Archive for Events

New Year in Looe

Friday, December 6th, 2013

New Year in LooeI love this time of year. When you live in Cornwall, you just have to scratch the surface to find there are so many things to do – and in Looe, there are so many events and festivities in the build up to Christmas and the New Year.

New Year in Looe

Of course, New Year in Looe has become famous for its fancy dress and fireworks display so if you haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve and fancy a short break away, come and join us in Cornwall. We’ve got some late availability at Polraen Country House for 2 night minimum short break stays over the New Year in Looe from £90 per person.

December Munchtime Express

We had the pleasure of joining the Munchtime Express on the scenic Looe Valley Line on Tuesday with wonderful food free of charge courtesy of Nick Barclay at Blue Plate Downderry.  Over a 5 week period Nov-Dec, 5 of our best local restaurants serve free samples on the train of their wonderful food. This annual event has become so popular you have to book in advance. It’s a lovely scenic return journey on the Looe Valley Line travelling from Looe to Liskeard and back (passing Polraen Country House at Sandplace en route). So you’ve missed it in 2013 but plan it for next year!

New Year in Looe with Fireworks

So what else in December before the New Year celebrations? Well here’s the latest list of events courtesy of the local Tourist Office. If you want to keep up with the latest information on New Year in Looe and what’s going on,  we recommend you like the Love Looe Facebook page

LOOE & AREA DECEMBER 2013 EVENTS GUIDE DECEMBER

  •  3rd Munchtime Express Looe Valley Line
  • 4th Christmas Carols at Millpool Centre Pelynt Male Voice Choir
  • 6th Santa Arrives Memorial Steps, East Looe 6.30pm
  • 6th Santa’s Grotto & Festive Events West Looe Quayside Centre 5pm
  • 7th Dickensian Day Rose Garden 10am – 4pm
  • 7th Polperro Christmas Fayre & Carols with Keltique Big Green 2pm
  • 7th Polperro Lights Switch on 6.30pm
  • 8th Carols with Porthpyra Singers St Martin’s Church 7pm
  • 8th Craft Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 11am-3pm
  • 8th Wood Watch Walk Kilminorth Woods
  • 14th Produce Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 10am-2pm
  • 14th Fireworks Fundraising Coffee Morning Guildhall Tearoom 10am
  • 14th Santa Fun Run Starts West Looe Quayside 11am
  • 14th Keltique & Rame Choirs Riverside Church 7pm
  • 14th & 15th Nativity Display St Martin’s Church
  • 15th Christingle St Martin’s Church 4pm
  • 15th Christmas Open Day, Monkey Sanctuary 11am – 4.30pm
  • 16th Keltique Candlelit Concert St Nicholas Church West Looe 7pm
  • 19th Pub Carols with Keltique Around East Looe
  • 20th Sheila’s School of Dance Christmas Show Looe Bay Holiday Pk
  • 21st Sheila’s School of Dance Christmas Show Looe Bay Holiday Pk
  • 21st Produce Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 10am-2pm
  • 22nd Craft Market Quayside Centre, West Looe 11am-3pm
  • 22nd Polperro Fishermans Choir West Looe Quayside Centre 7pm
  • 24th Crib Service St Martin’s Church 4pm
  • 24th Christingle Riverside Church 4pm
  • 24th Christmas Holy Communion St Martin’s Church 11pm
  •   24th Christmas Holy Communion Riverside 11.30pm
  • 25th Christmas Holy Communion St Nicholas Church 9.30am
  • 25th Churches Together Christmas Lunch Looe Academy
  • 31st Looe New Years Eve Fireworks E. Looe Beach 6pm & 12 midnight
  • 1st Jan New Years Day Swim East Looe Beach 11am (TBC

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Looe Bioblitz – Wildlife Bonanza in Cornwall

Friday, June 21st, 2013

Rockpool Creatures Looe CornwallSo what is the Looe Bioblitz? And if you’re interested in wildlife, why should you come to Looe in South East Cornwall to take part on June 23 and 24?

What is a Bioblitz?

A bioblitz  is a survey of a natural space to try and identify and record as many species as possible, and to raise public awareness of biodiversity in the marine and coastal environment.  Anyone who lives in Looe or has visited on holiday can’t fail to appreciate how lucky we are in Looe to have an amazing variety of wildlife from grey seals to blackbacked gulls, from bats and badgers to dolphins and basking sharks, from fish aplenty to crabs and kingfishers – the list is endless. And that’s why Looe was selected this year by the Marine Biological Association as the focus for their fifth Bioblitz – the largest one they’ve held.

An amazing range of activities will be run to survey and gather the species and data, under the eye of national wildlife experts who are coming to Looe specially for the event this weekend. The 24 hour race running round the clock will involve local groups, holidaymakers, wildlife enthusiasts and volunteers from our local Looe Marine Conservation Group.

What type of wildlife events are taking place?

If you fancy any of these activities, turn up on Sunday at the new Millpool Centre in the Millpool Car Park in West Looe which is acting as the base camp for the event. From 10 am on Sunday, here you can get details of the programme of activities from a manned desk. Amazing interesting activities that you might not have ever done before such as seashore safaris, bug hunts, woodland, meadow and strandline walks, plankton netting, rock pooling, bat detecting, moth traps, mammal spotting, and snorkelling – with national and local wildlife experts on hand to answer questions. Most of the surveys will take place at Hannafore and East Looe Beaches, on Looe Island and in Kilminorth Woods. So the base camp in the Millpool is the nerve centre for data, where lab work, identification and data recording will continue through the night. You can take part in events or simply observe.  In the Millpool Centre, there will be talks; art based activities and microscopes/screens/ specimens for people to look at and learn about, all under the knowledgeable eye of experts – some coming from France and from the Natural History Museum as well as the MBA and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.  There will be monitors in the centre for viewing photos and identifying additional records from these pictures and a series of ‘mini missions’ for volunteers and members of the public to take part in.

Support for Looe’s Wildlife

At Polraen, we have a major interest in Looe’s marine wildlife as we sit on the steering committee  of our Looe Marine Conservation Group. We’ve found it a great way to engage with nature, meeting like minded people and its a great excuse to get out and enjoy the fantastic rural and coastal environment that we have the privilege to live in. Whether you live locally or are on holiday, you might like to support the efforts of our group by becoming a member for just £6 per annum. Take a look at the Looe Marine Conservation Group website from the comfort of your armchair or better still, become a member or even a volunteer if you live nearby.

At the time of ‘blogging’, we have rooms available  at Polraen if you’re needing overnight accommodation. 

Cornwall Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Boconnoc DaffodilsWent to the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc today (Sat 6th April) – an annual pilgrimage with my Mum. We were blessed with clear blue skies, lower than average temperatures but no wind chill so the weather was perfect.

Buy your ticket in advance if you want to save a £1 but the £7.50 entrance charge at the gate is well worth it – for a Cornish version of the Chelsea Flower Show or Hampton Court Flower Show with an emphasis on daffodils, which is no surprise at this time of year.

The backdrop for the event is amazing. Boconnoc is situated about 10 miles north of Looe and Polperro, just off the B3359 and near the A390 towards Lostwithiel.  It’s one of Cornwall’s old country estates with gracious sweeping lawns, sheep grazing on pastures, Victorian follies, rhodedendron ‘trees’ and an impressive Cornish country mansion. The event itself is charming. Marquees and outside displays with lots of nurseries plying rare and exotic species alongside more familiar plant types with alpines and rockery plants going for a song.

Amongst the ‘other’ stands were garden ornaments, solar powered fountains, antique edwardian garden implements, garden furniture, garden sculptures and pottery, garden tools and of course, Cornish food and drink at very reasonable prices.

All in all, a great day. I came away with a few additional shrubs, alpines, and perennials for the Polraen Hotel garden (always manage to find a new space for a new arrival). Best I think to set a budget before I go next time………… Also signed up for a monthly donation to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust while I was there. A lovely day. I’ll be going next year. The first of many ‘Things to Do‘ in and around Looe which I recommend to hotel guests and love to do myself…..

April 3 nights for the price of 2 offer at Polraen Country House

Take advantage of our April 3 nights for the price of 2 offer on double and twin rooms and enjoy a short break from £84 per person for a 3 night stay at Polraen Country House.  There are so many fantastic gardens in Cornwall which are wonderful particularly in spring.

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Help for Heroes Lifting Spirits in the Looe Valley

Monday, December 10th, 2012

At our charity fundraising night at Sandplace in the Looe Valley, we raised £454.50 for Help for Heroes – the British charity providing direct, practical support to wounded, injured and sick service personnel, veterans, and their families. 1940′s crooner Andy Marshall entertained local residents during a Gourmet Bangers and Mash meal at a community based fundraising event ‘Crooning for Christmas’.

Help for Heroes Crooning for Christmas Event at Polraen, Looe, CornwallThrowing the doors open in aid of Help for Heroes, we decided to support this worthy cause  for the second year running. Our hotel, Polraen Country House Hotel at Sandplace, is an ideal venue to host a community party, and we were supported by fellow Sandplace residents including Adam Grundy and Caroline Foster, (seen here with 1940s Crooner Andy Marshall, dressed as a Land Army Girl).

Planned some time ago to foster community spirit, the event brought out the best of British in the face of adversity as it couldn’t have taken place at a better time to help lift the spirits of local residents. The previous two weeks had been a frustrating time for everyone in the Looe Valley.  An unprecedented combination of scheduled roadworks and a landslide in Looe following recent heavy rains had isolated communities severing bus routes and creating traffic chaos on the back lanes as we were  forced to cope with ‘rat run’ detours. We’re pleased the scheduled roadworks on the A387 are now complete and the road is now fully open between Widegates and Sandplace. Not only was this event for a really worthy cause, it helped us to send out a strong message that businesses in the Looe Valley are open for business as usual, including Sunday roast lunch. We’re particularly relieved the public transport is back on track. The Looe Valley train is running and the 573 bus has resumed a service from Looe, detouring via Widegates and Morval to reach Sandplace, Duloe, St Keyne and Liskeard.

We owe a lot of thanks to Andy Marshall, 1940′s crooner, a brilliant talent with an amazing voice, who generously travelled up from St Columb Major near Newquay to Croon for Christmas at Polraen. Thanks Andy!

 

Steam trains on the Looe Valley Line

Monday, November 19th, 2012

For the last two Sundays, 11th and 18th November, the Looe Valley has reverberated to the sound of steam hissing, engine pistons clacking and whistles blowing as a steam engine (Great Western Society’s 104-year-old Steam Railmotor 93) has plied the journey from Liskeard to Looe and back. Walking our dog May, up past Sandplace Station, Tregarland Bridge and Plashford on Sunday morning before the rush of Sunday lunch at Polraen, the smell of sulphur from the burning coal filled my nostrils as the steam hovered above the track as the little engine disappeared down the single track toward Looe leaving a plume of white as its signature.

Fortunately, both Sundays were blessed with lovely sunny weather.  The Looe Valley was a picture, dressed in its autumn glory with its tree lined banks saluting the passing of the little train . This little video captures a day in the life of the little train from all angles and from most stations along the route. Enjoy….

 

 

Crooning for Christmas in aid of Help for Heroes

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Crooning For Christmas in aid of Help for HeroesOnce again, our Sandplace community here in the Looe Valley in Cornwall felt it was time to foster some local community spirit. So we’re throwing the doors open at Polraen Country House on Friday December 7th for a Looe Valley community fundraising night in aid of Help for Heroes. Having raised over £440 for the Help for Heroes charity last year at a similar event, this year we fancied some live entertainment so we’ll be ‘Crooning for Christmas’ with all proceeds from the evening going to ‘Help for Heroes’once again.

Why Crooning for Christmas? Well on a recent visit down to Truro for the Cornwall Food & Drink Festival, I discovered a very talented guy called Andy Marshall singing some Frank Sinatra favourites and it occurred to me that he was just the ticket for an event at Polraen Country House. Talking of tickets, at just £12 per head, the night includes a Gourmet Bangers ‘n Mash meal, with live entertainment from 1940′s Crooner Andy Marshall and a prize draw for Sunday Lunch for 2 at Polraen. Raffle tickets will also be available on the night.  Tickets must be purchased in advance from Polraen (first come first served with only 40 available so please book soonest on 01503 263956).

And now to give credit where credit is due. The effort involved in organising this has been shared among a few Looe Valley residents including this brilliant poster by Adam Grundy. We don’t necessarily want it to be a ‘one off’, so along with Derek, Terry and Caroline, we’ve agreed that if it’s well supported by friends and neighbours, Martin and I are quite happy for our facilities at Polraen to be available for other such good community based causes. Sometimes just for fun and to socialise, perhaps on other occasions to discuss topics that affect our community and the Looe Valley.

We’re open to ideas. Oh and if you can’t come, please donate a raffle prize from the larder or wine rack or donate via our Help for Heroes Charity page. Hope to see you.

 

 

Basking Shark in Looe Harbour

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Yesterday (Sunday 20 May) an 8-10ft basking shark spent an hour serenely swimming around Looe Harbour in South East Cornwall at around 4pm witnessed by onlookers from East and West Looe quaysides and along the Banjo Pier. Dave Haines took some brilliant pictures from outside the RNLI Lifeboat Station which yoiu can see on our Facebook page.

What amazes me is the way it gets written up in the paper:

BBC News: “A basking shark has been spotted in a town harbour in Cornwall in what is believed to be the first such sighting for about 20 years.  The shark, estimated to be between 8ft and 10ft (2.4m and 3m) long, spent an hour at Looe after being seen at about 16:00 BST on Sunday.  The creature was watched by dozens of people on the town’s quayside and Banjo Pier.  It then swam out of the River Looe, local lifeboat staff said.

The Sun: “A MONSTER shark swam into a British harbour for the first time in 20 years — and came within 8ft of onlookers. The 10ft basking shark glided into Looe harbour in Cornwall after mistakenly swimming up the mouth of the River Looe.

What a sight to behold and I missed it by a day as I’d spent all the afternoon before assisting the Cornwall Wildlife Trust with our Looe Crazy about Crabbing event! which will  be on the next blog when I’ve got the photos sorted. As a volunteer in our Local Marine Conservation Group, we help out with some great events to share knowledge and spread the word about the importance of marine conservation. Basking sharks are amazing creatures. It was over 20 years ago that one was sighted in Looe Harbour in this way. Just a pity that I was there a day early and the shark turned up a day late!

Olympic Torch Route – Liskeard

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

The Olympic Torch is being carried through Cornwall today and will be coming through Liskeard at 18.35 after passing through Bodmin. It will then go to Saltash, across the Tamar and into Plymouth - the final destination for today Saturday 19 May – the first leg of its round the UK journey.

Here are two PDF downloads to gain quick access to what’s going on in Liskeard (lots of fun and games of a sporty nature taking place all day from 10 am in the morning in the build up to the arrival of the Olympic Torch.

There will inevitably be some delays on the A38 which will be closed eastbound to allow the torch to cross the Tamar Bridges circa round about 6.30 pm.

And a couple of hours later here are the photos I took:

 

Help for Heroes Bangers ‘n Mash Night at Polraen

Monday, November 14th, 2011

We had a great night here at Polraen on Friday! A Sandplace community get together, harnessing the best of community spirit, generosity and kindness for which the Brits are  known. It was a simple affair – a Bangers ‘n Mash night in aid of the Help for Heroes charity. And we raised £443.16. A good time was had by all – a fun quiz, a well supported raffle and a few beers and wines shared in a warm and welcoming atmosphere and in the presence of good company. And for those who want to know where the sausages were from – Warren’s, the Butchers in Liskeard. Hard to beat! We buy all our meat there, great quality for our Sunday roasts!

Oddly enough, we have Network Rail to thank for our new community spirit! Had we not combined forces in the early spring to fight the erection of their telecommunications mast at Sandplace Station, we might never have got to meet our various neighbours, now friends, strung out along the length of the Looe Valley in the small communities of Trenant, Sandplace, Tregarland Bridge, Plashford and Causeland.  Perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining……  And the generosity is illustrated by those who were unable to come but still gave a donation or provided a raffle ticket prize. THANK YOU!

Falling on such an auspicious date as 11.11.11, I was reminded that Remembrance Weekend is about remembering the fallen. And indeed,  no community remains untouched by the impact of war – the name of Lance Corporal Paul Upton (died in Afghanistan in Feb 2009) is remembered through its inscription on the local memorial in Looe – the first name to be added since 1945. But whilst  remembering the dead, we must also look after the wounded.  So if you want to give a donation to Help for Heroes, it’s easy. Click here to simply donate!

And here’s to our next evening. A Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Affair with the odd musical instrument thrown in for good measure. Date to be advised………Watch this space!!

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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