Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall; a Dark Sky Reserve

Dark Sky Reserve: Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall

Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall; a Dark Sky Reserve

Bodmin Moor, North Cornwall; a Dark Sky Reserve

Dark sky at night, Cornish delight.  North Cornwall is home to fabulous night skies, with clear views of the Milky Way stars possible on cloudless nights.  The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has now officially recognised that Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall has some of the darkest skies in the UK by designating it a Dark Sky Reserve.

On the  7th July, 2017, 80 square miles of Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall, already protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty, became one of very few locations to be designated a Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark Sky Association. A status comparable to that of a World Heritage Site.

The International Dark-Sky Association designations are for places that have an exceptionally high quality night sky and have made a commitment to avoid light pollution. For example, new light covers have been placed over streetlights and guidance produced for home-owners on how to minimise light pollution.

Other Dark Sky Reserves in the UK with designations include Exmoor, Dartmoor, South Downs, Brecon Beacons, Elan Valley, Snowdonia and parts of Northumberland and Scotland

For an opportunity to view some of these amazing night skies for yourself, contact www.Luxurycornwallholidaycottages.co.uk a family owned business that has two fabulously stylish, country chic, holiday cottages situated on the edge of Bodmin Moor, yet only 10 mins drive to the North Cornwall coast.

North Cornwall also has spectacular sunsets – not seen on the South Coast.

How much more romantic can it be than sitting outside your holiday cottage with a loved one watching ‘sky rockets at night….’ or relaxing watching the sun go down?

A spectacular North Cornwall Sunset

A spectacular North Cornwall Sunset

 

 

 

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Leopallooza Festival Rag 'n' Bone Man

Leopallooza Festival

Leopallooza Festival Rag'n' Bone Man

Leopallooza Festival Rag ‘n’ Bone Man

Who would have thought that within in a 13 minute drive (4.2 miles) from The Cottage in Trelash, you could come across North Cornwall’s Leopallooza Festival. The independently run festival is hosted at Lower Exe Farm, Week St Mary, EX22 6UX. This year will be the 11th Leopallooza Festival, with over 100 acts performing across 7 stages.

Leopallooza Festival Location North Cornwall

Leopallooza Festival only 13 mins drive from The Cottage in Trelash, North Cornwall

The award-winning festival has built a reputation of hosting emerging new talent, with a strong history of booking artists just before they break into the mainstream. Bastille played low on the bill in 2012, before the release of their debut Bad Blood, and returned as headliners in 2013. Rag’n’Bone Man played on the main stage in 2016, a full six months before releasing his bestselling debut album. Eliza Doolittle appeared at the festival in 2010, and released her platinum-selling album the same summer.

This year’s headliners are the Indie trio,The Cribs, and Maximo Park, with Gabrielle Amber Run, Aplinm, Seafret, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Japanese House and Samm Henshaw plus many more confirmed artists. The festival is known for attracting and hosting new bands and artists in the UK, as well as the cream of the regional music scene, across seven stages. As well as homegrown talent, Leopallooza attracts bands, musicians & DJs from around the world.

This year sees the addition of two new stages in the 7 stage lineup, including the Punkomedy stand-up comedy stage, and a platform for the county’s local musical talent supported by BBC Music Introducing in Cornwall.

The gates will be opening at 10.00am on the 28th July, with the festivities ending at 11.55pm on the 30th July. Within 20 minutes of being released the1500 early bird tickets were sold out; an indication of the growing popularity of this North Cornwall event.

Over the 3-day festival, 100+ local, national and international acts will be appearing across the 7 different stages nestled in the little Cornish valley only a few miles from some of the best beaches in the UK.

Camping on site is included in your entry ticket, but if you want to taste a slice of laid-back Glamping during your Leopallooza weekend, then you could opt to book one of the ‘native outdoor’ bell tents costing from £210 for 2-3 people.

Families and those with young children are well catered for, with a dedicated kids’ area and crèche. The 20 food vendors at the festival will serve a wide variety of menus suitable for all tastes and price ranges.

 

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Save £hundreds, Book with Holiday Home Owners Direct

Save money: Book with Holiday Home Owners Direct

Set yourself free and save money by booking with the holiday home owners direct

There has never been a better time to save your hard earned money than when booking your UK holidays. Instead of using online travel agents such as Trip Advisor, HomeAway and AirBnB, consider booking with holiday home owners direct to save what could be hundreds of pounds in booking commission when using these agencies.

If you have ever found your ideal holiday cottage using one of these online travel agencies and then thought to search for the cottage owner’s independent website, you may have been staggered to see how much you could save by booking with the holiday home owners direct.

As a holiday home owner and a user of these agencies to market my home to you, my potential guest, I do of course expect to pay a commission when a confirmed booking is received via such a  website.   But what shocked me recently was the quotation I received when I play-acted as a potential guest and asked each of these agencies to quote me for a holiday in my own holiday cottage. I was staggered to find that each one added anything up to nearly £200.00 for the privilege of booking the holiday via their website!

Everyone has to earn a living so I have no qualms about paying a booking commission if someone books a holiday at my cottage via one of these online travel agents, after all they have provided me with a means to an end to renting my cottage. But to find that for guests looking to book accommodation are also charged a significant amount for using their website, it astounds me that more people looking for holiday accommodation do not take a little more time to search the web to find the holiday home owners direct, independent website in order to save themselves what could be as much as £100’s.

If you are looking to book a luxury, self catering cottage in North Cornwall, then start by looking at The Cottage, North Cornwall website and save yourself a substantial booking commission fee that you might otherwise need to pay by using an online travel agency.

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South West Coast Path

 

On the South West Coast Path looking back over Millhook and Widemouth Bay, North Cornwall

The South West coast path provides spectacular views along the North Cornwall coast line

May 2017 is National Walking Month so get your walking boots on, stretch your legs and enjoy quality time with family, friends and dog, on the South West Coast Path in North Cornwall.

National Walking Month is all about promoting the benefits of walking, no matter what your fitness level.  Walking is easy, free, healthy and good for your soul especially if you can breathe in clean sea air and enjoy stunning coastal views at the same time.

The South West Coast Path stretches along some of the UK’s most beautiful coastline for 630 miles and is the longest National Trail in the country. Coastguards originally created the footpaths as they patrolled the South West peninsula looking for smugglers.  Every inlet had to be checked, so their pathways were well trod and created the coats paths we all benefit from today. Over time, the paths were also used by fishermen seeking shoals of fish or to check sea conditions before venturing out. Today walkers seek out cream teas, seal spotting and local history along the paths.

The beautiful South West coast footpath starts at Minehead in Somerset, running along the coastline of Exmoor along the coast of North Devon and into North Cornwall. Joining the footpath here you can walk the entire coastline of Cornwall, across the mouth of the River Tamar and back into Devon.  Not that I am suggesting you do this in one go!

But a great way to experience the exhilarating sea air and the stunning cliff top views is to cherry pick your daily coast path walk whilst staying in a luxury holiday cottage, knowing that, even on the most blustery day, you have a cosy, warm cottage to return to where you can enjoy a relaxing bath and a steaming hot chocolate whilst warming your toes in front of the wood burner.

The Cottage, a luxury holiday cottage near Bude, is only a 10 mins drive to the nearest section of the spectacular South West coast path. So each day you can cherry pick which section to walk for a daily dose of WOW factor. You have 39.2miles of South West coast path between Bude and Polzeath to choose from, so every day will be a new experience.

The South West Coast Path is a wonderful national treasure; it’s free to walk and everyone should try it at least once.

Visit my dedicated Walking in North Cornwall website page for full information. http://bit.ly/WalkingHolidaysinCornwall

 

 

 

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Loving Spring in Trelash North Cornwall

Trelash North Cornwall for Spring Lambs, stunning gardens and much moreNo matter where you live, Spring always evokes a truly heart warming feeling as flowers emerge taking advantage of the first warm rays of sun. The sleepy little hamlet of Trelash North Cornwall, just happens to be surrounded by an abundance of nature’s beauty.

In Trelash North Cornwall my sister and her children breed sheep in fields close to The Cottage. After just a short stroll down a country lane, where daffodils and primroses polka-dot the hedges, your ears are greeted with the smile provoking sounds of lambs crying and their mothers bleating. If you stop at the field gate and remain quiet (sheep instinctively move away from loud noises), hopefully, you will soon be rewarded with the sight of new born lambs bouncing and frolicking, enjoying every minute of their exploration and play.

Sheep of all ages seem to love jumping and will follow their leader (usually the eldest of the flock). One unusual sight can be when sheep are moved from one field to another through an opened gate. As the flock (a minimum of 5 sheep) reach the open space where the gate once blocked their way, they can reward you with an amazing site of synchronised flying sheep! Each one jumping at least a meter high over the place where the gate was, just a moment before….

This exuberance really is infectious and makes one want to experience more wonderful natural Spring scenes whilst staying at The Cottage. Visiting Trelash North Cornwall in the Spring means less crowded roads, being able to stroll along almost deserted beaches and on particularly sunny days being able to enjoy some really beautiful locations.

Trelash North Cornwall for Spring flowers, stunning gardens and much more

A Few Recommendations:

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

A visit here in February / March is rewarded with the sight of the first pink flush of magnolia flowers as the Champion Magnolia campelli trees come into bloom. Visit The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Pencarrow House & Gardens, Bodmin, Cornwall

You can benefit from a visit to Pencarrow as early as the Snowdrops peek their heads above ground at the beginning of the year, followed soon after in March when their fabulous display of camellias and rhododendrons are showing off their beautiful blooms.  Then again in late spring (May /June) to capture the sight and fragrance of English bluebells and wild garlic; probably one the South-West’s best display. With a variety of walks from woodland to formal gardening, incorporating great features like a genuine Iron age hill fort and an ice-house, there is a wide range of garden experiences – and of course, there’s always the Georgian mansion to explore.  Visit Pencarrow House and Gardens

Cotehele House, Gardens and Mill, Saltash, Cornwall

A personal favourite; Cotehele House, mainly built c1485-1627.  Today this wonderfully preserved Tudor house with its granite and slate-stone walls and the atmospheric labyrinthine rooms show off intricate tapestries, original furniture and armour. The gardens have been developed since the sixteenth century with 12 different areas to explore including a wild valley garden, orchards and ponds with Spring bulbs including daffodils and crocuses, camellias and magnolia trees are all giving their best performance usually in March. The Gardens are open all year round 10.00am till dusk. Visit Cotehele House and Gardens

Boconnoc Spring Flower Show, Lostwithiel, Cornwall

One of the earliest flower shows in the gardening calendar is Cornwall’s Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc Gardens. The event showcases the very best of Cornish gardens and produce.  There are hundreds of trade stands, stalls, gardening experts on hand, and show gardens to explore – it’s even dog-friendly!  This year, the dates are Saturday the 1st and Sunday 2nd April.  Visit Boconnoc Flower Show

Trelash North Cornwall

All these and many more wonderful sights can be enjoyed within a 40 minute drive from The Cottage in Trelash North Cornwall. For more activities and things to do in North Cornwall throughout the year visit the Out and About page on Luxury Cornwall Holiday Cottages website

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The St Piran Flag the symbol of Cornwall and our Parton Saint of Cornwall, St Piran

Patron Saint of Cornwall

Life would be boring if there wasn’t a good yarn to spin and as we say in Cornwall, this one is a ‘goodun’. A little tale about our Patron Saint of Cornwall.

From many accounts it would appear our beloved Patron Saint of Cornwall, formally the Irish saint Ciarán of Saigir, St Piran, liked his drink a little too much and yet could perform the odd miracle. The legend tells that in the 5th Century, he arrived in Cornwall in a most unceremonious manner; washed up on to our shores at Perran beach, Perranporth tied to a millstone. Having upset his last community (in Ireland) they tied him to a millstone and rolled it over the edge of a cliff in to stormy seas thinking the stone would sink and he would perish. Not so, miraculously the sea immediately became calm allowing the saint to float safely over the water pitching up on Perran Beach. It is said that his first disciples were a badger, a fox and a bear!

Having established himself as a hermit he built his chapel at Penhale Sands where his sanctity and austerity won him respect from all around, and with his apparent gift of miracles, many came to him for charitable aid. Many of his Christian converts joined him and together they founded the Abbey of Lanpiran, with Piran as Abbot.

Tin had been smelted in Cornwall since before the Roman’s arrival but over the years the method and knowledge of tin smelting has been lost. It is said that St Piran ‘rediscovered’ tin-smelting when his black hearthstone, which was a slab of tin-bearing ore, had the tin smelt out of it and rise to the top in the form of a white cross an image which became the Saint Piran’s Flag (a white cross on a black background). An image that has been used as a symbol of Cornwall ever since.

St Piran became the Patron Saint of Tin Miners and is generally regarded as the Patron Saint of Cornwall, although Saint Micheal and Saint Petroc also have claim to this title. Stories for another day….

Living until his death at the ripe old age of 206, Saint Piran is celebrated in Cornwall annually on the 5th March.

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The Demise and Resurgence of the Cornish Language

With only a very small percentage of Cornish men and women speaking Cornish today, whatever, happened to our true Celtic tongue, a language that was once spoken throughout the whole of Cornwall?

Signs of it’s existence is evident everywhere you travel in our beautiful county.  For example, when you come to stay in our family’s luxury holiday cottages in Trelash, the name of the hamlet contains the prefix ‘Tre’ with a Cornish meaning of a settlement or homestead.  Given that the oldest buildings in the hamlet are sited around a farm in Trelash it is most probable that ‘Trelash’ was so called because of the farm (a homestead).

A luxury cottage Cornwall. The Cottage is one of two Visit England 5 star gold luxury cottages Cornwall available from Luxury Cornwall Holiday Cottages. The Cottage is dog friendly cottage and family friendly cottage

Interestingly, the Cornish language is an ancient Celtic tongue with ties to the Welsh and Breton language of Brittany, France. In fact the Celts migrated to Britain from Europe over 3,000 years ago, bringing their language with them. By 1200 years ago 40,000 Cornish people were reported to be speaking Cornish. The Cornish language survived as the main language spoken throughout Cornwall until the Tudor period when Cornwall was taken over by the British Empire. Pressure from the English for all Cornish men and women to speak English, meant that by the mid 1600’s the Cornish language was only spoken in the far reaches of Cornwall, near the Lizard and west of Penwith.

The last recorded person known to speak Cornish fluently was a woman called Dolly Pentreath (1680–1777) who lived in Mousehole. Reputedly her last words spoken were ‘Me ne vidn cewsel Sawznek!’ (‘I don’t want to speak English!’). However, it is believed that quite a few Mousehole residents continued to speak Cornish after Dolly’s death.

The demise of the Cornish language was inevitable, but in 1904 a Celtic scholar by the name of Henry Jenner (1848 – 1934), a cultural activist, wrote and got published a Cornish Language handbook which saw the revival of Cornish as a spoken language.

Since then the number of people learning and using the Cornish language has increased substantially and a significant milestone in its revival was the official recognition of Cornish as a minority language in 2002 under the Council of Europe’s Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.

Incredibly, today, Cornish is one of the fastest growing languages in the world. This has been helped considerably by Cornish being set as an optional curriculum subject in schools; an option that has been taken up by an ever increasing amount of schools. 2010 saw the first bilingual pre-school open in Pool. Many other pre-school, playgroups, primary and secondary schools have followed suit, offering children the opportunity to learn Cornish.

In the past few years the introduction of cable internet has seen a dramatic rise in the number of businesses moving to/setting up in Cornwall. Many of these have recognised the increasing interest we all have in our surroundings and our inner desire to harness a sense of belonging by embracing the use of the Cornish language in their marketing and publicity. For example, Polgoon Vineyard has chosen Cornish branding by naming many of their products in Cornish. National companies such as Weatherspoons have introduced bilingual signage in their Cornish pubs and naming them in Cornish such as the “Try Dowr” (Three Rivers) in Truro and “Chapel an Gansblydhen” (Centenary Chapel) in Bodmin.

In 2009 Cornwall Council introduced a policy of using the Cornish language where possible. Visible results of this policy include bilingual street signage appearing across Cornwall, installed as and when new or replacement signs are needed.

Some useful words and phrases to help you understand your surroundings when you are visiting our beautiful county include:

  • Tre as in Trelash and many more Cornish place names means a settlement or homestead.
  • Pol as in Polzeath, means a pool, pond, lake or well
  • Pen as in Pentire Point means a headland or head
  • Wheal as in Wheal Jane means a mine, whereas Bal as in Baldhu means a mine working.
  • Porth (Port) as in Port Isaac means a bay, port or harbour.
  • Towan as in Porthtowan meaning sand dunes.
  • Perran as in Perranporth is named after St Piran/St Perran, the Patron Saint of Tinners and the national saint of Cornwall, hence the St Piran Flag
  • Lan as in Lanhydrock or Lanteglos means a sacred enclosure such as a church, monastery.
  • Bos/Bod as in Bodmin or Boscastle means a home or dwelling.

Some Cornish phrases you might see on your travels:

a’gas Dynnergh – Welcome to …
Gwrys yn Kernow – Made in Cornwall
Onan hag Oll – One and All
Kernow Bys Vykken – Cornwall forever

So while you enjoy your travels around North Cornwall look closely and you will notice names of villages and hamlets beginning with Tre, Pol and Pen.

“ By Tre, Pol and Pen shall ye know all Cornishmen”

Happy holidays.

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The RBS 6 Nations Rugby Should Really Include Cornwall!

Cornwall 5 times winners RBS 6 Nations Rugby

Cornwall 5 times winners RBS 6 Nations Rugby

Is the RBS 6 Nations Rugby ready for Cornwall!!

A little known fact about Cornwall is that as a county we are rugby mad!  To many locals, Cornwall should really be a nation in its own right….a discussion for another day. But if we were a nation, then our brilliant Rugby Union team could certainly give the other RBS 6 Nations a run for The Cup.

Our first Cornwall rugby union team was formed way back in 1883!  Since then the Cornwall County team has won the Bill Beaumont Cup (County Championship) 5 times. The first in 1908 at the Recreation Ground, Redruth, beating Durham City 17-3.

Since 1984 all County Championship games have been played at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English Rugby.  When Cornwall won the County Championship at here in 1991, 50,000 supporters travelled to watch their team beat Yorkshire 29-20. The Independent newspaper claimed them to be the ‘Best Supporters’ in any sport that year.

Since then Cornwall has won the championship in 1999 (beating Gloucestershire 25-15), in 2015 beating Lancashire 18-13 and again in 2016 with a monumental win over Cheshire, 35-13 bringing the Bill Beaumont Cup back to Cornwall yet again.

Wherever Cornwall play “Trelawney” is sung loud and clear at the side lines encouraging each and every player to perform their very best in their distinctive yellow and black kit, representing the ancient kings of Cornwall.

Cornish rugby has a great history of players playing at international level including Phil Vickery, Trevor Woodman, Brian ‘Stack’ Stevens, Graham Dawe, as well as Andy Reed who has represented Scotland and the Lions, and many others.

So, if we could just extend the RBS 6 Nations Rugby tournament to 7 Nations to include Cornwall, surely we could give England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy a competitive game, not to mention a taste of our unique Cornish support.

More information about our Cornwall Rugby Union team

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Hot New Film Starring David Beckham

Tintagel Castle a local attraction 20 mins from our luxury holiday cottages in Trelash from Luxury Cornwall Holiday Cottages

Tintagel Castle a local attraction 20 mins from our luxury holiday cottages in Trelash

Hot New Film Starring David Beckham: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  Yes, I do mean the David Beckham! But you have to wait until 24th March 2017 to spot Mr Beckham in this new, action packed film: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The film, which has been directed by Guy Ritchie, features a star cast including Charlie Hunman in the title role alongside Jude Law and David Beckham among others.

With the last of the current and brilliant Cornwall based Poldark series leaving our screens last Sunday, King Arthur fever looks set to take over. The film relives the classic story of the legendary British King’s rise to power. From joining the rebellion and meeting Guinevere to uniting the British people to defeat Vortigern, the dictator who murdered Arthur’s parents and stole his crown.

The legend tells how King Arthur was conceived at Tintagel Castle, an iconic clifftop castle ruin in North Cornwall, just 20mins drive from our luxury holiday cottages in Trelash.

This summer (2106) a project was undertaken to learn more about Tintagel’s past. Trenches were dug in two previously un-excavated terrace areas in the hope of finding out more about how the people of Tintagel lived in the Post-Roman period from 5th to 7th centuries AD.  Throughout the excavation samples of soil, ceramics, glass, iron, bone and molluscs were collected and are now undergoing analysis. Excavations will continue in Summer 2017.

At a new exhibition launched in 2015, you can view for the first time, some of the finds from Tintagel Castle. The exhibition explores how legend and reality have uniquely combined to shape Tintagel through the ages.

Whilst visiting Tintagel Castle, take time to walk down on to the beach where, close to Merlin’s Cave, you will find a discreet carved face representing Merlin, who has been associated with the site since the 12th century.  Another interesting feature is an 8ft bronze sculpture inspired by the legend of King Arthur created by artist Rubin Eynon, Gallos (meaning power in Cornish).

To round off your visit and to re-energise before walking back from the cliff top castle, over the famous footbridge, to Tintagel rest a while and take refreshment in the recently refurbished Beach Café.

Just a note of warning; personally, I have not found the walk out to the castle ruin to be suitable for anyone with walking disabilities or young families with pushchairs.

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19 Local Dog Friendly Beaches

Dog Friendly beaches near this holiday cottage, The Cottage, is a luxury Dog Friendly Holiday Cottage Cornwall from Luxury Cornwall Holiday Cottages keyholder to two Visit England 5 star gold luxury cottages Cornwall

Book our cottages and enjoy all year round access to dog friendly beaches

As the Autumn sets in and October arrives, our wonderful North Cornwall beaches become totally dog friendly. From Easter onwards during the summer months some, not all, Cornish beaches apply dog walking restrictions, which means having to plan ahead when taking your four-legged friends to the beach.

This all changes annually, come 1st October, when you can arrive at any beach and know that your dog is welcome.  To help plan your next holiday to either of our luxury Cornwall holiday cottages in Trelash, North Cornwall I have listed our favourite local dog friendly beaches below.  With a minimum 19 local dog friendly beaches within close proximity to our 5 star gold awarded luxury cottages in Cornwall, and with many of them being dog friendly all year round, The Cottage and Meadowview Cottage are perfect year round holiday cottages.

All year round dog friendly beaches:

Northcott Mouth
Stanbury Mouth
Sandymouth Beach
Summerleaze beach, Bude (leads in summer)
Widemouth Bay (south side, known as Black Rock)
Millook Haven
Trebarwith Strand
Bossiney Cove
Port Isaac
Daymer Bay

Seasonal access (ie between 1st October and Easter Day)

Stanbury Mouth Beach North of Bude
Duckpool North of Bude, a wild yet romantic cove with a westerly facing beach
Crooklets, Bude
Widemouth Bay
Crackington Haven
Port Gaverne
Port Quin
Lundy Bay between Polzeath and Padstow, accessible at low tide
Epphaven Cove near Padstow, accessible at low tide

For full information about our choice of two independent luxury holiday cottages in North Cornwall see www.luxurycornwallholidaycottages.co.uk

 

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