Archive for polraen

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:

 

 

 

New Year in Looe

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.

What’s On December 2017

Dec 1-2:  Looe Festive Weekend. Over the weekend of Dec 1-2, Looe will be full of festive spirit. The weekend starts with a lantern procession and an open air carol service on Friday evening on the quayside. Santa arrives in Looe by train on Saturday at 2.55 pm with an afternoon of stalls, children’s entertainment and live animals, food, drink and Santa’s grotto with carols in the evening. And on Sunday, there’s a Santa Fun Run in costume.

Dec 9-10: Christmas Fairs at Mt Edgcumbe and The Lost Gardens of Heligan provide a perfect opportunity to find unique Christmas gifts from artisan producers of food & drink, arts & crafts with entertainment and Christmas Carolling

See more events at Looe Tourist Information Centre

New Year in Looe

New Year Fireworks in LooeOf course, New Year in Looe has become famous for its fancy dress and fireworks display. We’ve got some late availability at Polraen Country House over the New Year in Looe.  A superking room for a 3 night minimum stay for 2 people at £333.  So if you haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve and fancy a short break away, come and join us in Cornwall. Book here.

Looe’s 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

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A Looe Valley Walk in Spring, South East Cornwall

Bluebells Looe Valley Walks

This roundtrip Looe Valley walk starting at Polraen Country House at Sandplace is one of my favourite memories of walking with May (RIP), our sorely missed black labrador. The original blog was posted in Spring 2010. If you want to catch this season’s bluebells, then check availability on our Spring Breaks Special Offer now or 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, but 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 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.

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. 

Book your room at Polraen online now

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

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 as 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!! 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. 

Bluebell Bargain Breaks at Polraen Country House

Check our Spring Break Offers Now from £35 per person per night. 

 

 

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.

Cornwall by Car, Bus and Train

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

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

Help for Heroes Lifting Spirits in the Looe Valley

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!

 

Crooning for Christmas in aid of Help for Heroes

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.

 

 

Looe Raft Race at Festival of the Sea

Looe River entranceLooe’s Festival of the Sea

One month earlier in 2013 taking place:- 1st and 2nd June  – A fantastic weekend to visit Looe if you’re planning a last minute weekend break.

Expect to be entertained at Looe’s annual homage to its maritime heritage and Cornish roots, with just about everything to do with the sea on the agenda including the funniest silliest wackiest Raft Race ever. Taking place on Sunday afternoon, and guaranteed to make you laugh, come rain or shine, you’ll see rafts made out of empty bottles, barrels – anything, including the kitchen sink. Many taking to the waters of the Looe River on their home made vessels will be bombarded with water bombs and abandon ship or possibly sink before the half way mark. All proceeds from the race go to the RNLI.

Grazing on the Quay

Photo Courtesy of Looe Festival of ood and DrinkEnjoy all manner of food from the sea – another great feature of the weekend, both Sat and Sun, is the daily tasting from 11 am each day, with the ever popular ‘grazing on the quay’ providing succulent taster dishes from some of Looe’s finest restaurants and food suppliers including crab from Nippers Shellfish and paella from Simply Fish.  Sample the best of local food and drink in stalls set up along the harbour side of the historic fishing port of Looe.

Music

As you stroll along the quay with the aroma of a fish bbq courtesy of Pengelly’s wafting on the breeze, music by local groups and artists will lift your spirits, even if the rain tries to dampen them. If you enjoy music, check out the Looe Music Festival in September.

Looe Marine Conservation Group

We’ll be there with a show and tell stall to introduce you to a few creatures from the rocky sea shore around Looe – crabs, limpets, starfish, anemones. Crabbing from the Looe quayside is always fun with the kids and there’s a neat little leaflet about crabbing in Looe which you can get free of charge from the Looe Tourist Office and from retail shops in Looe which sell the crabbing kits.

Life Boat Station

Take a tour around the lifeboat station, experience their simulator and talk to the crews. The raft race prize giving  and closing ceremony is 5pm at the lifeboat station on Sunday.

For further information on the Raft Race in Looe: contact: 07747488488 Email: vicky@skiphiredpw.com OR Dave Peat 07747488488

Polperro Festival and Looe Food Festival – Accommodation with free Bus Links

The annual Polperro Festival takes place Sat 16-24 June promising an action packed week of entertainment while the new Looe Food Festival provides a weekend (June 23 and 24) to tempt your tastebuds with produce from land and sea. (Scroll down to see the outline programme of events).

Accommodation with free bus links

If you want to visit the Polperro Festival and need somewhere to stay, accommodation in the small fishing village of Polperro may be in short supply or at a premium and parking (minimum £4 charge) can be an issue. So avoid the crowds and the seagull noise! and enjoy our quiet location leaving your car behind in our free car park at Polraen Country House in the Looe Valley. Go green and catch the bus! We benefit from an hourly bus service No 573 which runs to Polperro from 07.42 until 17.49 while later bus services run from Looe. The last evening return from Polperro to Polraen leaves Polperro at 18.20 but much later services run between Polperro and Looe allowing you to enjoy the full range of evening entertainnment in Polperro’s pubs with the last service back to Looe at 23.20 from where you can catch a taxi.

Here you can download the No. 573 bus timetable

Bring your bus pass if you are a senior citizen, and you can enjoy the scenic ride to Looe and Polperro for free as concession passes are recognised by Western Greyhound buses in Cornwall.

At Polraen Country House, we currently have availability throughout the week of the festival from £87 per room per night including breakfast with optional dinner available. Call us direct for the best deals or book online via our website which will be up to 15% cheaper than online booking agents. But book soon as the end of the Polperro Festival coincides with the Looe Food Festival, taking place over the weekend of 23 and 24 June. And there’s no prettier journey into Looe than on the scenic Looe Valley Line where you can board the train at Sandplace for the 5 minute journey into Looe skirting the banks of the river while you watch the birds and wildlife from your carriage window. Here you can download the train timetable

So it really is a great time to visit, when you can enjoy two festivals in the same week! The Looe Food Festival will take place in a large marquee in the Millpool Car Park in Looe, where you can tempt your taste buds with an array of Cornish seafood and local produce from sea and land. There’ll be a host of leading Cornish food and drink suppliers, chef demos, brewery bar….and more over a fantastic weekend with FREE ENTRY TO THE FESTIVAL MARQUEE!

(Outline programme for the Polperro Festival is below with a full programme available via this link:  Polperro Programme of Events 2012 )

Friday 15th June – Day 0 – Festival Eve/ Arts Foundation evening
Saturday 16th June – Day 1 – Opening Day, Procession & Mayor Unveiling (Procession at 2pm)
Sunday 17th June – Day 2 – Music & Family Fun Dog Show
Monday 18th June – Day 3 – Arts Foundation Craft Fayre
Tuesday 19th June – Day 4 – Village Fete
Wednesday 20th June- Day 5 – Schools Day, Comedy Night
Thursday 21st June – Day 6 – All things Cornish, Comedy Night
Friday 22nd June – Day 7 – Foody Friday
Saturday 23rd June – Day 8 – Polperro Festival Carnival (procession at 2pm)
Sunday 24th June – Day 9 – Gig on the Green Finale