Somewhere to stay: Little White Alice, near Redruth
A cluster of five-star eco-lodges that blend into the local rugged Cornish landscape
Its the favoured out-of-town base for a host of celebs, including Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan and Caroline Quentin, while Hollywood A-listers like Kate Winslet flock there in a bid to find anonymity and peace. No wonder, then, that wild and romantic Cornwall remains one of the UKs most popular holiday destinations.
From the rich history and gourmet dining options of Falmouth (dont miss a visit to its National Maritime Museum, before sampling chef Rick Steins award-winning fish and chips) to the spectacular sands of Gwithian Bay, there really is something for everyone. And a new eco-friendly holiday development is the perfect place to stay while you're enjoying the natural beauty of this special county.
Little White Alice (01209 861000) in Carnmenellis, just outside Redruth (once the centre of the Cornish tin mining industry), is the ultimate getaway location. A cluster of six eco-lodges, housing groups of between two and 12 people, blend into the rugged local landscape. With slate-clad exteriors and simple yet stunning decor complete with wood-burning stoves, the cottages offer five-star facilities that are friendly to the environment.
Youll arrive to a welcome pack which, in our case, included home-cooked flapjacks, and honey from the Little White Alice hives. Every cottage also boasts a well-stocked library and a family orientated DVD collection. The rooms feature stunning original artwork and green cleaning materials are provided in the kitchen. But it's outdoors that the complex really comes alive, with its natural swimming pool, wood-burning hot tub and a spectacular sunken firepit combining to create a communal area in which guests can relax and mingle.
And you wont have far to wander to sample some excellent locally produced food. Minutes away, the Star Inn offers delicious home cooked meals (the venison and wild boar sausages are highly recommended), while the other local hostelry the Golden Lion offers tempting local delights like Falmouth Bay scallops. Its affordable home cooking at its best. Families with younger children should head for the golden sands and basking seal colonies off Godrevy Cove, which offers amazing views south to St Ives Bay.
If it's an all-action break you're after, nearby Gwithian Bay is a centre for local surfing and bodyboarding, while bustling St Ives a picturesque 40-minute drive away is the site of a satellite Tate Modern museum, where a gallery devoted to the works of local sculptor Barbara Hepworth is a major attraction. Or head for nearby Penryn with its winding high street, art galleries and quaint tearooms. And if all that activity leaves you breathless, then back at Little White Alice co-founder and talented textile artist Rosie Haddon runs regular craft workshops and yoga retreats (sessions start from just £7.50 for children and £15 for adults) that ensure you can unwind at your own pace.
So for a memorable getaway that offers a huge variety of attractions in a uniquely beautiful rural location, head for Little White Alice and the hidden delights of Cornwall. Youre sure to want to return
Fun for all in Falmouth
Food and drink week
A celebration of the fine array of food on offer in the town. 9-17 February
Guided walks and talks, rockpooling sessions and a 'zumba zestival' feature in this celebration of beautiful open and green spaces. 16-24 March
Henri Lloyd Falmouth week
One of the largest sailing regattas in the Southwest, with hundreds of yachts racing over eight days. 11-18 August
Celebrate the start of oyster-dredging season with some delicious Cornish seafood. 10-13 October
Hosts a wide range of exciting family events, from medieval jousting to family fun trails.
For more details on great things to do in Falmouth all year round, visit www.falmouth.co.uk