Jubilee Pool

DSC_1643.JPGOpening this summer, after a £3 million upgrade (following damaging storms in 2014 which nearly caused its closure) Jubilee Pool should be on everyones to do list this year.

I am not a big sea swimmer in fact you can probably count on one hand the number of times I have swum in English waters over the past 15 years, so taking a dip an unheated pool isn’t necessarily the first thing I think of doing on a sunny day in Cornwall. However, when I saw some stunning photos of the refurbishment by Adam Gibbard, I was determined to make a visit this summer.

As it turns out I didn’t have to wait long as the opening bank holiday weekend in late May offered perfect weather and finding ourselves without anything planned we packed our wetsuits and headed west to Penzance.

So, my only moan – there’s no dedicated parking and arriving after lunch meant we had to park a good 10 minute walk away.

Although it was a little windy, the shape of the art deco complex means that you can find yourselves a sheltered spot no matter what direction the wind is blowing. There are seats and tables located around the pool and we managed to bagsy a bench.

And the water…… Well it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting! Apparently it was 19 degrees – warmed by a couple of days of sun preceeding our visit. I borrowed a shorty wetsuit and that helped with the chill, but I almost think I could have gone in without one (or maybe not!).

The kiddies pool is great for toddlers and those learning to swim. The shallow end of the main pool is 1m but it drops away quite fast and our kids got out of their depth really quickly so preferred the smaller (and slightly warmer) pool.

In between swims we walked around the pool and at the far end you can catch glimpses of arguably West Cornwalls most famous landmark –  St Michaels Mount.

A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children was £13.40 for locals but unlike other pools where you can get thrown out when it gets busy you can stay there all day so offers good value for money. Spectators only pay £2, so even if you don’t fancy a swim it is still somewhere you can enjoy a sunny day and on Tuesdays they are open till 8pm.

There is a café onsite selling hot drinks and chips which is great to warm yourselves up after a dip.

I would recommend a visit to everyone of all ages. There was a lovely atmosphere with people really enjoying this revitalised attraction and I will definitely be making a return visit!

http://www.jubileepool.co.uk

 

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Cornish Pisky Pal Trail – Roskilly’s Farm

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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.

www.cornishpisky.co.uk

Enys Gardens

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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.

www.enysgardens.org.uk

 

 

Rogue Theatre – Wild Spring Hare 2016

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I LOVE the Rogue Theatre and I would recommend them to anyone visiting Cornwall. Their performances aren’t just for children and families they really are something that can be appreciated by people of all ages (although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for under 5s).

After really enjoying Blackbeard’s Heart  last summer (which was one of the first experiences that I managed to tick off My Bucket List) the kiddies and I were all looking forward to the the Easter tale of the Wild Spring Hare which had made my Things to Do in April blog.

The show involved five mini performances spread around Tehidy Woods near Portreath. For the first four scenes each of the stories revolved around the discovery of eggs involving the Wild West, witches, crows and a frozen ice queen! It all sounds a bit random but somehow it totally made sense.

For the final scene all the characters came together along with the Wild Hare, but not until we had the opportunity to fill up on hot chocolates and hot cross buns! Unlike a lot of other establishments the refreshments don’t feel like a money making exercise and are fairly reasonably priced. At the end of the finale the actors share their artistic skills with free face painting (well it’s obviously included in the price but’s its nice not to have to part with any more money) and some nature craft – this time it was fairy wands made out of sticks and ribbons.

I love the quirky decorations scattered around Tehidy, the kids are highly amused about the door in the middle of the wood and I am amazed how the stories are linked into local folklore. You really do feel like you are being exposed to something unique and special and at £7.50 a ticket the two hour experience was worth every penny.

After watching two day time performances I really want to experience an evening show and the extra magical experience of watching these very talented individuals lit only by fire and fairy lights.

Just prepare yourself for mud and go with it – appropriate footwear is a must even in the summer (I learnt my lesson after wearing flip flops last time) and if you haven’t made it to a show yet then make sure you get to one really soon!

www.roguetheatre.co.uk/

 

 

Throwback Thursday – Folk ‘n’ Cider Fayre 2015

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Most of us who were brought up in Cornwall probably enjoyed a night or two drinking cider on a beach with their friends. These days I prefer wine to cider but faced with the opportunity to try over 40 different varieties within staggering distance of home it seemed like a good opportunity to reminisce my youth. Between four of us we managed to try every single one of the 44 on offer (only halfs mind!) with the winner being Thatchers Red. My personal favourite was the mango, lime and ginger (not really a cider classic).

Folk music isn’t really my thing but it is easy listening and it doesn’t impact on the enjoyment of the cider! And after a sampling a few of the drinks on offer most music starts to sound good anyway.

This event has traditionally been free but in 2016 they are introducing an entry fee – it’s a good day/night out so probably worth it if you haven’t been before.

Potager Garden

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I seem to be eating out quite a lot at the moment – it must be the amazing weather so it’s another foodie post. I’m not quite sure how the Potager Gardens didn’t get onto my original bucket list because after visiting it should have been. I’m so glad I have found this little gem only about 15 minutes from Falmouth and I will certainly be making lots of return visits.

The cafe is located in a converted greenhouse and serves a selection of mouth watering offerings. There were only four choices on the menu but they all looked delicious – I chose the roasted squash risotto (£9). It was divine!

There are hammocks to lounge on, table games and newspapers to enjoy and the gardens to explore, it really is more than just somewhere to eat, it’s somewhere you can easily wind away a few hours, its soooooooooo relaxing.

It’s extremely family friendly for the kids there are chickens, a massive bug hotel and cake. A good stop off on the way to or from the Gweek Seal Sanctuary.

The gardens are a venue for the Open Studios events in May so I think that would be a good excuse to return, not that I need one!

www.potagergarden.org

 

Gylly Cafe

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Ok so living in Falmouth with two young children of course I have been to Gylly Cafe – it is the home turf for the towns Yummy Mummy’s (which naturally I fit into ha ha ha). However, in recent times I have tended to avoid it. The cafe ia a victim of its own success. The times when you really want to go are sunny weekends or school holidays and the trouble is, that is when everyone else wants to go as well. The queues can be horrendous and the last time I went my friend ordered a bacon roll and a coffee at the same time and she had finished the coffee before the food arrived (that’s after waiting over 15 minutes to be place an order – no table service).

However, with this latest spell of amazingly sunny spring weather and finding the whole family at home by 3.30 on a school day we took the opportunity to walk across to Gyllyngvase beach and treated ourselves to a Deluxe Hot Chocolate (you know the ones with the cream and marshmallows – yum yum). Going at a non-peak time we could sit outside and enjoy the view and sunshine behind the glass screens thankfully protecting us from the cold eastly winds

Gylly cafe has become a must do location on the Falmouth foodie front. It is located on the arguably the towns best beach and it is lovely, but just choose your time so the experience isn’t spoiled by crowds and having to wait.