Whether storm watching, walking on a deserted beach or cosying up in a pub in one of the quaint fishing villages, winter can be a magical time of year to visit Cornwall. South East Cornwall is no exception, and with our Gulf Stream kissed coast and sub-tropical gardens you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d travelled to foreign shores. Make the most of a Cornish winter with our recommendations of top things to do.
Enjoy quiet beaches
Devoid of the summer crowds, Cornwall’s beaches are the preserve of a few hardy surfers, photographers and dog-walkers during the winter months. (What’s more, the parking’s easy and often free.) Stride out for a bracing stroll and be sure to have a phone or camera handy – the light can be mesmerising and make for some fantastic shots.
Within striking distance of Talland Bay Hotel you’ll find secluded coves with romantic names like Lansallos and Lantic Bay to the west, and the wider open stretches of Portwrinkle, Freathy and Whitsand to the east.
(image: Lansallos - National Trust website)
Hike, bike and ice skate
Ready to brush off the winter cobwebs? At nearly 300 miles, Cornwall boasts the longest stretch of coastline in the UK, and at this time of year you’ll have it mostly to yourself. Situated as we are just off the South West Coast Path, Talland Bay Hotel is a great starting point for numerous walks. Help yourself to one of the print outs next to the Residents’ Lounge, read about local walking guide Mark Camp’s favourite spots and check out our top walks blog post.
For something a little different, get your skates on for a whirl at the Eden Project’s indoor ice rink (available until 18 February) or explore the National Trust estate of Lanhydrock by bike (gardens re-open from 10 February, estate open year-round with bike hire available daily).
(image: Lanhydrock Cycle Hub Facebook page)
Savour the first signs of spring
Cornwall’s milder climate means that it’s one of the first places in the UK to delight in spring blooms. Tradition has it that six magnolia trees, located in six of Cornwall’s greatest gardens, herald the change of season. When each tree has more than 50 blooms spring is said to have arrived in England.
Hot spots for enjoying the magnificent spring blooms include National Trust gardens at Antony House; Mount Edgcumbe, renowned for its collection of rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias; and Lanhydrock; as well as the Lost Gardens of Heligan; and Caerhays, home to a Plant Heritage National Collection of magnolias containing over 600 species.
Cosy up and storm watch
Winter can bring spectacular storms rolling in from the Atlantic. When the weather breaks, the south Cornish coast and peaks of Bodmin moor provide a dramatic backdrop. Best enjoyed from indoors. Set up camp inside a low-beamed bar with an open log fire (such as the Blue Peter Inn at Polperro). Or simply cosy up fireside in the lounge at Talland Bay Hotel with a book and pot of Cornish tea, keeping half an eye on the churning grey sea.
Feast on fabulous food
Sometimes you just have to give in to your hibernating instincts in winter. Whether that’s languishing in a sea view suite with the weekend papers, lingering over a long Sunday lunch with friends, or treating yourself to a gourmet break. Throughout February we’ll be serving Chateaubriand from local butchers, Philip Warren in the Terrace Restaurant. The superlative steak comes with beef dripping, chips, trio of onions, girolles, seasonal greens and a béarnaise sauce.
Come and revel in our home from home and enjoy some Talland TLC this February from only £169 DB&B per room per night.