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A luxury alternative to a traditional self-catering holiday in Cornwall

Monday 25th July, 2016

A luxury alternative to a traditional self-catering holiday in Cornwall

There are some major advantages to self-catering holidays, especially when visiting places like Cornwall. Plumping for a cosy cottage in a picturesque fishing village is a great option, giving you a space to call your own and the joys of having said fishing village on your doorstep. But what if the weather doesn’t play ball? How far away will you need to park your car? What facilities are available in the village and how much will they cost you to use every day? Will you have any outside space or a garden? How close are the other places you want to explore on your family holiday in Cornwall?

This is where a unique luxury self-catering resort like Gwel an Mor really comes into its own. We provide every luxury and homely feature that a self-catering cottage might provide, but with the quality of service and the great facilities you would normally only find in a luxury hotel.

In your top of the range lodge you can enjoy private hot tubs and roaring wood burners. You'll have smart TV, comfy, contemporary furnishings and all the items you could possibly need to cook up a storm in your modern contained kitchen. Both Gwel an Mor's Scandinavian and modern contemporary eco-lodges make a perfect home-away-from-home. We have pet friendly lodges too, so you needn't miss out on your favourite spot just because you want to bring mans' best friend.

Each quirky lodge has its own parking spot, so it's easy to unload your holiday essentials, shopping, bicycles and any gear for outdoor activities. Gwel an Mor is less than 10 minutes from the A30, Cornwall's main trunk road. So you'll skip West to St Ives, South to Falmouth, and North to Newquay in less than thirty minutes.

But here is the big advantage! Unlike your usual holiday cottage, you'll also have access to a multitude of facilities, free of charge, so that the whole family can be kept entertained at all times. At Gwel an Mor, you'll find an indoor heated pool, gym, sauna and steam room to relax in - perhaps starting or ending your day with a dip in a pool with far reaching views of the sea. There is also putting, croquet and petanque (French boules) available at reception, alongside DVDs to borrow.

If the weather isn't quite so great, a Cornish cottage can feel a little cramped.  A resort can provide far more opportunity to entertain and stretch your legs, or just relax. At Gwel an Mor we have The Wellbeing Spa for treatments and pampering, The Terrace Restaurant for lunch, dinner and take away meals, Feadon Farm for wildlife and conservation experiences and the recently completed Base Camp for soft play, climbing walls, coffee and food. Most towns in Cornwall won't offer all of this, but at a resort like Gwel an Mor you'll find it all on one site. In the coming months there will also be a fully stocked fishing lake and a golf course. Should you want to stay a little closer to your accommodation you'll still be spoilt for a choice of activities.

And because the resort is set within its own spacious landscaped private grounds, well set back from any road, there is a sense of seclusion and peacefulness, whilst most  ordinary holiday cottages are set on a road  and so have passing traffic.

Gwel an Mor has an unrivalled reputation for cool self-catering breaks in Cornwall. Over the years, the 5 star self-catering resort in Cornwall has amassed 19 awards - recently picking up the 2015 Cornwall Business Award for Customer Service. This customer service is what really sets us apart from your usual holiday cottage, with local knowledge at reception, the spa, the restaurant and all the secrets that our luxury resort has to share with you. 

 

Cornwall: The Numbers

Friday 15th July, 2016

Cornwall: The Numbers

Cornwall is a firm favourite for staycations, nearcations and general family holidays. The county provides a taste of seaside living and access to some of the most beautiful scenery you'll find in the UK. In a survey by QHotels around 50 percent of 34 million people planning UK destination holiday in 2016 would be aiming to head to Cornwall. It's no real surprise to us, as home of glorious beaches, fine food, history and Ross Poldark.

Here are few further statistics for you...

Coastal Path

The coast of Cornwall forms around half of the South West Coast Path, which runs 600+ miles from Minehead around to Poole. Cornwall has around 330 miles of coast path to explore, with hidden gems at every turn and perfect photo moments from coast to coast. We are particularly fond of the 8 miles near to our home between Portreath and Godrevy.

Beaches

Everybody has their favourite beach in Cornwall. These beaches often form the basis of annual pilgrimages to the sea, but we strongly support the idea that 'variety is the spice of life'. Explore the county and she will reward you with hidden gems and closely guarded secrets. It is estimated that there are in the region of 400 beaches and coves in Cornwall, so you'll be able to find your own patch of sand with a little bit of research and exploration.

Blue Flag Beaches

The holy grail of beach recognition is the Blue Flag award. This accolade means beaches are clean, safe, protected and water quality is perfect for swimming. Cornwall has seven Blue Flag beaches for the 2016 bathing season. These beaches are Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth, Porthminster and Porthmeor in St Ives, Porthtowan, Polzeath, Trevone and Widemouth near Bude.

Award winning

In the British Travel Awards 2015 Cornwall picked up the gong for Best UK Holiday Destination. Although this is great, it is made fantastic by the fact that 2015 was the seventh year in a row that Cornwall had won the award. Fingers are crossed for 2016 already!

Pasty Production

The humble Cornish Pasty is a staple of the annual Cornish holiday. Everybody will have their favourite bakery, from Portreath Bakery to Ann's Pasties, or Philp's to the Horse and Jockey in Porthleven. 2014 research from Cornwall Food and Drink suggests that there are over 120 million 'Cornish' pasties produced each year - worth a staggering £300 million to the economy!

One final stat' that really matters…

Gwel an Mor is one of the single most awarded holiday parks in the UK, with some 19 awards under its belt. We work to create perfect moments and luxury self-catering holidays that are truly in a class of their own. Make the most of our current offer and see what the fuss is all about whilst saving £200 on any week in 2016.

 

Celebrities in Cornwall

Tuesday 12th July, 2016

Celebrities in Cornwall

Cornwall is a huge favourite as a holiday destination. This goes for celebrities as well as the average family. Over the years Cornwall has seen global super stars, political leaders and royal families enjoy the beauty of the county. We know why. It really is that great a place to take a holiday.

The majesty of Cornwall and its mystic history has resulted in amazing stories, portrayed in widely acclaimed TV and film productions. At present the likes of Poldark and Doc Martin have enormous followings here in the UK and as far afield as Japan. We had the likes of Aidan Turner (Ross Poldark) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) staying with us here at Gwel an Mor during the filming of series two of Poldark.


Now it seems that Martin Clunes is rumoured to be the doctor in (a) residence (lodge) in Portreath. It is thought that he is purchasing property in the quiet fishing village. David Essex, the 1970's pop sensation is another celebrity currently looking at Portreath as Cornish holiday home location. (Information and image from the Portreath TRAM)

Our departing Prime Minister David Cameron and his family have been snapped enjoying the beach at Polzeath, and Prince William and Harry are known to frequent the same area near to the Camel Estuary.

South West favourite Dawn French has always owned property in the county, with a grand home in the pretty port of Fowey. Just up the road is Polperro, where Richard Madely and Judy Finnegan own a holiday bolt-hole. They spend a lot of time in Cornwall, contributing to the local community in this beautiful fishing village by the sea.

Another South West favourite is soul singer Joss Stone, who despite being born and raised in Devon, has elected to make her home across the border in Cornwall. High praise indeed.

Madonna is rumoured to have owned property on the Roseland Peninsular in 2009, a global mega star electing for a slice of seaside heaven near to Falmouth.

Kate Winslet is another globally recognisable star to have owned property in Cornwall. She is rumoured to have owned a number of different homes over the years, using Cornwall as a place to re-charge between cinematic releases and arduous filming schedules all over the world.

July in Cornwall

Thursday 7th July, 2016

July in Cornwall

July signals the start of the summer holidays in the UK. Cornwall is a popular destination for family holidays with good reason, there really is an awful lot to see and do. Beyond the beaches (known and best-kept secret), coastal path and picturesque seaside towns and villages are a multitude of nationally and internationally acclaimed visitor attractions, with choices to suit every single member of the family. There are also many local shows and festivals, some traditional and others more modern and contemporary in their theme. We keep our events page up to date with a number of local events and shows, so be sure to keep checking there before you arrive for your holiday in Cornwall.

We'd also like to take an opportunity to delve a little deeper for you, provide you with some tips and guidance for the perfect Cornish break this July. So here are a few recommendations for the coming month.

Camborne Show, 16th July

This large-scale agricultural show is just around the corner from us along the North Cliffs. It features livestock, shows, demonstrations, trade stalls and refreshments amongst many other things. Head over for the day to soak up the rural lifestyle of Cornwall.

RNAS Culdrose Air Day, 28th July

Seize the opportunity to peek behind the scenes of an active Naval Air Base. Marvel at engineering and incredible planes and enjoy flying displays form some of the finest pilots in the world. On the ground you can enjoy learning about life on the air base and meet some of the crew of helicopters and planes based at Culdrose.

Rock Oyster Festival, 15th - 16th July

A celebration of food, music and art near Wadebridge in North Cornwall. A day full of entertainment and fun, the Rock Oyster Festival is a truly amazing affair. Get a taste of Cornwall and its exquisite seafood whilst taking in live music from incredible musicians such as Wille and the Bandits.

Port Elliot Festival, 28th - 31st July

Penned as a festival of literature the Port Elliot Festival leans confidently towards art, food and a warm 'garden party' atmosphere. The festival is one of the more eccentric to attend, and you can expect a real mixed bag of entertainment.

Eden Project,  'Dinosaur Uprising', school summer holidays

Learn about dinosaurs at the world famous Eden Project. Come face to face with a pack of real, roaming dinosaurs and learn about creatures from land, sea and air. It's a perfect way to train yuour children to become explorers and appreciate the world around them.

Newquay Zoo, 'Asian Summer', school summer holidays

Throughout the summer Newquay Zoo will be running Asian themed events, talks and feeding sessions with Asian animals. Explore the zoo then congregate in the barn for special daily events and more, including facepainting and adventure trails. 

 

You know it's summer when...

Thursday 23rd June, 2016

You know it's summer when...

We all love summer. We all love holidays. The warm weather just seems to make everyone that little bit more cheerful. The longer evenings mean that you can get out and explore after work and you have more time for the one you love. Here in Cornwall we love summer (although we are actually quite fond of all the seasons for various reasons!) as it means we can tick off the list of things that make a Cornish summer holiday complete. They are unwritten rules and rites of passage for a holiday in Cornwall.

Spend all day on the beach

Get up early, pack the picnic, the games and anything else you might need. Pitch up in your favourite spot and just enjoy the beach all day. It's amazing. Swim in the sea, build sandcastles and eat a picnic. There is so much you do with your time, or very little if that is your persuasion! Leave feeling slightly frazzled with a new tan and a little salt on your skin.

A BBQ

This isn't necessarily just for holidays in Cornwall, but we're not exactly impartial. Those burgers and sausages just taste better after a day on the beach. Cold liquid refreshment is enhanced by views of the sea and great company. Summer wouldn't be summer without a BBQ even if you have to retreat inside for the inevitable shower at some point!

Swim in the sea

You know it's truly summer when the air temperature convinces even a full grown adult to swim in the sea. Cooling down after a few hours exploring, playing or sunbathing on the sand is an essential part of a Cornish seaside excursion.

Visit a tourist attraction

The best way to keep the entire family happy for a day is a trip to one of Cornwall's amazing visitor attractions. For the whole family you can try Flambards or the Eden Project, for older generations there is an abundance of National Trust properties and private gardens and for those with younger ones you could try Dairyland or Crealy.

Ice Cream

You’re going to struggle to make it through those long, hot summer days without an ice cream. Here in Cornwall you'll be spoilt for choice. From daily made dairy ice cream at Jelberts in Newlyn to the incredible flavours at Mr B's in Hayle there are so many flavour and varieties to try. There'll also be plenty of ice cream vans around, so you can grab some refreshment on the go!

 

A Taste of Spain at The Terrace Restaurant

Tuesday 14th June, 2016

Once or twice a month we like to give our guests and local diners a truly authentic Spanish dining experience. We put on a special 7-course pop-up tapas menu for a night, just ten pounds per head for an amazing selection of Mediterranean food.

Our experience Head Chef Joe Lado-Devesa was born in Galicia, Northern Spain and has trained with and worked with some of the finest chefs in the world. It is his Spanish heritage that he loves to share with customers, fusing beautiful Cornish ingredients with a touch of Spanish flair to create incredible flavours and dishes.

These nights are an opportunity to sample plenty of wholesome flavours in relaxed bistro-style surroundings, you can even enjoy far-reaching views of the sea from our terrace. Tapas is the perfect style of food for romantic evenings out, so share the experience with someone special.

To continue the sharing and caring feeling here is a recipe for a Gaician Hake dish - sure to impress if you are eating in with company...here's what you're aiming for.


Serves 2

Ingredients

2 hake steaks cut through the bone

1 large onion - chopped

3 cloves of garlic - 2 crushed, 1 sliced

A handful of peas

4 large potatoes - thinly sliced

100g diced chorizo (optional)

Half a tsp Paprika

Fresh chopped parsley

1 bay leaf

1 tsp flour

Salt and pepper

Olive oil (preferably pomace oil) for cooking

Method

Pre-heat the oven to a medium-high heat.

Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until golden brown. If you're using chorizo in your dish, add it to the pan at this stage.

Add the two cloves of crushed garlic, the chopped parsley and ½ tsp paprika and the peas and mix well.

Add the potatoes and mix well. Sprinkle the flour and fry the potato mixture for two minutes. Then cover the whole mixture with cold water and add salt, pepper and the bay leaf.

Cook the stew for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Then transfer the stew into a clay dish.

Place the hake steaks on top of the stew and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the sliced garlic with a pinch of paprika until golden brown. Serve the hake steaks on a bed of stew topped with the fried garlic and sprinkled with some chopped parsley.

 

Father's Day in Cornwall

Tuesday 7th June, 2016

Father's Day in Cornwall

The big day for those special heroes is nearly upon us, so make sure you have a plan of action that will leave your dad feeling loved, appreciated and well looked after. Here at Gwel an Mor we have a few options for entertaining dad on June 19th 2016.

A slap-up Sunday Roast at The Terrace Restaurant will be sure to hit the spot. Let dad leave his wallet at home and treat him to perfect roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and beautifully roasted, locally sourced sirloin of beef. Push the boat out and have an extra couple of courses and leave the washing up to someone else. It's a hugely popular day at The Terrace so be sure to call us on 01209 844 132 and book early to avoid disappointment.

Alternatively, you could book for your father to have a relaxing sports massage at The Wellbeing Spa. Let him experience our truly amazing therapies and relax into Father's Day without lifting a finger. Revitalise him for the summer and make him appreciated...then maybe take him for lunch...

Cornwall itself offers so much to do at any time of the year, so here are a few suggestions for a Father's Day in Cornwall.

A coast walk never fails to disappoint. Here in Cornwall, close to Gwel an Mor, you are spoilt for choice. If you really want to make your walk totally dad approved ensure there is a pub, cafe or bar at the end. We recommend Portreath to Porthtowan, where there is a superb beach with a multitude of options for refreshment.

If your dad has a competitive streak then perhaps take him out for a bike ride - just remember to let him win on Father's Day! You can hire bikes here at Gwel an Mor and head out on the Mineral Tramways and explore the history of mining in Cornwall. Other options include the much loved Camel Trail running from Bodmin to Padstow with the promise of fish and chips on the harbour side!


Treating dad to a full day out at one of Cornwall's amazing attractions is the perfect way to show him how much you love him. There is plenty of options for dads with all different tastes. If he likes gardens and history there are multiple National Trust and English Heritage properties in easy reach of Gwel an Mor. There is also more family orientated options such as Flambards and Newquay Zoo as well as the incredible Eden Project at St Austell.

If your dad is that little bit more adventurous then why not get him in the sea? Let him try his hand at a new sport like surfing or stand-up paddle boarding or dabble in a spot of fishing (either from the shore or on a boat excursion).


Does dad enjoy his beer? Take him on a brewery tour at St Austell Ales, Sharpe's or Skinner's Brewery. If cider is his preferred drink then he can take a tour at Healey's Cider Farm or Polgoon. If wine is his thing there are vineyards at Polgoon, Knightor and Camel Valley, all sure to hit the spot.

A final option could be to chuck him off a cliff. Not like that. Visit Adrenalin Quarry in East Cornwall for a zip line across a quarry, or book him onto a rock climbing session with our adventure activity partners Ebo Adventure.

 

Making the most of June in Cornwall

Wednesday 1st June, 2016

Making the most of June in Cornwall

With the sun here for summer June is shaping up to be a great month.  The events calendar in Cornwall is starting to get pretty full, with festivals already happening and plenty more to attend. There are country shows, food festivals and cultural events throughout Cornwall in the summer season, but these are our top picks for the month of June...

Royal Cornwall Show, Wadebridge, 9th - 11th June

One of the most anticipated and attended events in Cornwall. Running since 1973 this large scale event at the Royal Cornwall Showground focusses on rural life, from agriculture and farming to flower arranging. Young and old alike can marvel at livestock, show jumping and other Cornish countryside traditions.


Swellboard Shootout, Porthmeor, St Ives, 12th June

This is a one-off event on Porthmeor beach. Organised by St Ives Surf School and raising money for Surfers Against Sewage it is somewhat of a party on the beach with a little fun, competitive surfing thrown in. The difference to the surfing is that it is teams of four...in fancy dress! There’ll be music on the beach and refreshments available from Porthmeor Beach Cafe and is a great day...and a real spectacle.

Golowan Festival, Penzance, 17th - 26th June

A classic Cornish midsummer festival, culminating in Mazey Day, a fabulous day of street parades, live music and street vendors and food. It's a charming festival that has a nod to more historic midsummer celebrations. The parade down Penzance's main street is incredible, well worth a watch and the party often carries on into the night in Penzance's many historic pubs, bars and restaurants.


Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, Falmouth, 17th - 19th June

Set up in 2003 this festival aims to raise money for the RNLI whilst keeping traditional maritime history going. Shanty singing groups from across the globe gather in Falmouth to sing and perform at Discovery Quay and in the many maritime pubs throughout the town.

 

Falmouth Classics Regatta, Falmouth, 17th - 19th June

Running the same weekend as the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival the Classics Regatta sees boats from as long ago as 1882 being paraded and sailed. It's a true spectacle seeing these beautiful vessels on the water, and truly amazing how well they have stood the test of both time and tide!

 

Wine in Cornwall

Wednesday 25th May, 2016

Wine in Cornwall

Apparently it's National Wine Day. Who doesn't like wine? Thought so.

Let's take a moment or two and find out a little bit about wine in Cornwall. Due to our extra warmth, provided by the Gulf Stream, we have a number of notable vineyards. If you are staying with us, in a luxury lodge in Cornwall then we can help to get you to these fabulous producers for some wine tasting. Alternatively, we can supply with some fine wine here at The Terrace Restaurant.


Polgoon Vineyard, near Penzance

Around 30 minutes from our home in Portreath is Polgoon Vineyard. It is a 23-acre vineyard with a specialism in artisan wine and fine ciders. Established in 2007 Polgoon has gone on to scoop a number of awards, including the Vintners award for 'best still rose in the UK'. Take a trip to vineyard and have a tour with a little tasting to see some truly hands-on production and artisan techniques.

Camel Valley, near Bodmin


Head North from Portreath along the A30 and you'll eventually find Camel Valley. The Lindo familyestablishedd the vineyard in 1989 and now highly revered in the UK and further afield they have won many plaudits and awards for Camel Valley Brut and their Pinot Noir. The vineyard is often considered one of the finest in Europe, so a trip and tasting session would certainly be a wise idea!

Knightor Winery, near St Austell

The Knightor Winery is located just a stone's throw from the Eden Project near St Austell, around 45 minutes drive from Gwel an Mor. Knightor Vineyard boasts over 17,000 vines and its own restaurant, which should provide the perfect location for a little sampling session. They are well renowned for their white and rose wines.

Cornwall is also a great place to enjoy a glass of wine, be that recreational or medicinal! Some of the finest BYO locations in the world are right here in Cornwall. We recommend beaches such as Godrevy, Perranuthanoe and Rinsey Cove - just remember to take your empties with you. You could also enjoy a glass or more at any number of incredible bars, restaurants and cafes throughout Cornwall; from Sandbar at Praa Sands to The Godolphin Arms at Marazion. Alternatively, sip a glass on your own secluded balcony overlooking the sea in your lodge in Cornwall right here at Gwel an Mor. 

 

Euro 2016 in Cornwall

Monday 23rd May, 2016

Summer 2016 is firmly in sight. This year sports fanatics will rejoice, with both Euro 2016 and the Rio 2016 taking place this summer. This actually means that London 2012 was four years ago, which is a statistic that is difficult to believe!

With the Premier league over and the FA cup decided it's time to look forwards! This year appears to be the year of the underdog too, so perhaps home hopes may stand a better chance than usual!

Watching international competitive sport at home is great, but we think it is even better whilst on holiday in Cornwall, better still in the comfort of your own luxury lodge. Here is our advice for watching a summer of sport...

Like all sportsmen, ensure you warm up thoroughly. We recommend that you stretch your legs on the nearby coast path and take plenty of fresh air. You will also need the right food, we all know that nutrition plays a huge part in performance. You'll be spoilt for choice here in Cornwall, with beautiful local produce and an amazing restaurant here at Gwel an Mor where you will find super foods to fuel your viewing!

Hydrate. You'll never perform to the top of your ability without keeping yourself hydrated. A beautiful self-catering lodge in Cornwall is perfect for this, with plenty of fridge space for refreshments for everyone's requirements. Locally there are wine producers such as Polgoon, cider from the likes of Healey's and a plethora of local craft ales, from Keltek Brewery to the Rebel Brewing Company.

Kriss Akabusi would have advised a PMA (positive mental attitude) but perhaps we could call it 'focus'. To enable you to focus here, at Gwel an Mor we have a number of options. Firstly you could unwind and get your body and mind in harmony with a treatment in The Wellbeing Spa. There are treatments for men and women alike alongside the Treatment of the Month.

Be ruthless and have your competitive streak ready. You can try your hand at various sports here in Cornwall; race bicycles, ride the surf and kayak around the cliffs. There is little more enjoyable than a little family competition, with abundant beaches we suggest you take on your own beach Olympics.

Behind every great champion is an amazing team, supporting them to achieve greatness. Luckily, a holiday in a luxury lodge in Cornwall means you can bring an extensive support crew, in fact you can literally bring the whole family. They'll be able to guide you to the perfect performance. Most importantly, they'll be able to celebrate after your victory too, having drinks overlooking the sea and watching the sunset.

Professional athletes will ensure that they 'warm down', with the preferred approach often a cold plunge pool. Luckily, a holiday in Cornwall will put you in striking distance of the sea. It's the best cure for aching muscles and is both exhilarating and therapeutic.

After the exertion of competitive sport it is time to relax. A luxury lodge in Cornwall with its own private deck and hot tub is the ideal remedy for those who have exhausted themselves. We all know that watching the home nations is anything but relaxing, so make sure you wind down after the inevitable disappointment of an early bath for England!

 

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