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Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit

Scilly season: why spring is the best time to visit Spring arrives early on Scilly and the charm of tiny, sleepy St Martin’s is that there is little-else to do but enjoy its flower-filled moors and coves Golden Mary, Scilly White, Sunrise, Golden Spur, Emperor, Empress, Cheerfulness, Magnificence, Soleil d’Or. There is poetry in the names of daffodil and narcissi varieties sprouting from all corners of St Martin’s. This tiny island, barely two miles long and mostly less than half a mile wide, is filled with flowers in spring. The strong scent of narcissi wafts over the lanes, and the hedgerows and fields burst with dainty pink lilies, enormous tree lupins, purple agapanthus and creamy three-cornered leek. Even the…

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A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips

A local’s guide to Falmouth, Cornwall: 10 top tips This working harbour town also has a creative buzz thanks to its thriving art school. The result is a winning blend of beach life, bohemian bars and great seafood To understand Falmouth (and arguably the rest of our island nation) you need to understand its relationship with the sea. The cavernous National Maritime Museum Cornwall, a beautiful building in itself, contains several floors of exhibitions that explore the changing influence of the sea on our lives – stories of discovery, survival and tragedy – and an active traditional boat workshop. Highlights include the undersea gallery in which visitors can watch fish swimming in the harbour from the sea bed, and…

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Picture resort: from sandy beaches to stunning art galleries in St Ives

Picture resort: from sandy beaches to stunning art galleries in St Ives The Tate St Ives extension gives art lovers a perfect excuse to revisit this beguiling town St Ives is a British seaside resort like no other. It has sandy beaches, the paradisal kind Brits dream of all winter and habitually get on aeroplanes for. This old fishing town in western Cornwall has not one, but five of them, and on these pebble-free playgrounds you will find retro cafes and chi-chi, cocktail-shaking restaurants. It has utilitarian shops, too, selling buckets and spades and Tupperware, and fancy ones. You can buy jewellery and in one lifestyle boutique you can pick up anything from a nature book to a designer…

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Five of the best scenic bike rides in the West Country

Five of the best scenic bike rides in the West Country These cycle routes, taking in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, come from a new book, Lost Lanes West, which reveals some of England’s less-well-known, but no-less-exciting, byways Dorset Type of ride Cliffs, coast roads, wild swims and a lost village Start/finish Wareham Distance 45 miles Difficulty Challenging. Hilly; lanes with a short section of off-road cycleway Route map The “Isle” of Purbeck is not really an island but a peninsula bordered by the sea to the south and west and the River Frome to the north. It’s a geologist’s paradise, featuring sandy heath, ball clay, chalk downland, oil-bearing shale and hard limestones long prized as building materials. Much of…

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Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall: ‘At every turn there is something unexpected to discover’ – review

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall: ‘At every turn there is something unexpected to discover’ – review This National Trust property near Falmouth is a delight for younger visitors with a maze, sheltered beach, nature trails to explore and rope swings Originally home to a wealthy Quaker family (the Foxes), these subtropical gardens sweep down through three valleys to a sheltered beach on the River Helford. Nature trails run through wild flowers and tree ferns, a miniature art gallery is tucked into an upturned boat and a tiny thatched schoolroom is still complete with blackboard tablets. In May the bluebell displays are a highlight. At every turn there is something unexpected to discover. Continue reading… https://www.theguardian.com/uk/travel/rssTravel | The GuardianLatest travel news and…

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Take the kids to … Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Cornwall

Take the kids to … Lappa Valley Steam Railway, Cornwall With miniature steam engines, a special Santa train, a lake and maze, this charming small attraction near Newquay is a great day out for families with younger children Board a narrow-gauge (15in) vintage steam train and weave through leafy woodland to the site of historic East Wheal Rose mine. Once there, paddle a canoe or giant swan around the boating lake, explore gentle nature trails or the wooden fortress, play crazy golf and ride more tiny rare trains, such as the 7¼-inch woodland railway, with sit-astride benches. Continue reading… With miniature steam engines, a special Santa train, a lake and maze, this charming small attraction near Newquay is a…

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The Chain Locker, Falmouth, Cornwall: hotel review

The Chain Locker, Falmouth, Cornwall: hotel review Once the haunt of drunken sailors, this 17th-century inn has been faithfully restored, and makes a great base in one of Cornwall’s liveliest towns We were welcomed to the Chain Locker by a multitude of warm smiles. Well, that’s how it felt, as we stumbled out of the gales and driving rain heralding Storm Brian on a Friday evening, and into a packed bar. The whole of Falmouth seemed to be well into its cups. In 1688, Falmouth was designated England’s Royal Mail Packet Station, with a monopoly on handling mail to all corners of the empire. The Chain Locker, then called the Marine Hotel, was a boozer with a few dank…

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Beautiful places to visit in Cornwall – chosen by local artists

Beautiful places to visit in Cornwall – chosen by local artists As Tate St Ives reopens with a £20m extension, six of Cornwall’s leading artists describe the spectacular and atmospheric landscapes that inspire them The Island at St Ives is my place to go for contemplation. It’s the big hill overlooking the town, west of the Tate. In my pottery I like to explore new techniques a lot and things do go wrong. If you go for a walk, you can think – how do I solve that one? Continue reading… As Tate St Ives reopens with a £20m extension, six of Cornwall’s leading artists describe the spectacular and atmospheric landscapes that inspire them The Island at St Ives…

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Comfortable up there? Tripod glamping in north Cornwall

Comfortable up there? Tripod glamping in north Cornwall Sleeping options at this new retreat in a former quarry range from tree tents to pods on legs. It’s perfect for surfers, coastal walkers and anyone who loves ‘roughing it’ • Plus more unusual camping options In a disused slate quarry on Cornwall’s north coast, we follow a rough track along a high ridge of old spoil heaps, picking our way through thickets of gorse, heather, wild honeysuckle and ripe blackberry. Beyond the layers of shale that fall away from the ridge, we can see the Atlantic, the skull-like shape of Gull Rock by Trebarwith Strand and, in the distance, the Mouls, a dot of an island off Polzeath’s Pentire Point….

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Havener’s Bar & Grill, Fowey, Cornwall: B&B review

Havener’s Bar & Grill, Fowey, Cornwall: B&B review Teething problems over, this south Cornwall restaurant with rooms now offers cosy stays and refined pub grub that rival its riverside setting for the feelgood factor Things didn’t get off to a very good start at Havener’s Bar and Grill in Fowey when it opened last summer. It was the height of the season, the staff were inexperienced, the volume of diners overwhelming, the reviews not good – despite the prized harbourside location. Rob Pepperell, general manager, says so himself: “We opened too soon and we learned a lesson. It went horribly wrong.” Continue reading… Teething problems over, this south Cornwall restaurant with rooms now offers cosy stays and refined pub…

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