggestions, all under 45 minutes’ drive from The Valley.
1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The once glorious ancient estate of Heligan lay overlooked and unloved for more than 75 years before its miraculous resurrection in 1990. Today it’s one of the UK’s most impressive natural attractions. Great for kids on a dry day, with novelty sites such as the Mud Maid and the Giant’s Head particular highlights.
2. Eden Project
Eden Project celebrated its 14th year in March 2015. Its golf-ball domes represent an environmental programme that has attracted over 16 million visitors. The biomes, consisting of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal plastic cells, are home to thousands of species of plants. Book ahead for the SkyWire, England’s longest and fastest zip wire course.
3. Cornish Seal Sanctuary
Set on a 40-acre site in the village of Gweek, this rescue centre for seals and sea lions is a surefire family hit, notably at feeding times. Visitors can also meet the resident otters, penguins and paddock animals — ponies, goats and sheep — and marine creatures in the centre’s rock pools.
4. Fistral Beach
Its well-deserved reputation as a surfer’s paradise perhaps obscures Fistral’s family credentials, but if you’re looking for fun day out at a wonderfully unspoilt beach, it’s hard to beat. Enjoy the selection of restaurants and shops stacked neatly in a corner of the bay, plus there’s surfing and body boarding for kids, too.
5. Lappa Valley Steam Railway
Head to Benny Halt near Newquay to catch a scenic three-mile ride on this miniature steam locomotive. At East Wheal Rose station, you’ll find children’s rides, a maze, boating lake, crazy golf course and nature trails.
6. St Michael’s Mount
Few visitors to the historic Cornish town of Marazion can resist the lure of the fairytale, castle-topped island a few miles out to sea. That island is St Michael’s Mount, one of Cornwall’s most picturesque attractions. It’s accessible via a causeway that appears magically in low tide — not particularly pushchair-friendly — but for older, surer footed children, the combination of ancient battlements on a rocky outcrop should fire the imagination.
More commonly known as Padstein, due to its most famous resident chef Rick Stein, Padstow is at the heart of Cornwall’s foodie scene. Stein’s empire dominates — restaurant, bistro, cafe, chip shop, deli, patisserie, seafood school — but there’s a certain charm to the whole town. The rugged coastline and stunning walks are totally appealing.
8. Camel Trail
Running the length of an 18-mile disused railway track between Wenford Bridge and Padstow, the Camel Trail is used by walkers, joggers and horse-riders, but is best-known as a cycling route for families.
9. St Ives
Beloved of artists through the centuries, it’s immediately clear why St Ives remains one of the UK’s most popular seaside towns. The harbour is picturesque, the restaurants top class and the art galleries numerous. The beach makes it a great destination for children of all ages, even with dive bombing seagulls.
10. Crealy Great Adventure Park
Conveniently tucked away between Newquay and Wadebridge is a more than manageable theme park for kids up to early teens, with over 40 rides and attractions.
10 of the best short walks in North Cornwall
April 30th, 2015
Following on from last month’s article featuring short walks in South Cornwall, we are pleased to present our 10 favourite short walks in North Cornwall, all under an hour’s journey from The Valley. Whilst many of the walks listed can be extended to make a full day at each location, you can also accomplish several of them within a single day out.
With primroses, bluebells, and foxgloves now adding glorious colour to Cornish hedgerows, May is the perfect time to take a last minute Cornwall cottage holiday, and explore the dramatic and beautiful footpaths of the North Cornwall Coast. The Valley’s luxury contemporary cottages offer the perfect place to relax and recharge after your day of exploration, with Café Azur on hand to reward your efforts with great cuisine and extensive wine list.
Land’s End to Sennen Cove
Distance 1.3 miles
Start Sennen Cove Car Park, grid ref SW354263. Finish Point Lands End – SW342254
Sennen Cove draws a vast number of visitors to its golden sand, but many miss the great vistas afforded by a brief walk up to the old coastguard lookout – and the opportunity to wander a little further to get the most amazing views of Land’s End without the associated car chaos. There is a great cafe on the beach and a good pint in the Old Success Inn. If the tide is out, you can also walk north and scramble over the rocks towards Gwenver, you must check the tides as the shallow nature of the beach means it can come in pretty quick.
Botallack mining walk, St Just
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Count House, Botallack, St Just grid ref SW333365
The area around St Just was a hub for Cornish mining activity, the remains of which are clear to see along this stretch of coastline. The specific appeal of this area is difficult to put your finger on, there are just so many things to see and wonder at: industrial archaeology, brutal natural landscape and loads of interesting wildlife. A favourite view is looking south to Cape Cornwall, jutting out into the Atlantic with the white water crashing around its base. There are many options for short walks around the area but we recommend the route north from Cape Cornwall up to the Levant Mine with its steam engine, lovingly restored by the Greasy Gang volunteers.
Distance 3 miles
Start/finish Carn Galva car park, grid ref SW421364
This beautiful valley is like a time machine, walking around you will jump between pre-historic, medieval, industrial revolution and second world war periods. Sitting proud on the highest point is Bosigran iron age castle, enjoying views westwards to Pendeen Watch and eastwards to Gurnards Head. The ramparts of the castle are clearly visible, if you peek between them to the opposite side of the Zawn you are looking at one of the Royal Marine Commando’s cliff assault training areas. Commando Ridge cuts a distinctive line out of the sea and this route still provides an adventurous experience even with modern climbing equipment. A reasonable (deceptively long) walk east rewards the weary rambler with a pint at the wonderful Gurnards Head pub.
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Zennor village car park, grid ref SW453385
Zennor is steeped in both history and marvellous tales: there is a mermaid in the church; the Quoit burial chamber on the high moor; and the steep sided beach valley evokes stories of illicit smuggling activities. This area was widely used by a number of west Cornwall artists – Patrick Heron’s house sits above the village to the east. There is very pleasant walking through fields, along the coastal path and up onto the moor, all of which work up a good thirst to be slaked in the Tinners Arms, a great little pub with a pleasant garden right in the centre of the village.
St Agnes lookout (Carn Gowla)
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Car park at St Agnes Head, grid ref SW702514
The beautiful little village of St Agnes is at the centre of an amazing area to walk in and explore the wealth of natural riches. Most spectacular is Carn Gowla (rock lookout in Cornish) – on a clear day you can see the area’s vast coastal landscape from here. From Mesolithic hunters to WW2 ammunition stores, St Agnes Head is steeped in history, and is also home to rare heathland and important seabird colonies. Chapel Porth beach is a hidden gem, unveiling itself as you come round the coastal path. At low tide there is a large expanse of golden sand – well worth a stroll to look back at the imposing outcrops and caves. Chapel Porth also has a great little beach cafe to restore you for your hike back out of the valley.
Cubert wildlife walk, near Newquay
Distance 6 miles
Start/finish West Pentire car park, grid ref SW775605
Although Newquay itself doesn’t evoke thoughts of great walks, the area around it is a gem. The coastline just south of Newquay is incredibly varied with fantastic displays of arable flora in summer. At West Pentire you can see whole fields scarlet with poppies and other rare meadow plants. There’s also lots of sandy grassland, rich in wild flowers like cowslip and pyramidal orchid. The dunes behind Holywell Bay are the home for hundreds of different insects and great for bug hunting. Both Crantock and Holywell beaches are well worth a visit with Penhale Point offering amazing vistas for those who are prepared to stretch their legs a little further.
Lundy Bay walk, near New Polzeath
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Lundy Bay National Trust car park, grid ref SX953795
The coastal path around the Camel estuary is one of Cornwall’s most well-known areas, and the transition from the comparatively soft estuary to the wild rocks of Pentire Point is quite striking. The shifting sand bar at the mouth of the estuary has given its name to one of Cornwall’s most prolific exports – Doom Bar beer. But it is the geological diversity, which makes this place very special; epitomised by the intimidating black rock of Pentire Point. For a slightly tamer yet no less interesting experience Lundy Bay, looking out to the island some 80 miles distant, holds a treasure trove provided by a collapsed sea cliff cave and rock pools galore.
Tintagel to Boscastle harbour
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Boscastle car park, grid ref SX101912
Most famously associated with King Arthur, Tintagel also has links to the sainthood. The area between here and Boscastle has links to St Nectan and St Pirran with a cave and a well respectively. The Boscastle area was a favourite of Thomas Hardy, who wrote about it as Castle Boterel: “a region of dream and mystery”. He met his first wife, Emma Gifford, here in 1870. The coastal path is steep and strenuous but the views are well worth the effort. The famous flooding of Boscastle is now a distant memory and this delightful coastal village has a number of good watering holes to receive and replenish the weary traveller.
Crackington Haven, Bude
Distance 3 miles
Start/finish Crackington Haven car park, grid ref SX143968
Explore a stunning stretch of north Cornwall’s coastline on a walk that leads you from Crackington Haven’s sandy beach, to magnificent vistas of Cambeak headland and the cliffs beyond, before returning by the sheltered woodlands of Ludon Valley. Intriguing rock formations and varied wildlife are just some of the highlights you’ll discover on the way. The Coombe Barton Inn provides a pleasant stop-off with amazing views. It is worth noting that the Strangles beach is an amazing secluded spot yet it has very strong currents which can catch the unsuspecting bather off guard.
Hawker’s Hut walk, Morwenstow
Distance 1 mile
Start/finish Rectory Farm Tearoom car park (rectory-tearooms.co.uk), grid ref SS205153
This gentle clifftop walks encompass breath-taking views of north Cornwall’s coast. You’ll come across a beautiful church, believed to date back to Saxon times, and of course Hawker’s Hut, the refuge of poet Reverend Robert Hawker. When you take a good look at this part of the coast, you can clearly see why Hawker spent so much of his time looking after shipwrecked sailors. The outcrops in this part of the county are brutal, and it is worth keeping dogs under close control as the drops are unforgiving. On a clear day, Lundy Island can be seen out in the Bristol Channel.
Picture Credits: Boscastle, Adam Gibbard & Visit Cornwall
Ministerial visit to discuss the future of Cornwall’s Tourism Industry
February 05th, 2015
Helen Grant the Minister for Tourism, pictured here with the Conservative MP for St.Ives Derek Thomas, visited Cornwall today to meet key local representatives and discuss the future of the industry in the county. During her day Mrs Grant was also able to visit some locations normally frequented by holidaymakers , particularly those at this time of the year enjoying last minute Cornwall cottage holidays.
The one day visit began at Tate St Ives where the Minister met John Pollard, the Leader of Cornwall Council; Lord St Levan, Chair of the Visit Cornwall Partnership and Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall. She then visited the Eden Project, Lakeview Country Club and Newquay Cornwall Airport.
Welcoming her visit, Cornwall Council Leader John Pollard confirmed that the Council is in advanced negotiations with the private sector over the transition of Visit Cornwall to a private sector led delivery model.
“I am delighted to welcome the Minister to Cornwall to discuss the future of the industry” he said. “I am particularly pleased she is visiting Tate St Ives, which has played such an important role in attracting year round visitors to Cornwall over the past 20 years. Cornwall Council has made a significant investment in the current project to double the size of the gallery space at Tate St Ives and I am pleased the Minister will see the progress that is being made on site.”
The Minister also visited Newquay Cornwall Airport which is owned by Cornwall Council. John Pollard went on to say “Everyone knows that we’ve had to make some difficult decisions in setting our budget over the next few years but I hope that people will recognise that by maintaining funding in areas such as the airport, lifeguarding and improving our road and rail links we are supporting the tourism sector in a number of ways.”
“Since the Council set its budget in November it has been working with the private sector with the aim of ensuring that the activities of Visit Cornwall continue after Cornwall Council funding stops in April and both parties are close to agreeing to a model of delivery which will see the private sector take a lead on marketing Cornwall as a tourism destination in the future.
“The private sector have been extremely positive and proactive in coming forward with a new model of delivery and I would like to thank members of the Visit Cornwall Partnership for working so hard, over a short period of time, to work with the Council to develop a new model of delivery which is not dependent on the public sector in the long term. We have reached an agreement in principle and I am confident we will conclude negotiations in the near future.”
Lord St Levan, Chair of the Visit Cornwall Partnership added “The time is right for the tourism industry in Cornwall to have control of its own destiny and in particular to take on the responsibility to develop further the hugely successful Visit Cornwall website. It is greatly to the credit of Cornwall Council and Cornwall Development Company that on their watch Cornwall’s digital media strategy has become such a market leader and we in the private sector relish the challenge of building on this.”
Minister for Tourism Helen Grant said “It was great to visit Cornwall today with its fantastic scenery and wonderful attractions that make it a standout UK tourist destination. The new model for tourism in this area will be one that I will take a close interest in. It’s crucial that it is sustainable and can help deliver growth and jobs and I wish the Visit Cornwall Partnership the best of luck for the future.
“The Government is supporting places like Cornwall via schemes such as the Coastal Communities Fund, the GREAT campaign and a new £2 million challenge fund that destinations from across the country can bid from. I want people from across the world to experience the best of Britain and come and experience Cornwall for themselves.”
Flights from London welcomed with open arms
October 25th, 2014
The news that Flybe is opening a new route from London’s City Airport to Exeter Airport with up to three flights a day is news to Devon and Cornwall’s ears, making it quicker and easier to access the region than ever before. Taking just 80 minutes – faster than the time it takes to travel across London by Tube – it makes for an ideal way to travel down to one of our last minute holiday cottages in Cornwall.