Local food in Cornwall
Cornish yarg is pressed cow’s milk cheese (from designated herds of local Friesian cattle) with nettle wrapping, made in two sizes. The cheese has an almost white curd, with a powdery grey rind that shows a pattern derived from the nettle leaves in which it is wrapped. A young Yarg cheese has a fresh, lemony flavour and a moist, crumbly curd. The cheese softens as it matures, developing a deeper flavour.
Where to stay
There are more than 500 approved Cornish hotels and B&Bs
For art lovers
To bask in the light and the landscape beloved by the sculptors Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, head for the Boskerris Hotel, St Ives (01736 795295; www.boskerrishotel.co.uk).
For beach-house style
On the fashionable Roseland Peninsula is the serenely beautiful Driftwood Hotel (01872 580644; www.driftwoodhotel.co.uk). Over-looking Gerrans Bay, this privately run hotel offers beach-house-style rooms and a mouthwatering menu.
Down the coast at St Mawes is Olga Polizzi’s super-stylish Hotel Tresanton (01326 270055; www.tresanton.com). Or stay at The Nare on Carne Beach (01872 501111; www.narehotel.co.uk)
It’s not hard to see why château-esque Fowey Hall (01726 833866; www.foweyhallhotel.co.uk), with its roll-top baths, croquet lawn and river-estuary setting, was the inspir-ation for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows. The Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan are nearby.
For escaping the crowds
For somewhere more remote and secretive, try Frenchman’s Creek Cottage (01628 825925; www.landmarktrust.org.uk). Set on the banks of the Helford River, it can be reached by boat at high tide.
Cornwall’s dramatic coastline, dairy pasture and rugged moorland ensure myriad opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife throughout the year.
What to look for
May-usually the county’s sunniest month-is a great time to observe marine wildlife, such as puffins, Manx shearwaters and stormy petrels. Harbour porpoises, common and bottlenose dolphins, sun fish and sea birds are also regularly spotted-together with the occasional minke whale-on specially organised ship safaris from Penzance harbour to the Scilly Isles.
And, if the seas are warm and calm, it’s sometimes possible to see basking sharks. Inland, much of the woodland is carpeted with bluebells, and hedgerows and roadside verges are awash with masses of colourful wild flowers, including cowslips, thrift, campions and mallows.