Crisp fresh air, salty breezes and days drawing out into bright evenings. What’s not to love about the promise of spring? Cheery daffodils in the hedgerows, fields full of vegetables and the rhododendrons in full bloom. It’s time to get out and about and here’s where we suggest…
Cornwall is a land of mystical tales, wild open spaces and magical moors. Nowhere brings those elements together more than the Hurlers and Cheesewring near Bodmin Moor. Put on those walking boots and get ready for some rough and rugged beauty. Starting at the fantastically named Minions, you will discover three magical stone circles arranged in a line, now managed by English Heritage. The stones date back to Neolithic or early Bronze Age and legend has it are the petrified remains of men who were caught playing hurling on a Sunday. A mile walk from the village will take you to the famous Cheesewring, a massive rocky outcrop of granite slabs supposedly formed by giants (but more likely the weather). Its curious name comes from its resemblance to a press-like device that was once used to make cheese. The views are spectacular on a clear day.
As the spring settles in, our seas teem with life and the best way to see it first hand is on one of Cornwall’s many river cruises. You’ll be spoilt for choice with organised trips from almost every harbour including Newquay and Truro. However for a trip where nature and history collide you should head to Fowey to sample some of the most amazing routes available on the south coast.
Fowey River Trips and Sea Cruises offer a range of sight seeing tours that take in scenery while offering a local commentary from your friendly skipper.
From tours passing Daphine DuMaurier's house to a boat trip to Lostwithiel with time ashore to stock up on souvenirs there’s something to catch all interests.
One of the highlights is a trip to Lerryn, with a creek that has been described as one of the most picturesque in the county with woodlands that meet the river. It is said that the beauty of the place inspired Kenneth Grahame’s enchanting novel "Wind in the Willows".
All tours and trips are dependant on tides and conditions with bespoke tours also available.
Life on the farm
When you think of spring it conjures up images of lambs, daffodils and new life, but where can you find all this in abundance? On the farm of course.
With Cornwall being a rural county we’ve got more farms than you can shake a stick at, there’s donkey sanctuary’s, llama lands and pony centres across the breadth of the county.
Our nearest neighbour is Dairyland Farm World and that’s a pretty good place to start. Here you and the family can experience all the sights and sounds of the barn yard with a petting area, tractors and milking parlour sure to delight. With a nature trail and a massive indoor play area called the Bullpen your kids will have a fun, informative and energetic day. The Bullpen offers all weather fun for toddlers through to older children, just remember your socks!
As well as a cafe in the indoor play area, you can kick back and relax in Clarabellas Kitchen for a spot of lunch or a cream tea, before delving into Cornwall’s rich and diverse farming history.
Garden Open Day
If there’s an annual event you don’t want to miss, it’s Tregothnan’s Charity open day. The one occasion a year where the usually private gates open to the public to view the largest garden in Cornwall. Visitors on April 13 and 14 can expect to get lost in ancient camellias, mountainous magnolias and the biggest rhododendrons in the world with 40 foot crescendos of full flower.
The sheer scale of the garden, over 100 acres, means that there will be plenty to see and do.
Also available will be Cornish cream teas with Tregothnan tea and Kea plum jam, estate-reared meat cooked on a barbecue over Tregothnan charcoal, and delicious home-made lunches. Musical entertainments are sure to keep visitors entertained throughout the weekend.
Tickets are available online from the estate.
Porthleven Food Festival
It may seem a long way to the Porthleven Food Festival, but with its celebrity chefs, food stalls, music and drinks it’s well worth the visit. The whole harbour of Porthleven gets involved as the normally quiet seaside port turns into a throng of foodies and families. Now in its 11th year, the three day festival sees a packed programme of talks and demonstrations, crafts, family fun and of course, food glorious food.
You can make a day of it by taking a paddle on the beach, exploring the rock pools and watching the surfers before heading back into the harbour for some more retail and food and drink therapy.
Our top tip is to make sure to use the local park and ride services as the small port can be a nightmare to park if you’ve not already secured your space.
The fun runs from morning to night from April 26 to 28th.
Spend just a short time in Cornwall and you’ll notice we’re passionate about the sea. That’s when you’ll also notice we’re in the middle of a plastic revolution. Why not join one of the many organised beach cleans taking place across the county where you’ll not only do some good, but meet new friends, learn about our amazing coastline and, more than likely, earn a hot chocolate or two. There’s even apps that you can download to store up points towards gifts and discounts.
Head to websites such as Clean Cornwall, Surfers Against Sewage or the National Trust for updates on the latest meets.
As we say on the beaches in Cornwall, leave only footprints.