Artists will open their doors to the public for nine days. 2017 will be the thirteenth year of Open Studios Cornwall and the biggest yet – with 293 artists, craftsmen and designers involved, many of them based in West Cornwall. See the website for locations and opening hours.
First & Last Cottages News
Save the Date for St. Ives Food Festival
13 and 14 May, taking place on Porthminster Beach, this year's event promises even more culinary experts, attractions and a wide variety of local beverages and food. There will be a fantastic range of activities and entertainment which promises fun for all the family.
Tickets on the gate are £3 for a single day pass or £5 for a 2 day weekend pass. Free for children under 12. Tickets for Saturday include entry to the Saturday evening music session, acts to be announced.
On Saturday there is a stand up paddle boarding event at 3.30pm
This event attracted over 30,000 visitors last year - a weekend in the middle of spring filled with Cornish food, beer and bands … what’s not to like?
Marquees on the quayside will be packed full of tasty treats from over 150 exhibitors with a huge range of street food to enjoy whilst you browse. On the Saturday the chef’s theatre will host cookery demonstrations from 8 chefs, including Antony Worral Thompson, Jack Stein and Ben Prior.
This year’s event has an Under the Sea theme, celebrating the close connection between Porthleven and the sea. On Sunday the Shipyard Tent hosts baking and dessert demonstrations which will also follow the theme, so look out for some outlandish marine creations.
Daytime and evening live music will range from classical to country and rock to reggae with lots of local bands and some international acts.
Entry to the main food festival is free, but tickets are required for the evening entertainment.
Tate Gallery St. Ives re-opens
The gallery has re-opened after a refurbishment project during which the gallery shut its doors for 18 months.
The gallery, which sits on the golden sands of Porthmeor Beach, Cornwall, and is just round the corner from the house once occupied by sculptor Barbara Hepworth, was due to be shut for only six months.
However, problems with the gallery building – which first opened in 1993 – kept it shut for an extra year. The re-opening marks the first phase of the gallery’s vast expansion project. In the autumn, a new 500 sq metres gallery extension built into the rocks behind the original building will finally open its doors.
The exhibition opening the gallery is twofold. On display in the large curved gallery, which looks out over the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the largest sea paintings by British artist Jessica Warboys.
In the newly refurbished galleries, another exhibition explores 100 years of studio pottery and brings together contemporary British ceramists including Jesse Wine and Aaron Angell, with works from Cornwall, Japan, the US west coast and the UK.
A fresh attempt at a Guinness World Record challenge will come ashore in Penzance on 27 August at 4pm as the town looks to top its gathering of pirates recorded three years ago.
In 2014, more than 14,000 people flocked to the town in a bid to beat the world record set by Hastings the previous year. Sadly, the official count (and recount) showed they were 77 pirates short of the record.
However figures have since shown the organisers actually sold 14,849 wristbands on the day, which would have beaten the record for the greatest number of pirates in one place by 618 - if only they had been in place when the count took place.
Three years later, the town is ready to try again and organisers have put together a weekend programme of activities, re-enactments, a funfair and entertainment. If you are holidaying in the area do go along and help to win the challenge. You can find out more from the website www.piratesontheprom.co.uk - you will need to comply with the "what to wear" criteria which will influence your packing!
Lots of interesting things happening at the Minack Theatre in April. From 4-13 and 11-13 they are performing Goodnight Mister Tom. From April 15-17 the British Theatre Academy, along witht he Minack Youth Theatre, are performing "Best of British" - in honour of Dame Vera Lynn's 100th birthday
Don't miss the Man Engine as it travels through Cornwall
This is the UK's largest ever mechanical puppet built to mark the tenth anniversary of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape being added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It's the same height as a double decker bus when in its "crawling mode" but almost three times that height when stood up.
The puppet is travelling throughout Cornwall over the next week or so - to see where it's going, and when, go to the Man Engine website. It will be in Penzance at 5pm on Friday 5th August.
Summertime at Trengwainton, Penzance
Visit this sheltered garden bursting with exotic trees and shrubs. Experience stunning views and an abundance of exotic trees and shrubs in a garden cradled just inland of Mount's Bay. If you love the sunshine, warm yourself on Trengwainton's Terrace with its wide sea views or, if it's shade you are after, the garden has lots of cool, tree-lined paths that are perfect for walking you and your dog.
Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, St. Ives
Discover the magical home and unique garden of artist Barbara Hepworth. It offers a remarkable insight into the work and outlook of one of Britain's most important 20th century artists. You can see sculptures in bronze, stone and wood along with paintings, drawings and archive material.
Tremenheere Sculpture Garden, Gulval, Penzance
In a beautiful sheltered valley, the woods, stream and dramatic vistas provide a perfect setting for large scale exotic and sub-tropical planting. Interwoven with this there is an evolving programme of high quality contemporary art installations - don't miss The Restless Temple
Here is the inside scoop on where to get the best ice cream in West Cornwall
Roskilly's Organic Farm, Lizard peninsula. More than 30 delicious flavours - try the Cream Tea flavour. Stroll through the meadows, meet the animals and if you time it right catch the Jersey cows being milked.
Callestick Farm - a small herd of Friesian cows live the life of luxury here. 26 flavours. Watch what they get up to from the farm viewing gallery.
Jelberts, on the seafront at Newlyn. One for ice cream purists - there is a choice of flavours - vanilla, vanilla, or yes you guessed it, vanilla.
Mr B's ice cream parlour, Hayle - more choice than you could ever dream of. The flavours are ever changing - pistachio, marshmallow, gingerbread, wild cherry, cinnamon....
Moomaid of Zennor - made on the farm at Tremedda. Over 30 flavours. Try it with a view, from the Moomaid Parlours in St. Ives and Porthtowan.
Made famous as the spot where Poldark took a dip in the crystal clear waters, while watched from the clifftops by Demelza, Porthgwarra is a peaceful cove. You can expect to be joined by a variety of birdlife and at this time of the year will be treated to a colourful display of wildflowers. There are some stunning walks along the coastal path from Porthgwarra - pack a picnic or enjoy a pasty from the small cafe. Carn Scathe is located in a stunning position, right down in the Cove - it sleeps 8 in one twin and three doubles, two bathrooms, garden, wifi. There is availability in June and July.
"Open Studios" celebrates Cornwall's wealth of creative talent and runs from 28 May to 5 June. There are 138 studios in West Cornwall alone which are opening their doors to the public. Look out for the Cornwall Open Studios sign with the orange O as you travel around.
St. Ives Food and Drink Festival, May 14 and 15 - some of the finest food and drink producers and chefs in Cornwall gathering together on Porthminster Beach - a range of activities and entertainment for all the family including cookery demonstrations from local chefs including Jack Stein.
May is a month when Cornwall celebrates the iconic bluebell. A single bluebell is diminutive, en masse they take your breath away, often growing so close together they transform the woodland floor into a dazzling carpet of shimmering blue. Here are some suggestions of where to visit:
Enys Gardens, near Penryn. Within the 30 acre gardens lie the open meadow known as Parc Lye, where the spring show of bluebells is breathtaking.
Tehidy Country Park, Camborne. The largest area of woodland in West Cornwall with nine miles of paths and 250 acres of peaceful woods, together with a cafe and picnic area.
Penrose Estate, Helston. The National Trust Penrose Estate is a mixture of rich farmland and woodland around Loe Pool.
Godolphin House & Garden, Helston. Boasts a beautiful path taking visitors through its winding bluebell wood.
Glendurgan Gardens, Falmouth. A superb tropical garden - wander through to the beautiful hamlet of Durgan on the Helford River and walk beside the carpets of bluebells amongst fragrant rhododendrons
The Poldark stories of Winston Graham first enthralled readers in the 1940's before being brought to a new audience through the BBC television drama in the 1970's. The original programme made international stars of the principal leads, Robin Ellis and Angharad Rees and the new series is currently doing the same for Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson.
The film crews have been down here in Cornwall again this September filming the next series - in the immediate area they were filming in Penberth (a new location), Porthgwarra, Porthcurno and Botallack.
Visit the Poldark film location page for further information on:
They have left out Porthcurno from this list!
School holidays availability in the 5 flats in Mercury House, Porthcurno. Available from 25 July through to the end of September.
Flat 1 sleeps 4 in one double and one twin, Flat 2 sleeps 5 in one double and one triple, Flat 3 sleeps 2 in one twin, Flat 4 sleeps 3 in one family room with king size bed and single bed, Flat 5 sleeps 6 in two doubles and one twin.
See availability page for details
Crest of the Wave - new property in Porthcurno, sleeps 6
I have just taken on another new property in Porthcurno within easy walking distance of the beach. It is a ground floor apartment which sleeps 6 in one double and two twins. There is a large garden which faces west so it gets the afternoon sun. There are two parking spaces, wi-fi and it accepts dogs. There is currently availability for 11 July, 18 July and 22 August, with good availability from September onwards. For more information and photos follow the link to Crest of the Wave.
Just taken on a new property in Zodiac House, opposite the tennis courts in Porthcurno called Aquarius. This is a first floor apartment with 3 bedrooms - one with super kingsize bed, one with kingsize bed and one with twin beds. There are 3 bathrooms, 2 parking spaces and wi-fi. This has availability for this coming August and for next year. Within easy walking distance of the beach. Pictures and more details on the website, www.firstandlastcottages.co.uk.
Due to cancellations I have the following availability in the school holidays:
Carn Scathe, Porthgwarra, sleeps 8 in 3 doubles and 1 twin. Terraced house with a garden in a stunning location in the cove where Aidan Turner went swimming in Poldark! Available for weeks commencing 25 July and 1st August @ £1745
Treeve Moor Cottage, Land's End, sleeps 4 in one double and two singles. A detached cottage with a large garden, pets accepted. Available for 18 July @ £802 and 15 August @ £905
Capricorn, Porthcurno, sleeps 2 in one double. A first floor apartment very close to Porthcurno beach. Available for 9 August and 16 August @ £633
Some of the best things to do in the coming weeks:
Forage in hedgerows - May is a particularly good time to find hedgerows laden with tasty treats. Join Rachel Lambert on a guided walk and let your senses be opened to the abundance of edible flavours around us
Go through the keyhole with Open Studios - from pottery to painting, and screen-printing to jewellery-making you'll find people up and down the county getting stuck into arts and crafts. From May 23 to 31 nearly 200 artists open their studio doors
Enjoy a wildflower walk - as the brilliant tapestry of wild flowers spring into bloom along the South West Coastal Path take a walk on the wild side. From violets, primroses and bluebells, to pink thrift and white campion, sea holly, evening primrose and wild orchirds, the colours of the wildflowers framed by the blue of the ocean is a memorable view.
Several properties still available for Friday/Saturday/Sunday this coming weekend.
Porthgwarra - Carn Scathe, sleeps 8, 3 nights £500 for 8 people, £375 for 4 people if using max 2 bedrooms
Porthcurno - Beachcomber, sleeps 5, 3 nights £300, Top Deck sleeps 4, 3 nights £288, Capricorn, sleeps 2, 3 nights £240, Surfers Paradise, sleeps 8 3 nights for 8 people £315, £275 for 4 people or less if using max 2 bedrooms