Our Five Favourite Roseland Beaches

Oh how lucky are we, that we have so many beaches to choose from- all within twenty minutes of Roundhouse Barns. They are all a little bit different so here goes…


Porthcurnick Beach

Beautiful sandy beach, perfect for paddling, swimming, plenty of rock pools at the edge to investigate or you can just lie on the beach and people watch. Has the huge advantage of The Hidden Hut serving up delicious food, hot and cold drinks and ice creams, just above the beach, where there are also toilets available. Our tip is to park at Rosevine for free, but you need to get there early.  Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round (although most sensible dog owners wouldn’t take their dogs to the beach for a whole day in the heat) so if you don’t like dogs then…

Carne and Pendower

Dog free sandy beach from 8.00am to 6.00pm in the summer. It’s over a mile long when the tide is out and you can walk between the two beaches, so plenty of room for everyone. Plenty of rock pools at the edges of the beach. Car parks at both ends of the beach although Pendower car park fills very quickly.  Toilets at the Carne end of the beach. Refreshments at The Nare Hotel – but you need to look reasonably smart – not something we are very good at after a morning on the beach! Usually there is an ice cream van at Carne and a pop up cafe at Pendower or you can walk up the valley to Melinsey Mill for homemade lunches, cakes and cream teas.

Porthbean

If you want to get away from it all then try Porthbean – on the coastal path just below the Driftwood Hotel. A lovely sandy beach that never seems to get busy – it’s usually child free as there are no facilities there – take your own picnic and drinks and settle down for the day. We don’t think it’s safe to swim here as there is usually quite an undertow but it’s fine for paddling. Park along the top end of Rosevine – there are a couple of layby’s you can use. Keep walking along the coastal path for some even smaller coves and pop into Curgurrell Farm Shop on your way home for some fresh fish.

Towan

A little further to drive to, this National Trust beach is long and sandy and feels a little more remote – although it can still get very busy in the summer. National Trust Car Park, toilets about five minutes from the beach and The Thirstea Van is there all day (except Saturdays) serving home made food, ice creams and drinks, etc. This beach is a big favourite with locals and dog walkers who tend to be there early in the morning or late afternoon. Lovely for swimming and very near a grey seal haul out so you may well find you have company in the water!

St Mawes Beaches

Two beaches to choose from right in the middle of the village…

Summers Beach is a sheltered shingle beach popular with locals and holiday makers alike, there is a pontoon moored off the beach in the summer ideal for swimming out to. Idles Beach is in the centre of the village, convenient for shops, cafe’s pubs and toilets. You can watch the boats coming and going in the harbour and enjoy an ice cream or pasty from one of the local shops.

Oops, that seems to be seven beaches already we have already mentioned and there are plenty more a bit further afield  – all you need to do now is book your weeks holiday at Roundhouse Barns and you can pick a different one for each day of your holiday!!

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Summer is Coming… but it’s not all about the beaches!

Summer in Cornwall isn’t all about lazing on beaches, clifftop walks and exploring gardens – although they are all pretty tempting! Here are some of our tips for the best pace to visit to broaden your mind and have some fun while you are here…

Discover a World Underground

Mining is an important part of Cornish Heritage, recently popularised in the hit TV show Poldark. Geevor Tin Mine at Pendeen gives you the chance to see what mining was like in days gone by. Geevor tells the story of the mine, the people and the landscape, and gives you a real taste of what a miner’s daily work life was like. Starting in the Dry where miners changed into their underground clothes,  you can walk down the shaftband and discover how good the first aid and rescue teams were. Finally, travel back through the 18th Century to see what the conditions were like for early miners. There are also lots of other things to do and explore at this Cornish Mining World Heritage Site too.

Modern Art: everyone should try it once

We can never quite decide, but whatever you think of the art, a visit the Tate St Ives is always a great experience. After being closed last year to expand the gallery you can now see, for the first time, dedicated spaces exploring the history of modern art in St Ives, giving key artists a permanent presence in the town where they lived and worked. The new display follows those artists across the 20th century, revealing their relationships to international art histories. From the unique perspective of St Ives, visitors can bridge geographical and chronological boundaries and discover new connections through familiar artists.

National and international figures relating to the practice of modern British art in the town are covered in depth – from Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and Barbara Hepworth to Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo and Paule Vézelay. Their links to the wider story of British art are also revealed, such as the work of Keith Vaughan, who joined Patrick Heron’s Space in Colour exhibition in the early 1950s and later came to St Ives.

If after a tour of all this you still can’t find something to love then go upstairs to the cafe which has fabulous views over the rooftops of St Ives to the beaches. Also consider getting a joint ticket and visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and the Leach Pottery on the same day.

Museums can be interesting

Our favourite exhibition at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro is ‘Cornish History and Archeology’. It has everything from Bronze Age Cornish Gold, to Roman forts, to artefacts showing industrial growth and Cornwall’s mining heritage. Don’t miss Richard Lander’s medicine chest – absolutely fascinating! The collections contain items of local, national and international importance, and many are of outstanding cultural significance. Among other exhibitions there is also a collection of Decorative Art spanning seven centuries. The collection showcases the artistry, tastes and techniques of many of the world’s leading cultures and contains an exquisite collection of ceramics, silver, glass and furniture.

Also fascinating is the Telegraph Museum at Porthcurno. Porthcurno’s golden sandy beach and azure blue waters hide an amazing secret. Right beneath your feet, messages from all corners of the globe have been buzzing through undersea cables since 1870, making Porthcurno one of the most connected places on the planet and a hub of global communications to this very day. We can guarantee you will enjoy discovering this hidden history and you will leave feeling surprised and amazed. This small museum manages to bring the communication story to life in a fun and engaging way. You can explore the underground World War 2 tunnels and experience the sights and sounds of a working telegraph station.  After you’ve finished exploring the museum you might just have to visit one of Cornwall’s most beautiful beaches – so take your swimmers and beach towels with you to Porthcurno – even if it’s just for a gentle paddle!

Castles and Dungeons

St Mawes Castle is among the best-preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses, and is the most elaborately decorated of them all. One of the chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an invasion threat from Catholic France and Spain, it guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, sharing the task with Pendennis Castle on the other side of the Fal estuary.

A charming clover-leaf shape originally surrounded by octagonal outer defences, St Mawes was designed to mount heavy ‘ship-sinking’ guns. But particular care was also taken with its embellishment, and it is still bedecked with carved Latin inscriptions in praise of King’s Henry VIII and his son Edward VI. It owes its fine preservation to the fact that, unlike Pendennis Castle, it was little developed after its completion.

You can explore the grounds which stretch down to the waters of the Fal Estuary and enjoy the stunning views across to Pendennis Castle and out to sea. There are often cruise ships and other vessels which pass through this busy shipping lane. During the summer there are often outdoor theatre productions so that you be entertained in the beautiful surroundings of the grounds with the castle keep in the background. Don’t miss the the ‘gunners’ at rest in the gun room, the stunning sea views from the top of the castle keep and the oubliette where prisoners were kept captive. Check before you go as the castle is very popular for weddings in the summer so can be closed to the public.

Best of all you can walk to the Castle from Roundhouse Barns. A couple of hours of gentle strolling along the river Fal will bring you to the castle. Then it’s a short walk downhill to the centre of St Mawes, where plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants, almost all with a sea view, await you.

These are just a few of Cornwall’s many attractions and you can visit as many or as few as you like if you stay with us. Your five star luxury cottage will await your return and the courtyard garden will beckon you to sit outside and enjoy a thirst quenching cuppa (of Cornish Tea of course), a cooling gin and tonic or maybe your free bottle of champagne! Yes, we are offering a free bottle of champagne and a punnet of fresh strawberries to anyone who books a week’s stay with us in July or August.

What are you waiting for…

Oh, and if you really want to know our favourite summer beaches you’ll have to wait for the next blog!

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February Gardens in Cornwall

 

Cornwall’s gardens are bursting into life with spring flowers and shrubs. Look out for swathes of golden daffodils, snowdrops, glossy leaved camellias, the first of the rhododendrons and azaleas and the glory that is a magnolia tree coming into flower.

Here are our favourite gardens to visit in February.

Glendurgan Garden, Nr Falmouth 21st & 28th Feb

Enjoy the tranquility of the Olive Grove and School Room in the Silent Space garden. Explore the opportunities to reflect without interruptions of daily life! Their aim is to create spaces where people can relax, switch off from the hectic world we live in, not be disturbed at all by the human voice and engage with nature.

Pinetum Garden, Nr St Austell

Pinetum gardens are open all year and have Cornwall’s biggest dedicated winter garden. The three acres have been designed like a rose, with the paths spiralling away from the centre, so there are plenty of curves and  no straight lines. All the plants have winter flowers, beautiful bark, colourful foliage or heavily scented leaves. There are many heathers, hundreds of bulbs and some very unusual evergreen trees.

Lanhydrock House and Garden

If you want to know your Whitebeam from your Hornbeam, or did you know the Horse Chestnut is a flowering plant in the soapberry and lychee family?? From 10th February join the National Trust  rangers at 10am for a lesson in Tree identification.

Tremenheere Scultpture Garden, nr Penzance: Reopens 10th Feb 

Dramatic landscape and planting provide the backdrop to contemplative but inspirational artworks. Internationally and nationally renowned artists have interacted with the landscape to create site specific permanent works of art which harmonise with the micro-climate of kindly winter temperatures and shelter.  All manner of exotic and half hardy plants flourish in this garden. The cafe is really good as well! Also if you are down that way pop into  https://www.polgoon.com

With a full offering of all their Polgoon wines, ciders and juices the shop and deli also offers other locally made products and gifts, such as a range of jams, chutneys, eggs from their own hens, honey from their own bees and a range of wonderfully unique products from other producers around Cornwall.

Finally, we couldn’t not mention and honestly they don’t pay us commission – we just love it there!

Lost Gardens of Heligan, St Austell:  Love Birds! 10th -18th Feb

This February Heligan invite you to meet the owls and to learn all about their feathered friends. Explore the gardens, find the bird sound boxes and test your knowledge to see if you can identify Heligan birds from their calls. Meet the Owls daily in The Barn from 11am till 4pm. Watch all the wild birds daily in The Hide from 10am till 4pm. Join in with the Great Heligan Bird Watch and see how many different types of birds you can see. Yes we know its for kids really, but who could resist joining in??

After a day out come back to your cosy cottage at Roundhouse Barns, escape, relax and unwind. Short breaks available from £255 and weeks from just £355 – there has never been a better time to treat yourself.

Check our availability and book today


Five reasons why you should stay in Cornwall this Autumn

There is a magic in Cornwall in autumn as everything is relaxing and changing all at once; the colours, the sea, the landscape and the trees gently losing their leaves. It is a time of change and letting go….what better time to come to relax and unwind?


Here are our top five reasons for enjoying autumn in Cornwall…


1. Summer Sun

Quite simply, the summer sun lasts for longer in Cornwall. Our unique position with the gulf stream flowing close by usually provides us with an Indian Summer while the rest of the country looks on enviously. Cornwall has the best beaches in the world, from iconic long sandy beaches to intimate sheltered coves, Cornwall’s 300+ beaches are gloriously varied; golden, pebbly, bustling or blissfully empty – we love them all. Enjoy the surf at Fistral Beach, dip your toe in turquoise waters at Porthcurnick beach or hunt for crabs in Portscatho.

It’s true the sun sets a little earlier, but that just means you don’t need to stay up late to see the beautiful sunsets. So pack up and come and stay for some autumn warmth and find a quiet spot to watch the sun go down.

2. Food

You’re in for a treat, food and drink in Cornwall is seriously special. Fresh-from-the harbour seafood, indulgent Cornish Cream Teas, incredible local produce, homemade ice cream, the mighty Cornish pasty…the list goes on! Autumn brings food festivals galore – our favourite is the Cornish Food Festival  in Truro, but there is also the Falmouth Oyster Festival, Eden Project Beer Festival , Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival, Newquay Fish Festival and plenty more to choose from.

Try out a new seasonal cocktail or two  as well  – gin with blackberries is one of our favourites.  In autumn all our amazing restaurants and pubs turn their attention to seasonal delights – who can resist a hearty stew, a home made pie, seasonal veg and sublime deserts?

3. Walking

What could be better for you than a brisk walk along the coastal path, gazing at all that stunning scenery, if you get tired have a rest on a deserted beach, although don’t forget the BBC will be filming the next series of Poldark  soon, so who knows who you might spot on your travels! In October enjoy the Fal River Walking Festival. Later in autumn, as the winter swells start, head off to the coast for storm watching or to see Newquay’s famous Cribbar – giant waves loved by surfers.  Best places for watching are safely tucked inside from Fifteen Cornwall restaurant at Watergate Bay or  Rick Steins at Fistral Beach.

4. Gardens

We know Cornwall is famous for its spring flowers, however as the leaves begin to turn golden who can fail to be enchanted by all the amazing colours. Our favourite for an autumn visit is the Japanese Garden at St Mawgan where Japanese Maples perform spectacular colour changes: bold & soft golds, greens, oranges & reds transform the colour palette of the garden, before dropping gently into rest. Trees and branches start to reveal their superb architecture; previously hidden by foliage in the earlier months. Temperatures begin to drop and everything breathes a sign of relief as the growing season slips into rest and the cooler, calmer time of year begins. You will find colour everywhere at The Lost Gardens of Heligan and The Eden Project as well.

5. Bird Watching

You don’t need to be an expert to see the huge numbers of birds that migrate to Cornwall in the autumn. At this time of year, just listen and look up – the tsks, tsips, tseeps, chacks and chissicks you hear might be flocks of migrant land birds on their southward journeys. Many people don’t realise the sheer numbers of birds involved and the distances they can travel. Due to its geographical location, the Lizard is a great location for spotting rare visitors from overseas as is St Antony Head.

Shrike, wryneck and the exotic looking hoopoe and bee-eater are relatively frequent visitors. In some winters, almost three-quarters of a million redwings and fieldfares (the ‘winter thrushes’) spend the season in the UK, having travelled from as far afield as Scandinavia, Russia and Iceland. Offshore, the rich sea ocean currents attract flocks of diving gannets, shearwaters, kittiwakes and guillemots while shags, cormorants and gulls are a common sight perched on the rocky cliffs and offshore reefs.

The rugged cliffs are a great place to experience the magnificent ravens, peregrine falcons, kestrels and other birds hunting smaller prey such as stonechats, wheatears and other small birds including rock pipits along the coastal slope.  We have bird guide books and can lend you binoculars if you want a closer look.

Of course after all this activity you need to return to a luxury, comfortable, cosy cottage and where better than Roundhouse Barns, book your autumn break now….

Check our availability and book today


Glorious Sunshine in April

Spring on the Roseland

Well, what amazing weather we’ve been having for April – no sign of those pesky April showers!

The Roseland has well and truly woken up to spring – there are lambs in the fields, camellias flowering along with primroses and violets – even the bluebells are coming through now.

All our favourite pop up eateries are back out for the season as well – The Hidden Hut at Porthcurnick Beach, Miss V’s Tea Hut at St Just in Roseland Church, Earl the Thirstea van is back at Towan Beach and Tea By The Sea is at Carne Beach – we really are spoilt for choice here!

Curgurrel Farm shop has reopened for the summer and we have news of a deli/cafe/farm shop opening later in the season at Penperth Farm – on the way to the King Harry Ferry – we will keep you updated when it opens.

All year rounders Humphreys at Tregony and Lobbs Farm at Heligan shops are there for all your local produce and De Bara Cafe near Bessy Beneath Garage is having an amazing first year of trading with freshly baked bread, pastries,lunches, etc.

So to work up an appetite for these delights you will need to walk some of our beautiful coastal paths, visit some of our stunning local gardens or perhaps try out kayaking or paddle boarding on the Fal River.

There is so much to do here most of our guests wish they had booked two weeks as one is never enough – on the other hand that’s why they keep coming back!

Book your April holiday now – we have a few weeks left in April and every cottage has £100 off. But book quick because they are going fast! 


November, relax and unwind on the Roseland

Winter breaks on the Roseland

We are lucky to have several regular guests who stay with us every November – why you might ask? Good weather can’t be guaranteed and some of the attractions and gardens do close for the winter.

Well we can let you into their secret! It’s just lovely to take a few days or a week to get away from home and work, relax and unwind in 5-star luxury – if you do have a day of fabulous weather then that’s a bonus and you can get out, take a flask and find a sheltered spot on the beach to sit and read a book – no newspapers, you’re meant to be relaxing!

A coastal path walk even on a wet and blustery day can be fun and exhilarating and afterwards you have the perfect excuse for relaxing in a pub with a roaring log fire.

Places that are packed in high season become bearable with no crowds and if the weather is a little damp you have more excuses to keep popping in to cafe’s for coffee and cake.

St Ives, Padstow and even Truro are so much more enjoyable to visit in the quiet months. The Eden Project and The Lost Gardens of Heligan are open all year round as is the Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

There are still plenty of events to keep you entertained -visit the St Austell Torchlight Carnival, held on the 19th November a full day celebration in St Austell, marking the beginning of winter, in the china clay capital of Cornwall. Live bands, stalls, music and dance and a Torchlight Carnival parades through the town.

Our personal favourite is Truro City of Lights on the 23rd November this hugely anticipated Festival and Parade lights up the city in in spectacular fashion delighting the crowds who gather for this spectacular festive event. It does get busy and parking can be a challenge so try out the new Park and Ride.

Also in Truro is the Cathedral City Markets Christmas Market 25 Nov 2016 to 27 Nov 2016 This annual Christmas Market brings the Cornish and our visitors a high quality selection of food, drink, arts & crafts. It’s the perfect place to buy a Christmas gift for a loved one.

Another firm favourite is the St Austell Brewery Celtic Beer Festival 26th Nov 2016 – hosted in the unique surroundings of the old wine cellars and vaults beneath the Victorian brewery. Sample a selection of more than 150 beers (can anyone try that many in a day)! and enjoy music and entertainment. You may need to prebook a taxi for that one unless one of you is happy to not drink! If you can’t make it that day the Brewery is open all year for visits and tasting.

I have just realised that yet again my blog seems to mention a lot of cake and alcohol and somehow The Lost Gardens of Heligan creep into nearly every one I write – well they thoroughly deserve to – it truly is the best place in Cornwall to visit all year round, apart from Roundhouse Barns of course!

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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.)


August Gardens in Cornwall

Panoramic view of the geodesic dome structures of Eden Project

Many people think that Cornwall’s gardens are at their best in spring and whilst this is true for some, there is still plenty to see and do in the summer months, here are our top tips for August!

EDEN PROJECT

Eden is a dramatic global garden housed in tropical biomes, together with imaginative planting that covers all sides of the valley. On the 6th August you can learn to forage for wild food with Eden’s expert forager. Try a seasonal foray into the wider Eden estate, seeking out nature’s edible abundance.

TRENGWAINTON GARDEN

Visit this sheltered garden bursting with exotic trees and shrubs. This summer experience stunning views and an abundance of exotic trees and shrubs in a garden cradled just inland of Mounts Bay. If you love the sunshine warm yourself on Trengwainton’s Terrace with its wide sea views or if it’s shade you’re after, the garden has lots of cool, tree-lined paths that are perfect for gentle strolls.

LOST GARDENS OF HELIGAN

The mysterious gardens and estate offer over 200 acres for exploration. Discover romantic Victorian productive gardens and pleasure grounds along winding paths laid out over two centuries ago. Get lost in the exotic outdoor Jungle whilst adventuring along raised boardwalks past giant rhubarb, banana plantations and through tunnels of towering bamboo.

On Sunday 14th August, join wild food forager Emma Gunn for a wild food walk around The Lost Gardens of Heligan. Get back to nature with an experienced forager and explore the wild side of the Heligan Estate. Discover how to identify wild plants for culinary use and learn about their fascinating history.

BARBARA HEPWORTH MUSEUM & SCULPTURE GARDEN

Discover the magical home and unique garden of the artist Barbara Hepworth. Visiting the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain’s most important twentieth century artists. This summer is a great time to visit as they are celebrating their 40th Anniversary, you can see sculptures in bronze, stone and wood on display in the museum and garden, along with paintings, drawings and archive material. Don’t forget to ask us about the Park and Ride at St Ives – it takes the stress out of finding a parking space and has the added bonus of being the most beautiful train journey.

POPPY COTTAGE GARDEN

Situated in the heart of the beautiful Roseland Peninsula Poppy Cottage Garden covers about one acre full of colour for all year – round interest. Planted as a series of rooms, which are small gardens in themselves, it is brimming with bulbs, herbaceous, grasses, shrubs and even exotics, mainly colour themed, and with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of home made cake. There is also a small orchard with unusual ducks and chickens, and a small nursery area with a wide range of herbaceous plants for sale.

At the end of your day come back to relax, unwind and catch the last of the evening sun in our courtyard garden, perhaps with a glass of wine!

Spoil yourselves…book now for an amazing break in our three luxury cottages.

Check our availability and book today


August Adventures!

August sees regatta season in full swing across The Roseland and whilst you may not want to compete yourself, it’s lovely to watch everyone else doing all the work!

St Mawes Carnival is the first week in August with plenty going on – for the easy option just settle yourself in Chandlers Cafe outside area or watch from the harbour edge there is always something to see!

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is back on Summers Beach in St Mawes this year. You can book a lesson and its a great place to learn as there are hardly any waves. We have tried ourselves and it really is not as hard as it looks and is great fun. If you are worried about falling in there is even a wet suit hire stand on the beach for the summer. Also new for 2016 there are Open Water swimming lessons available on Summers Beach so if you have always wanted to but never taken the plunge now you can try in absolute safety.

If  a gentle kayak is more your thing, then you can hire these from St Mawes where you can potter round the harbour and beaches or head across to Place Manor. For an even quieter meander you can hire at Percuil and have a lovely drift along the river valley away from the hustle and bustle and here you can expect to see little white egrets, grey herons dunlins, whimbrels and lots of other wading birds.

The second week in August is Falmouth Week with a huge variety of events – take your pick from the extensive brochure and hop on the foot ferry from St Mawes to join in the fun, without having to worry about parking your car.  The highlight for us is always the Red Arrows display.

The joy of the estuary is that if you like crowds and atmosphere you can head over to Falmouth, but if you like peace and quiet then just find a spot on the river footpath between St Mawes Castle and St Just in Roseland Church and you can have what feels like your own personal fly past!

Not to be missed is a Fal River Boat trip from St Mawes to Truro – extra trips run in the summer and you can stop off at Trelissick Gardens on the way if you wish. We have to confess we have done this trip several times and it’s always wonderful with so much to see. If it’s low tide you are dropped at Malpas and a bus takes you into Truro or you can just stop at the Heron Inn and have a leisurely lunch… just check to see where the later boats are leaving from. it is a lovely walk from Malpas to Truro if you need to work off the lunch before coming home.

There are lots of spots to hire small motor boats for a day or half day and then you can go where you like on the water at your own pace or for the really extravagant you can hire Pinuccia, the most stunning, sleek and very fast yacht owned by the Tresanton Hotel, hire includes the crew and the most glorious picnic.  We are still saving for this one, but are determined to do it one day!

Of course if your enjoyment of the water ends at a quick paddle there are plenty of beaches for you to sit back and relax on, just check our earlier blogs for the best beaches in Cornwall.


Celebrate English Wine Week with Cornish Wines

Our vine 'adoption' certificate!
Our vine ‘adoption’ certificate!

It’s English Wine Week  28th May to the 5th June 2016.

Vineyards across the country will also be opening their doors to welcome visitors, offering tours, tastings and special offers. While we’re not yet quite on the scale of Tuscany there are a growing number of wineries in Cornwall selling excellent wines.

Our most famous is Camel Valley, near Bodmin,  just a 30 minute drive from Roundhouse Barns. Run by the ubiquitous Lindo family, who are Cornwall’s best known wine growing experts,  having started the vineyard in 1989.  You’ve probably seen Camel Valley Brut – it’s won all sorts of awards and easily beats some of the French champagnes in taste – of course they’re not allowed to call it champagne but trust us it’s fabulous (as is the Brut Rose)!

Visit the website Camel Valley Vineyard to book a vineyard tour, a tasting or just to look at the shop – it’s cheaper here than in any other retail outlets (including Waitrose).

Much nearer to us is Polmassick Vineyard, near St Ewe which can offer you a self guided tour, wine tastings and sales and you are welcome to take a picnic and relax in the beautiful surroundings.  Also in St Ewe is Bosue Vineyard also with tours, tastings and a cellar door – both of these smaller vineyards have limited opening times so check their websites before you go.

New kid on the block is Knightor Winery. Located at Trethurgy, near St Austell they produce premium quality still and sparkling wines, have a great winery kitchen serving lunches and teas and offer tastings and a cellar door. Some of their vineyards can be seen at Portscatho – just three miles from us, we wonder if we could persuade our local farmer to grow vines…..

Another favourite of ours is Polgoon Winery. Just outside Penzance this fabulous little winery produces great wines – try the Bacchus – and also artisan ciders and fruit juices. The vineyard tours last 90 minutes and take you through the vines, through the production process and onwards to a tasting! Roundhouse Barns were so impressed with Polgoon we have sponsored a row of vines – see if you can spot our name on their sponsors board in the shop!

Well that’s just five to chose from and there are plenty more such as Trevibban Mill near Padstow, we hear of new vines being planted near Looe and in the Tamar Valley…… and don’t get us started on artisan beers and spirits in Cornwall – trust us though if ever you get a chance to try Tarquins Gin, go for it, but that’s a subject for another blog…..

We’re fully booked for English Wine Week but we still have some availability left in May.

Spoil yourselves…book now for an amazing break in one of our three cosy cottages.

Check our availability and book today


Spring into Cornwall’s Gardens

Beautiful Trebah Gardens.
Beautiful Trebah Gardens.

Enjoying the warmth of the Gulf Stream, the magical gardens in Cornwall are home to a wealth of exciting, rare and beautiful plants and trees.

From wild woodland to neatly manicured lawns, from the small and unusual to large and famous. Off the top of our heads we easily came up with at least 40 different gardens to visit! So here are just a few of the less visited gardens within 30 mins of Roundhouse Barns…

Trebah, Falmouth

A thriving sub-tropical valley garden which runs down to the Helford River near the fishing village of Durgan. Wind through the exotic gardens to meet the water’s edge. (Stroll across a couple of fields to get to the Ferry Boat Inn for a lunch with a stunning view).

Pinetum Park, St Austell

A 30 acre plantman’s paradise with over 6000 labelled rare & unusual plants. Colourful, inspired planting with fine herbaceous borders. Includes several water features, shrubberies, formal garden, cottage garden, pinetum, arboretum & a Japanese garden.

Trewithen, near Truro

Has champion trees and rare shrubs, a wildflower meadow and woodland glades, exotic fern collections and tree top viewing platforms, it would be hard to find anywhere more beautiful or more intriguing than Trewithen’s deservedly famous garden.

Lamorran Garden, St Mawes

Enjoy the glittering sea views over Falmouth Bay from this stunning Mediterranean-style garden. Lamorran boasts over four-acres of sub-tropical paradise. It is quite steep though, we gaily strolled down and then realised it is all uphill on the way back!  So avail yourself of a cream tea as a reward at the top of the hill.

Poppy Cottage Garden, Ruanhighlanes

Covers an acre of land, themed as a series of small rooms, each a garden in themselves. Brimming with bulbs, herbaceous, grasses, shrubs and exotics with plenty of places to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake. This is a garden that we can all relate too and maybe pick up a few ides to take home. At the end of the garden is a small orchard with unusual ducks and those fluffy leg chickens!

We could mention more – Caerhays, Trelissick, Glendurgan, Heligan, Eden Project, Enys with its bluebell woods, to name but a few,but we think you can already see you are spoilt for choice!

It is rare for a week to go by when we don’t see a few plants being loaded into the back of a car as our guests depart, we can only hope that they all thrive when they get home.

So be quick, book your spring break at Roundhouse Barns, check out the Special Offers – and if you have missed your preferred dates for 2016 then why not be prepared and book ahead for 2017!

Spoil yourselves…book now for an amazing break in one of our three cosy cottages.

Check our availability and book today


Christmas and New Year on the Roseland

Mousehole Lights

First things first – food of course! (there is a bit of a theme to our blogs lately..)

If you do want to eat out on Christmas Day you definitely need to book in advance – our top tip is The Rosevine – a small boutique hotel, let their chef cook you a 3 course traditional Christmas lunch with stunning sea views, the wood burner will be roaring and the Christmas tree will be twinkling. Follow it up with a walk along Porthcurnick Beach.

Talking of which The Hidden Hut  just behind the beach re-opens from the 26th Dec to the 1st Jan for lovely hot chocolates, lunchtime soups and stews and those delectable home made cakes.

But enough about food! Our top tips for things to do:

  • Go and see the Mousehole Christmas Lights – there is nowhere else quite like it!
  • Watch the Fireworks from The Lugger in Portscatho, 6pm on the 1st Jan
  • Blow away those Christmas (or New Year) fuzzy heads and walk the coastal path around St Anthony’s Head
  • Have a festive lunch at Olga Polizzi’s hotel  The Tresanton  in St Mawes – (sorry, food again!)
  • Go Ice skating at The Eden Project
  • Explore the “Mermaids, Women at Sea exhibition” at The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth
  • Visit  The Lost Gardens of Heligan as it opens its gates in aid of local charities on Boxing Day 2015 and New Year’s Day 2016
  • Release your inner child, it’s panto time! Dick Whittington and his Mousehole Cat are on at Hall for Cornwall in Truro – oh yes they are!
  • Discover modern art at The Terry Frost Exhibition at the  Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange, Penzance
  • Enjoy a classy New Years Eve Party from 10pm at The Tresanton in St Mawes for just £40 including a glass of Champagne/entertainment

After all that fun you may just need to book another holiday with us in the spring or summer for some relaxation….


Foodie Heaven at Roundhouse Barns

Local produce cornwall

So your holiday is booked, if you are anything like us your next thought will be what are we going to eat? So, if you do intend to cook a few meals during your stay here are our shopping suggestions:

Think about putting in a food order with The Cornish Food Market – locally sourced meat, fish, veg, artisan bread, dairy products, wine, beer, etc, all delivered to Roundhouse Barns on your arrival day. Just remember to place your order at least 48 hours before you want it delivered.

We recommend Baker Tom’s organic sourdough bread, Trewithen dairy products and the freshest vegetables you can buy.  Of course the major supermarkets deliver here as well but you can’t beat the Cornish Food Market for quality and freshness and regularly their “shopping basket” is cheaper than the supermarkets.

If you are thinking of stopping off on your way down then pop into Lobbs Farm Shop  just next to The Lost Gardens of Heligan. They produce and sell quality food with a known provenance that you can eat with confidence. Three farming brothers, Terry, Ian and Richard Lobb, each have a farm supplying beef, lamb and fresh vegetables direct to the shop. The beef and lamb are born and raised on the farm where the animals graze traditional pastures and meadows. Our favourites are the beef and the venison and Mark is very partial to a Lobbs pork pie!

Pasties & Chocolates!

Also on your way or close enough for a mid week shop is Humfrey’s Farm Shop just outside Tregony  here you will find a wide range of fresh produce on offer, locally grown fruit and vegetables, dairy products, bread, cheese, eggs, sausages, bacon, burgers and fish. They also sell homemade cakes and pies, along with apple juices, pasties and many more unusual Cornish products. If you’re not in a hurry, why not stop and relax with a cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake in the outdoor covered courtyard. Personal favourites here are the pasties and home baked cakes and Trenance chocolates…

Nearest, (and dearest) to Roundhouse Barns is Curgurrell Farm Shop at Rosevine, just three miles away. This a seafood lover’s dream come true. Open 6 days a week the shop, run by Charlotte and Simon Taffinder, sells the very finest lobsters, crabs and fresh fish caught by sons Ben, William and Tom, and friend Chris.

Cornish produce at its best

The shop also sells local and home grown fruit and veg, free range eggs and homemade preserves. Curgurrell is truly unique, with its own tiny harbour, just below the farm, and often the day’s catch is on sale within an hour of being caught. This is Cornish produce at its very best. All fish and shellfish are caught within 5 or 6 miles of the farm, if you are lucky you will find hand line caught bass, mackerel and pollock, together with red mullet, sardines, brill, turbot, john dory lemon sole, haddock, plaice and scallops to name a few. We always buy scallops and John Dory here and they also supply us with our Christmas trees! They are now also licensed to sell wines and spirits.

Of course, as well as the above, there is a weekly market in Truro, regular food markets at Veryan, Watergate Bay and Padstow… to name but a few, anyone would think that we had a fondness for our food down here – it’s not all clotted cream and pasties you know! (Best local pasties are at the bakers on the harbour at St Mawes or Humphreys).

Check out our other blogs for local pubs and restaurants for those lazy evenings when you just want to relax and let someone else do the cooking.


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


Enjoy a November break on the Roseland

city of lights 2015

With the clocks going back and the days shortening you can still find plenty to do on your holiday be it a short break or longer.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan truly are a year round delight, there is always something new to see and do. From Saturday 10th October until Sunday 8th November the Heligan Plant Sale is a not to be missed opportunity to grab a bargain. The highlight last year was a new variety of climbing fuchsia.

Or be organised and buy some early Christmas presents in their Christmas Shop, open now Tuesdays – Saturdays 11:00 – 16:30 until Christmas Eve. The Holly and the Ivy shop offers everything from handmade craft products to fair trade items and bears no resemblence to any other Christmas shop.

Buy a joint garden entry ticket for Heligan /The Eden Project and use the saving to go ice-skating! The Eden ice rink is open again now and will remain open until Sunday 28 February 2016. Even if you don’t skate it’s worth going for the people watching and somehow it always makes us start feeling a bit more Christmassy.

The foot ferry to Falmouth runs from St Mawes all year round so its easy to hop across and visit The National Maritime Museum, currently holding a fascinating exhibition exploring the hidden histories of women at sea.

From Mary Lang, who joined the crew on the last of the merchant sailing ships to journey from South Australia to Cornwall in the 1930s, to Dame Ellen MacArthur who blazed a trail for women in competitive sailing assuring herself a place in sporting history as the fastest woman ever to circumnavigate the globe, this exhibition tells the compelling stories of those who’ve challenged the establishment and made their mark in a male dominated world.

If you are here for the 18th November then don’t miss the City of Lights Festival in Truro at 7pm, the event sees a dazzling procession of withy and tissue lanterns float through the streets, handmade and carried by professional artists, Cornish school children and local community and youth groups.

The 2015 theme  2015 is ‘The Museum of Lost Stories’ inspired by the Cornish Archives and County Records Office. The event includes the official switch on of Truro’s Christmas lights, plus music and dance from Truro School of Samba and other local bands,

Try a brisk walk along the coastal footpath or a relaxing meander along one of our many rivers, followed by a trip to a local pub like The Kings Head – hearty local food and cosy log fires and of course, however you spend your day don’t forget to leave time to come back home to Roundhouse Barns to truly relax and unwind.

 

Check our availability and book today