Clock off in Cornwall
ANDY RUDD makes the most of where time stands still.
The Rudd family always jokes that when you’re entering Cornwall across Saltash Bridge you should throw your watch over the side because for the next week you won’t need it. You see, in Cornwall there’s no rush to get to that meeting, no place to be at a certain time and definitely no last orders at the bar. That’s because Cornwall runs on its own clock – Cornish time. It’s a place where time seems to stand still – or at least that’s the impression I’ve reached after holidaying there on many occasions while growing up. So I was delighted when I got the chance to return with my wife and show her what Cornwall has to offer. We were staying in a log cabin at Trewince Manor – a 26-acre estate on the southern tip of the idyllic Roseland peninsula. A haven of beauty, Trewince typifies what Cornwall is all about. Each fully-furnished, fully-equipped single-storey log cabin or two-storey chalet has breathtaking views overlooking either rolling countryside or the English Channel. Our three-bedroom chalet was comfortable and even had Sky TV in case, heaven forbid, we found ourselves with nothing to do one evening. A terrace leading off the lounge overlooking the sea provided a perfect sun trap and place to eat bacon butties in the morning as we worked out which marvellous walk to try that day. Rain or shine there’s plenty to do whether you want action or just want to relax. Down the road from Trewince is St Anthony Head where you will see the lighthouse used in the kids’ TV series Fraggle Rock. You can easily spend a day doing a circular walk starting from the car park and heading out towards St Mawes through the grounds of Place House and St Anthony Church.
For those that like to cycle, a good day out can be had at the Camel Trail – a 17-mile disused railway track, running from Bodmin to Padstow. Around 350,000 visitors a year ride the trail which takes in some of Cornwall’s most breathtaking countryside. Comfortable bikes can be hired (£12 per day) and you don’t have to be an experienced rider to tackle the trail – the promise of a cream tea or fish and chips at the end definitely keeps you going. After a long day’s walk or just a busy day doing nothing, head to one of the two local pubs to recharge your batteries and rest your weary feet. A mile from Trewince is the The Royal Standard pub in Gerrans and a little further along The Plume of Feathers in Portscatho. Both have a great atmosphere and serve up hearty portions of home-cooked food, best washed down with a pint of the local Doom Bar or Tribute ale. We recommend the fish pie and lasagne at the Standard. Venturing further afield Mevagissey is a short drive away and there you can wander around the narrow streets full of galleries and gift shops. To sample the fresh catch of the day – so fresh it’s straight off the boat – book a table at The Shark’s Fin. Nearby the award-winning Lost Gardens of Heligan make for a more sedate day out. There are 80 acres of grounds bursting with colour with walled gardens, a huge vegetable plot and bird hides. Don’t forget to stop at the farm shop on your way home for some tasty local produce.
A favourite spot of ours is Polkerris, a small sandy cove near St Austell. The area was a great inspiration for Daphne du Maurier who wrote her famous novel “Rebecca” in the area. There’s an excellent walk across the headland to Fowey but be prepared for a challenge as the round trip is about nine miles – but worth every step. Time your walk so that you arrive back in Polkerris just as the sun is beginning to set to take full advantage of the views from The Rashleigh Inn as you enjoy a well-earned evening meal in their restaurant. On our last day we went to Padstow, sitting back and enjoying another Cornish cream tea to the sound of an acoustic guitar. A bearded man in a fisherman’s cap is on the harbour singing Cornish folk songs. His name is John Breeze, or Breezy to friends and he’s a celebrity in these parts for the money he raises for charity every year. Breezy tells me he used to be a PE teacher who came down to the harbour to play so he could “get away from it all”. “Problem is,” he says, “I liked it so much I packed it in and came here for good.” And I can see why. I wonder if John’s got space for a tambourine man?
GET THERE Trewince Manor holiday lodges are open all year. Depending on the time of year, a week’s stay in a sleep-six single-storey lodge is from £510 to £1250, a two-storey from £603 to £1,350 and a sleep-5 (Redwing) is from £458 to £950. Visit www.trewince.co.uk or call 01872 580289.