10 Best Things to do during your stay at Court Farm Holidays

UNIQUE CASTLES & CURIOUS CAVES

Tintagel_castle

1    Tintagel Castle, Tintagel

Said to be the birth place of King Arthur, the thrill of visiting this Cornish castle comes from its natural topography.  Its split across an eroded headland, so part of the castle is perched on an island while the rest remains on the mainland.  In the wards on the mainland, search for Dark Age pottery, before crossing the chasm to the island and climbing stone steps to the castle’s Great Hall and chapel dedicated to local saint St Juliot.  Also on the island are rectangular huts and the Iron Gate, which guards the only landing-spot on the isle.  Its and ideal day out for avid explorers and history buffs.

Merlin’s Cave is located below Tintagel Castle, Merlins Cave is best explored at low tide when you can fully access it.  The cave was made famous by Tennyson in his Idylls o the King, describing waved bringing young Arthur to shore and Merlin carrying him to safety.

Open from 10am – 4pm daily, 15-21 Feb and weekends 22 Feb – 24 Mar.  Entry fees are £7.20 for adults and £4.30 for children (english-heritage.org.uk)

 

EXPANSIVE GARDENS

Lost_gardens_of_heligan

2    Lost gardens of Helligan, Pentewan, St Austell

Twenty-five years ago, Heligan’s historic gardens were unknown and unseen; lost under a tangle of weeds. It was only the chance discovery of a door in the ruins that led to the restoration of this once great estate. Today, the Lost Gardens have been put back where they belong: in pride of place among the finest gardens in Cornwall.

Visitors can explore Cornwall’s only outdoor jungle garden, duck and dive under giant rhubarb, banana plantations and avenues of palms before passing ponds on a raised boardwalk. The sub-tropical environment also contained a 100 foot high Burmese rope bridge, which is not for the acrophobic. Keep an eye out for the Giant’s Head, Mud Maid and Grey Lady on the Woodland Walk before stopping off at the Heligan Kitchen and Bakery.

The gardens and estate are open every day from 10am – 5pm until 31st March, when closing extends to 6pm. Garden admission costs £12.50 for adults, £6 for children and is free for under 5’s (heligan.com)

 

SEASIDE CYCLING

The_camel_trail

3     The Camel Trail, the Camel Estuary, Wadebridge

This renowned cycle route runs between Wendfordbridge & Padstow, passing through Bodmin & Wadebridge.  The 18 miles trial follows a disused railway and routes through a Special Area of Conservation, which makes for stunning surroundings.  Most of the trail is free from traffic and steep inclines, so it a family-friendly cycle ride, and it offers spectacular views of the Camel Estuary, which are ideal for picnic backdrops.  There is free access all year round and bikes are available to hire from Padstow and Wadebridge (visitcornwall,com)

 

SUSTAINABLE SEAS

BOTB20130723A-001C.jpg

4    National Lobster Hatchery, Padstow

Sustainable seas are something that we should all be striving for.  The work of the National Lobster Hatchery – a marine conservation, research and education charity – is helping us preserve marine biodiversity by aiding baby lobsters through their early life and releasing them into the wild.  On a visit to the lobster hatchery, you will learn all about marine conservation, see young lobsters (as well as the resident giant lobster) and take part in fun activities, which are available for all ages.  Don’t forget to visit the Little Shop of Lobsters and , if you like, adopt a lobster for yourself.  The visitor centre is open daily from 10am.  Admission fees are £3.75 for adults, £1.75 for children and under 5’s go free (nationallobsterhatchery.co.uk)

 

RESCUED WILDLIFE

Seal_Sanctuary

5   Cornish Seal Sanctuary, Gweek

Surrounded by 40 acres of undulating countryside, the Cornish Seal Sanctuary is a haven for stray, sick and injured seal pups that are discovered along the coast of Cornwall.  The centre provides educational talks about how seals are rescued, rehabilitated and released.  Look out for the sanctuary’s beloved cross-eyed Ray, who is suspected to be brain damaged and Babyface, who is living with one eye at the grand old age of 32.  If tums get hungry the Seal Sanctuary Cafe provides tasty titbits and i Summer, a BBQ.  Open daily from 10am – 4pm.  £10.46 for adults & £8.75 for kids (visitsealife.com)

 

ICONIC BIOMES

Eden_rainforest_lookout

6   The Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell

The eco-friendly site is speckled with biomes, Mediterranean and rainforest ecosystems, and outdoor gardens brimming with plants and sculptures.  Don’t miss the giant bee amidst the flowerbeds, the WEEEE Man (a 7 metre high sculpture showing how much electronic waste a British household discards in a lifetime) or the chance to treat the rainforest canopy walkway.  For adrenaline seekers, the Eden Project is home to England’s longest zip wire and giant swing.  The site is open 10am – 4pm daily.  Tickets cost £22.50 for Adults and £12.50 for kids (edenproject.com).

 

NAUTICAL HISTORY

Maritime_museum

7    National Maritime Museum, Falmouth

Packed with historical arfefacts, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall will not disappoint. Current exhibitions include Mermaids: Women at Sea (ends 21 February) and Viking Voyages – where treasured relics sit alongside a full-scale replica Viking cargo ship and visitors lean about myths and legends – which runs until 2 January 2017. The museum also provides activites, workshops and lectures. Open from 10am – 5pm daily. Adminssion is £11 for adults, £8.50 for children and under 5’s go free (nmmc.co.uk)

 

SEA POOLS

Bude Sea Pool

8    Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze Beach, Bude

Created in 1930 to provide a safe swimming haven, Bude Sea Pool has become a much loved feature of the town.  Nestled under the rugged North Cornish cliffs, this semi-natural pool is created using the curve of the cliffs which fills itself up twice a day at high tide.  (budeseapool.org)

 

WATERSPORTS

Water_activities_bud

9    Bude, Widemouth Bay, Sandymouth Beaches

Bude has a thriving surfing community, primarily due to the consistent beachbreak peaks. Whilst all of our beaches are great for surfing, most popular are Widemouth Bay, and north to Duckpool, Sandymouth and Northcott beaches. In the town itself, Crooklets and Summerleaze both face west, work on all tides and hold swells up to about eight feet. Local surf shops and tutors offer advice, and we highly recommend our local surf schools and outdoor activity centres for both surfing and for more activities below…

Surfing is what Bude is famous for, but there is so much more to do on, and off the water! including Kayaking, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Coasteering.

 

SHORELINE THEATRICS

Minack_Theatre

10    The Minack Theatre, Porthcurno

This waterside open-air theatre thrives during the summer, when a programme of drama, musicals, opera, comedy and storytelling takes place. The 1930’s-built theatre is made from granite boulders, its construction orchestrated by Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House on the clifftop at the time. The theatre’s first performance was The Tempest in August 1032, but today you can catch the likes of Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends and The Three Bellies. Shows start on 15 March.

The theatre is open 10am – 3.30pm daily until 31st March, when it opens 9.30am – 5.30pm Entry Fees are £4.50 for adults and £2.20 for under 15’s (www.minack.com)

 

Evie & Issey’s Adventures : Winter walks

These are my girls; Evie-Mae who is 2.5 and Issabelle who is 1.5 ….  The wind and rain does not deter us during the winter months, we just togg up and choose a sheltered walk … one of our favourites during the winter months, during the wet and windy weather being Stowe Woods, Nr Duckpool, a lovely woodland walk , 14 miles by car from Court Farm, Marhamchurch, or 9 miles from Northcott Farm.

IMG_4120      IMG_4134     

This is an annual event, the 3rd picture below was taken there last year, when Issey was just 8 months old, Evie 20 months when she too preferred to be carried than walking too far! … good ol Daddy!  … now seeing them both this year walking and running hand in hand up the path in the woods makes all the effort of getting all the gear together, last minute nappy changes, dealing with temper tantrums as I couldn’t find Rabbie , Evie’s ‘cannot live without’ toy and actually making it out the door! …..worthwhile ..

IMG_1310

The walk basically consisted of more re-tracing steps rather than actually getting anywhere but a) we were well out of the wind b) there were lots of muddy puddles to enjoy splashing around in and c) Job done, tired out, they slept right through last night!

Vicky

 

A to Z of Christmas at Court Farm Holidays

A is for Availability – We still have some!  just enter your chosen dates into our Availability Search Box on our home page or give us a call or drop us an email.  We are very flexible with arrival and departure dates.  See our Christmas & New Year page to see at a glance exactly which cottages are still available over the festive weeks.

B is for Beaches – Its a growing tradition to not only hit the beaches on Christmas Day, but take a swim in it too! For many its a case of popping along to their favourite beach, but for hundreds this refreshing dip in the sea helps raise money for our local Surf Life Saving Club at Crooklets Beach in Bude, the Northern Hemisphere’s oldest SLSC!  Swimmers from 8 to 80 (wetsuits for the under 12’s only) don their Christmas headgear and head into the water when the klaxon goes off at 11am.

C is for Carols – The Brendon Arms in Bude are hosting Christmas Carols by the Christmas Tree with Bude Town Band  which will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit as will the mulled wine & mince pies on 21st December at 7pm.  Join the local residents of Marhamchurch to sing Christmas Carols around the Village Christmas Tree outside St Marwene’s Church in Marhamchurch on Christmas Eve at 6.30pm

D is for Decorations – Over the festive weeks, all of our Cottages are decorated with Christmas Trees and Garlands for guests to add to (or reduce!) depending on your taste.  We also have fairy lights dotted around the grounds with ornamental reindeer poking their noses out from the bushes.

E is for Eating – Christmas would not be Christmas without lovely things to eat and Cornwall is foodie heaven for many of its visitors and residents.  Christmas is a great chance to buy local – whether meats, cheeses, sweet stuff, breads, locally grown beg or posh preserves.  A great place to stock up is Truro Christmas Market which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with seven separate festivals throughout December.  The world food fair takes place from 4pm – 9pm.

F is for Festivals – There are many festivals in Cornwall this Christmas, but we’ve picked one of the biggest – Padstow Christmas Festival (3-6 December) which boasts three days of entertainment, activities, food and shopping.   For 3 days this Cornish Fishing Village comes alive with celebrity chefs, culinary delights and festive fun.

G is for Goats – Our Goats! Molly & Polly who live in our Animal Field, they need visiting and feeding and petting all year round whatever the weather so be sure to pay them a visit during your stay at Court Farm.

H is for Hampers – Over the Festive weeks, we provide a festive hamper to help you get the party started, including wine & mince pies

I is for Illuminations – One of the benefits of heading towards the shortest day of the year is it gives us more opportunity to enjoy the Christmas lights which usually spark the start of the festivities in our towns & villages.  Our local town of Bude has its lights on already, Clovelly’s switch on is on 6th December…

J is for Jingle Bells – Learn the Cornish Bells – Cornwall’s very own Christmas Song! – O merry ring the Christmas bells across the western land, From Launceston Town to Michaels Mount, from Bude to Sennen Sand, The joyous echo sweeps along far spaces by the sea, And church bells answer church bells with their “Gloria Domine!”, O Cornish bells ring far, ring fe, Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine!”, 2 High O’er the ridge of Bodmin moor, Grey Towtor kept guard, His age long cross of granite crag by wind and storm is scared; But here, as once in Bethlehem, the Christmas stars shine bright, And moorland men are wending far to church on Christmas night.  O Bodmin bells ring far, ring free, Ring “Gloria Tibi, Domine! ..etc etc …

K is for Kernow – Something you can sit and do at home is learn some Cornish seasonal greetings; Merry Christmas! Nadelik Lowen! Happy New Year! Bledhen Nowyth Da!

L is for Lanterns – Lantern making workshops are being held during November in time for Bude’s lantern parade on 4th December, or why not make your own and pop an LED light inside to light up your cosy cottage windowsill

M is for Markets – Christmas markets are a sight to behold with small makers and artisans setting up stalls selling gorgeous and unique homemade wares that couldn’t be further away from you online shopping cart.

N is for Nativity – Falmouth comes alive with the starts of Christmas with its annual live nativity.  Leaving Events Square and walking to The Moor, stopping at various places for scenes to be acted out, the Live Nativity tells the story of Christmas with animals.  The final scene will be played out on The Moor in a marquee with lots of animals, from horses to goats and a petting corner.  13th December from 1.30pm.

O is for making your OWN ….The Kitchen Front in Bude offers Creative Workshops allowing you to design and create your own kitchenware designs.  With a Christmassy theme leading up to Christmas they are running “little Elves workshops” for children aswell as adult session on Saturday & Sunday afternoons and Tuesday evenings. No experience necessary, as all equipment is included. Sessions at The Kitchen Front are perfect for friends and families, and there are great savings on group bookings.

P is for Peppa & Georgie – our piggies – they are always waiting at the gate for their morning animal feeding and petting

Q is for Queues – or avoiding them with late night shopping, Bude’s late night shopping evening is on 4th December with many other local evenings, with Truro opening its shops until 9pm 5 x nights per week during December with festive street markets from 5pm until 9pm every Wednesday & Saturdays running up to Christmas  There will be entertainers, brass bands & carol singers all adding to the Christmas feel.

R is for Reindeer – Visit the Eden Project who have live reindeer in residence as part of its Christmas Festival running from 28th November through to 3rd January

S is for Santa – Alongside the opportunity for young and old to see the main in the red suit, Father Christmases are set to take over our roads with the annual Santa Runs.  The next one on the calendar being held in Newquay on 12th December (surf & Beach run)

T is for Treasure Hunt  – We’ll be holding our very own Court Farm Christmas Treasure Hunt around the grounds followed by mulled wine & mince pies on 23rd December, fun for all.

U is for Unwinding – in the lead up to Christmas its also important to relax a little and take it easy, that is why we offer Spa Treatments at Court Farm, conducted by a wonderful therapist Vicky Barns, who will ensure that you are relaxed and rejuvenated after one of her treatments, whether it be an indian head massage, or hot-stones.  Visit her website for full details. www.vickybarns.co.uk

V is for Victorian – Not only did they invent the Christmas tree, Christmas cards & crackers the Victorians practically invented Christmas and you an relive a Victorian Christmas Lanhydrock.  Enjoy the magically decorated gardens and visit the house to celebrate the Christmas traditions which originated in the Victorian period.  Children can enjoy Christmas trails, craft and a visit to Father Christmas.  The cycle trails and estate will also be open for winter bike rides and walks.  Father Christmas is available weekends throughout December.  1 December – 3rd January 11am-4pm every day except Christmas Day.

W is for Wadebridge Christmas Festival – Wadebridge holds its Christmas shopping weekend alongside a host of activities & entertainment.  The town boasts around 150 shops, cafes, restaurants & pubs, of which 85% are local or Cornish businesses.  Activities include choirs, a samba band, town brass band & musicians playing through the town.  Santa will be here in his grotto at 6pm on a steam engine!.

X is for X marks the spot – Join the Cornish Pirates for a spot of outdoor activity – even if its simply jumping up and down on their stands as they do all the hard work at their last home game of the year – 19th December.

Y is for Year as in New Year – we’ve still a few small cottages left to welcome in 2016 … if one isn’t large enough then just book 2 or 3 as they are very close to one another

Z is for zzzzzz sleep – a good nights sleep after all your celebrations are over.

Pet Friendly Holidays in Cornwall

We are very much a dog friendly holiday destination. At Court Farm Holidays we understand that your pet is one of the family, so you won’t need to leave your four-legged friend behind when you stay in one of our beautiful Pet Friendly properties.

There are acres of space around Court Farm and a host of wonderful walks on the doorstep for your and your dog to enjoy. Step out of your door and take a stroll along the fascinating Bude canal, take shelter on a windy day and take a loop around our local woods, or explore the footpaths across the fields to the stunning beach of Widemouth Bay. Guests staying at Northcott have direct access from our farm lane on to the Cornish Coast Path and the local dog-friendly beach of Northcott Mouth.

We are in one of the most dog-friendly regions in the UK, most of our local beaches allow dogs on leads even during summer. Each beach has different restrictions regarding dogs but, off season, dogs are allowed on all beaches …Nothing beats walking along the shoreline as the sun goes down watching, your dog playing in the waves or chasing in circles around the beach having a wonderful time.

For information on dog-friendly beaches, please visit www.thecornishcoast.co.uk or cornwall.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/beaches-in-cornwall

There are also a number of dog-friendly restaurants and pubs nearby aswell as many local attractions also now allowing dogs as follows …

Generally speaking any attraction that’s animal related do not allow dogs for obvious reasons but all is not lost as they may offer shaded parking, onsite kennels, dog walking nearby or flexibility in returning to your car as often as you need to.

At the end of the day, holidays are for all the family and its never quite the same if someone is missing. So bring your dog with you, they will have more fun visiting dog friendly Court Farm Holidays than staying at home without you.

Here are a few suggestions from us to get you started but its the tip of the iceberg. If you want to pick our brains for more ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact us

The Milky Way Adventure Park Just over the border into Devon, this family friendly park has a bit of everything, roller coasters, slides, massive ball pools, its own mini train track and maze to get lost in! Dogs are allowed on site but not inside the building or to the live shows and the bird of prey display.

Clovelly Village  Dogs are allowed into the village and there are 2 superb scenic walks from the visitor centre of between 3-4 miles.

The Eden Project Has allowed visitors to bring dogs for sometime now. (There are restrictions, they are not allowed in the biomes or other eating areas.) They have also added more covered parking in the car park and dog waste bins around the site.

Hartland Abbey and Gardens  No dogs in the house, but you can go into the gardens and they have a lovely walk through the woods down to the beach.  They do ask that dogs are kept on a leads at all times.

Docton Mill Garden and Tearooms   Allow dogs on leads, as they have their own resident dogs.  In addition to the garden there is a lovely walk to the coast of about 20-25 minutes to Spekes Waterfall this links onto the South West Coast Path and Hartland Quay if you’re feeling energetic and want a longer walk.

Pencarrow House and Gardens  Dogs need to be kept on a lead around the immediate vicinity of the house and Peacock Cafe. However, once you are approaching the woodland walks, you can let them off the lead for a good run. There are designated shady car parking spaces in the car park for dog owners, the gift shop staff can advise if you cant find one.

Bodmin & Wenford Railway  Dogs are allowed for free, but must remain on the floor and not the seats. Only assistance dogs are allowed in the dining train.

Bude Bikes  Located in Bude next to Petherick Mill and the traffic free cycle trail for Bude Canal, they have dog trailers that attach to bikes. They also offer bike hirer at Tamar Lakes has a cycle track around the lake, but even without the bike, it’s another good dog walk.

Bridge Bike Hire based in Wadebridge offers the same which give access to the traffic free cycling on the Camel Trail.

We welcome well-behaved dogs at the following properties, each with enclosed gardens; 3 of Our Cornish Cottages, namely Honeysuckle, Wheelwright & Lilac each with 2 Bedrooms, sleeping up to 4 plus 2 dogs; Southpark, our modern bungalow, featuring luxury hot tub, sleeping 6 plus up to 3 dogs; The Cabin at Northcott, also with luxury hot tub, sleeping 2 plus 1 dog; Little Northcott, luxury hot tub, sleeping 8 plus up to 4 dogs;  Northcott Farmhouse, with 2 luxury hot tubs, sleepings 17 plus up to 4 dogs

If our pet-friendly cottages are unavailable on your preferred dates, there is a local kennels just one mile outside the village www.breezelyn.co.uk, but book early and we will accommodate you all!

 

 

 

Halloween at Court Farm

Oh didn’t we have fun at Court Farm Holidays this October Half Term.   We held a mid-week Marshmallow Toasting evening around the campfire

Marshmallow Toasting at Court Farm Holidays

The play area and games room decorated in a Halloween Theme, all of our guests were given pumpkins to carve with spooky sweet parcels for each child.

Halloween Scavenger Hunt at Court Farm

We had  a scavenger hunt on the Wednesday morning with 10 clues for the children to find around the play area involving searching for objects and wriggling around in pumpkin flesh and leafy ponds to find the missing objects.

Court Farm Holidays Scavenger Hunt

Witchy flew in on her broomstick then took a rest in the outdoor play barn where she cooked up a stew of eyeballs, fingers and snakes in the outdoor play barn – whilst the ghosts and bats hung around overhead, until moving on until next year.

12191331_874117302637397_6389117080234640138_o

Bonfire Bonanza

Firework night marks the start of a bonfire bonanza here in Bude and North Cornwall. Immerse yourself in the festivities of this family and community extravaganza whilst staying in one of our cosy Cornish cottages. Some cottages are still available, for short breaks, check availability for up to date details.

Court Farm Holidays is a family run business based in Marhamchurch, Cornwall and a short distance from the coastal town of Bude. Placing family and memories at the heart of everything we do here at Court Farm, we understand the magical moments that can be created at this time of year, in the run up to Christmas. We feel Halloween and Bonfire night  mark the start of a very special time of year for families, couples and friends alike. So, throw yourselves into our community festivities starting with a Bonfire and Fireworks Night at Bude Rugby Club on 6th November, with Guy Fawkes judging, a bar and a BBQ. The bonfire will be lit at 6.30pm with fireworks following at 7pm!

The Bonfire and Fireworks night is followed by a Firework Spectacular at The Bay View Inn, Widemouth Bay from 6pm. Enjoy a comforting hot chocolate, an indulgent toffee apple or a fulfilling hot dog, whilst sharing in a breathtaking display.

Or if you’d prefer, stay warm within our cosy cottages or relax in a hot tub and take in your wonderful surroundings. This truly is a magical and meaningful time of year and whatever your reason for visiting North Cornwall, we know you’ll enjoy the festivities and we will do our best to ensure that you have a memorable stay.