A cosy yurt sleeping up to six set on the 62-acre Fir Hill Estate in north Cornwall is the perfect place to escape for an off-grid autumn break this October half-term. Meanwhile, Talland Bay Hotel has curated the perfect Cornish seaside staycation for couples looking to escape for some winter indulgence.
Reasons to visit Fir Hill Estate for October Half Term
Nestled amongst beautiful woodlands on the edge of the Porth Reservoir near Newquay, the Fir Hill Estate is ripe for wild adventure. Marvel at the oak, sycamore, ash, beech, and birch trees and enjoy the last of the Cornish apples and pears. Explore the estate and woodland on foot or by mountain bike, go fishing and birdwatching at the reservoir (a designated bird sanctuary) and stargaze around the campfire by night.
Other ideas include:
Set out on a foraging lesson with Matt Vernon of Cornish Wild Food. Matt shares his knowledge of identifying and harvesting coastal hedgerow fodder, with private group trips being offered along Newquay’s beautiful Gannel estuary, to accommodate the rule of six. Private walks cost from £135 (for two people), then £15 per extra person.
Book a bespoke a picnic with Dine with Iris. Effortless and impeccably executed, a Dine with Iris picnic includes full set up: pillows and rugs, crockery, drinks and seasonal savoury grazing boards. Everything needed to celebrate autumn in Cornwall. Opt for a fireside spot at the Fir Hill estate or select a seaside location, from £100 (for up to four people), then £25 per extra person.
Take a surf lesson – October’s a great time to learn or improve those surf skills. Beaches are quiet, the water is still warm – temperatures don’t tend to drop until late November – and the ocean swells are more consistent. A private two-hour lesson for a family of four costs from £169 with Newquay Activity Centre.
The Fir Hill Estate is offering a coronavirus booking guarantee (with flexibility to move the booking any time up to end of 2021 in the event of further government restrictions). Yurts are available to book for two-night stays, short breaks or longer, from £120 per yurt per night (sleeping up to six people) until the end of October.
The ten spacious yurts (including nine family yurts sleeping up to six and one honeymoon yurt) each come with outdoor firepit for cooking and feasting outside. Then retreat inside the yurt to cosy up beside the log burner. Following the traditional Mongolian ‘Gers’ construction, the yurts are made using five layers including sheep wool felt from Mongolia, keeping guests cool in summer and warm in autumn. For more information and to book visit www.thefirhill.co.uk
Where to go this winter: indulgent coastal mini-break for couples
Boutique Talland Bay Hotel has curated the perfect Cornish seaside staycation for couples looking to escape for some winter indulgence.
Located in one of the quieter pockets of Cornwall, just off the coast path between Looe and Polperro, Talland Bay Hotel is set at the end of a winding lane with pine-fringed lawns stretching down towards a tranquil cove. For guests seeking entertainment aside from simply holing up at the hotel and being waited on hand and foot, the team has compiled their top recommendations of where to go and what to do to make the most of a visit this winter.
- Spend the day hiking the South West Coast Path in Raynor Winn’s footsteps, author of the Salt Path and latest release, the Wild Silence. Then return to Talland Bay Hotel for a tasty tipple (and the kind of home comforts and luxury Ray and Moth could only dream of on their epic walk). The new Premiere Sea View Suite comes with private access, a private balcony and hot tub looking out over the gardens towards the ocean.
- Sample the Talland Bay No. 1 Gin, then enjoy a visit to the nearby distillery where it’s crafted, Colwith Farm Distillery. Here visitors can learn how potatoes grown on the family farm are turned into award-winning spirits, as well as tasting the goods. The visitor centre will be open throughout the winter months, carefully following all guidelines to maintain safe social distancing.
- The Lost Gardens of Heligan is another Cornish attraction that is open to visitors year-round. A new system of pre-booked timed tickets is in place, enabling staggered visits throughout the day. Now’s a singular time to visit…Golden leaves give way to show the bare bones of the garden, with the walled exterior providing a cocoon against winter winds; hear the birdsong at its clearest; and watch the team at work with final harvests and the first batch of next season’s veg being sown.
- While some Cornish seaside towns seem to shut down for the winter, Looe retains a pleasantly lively vibe thanks to the working fishing port and vibrant local community. Uncrowded streets and welcoming establishments make it a popular choice in the calmer months. A walk from Talland Bay west to the fishing village of Polperro comes high on the list of recommendations too, followed by a pint at the Three Pilchards.
- Now’s the best time to indulge in one of Talland Bay Hotel’s themed afternoon teas, which include a Spooktacular Halloween affair (being served throughout October) and a festive take on this most popular Cornish staple. Anyone who witnessed chefs Nick and Paul on Bake Off: the Professionals won’t be surprised by the creativity and talent that goes into each element of these very special teatime treats. The superlative Talland Bay Hotel Sunday roast is back on the menu too, featuring the finest Westcountry farm-reared prime cuts of meat or the freshest fish and seasonal veg.
The perfect pick me up for this time of year, the Talland Bay Hotel three-night gourmet break includes accommodation, delicious cooked breakfast each morning, dinner with canapes and petit fours each evening, afternoon tea on arrival and a Talland Bay No. 1 Gin and tonic. From £125 per person per night in a classic room.
For more information visit www.tallandbayhotel.co.uk and call 01503 272667 to book.