Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hellangove offers a very merry pet friendly Christmas

A festive welcome awaits both man and his best friend at Hellangove Cottage, near Launceston. 

On arriving at the recently renovated 200-year-old property, with its beamed ceilings and cosy lounge with wood burning stove, guests will be treated to a ready-decorated Christmas tree and garlands.  Crackers, table napkins and a tablecloth will be provided for the Christmas meal as well as a bottle of champagne, mince pies, a Christmas cake and biscuit selection.

Up to two large friendly dogs are welcome at no additional charge and they will receive a treat from the cottage owner’s dog, Carrek, alongside the complimentary “dog box” with its biscuits, balls, bowls, towels, plastic bags and water bottles.

Hellangove is nestled in the heart of the village of South Petherwin, near Launceston, and is surrounded by miles of walking country and breathtaking scenery provided by Bodmin Moor, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Nearby, see how the Victorians celebrated Christmas at Lanhydrock country house and estate.  With its Christmas tree in the Outer Hall, stunning dining room decorated for a Christmas dinner and the aftermath of Christmas celebrations in the male entertaining rooms, there is also the opportunity to meet Father Christmas, sing carols and make Victorian Christmas themed crafts.

Hellangove sleeps 4 people in two double rooms, it has a kitchen and separate utility room and a patio garden.  A week’s stay from Saturday 22 December 2012 costs £429.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

An autumn break in Cornwall on a shoestring

October is the perfect time to visit Cornwall; the county is winding down for the winter with much of the summer crowds and traffic jams a distant memory.

So load up the car up with food for the week, fill up with fuel, strap on the bikes and don’t forget some walking boots and waterproofs for a week’s budget holiday in Cornwall for under £500.


Accommodation is much cheaper at this time of year, especially as holiday providers offer late availability discounts.  Nancenoy (sleeps 2), near Falmouth, is a delightful barn conversion featuring an open plan living area with log burner and views over the magical Helford River.  A great base to explore the area, there is off-road parking for one car and it costs £359.10 from Friday 26th October to 2nd November 2012.  Guests will also receive a £20 voucher towards a meal at the local yacht club.


Once food, fuel and accommodation have been accounted for, little else will need paying for.  It costs nothing to walk around towns and villages, or explore the natural beauty of the countryside. 

Here is a range of things to do, and more importantly they are free!

Sightseeing by foot

There are miles upon miles of footpaths in Cornwall, many of which are through Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  The Fal River Autumn Walking Festival takes place from the 19th October to 4th November and is a great way of exploring the area. Take the guided Autumn Ramble from Mawnan Smith around the Helford River.  Bring a drink and packed lunch and enjoy the views along the way.


Heartlands in Pool is a major new free attraction.  Talk a walk through the botanical gardens, art studios and galleries and be transported back in time in the World Heritage Site exhibition centre at Robinson's Shaft, a mine that was once a focal point of the tin mining industry.

On yer bike!

Another way to take in Cornwall’s culture is to follow the routes once part of Cornwall’s industrial past.  Cycle the Mineral Tramways Trail from Devoran to Portreath or the Clay Trails, a 12-mile series of off-road routes around St Austell, taking in the Eden Project and a new section to Wheal Martyn Country Park.

Art and Museums

Great works of art aren’t necessarily confined to the big museums and galleries.  The Falmouth Art Gallery houses an important permanent collection of works and the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange in Penzance exhibit contemporary work from international and local artists.  As well as galleries, there are also many free museums including the Helston Folk Museum and the Padstow Museum.

Go to the beach!

Whatever the weather, a trip to one of Cornwall’s beaches is an absolute must. The opportunity to lie down and catch some sun will have passed, but nothing beats a walk alongside crashing waves like at Watergate Bay to blow the cobwebs away.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Falmouth celebrates oysters, ale and walking!

A host of festivals are descending upon Falmouth this month and there really is something for everyone to enjoy.  Seafood enthusiasts will relish the chance to sample some of the freshest and finest produce at The Falmouth Oyster Festival, walking fanatics will have the opportunity to be guided along footpaths around the stunning coastline throughout the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival and real ale fans will have the chance to try out a number of different brews from all over the country at the Beer Festival:

Running from the 11th to 14th October, The Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrates the start of the oyster-dredging season, and in particular the last remaining traditional oyster fishery in Europe still dredging by sail and hand punt.  A range of events will take place throughout the weekend including a cookery master-class from a celebrity chef and demonstrations by local chefs, children’s shell painting, sea shanties, a town parade, live music, an oyster shucking competition, a Falmouth Working Boat race and stalls selling Cornish produce.


Imperial Court (sleeps 4) is a spacious, light and airy luxury apartment located close to the centre of Falmouth and its shops, galleries, pubs and restaurants.  The kitchen leads into an open plan lounge and dining area with comfortable leather sofas and nautical themed artwork.  The master bedroom has a king size bed and en-suite shower room and there is also a twin room with separate bathroom.  Private off road parking is available for one car.

A stay from Tuesday 9th to 16th October 2012 is £305.15 (was £359) and a 10% discount is available for a couple using one room outside the peak season.

Don’t forget your walking boots for this year’s Fal River Autumn Walking Festival.  This is an excellent way of viewing beautiful coastal and in land areas throughout the Fal River, Roseland Peninsula, Helford and Truro. The festival takes place from the 19th October to 4th November and features over 60 guided and self-guided walks.


A light and airy two-bedroom cottage in the picturesque village of Flushing, Janey’s Cottage (sleeps 4) is in a central location to explore the south Cornwall area.  The living room has an open fire and conservatory that leads out to the garden and the kitchen has a separate utility room, ideal for storing muddy walking gear.  There is a master double bedroom, twin room and separate family bathroom.  Parking is available on the street in front of the property.

A stay from Saturday 20th to 27th October 2012 is £449.10 (was £499) and a 10% discount is available for a couple using one room outside the peak season.

One of the largest events of its kind in the county, The Cornwall Falmouth Beer Festival runs from the 26th to 27th October and features over 200 real ales, in excess of 60 ciders and perries, bottled beers and fruit wines from all over the country.  The main festival is held in the recently refurbished Princess Pavilions, with an additional Cider Marquee out in the gardens.  With free soft drinks for all designated drivers, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes as well as hot and cold food, live entertainment and pub games.


Nancenoy (sleeps 2) is located in the beautiful creek side hamlet of Port Navas, near Falmouth.  The accommodation comprises an open plan living room, with balcony to take advantage of the wonderful views of the Helford River, kitchen and dining area on the first floor and a double bedroom with separate bathroom on the ground floor. A parking space is available.

A week’s stay from Friday 26th October to 2nd November is £399 (last minute offers available).