South East Cornwall
South-East Cornwall, a rolling green land between the wild heather hills of Bodmin Moor and the winding green waters of the River Tamar, is bounded in the South by quiet sandy beaches. Once busy with mine-workings, South East Cornwall is now a quiet place full of shady woodlands, with spectacular Tudor houses, pretty fishing villages and gardens to visit. You’ll find lots to do here, whether you want an active holiday cycling, walking and canoeing, or prefer to take it easy.
Whitsand Bay & the South Coast
Just over half an hour’s drive south of Cadson manor, you’ll find the tall red cliffs and shining sands of Whitsand bay, where there are many pretty coves and beaches to explore. Go at low tide, when miles of yellow sand are exposed. Look out for basking sharks in the spring, and huge harmless giant jellyfish in the summer – if you are very lucky, you might even spot the dolphins.
The View restaurant has a wonderful outlook over the coast, or if you fancy something quick and cheerful, the beach cafe a little further West in Seaton is also well worth a visit. Seaton has a lovely level section of coast path going along the sea wall, which makes a very relaxing stroll.
Up on wild Bodmin Moor, take a trip to the moorland village of Minions, where you can wander around the Hurlers stone circle, and try to count the ‘dancers’ – the story goes that these stones were created when Cornish Hurling players were cursed for playing hurling on a Sunday instead of going to church. You might also like to walk up to the famous piled stones of the Cheesewring, and admire the old mine buildings abandoned and stark across the moor – plenty of photo-opportunities here. Not far away is the pretty walk along the turbulent river that leads to beautiful Golitha Falls.
Callington & Liskeard
Our two local towns, Callington to the East, and Liskeard to the West, are both traditional small market towns, with a good range of shops for any essentials. Callington, our nearest town, has several pleasant cafes and Langman’s Restaurant, an AA two rosette restaurant, as well as a few nice little shops including a craft shop and weekly farmers market. If you enjoy sketching or painting while on holiday, you may find it handy to visit the excellent Art Supply Shop in Kelly Bray just north of Callington too.
The Tamar Valley
This lovely Tudor house, in the care of the National Trust, is perched high above the River Tamar. The old house is decorated with tapestries, arms and armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture, and is surrounded by gardens and orchards, which are specially stunning when all the apple blossom is out. The Quay below the house, home of Shamrock, the last of the old Tamar Barges, is well worth a visit, and there’s a tea-room and garden with a view of the river. For details on all Cotehele Events visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk cotehele-events
If you are feeling energetic, there’s a pleasant walk of about a mile from Cotehele Quay car park through the Cotehele estate to the riverside village of Calstock.
This pretty little riverside village has a large free carpark and is surrounded by a network of pleasant footpaths. It also boasts two pubs, should you need refreshment! From Calstock, you can take the Cotehele-Calstock ferry back to Cotehele, if the walk to Calstock has worn you out. Calstock also has the famous Calstock Arts, a well-established comedy and music venue, and has a railway station with regular trains over the amazing Calstock Viaduct to the Bere Peninsula and Plymouth.
This pretty village just across the River Tamar, by an ancient medieval bridge built for the convenience of the local monastery, has a pleasant pub, and also offers walks – over the bridge and along to Greenscoombe Wood, or up through the valley into Devon. Charles I is reputed to have visited the Royal Inn during the English Civil War, and he left his seal in the granite step ‘for services rendered’ - look out for the seal leaded into the granite step beneath your feet!
The distinctive height of Kit Hill with its crowning mine-stack is a landmark that can be seen for miles. In Cornish, Kit Hill is called Bre Skowl – both names have the same meaning, The Hill of the Kites. If you are very lucky, you may still spot a Red Kite from the hilltop, where the views are amazing. If you follow the footpaths up to the crest of the hill, or drive or cycle up the old mining road to the handy carpark at the top, you will almost always see buzzards wheeling overhead, and hear ravens croaking. You may also spot the swift flight of a sparrowhawk or hear the cuckoo calling.
Canoe Tamar and the Tamar Trails
Enjoy a canoeing adventure along the wonderful River Tamar – see birds, fish, and enjoy an adventure in a Canadian Canoe with Canoe Tamar, or explore the Tamar Trails Just on the Devon side of the river, the Tamar Trails are 25km of mostly woodland trails, leading through mining ruins and valley sides along the banks of the River Tamar.