Popular walks and gardens
With its temperate climate and staggering views, Cornwall has some of the most spectacular gardens and invigorating walks in the UK.
Try sampling some of the 630 miles of stunning coastal paths - whether you want something very accessible or much more challenging you will find a route that's right for you, often with attractions and eating-places along the way. You'll find yourself in heaven, for example, at nearby Godrevy Beach; there are miles of stunning walks over coastal grasslands and heathland, where you can explore areas rich in wildlife. Guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and cormorants all nest on the steep cliffs, and keep an eye out in the water for seal colonies. Walk Godrevy Head or Godrevy to Hell's Mouth for some inspirational experiences, or alternatively try the North Cliffs for breathtaking scenery and a relatively level stroll.
Tehidy Country Park
If it's hiking and wildlife you love then look no further than Tehidy Country Park, with its vast 250 acres of woodlands and lakes and over nine miles of pathways. A little over five minutes from Poltair by car, Tehidy was the estate of one of Cornwall's four most powerful families, the Bassets, who owned the land for 700 years until 1916, when Arthur Basset was ruined by his love of horse-racing and the great manor was sold.
PIck up a map from the Visitor Centre at the South Drive entrance and follow the trails; the pink trail will take you around the North Cliffs, where you'll see stunning carpets of bluebells in springtime and fairy-rings of fungi in the autumn - keep an eye out for wildlife too: bats on summer evenings, and if you're really lucky, a roe deer in the meadow. You may also find the huge monkey puzzle tree and Japanese maples, planted 200 years ago by Lady Basset herself.
The most popular area of Tehidy is South Drive - here you'll find the lakes of the Basset Estate which have now gone wild and are home to many species of bird, fish, dragonfly and more. Make sure you stop off at the Cafe for a lunchtime re-fuel or an afternoon coffee and cake, to energise you for miles of delightful countryside rambling!
You'll hardly believe that you're in the UK when strolling around the four miles of footpath that make up Trebah's sub-tropical gardens. Wander amongst giant, prehistoric-looking ferns, willowy palms and 100-year-old rhododendrons, all of which culminate in a private beach with a moving monument to the 29th US Infantry Division, who set sail from there for the D-Day Landings in 1944. Dogs on a lead are welcome too, so give them the opportunity to stretch their legs whilst you admire the flora.
Of all the gardens, the award-winning restaurant at Trebah is one of our favourites, drawing a regular crowd of locals as well as holiday-makers; make it a point to refuel there before heading home.
Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens
The beautiful, sheltered valley that hosts the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens is a real haven of tranquility, and with its intermittent dotting of art installations and views over the blue of Mounts Bay to St Michael's Mount, it is more than a little unusual. Take a picnic and stop at a secluded spot for a bite of lunch, or treat yourself to some fare from the outstanding Lime Tree Cafe - they will even provide your picnic for you if you prefer. Various events on offer, from film nights to live music, make this much more than just a garden stroll.