Archive for Polraen Country House

Covid-19 – Flexible Reservations

 

Wysteria cladding Polraen Country House Looe

Counting today’s blessings: the fragrance of wysteria on the outside of Polraen Country House Hotel near Looe in Cornwall and the bluebells exploding in the Looe Valley.

We wrote this Covid-19 blog back in April when we introduced Flexible Reservations for Summer 2020. Our aim was to boost confidence by giving more flexible cancellation terms on direct bookings in uncertain times.  Well – it’s now June and we’re looking forward to re-opening on July 22.

Covid-19 – an update:

We’ve reduced room availability and built in a 24 hour gap between guests so you really need to think about booking soon to make sure we have availability.  Rest assured the safety of our guests and staff remains paramount. We’re doing our Risk Assessment, developing robust hygiene protocols, reviewing our services and facilities and revising some procedures. We’ll shortly be releasing this information and all guests will receive a copy before their arrival. 

21 April 2020 – the original Covid-19 blog:

“If you’re dreaming of visiting Cornwall, missing Looe or just keen to plan a holiday to have something to look forward to when restrictions are lifted, we’d love to hear from you!

Book Direct

At some point, people will be able to take a holiday.  We encourage you to book direct. This way, we can keep control and exercise a superior level of service, taking into consideration the individual needs of our guests. You’ll get a lower rate and more flexible cancellation terms. 

Call Gill on 01503 263956 or make a direct booking via our website.

Now for the Covid-19 update:

NEW FLEXIBLE RESERVATIONS POLICY

Firstly, we’ve introduced a new flexible reservation policy so that you can book with confidence.  On all direct bookings, we agree to transfer your deposit to alternative dates without penalty, if you need to postpone your stay due to Covid-19. All we ask is that you let us know 8 or more days before the original arrival date. All other standard Terms and Conditions apply. 

COVID-19 HEALTH & HYGIENE

We have an excellent record for cleanliness at Polraen Country House. Our standard of housekeeping is reflected in our high tripadvisor ratings. Rest assured, we commit to following any additional measures that may be introduced as ‘best practice’ following the pandemic.  From now on, hand sanitiser will be in every room and common area as standard. Read our Reviews.

Polraen Breakfast and Picnic Conservatory Looe

SOCIAL DISTANCING 

With spacious common areas including a guest lounge, large conservatory and extensive gardens, it will be easy to maintain social distancing, Tables at breakfast will be minimum 2 metres apart.  We can also offer a self-isolating ‘private’ breakfast in another room or on the patio on a booked basis. If you consider yourself vulnerable or simply wish to be extra cautious, let us know.

ROOM ONLY OPTION

For those who’ve stayed at Polraen before and enjoyed one of Martin’s magnificent breakfasts, this might be a suggestion too far!! However, if you want to book room only in order to keep your distance, then call us to get a revised quote. 

FOOD & DRINK

Cornish Charcuterie Platter Conservatory Looe

Our conservatory provides a perfect picnic room for lunch or dinner with easy access to crockery, cutlery and glassware. A fridge and microwave is available plus we can suggest recommended takeaway services from local restaurants.

So if you want to visit Cornwall but prefer to #stayathome – then feel free to ‘dine at home’ overlooking the beautiful garden. Relax and enjoy your holiday maintaining whatever social distance you’re comfortable with.

Picnic garden Polraen Country House LooeThese are our thoughts for now but we will remain flexible in order to respond to changes in guidelines and the easing of restrictions.

Please call us if you have any queries or suggestions that will help you feel safer.  We’re ready and waiting when it’s safe to return….in the meantime, sit back, relax and watch the video!

Cornwall by Car, Bus and Train

The Looe Valley bus and train from Liskeard to Looe make it easy for our guests to explore by public transport from the doorstep of Polraen Country House. We print our Top Ten Day Trips from Looe on the back of our breakfast menu. Whilst you relax over a coffee at breakfast with a country garden view, you can plan a day without the car, using the Looe Valley bus and train. So take a day off – there’s no need to drive! 

Our suggestions have proved so popular with guests staying at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley that we thought we’d share our recommendations with you. 

Cornwall With and Without a Car

Be 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.  

Exploring By Looe Valley Line Train

Explore Cornwall by train

Guests really appreciate our proximity to the scenic Looe Valley Line.  You can stroll up the lane from Polraen Country House to Sandplace Station in about 4 minutes. Sandplace is the last stop before Looe and it takes about 5 minutes for the train to skirt the riverbank into Looe along the prettiest stretch of the Looe Valley Line.   The train runs to a GWR timetable. You flag the train down as it stops on request, going back and forth on a single line track to Looe and Liskeard. From Liskeard, you can connect with mainline services across Cornwall and beyond.  This makes for a perfect day trip 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). 

In recent years, extra services have been added on the Looe Valley Line. It now provides a year round service Mon-Sat but most importantly, trains now run later of an evening. This permits our guests to extend their day trip or enjoy an evening meal in Looe, returning to Sandplace Station by train. The last service back from Looe arrives 21.41 and the Sunday service resumes from April 5. Scroll down to download a timetable. 

Travelling By Plymouth CityBus 73

Polperro Harbour Explore Cornwall by busAt Sandplace in the Looe Valley, Polraen Country House benefits from Bus Route Number 73 – an hourly bus service. Plymouth 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. If you’re privileged to carry one, then it’s an hourly free shuttle service from the hotel’s front doorstep to Looe and Polperro.  Buses run til about 7 in the evening. We’re happy to assist with directions, timetables & loan Ordnance Survey maps.  Scroll down to download a timetable.

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)

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.

Full details and a print friendly download of our Top 10 list is 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?

 


 


A Looe Valley Walk in Spring, South East Cornwall

Bluebells Looe Valley Walks

This roundtrip Looe Valley walk is one of my favourite memories of walking with May (RIP), our sorely missed black labrador. The original blog was posted in Spring 2010. Fortunately we now have a lovely golden retriever called Bella. 

Starting Point: You can set off on this wonderful Looe Valley circular walk from the doorstep of Polraen Country House at Sandplace, PL13 1PJ. Alternatively, you can start from Sandplace Station, the last but one stop before Looe on the Looe Valley Line.  

Looe Valley Bluebell Walk Video

Get a sense of the magic of the place by watching the video then read on………..

Bluebell Walk in the Looe Valley

 “I set off walking this morning from Polraen Hotel, up the Looe Valley to Sandplace Station with our black labrador May. We ended up having one of those walks that makes you happy to be alive! We continued along the lane toward Tregarland Bridge, then veered off on a public footpath above the Looe Valley railway line. May was startled as we 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. It was a lovely morning so I continued on a circular walk. We finally emerged on the main road heading back through Morval.

Our route took us 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 pretty cottages and hedgerows brimming with flowers and headed back down to the valley bottom to join the B3254 past Sandplace Station back to Polraen.

Looe Valley Walk 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.

Looe Valley Line Transport

At Polraen, we like to help guests explore without the car. We lend maps and provide public transport information for the bus and Looe Valley train and love sharing our knowledge of the area. Other than the Looe Valley Line train, bus number 73 provides an hourly service  running from Liskeard to Polperro.  You can also access a range of walks from other stations along the railway line. Now, you can also download  the Looe Valley Line Heritage app which reveals the secrets of the branch line through historical photos and tales from the past. 

In recent years, the local landowner has undertaken considerable groundworks along this green lane betwen Tregarland Bridge to Plashford and Lower Wringworthy.   On the positive side, this has provided greater access.  The path can now be walked more frequently without wellies and its status as a bridlepath for horseriding has been resumed. Thankfully much of the garlic has recovered!!  There are lots of Looe Valley Walks but this one is off the beaten track and worth the effort!! It 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. 

Gill Bridges, owner of Polraen Country House at Sandplace in the Looe Valley wrote this blog. Polraen Country House is an 18th century former coaching inn offering AA 4 Star Gold Award Guest Accommodation.

Bargain Breaks at Polraen Country House

If you want to catch the bluebells in the Looe Valley this Spring, check availability on Polraen’s  Spring Breaks from £70 per person for 2 nights including breakfast.  Or book 4 nights and get the last night free.

 


 

 

 

Make the most of Cornwall in Spring

Looe Valley Bluebells

A couple of days in Cornwall in Spring can give you the motivation you need to carry on with those New Year resolutions. Banishing the winter blues and recharging flat batteries is part of the tonic you get from sucking in some fresh Cornish air. And if you’re still worried about the Christmas credit card bill, a short break in Looe won’t add an extra burden!

A visit to Looe, a change of scene, a slower pace, taking some time out, can be the path to relaxation. You can beat the stress and find your balance. If you book even just a 2 or 3 night short break – it won’t break the bank. At Polraen Country House, prices start from just £70 per person in February/March.  In April, perhaps £10 per person higher but worth it to see the bluebells – a sight not to be missed in the Looe Valley.

 

 

Cornwall in Spring = Bargain Breaks

For not much more than the cost of a couple of theatre tickets or a night out, you and your partner could  escape to a beautiful quiet Cornish historic former coaching inn. Imagine waking up to a magnificent breakfast overlooking beautiful gardens in a hotel bed and breakfast just 2 miles from Looe and the sea.  Surprise someone by adding a Special Occasion package of Champagne and Chocolates or Flowers at £35.  Perfect for a special occasion when visiting Cornwall in spring. 

LooeValleyBlubellsPolraenLooe is a perfect destination for a romantic break, a celebration or simply a chance to relax and chill. The milder climate means spring arrives early here with daffodils and primroses peeping from the hedgerows as early as end January. You can see some of the countries finest camelia displays at National Trust properties such as Lanhydrock or Mt Edgcumbe.

Polrean is very near the South West Coast PathActivities in Spring

You can walk along the cliff tops to blow the cobwebs away, with spectacular views to Looe Island.  You should visit Sarah’s Pasties in Looe where you can watch Cornish pasties being crimped before you eat them! Time it right to see day boat fish being landed at Looe Quay. Spot pheasants wandering across the garden at Polraen Country House Hotel. Take a look at some of our other suggestions for Day Trips from Looe.

Here in the Looe Valley, you can relax in a charming historic country house with a comfy fully licensed guest lounge and picnic conservatory, with plentiful onsite parking and bus and trains links to Looe, Polperro and beyond. So treat yourself to a spring break in Cornwall. Our warm hospitality, friendly welcoming relaxed country house atmosphere and peaceful location may be just the tonic you need. “Proper job” as the Cornish say.

Looe Bargain Breaks at Polraen this Spring

  • 2 nights double ensuite for two from £140 OR
  • Book 4 nights, pay for 3 – a free night!
  • Includes Full English Breakfast, Wifi & parking
  • Optional Champagne & Flowers/Chocolates £35
  • Offer available up to 30 April 2020 (exc 9-12 April)
So if stress at work is getting you down, book yourself a short break in Looe. We all suffer from a bit of SAD or ‘sunlight affected disorder’ at this time of year.  We can’t guarantee the sunshine. However, on average, spring arrives earlier in the county of Cornwall and temperatures remain mild. 
Hope to see you soon x
Gill & Martin Bridges
 

 

 

New Year in Looe

For rooms at New Year click here

In Cornwall in the winter months, you just have to scratch the surface to find there are so many things to do. Looe loves a New Year party including fancy dress and fireworks! The community spirit is ever present with many events and festivities in the run up to Christmas and New Year. 

What’s On 2019?

  • Nov 28 & 29: Meet Santa on the Looe Valley Railway Branch Line (4.40pm).  Speak some Cornish & receive a small gift! Return fare £4.50 adult, £2.25 child, under 5’s go free. Booking essential Email: rebecca.catterall@plymouth.ac.uk
  • Dec 6-8:  Looe’s festive weekend kicks off on Friday with carols sung by Pelynt Male Voice Choir at St Martin’s Church at 7.30pm. On Saturday, things move up a pace with the arrival of Santa and the Lantern Procession & Lights Switch On. And there’s a craft market and a Santa Fun Run! In the evening, join the Jolly Christmas Party at Looe’s oldest pub, the Jolly Sailor, on Saturday night with live music from Smokey’s King Shufflers. On Sunday, head off to the Christmas Fairs (see below). Return to Looe for more carols on Sunday evening with the Valley Voices at the Riverside Church 7-9pm.
  • Dec 6-8: Christmas Fairs at Mt Edgcumbe, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and at Carnglaze Caverns provide a perfect opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts from artisan producers of food & drink, arts & crafts with entertainment.

See more events at Looe Tourist Information Centre

New Year in Looe

Of course, New Year in Looe has become famous for its fancy dress and fireworks display. If you need accommodation, check our New Year Shortbreaks  page at Polraen Country House to spend New Year in Looe or do a quick availability search.

Looe’s New Year fancy dress and fireworks tradition turns the whole town into one brilliant party. You really are a bystander if you’re not in costume. There are two firework displays set off from the Banjo Pier. One at 6 pm to cater for families and of course the big one at midnight.

Looe Beach is the busy venue due to its proximity to the town but one of the best vantage points is at Rock Towers at West Looe overlooking the river mouth and bay. We recommend booking a table at a restaurant so you have somewhere in town as a base and booking taxis in advance. Of course, Polraen is the perfect place to relax if you prefer to see in the New Year quietly.

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

 

Autumn Break Ideas in Looe

Autumn Hotel Breaks in Looe View fromm Polraen ConservatoryHere’s a few ideas for an autumn shortbreak in Looe. Cornwall takes on a charm of its own in autumn when fishing villages and tourist towns take a snooze in the run up to Christmas. But there’s still lots going on. See below.

Book one of our low season shortbreaks from £75 per person for a 2 night stay including Martin’s magnificent breakfast, ensuite accommodation, convenient free onsite parking and Wifi.

But what makes an autumn short break in Cornwall special?  There may be a slower pace, but there’s still lots going on.  Here’s a few reasons to book an autumn hotel break to Looe.

What’s On

Nov 13-19: Looe Literary Festival. World renowned authors, poets and creative thinkers will give talks in our lovely town. Guest speakers include ex British Foreign Secretary Lord David Owen and TV Science and History presenter Adam Hart Davis.
Dec 1-2:  Looe Festive Weekend.  Santa arrives in Looe with his reindeer; there’s a lantern procession, open air carol concert and a Santa Fun Run.
Dec 9-10: Christmas Fairs at Mt Edgcumbe and The Lost Gardens of Heligan  – a perfect opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts from artisan producers of food & drink, arts & crafts with entertainment and Christmas Carolling
New Year: Looe’s fancy dress and fireworks tradition turns the whole town into one brilliant party. We have two rooms left at Polraen for a minimum 3 night stay. Of course, Polraen is the perfect place to relax if you prefer to see in the New Year quietly.
January: The Camelia’s at Mt Edgcumbe are stunning and Cornwall’s mild climate gives us an early Spring when you can visit Cornwall’s beaches and National Trust houses and gardens before the crowds.

Reasons to Choose Polraen Country House

  • 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 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. Of an evening, relax in Polraen’s hotel style facilities and take advantage of the the option to picnic in The Conservatory
  • 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.
  • Our Reputation for hospitality: Feel at home in the warmth of award-winning family run hospitality from your hosts Gill and Martin Bridges. 

Call us on 01503 263956 to book direct.

These special prices are not available through online travel agents. Short break prices are based on a minimum 2 night stay. Call us to purchase a gift voucher! Or check room availability below:

 

 

 

10 Reasons to Visit Looe in May and June

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. The hedgerows are full of wild garlic and campions. If you’re quick, be dazzled by carpets of bluebells in early May.  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 Festival of the Sea and the Lugger Regatta. Come and savour the wonderful fish and seafood landed on Looe Quay.

3. Cornish Bluebell Walks

Looe Valley Dog WalkCome in early May to see bluebells everywhere! They’re spectacular in the Looe Valley, especially between Sandplace and Duloe. Follow a Looe Valley Walk from Polraen and return for a light lunch or afternoon tea in the new Conservatory Tea Room & Bar now open at Polraen Wed-Sun 11 – 4 pm. 

4. Cornwall beaches without crowds 

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 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. Be sure to visit Caerhays Castle – as it’s only open till the end of June. And the house on the Port Eliot Estate at St Germans only opens in the early part of the summer.

6. Visit Poldark Film sets

Loving the 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 28th 1.30 to 3 pm on Hannafore Beach. A free event suitable for all ages. There’s no need to book.

8. Festival of the Sea June 4 – The Lugger Regatta 9-11 June

Photo Courtesy of Looe Festival of ood and DrinkCelebrate Looe’s connections with the sea. Alongside the Raft Race on June 4, the Festival of the Sea is an educational day of fun filled family activities and entertainment which takes place on Looe’s quayside. We show our respect for the sea and the livelihood it provides to a fishing community like Looe. So join us to 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. Chef demos, BBQ, stalls, a crabbing competition, puppet show, dancing etc Lots of marine organisations take part including the National Marine Aquarium, the Fishermens Mission, RNLI. And the heritage continues the following weekend with famous Looe Lugger festival when historic fishing vessels return to Looe. 

9. Looe Island Visits

Book a trip across to Cornwall’s only island nature reserve, just off the coast of Looe. See the seals. Spot the nesting birds. Escape to an island for a few hours……….Boat trips can be booked along the quayside and guided walks are bookable in advance via the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

10. Come by train – get a free cream tea

Top quality guest accommodation in chocolate box historic houseCome to Polraen Country House by train with Great Western Railway in May and June and get a complimentary cream tea in the new Conservatory Tea Room & Bar at Polraen. It’s easy to reach Polraen – just a 300 metre walk from Sandplace Station on the Looe Valley Line – a branch line from the main London-Penzance service to Liskeard. Then you can explore Cornwall using cheap day returns to St Ives, Truro, Plymouth, Falmouth or Penzance. Polraen has both bus and train links so you can leave the car behind in our car park!

Tempted?

Check Availability Polraen Hotel Looe Cornwall

 

Cornwall Spring Flower Show at Boconnoc

Cornwall Spring Flower Show Boconnoc

Come for the Cornwall Garden Society Spring Flower Show on the stunning Boconnoc Estate near Lostwithiel April 1 and 2. This year Radio 4 will be recording Gardener’s Question Time. We try to go every year.  If you need accommodation, you can book a 3 night Spring Break near Looe from £99 pp.  Or come at Easter with 10% off our room rates.

Book Direct

A visit to the Cornwall Spring Flower Show

Sat 6th April 2013 – 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. It’s 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.

Boconnoc Estate

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. There are also 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 to eat and drink of course, plenty of 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. I always manage to find a new space for a new arrival! I think it’s best to set a budget before I go next time………… I 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…..

Spring Breaks 3 nights for the price of 2 offer 

Take advantage of our April 3 nights for the price of 2 offer on double and twin rooms and enjoy a short break from £99 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.

Christmas and New Year in Looe Cornwall

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

South East Cornwall Walking Festival 2013 September 14-21

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.