Article by Ceri Wheeldon
I lived in Cornwall as a child, and have fond memories of my time there, so I was looking forward to spending a few days there, on a ‘Discovery Tour’ through HF holidays.
I stayed for three nights – with two full days of ‘discovery’ at Chy Morvah in St Ives.
The holiday is incredibly well organised. You receive a comprehensive itinerary ahead of time. I was travelling down by train, and the information sent included details of a taxi company that HF had negotiated preferential rates with, including the option to share a transfer if others were arriving on the same train.
There was afternoon tea on arrival – and we were introduced to our tour ‘leader’. We had a get together for our group before dinner so go through what we could expect to see the following day, which also meant that you didn’t have to walk into the dining room alone on the first evening – you could just traipse through with your group.
The food was excellent, with a choice of three different starters , main courses and desserts. There were two people on my table who were gluten intolerant and they had gluten free versions of each dish.
On my first evening there was an option to go on a late walk around St Ives to see it lit up at night. After a long day of travelling I decided to go – despite the wet weather- to have some fresh air and stretch my legs. I’m glad I did. It was peaceful – and the harbour lights were really pretty at night.
HF are better known for their walking holidays, but they offer so much more – in fact I went on an activities taster weekend with them last year. The appeal for me is that they cater for solo travellers – without charging a single occupancy supplement, although couples do go on their holidays too.
The Cornwall discovery tour
On my first full day we started with a walk along the Great Flat Lode, which is now part of a Cornish World Heritage site, where we saw the ruins of the Tin Mines, then on to a country park before going along to the harbour at Portreath. Our last stop of the day was the Engine Houses at Pool .
On our second day we fitted in a lot! First stop was a thatch Friends Meeting House, then on to the National Trust property Trelissick for a look around the house and gardens. Then we took the ferry over to the Roseland Peninsula for lunch at St Just – which was incredibly peaceful, and then another ferry from St Mawes to Falmouth before heading back – where we then enjoyed a five course ‘local’ meal.
All in all it was a really enjoyable trip. The staff were friendly, the food was excellent and everyone I met was really positive. It was interesting to see how many people were regular HF holiday goers. One lady on my tour had been on 42 holidays with them – mostly discovery tours or holidays with an arts or literature theme, while one of the keen walkers I met at dinner was on their 12th HF walking holiday.
I would definitely go on another break with them. They also offer walking and discovery holidays abroad – one of my fellow travellers was booked to go on their Oslo Discovery tour. I think HF offer a great introduction for people who are starting to travel solo. They are incredibly well organised and the shared activities means that there is plenty to talk about over breakfast and dinner. And as said earlier -no single person upgrade!
Derails for this Cornwall Discovery Tour