Our favourite things to do in September

The King Harry Ferry, snapped from Trelissick at the start of September 2015.
The King Harry Ferry, snapped from Trelissick at the start of September 2015.

The summer crowds are gone in September which gives  visitors the chance to explore a calmer Cornwall and visit popular places with less people. You could visit the foodie destination of Padstow or the cultural haven of St Ives, both around 45 mins drive from us.


Here are our favourite things to do in September:

On the 9th to the 11th September in Redruth there is a celebration of the famous icon of Cornwall – the Cornish pasty.

The event encompasses the mining history that is inextricably linked to the meal and includes a Pasty Day, Miner’s Day and Memorial Day. Activities include cookery demonstrations and ‘make your own pasty’, exhibitions, displays, activities and live music. Redruth is also home to the Keltek Cornish Brewery, which began life in a small stable on the Roseland Peninsula… whist you can’t visit the brewery there are plenty of local pubs where you can try it or order online at http://shop.keltekbrewery.co.uk/

You can also visit the Great Cornish Food Festival which transforms Truro’s Lemon Quay into foodie heaven from the 23rd September for three days of eating, drinking, shopping and entertainment as the festival celebrates the food revolution that has taken place in Cornwall over the past 12 years.

Over the years the event has grown to become one of the South West’s top food festivals attracting more than 20,000 visitors. The festival has a number of trade stands promoting Cornish produce and crafts – plenty to try and taste – we defy you to come home without buying a few tasty treats!

Walking the coastal path, at this time of year you can still take your swimming costumes and take a dip on a secluded beach, before continuing with your walk. Keep an eye out for wildlife too- recent sightings include porpoises, dolphins, grey seals and even a minke whale. Inland walks along river estuaries will delight you with the number of overwintering wading birds – look out for curlews, whimbrels, sandpipers and on the Fal estuary we currently have a Dalmatian Pelican in residence!

Hire a bike and cycle the Camel Trail. The trail provides eighteen miles of  largely traffic free, surfaced and virtually level path which provides access to the beautiful Cornish countryside along a disused railway line between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. Our favourite is to cycle between Padstow and Wadebridge – plenty of restaurants and pubs at either end. Of course if you are passing by Bodmin it would be rude not to visit the Camel Valley Vineyard  to taste a few of their wines and bubbly.

Pop over on the King Harry Ferry to Trelissick House and Garden  enjoy a walk around the gardens, the extensive parkland and the recently opened ground floor of the main house. Visit the gallery, the garden shop and finish off with a cuppa and a piece of home made cake.

So that should keep you busy for a weeks holiday and there is still plenty more to do, maybe you need to book a fortnight??

 

 


A Sunny Summer Weekend

The view 5 minutes from the end of the drive!

It’ s been a busy weekend at Roundhouse Barns but we have still managed to find some time to enjoy the glorious sunshine.

It was a busy day Friday with changeovers in all three cottages and the B&B, so finally at 5.00pm Barbara left our B&B guests enjoying their cream tea and the sun on their patio whilst she took Barney and Lucia for a walk. Turn right out of our driveway and it’s only fifteen minutes down to the river beach at Turnaware. The dogs spent a while cooling off in the river, whilst Barbara spent some time ogling a rather nice yacht that was moored by the creek.

After a busy day we didn’t feel like cooking so ordered takeaway pizza from Tatums – check out their Facebook page. Mark pootled down to Portscatho to pick them up and they were enjoyed with a bottle of Camel Valley Rose Brut! (Yes we know, pizza and pink fizz is a strange combination but our excuse is that we were celebrating the fact that Mark has a new job!)

Saturday was just as glorious so once B&B breakfasts were done and the rooms cleaned, we settled down to paying some Roundhouse bills, especially those of our cleaners – really important to keep them happy and pay them on time. However, it was not too long before we were sat outside on our patio enjoying lunch in the sun – with two hopeful dogs sat nearby.

RHB Gallery

We walked the dogs along the coastal path from Porthbean to Curgurrel and back – gloriously sunny and both dogs enjoyed a swim, Barbara had a paddle – we should have taken swimming costumes and towels it was so tempting.

Dinner was pork chops from our lovely local butchers with new potatoes, broad beans and french beans all straight from our veggie patch, which is also well used by our cottage guests!

Sunday brought a changeover in the B&B so after saying goodbye to our lovely guests it was full steam ahead for a complete changeover – beds from twin to king size and a deep clean.

Midday was time for a quick Skype with Tommy our lovely digital marketing expert. The sun was still shining, so time to do our favourite Sunday walk around Messack Point, open fields, cool woodland and a scramble down the cliff for a quick dip in the sea.

Back by 4.00pm as we are expecting new B&B guests to arrive – but at least we can wait for them in the sunshine.

All in all a glorious weekend, lets hope there are many more this summer!

(As you can tell, we love it here! If you’d like to experience any of this yourself then we do have some limited availability left this summer which you can see here.)


December on The Roseland

Winter Breaks on the Roseland
A stunning winter sunset from the bottom of the drive at Roundhouse Barns.

Need a little break before the Christmas parties start or just want to do your Christmas shopping somewhere different for a change? Where better to relax and recharge your batteries than the Roseland?

Just think of blustery cliff top walks, checking out the grey seals and migratory birds, then stopping off in a cosy Roseland pub – all log fires and  special winter warming meals.

Our favourites are The Kings Head at Ruan Lanihorne, The Roseland Inn at Philleigh, The Victory in St Mawes and The Plume of Feathers at Portscatho – as you can see plenty of pubs on the Roseland to choose from!

Truro and Falmouth both have lots of little independent shops as well as the big chains for that perfect Christmas gift, late night shopping and Christmas markets abound so there is no excuse for leaving present buying until the last minute.

The King Harry Ferry runs late on Wednesdays for Truro late night shopping and not only may you be offered a free mince pie, Father Christmas has been spotted once or twice too, so let the chains take the strain.

Enjoy a short break through the winter

If you really want to get into that winter mood then take yourself to the Eden Project and as well as visiting the giant biomes you can also fly around the ice skating rink for a couple of hours, showing off your twirls and turns.

For foodies there are some great special offers around – check out Jamie Olivers Fifteen at Watergate Bay which has special Winter lunch for just £24 and the menu looks excellent.

Also The Tresanton in St Mawes always has great lunchtime offers available, including a glass of wine – it it’s sunny you can even eat on the terrace – patio heaters and blankets provided and a stunning view of the  harbour, St Antonys Lighthouse and Falmouth.

After all that walking, shopping and eating come back to your cosy cottage with full central heating, (test your fire lighting skills with the log burner in Cockle Cottage), glorious bathrooms with underfloor heating and the peace and quiet that is our speciality at Roundhouse Barns.

Don’t forget through the winter you can arrive any day as long as you stay for three nights or more, check out our latest availability for prices and keep an eye on our special offers.

Check our availability and book today


Our Favourite Beaches on the Roseland

Best cafes on the Roseland

The Roseland has some of the best beaches in Cornwall. Think crystal clear waters, soft sand beneath your feet and stunning views at every turn.

There are plenty of beaches to chose from locally, let a lone venturing further afield. It all depends what you want from your day at the beach so here are just a few thoughts:-

St Mawes, Summers and Tavern Beaches

Small but very sheltered sandy beaches in St Mawes, close to pubs, shops and toilets. Great for sunbathing and people watching . Swimming is good but keep an eye out for the many boats. You can also try Stand Up Paddle Boarding here – it’s great but best trialled on a nice flat calm sunny day, as if you are as co-ordinated as us you will be in the water many times!

Pendower and Carne

When the tide is out these two combine to make over a mile of golden sand with beautiful blue sea in front and gentle cliffs behind. Great for sunbathing, people watching, walking up and down – if the tide starts coming in there is a coastal footpath behind the beach! and swimming.

Swimming is better at the Carne end as there are less rocks and currents. There are toilets at Pendower and you can also walk from there to Melinsey Mill for a spot of lunch or tea. At the other end of the beach are two extremes – The Nare Hotel – very much a “country house hotel” where they serve lunch and teas on their Quarterdeck – very nice but at a price. Or just in the car park behind the beach is Tea by The Sea – a van selling lunches, cakes, local ice cream and soft drinks. Also dog free during the day in the summer months.

Porthcurnick

Fabulous for swimming as it’s very flat and there are no strong currents. Great for sunbathing, people watching and at low tide you can walk along the beach over the rocks to Portscatho. Refreshments available at the now very famous Hidden Hut, the Rosevine Hotel just up the lane does lunches and teas in their garden overlooking the beach (best to book as sometimes they have weddings on) or in Portscatho The Boathouse restaurant or the Plume of Feathers pub. Toilets at the Hidden Hut.

We always think it looks very busy in the summer, but we think that might be because the rest of the year we have it to ourselves! Dogs are allowed on Porthcurnick all year and you will find that as well as day trip dogs there is a definite increase around 4pm/5pm as the locals bring their dogs down for a walk – if they are as badly behaved as ours you may need to hold onto your picnic!

Towan

Another long sandy/shingly beach with dunes behind, great for sunbathing, paddling, rock pooling and seal spotting. Toilets are a short walk back towards the car park, where you will also find refreshments by the Thirstea vintage van. Not as busy as the beaches above but getting more popular all the time.

Little and Great Molunan

Two small sandy beaches set in the shelter of St Anthony’s Headland, they overlook Falmouth and Carrick Roads and are very sheltered from any easterly or northerly winds. Access is down a steep cliff with a rope to hold on to – so they tend to be quite quiet! There are no facilities here, so you can get away from everything and have total peace and relaxation. Great for seal spotting, bird watching and also for watching any sailing races or windsurfers on Carrick Roads.

There are plenty more to chose from, so if you are staying with us and want something specific just have a chat with one of us and we can point you in the direction of your own very perfect beach.

Check our availability and book your break today


Cornish Gardens to See in Spring

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The Gulf stream ensures that spring comes early to Cornwall. The best time to visit the gardens is between March and May,when everything is fresh and lush with vibrant colours.

 

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Our personal favourite is The Lost Gardens of Heligan, one of the most popular gardens in the UK. There is just so much to see,  formal gardens, a jungle walkway, a huge walled vegetable garden, an Italian garden and that’s before you visit the wildlife areas, the bird hide, the farm animals, etc. Barbara has a soft spot for the Tamworth piglets – usually born in April and absolutely hilarious to watch.

 

Trelissick Gardens

Set on it’s own peninsula the National Trust owned, Trelissick Gardens offers mass plantings of daffodils followed by camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons, viburnum and many other shrubs. There is a sensory garden, an orchard and the parkland offers riverside, farmland and woodland walks with stunning views of the Fal Estuary.

 

Caerhays Garden

Caerhays Garden is home to a National Magnolia Collection, the gardens are truly a spring-time wonderland for visitors. The 120 acre woodland gardens are English Heritage Listed and it’s no surprise. Huge magnolias, camellias and azaleas, a stunning location with the castle, lake and views over Porthluney beach means that you are never short of something to look at. Only open from February to the end of June, spring is the only time to see these beautiful gardens with a carpet of primroses, daffodils and bluebells.

 

Trebah Garden

Discover the magic of this beautiful Cornish valley garden with over four miles of footpath. With canopies bursting with exotic blooms., vibrant tunnels of colour that cascade down to a secluded beach on the Helford River. In spring, Trebah comes alive with a colourful array of 100-year-old rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. Tie your visit in to have a drink or a meal at the Ferryboat Inn at Helford Passage.

Check out a couple of smaller gardens too, Enys Gardens near Penryn,  has the most beautiful display of bluebells every spring and Lammorran Gardens in St Mawes is a beautiful Italianate garden with sea views at every turn.

Cornish Bluebells
Of course all of the gardens have lovely cafe’s for a rest,  a refreshing drink and a piece of home made cake after all that walking and admiring of plants. For the keen gardener most have shops as well so you can buy the plants you have seen.

Roundhouse Barn courtyard is regularly packed with plant bags, waiting to be taken home!


Shark and Jellyfish Season!

Just a very quick blog to tell you that not only have we seen basking sharks and barrel jellyfish in Gerrans Bay already this year, Barbara also spotted a blue shark only a couple of hundred yards offshore. Blue sharks are quite rare in our waters and usually stay well offshore, but this one was chasing a shoal of mackerel and so was tempted further in. All of the above are harmless so its still perfectly safe to go swimming!


A Beautiful Roseland Walk

Straight out of the gates of Roundhouse Barn is a beautiful walk down to Turnaware Beach. Turn right out of our drive and follow the concrete road all the way down.

On your left are amazing views across the Fal River – look out for Feock, Loe Beach and Mylor and see the docks and Pendennis Castle at Falmouth. Early morning and evenings you may see one of the local gig teams out practising for the World Championships which are held on the Scilly Isles every May.

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Pass the memorial to the troops who left the beach here to land in Omaha in World War 2, mainly American, most of them did not survive, a sobering thought.

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When you get to the beach look across the river to Trelissick House (National Trust) and it’s glorious parkland. if you listen carefully you can hear the King Harry Ferry clanking along on it’s chains just around a bend in the river.

At high tides you may well spot grey seals playing and at low tide all sorts of bird life – from grey herons to egrets, greenshanks and oystercatchers can all be seen if you are quiet! Also in the mud you will see oysters, mussels and other shellfish – look but don’t touch, as you need a license to pick them!

Find the remains of the piers that were built out into the river for landing craft in the Second World War, hence the concrete road all the way down to the river.

Take the path that goes up through the woods and follows the creek, this is Camerance Woods and is ancient oak woodland. The path zig zags it’s way back to join the lane.

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At this time of year keep an eye out for green woodpeckers who are very noisy and relatively easy to see without any leaves on the trees.

Violets and primroses are everywhere, with bluebells just peeking up through the undergrowth.

Its a bit harder coming back up the hill, but there is so much to see it will take your mind off it!

Back at Roundhouse Barns treat yourself to a well earned cup of tea and maybe one of Mark’s scones!

 


Record number of grey seals

Our usual colony of grey seals who come ashore to breed on a small beach near Towan started arriving in mid November and last week I counted a record number of 27 hauled up at low tide. – Last year the maximum was 16 and then after the local paper printed an article about them warning people to stay away – guess what happened. After being constantly disturbed they left us early in February and I was worried as to whether they would come back this year. Fortunately they have and we have had 7 pups this year!

Also we have new seals at Turnaware – at least two regular visitors and one occasional who are to be seen on incoming tides (that’s when the fish come in). They are probably between 1 and two years old and are frequently just playing around in shallow water in the creek. Good job the B&B is closed as the morning dog walks seem to be getting much longer when the seals are about!


Whats flowering this month?

Here are the first three Camellia to flower at Trewithen garden this year. A hybrid (Camellia ‘Yoimachi’), a japonica (Camellia japonica ‘Yuki Haki’) and a williamsii (Camellia x williamsii ‘November Pink’) all in flower in mid January!

Also in flower is Daphne bhoula ‘Darjeeling’ Originally from the Himalayas, this plant came from a seed collected in Darjeeling and planted at Wisley in 1961.
Check out the Trewithen Gadens website www.trewithengardens.co.uk and stay@RoundhouseBarns to be able to visit them!


Green Woodpeckers, house martins and sparrows, its been a noisy summer!

The Green Woodpeckers keep appearing on the grass by Cockle Cottage, staying a while and then heading off to do some tree knocking!.

The House Martins are nesting next door at Commerrans Farm – my what noisy birds they are swooping and screeching all day in search of flies.

The sparrows usually nest in our hedge by the front door but for some reason one pair decided to have their second brood in a nest in the wisteria right by our kitchen window. From daylight to dusk the babies are twittering for food – we think there are four but maybe five. Their poor parents are flying in and out of the nest constantly to feed them – and poor us, if its not the constant twittering its the flash of brown as the adults fly past the window. A few fried eggs have nearly hit the floor as we dish up breakfast and a dart of brown goes past the window.

Hopefully the sparrows  are nearly ready to fly the nest now, the House Martins will migrate and we can have some peace……


Dolphins and Basking Sharks in Falmouth Bay

Last week the first basking sharks were sighted in Falmouth Bay and yesterday the dolphins were following the St Mawes Ferry across to Falmouth. It’s worth a trip on the ferry just to see these beautiful friendly creatures.

The whole of the Roseland  seems to be overrun with large numbers of whimbrels – a medium sized wading bird that we have seen everywhere from the Truro river to pretty much all the rivers and beaches on the Roseland. There must be something in our mud that has attracted such large numbers of these migratory birds. Managed to count 27 on the mudbanks at St Clements and saw 14 at Percuil…..


Swallows at last …..

Hooray at last we have seen the swallows return, four on our walk around Messack on Wednesday and two in the fields at Percuil yesterday evening.  Last year it was April 17th when we saw them so they are only about a week late.

Now it really feels like spring with the late daffodils still blooming, primroses and bluebells everywhere.

Also the first of the basking sharks has been seen off Falmouth so the water must be warming up too and the grey herons are nesting at Percuil.

Book now before all our May availability disappears and you miss all these glorious signs of spring.

 


Glorious Weekend

Hooray!! Two sunny days in a row,  OK so it’s not much more than 6C but it’s so nice to see the sun. The dawn chorus was the loudest it’s been for weeks and down the lane towards Turnaware we had a yellowhammer and a cirl bunting both trying to out sing each other just a few yards apart.

Had a lovely walk around Messack point this afternoon as well,  lovely to see the river Fal glinting in the sunlight.

Remember last March – best weather we had all year

So why is The Dairy free from 1st March for a week? – it’s the first time it has had a whole week available for months, so get booking now before the sun goes away….although as Caroline Quentin keeps telling everyone on Monday evenings Cornwall is the UK’s sunniest county. If you fancy it you can even pop over to Perranporth on Sunday 3rd March and join in the St Pirans Day festivities. Follow this link for more info http://www.visitcornwall.com/whats-on/st-pirans-day?utm_source=vcnewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=main&utm_campaign=Mar2013


Baby Grey Seals spotted at last

We were beginning to get worried that there were no seal pups this year but finally we have spotted two pups along with the dozen or so adults that winter near Killigerran Head. They are already looking grey rather than fluffy white so must have been born before Christmas. You need to visit soon if you want to catch them as they usually swim away in February /March time.

We also have our practically full time resident, huge male seal who can be spotted down at Turnaware two or three times a week. He has been joined by a couple of other younger seals this year – who also keep bobbing up out of the water to see whats going on at the beach, especially if the dogs are splashing in and out of the water.  Never quite sure who is watching who sometimes!

Also down at Turnaware our pair of mute swans have produced four grey cygnets.

Next stop is down at Percuil to see if the herons are building their nests yet!

 


Grey Seals are back on the Roseland

After seeing a couple of youngish grey seals a few times now down the lane at Turnaware we headed off at the weekend to the coastal footpath to see if the usual seal colony had arrived. They usually pup  at a small shingle beach  between Killigerran Head and Towan Beach. Alas only one heavily pregnant female was spotted but we are sure the rest of the family will be back soon and we can again spend hours watching them with the binoculars!

Talking of binoculars, now we have a bit more time to stand and gaze we spotted a little white egret, a dunlin, two oystercatchers and a curlew at low tide at Pelyn Creek today – however while we were gazing at the wiildlife  – Pongo (the spotty dog) decided that he really needed to go running in the mud – so now we have a black and white spotted dog with four brown legs and a brown tummy and that river mud is really quite whiffy!

Must remember low tide is good for bird watching not so good for keeping dogs clean….

 


Dolphins in Gerrans Bay

What a wonderful sight as I walked along the coastal path to Porthbean beach – a pair of bottlenose dolphins – they seemed to be catching flat fish on the bottom and then bringing them up to toss them in the air before eating them – it certainly looked very playful!

I watched for an hour (the dogs were most fed up with waiting for me!).

The St Mawes to Falmouth ferry has also seen dolphins several times in the last week or so, there is definately a large pod in the bay at the moment so watch out for them while you are walking or on the beaches.