The trouble with entertaining children during the school holidays is how the costs can easily add up. Even a visit to the beach can result in parting with up to £20 by the time you’ve shelled out for drinks, ice creams, bouncy castles and car parking.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this is just something I have to accept however, I am always on the look out for cheap activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
I had come across the Cornish Pisky Pal Trails on Facebook (it really is my number one source of information of fun things to do!). Normally the trails are set around the village of Coverack on the Lizard, but for the late May bank holiday Roskillys Farm hosted the handmade three inch piskies.
The trail consisted of 39 small named piskies which were hidden around the farm and woodland (there was a shorter trail which would have been appropriate for preschoolers). After purchasing two trails at £2.50 each we set out with our directions to find the numbered willow markers. When you find one of the markers, you look for a Cornish Pisky Pal hiding nearby. These are well hidden, in fact much harder than I was expecting. You then write the name of the pisky next to it’s number and then the first letter of each pisky’s names are put together to make a Cornish Pisky Pals phrase (I won’t give it away!!!).
The trails were perfect for our 5 and 7 year olds. They needed a little help finding the markers (we couldn’t find three of them) and we made sure that they followed the directions but the nature of the set up is that it is suitable for all primary aged school children. The weather was dry which was perfect so it is a good cheap day activity when the sun isn’t out enough to go to the beach – even with light drizzle it would be ok if you are dressed appropriately.
We spent just under two hours on the trail and returned to the Roskillys cafe where we had hoped to reward ourselves with a pasty, but they had run out so we had to make do with ice cream instead! We also had time to visit the farmyard animals before we headed home and met a very noisy goat.
If I have one criticism it is that the first few piskies were hidden in the hedge along the road. There were quite a few cars moving around and that meant finding the markers was even more difficult.
I would recommend this trail to all of my mummy friends and I am pretty sure that we will be making a return journey to the Lizard really soon.
Enys Gardens made My Bucket List when a couple of friends visited to see the fields of bluebells and said how impressive they were and being less than a 10 minute drive from my house I couldn’t quite believe that I hadn’t been there yet.
The gardens are normally only open on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday which does limit your options but for our visit it was sunny with a fresh wind so perfect to get outdoors (but not nice enough for us to head to the beach). The house only opens on selected weekends throughout the year but that didn’t bother us as our motivation was the bluebells, however I would be keen to go during the Bluebell Festival next year when you can get a chance to explore the family home of the Enys family.
In order to make sure that we saw the the iconic spring flower at their best we chose to hold off visiting until the website advised that the fields were in full bloom. Going slightly later in May meant that whilst the bluebells were fully out the grass was also quite high slightly affecting the blanket of purple but they still were worth the visit.
There are a number of other features which are also quite impressive. The pond is just as spectacular as Trebah or Heligan and there is a waterwheel which offers a lovely backdrop for a family picture! The fields reminded me of Trelissick (although admittedly they don’t have the vista which includes the River Fal) and because there aren’t as many visitors as the some of the established gardens there is a real feeling of calm – it is somewhere you could take a picnic and a good book and easily spend the whole day there.
Adults are £5 and children 6+ £2 so fairly reasonable compared to other gardens reflecting the limited facilities but as we spent over two hours wondering around it offered good value for money.
The cafe set within the house courtyard is quaint. The menu isn’t extensive but you can get a High Tea for two for £15 which is the perfect way to round off your visit.
For me Eyns Gardens has the potential to be up there with the other Great Gardens of Cornwall but to do so would require significant investment. However, it is a little gem worth visiting especially when the bluebells are in full bloom.
Every year Padstowians return from all over the world to participate in their annual celebrations. With the event falling on a public holiday this year it seemed too good an opportunity for me to tick this event off My Bucket List.
As with any long weekend the weather forecast was rubbish! However, with clear blue skies and full sun promised by the afternoon we decided that we would try and catch some of the afternoon celebrations.
Having struggled in the past to park in Padstow we also took the option to tick a second item off My Bucket List and decided to cycle the 6 miles along the Camel Trail from Wadebridge. This ended up working really well and added to the whole day out.
After arriving into Padstow around 2.30pm we set off to try and find one of the ossess – this is no easy task. As the route isn’t published it is a matter of either watching them enter or leave their stables, asking someone dressed in white whether they actually have any idea where they are or stumble across them by accident.
The parades are not just limited to the harbour area and although slow can travel to the far edges of the town so it took us quite a while to locate the Blue Oss which had headed up to Prideaux Place. The processions are accompanied by drums and accordions and led by “Teasers”. The tune is catchy and was in my head for the rest of the day.
In the evening the two ossess come together around the May Pole. By this time we had already left but I can imagine this must be one of the highlights of the day and something we could try to see in the future.
As the weather had been miserable around the middle of the day the crowds were smaller than they would have been had it been dry and this meant that it wasn’t horrendously busy so it was easy to find a spot to watch.
Apart from the processions there was a reasonably sized fairground and of course the normal wide range of food offerings throughout the town. There isn’t however any of the normal event markets or much else. It does seem like a wasted opportunity but the celebrations bring in big enough crowds without the organisers needing to put on anything else.
I certainly would recommend that everyone visits Obby Oss once in their life and if the weather gods are good next year we might just go again.
April was another very successful month for ticking things off my bucket list with visits to both Kennall Vale and the Tregothnan Garden Opening. I also managed to check out the Porthleven Food Festival and Rogue Theatre that I had featured in my Things to do – April 2016 blog.
Here are a few things that I want to try and do this month:
Obby Oss – 2nd May
Each year Padstowians return from all over the world to participate in this annual celebration and this year the event falls on a public holiday. The two osses parade throughout the town a few times during the day so there is plenty of opportunity to catch them. The parking is normally difficult in Padstow so it looks like a good opportunity to tie in a cycle along the Camel Trail at the same time and tick two things off my Bucket List.
Enys Gardens – 30th April – 7th May
Enys Gardens will be hosting their Bluebell festival at the beginning of the month. Despite being on my door step I have never visited the gardens, but I am determined to get there this year to enjoy their spring event.
Helston Flora Day – 7th May
Helston Flora Day is usually held on May 8th, unless that date falls on a Sunday or Monday, in which case the previous Saturday is take so this year the event will take place on a Saturday so I defiantly want to make the visit (although if it rains I might wait till next year when it also falls on a Saturday)
Trebah Mousehole Cat – 27th – 28th May
We have been regular visitors to Trebah over the years and this time of year the gardens really start to spring into life. However I have never been to a performance in the amphitheatre. This half term Trebah host the tale of the Mousehole Cat, the book is a family favourite so an evening out looks on the cards.