Calling all brides and grooms planning a wedding in Cornwall - keep your diary free for Saturday October 8th to attend a wedding fayre at Polraen Country House, Looe in South East Cornwall.    We have been chosen by Kernow Wedding Belles as the venue for their first wedding fayre!  The burgeoning business is destined to change the face of the wedding preparation market so if you want your day to be special, personal, intimate or different,  you’ll want to attend this wedding fayre with a difference.

The aim of the family-friendly Looe company is to provide a platform for small, independent companies, so that they can showcase their services and wares at a series of intimate and exclusive wedding fayres across the region, housed in some of the most attractive venues imaginable.

The wedding fayre at Polraen Country House,  Sandplace,  near Looe, will take place 10.30 am to 4.30 pm on Saturday, October 8.  In a peaceful location in the beautiful Looe Valley, 2 miles north of the historic fishing port of Looe in South East Cornwall, our family run 18th century country house hotel is no stranger to weddings.  So it’s a wonderful endorsement and accolade that this local company, with expertise in the wedding business, has recognised  the unique combination of location and facilities, including the award winning garden, excellent food and service that we offer.  They describe our venue as  “both beautiful and elegant.  Reputedly built as a coaching inn around 1740, it remained part of the nearby Morval Estate until becoming the family home of Peter Bessell, Liberal MP for South East Cornwall in the 1960s.  It was later converted into a small hotel and has since undergone considerable refurbishment which complements its natural Cornish country house charm .”  Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Kernow Wedding Belles plan “to stage a wedding fayre offering a wealth of taste and style, backed by the hospitality and business acumen gleaned from the proprietors’ combined years of employment experience.”  The Belles are the Looe-based mother and daughters team of Stephanie Hawkins, mum to Jodie and recently wed Carrie-Ann Richardson, and all of them have a successful background in the wedding industry. “Response to Looe Wedding Belles’ first fayre has been fantastic with at least five new businesses exhibiting to the market for the first time.”

Exhibitiors will include Cake Makers, Photographers, Jewellers, Car Hire, Bridal wear, Florists, a Travel Company & a whole host of professionals who will be demonstrating their particular expertise in the industry. Free entry & complimentary drink on arrival.

For further details, please contact Jodie on 01503 265448 or Carrie- Ann on 07875 266 220 or 07551 008 677 respectively.

Directions/How to find us

The South East Cornwall Walking Festival 17-25 September and Looe’s Making Waves Music Festival 23-25 September. What a great week to visit Looe! You’ll find yourself spoilt for choice with a great selection of guided walks covering the East and West Looe River Valleys, the Looe Valley in AutumnTamar, Bodmin Moor, and the South West Coast Path.

Then you can change from walking boots to dancing shoes to head down to any of the 3 sound stages over the weekend of 23, 24 and 25 September where the focus will be on different music styles in a fantastic music festival ‘Making Waves’ with headline acts including Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds and Roy Wood and his Rock n Roll Band. 

Making Waves Music Festival in Looe - the staged venues:

  • West Looe Quay marquee with a Cornish traditional feel
  • The Rose Garden Marquee, East Looe with an easy listening ambiance
  • The Beach and Seafront with an al fresco rock, pop, punk vibe.

Music will be concentrated during the day on the 3 soundstages then local pubs, restaurants and cafes will take over in the evening to maximise the benefits to the local economy.  Workshops, street entertainment and dance performances will add to the festival atmosphere.

And it’s very affordable!  A weekend ticket is £40 for all venues if your’e over 18, while 14-17 age group pay only £10 and accompanied under 14s go FREE.  Saturday only tickets are £25. The weekend kicks off on Friday with a ‘giant pasty’ procession from East Looe to West Looe where everyone is invited to ‘make some noise’ to welcome the pasty followed by a Noz Lowen on West Looe Quay from around 5pm (traditional Cornish dance). So if you haven’t got your tickets yet, click on the Making Waves Festival logo above and get online to book! After Wednesday, tickets will be sent via text to your phone. You can also get them from the Looe Tourist Information Centre (tel 01503 262072) or on the gate.

If you need accommodation, at Polraen, Check Availability for 2 and 3 night breaks until end September.

See you there!

A newspaper article in today’s Daily Mail (July 11th 2011) ‘Hotels ‘bribe guests for online reviews’ compels me to add a comment.  And to give some advice to those seeking to use tripadvisor in order to find a good hotel or bed and breakfast/guest house.

Firstly, I consider tripadvisor to be a useful tool for enabling guests to give objective and honest feedback and for it to be shared with fellow travellers. At Polraen, we have encouraged feedback via tripadvisor for a couple of years now, by displaying a tripadvisor stand close to our visitors book and in a simple email to our guests, thank them for their stay and provide a link to the review page, assuring them “What you write is totally up to you.”  We offer no incentives. Which is why there is some cause for concern that the system is being abused by some hoteliers, and sadly by a Cornwall hotel. I’m glad that tripadvisor reviews of Polraen Country House Hotel are overwhelmingly positive BUT…….. stories like today’s will regretfully undermine the perceived impartiality of the tripadvisor site. So for those seeking to use tripadvisor as a source of information to help make the right decision on where to book, here are some points to bear in mind.

Tripadvisor Reviews – Six Top Tips

  1. Be sceptical of any establishment which has 5 star reviews – exclusively!  The saying ‘You can’t please all of the people all of the time is true’. So if there is nothing negative at all under a rave review listing, consider that only ‘safe’ guests (or friends) are being invited to submit reviews.
  2. Don’t be put off by the odd negative review about a place you like the look of. Read several reviews to understand the trend over time.  And for a poor review, always read the management response if there is one, giving the ‘other side of the story’. If however, no management responses are shown against poor reviews, consider that this reflects a complacent attitude by the hotel management – ie not taking the time to respond to a guest complaint. 
  3. Remember, some guests can be ‘bad guests’ with malicious intent who set about finding fault.  If a guest makes the initial mistake in booking a hotel not suited to their needs, a complaint will frequently result  but…..Is this the fault of the hotel or the guest? If a guest expects to use a gift voucher on a Sat night in peak season for a one night stay, and can’t, so submits a negative review out of frustration, tripadvisor still accept this as a customer service experience, yet the rating might only reflect the misunderstanding of terms and conditions/frustration/disappointment and not necessarily the hotel’s customer service performance during the phone enquiry.
  4. Note that sometimes, tripadvisor gets it wrong and unfairly upholds a bad review (disputed by the hotel owner) because the tripadvisor ‘dispute’ email is limited to 200 characters which occasionally does not permit a proper understanding of the issue. (We had an experience of this ourselves when a guest posted a picture almost 2 years after their stay, posting it as NEW! when it was in fact 20 months old since when our bathrooms had been refurbished! It took nearly 6 weeks to get the misleading and defamatory photo taken down.) 
  5. Don’t let the rather offputting privacy policy dissuade you from submitting a review.  One of our guests recently drafted an excellent review * but declined to submit it, as they were concerned for their privacy when confronted by a lengthy opt-in policy regarding Facebook sign in.   I raised the issue via the tripadvisor forum, and received this explanation.  ’There is no requirement to sign on through FaceBook. It is an option. And there is no requirement to share your reviews. You can say No.  TripAdvisor has options to: (a) disconnect completely from FaceBook if you had at some point connected; (b) disable instant personalization.’  Other advice also highlighted that it is incumbent upon Facebookers to review their own privacy settings on Facebook to control the level of access which others have to their Facebook posts etc. (My own view?  When tripadvisor is seeking to have access to your profle information and to access your friends information,  I certainly have sympathy with my guest who was concerned “about potentially being bombarded with their adverts, or subjecting  my family to the same.” From a marketing perspective, if something appears off putting and intrusive and therefore acts as an obstacle to travellers undertaking the desired outcome (ie submitting a review) then I would argue that the onus is on the marketing gurus at tripadvisor to consider this. I have found that it has only been the relatively recent development of the Facebook sign in option that has escalated the issue – as the level of text dedicated to the opt in approval prior to submitting a review has become overcomplicated and lengthy – a potential turn off to our guests.  I will be monitoring how comfortable our guests feel about this going forward.)
  6. Remember, regardless of how attractive the incentive is, don’t accept a bribe! However well dressed up it is! And consider reporting any establishment which, in your opinion, is coercing you to submit a biased review. 

Businesses like Polraen over the last couple of years have contributed hugely to building tripadvisors community of travellers by encouraging the practice of posting reviews.  Regretfully, it does seem that the independent review site appears a little ‘less independent’ now tripadvisor is charging for business listings to feature contact details and special offers, earning revenue from selling third party ad space to online booking agencies and sadly being manipulated by some accommodation owners in this way.

*And here is the review about Polraen that never got posted: ”

“This is a great little Hotel with very friendly owners who go out of their way to make their guests welcome. Our room was small but very comfortable and spotlessly clean. The free Wi-fi was useful. The food is locally sourced and beautifully cooked by Martin. The menu is varied, the food well presented and everything was delicious. Gill is queen of the raspberry pavlovas!

The setting is very peaceful, with a lovely garden and ample parking. We found it convenient for exploring with and without the car. There are many exciting places of interest within a reasonable distance. We visited Eden, Tintagel, Heligan and more. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Polraen and we would love to go again.”

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I’m really excited that we have a member of staff attending a Green Foundation Course at the Eden Project. The course is designed to help businesses in Cornwall prepare for the coming changes in legislation regarding climate change.  At Polraen Country House, we strive to be increasingly environmentally friendly as conservation and concern for our environment have always been key considerations for us in running our family business over the last 11 years. We’ve gradually incorporated policies from recycling and housekeeping routines to careful selection of cleaning products and toiletries, from double glazing our windows to insulating our roof, replacing our freezers and boiler and changing all our light bulbs in order to lower our carbon footprint. Our efforts to date have been recognised by receiving a ‘Green Acorn Award’ from the South East Cornwall Tourism Association.

But now, we have a staff member totally inspired and full of enthusiasm to ensure that we focus on some new initiatives to further improve our ‘green’ credentials. We’ve nick named her ‘the eco warrior’. Sometime in the not too distant future, I feel that solar powered hot water and photo voltaic generation will be a reality for us together with extended composting and even closer scrutiny of the ingredients in our cleaning products and food miles on our menu!! And our volunteer work with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust in promoting and helping to run marine activities on behalf of the Looe Voluntary Marine Conservation Area is part of the bigger picture – along with encouraging our guests to take the bus or train into Looe rather than their car.

Thought for the Day:

Rome wasn’t built in a day (!) and we are only a little micro business but if we focus on one project at a time, eating away at our carbon footprint in bite size chunks, the sum of the whole is greater than we could ever imagine. Together, we can all make a difference…………..

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Looe Lugger Regatta 2013

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Once again Looe will be filled with classic fishing boats over the weekend of 14-16 June 2013.  Arriving in the days leading up to the event the luggers will race in Looe Bay, weather permitting, on Saturday only this year due to tides.  This wonderful event which takes place in Looe every two years, brings these traditional craft back to the Cornish fishing town of Looe in South East Cornwall  from far and wide, with regular attendance by boats from Brittany in France. Some of these boats are over 100 years old and provide a colourful spectacle, both out at sea and once tied up in the harbour, where a very pleasant evening can be spent strolling along the quay.

The lugger was the main fishing boat operating off the south Cornish coast up untill the 1960s. Originally sailing vessels, some were later installed with engines. Over this weekend the engines will once again be switched off as both boats from Looe and as far afield as Brittany turn back time.

Those wishing to watch the races will find great vantage points at Hannafore, West Looe or from the end of the Banjo Pier.  The highly popular event, organised by The Looe Lugger Association, is supported by local business and Town Organisations. It is very much a tradition – a Cornish tradition – but with huge appeal to visitors to the county as it offers such great photo opportunities and the atmosphere is really authentic.

Races will take place on the Saturday weather permitting. The Sailing Club in Looe and the Fish Market tend to be the centre of most social activity but if you stroll along the quayside, you may stumble across the occasional ‘boat party’ accompanied by the sounds of a French accordion played by our visiting friends from Brittany.

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Categories : Events, Festivals

Hot Air Balloon Flight over Cornwall by Gill

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Cornwall

Finally, I did it! Flew over our beautiful county of Cornwall on the evening of Tuesday  24th May in a hot air balloon reaching three and a half thousand feet!  It was a birthday present from my husband Martin (big birthday 2 years ago - not telling!) but after about 6 or 7 attempted flights which were cancelled due to bad weather, the forecast was OK as long as the wind calmed down below 12 mph. It’s been a very windy May and nothing was necessarily guaranteed. And even at 7.45 pm, we were still studying the tree tops! Thankfully our Virgin Hot Air Balloon pilot Mandy was taking nothing for granted.

All 12 passengers + pilot and ground crew had met at 6pm outside the Butchers Arms pub at St Ive between Liskeard and Callington, near one of Virgin’s hot air balloon launch sites, but take off from that location in the prevailing wind conditions would have meant a short flight, most probably ending up wet in Plymouth Sound! So we drove with balloon and kit north across Bodmin Moor and took off from a farmer’s field at Lewannick, near Launceston. Spreading out and attaching the red ‘envelope’/balloon to the wicker basket  - we then helped inflate it – a noisy affair with two huge fans blowing cold air into the balloon (250k cubic feet I think) then noisy blasts of butane fuelled hot flames to lift the envelope. A quick practice on bracing yourself in the landing position – and thankfully no discussion at all about what to do if things go wrong!!

Hot Air Balloon take offAnd then take off!! An amazingly fast ascent and, (according to my video which you can see on Facebook)  I appear to find God, “Oh my God!” appearing to be the only words I could utter to describe both the serene experience, the breath taking excitement tinged with fear and the awe inspired by the overwhelming beauty of the countryside fanning out like a patchwork quilt below. Cornwall must be one of England’s most verdant counties.

I was alone, most passengers were with a partner, yet few words were said, especially at the start. The sense of the moment is so intoxicating. A feeling of vulnerability and the need to hold on to the internal ropes did not pass easily. But after 7 or 8 minutes into the flight, you acclimatise to the strange oddness of being above the world in a wicker basket, able to touch the air with nothing to separate you from the ground below. Its calm, serene, exhilarating. Other than the occasional roar of the butane flames to keep us up, the silence was permeated by the occasional barking of dogs and the bleating of sheep. Slightly alarmed horses fled across fields and children appeared in back gardens to wave. As we were swept eastwards, we could see Roadford Lake to our north, Plymouth to the south east and Colliford Lake or Siblyback behind us. We flew over Stoke Climsland and skimmed the treetops of the Tamar Valley as we made our descent after an hour’s flight, with the sun setting on the horizon.

Driving in hot pursuit, and seen by me on the chase, was my husband Martin and daughter Amelia, keeping up with the Virgin crew to meet us as we landed near the pretty village of Horsebridge with its 15th century bridge spanning the Tamar River. We had an OK ‘two -bump’ landing in a recently mown field, but not before the pilot decided to avert and jump the hedgerow to avoid a bull in full panic mode in the chosen field. I’m left wondering whether Virgin have ever given it a second thought that maybe RED was not the choice of corporate colour on certain occasions!!

The whole experience was completed with a glass of champagne and a certificate to prove it! So if you ever get the chance do it, it’s well worth it. Virgin are currently offering morning balloon flights in the South West from £89 or £109 for a Weekday Anytime flight.  You have to get up VERY early for a morning flight and given the number of times they get cancelled in Cornwall (slim peninsular, surrounded by sea!), it’s probably worth the extra £20 for the convenience of an evening flight. If you want to know more information or book, visit Virgin Hot Air Balloons.

Network Rail removing the Equipment Cabin at Sandplace Station

After 2 months of campaigning, Sandplace residents finally met with senior representatives from Network Rail on Thursday 31 March regarding the controversial proposed installation of a 25 metre mast and large equipment cabin at Sandplace Station on the Looe Valley Line. Residents had taken their arguments to MP Sheryl Murray, raised questions to Parliament, the Department for Transport, the Office of Rail Regulatioin, the Rail Safety Standards Board and Cornwall Council arguing that the site was inappropriate due to road safety issues created by the equipment cabin and proposed mast and the significant visual impact of the communications infrastructure, spoiling the hamlet of Sandplace designated an ‘Area of Great Landscape Value’.

Senior Representatives of Network Rail, after inspecting the site, decided to immediately remove the cabin and abandon plans to site the 25 metre mast at Sandplace Station. They have now conceded that the location was inappropriate, acknowledging both the road safety issue and the detrimental impact on the hamlet of Sandplace and the heritage appearance of Sandplace Station. The unique topography of the Looe Valley presents key challenges for Network Rail in maintaining clear radio frequency along its meandering contours for the purposes of installing their GSMR communications system. The system has been mandated by UK legislation for all passenger routes, in spite of the EU directive naming the Looe Valley Line as an exception under Interoperability legislation. After rejecting the use of alternative communications technologies put forward by residents, it was accepted that the only viable resolution was to install smaller masts in more concealed locations to significantly reduce visual impact.

Network Rail are now re evaluating their alternative site locations for smaller masts and will also be pioneering the use of much smaller equipment cabins on the Looe Valley Line in order to alleviate the concerns of all local residents in the area. In accordance with their Permitted Developments Rights, they will notify Cornwall Council Planning of the new sites and have given an undertaking to consult with any potentially affected parties. We are pleased Network Rail is now working with us to arrive at an outcome acceptable to all local residents. “

It was a case of ”Now you see it – Now you don’t!’ – a Network Rail ground crew arrived the following day, early on Friday morning (April Fool’s Day!) to remove the equipment cabin. The ground crew commented that this is the first time they were aware of such a step being undertaken by Network Rail during the GSMR project.

After much heart ache and anxiety, the residents of Sandplace are relieved to have achieved a successful outcome, demonstrating a clear example of localism and the community in action.

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STOP THE MAST AT SANDPLACE STATION

Friday, February 4th, 2011

STOP PRESS – Friday 18 Feb 2011 – Join our STOP THE MAST Facebook Campaign 

Network Rail equipment cabin - road safety hazard

We hear Network Rail have moved their crews up north and are temporarily halting work in Cornwall…………. But we are not running out of steam! We raised questions at Cabinet Council meeting on Tuesday. Portfolio Holders for Planning and Transport are ”shocked” to see the photos of what is happening at Sandplace Station. Legal opinions being sought. Onsite visit from Highways regarding road safety issues created by the placement of this gross equipment cabin which obstructs the views of motorists travelling north on the B3254 heading towards a narrow bend over a walled bridge (a 60 mph road with no footpath). So it’s OK to look after your passengers on the train is it Network Rail but when they exit your station, you don’t care if they get run over by a car?? School children and regular bus users stand here and have to step out into the path of oncoming traffic to cross the road or flag the bus down……….. 

We also met with the Campaign for Rural England and received phone calls from residents in Calstock who are just beginning to learn that masts are going up along the Tamar in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Heritage Site.  Where are the planning rules to protect us?? If you love the countryside, and treasure all the assets we have in rural Cornwall, please show your support on our  STOP THE MAST Facebook campaign. 

STOP PRESS – Friday 4 Feb 2011
 A breakthrough was achieved at today’s meeting Friday 4 Feb. Who would have thought a little community like Sandplace could stop Network Rail in its tracks!! But yes, after a well presented argument by local residents and with the backing of MP Sheryll Murray, and support of Councillors Armand Toms and Richard Pugh, we’ve succeeded in getting Network Rail to agree to a temporary stop on any further work on the Sandplace Mast until the matter is taken up with the Secretary of Transport.  

At Perranwell the mast appeared "out of the blue"

It’s still a tough battle as we’re challenging Network Rail’s interpretation of an EU directive! But if a Portsmouth pub landlady can convince European legal opinion that Sky has no legal right to stop people using cheaper non-UK decoders to watch the footie on the TV, then the residents of Sandplace can take on Network Rail. A small victory for democracy today. But we’ve only won the battle – not the war…………..  

Please like our Facebook page STOP THE MAST AT SANDPLACE and share with your friends.  Thank you.

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STOP NETWORK RAIL ERECTING MAST AT SANDPLACE

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

STOP PRESS – Friday 18 Feb 2011 - Join our STOP THE MAST Facebook Campaign

Network Rail equipment cabin - road safety hazard

We hear Network Rail have moved their crews up north and are temporarily halting work in Cornwall…………. But we are not running out of steam! We raised questions at Cabinet Council meeting on Tuesday. Portfolio Holders for Planning and Transport are ”shocked” to see the photos of what is happening at Sandplace Station. Legal opinions being sought.

Onsite visit from Highways regarding road safety issues created by the placement of this gross equipment cabin which obstructs the views of motorists travelling north on the B3254 heading towards a narrow bend over a walled bridge (a 60 mph road with no footpath).

So it’s OK to look after your passengers on the train is it Network Rail but when they exit your station, you don’t care if they get run over by a car?? School children and regular bus users stand here and have to step out into the path of oncoming traffic to cross the road or flag the bus down……….. 

We also met with the Campaign for Rural England and received phone calls from residents in Calstock who are just beginning to learn that masts are going up along the Tamar in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Heritage Site.  Where are the planning rules to protect us?? If you love the countryside, and treasure all the assets we have in rural Cornwall, please show your support on our  STOP THE MAST Facebook campaign. 

Friday 4 Feb 2011
A breakthrough was achieved at today’s meeting Friday 4 Feb. Who would have thought a little community like Sandplace could stop Network Rail in its tracks!! But yes, after a well presented argument by local residents and with the backing of MP Sheryll Murray, and support of Councillors Armand Toms and Richard Pugh, we’ve succeeded in getting Network Rail to agree to a temporary stop on any further work on the Sandplace Mast until the matter is taken up with the Secretary of Transport.  

At Perranwell the mast appeared “out of the blue”

  

It’s still a tough battle as we’re challenging Network Rail’s interpretation of an EU directive! But if a Portsmouth pub landlady can convince European legal opinion that Sky has no legal right to stop people using cheaper non-UK decoders to watch the footie on the TV, then the residents of Sandplace can take on Network Rail. A small victory for democracy today. But we’ve only won the battle – not the war…………..    

Please like our Facebook page STOP THE MAST AT SANDPLACE and share with your friends.  Thank you.  

Like our Stop the Mast at Sandplace Facebook page: 

I don’t write my blog as often as I should and the last one was about the wonderful Steam Train event in September on the Looe Valley Line.   How tragic today that I am writing about the erection of an 82 foot communications mast which is being built as we speak at Sandplace Station to deface our lovely valley.   How would you like to wake up to find Network Rail have started work on erecting an 82 foot communications mast towering into the sky with no warning of any kind? 

Sitting next to a scenic single track branch line in South East Cornwall, our little community at Sandplace is fighting the imminent arrival of a 25 metre communications mast being erected as we speak by Network Rail yards from our homes – a metal latticed column towering 82 feet into the sky, news of which only became known to local residents following a passing conversation with the onsite construction team last week. Network Rail have blamed an administrative error for  not consulting or informing us but sadly, press articles from across the country show similar experiences of riding rough shod over local residents as Network Rail have used stealth tactics to roll out 2200 masts as part of their Rail Communication System - part of an EU directive to improve communication and avoid high speed train collisions. 

The Looe Valley Line – a single train travelling at 30 mph on a single track – yes and I can hear many of you saying with a single passenger on board!! You may well ask ‘What about planning permission?’ Well Network Rail apparently can legally bypass all planning processes (and public consultation) by flouting the privilege they enjoy under their Permitted Development Rights.   How relevant can this project be to our lovely Looe Valley line? How much government money (our money) is being squandered on this communication technology on a scenic single track branch line with a 30 mph limit, marketed as the ‘Scenic Looe Valley Line’ while we are all being told to tighten our belts at a time of spending restraint? 

We have gone to the Secretary of Transport to try and stop Network Rail in its tracks but as I write this,  they work into the night under arc lights to steam roll ahead in order to place this carbuncle on our beautiful Looe Valley – designated an Area of Great Landscape Value – and complete it before we can do anything about it! Please join our Facebook campaign. And halt this! 

 Network Rail has finally agreed to attend a meeting on Friday and we are still hopeful to get the site repositioned or better still, common sense will prevail and the logic of implementing this EU directed technology on this line will be considered with cost efficiency in mind rather than blind implementation!

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Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line in September

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Victorian Railway Fayre at Polraen in the Looe ValleySteam trains return to the Looe Valley Line on 19th and 26th September, commemorating 150 years of the Looe Branch Line and the 175th Anniversary of the Great Western Railway. We’re thrilled to have chance to see them passing Polraen Country House four times each Sunday. It will be the first time since 1961 that steam trains have travelled on the line between Liskeard and Looe .

The Looe Valley Explorer trains will feature steam locomotive GWR designed Hawksworth Pannier Tank No. 9466 hauling in one direction and a classic  1960′s English electric Type 3 (Class 37)  diesel in the other. The four departures on the two consecutive Sundays 19th and 26th September, will leave Liskeard at 10.50, 12.55, 14.55 and 17.10 stopping at Looe for approximately 10 minutes. Return tickets are £25 each with further details available from Vintage Trains including booking information. 

Victorian GirlsCelebrations to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Looe Valley Line will also be centred around the weekend of 11 and 12 September when a variety of events get underway with a Victorian fare, organized walks, a real ale trail and much, much more. It reminds me fondly of the time about 7 or 8 years ago when we held a Victorian Fayre in our garden to celebrate one of the railway centenary events.

If you are looking for accommodation, B&B rates at Polraen are from £82 per room per night.