Archive for Polraen Country House

A Looe Valley Walk in Spring, South East Cornwall

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Bluebells Looe Valley Walks

This roundtrip Looe Valley walk starting at Polraen Country House at Sandplace has been updated in May 2015 (see below).  The original blog was posted in Spring 2010:

“I set off  walking this morning from Polraen Hotel, up the Looe Valley to Sandplace Station with our black labrador May, and ended up having one of those walks that makes you happy to be alive! Continuing along the lane toward Tregarland Bridge, we veered off on a public footpath above the Looe Valley railway line, stumbled across two courting ducks and strolled along the track above the Looe River with wild garlic brushing our ankles.

After about half an hour walking along the track in the valley bottom next to the river, I intended to stop at Lower Wringworthy, but it was a lovely morning so I continued on a circular walk, finally emerging on the main road heading back through Morval. Then we headed down past Tregarland Farm back into the Looe Valley.  The views down onto the valley below are stunning, looking beyond inquisitive cows to fields of sheep grazing at Morval Barton Farm.  We continued past John and Val’s cottage (John grows flowers and soft fruits for our hotel), and we headed back down to the valley bottom to join the B3254 past Sandplace Station back to Polraen.

Looe Valley Walks with a dog

Looe Valley Walks with a dogAll in all, a one hour walk which lifted the spirits and made me so happy to be living in South East Cornwall. The dog thought it was a treat too! It’s not often I get the time to do what our guests can do from our doorstep at Polraen! But walking in the Looe Valley is good for the soul!!

Spring days are being warmed by lots of sunshine, and the hedgerows in the Looe Valley are stunning.  With an extended flowering season, the daffodils and primroses are vying for attention along the roadside while carpets of bluebells will soon be appearing on the wooded slopes. Pink and white campions and violets peep from the grassy banks and the first signs of cherry blossom are showing on the trees.

At Polraen, we like to help guests explore without the car lending them maps and providing public transport information for the bus and Looe Valley train. There’s a range of walks accessible from the stations along the railway line in a handy ‘Trails from the Track’ pack published by the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership. Spring is one of the best times to visit.”

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At Polraen Country House at Sandplace in the Looe Valley. An 18th century former coaching inn offering AA 4 Star Gold Award Guest Accommodation.

2015 update: Last year, the local landowner undertook considerable groundworks along this green lane betwen Tregarland Bridge to Plashford and Lower Wringworthy.   On the positive side, this has provided greater access as the path can now be walked more frequently without wellies and its status as a bridlepath for horseriding has been resumed but hopefully the garlic has recovered!!  There are lots of Looe Valley Walks but this one is off the beaten track and worth the effort!! Takes about 1 to 1 and a half hours depending on walking speed but it’s still a fantastic walk, particularly in spring. You can easily reach it by taking either the bus or train out of Looe along Sandplace Road and alighting at Sandplace Station on the Looe Valley Line. Timetables are available to download from our website.

10 Reasons to Visit Looe in May and June

Friday, May 1st, 2015

1. Best time to visit Cornwall

One of 10 reasons to visit LooeWe’ve selected 10 Reasons to visit Looe in May and June as they’re among the best months to visit Cornwall and Looe is the perfect touring base. Come ahead of the crowds. See hedgerows full of wild garlic and campions. If you’re quick, be dazzled by carpets of bluebells. Visit historic houses when their gardens are bursting into colour. It’s also a key festival time when Looe celebrates its connection with the sea at the Looe Lugger Regatta. Come and savour the wonderful fish and seafood landed on Looe Quay.

3. Amazing Bluebell Walks

Looe Valley Dog WalkBluebells everywhere! They’re spectacular in the Looe Valley, especially between Sandplace and Duloe. Follow a Looe Valley Walk (see blog) or join Friends of Kilminorth Woods on 10 May on their annual Bluebell Walk – starts 10.30 am.

4. Beat the crowds to Cornwall

Enjoy it all ahead of the crowds – Just by avoiding the school holidays, you can escape to deserted beaches at Whitsand Bay, enjoy a leisurely lunch in some great seafood restaurants. Relax and listen to the birdsong. No queues. No stress.

5. Cornwall Gardens are at their best

Polraen country house garden LooeAs May progresses to early summer, the gardens at Lanhydrock, Cotehele, Anthony and Mt Edgcumbe become a profusion of colour. Azaleas and rhodedendrons tower over exotic herbaceous borders. Recently visited Caerhays Castle – magnificent!

6. Visit Poldark Film sets

Loved the new Poldark TV drama?  Come and see the REAL thing in Cornwall! Visit the filming locations.  A walk on Bodmin Moor is guaranteed to provide a sense of solitude and amazement – this is the country for those seeking views and wild walks and a sense of history and folklore. While the familiar Poldark backdrop of the Georgian port of Charlestown harks back to the times of wreckers, smugglers and merchants, when tin and copper were loaded on to tall ships.

7. Rockpool Rambles in Looe

Join expert volunteers from the Looe Marine Conservation Group to discover where to look, how to find and identify some of the wonderful and beautiful creatures and seaweeds that inhabit Looe’s amazing rockpools. May 30th 9.30 to 11 am on Hannafore Beach. A free event suitable for all ages. There’s no need to book.

8. Lugger Regatta 19-21st June and the Festival by the Sea

Photo Courtesy of Looe Festival of ood and DrinkCelebrate Looe’s connections with the sea. Against the backdrop of the famous Looe Lugger festival, we celebrate the sustainable fisheries of Looe and its wonderful marine life with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Looe Marine Conservation Group. Find out how crabs and lobsters are caught, have a go at mackerel line fishing and learn about the wealth of environmentally friendly seafood available in Cornwall. Live crabs on show, crabbing competition etc.

9. Looe Food & Drink Festival 27 and 28 June

An array of Cornish food and drink to tempt your tastebuds – an annual festival held in the Millpool.

10. Come by train and get 30% off

Top quality guest accommodation in chocolate box historic houseCome to Polraen Country House by train with First Great Western and get Polraen’s 30% discount offer shaving £78 off a week’s holiday in Looe. You can come all the way to Polraen Country House at Sandplace and Looe by train. And explore Cornwall using cheap day returns to St Ives, Truro, Plymouth, Falmouth or Penzance.

Check availability

 

 

Cornwall by Car, Bus and Train

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Printed on the back of our breakfast menus, our Top Ten Day Trips from Looe have proved so popular with guests staying at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley that we thought we’d share our recommendations so you can plan ahead.

Cornwall With and Without a Car

Explore Cornwall by trainBe adventurous!  Why not explore Cornwall by car, bus and train.  It’s rare to find hotel accommodation in Cornwall in such an idyllic rural location enjoying the convenience of both bus and train services.  Our suggestions include days out from Looe with and without the car using Polraen Country House near Looe as a touring base for Cornwall and Devon. At Sandplace in the Looe Valley, Polraen Country House benefits from Bus Route Number 73 – an hourly bus service which honours senior citizen bus passes, and the scenic Looe Valley Line train giving easy access to Looe, Polperro, Liskeard and beyond.

Touring By Car

Whitsand Day out from LooeWithout negotiating any narrow back lanes, it’s a direct route from Polraen’s car park to the A38 via Morval on the A387. In less than 10 minutes, you’ll be on a fast road heading east to fantastic beaches at Whitsand, the Rame Peninsula and Devon or west into deeper Cornwall.

Exploring By Looe Valley Line Train

Just a 2 minute stroll to Sandplace Station, guests really appreciate our proximity to the scenic Looe Valley Line. 5 minutes to Looe or use it to connect with the mainline at Liskeard. It’s perfect for day trips by train to St Ives, Falmouth, Truro and Plymouth. Cheap day returns and group/family discounts make the journey easier, faster, and far more relaxing than by car. It’s less costly too (no fuel or parking charges).  A year round service Mon-Sat and from May 17, a Sunday service too.

Travelling By Plymouth CityBus 73

Polperro Harbour Explore Cornwall by busPlymouth Citybus 73 runs from Polperro via Looe and Sandplace through the Looe Valley to Liskeard and beyond to Pensilva up on Bodmin Moor. It stops on request right outside the hotel and honours senior citizen bus passes so if you qualify, enjoy ‘free’ trips too. We’re happy to assist with directions, timetables & loan Ordnance Survey maps.  New for 2015, a bus service from Liskeard to Padstow, so you can now easily reach the north coast without taking the car!

Top Ten Day Trips from Looe

  1. Looe to Polperro Cliff top walk (on foot and by bus)
  2. Eden Project via Bodinnick Ferry and Fowey (by car)
  3. Lost Gardens of Heligan and the Victorian port of Charlestown (by car)
  4. Lanhydrock – a gem in the National Trust portfolio of historic houses (by car)
  5. Days out by train to St Ives, Truro, Falmouth, Penzance, Plymouth (by train)
  6. Whitsand Bay & the Rame Peninsular – the beaches & villages of Cornwall’s ‘forgotten corner’ (by car)
  7. North Coast to King Arthur’s Tintagel, Boscastle and Rick Stein’s Padstow (by car)
  8. The contrast that is Bodmin Moor, granite formations, ghosts and Bodmin Jail (by car or by bus)
  9. Discover grey seals and amazing wildlife on  visit to Looe Island (by bus/train and boat)
  10. Go on a mackerel or deep sea fishing trip from Looe (by bus/train and boat)

Full details and a print friendly download available here.  At Polraen, we know that a little bit of local knowledge can go a long way in making the difference between a good holiday and a great one. We are more than happy to assist you during your stay, with suggestions on things to do, places to visit and how to get there. Why not book your holiday in Looe now?

Christmas and New Year in Looe Cornwall

Friday, November 28th, 2014

Great Value B&B in Looe: Christmas events & New Year celebrations

This year, Looe is promising a fantastic time for anyone planning a short break to Cornwall.  If you like to balance your fun with rest and recreation of a more relaxing kind, and get a good night’s sleep between the celebrations, then look no further than Polraen Country House for your Winter Bed and Breakfast accommodation.  We’re offering simple B&B from £60 per room per night throughout the winter.

Looe Harbour Christmas Weekend Dec 5 – 7

Reindeer in LooeThis fun-filled 3 day weekend event of Christmas activities centred around West Looe Quay offers plenty of opportunity to buy local produce and novel Christmas presents and stocking fillers as well as Santa arriving by boat and  live reindeer in town. There’ll be plenty of entertainment with choirs and carols, fireworks, a lantern procession and more. Full information.

Coca Cola Truck visits Looe Dec 15

Coca Cola Truck in LooeFor the first time ever, the Coca Cola Truck will be visiting Looe in Cornwall which is one of only two places in the UK where it will bequeath a lasting gift for the people of the town. Drawing crowds wherever it goes, the truck will be on the Quayside in Looe from midday until 8 pm with a lots of fun filled entertainment – and no doubt, ‘free Coca Cola’!

New Year Celebrations

New Year in LooeFancy dress revelry topped off with a spectacular fire work display at midnight has made the town of Looe a magnet for those seeking a night to remember at New Year.  Looe is rated as one of the top places in the UK to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, while hundreds of brave souls, do their bit for the RNLI on New Year’s Day by taking part in a fundraising New Year’s Day Swim from East Looe Beach.

Just a 3 minute drive into Looe and you can join in the pre Christmas festivities or the New Year fancy dress and fireworks. Back at Polraen, you can sleep like a baby surrounded by glorious Cornish countryside, enjoy a sumptuous breakfast and relax in the space and privacy of a country house with the convenience of easy access from onsite parking, free Wifi and bus and Looe Valley train links into town.

Book your room at Polraen online now

What makes an Autumn Hotel Break special?

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
Cornwall is of course a very special place to visit. And the historic fishing port of Looe is a great place from which to explore the county.  So what’s special about an autumn hotel break at Polraen Country House?  The price is certainly great value – from £60 per person including a candle lit dinner, full breakfast, ensuite accommodation, convenient free onsite parking and Wifi.  But what makes it special? Here’s a few reasons to book an autumn hotel break at Polraen:
  • Our location: all the peace of the countryside with Looe 3 minutes down the road – our stress free ‘out of town’ location at Sandplace is perfect for Looe, Polperro and ideal for touring Cornwall
  • Relaxation: enjoy autumn colours and sounds in the peace and quiet of the Looe Valley. Hear the cough’ of a pheasant or the hoot of an owl – but no sea gulls!  Watch shadows lengthen across the garden over a candelit dinner against the backdrop of a wooded valley changing colour. See the mist rise from a dew covered lawn as the sun climbs above the Looe Valley countryside.  
  • Great food: A choice of breakfasts from Eggs Benedict to the Full English or lighter alternatives, while Cornish Produce is King in a varied menu of home made dishes served for evening dinner in The Conservatory or Bar Wed-Sat from 6.30 pm
  • Convenience: Easy access from an onsite car park with public transport to Looe, Polperro and beyond on the scenic Looe Valley train or bus.
  • Bedroom comfort: The comfort and cleanliness of our 5 well equipped 4 star Gold Award ensuite rooms. Our mattresses get rave reviews and we earn a thumbs up for ‘sleep quality’. Read our Reviews.
  • Local Beer and Cider: The refreshing taste of local draft ale and cider served in our cosy bar.
  • Our Reputation for hospitality: Share the day’s events with fellow guests. Sink into leather sofas in the guest lounge. Share a yarn in the bar. Above all, enjoy Polraen’s welcoming informal atmosphere among fellow guests and your host proprietors Gill and Martin Bridges.

The crowds have gone. National Trust properties like Lanhydrock and Cotehele  remain open throughout October. The cliff top paths and deserted beaches await you – it’s the perfect place to unwind and grab that late autumn break before the nights close in.

You can mix and match B&B combining evening dinner on selected days. Call us on 01503 263956 to book direct as these special prices cannot be booked online. You can however check room availability here:

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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

Love Looe Logo

The Beautiful Looe ValleyThe South East Cornwall Walking Festival 2013 taking place in September in and around Looe in Cornwall – what a brilliant programme of walks this year!

In the walking festival, alongside tried and tested favourites, such as a visit to the Duloe Beer & Cider Festival, this year’s week long programme of escorted walks from Sat 14-21 September, introduces some more eclectic interests such as foraging for edible plants along the South East Cornwall coast and seashore and a guided tour with archaeologists conducting the first archaeological dig to be carried out on the Hurlers Stone circle on Bodmin Moor since the 1930s.

The walks explore a truly diverse and beautiful rural landscape with a chance to appreciate some ‘off the beaten’ track gems. These idyllic locations are within an area of countryside in South East Cornwall along the coast from the popular fishing and seaside town of Looe to Polruan on the Fowey River, and inland across verdant pastures of the Looe River valleys running up to Bodmin Moor.

East Looe River ValleyWalking of course can be a solitary pursuit but to be escorted by local experts sharing their insight and specialist knowledge in local history, wildlife, conservation and archaeology is a real bonus. Although all these walks are free of charge, many are led by experts in their field and any donations will go towards local charities or the project running the walk eg Looe Marine Conservation Group or Mapping the Sun Project.

Accommodation for the South East Cornwall Walking Festival

If you need accommodation, Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley, is an ideal base for the Walking Festival. You can book bed and breakfast but with a fully licensed bar and restaurant service serving home-made dishes and blackboard specials – you have the convenience of optional evening dinner Wed- Sat. Some of the walks start from Sandplace Station on the scenic Looe Valley Train Line just 400 yards from Polraen so it is an ideal base to explore whether you come Trenant Bridge, Looe Valley, East Looe Riverwith or without the car.  Double rooms are priced from £80 per room per night including Full Breakfast, free parking and Wifi.  To book rooms at Polraen, check availability here

South East Cornwall Walking Festival Programme

For the South East Walking Festival, download the full list of walks here

Looe Music Festival – September 2013

And if music rather than walking is more your cup of tea, remember the Looe Music Festival takes place in September the weekend of 27-29 September.

 

 

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….

 

 

Family Rooms in Looe in August

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Great offer on Family Room Sleeps 3

This weekend only – Kids Go Free (3,4 and 5 August) with a room rate of only £99 prpn! Hurry before it’s gone…..

Up to £140 off the cost of a family summer holiday in Cornwall with good availability throughout August . Such savings can be had now on family rooms in Looe in Cornwall in August.

Spacious superior room overlooking garden Also a Family Room to sleep 3

Check availability

 

No of nights NOW:  WAS:
3 £336         £360
4                   £440  £480
5 £540  £600
6 £630  £720
7 £700  £840

For example, at Polraen Country House near Looe we would rather have our last family room booked for a minimum stay of 3 or 4 nights so we are happy to give generous discounts and special offers for late availability rather than slashing prices for just a one night stop over – as long as you book direct and preferably by phone on 01503 263956.

Our discounted room rates are available only on our Family Room to Sleep 3 (+ travel cot) as our largest family room has been fully booked out by repeat visitors who tend to book early.  Having stayed with us before, they know what they want and are assured of the quality, cleanliness, hospitality and facilities they can rely on at Polraen Country House. After all, it’s thanks to their independent reviews that we have received a tripadvisor certificate of excellence fo the second year and the coveted AA Gold Star Award as well as Breakfast and Dinner Awards. And there are so many Things to Do in this lovely part of Cornwall. See What’s On.

You’ll need to book direct by phone on 01503 263956 to get these cheap rates as they’re not available via third party agents who charge quite a lot of commission! We’d prefer you – our guests – to benefit from finding a great deal rather than paying for the overheads of a third party booking system.

So the bad weather has delivered a great benefit to you! The bad weather and the Olympics are working in your favour if you’re looking for a last minute deal as the combination has affected the usual booking pattern and we’d rather have the room let than empty.  So if you are looking for late availability in August on a family room in Looe, look no further – just give us a call on 01503 263956.

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