There is so much to do in the area that many guests find a week is just not enough to do everything they would like to, and often try to return for a fortnight next time.
You can stroll around the fields (map provided) take a signposted trail along a stream through ancient woods, explore the badger setts, and see a myriad of wildlife right here at Chark, not to mention the wonderful views if you walk up to our top fields.
We offer guides to walks/cycle rides you can take directly from Chark, enabling you to have a car free day out – great enjoyment and good for the environment. We are close to the Saints Way, which is a route from Padstow to Fowey, reputedly used by those first bringing Christianity to the county, and this passes by Helman Tor – it’s like a mini Bodmin Moor, with rugged granite outcrops and fantastic coast to coast views on a clear day.
We also offer you a horse and cart ride around the scenic lanes during your stay.
There are swings, a small slide, and a sandpit with sea sand from the Camel Estuary at Padstow.
Children love the assortment of ride on tractors in the courtyard. For up to age 8 years.
A badminton net, posts and racquets are available on request.
The younger guests especially enjoy the morning routine of caring for the animals – feeding the hens, collecting eggs, looking after the ducks, geese, guinea pigs, goats and ponies. During school holidays there are sometimes calves for bottle feeding as well. Fluffy our pet Kune Kune pig has become a big favourite with everyone.
We are just a short 15 minute drive from the acclaimed Eden Project, with its impressive Biomes growing many exotic specimens. There is much to see here, and if you really enjoy all things botanical, visit early in the week and get a free pass for unlimited return visits.
During the school holidays there are usually lots of extra free craft activities for children e.g. raft building.
Some of our more intrepid guests have cycled there from Chark, taking from 50 minutes to 2 hours. The reward is a reduced entry fee (about £3 off)
From late October to mid February there is an ice rink, and evening openings with seasonal activities.
A five minute drive, or an hour’s leisurely stroll through beautiful woodlands, is the National Trust Lanhydrock House and Gardens. Rebuilt in the late Victorian period, after a devastating fire, the house is magnificent, from the elegant living areas, to the fully equipped kitchens. The gardens are extensive and equally magnificent. For those with bikes there are some new bike trails in the woods, graded from easy to moderate for all the family.
The Camel Trail
The trail is accessed from Bodmin, and passes through wooded valleys along the Camel River to Wadebridge. From Wadebridge to Padstow it follows the open Camel Estuary, a haven for wild life. The other leg of the trail heads up towards Bodmin Moor. We have found a circular route that can be cycled in an afternoon, starting at Bodmin, taking the trail to Wenford Bridge, then some quiet roads through St Tudy and St Mabyn (with convenient pubs for refuelling..) then down to Wadebridge and back via the other leg of the trail.
Some prefer to drive to Wadebridge and then cycle or walk along the Estuary to Padstow and back, maybe sampling Rick Stein’s fish and chips before returning.
A little known gem of the area is Luxulyan Valley which offers amazing natural beauty with thickly wooded, steep granite slopes and the fast-flowing, bubbling River Par.
A huge viaduct was built by the Joseph Treffry in 1842 is only one of the many industrial age buildings hidden in the valley and now preserved for future generations to see how the industrial revolution changed the Cornish landscape. The Viaduct itself is regarded as one of the wonders of modern industrial Britain.
The valley is riddled with foot and cycle paths – and even in the height of summer you are able to pass through it without seeing a soul.
Lost Gardens of Heligan
Of all the commercial attractions in Cornwall, this comes top in the opinions of our guests.
About half an hours drive from Chark, and near to Mevagissey, the gardens were restored from a lost wilderness back to their former glory about 12 years ago. Adjacent to the gardens is Lobbs Farm Shop, full of great local produce.
There are two good golf courses both within two miles of the farm, at Bodmin and Lostwithiel.
Young children are able to have a ride on Billy our gorgeous miniature horse. We also provide complimentary horse and cart rides for guests. We have strong links with TB Equestrian – not a riding school but a training yard for event horses. Enthusiasts can have a half or whole day experience of life on the yard, including a lesson. Pony trekking on Bodmin Moor is available at Hallagenna Stables near St Breward.
We are in easy reach of both the North and South coast. A variety of sheltered South Coast beaches are only 15 minutes drive away, and are good especially for families with young children, being smaller and gentler than the rugged Atlantic North Coast beaches. These are good for surfers, and surfing lessons can be easily booked if required. Nearest north coast beaches are only 30 minutes away.
Dragon Leisure Centre is just 2.5 miles away on the way to Bodmin. It has a superb 25 metre pool with flume and large toddler pool within the same space. There are regular “Wet’n’Wild” sessions and the centre also has a gym, squash courts and indoor and outdoor tennis courts for hire. Session times change – you can get information on 01208 75715 or see the timetable in your cottage.
Sometimes the sun doesn’t shine but there are always things to do – see
Our Thriving Industrial Past
There are ten areas that make up the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Many of them are in stunningly beautiful places for walking and discovery – such as the Tamar Valley on the border with Devon, and Luxulyn Valley here in mid Cornwall. Somemines have been developed into museums. Geevor Mine in Pendeen and Cornish Mines and Engines in Poole, near Redruth are just two. China Clay was once another of Cornwall’s great exports, and at Charlestown near to St Austell you can see the best-preserved china-clay and copper-ore port in the world.