Weird and Wonderful Places to Visit in Cornwall

July 19th, 2019

Cornwall is a stunning part of the country, and it is home to many spectacular sights to see. From waterfalls to ancient theatres, we take a look at some of the weird and wonderful places to visit. Switch it up from the usual tourist attractions and discover some extraordinary places!

Unusual garden sculpture of a head at the Lost Gardens of Heligan, in Cornwall

Lost Gardens of Heligan

An attraction that is undoubtedly unique is the Lost Gardens of Heligan. The secret garden dates back to the nineteenth century and has since become a well-loved attraction. With over 200 acres to explore, this place is full of unusual sculptures, captivating wildlife and stunning gardens. Paths that were created over two centuries ago lead you to the Victorian Productive Gardens and Pleasure Grounds where you can immerse yourself in beauty. For something a little different, The Jungle is a sub-tropical journey where you can walk through bamboo tunnels and below some banana trees.

Once you have explored the secret gardens, visit the Heligan Kitchen & Bakery for a cup of coffee and some delicious food! All of their produce is locally sourced, and every hearty meal is full of goodness. Try a traditional Cornish cream tea or choose from the array of homemade pies.

St Nectan’s Glen

Near Tintagel, St Nectan’s Glen features a sixty-foot waterfall that runs through a hole in the rocks; a truly spectacular sight! Alongside this incredible spectacle are two further waterfalls and a beautiful woodland walk. The site also has a cafĂ© where you can enjoy a cream tea or coffee and soak up the gorgeous atmosphere. Furthermore, you can visit the shop and gallery to pick up a lovely holiday souvenir.

Waterfall one

Perhaps the main show at St Nectan’s Glen, waterfall one is called St Nectans Kieve and is the sixty-foot spectacular! Take a stroll down to the stunning site and watch the water cascade through the hole that was naturally created in the rocks. There is a shallow pool at the bottom where you can get closer and capture a holiday picture with a stunning backdrop.

Waterfalls two and three

As you carry on your stroll, you will stumble upon waterfall two. Located just after the shallow pool from the St Nectans Kieve, it is a beautiful waterfall that is wider and features more drops. Be aware though that the current can pick up a bit here, so if you go for a dip, be cautious. Waterfall three was only recently discovered and is somewhat a hidden gem; the walkway to this scenic location was only opened in 2016! The waterfall is roughly eighty-foot and connects to the main stream after waterfalls one and two.

Woodland walk

St Nectan’s Glen woodland walk is a picturesque escape. Walk alongside the river through ivy-clad trees see the animals and birds play. The sound of the flowing water and birds singing creates a tranquil atmosphere. With it being such a spectacular sight, it has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its rare variety of plants. For more information about this incredible attraction, take a look at our location guide for St Nectan’s Glen!

The exterior of Bodmin Jail in Cornwall

Bodmin Jail

Built in 1779, Bodmin Jail is undoubtedly a fascinating place to learn and see exactly what life was like back then for a prisoner. The Jail was used to hold state papers and the Domesday book during the First World War; this shows how important the place was many years ago. Today, the Jail is used as a historical attraction and no longer functions as a Prison. Visitors can explore the cold and dark cells and envision what life was like as a captured criminal. You can also visit the execution shed which features a Victorian hanging pit! The drop is 4.5 metres, and it is the only one of its kind in the UK. There is also a Jail exhibition which features a tour across six floors. Here you can get a real feel for what it was like behind bars; the slights, the smells, everything!

An aerial view of the Minack Theatre in Cornwall

Minack Theatre

The Minack Theatre is located in Penzance, and it is situated in a stunning location; perched on a cliff that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It’s very first performance dates back to the 16th of August 1932! It is still used today to entertain through dramas, musicals and operas along with music performances, comedies and story-telling. The theatre is open for visiting but during the season, with so many performances scheduled, visiting hours can be limited. Why not take a look at the programme and see if there are any events you would like to attend!

Cornwall is bursting with unusual and fantastic attractions and this only a few of them! If you would like to visit Cornwall, why not choose to stay in a central location so you can visit as many places as possible? Here at The Valley, we have a range of Truro holiday cottages, which means you can venture out to plenty of different attractions without feeling restricted by travel. We are also dog-friendly, so you don’t have to leave your four-legged friends at home, bring them along with you! If you decide to come with your pup, take a look at our blog that features some days out with dogs in Truro so you and your furry friend can have a fun-filled holiday!

Location Guide: St Nectan’s Glen

June 21st, 2019

St Nectan’s Glen is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Site of Special Scientific Interest located in Trethevy, near Tintagel, in Cornwall. A location of great interest, the area is considered to be “one of the UK’s most spiritual sites”, with people coming from far and wide to view the St Nectan’s Kieve waterfall. In our latest location guide, we explore all the St Nectan’s Glen has to offer.

About St Nectan’s Glen

St Nectan’s Glen is a hidden gem, leading you through ancient woodland, where ivy-covered trees provide a tranquil canopy. Follow the river Trevillet and relax as you hear the distant rush of the waterfall. You can easily lose yourself in the beauty of this location, so take your time to absorb the incredible sights and sounds. Look out for the local wildlife, including the delightful birds known as Dippers, who are known to nest in the rocks near the waterfalls.

The main waterfall, St Nectan’s Kieve, is a magnificent sight. Here the river Trevillet has worn through the slate to create a 60-foot waterfall that flows impressively through a rock arch. Two additional waterfalls lead on from the main waterfall, with the third only recently having been made accessible.

Upon seeing the magical beauty of the area, it will come as no surprise that St Nectan’s Glen has long been associated with Cornish mysticism, with fairies and piskies rumoured to be found in this stunning location alongside the birds! Described as one of the most spiritual sites in the UK, St Nectan’s Glen, the waterfalls have become a place of spiritual pilgrimage. Visitors who recognise the site as a sacred place may leave ribbons, crystals, stone piles and prayers near the waterfall as an offering.  

History of St Nectan’s Glen

The area gets its name from the belief that Saint Nectan, a 6th-Century holy man, lived in a hermitage above the waterfall. As the legend goes, he would ring a silver bell when stormy weather came to warn ships of the perilous rocks at the mouth of the nearby Rocky Valley.  

Information About Visiting St Nectan’s Glen

St Nectan’s Glen is open seven days a week, year-round, although hours depend on season. Between 1st April and 31st October, opening hours are 9.30am to 5pm. Visiting St Nectan’s Glen and the woodland walk is free, but there is a charge of £5.95 for adults and £4.70 for children to visit the waterfalls. There is a free car park situated just off the road in Trethevy. Follow the signs to the waterfalls by foot. From the carpark to the waterfall entrance is around a half an hour walk.  

When visiting St Nectan’s Glen, you’ll also discover the wonderful St Nectan’s CafĂ© and gallery, where you’ll be able to treat yourself to a delicious Cornish cream tea after the walk! A truly tranquil spot to rest and recover, the cafĂ© overlooks the river and is surrounded by a gorgeous garden. Situated within the walls of the old chapel you will find the gallery and shop, where a range of fine art and mementoes can be discovered.

Due to the terrain throughout the woodland and around the waterfalls, the walk is not suitable for people with walking difficulties, and those with pushchairs may struggle. Dogs are allowed on the woodland walk, to the waterfall, and the tea room café, making this the perfect spot for a family day out in Cornwall with the dog!

You can discover more of the hidden gems in Cornwall in our location guide series. Check out our previous blogs on Crantock Beach and Nanjizal Beach and Song of the Sea Cave! If you would like to explore all that Cornwall has to offer, both natural wonders and exciting local events, why not take a break and enjoy a luxury family holiday in Cornwall?!  

Image Credit: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)