Location Guide: Kennall Vale
December 23rd, 2019
Kennall Vale is located between Redruth and Penryn, and welcomes their thousands of visitors, year after year, thanks to the beautiful woodland, fascinating history and its sterling reputation as a popular dog walking spot. Evidence of its interesting past as a gunpowder factory can still be found today. With the nature reserve being scattered with old granite ruins, it is the perfect blend of natural attraction and industrial heritage, and is a great spot to explore for both those visiting Cornwall for the first time and regular visitors looking for a new adventure.
Conveniently located at equal distance between Redruth, Penryn and Truro, our luxury Cornwall cottages are just a short and simple twenty minute drive down the A39. Entry to the woodlands is free and the site is managed by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. The woodlands is open at all times, but the best time to visit for wildlife, views, and weather is between April and September. That said, visiting during the off season increases the likelihood that you’ll get the place to yourself, enabling you to make the most of the peace and quiet.
Today, the densley wooded valley is a peaceful haven for those hoping to escape the hectic nature of everyday life, providing the opportunity to take a step back, slow down and really appreciate your surroundings. Any noise that does disturb the silence is likely to be the song of a bird or the sound of rushing water in the distance, but that has not always been the case. This site was once host to a gunpowder factory, chosen for its proximity to the River Kennall, as the cascading waters provided a power source, diverted into waterwheels. The woodland was also chosen because of the number of trees already there, alongside the opportunity for the company to plant more trees. At the time, this was done to help towards absorbing a large explosion, but has now created a delightful woodland area for both locals and visitors to enjoy.
To make gunpowder, three core ingredients are required; charcoal, saltpetre and sulphur. They are ground down into a fine powder, which is then compressed, and despite these seemingly simple steps, there were ten stages to the process, all of which took place in a variety of different buildings. The site once consisted of 50 buildings to accommodate such a process, and while many remain, nature is slowly taking over those that are beginning to fade away into the undergrowth. Despite all of those safety precautions, accidents happened. In May, 1838, five mills blew up after one another, with some reports suggesting that the roof of one was found over a mile away. A further explosion happened a few years later and one worker wasn’t so lucky, with body parts strewn across the site.
There are a plethora of walking routes and trails to check out during your visit, making this the ideal spot for those that have bought their four-legged friend along with them. On a nice day, take a picnic and find a spot close to the picturesque waterfalls for an atmospheric lunch with a view. The quarry is flooded and features a sheer rock face rising out of the clear water.
Whilst looking around the nature reserve, keep a keen eye out for some rare and unusual wildlife species including the greater horseshoe bat, along side the typical creatures you may expect to call this home. Interestingly, Kennall Vale is also popular with bird-watchers as it is often referred to as the best place in Cornwall to spot dippers.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about what awaits you at Kennall Vale and the sorts of things you can look forward to for your next visit to Cornwall. For more information on the best places to visit during your stay at The Valley, check out our blog for location guides, including one on Kynance Cove, and other fantastic pieces on what’s on and around our luxury Cornwall cottages.
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.
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!
8 great reasons why children are in love with Cornwall
August 20th, 2015
Cornwall has such an abundance of reasons to visit; beaches, coastline, local produce, amazing restaurants, beautiful towns and villages, and various other attractions. But what about the children? When you book child-friendly cottage holidays in Cornwall you want to know your children will enjoy their break as much as you, so we’ve taken a look at 8 great reasons why children will love Cornwall!