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Springtime: Places to see and things to do in our area

As the mild spring weather approaches, why not head to Cornwall for an early break? Visit some of our unspoilt beauty spots and stately homes and enjoy the area while it’s relatively quiet.

The wild flowers are coming into their own, with the snowdrops already blooming and the first daffodils and primroses of spring in evidence. Up on Bodmin Moor there’s a hidden ancient bridge over the undulating River Camel – called Roly Poly Bridge – which is renowned for being carpeted around with snowdrops. On a valley floor on the edge of the moor, the early wood sorrel, windflower and periwinkle bloom. We also found what looked like a granite whale rising out of the ground with something in its mouth – curious indeed!

A good place to start is the early spring display at the privately owned stately home, Pencarrow. The white carpet of native Cornish snowdrops is an amazing sight. Open for two Sundays only – 10th and 17th February – it’s well worth the trip. The café will be open all day for refreshments. Dogs are welcome in the gardens, but the owners ask that they be kept on a lead around the house and formal gardens; once in the woods you can let them run free.

Lanhydrock
, not far from Lostwithiel, is a magnificent late Victorian country house with beautiful gardens and wooded estate. Come and see the bluebells and wild primroses, the camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons. Take a stroll through the ancient woodlands and along the riverside paths; dogs are welcome here. There’s also the off-road cycle trail with a special trail for novices and families.

Another stately home well worth a visit is Boconnoc, near Lostwithiel. Inhabited since the days of the Domesday Book, it’s steeped with centuries of history. With its Georgian architecture, wild flowers and busy calendar of events, it captures all the enchantment and beauty of Cornwall. There will be a horse carriage driving day on 14th April and a garden open day on 6th May.

If you fancy going further afield, then why not visit the 200-year-old Caerhays Castle and its 140 acres of grounds, open from 18th February this year. There’s an abundance of spring flowers and it is renowned for its collection of magnolias, azaleas and camellias. The beach close by is a haven for children and dogs with its rock pools and golden sand.

Take a trip to the Roseland Peninsula and go to the popular Roseland Festival, which runs from 23rd April to 4th May. Artists include Edwina Hayes, folk singer, songwriter and raconteur; Geoff Lakeman, a Cornishman who is a major figure on the West Country folk scene; Kit Hill Billies and the Tresillian Ladies Choir, joined this year by a barbershop quartet. Ivor Bowditch will be giving a talk on Cornwall’s tin mining industry, and the Fal River Company are supplying a boat for a history and bird watching sail along the hidden stretches of the Fal.