Trevillett Mill and Cottages, self catering holiday accommodation exclusively located in Rocky Valley, Tintagel, North Cornwall

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Pebble pocketers beware!

A holidaymaker who took pebbles from a Cornish beach was forced to travel hundreds of miles to return the souvenirs to avoid a hefty fine.

The man was traced to his home after taking a carrier bag full of stones from a beach at Crackington Haven near Bude.  He was told that he faced a fine of up to £1,000 so he decided to return to Cornwall’s Atlantic coast and put the round grey stones back where he found them.

The problem of pebble plundering at Crackington Haven hit the headlines in the late nineties when the issue was blamed on television garden re-design programmes and magazine articles.

It has become such a problem again that St Gennys parish council felt it had no choice other than to take action and warn people that taking pebbles was prohibited under the 1949 Coastal Protection Act.

Crackington Haven has the most beautiful rounded grey stones that in the wintertime create a beautifully eerie steel grey look to the beach and in summer are a lovely contrast to the sunny blue skies.  It’s no wonder that people innocently want to take a little momento home with them.  

The parish council says that removing the pebbles can lead to erosion and flooding and that taking away the pebbles, the haven would be damaged during every storm.   

Educating visitors was the way forward to encourage “pebble pocketers” not to take stones away.

Record summer temperatures announced

2018 was the joint hottest summer on record for the UK as a whole, and the hottest ever for England, the Met Office has announced.

It said highs for summer 2018 were tied with those of 1976, 2003 and 2006 for being the highest since records began in 1910.  England's average temperatures narrowly beat those seen in 1976, they added.

The heatwave saw soaring temperatures across much of the UK throughout June and July.  Dry, sweltering conditions for weeks on end gave way to a more average August, said the Met Office.

To the nearest 0.1C, all four years - 2018 as well as 1976, 2003 and 2006 - had an average temperature of 15.8C (60.4F).  That is 1.5C above the long-term average, the Met Office said. The margins between the years are so small it's impossible to separate them, they added.

In England, the mean temperature was 17.2C (63F). The 1976 record had been 17C.  No records were set for other parts of the UK.

The hottest day of 2018 so far was Thursday, 26 July, when temperatures reached 35.3C in Faversham, Kent.  But it still did not top the UK's highest-ever recorded temperature of 38.5C (101F), also in Faversham, in August 2003.

Having record average temperatures is consistent with the general picture of the climate warming in the UK and globally, the Met Office said. "It's generally accepted that the risk of heatwaves is increasing due to global warming.
"The temperature has risen, since industrial times, by one degree overall, so we're starting from a degree higher. So the peaks in these heatwaves are going to be a little bit higher as well."

The immediate cause of this year's extended warm weather was the meandering jet stream taking a more northerly track over the UK, creating an area of high pressure over Britain which did not shift for weeks.
But many scientists are also asking about the role of climate change in "loading the dice" and making a heatwave more likely, when an event like the wandering jet stream occurs.

An early analysis by researchers from the World Weather Attribution group found that human activities including the burning of fossil fuels made this year's European heatwave twice as likely to occur.

Met Office researchers say that while there are many natural factors at play in our weather, it is also likely that warming will make our future summers hotter.

The scorching summer could now give way to an autumn of above-average temperatures, the Met Office said.  They said the three-month outlook, which covers August, September and October, shows "an increased chance of high-pressure patterns close to the UK".

Meteorologists say above-average temperatures are more likely because sea surface temperatures are at "near-record" levels.

St Nectan's Glen

At the sacred site of Saint Nectan’s Glen, the Trevillett river has carved its way through Late Devonian slate, created a magnificent 60 foot waterfall and punched a hole through the original kieve (basin). The water cascades down a beautiful valley and onto the sea, just a couple of miles away.

The sixth-century Saint Nectan is believed to have sited his hermitage above the waterfall. According to legend, Saint Nectan rang a silver bell in times of stormy weather to warn shipping of the perils of the rocks at the mouth of the Rocky Valley.

Saint Nectan’s Kieve is to some a sacred place, and numerous ribbons, crystals, photographs, inscriptions, prayers and other devotions now adorn the foliage and rock walls near the waterfall. Some visitors add small piles of flat stones obtained from the stream, known locally as faery stacks.

A building reputed to be the site of Saint Nectan’s cell is situated at the top of the waterfall; the date of the building is uncertain. It is understood that the ruins of a Christian chapel provide the lower part of the walls of a cottage erected in the 1860s, and extended around 1900.

Many myths and legends, from King Arthur and his knights to ghostly sightings, surround this place: but one undeniable fact is that it is a place of outstanding natural beauty.

The walk to the waterfall & Hermitage is through an ancient woodland with ivy clad trees.  It follows the banks of the Trevillett river as it sparkles and gurgles busily on it’s journey downstream to Trevillett Mill in Rocky Valley where it meets sea.

It’s a place where animals and birds play amid a mysticism of faeries and piskies, serenaded by the wonderful sound of bird song. The area has been appointed a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to rare specimens of plants.

At the hermitage there is a café in which you can enjoy a well deserved cream tea and a meditation room for a time of self reflection.

If you wander down to the Waterfall you will experience one of Cornwall’s hidden treasures, one of natures beauties unspoilt by man.

The crystal clear water in this deep rock basin overflows and falls 60 feet  through a spectacular hole eroded through the rock. The river then continues over another waterfall, which takes it to the valley’s lower level.

Mosses, ferns and grasses adorn the fall, fringing every rock with a native drapery of the most exquisite beauty. Here is one of the wildest, most unspoilt, and most beautiful places in the UK, poetic, and coloured by legend. These waters are reputed to be healing, and watched over by the spirits of past guardians and friends of the Glen.

Saint Nectan’s Kieve is to some a sacred place, and numerous ribbons, crystals, photographs, inscriptions, prayers and other devotions now adorn the foliage and rock walls near the waterfall in memory of loved ones who have passed away, some for wishes.

Offerings such as these have been part of the heritage of sacred wells since ancient times, and the continuing practice of leaving offerings will always link us to that past.

A brand new walkway allows access to a newly discovered waterfall which was previously not accessible to the public.  The waterfall is approximately 80 feet in length and joins the main stream after waterfall 1 and 2 and can only be seen from the extended walk.

Saint Nectan's Glen can be found near the hamlet of Trethevy, near Tintagel in North Cornwall.

Don’t forget your toothbrush!

Don’t forget your toothbrush!

We all tend to think carefully about the things we need to do and take on holiday with us, whether it’s sort out the holiday insurance, set your email to ‘out of office’and make a checklist of items to take – that includes cameras, chargers, toiletries and of course your toothbrush.

However, when we leave our holiday accommodation, many of us are less fastidious about our packing.  The last-minute rush to leave on time means that quite often we leave items behind.

The following is a list of the top ten most commonly left behind items at Trevillett Mill self catering holiday cottages in Cornwall over the last six years:

1. Phone chargers

2. Odd socks

3. Holiday books

4. Frozen food – mostly ice cream

5. DVDs (left in players)

6. Reading glasses

7. Buckets and spades

8. Dog leads – luckily not the dog!

9. Shampoo and shower gel 

10. Jackets

Other items that have had to be posted onwards include children’s lunch boxes, a wok, prized jacket and other clothes.

So, to avoid leaving behind that essential item next time you’re away:

  • Pack as much as you can the night before departure.
  • Make sure you know what time you’re required to leave your accommodation and allow some time for last minute packing as well as breakfast!
  • Do a final sweep of the property before you leave and check drawers, shower cubicles and electrical sockets.

Remember, you’ll be missing the items more than we want to add to our burgeoning collection.

Total lunar eclipse tomorrow - Friday 27 July 2018

Weather permitting, get ready for a beautiful celestial sight on Friday 27 July and Saturday 28 July, when a total lunar eclipse will be visible from almost all parts of the world.

From the UK, this spectacular sight will last all evening. As the moon rises at 8:50pm, the eclipse will already be in its total phase and the moon will be a deep-red colour as it climbs into the sky.

All you need is a clear view of the night sky. Your eyes are the best instrument to soak up the sight.  So, pull up a garden chair, invite some friends round, and as you watch the serene eclipse unfold, here are some fun facts to ponder.

Why does the moon turn red?
A total lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth and the moon perfectly line up. The most spectacular part about a total lunar eclipse is that when the moon is fully in Earth’s shadow it turns red. This has earned the phenomenon the nickname of blood moon.

The red colour happens because sunlight is deflected through Earth’s atmosphere. The process is called refraction and it bends red light from the sun like a lens into the space behind Earth – and so on to the surface of the eclipsed moon.  The precise colour of the moon depends on the atmospheric conditions in Earth’s atmosphere. The clearer the atmosphere, the brighter and lighter the red colour appears to be.  If Earth had no atmosphere then the totally eclipsed moon would be black.

How many lunar eclipses will there be this century?
According to Nasa there will be 230 lunar eclipses in the 21st century. Of these, only 85 will be total lunar eclipses. Friday’s eclipse is the longest of the century, with a duration of 1 hour 43 minutes and 35 seconds. It will be the 17th total lunar eclipse of the century. The next will occur on 21 January 2019.

How did a total lunar eclipse save Christopher Columbus?
On Columbus’s fourth voyage, his ships ran into a storm that led to him becoming stranded on Jamaica. After beaching his two remaining ships (he started out with four) in June 1503, he and his crew threw themselves on the mercy of the local inhabitants. Accounts vary but clearly by February the following year, relationships had soured between Columbus’s castaways and the indigenous people.
In order to continue to receive food and hospitality from the locals, Columbus needed to do some persuading, and he turned to his astronomical almanac for help. Spotting an upcoming total lunar eclipse, he is said to have gathered the locals on the evening of 29 February 1504 and told them his god was angry with their decision and had decided to project his wrath on to the moon.  According to the story, when the blood moon appeared, the locals panicked and gave Columbus all the provisions he could want.

What happens to the moon during a total lunar eclipse?
Unlike the rather stately twilight that normally takes place on the moon, where a day lasts for about a fortnight and is followed by an equally long night, the sun’s light and heat disappear within minutes during a total lunar eclipse.
Rather like plunging non-toughened glass from the oven into a bowl of cold water, this sudden change of temperature could cause the lunar rocks to crack and gasses to be released. These would help to supply the very thin lunar atmosphere, which is so rarefied it is called an exosphere.

There is also another mystery to be explained. When astronomers take thermal images of the totally eclipsed moon, they see hot spots that they cannot fully explain. They are often concentrated on craters.
Despite having studied them for more than 60 years, no one has come up with an adequate explanation for where the heat is coming from. Selene, it seems, likes to keep some secrets to herself.

Festivals in Cornwall this summer and autumn

Desperate to sate your craving for live music and delicious food? We pick the best Cornwall festivals taking place in summer and autumn 2018 that celebrate all things instrumental, edible and fun.

Port Eliot Festival, 26-29 July

Port Eliot Festival, held at the historic estate in St Germans on the Rame Peninsula, wanders from words and music to fashion and food and on to science, wellbeing, art, film, comedy and far beyond. The 2018 line-up will be revealed in the New Year.
To give an idea of the variety on offer, 2017’s event featured Hollywood’s Stanley Tucci reading a children’s story, stand-out poetry in all sorts of places from Hollie McNish, a chance to settle down in Dame Zandra Rhode’s apartment (transplanted to Port Eliot’s Orangery), a rooftop recital in tribute to Heathcote Williams and an impromptu live performance of David Bowie’s Where Are We Now by Michael C Hall.
Port Eliot takes its food seriously. From the outset, the festival made beautiful food a big part of the line-up, not just a side dish. The Flower and Fodder patch, including the House’s Georgian Big Kitchen and popular Open Fire area, creates flavours, sets trends, shares techniques and reveals the workings of some of the country’s great kitchens all weekend. The festival is crafted with families in mind with inventive entertainment on the Hullabaloo and Pulse stages and outdoor activities all over the place.

Leopallooza, 27-29 July

The renowned music festival returns for its 12th year, taking place in a secluded wooded valley near Bude in North Cornwall. The festival is widely known as the best opportunity to see big name acts alongside emerging and breaking talent. Since its inception 11 years ago, Leopallooza has played host to hundreds of bands, DJs and artists but remains a festival built by festival lovers with everything handpicked by a small team. 250 people showed up at the inaugural party where performers worked on a stage built using reclaimed materials, including four telegraph poles left behind by a phone company. Today the festival is bigger but the Leopallooza team have stayed close to the original ethos with ticket prices as low as possible and free camping.

Boardmasters Festival, 8-13 August

The epic Boardmasters festival returns to Cornwall again after entertaining 50,000 people in 2017 with top acts like Jamiroquai, Alt-J and Two Door Cinema Club at Watergate Bay and world-class surfing at Fistral Beach.
Inspired by the freedom, adventure and creativity of surfing and music, Boardmasters was born in 1981. Expect parties that run late into the night and a beautiful beach to recuperate on during the day. The five-day event is part of the World Surf League qualifying series and last summer the European leg of the WSL Longboard series was completed at Boardmasters, making it the most high-profile surfing event in the UK.

Newquay Fish Festival, 7-9 September

Newquay has a centuries old association with fish and the annual Fish Festival in early September to coincide with the Neap Tides where there is the least difference between high and low tides.
The festival attracts more than 20,000 visitors over the three days with cooking demonstrations which promote the variety of fish and shellfish on offer off the Cornish coast. Local hotels and restaurant get behind the festival to promote local seafood and produce. In the food, craft and arts tents you can sample everything from traditional pasties and Cornish cakes to curry, crepes and chocolate fountains.

St Ives September Festival, 8-22 September

The September Festival is a two-week celebration of live music and arts and crafts in St Ives. Expect local artists opening their gallery doors to visitors and free-to-attend art exhibitions and open studios taking place at a number of locations across the scenic coastal town. There will also be guided walks and lots of live music performed at several venues throughout the two weeks. The exact programme is yet to be confirmed but visit the website for more details.

Little Orchard Cider and Music Festival, 14-16 September

It’s the sixth year of this charming Cornish party with some big live bands, a groovy silent disco, the BBC Introducing stage, camping and glamping, secret cider walks and cider tasting all in the beautiful grounds of Healey’s Cyder Farm. For families, the festival is like a giant playground with entertainment on hand and the chance to meet ponies, chickens, rabbits, ferrets, Pygmy goats and Cornish black pigs. You can also take a tractor ride around the beautiful grounds and blossoming orchards.

Looe Music Festival, 21-23 September

The festival pops up from nowhere to transform the beach and the streets with big music, manic entertainment and a smattering of culture for good measure, giving everyone a chance to mingle and enjoy the show. You can visit for the day or the weekend, stay in comfort and eat like a king. Expect an eclectic mix of high energy music, delivered back-to-back on the beach and around the harbour plus acts on every street corner, and in every bar and restaurant. Looe Music Festival is a relative newcomer, but from the very first festival in 2011 they have attracted top names to the event – from The Jam, The Darkness, Reef, Seth Lakeman, The Damned, The Strangers, Squeeze and Jools Holland. Looe Music Festival is a not-for-profit event run by a registered charity focused on promoting quality live music.

Falmouth Oyster Festival, 11-14 October

The annual festivities – now in their 22nd year – celebrate the start of the oyster dredging season, the native Fal Oyster and the diversity of Cornish seafood, with four days of feasting, cooking demos, live music, food and craft stalls.
Daily cookery demonstrations are held during the festival by top chefs and food experts from Cornwall’s hotels and restaurants, inspiring visitors to try their hand at unusual and exciting seafood combinations and indulge in the tastes of native oysters, wines, ales and local produce. The programme includes live music, Cornish food produce, arts and crafts, real ale and wine bars, oyster and seafood bars, Working Boat race, Grand Oyster Parade, shucking competition and a Grand Oyster Draw.

Help turn the tide on plastic - 11 to 13 May 2018

Keep Britain Tidy, the litter busting charity, has been fighting to put an end to litter for over 60 years now. And ten years ago, the Daily Mail launched their trail-blazing campaign to end to plastic waste by targeting plastic carrier bags.
That's why, following on from the charity's hugely successful Great British Spring Clean, it is partnering with the Daily Mail for the Great Plastic Pick Up.

Endorsed by the Prime Minister and David Attenborough, the campaign to clean up plastic from our streets, countryside and beaches has caught the mood of the nation.

A huge impact in reducing single use plastics has been already made, but there is still more to be done to truly turn the tide on plastic.

By everyone sparing a little time, together we can make an amazing difference to our local communities and help remove this plastic blight.

To find out more and join in, go to  The key campaign period runs from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th May, but why not pick up litter whenever and wherever you find it.

15 Ideas to help beat the wet weather in Cornwall

Whilst rough weather can add drama to the spectacular Cornish scenery, should you wish to have a break from this unusually wet Easter holiday, here are some ideas to get a break from the rain:

Let off steam
There is nothing like travelling through the Cornish countryside with the sights, sound and smell of a traditional steam train. The Bodmin and Wenford Railway offers all sorts of journeys, including dining trains. See also Lappa Valley Steam Railway near Newquay.

Scare yourself
Bodmin Jail claims to be Britain's most haunted venue. Enjoy a three-course meal before exploring the jail after dark in the company of its resident medium. He will tutor you in the basics of "energy management" before putting you to work for the night behind bars in this formidable county jail. Will you see a ghost?

If it’s wet, get wetter!
If the heavens open then just go with it. You're in Cornwall so why not jump into the sea? The Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay offers lessons in surfing, bodyboarding, kitesurfing, wave-ski, hand planing and stand-up paddlesurf, along with technical equipment hire. There are surf schools based all over the north and south coasts, so you'll be "stoked" wherever you're based.

Become a pirate
Newquay's Pirate's Quest takes you on a swashbucklin' voyage through Cornwall's pirating past. Come face to face with smugglers, mermaids, and real live buccaneers (as opposed to dead ones). New storylines are added all the time.

Mined over matter
Discover Cornwall's mining heritage with a visit to one of many mines open to the public in West Cornwall. Geevor is the largest preserved mine site in the country. Go underground into a real 18th century tin mine. Get interactive in the Hard Rock Museum which tells the fascinating story of Cornish tin and copper mining. Explore the many buildings with their magnificent mining machinery.  Discover how the rock brought up from deep underground was processed in the mill to produce the precious tin concentrate. All of this set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with fantastic coastal scenery, spectacular views and an array of wildlife. See also East Pool Mine, Heartlands, King Edward Mine at Troon and Wheal Martyn at St Austell.

Visit an historic house
Cornwall is full of them: Mount Edgcumbe and Antony House at Torpoint, Cotehele at Saltash, Lanhydrock near Bodmin, Pencarrow House at Washaway, Port Eliot at St Germans, Padstow's Prideaux Place and Trereife House just outside Penzance.

Discover the art scene
West Cornwall in particular is famous for its art and on every street corner you're likely to find an art gallery. This winter why not visit the contemporary, often challenging, always fascinating confines of St Ives' Anima-Mundi or the town's world-famous Tate St Ives?

Go gourmet
Cornwall is famous the world over these days for the quality of its restaurants. Such big-name chefs as Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw and Paul Ainsworth have amazing restaurants in north Cornwall.

Spend time with the fishes
Newquay's Blue Reef Aquarium is always a good bet when the weather's bad. The centre-piece of the aquarium is the spectacular coral reef housed within a giant ocean display. The reef is home to exotic species like angelfish, puffer fish, wrasse and hundreds of other brightly coloured species as well as a variety of sharks, including the graceful black tip reef shark, as well as rays, moray eels and lionfish. Enjoy really close encounters from inside the amazing underwater walk-through tunnel running through the centre of the reef. Also, why not get up close and personal to a lobster and learn about their life-cycle at the Lobster Hatchery, Padstow.

Do, Du Maurier                                                                                                                                                                    Visit Cornwall's most famous smuggling pub, Jamaica Inn on the wilds of Bodmin Moor. This historic coaching house has welcomed weary travellers crossing the moor for nearly 300 years.  Full of legend, mystery, romance and even, according to folklore, the odd friendly spirit, the inn continues to welcome guests to its 20 en suite bedrooms, award-winning restaurant, "olde worlde" bars with great local ales and wines, its souvenir shop and the fascinating Smugglers' Museum where tales of wreckers, murderers and villains are brought wonderfully to life.

A grand day out                                                                                                                                                                 New for this season at Land’s End is Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience, a New for this season at Land’s End is Aardman Presents: A Grand Experience, a new attraction starring popular characters from the Aardman animation studio.  The family experience offers guests the chance to step into Wallace & Gromit’s living room, explore Wallace’s workshop and build one of his Cracking Contraptions, before climbing on board a rocket to the moon.

A day in paradise                                                                                                                                                              Visit the Eden Project and explore the world famous rainforest and Mediterranean biomes and enjoy a busy programme of activities in teh former china clay mines, Bodelva near St Austell.                                                           

Go Back in time                                                                                                                                                                  As well as Camel Creek and its 5D simulator, there is always Flambards, Helston, and its ever-charming Victorian village and Britain In The Blitz walk-around displays as well as its rides for both younger and older children, both of which are under cover.

Experience every aspect of the Titanic disaster at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall's new exhibition in Falmouth. Discover who were the Cornish heroes and heroines of one of the most infamous events of the 20th century.

Underground water
A visit to Carnglaze Caverns, at St Neot, near Liskeard, and its crystal clear underground lake is a must. If you're lucky there will be a concert in the underground Rum Store too – one of the most unique venues in not just Cornwall but the whole country.


Updated on January 27th, 2013

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