Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Watch the ebb and flow...

For peaceful seclusion, there could hardly be a better choice of holiday location – detached, with unobtrusive neighbours, fantastic views, warm, comfortable, and a lovely east facing balcony, where you can enjoy breakfast and watch the little one-track train plying back and forth all day between St Ives and St Erth on the main line, and plot the ebb and flow of the tide against the rocks on Carbis Bay beach.

And in the very best part of Cornwall – the mild, very beautiful, south-west peninsula, virtually surrounded by sea, and everything within easy reach – St Ives , 1½ miles away along a beautiful coastal path in one direction, and Lelant, 2 miles, away in the opposite direction, both with option of train or bus return journey; the splendid variety of shops in Penzance (6 miles away), the beautiful surfing beach (and the masses of beautiful primroses along the coast path in Spring) at Sennen Cove, for example.

The chance for more serious walking, a large number of interesting gardens/ancient sites within easy reach, an excellent leisure centre in St Ives offering swimming pool and a variety of things to do, good eating places, or just to sit and chill out and gaze at those fantastic views, almost everywhere you go. And Tesco a stone’s throw away.

We’ve made 5 visits between 2001 and 2008 – says it all really.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Wonderful countryside views

My first and abiding view, after the long and steep drive down, is the small field ablaze with daffodils, primroses, and even a few primulas. A veritable feast of colour and delight, to city eyes especially, but also for my country ones.

I had arrived at West Huckham Farm – a superbly converted 200 year old barn with Saxon origins deep in the Quarme Valley 3 miles south of Wheddon Cross – a peaceful, restful, spacious house, quiet and secluded but not isolated (two not-too-near neighbours), with its beautiful countryside view, seen from strategically placed seats outside, or from the west facing conservatory. Wonderful sunsets, of course, having enjoyed the sunny mornings through the east facing French windows.

Comfortable beds – double with en suite bathroom upstairs: shower-room down, with another two bedrooms. Squidgy sofas, a highly efficient woodburner, and music equipment sounding magnificent in the large ground floor area - it would be hard to find a happier, more relaxing place to stay.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The perfect blend of ancient and modern…

We ventured southwards deep into unknown East Devon lanes on a gloriously warm early March day, leaving a surprisingly dusty cloud for spring behind us. Farmers on the rush, dragging massive rollers across grass meadows and spreading fertiliser with their hopes fixed on that first cut of silage hopefully before Devon County Show in mid May so they can squeeze a few hours away before life becomes too hectic.

Eventually gentle wooded valleys with a blush of green lead to the ancient site of Sutton Barton Farm with its 500 acres of arable and dairy and a holiday home with a mixture of ancient old features and the modern facilities of saunas and hot tubs – who’d have thought them so useable in mid March! It might even be warm enough for a bar-b-que in the sheltered terrace next to the massive games room with its own bar – sadly you have to stock it yourself…

An ancient Collie dog lies flat-out in the sun-lit courtyard and cows can be seen getting their first taste of spring grass in a distant field. It’s nearly 10 years since Sutton Barton and Helpful Holidays first got together and many, many bookings later it remains one of the most popular of the 600 plus holiday homes the company has on offer.