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Keep Fit in Cornwall

Friday 17th February, 2017

Keep Fit in Cornwall

Did you make a resolution to keep fit in 2017? Cornwall is a great location for fitness enthusiasts, with so many different options for keeping fit and active. If you want to keep your new year’s resolution whilst on holiday in Cornwall then read on and we’ll share some options for keeping active.

 

In the sea

As a county Cornwall is surrounded by water and revered for its award-winning blue flag beaches. The sea and beaches offer a veritable feast of activities for those hungry to work up a sweat. Try your hand at surfing and discover muscles you never knew you had, or stand-up paddle boarding is a great core workout, maybe swim in the sea or head out kayaking.

On your feet

With over 300 miles of Cornish coast path plus the many miles of heritage and wooded trails you are spoilt for choice if you want to head for a run. Throughout the year there are various races and challenges for those who want to really push themselves. You could do full and ultra-marathons around the beautiful coast path or more muddy endurance events. If running is a little too much then enjoy some walking instead, ensuring you can take in the incredible views that the coast has to offer.

Cycle

Whether you are road bike fan or prefer to get a muddy on some off-road trails then Cornwall has something to offer you. Head out on the road and enjoy the beautiful views and countryside, take on a few steep ascents and relax tired legs on fast descents. There are plenty of wooded areas and trails to explore. Down the road from our home is The Track, this awesome place offers BMX and trail jumps for the advanced riders.

Climb

Head to Base Camp and spend an hour climbing our Clip’n’Climb climbing walls. It’s a great workout for the whole family and is sure to get the heart going and give you a nice boost of adrenalin. With a variety of walls to try then you’ll be challenged in different ways and can also race friends on the timed dual walls or face to face transparent wall. Get your fitness to reach new heights in 2017!

Boot Camp

Here in Cornwall there are various companies that run boot camps at the beach. What setting could be better to keep your enthusiasm up? If you fancy trying some fitness at the beach whilst you’re here just let us know and we can point you in the right direction.

 

Cornwall's Best Secluded Coves

Wednesday 15th February, 2017

Cornwall's Best Secluded Coves

Our beautiful home is famed for its beaches and coastline, with hundreds of coves and stretches of sand to explore and enjoy. There are a large number of more well-known beaches such as Fistral, Sennen, Godrevy and Perranporth, as well as smaller fishing villages like Padstow, St Ives and Fowey. What we really like is getting well and truly off the beaten track and enjoying a secluded cove all to ourselves, accompanied by friends, family and a good old fashioned picnic. We like to swim in crystal clear water and sit in picturesque surroundings.

If this sounds like your idea of heaven too then read on….we are going to share a few choice secret gems with you….ssssshhhhhhhh!

Nanjizel

This beach is situated in the far West of Cornwall, and is always quiet due to its relatively tricky access. Mostly you’ll find those frequenting this breath-taking beach are walking the coast path rather than making a day of it. It’s a perfect spot for watching seals too.

 

Porth Joke

Just 5-miles from Newquay you’d be forgiven for overlooking the locally named ‘Polly Joke’. This sandy beach is quiet all year round, despite being a stone’s throw from Holywell Bay and Crantock. This lovely narrow stretch of sand is great for swimming and exploring rock pools and caves.

 

Lantic Bay

Although Lantic Bay is a bit of a trek from our home in Portreath we highly recommend it. The bay itself has multiple secluded coves that can be all yours for some leg-work. The most obvious is Lansallos, which is perfect little cove with crystal clear water, great for swimming and paddling.

 

Prussia Cove

A little cove (well actually a collection of little patches of sand and rock pools) not too far from us on the South coast of Cornwall. Near Praa sands you take a winding country road to the privately owned estate and house, there you’ll find a car park and a path down to this beautiful spot.

 

Bettsys Cove

Reached from the same starting point as Prussia Cove, but with a little detour around the coast path. This really is the one of those quintessential swimming and relaxing coves. Although there isn’t much sand you can make camp on the rocks and marvel at the beauty of this cove.

 

Porthgwarra

In the far West of Cornwall you’ll find Porthgwarra, owned and managed by St Aubyn Estates and made famous by Ross and Demelza. Despite its television fame it remains quiet as it is quite a place to get to. Once here you can enjoy a cream tea from the small, traditional café before exploring caves and spotting seals in the water of this ever calm cove.

Operation Hedgehog in Portreath

Thursday 9th February, 2017

The team at Feadon Farm Wildlife Centre are working with Portreath Council and Portreath School on a project that will make the town the first ‘hedgehog friendly’ village in Cornwall. It is part of a nationwide scheme to protect our prickly friends. The aim of the initiative is to use Portreath as an example to highlight the aims of a larger scheme called Operation Hedgehog across Cornwall.

Hedgehog numbers are rapidly declining. In 1950 there were 36 million Hedgehogs and there are less than a million today; and since 2000 hedgehog numbers have fallen by over 50% in rural areas across the UK. Hedgehogs live in gardens, woods and fields and their numbers have declined because of green spaces being tidied up, development, increased traffic, lack of insect food and nesting sites, and pesticides.

As part of the initiate to support Portreath go hedgehog friendly, an information leaflet explaining how people can help will be given to pupils at Portreath Community Primary School and delivered to all households in Portreath. Follow up talk for adults in Portreath about how they can help hedgehogs are also planned.

We are really proud to be involved with this project and will contribute where we can. Head Ranger Gary Zammit will be hosting a talk to Portreath School to introduce pupils to a hedgehog and talking them through how to make their gardens and outside spaces hedgehog friendly. This will include advice on keeping green and wild spaces for these shy animals.

For more information and details of how you can help, including how to get your village or town to get hedgehog friendly, please email operation.hedgehog@cornwall.gov.uk.

If you see a hedgehog during the day, or find one which is sick or injured, contact Prickles and Paws on 01637 831299.

 

A Perfect Valentine's Day in Cornwall

Thursday 2nd February, 2017

A Perfect Valentine's Day in Cornwall

It’s a day for the lovers, when romance is in the air and couples head out to treat one another. Our luxury lodges make a great escape for a luxury, romantic break, or is you are in the area and are looking for a beautiful meal try The Terrace Restaurant for beautiful sharing dishes.

For now, read on for our idea of a perfect Valentine ’s Day (hint, hint!)

This is our ideal day (hint, hint!)

A breakfast of champions is required to start the day. Up to you here, although we are partial to breakfast in bed we can also be easily persuaded to venture out for a beautifully prepared breakfast in a nice café with views of the sea. We’ll usually opt for eggs benedict and a good strong flat white, but if the plans are to eat out for dinner then maybe we’ll go for a healthier option!

Stretch the legs. It’s essential that after a good breakfast that some calories are burnt. Personally a walk on the beach would be perfect, hand in hand with our loved one and the sea breeze in our hair. If you really want to take this a step further take us somewhere secluded and romantic and pop the question…not that we’re hinting (again!)

Did we mention that we love our food? If you’re planning a full day of treats then we are going to need a great picnic or a warming lunch after a morning walking the coast of Cornwall. Somewhere snug and cosy is our personal preference; a quaint countryside pub would be perfect for cuddling up and enjoying some seasonal soup. There are so many to choose from near our home in Portreath, so make sure you book a table.

We can’t eat all day, so you’re going to need a plan of action for the afternoon, something interesting or exciting to do. We are adventurous types, so we can be convinced by outdoor activities such as surfing and cycling, or maybe somewhere inside for something a little different like art or cookery classes (we said we liked food right?). Failing that, we’d be just as happy if the pace was a little more gentile. Head to a spa for a lovely relaxing treatment and just relax in each other’s company and conserve some energy for an evening out.

In the evening it’s imperative that we go out for dinner. We require fine food, fine wine and your company. It would be great if the venue is glamorous or cool or both and boasts sea views and and even better menu. Cornwall has a great reputation for fine food, so pick a restaurant with an amazing reputation and woo us.

Once the evening is over, we could definitely enjoy looking up at the starry night sky from our own hot tub. Or maybe curling up on the sofa in front of a roaring log burner to watch a film and polish off a bottle of wine.

If you need to book a table call us 01209 844 132, or if you want to book a lodge for a short break drop us a line on enquiries@gwelanmor.com for prices and details.

 

An Alternative Half Term in Cornwall

Friday 27th January, 2017

An Alternative Half Term in Cornwall

Half terms are great for family holidays in Cornwall. Get away and spend time exploring and enjoying all that Cornwall has to offer. There are many well-known attractions and beaches to spend time at, but some families just want to use the half term week to get away from it all. So here are some options for an alternative half term, with some entertainment that is a little left of centre and beaches and walks that are off the beaten track.

Swim in the Sea

Head to a less well known beach and have a quick dip in the sea as a family. Take a thermos flask with you and have plenty of warm clothing as it will be important to warm up afterwards. At this time of the year the sea will be at its coldest, so you shouldn't be in the water for long, but it will give you a great sense of achievement. We recommend staying in the shallows and going to a sheltered beach so the wind is less chilling, perhaps Portreath beach or somewhere like Praa sands or Perranuthanoe which are around 30 minutes from us in Portreath.

Rock Pooling

On a low tide many of Cornwall's beaches will have rocks exposed that contain rock pools. It is great fun to explore and look into the pools to see what marine life is out and about, maybe even catch a crab. Take a bucket and a net and see what you can find. If you unsure you could always book onto a rock pooling experience with us, that way our expert rangers can talk you through the flora and fauna that is present at this time of the year.

Explore on Foot

Are your kids mad for Pokemon Go? It's a great way to get outside and explore the coast, villages and towns of Cornwall and perhaps even learn about some of the more historic buildings which are often the Pokemon arenas (the kids will explain!). Failing that, you could try your hand at geocaching, which similarly involves finding hidden boxes at specific GPS coordinates. It’s another way to see the coast paths and take in the breath-taking scenery that Cornwall has to offer.

Ride Out

Whilst many families will use February half term to visit the likes of the Eden Project, Newquay Zoo and other attractions it is the perfect time for getting on the bikes and exploring the trails. Here in Portreath we have The Track for those bike riders who want dirt jumps and BMX tracks, or you can access the miles of Mineral Tramways and Mining Heritage trails from our base in Portreath. You will find a bit more space out on the Camel trail at this time of year to, and that will enable you to enjoy some fish and chips courtesy of Rick Stein too! Here at Gwel an Mor we have bicycles available to hire to get your family in gear for exploring.

Stay in

If the weather is particularly unkind then you could just stay in. All of our luxury lodges have a number of board games and we also have DVD's to hire for free in reception. Get competitive or simply relax with a film and cook up some great snack foods for the afternoon.

We still have a few lodges available for February half term so give us a call to save 5% on a luxury lodge for the family. Reservations are on 01209 842 354 or email enquiries@gwelanmor.com

 

Luxurious Romantic Breaks in Cornwall

Wednesday 18th January, 2017

Luxurious Romantic Breaks in Cornwall

There is little better than a long weekend away with a loved one and spending time together away from the grind of daily life. Cornwall is the perfect bolthole for a romantic break. The county is magical all year round and has so much to offer for couples, with plenty of space to find some quiet privacy away from the family holiday madness.

Here are some tips for a great romantic escape here in Cornwall.

Walk the Coast

There are over 300 miles of glorious coast path in Cornwall. The path hugs some of the most breath-taking, awe-inspiring and romantic vista anywhere on the planet, which makes it the perfect day out for couples. The coast path has many well-known walks as well as less accessible and quieter routes, many of which can easily include a romantic picnic spot or cosy country pub.

Swim in the sea

Sharing an experience is truly romantic, sharing an exciting and new experience is even more so. Be brave in 2017 and take a dip in the sea with your partner. Be it quick winters dip or summer swim make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes for post sea warming up and always swim in a safe, preferably life guarded location.

Relax and unwind

Share some quality peace and relaxation time together in Cornwall and escape the routine of the working week. Book yourselves some treatments in a spa and truly unwind together. Recharging and rejuvenating is a must and helps bring you closer together, so make sure a spa visit is near the top of your romantic break agenda.

Indulge and eat

The staple of all date nights is a meal out. Fine wine, great food and a relaxing ambience all set the tone for a perfectly romantic evening. Cornwall is perfect for those couples who love to eat out, with a reputation for incredible restaurants across the county. You'll find fine dining restaurants as well as some of the finest gastro pubs and bistros around. Each establishment will prepare amazing food from incredible, locally-sourced ingredients. If you’re staying at Gwel an Mor be sure to share some tapas in The Terrace Restaurant here at the resort, with authentic Mediterranean dishes inspired by our head chef’s Spanish heritage.

Get off the beaten track

If you want to stray away from the usual then perhaps spend some time together exploring the moors or woods, some of which offer great trails for bicycles. Tehidy Woods around the corner form us has miles of picturesque trails and walks to explore and wile away the hours. If you want something completely different then there is also a theatre company that operates in Tehidy Woods, check out Rogue Theatre and see if they have a show whilst you are here.

Hunker down

Batten down the hatches and indulge in a little hygge here in Cornwall. Our lodges are perfect for romantic breaks, with roaring log burners and bubbling hot tubs. Sometimes the perfect day with a loved one is at home, watching a film and drinking a bottle of wine and generally unwinding. Here at Gwel an Mor our award-winning luxury lodges really do create the most cosy atmosphere for a little down time.

If you are planning a romantic break in Cornwall call our reception team on 01209 842 354 top see how we can help to arrange a perfect weekend away. We can even organise the all-important finishing touches such as rose petals and flowers! 

 

Top Tips for Wedding Planning in 2017

Friday 13th January, 2017

Top Tips for Wedding Planning in 2017

It's not easy planning a wedding, that's why we have a Wedding Coordinator here at Gwel an Mor to look after brides and grooms every whim. Outside the coordinators remit there is other work and plenty of decisions to be made. Don't fret if 2017 is to be the year for your big day though...we are here to help.

Here are 10 top tips for helping you to plan the perfect wedding day in Cornwall...

1 If you just got engaged you need not rush head long into planning the big day itself. Enjoy the moment and wait before you start to plan the wedding itself.

2 When you do start to actually plan your wedding it is useful to create a couple of lists. One is your 'wants' and the other is your 'needs', the difference is that without the 'needs' your day simply won't happen. Once they are looked after then the 'wants' can be looked at!

3 Set a stringent budget and be sure of it. The average cost of a wedding is estimated to be around £24,000! Make sure you have a budget and you work to it so as to avoid panic, frustration and unwanted or unforeseen costs!

4 A wedding is all about the couple getting married, don't lose sight of this. Make sure that your big day is a true reflection of yourself! Weddings should have a bit of character, so make sure you think about what makes you unique and work it into your plans.

5 When you are planning a wedding and working to a budget it becomes all too easy to over think decisions. There is simply no need, go with your gut instinct, it's probably what bought you to be with your partner, so don't fret and worry about each individual element.

6 Weddings take quite a bit of planning and plain old elbow grease. Delegate and accept help from family and friends as a problem shared is a problem halved. To get everything done on time and on budget you'll need help, so make sure you know who you can use!

7 Personalising your wedding day can make it truly unique and really memorable for your guests. Flowers from your own garden, decorating with family photos or using some of your guests talents for music are all great ways to do this.

8 When finding items for table centres and other decorations, etc make sure you seek out hidden treasures. Car boot sales, second-hand shops and antique dealers are hot beds of cool, quirky and unique additions to your wedding. Have fun and head out on a few adventures to find the bounty!

9 Keep an eye on the dates, they are important not only to you but also to your guests and suppliers. Keep on top of ordering things on time, getting invitations printed and sent and anything like pre-orders for food chased up and organised!

10 Don't panic. Although it seems like there is a mountain to climb when organising a wedding the day will come together, especially if you have your wedding at a venue such as Gwel an Mor. Let others take the weight off your shoulders and try to enjoy the build-up and excitement of wedding planning. Don’t stress and you'll have plenty of energy for the big day itself!

All that is left is for you to enjoy the day and set off on a nice relaxing honeymoon!

If you are getting planning on a wedding in Cornwall then drop us a line and come and see our beautiful venue. We'll put your mind at ease with our truly unique and bespoke weddings. Call 01209 842 354 or email events@gwelanmor.com to find out more.

 

2017 Food Festivals in Cornwall

Wednesday 11th January, 2017

2017 Food Festivals in Cornwall

Cornwall is a real destination for foodies. Over the years the county has developed an impressive reputation for fine producers and incredible eateries. On holiday in Cornwall you can eat at establishments such as Rick Stein's Seafood Cafe, Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Restaurant and Paul Ainsworth's No.6 in Padstow. Cornwall is home to fabulous producers too, many selling fine foods at monthly and weekly farmers markets, through local delis and farm shops and at larger scale events.

If you are on holiday and you want to absorb some Cornish food culture then a food festival is your best bet. At these festivals you'll find the producers and chefs in the same place. Sample foods and watch how the professionals prepare food in live demos and take some delightful ingredients home with you. Here are some great food festivals to check out.

Porthleven Food Festival, 21st-23rd April 2017

The picturesque fishing harbour plays host to a fine food festival. The festival itself has many stalls, a main marquee with producers and demo area as well as entertainment tent with live music and other entertainment for little ones. Spend a day sampling food and ale around the harbour and dance the night away with friends on full stomachs. This is one of our favourite events of the year, a great day out for folks of all ages with something for every taste.

St Ives Food Festival, 13th-14th May 2017

St Ives has a reputation for art and beautiful beaches.  St Ives Food Festival is based on the world renowned Porthminster beach. The beach itself is home to Porthminster Cafe, with its own notable reputation for fresh seafood and foraged ingredients. The festival boasts a multitude of suppliers and producers alongside an excellent programme of chef demos. Take the time to feel the sand between your toes whilst enjoying some fine food, then take in the delights of St Ives restaurants in the evening.

Great Cornish Food Festival, 22nd-24th September 2017 (TBC)

The big one. Three days celebrating everything that is both great and tasty in Cornish food. The festival is hosted by Cornwall Food and Drink on the Lemon Quay in the centre of Truro. The county's finest chefs deliver demos and the huge marquee and outside market area provides the space for hundreds of producers. This is a show not to be missed, and we love attending as our head chef Joe Lado-Devesa usually delivers a chef demo each year on the Friday of the event.

Fish Festivals...

Newlyn Fish Festival, Late August

The historic fishing town hosts an annual day long fish festival. Here the finest chefs deliver cooking demos with locally landed fresh fish and stall holders sell produce inspired by the sea. There is also live music and other entertainment such as gig spring races (Cornish rowing boats). Always busy, but well worth a visit!

Newquay Fish Festival, Mid September (TBC)

Into its 14th year this festival in Newquay brings together a craft and food fair alongside cooking demos, music and more on Newquay harbour. Be sure to take in the festival and enjoy a refreshing pint on the veranda of Newquay Rowing Club.

 

February Half Term in Cornwall

Thursday 5th January, 2017

February Half Term in Cornwall

February half term is perfect for family holidays in Cornwall. It can be a little quitter than the warmer school holidays in the year, meaning there is that bit more room to roam around the coast and fishing villages that our magical home has to offer.

We are already looking forward to another break as we are feeling a little January blues after a fabulous festive season here at Gwel an Mor. So, here are our top tips for a perfect half term here in Cornwall.

Attractions

Cornwall has an abundance of fabulous attractions to entertain children of all ages. Try the world famous Eden Project at half term where they will be running 'Storyfest', which includes storytelling in the Mediterranean biome. Other family attractions such as Newquay Zoo and National Maritime Museum always have great schedules and events during school holidays too. You could also check out a few National Trust properties, we are particularly fond of Goldolphin House and Trelissick Gardens.

Beaches

They really are the jewels in Cornwall's crown, and there so many to explore with your family. If you are in Cornwall for half term why not try surfing at Godrevy? Perhaps build a sandcastle on Porthmeor beach in St Ives? Or maybe just watch the waves crash at our home in Portreath? You are spoilt for choice, so just have a little look at a map then head off on an adventure.

Coast Path

With slightly cooler temperatures February offers great weather for coast path exploration. Take in breath-taking views and secluded coves whilst walking on hundreds of miles of beautiful coast path. We are particularly fond of the coast path near to our home, taking in Bassett's Cove, the North Cliffs and Hell's Mouth. If you want a change of scenery then head into the countryside, take in woodland walks at Tehidy woods and see plenty of wildlife.

Food

Cornwall is known as somewhat of a foodies favourite, so indulge the family with some quality meals. Eat on site at Gwel an Mor's own fabulous Terrace Restaurant or go exploring and try the likes of Rick Stein's, Fifteen and Paul Ainsworth. Alternatively you can go shopping in beautiful farm shops such as Trevaskis Farm (near us) and stock up on beautiful Cornish ingredients to cook an amazing meal in your well-equipped luxury lodge.

Relax

If you are really feeling the January blues then perhaps you simply need to relax during the break. If you are on a family break in Cornwall then we have lodges with their own hot tubs, perfect for recharging batteries. If dad is taking the kids surfing, or climbing at Base Camp (our indoor climbing facility) then you can book in for a relaxing treatment at the Wellbeing Spa. Bliss.

If you want to find out more about breaks here at Gwel an Mor give us a call on 01209 842 354 and speak to our reception team.

'Musts' for 2017 holidays in Cornwall

Friday 23rd December, 2016

'Musts' for 2017 holidays in Cornwall

Our beautiful home is the undisputed champion of UK staycations. All year round our county has enough to offer to keep young and old and couples and families happy. From beautiful beaches and coastal paths, to historic trails and fabulous visitor attractions, Cornwall really has it all.

So, here are a few 'musts' for a perfect holiday here in Cornwall.

A Food Festival

Cornwall is somewhat of a destination for foodies, we have some of the finest restaurants in the country, especially when considering our fresh seafood. As such there are numerous food festivals in the county each year. We highly recommend Porthleven Food Festival which also includes evening entertainment in the beer tent, St Ives Food Festival on the beautiful Porthminster beach and the always awesome Great Cornish Food Festival in the heart of Truro on the Lemon Quay. Each festival has chef demos and plenty of opportunity to try and buy fabulous Cornish produce from awesome producers.

Music Festivals

Much like the rest of the UK you will find plenty of music festivals throughout Spring and Summer in Cornwall. If you aren't feeling up to camping then a stay in a luxury lodge might be the perfect end to the day after visiting the famous Boardmaster's Festival in Newquay. If you fancy something a little smaller then there is the 'Don't Wake the Fish' festival at The Gurnard's Head n Zennor, or Looe Music Festival on the beach in Looe, South East Cornwall. All these festivals sell out, so make sure you book early to avoid missing out.

Beaches and Hidden Coves

The 'jewels' in Cornwall’s crown really are its incredible beaches, coves and coastal paths. There are firm favourites for the essential family beach days such as Godrevy, Perranporth and Sennen. We also advise you to get off the beaten track a little and visit smaller off-grid coves. Some of our favourites include Prussia Cove near Praa Sands, Lansallos at Lantic Bay and Bassett's Cove near our home in Portreath. Many of these coves are home to local legends like Ralph the Giant...you'll need to do a little research to find your own secret!

Cornish Culture

Cornwall is home to plenty of local history and culture, from mining heritage and historic houses to stories like Poldark and local folklore such as St Michael's Mount's giant. More modern culture can be taken in the form of shows and famous art galleries. Take in a magical performance in the woods from Rogue Theatre, explore mining heritage and see art at the Tate Gallery on Porthmeor beach, St Ives which re-opens after development in 2017.

Sport in Cornwall

Many people lead a pretty active and outdoors lifestyle here in Cornwall. When you are on holiday try your hand at some of the pastimes you may not be able to do at home. Rides the waves and have a surfing lesson, play golf at Gwel an Mor later in the year on our new par-3 9-hole course or try sea fishing - if that isn't possible then we have a fishing lake opening later in 2017.

 

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