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Cornwall for dog lovers

A family holiday needs to cater for the whole family – and for many of our visitors that includes a four-legged friend. The good news is that Cornwall is full of great dog-friendly things to see and do. Here are some of our favourites.

Sand between your paws

There are so many incredible beaches to choose from in Cornwall, but always check if dogs are welcome, as some beaches have dog bans during the busier months.

We’re lucky to have Crantock Beach right on our doorstep. It’s cared for by the National Trust and was voted the Best British Beach by BBC Coast in 2013. Dogs are welcome on the beach all year round. The huge stretch of sand and dunes are a perfect place for dogs to play.

Holywell Beach is also dog-friendly all year round and is very close to Crantock Bay. This stunning beach was used as a location for filming of the BBC’s Poldark series.

Mawgan Porth beach is halfway between Newquay and Padstow. Surrounded by stunning cliffs, dogs are welcome all year round.

Days out with doggies

Cornwall’s iconic Eden Project was voted the world’s best location for walking dogs in 2018. Dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas, so you will have miles of beautiful gardens to explore. However, please bear in mind that dogs are not allowed into the biomes. You can find out more about Eden’s dog-friendly facilities here.

Lappa Valley is a big hit with families, thanks to its steam trains, paddle boats and play parks. And the good news is that dogs are welcome too. Located in the countryside just outside Newquay, Lappa Valley is just a short drive from Crantock Bay.

Dogs are also welcome on boat trips run by Newquay Sea Safari and Fishing and the captain even keeps dog biscuits onboard. Explore the North Cornwall coast and see Newquay from the sea. The boat trips include cruises to hidden coves and secret beaches to meet wildlife up close in their natural environment.

Paws for a pint – dog friendly pubs and restaurants

Our very own C-Bay Bar and Bistro welcomes dogs and their owners for coffee, food and drinks throughout the day. With comfy seating and an unsurpassed view of the coastline, it’s the perfect place to relax after a run on the beach below.

Beach bars don’t come much better than the Watering Hole, which is right in the middle of Perranporth Beach – a nine-mile drive from Crantock Bay. Walk your dog on the miles of golden sands of Perranporth then pop into the Watering Hole for a tasty lunch.

The Hawkins Arms in Probus, near Truro, has been voted Cornwall’s best pub on TripAdvisor. Visitors praise its great food and warm welcome – which extends to dogs too!

Dogs are welcome at the courtyard tables at Rick Stein’s Café in Padstow. A great place for coffee, lunch, or an evening meal, where freshly caught fish is sure to be on the menu.

Woodland walks

Cardinham Woods has miles of paths to explore with your dog – and after you’ve stretched your legs, you can enjoy a delicious Cornish cream tea at the Woods café (jam first of course!)

Idless Woods near Truro is another great place to walk. There are a variety of different paths to explore, including a circular path, or you can head straight up the hill from the car park to walk along the peak of the woodland.

Rainbows ar Crantock Bay

Why visit Cornwall during the winter?

Winter in Cornwall is dramatic, beautiful and romantic – and it’s often the time of year that you’ll hear about in old Cornish tales of smuggling, novels and sea shanties. It could be said that it’s the real, raw side of the county, that many visitors never get to experience.

Although rarely cold, Cornwall’s position on the coast means it can be wet and it’s often wild. Huge Atlantic swells create perfect conditions for avid storm watchers – a pastime that has grown in popularity in recent years. As long as it’s done safely, there’s little that can beat the sheer power and spectacle of a winter storm –especially if viewed from the warmth of an apartment or C-Bay Bar & Bistro.

The beaches are considerably quieter during the winter and with the rules relaxed in many places that aren’t dog accessible all year round, your four-legged friend can enjoy a good run on the sand. There may even be a surfer or two to watch in the water (from the comfort of a warm coat and hat from dry land!)

During the summer, popular tourist hotspots such as St Ives, Padstow and Newquay can get very busy. Parking can be tricky at the height of the season, with shops, restaurants and the surrounding beaches packed with visitors. Fast forward to the winter months and there’s space to explore, tables to choose from and every chance you’ll have the coast path to yourself. Should the weather turn damp, there’s plenty to do indoors too.

If the dramatic landscapes, Atlantic swell and quieter towns aren’t enough to tempt you to visit during the winter, perhaps the lure of cosy pubs with roaring fires and delicious comfort food will. Fish and chips, freshly baked Cornish pasties and cream teas somehow taste even better when devoured after a blustery walk on the beach…

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Welcoming in the New Year the Cornish way

With New Year’s Day just around the corner (hasn’t this year just flown by!) we’re looking forward to taking part in one or two traditions. Our unique coastal position means that embracing the chilly Atlantic early in the morning is one of our favourites, but there are others which will help you to make the most of the first day of 2020 in Cornwall.

Embrace the chilly water and go for a swim

What better way to clear your head and kick start the new year than the New Year’s Day open swim on Crantock Beach! Whilst running into the (probably) chilly water might seem a bit odd to those from outside Cornwall, there really is nothing better, or refreshing, on a January morning.

Indulge in a hearty breakfast

With the sea swim taking place just below us, treat yourself to one of our delicious all-day breakfasts in C-Bay afterwards. Warm up, kick back, relax and enjoy the view – whilst feeling very smug that you’ve already been in the sea on the 1st January.

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Run the dog on the beach

We’re very lucky that all of the beaches in Cornwall are dog friendly during the winter. Staying with the coastal theme, wear out your four-legged friend (and the rest of the family too!) with a good run around on the beach. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you may have already been for a swim…

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Hire a bike and ride the Camel Trail

Enjoy a gentle ride along this traffic free route to blow a few cobwebs away. Ideal for those who would like to be near the coast, with views of the sea, without getting in. The trail is flat, so it’s great for children too.

Lastly, did you know…

In Cornwall, the moment between 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve and midnight on New Year’s Day is known as ‘St Tibb’s Eve’? It’s supposed to be a hidden day of magical celebration.

‘First Footing’ is a tradition found across the world. It’s believed that good luck is brought into the house by the first person to enter in the New Year. In Cornwall, our version of first footing is called ‘sanding the step’. The doorstep is marked with a line of sand and the first person to cross is said to represent the luck the household will receive that year.

Will you be adding this Cornish tradition to your celebrations?

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Enjoy Christmas & New Year at Crantock Bay

With Christmas just around the corner, we’re looking forward to the festive season and welcoming guests and customers to our apartments, spa and café. With plenty going on over the next couple of months, there’s lots to look forward to here at Crantock Bay.

Wake up to this view on Christmas Day

If you’re thinking about escaping somewhere beautiful this Christmas, why not enjoy a fantastic break in a luxurious property overlooking the stunning Crantock Bay? Book in for Christmas lunch at C-Bay Café, Bar & Bistro and take away the hassle of preparing the meal yourself, instead enjoying the extra time with your friends and loved ones.

Alternatively, book for New Year and kick start 2020 in style. C-Bay will be open every day including New Year’s Eve ensuring you have everything you need for the perfect break.

For those feeling particularly brave, the New Year’s Day open swim on Crantock Beach is a must! Treat yourself to one of our delicious all-day breakfasts in C-Bay afterwards whilst you kick back, relax and enjoy the view.

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Don’t miss our Christmas shopping event

The Christmas fun isn’t just reserved for our guests! Head over and join us on Wednesday 27th November between 5-8pm for an evening of Christmas shopping.

A great opportunity to pick up the perfect gifts for friends and family, you’ll find everything from stocking fillers to locally made silver jewellery available from the craft stalls. With a complimentary glass of fizz on arrival as well as the chance to be treated to a quick ‘shape and paint’ by the spa girls, you’ll leave feeling pampered as well as festive!

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Make the most of our festive spa offers

For those in need of a little time out this winter, we have three new packages that are perfect for a pre-Christmas pamper.

Whether you opt for the Silver option which includes a mince pie, glass of prosecco and 30 minute treatment, the Gold option with its two course lunch, glass of prosecco or mulled wine and 30 minute treatment or Platinum offering which boasts a two course lunch or dinner from the Christmas menu, glass of prosecco or mulled wine and 30 minute treatment, you can be sure you’ll leave feeling relaxed and ready for the festivities ahead. Free use of our indoor heated pool and spa bath as well as use of a towel and robe are also included with each package.

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Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch or dinner with a view

Open for breakfast and lunch each day, as well as dinner on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, C-Bay boasts unsurpassed views over Crantock Beach making it the perfect place to enjoy the Cornish coast whilst staying warm, comfortable and enjoying some delicious dishes.

Dogs are welcome too so if you’re enjoying a brisk walk along the beach, you can retreat to the warmth afterwards for some coffee, cake or something more substantial!

From Thursday 12th December we will be offering our Christmas menu for lunch and dinner – you can book your table here. There are even a few spaces left for Christmas day but hurry, we’re almost full!

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Top attractions to visit within an hour of Crantock Bay Apartments

There’s so much to see and do around Cornwall, from spectacular vantage points, to theme parks, wildlife attractions to horticultural spectacles – you’ll never be short of things to do!

With temperatures rising and the school holidays just around the corner, we thought we’d share just some of our favourite attractions to visit within an hour of us here at Crantock Bay Apartments.

The Eden Project

Spanning 35 acres, the stunning global gardens at the Eden Project offer an unforgettable experience to visitors. Explore the two spectacular biomes which house the largest rainforest in captivity as well as Mediterranean landscapes home to a wide range of exotic plants. Add to that the vibrant gardens outside, a variety of fantastic eateries and fascinating exhibitions and you can be sure of a great day out.

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The Screech Owl Sanctuary

A haven for sick and injured owls, the Screech Owl Sanctuary houses one of the largest collections of owls in the south west, with over 40 species from all over the world. The perfect place to learn about these beautiful birds, you’ll even have the unique opportunity to meet a number that are hand-tame. Other animals at the sanctuary include emus, meerkats, alpacas, pygmy goats and Shetland ponies.

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Bodmin Jail

Explore the cold, dark cells that were once home to the jail’s prisoners and get an idea of the lonely lives they led as hard labour and hunger awaited them each day. Steeped in both social and architectural history, visitors can wander through the depths of the jail where you’ll find creative exhibits depicting penal life in Victorian Cornwall. You’ll even find the only working execution pit in the country, which was discovered during renovations in 2005.

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Bedruthan Steps

One of the most popular places to visit in Cornwall, taking a trip to Bedruthan Steps during your time in the county is a must. Look out over the huge rock stacks and enjoy the spectacular views out to sea, before heading off on one of the many walks or trails in the area – the perfect way to explore this stretch of the spectacular north Cornwall coast.

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The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Previously lost beneath a tangle of weeds for decades, it was in 1990 that the derelict gardens were discovered by Tim Smit and John Willis – starting the restoration process that still continues to this day.

As a visitor, step back in time and explore one of the most loved and romantic gardens in the UK. Over 200 acres are now a paradise and well worth a visit.

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Camel Creek Adventure Park

The perfect day out with the kids, you’ll find a great range of wild rides, new attractions and masses of indoor entertainment at this all-weather theme park. Younger children will love the Safari Train, whilst older kids will enjoy the various rides available. For the horse lovers out there don’t miss the opportunity to meet the Shires who call the park home.

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Restormel Castle

Once a luxurious retreat for its medieval owners, Restormel Castle stands amid beautiful countryside, enjoying spectacular views across the valley of the River Fowey. Make your way around the castle and you’ll find hints of its opulent past, from the high windows and large fireplaces to the Great Hall that would have once been used for large gatherings. Take a walk around the inside of the keep and you’ll be able to imagine castle life bustling below you.

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Healey’s Cyder Farm

For anyone with a love of cider, a trip to Healey’s Cyder Farm is a must! As award-winning makers of ciders, wines, spirits and preserves, you’ll find plenty of fantastic food and drink to sample – as well as lots of other family fun. Don’t miss the guided tour which will take you through the press house, jam factory, museum, distillery, and cellars, ending up with an aerial view of the cider production halls. The kids will also love taking a tractor ride through the beautiful orchards.

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Newquay Zoo

Ready to meet over 1,000 of the world’s rarest and most endangered animals? From lions to songbirds, meerkats to snakes you’ll find plenty of amazing species at Cornwall’s biggest zoo. During your visit you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy exciting keeper talks, activity trails, the Dragon maze and much more.

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Blue Reef Aquarium

Taking visitors on a journey from the Cornish coasts to the exotic seas, the Blue Reef Aquarium has 40 naturally-themed habitats to see, housing a variety of fascinating creatures. These range from those you’d find in a Cornish rockpool, to Black Tip Reef Sharks – and even a Giant Pacific Octopus. With daily events and feeding to watch – visitors can come and go from the aquarium as they please with their day pass, allowing you to pop back to watch the events you don’t want to miss.

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Where to find dog friendly beaches in Cornwall this summer

Cornwall boasts a wide range of dog friendly beaches and spectacular coastal paths – some of which are right on our doorstep at Crantock Bay. It really is a great choice of holiday destination for those looking to get away with their four-legged friend.

A number of the beaches in the county implement a seasonal dog ban from Easter through to the end of September, however many do welcome them throughout the seasons. We’ve put a list together of our favourite year-round dog friendly beaches below.

Crantock Beach

What better place to start than our very own local beach – Crantock. The beach sits between the Pentire and West Pentire headlands and at the southern end of the beach, the high cliffs provide shelter from the wind. The mouth of the River Gannel can be found to the north – which was once a navigable port.

Found just outside of Newquay it can be much quieter here – great for avoiding the summer crowds.

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Constantine Bay

This is a beautiful unspoiled beach, found a little further from us near Padstow – fantastic for exploring rock pools. The beach is great for families with plenty of room for games, building sandcastles and dogs to run off some steam!

Fistral Beach

Another beach local to us and one of the best in Cornwall for surfing – the mile of golden sand has plenty of room for dogs and their families. Only a five-minute drive from Newquay town centre, Fistral is great for stretching legs and paws.

Perranporth

Perranporth is one of the best loved beaches in Cornwall – with over three miles of sand there’s plenty of room for dogs to run. It’s also great for surfing, sampling a local cider or two, beach games with the kids or just soaking up the sun.

Polly Joke

Nestled between Crantock beach to the north and Holywell Bay to the south, Polly Joke (as it’s locally known, or Porth Joke to others) in an unspoilt sandy beach where dogs are allowed all year. There’s enough sand here on even the busiest day and is well worth the fair walk from the car park.

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Watergate Bay

Another beach not far from us, Watergate Bay has miles of sand, which is guaranteed to tire out even the most energetic pooch! It’s ideal for families too. Set beneath high sheltering cliffs, it’s also close to great amenities.

Holywell Bay

This is a much-loved family beach, as well as being popular with surfers and bodyboarders. There’s a large car park a level walk away, toilets, a beach shop and refreshments available. At nearly a mile long, there’s lots of space for dogs to enjoy these golden sands too.

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Bedruthan Steps

According to legend, the granite rocks that are dotted across the beach are stepping stones for the Giant Bedruthan – making it one of the most iconic beaches in the county. There’s lots to explore too – from hidden caves and rock pools, to the coastal footpath found above the beach. The National Trust café at the top of the cliffs is dog friendly, meaning the whole family can enjoy this spectacular spot!

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5 walks within 30 minutes of Crantock Bay Apartments

Spring is a beautiful time of year in Cornwall, with flowers blooming, temperatures rising and the beaches still quiet, it’s the ideal time to get out and explore some of the fantastic walks around Cornwall.

Here are five great routes that are within 30 minutes of us here at Crantock Bay Apartments.

Crantock and The Gannel

Starting at Crantock Beach this circular route will take you along the coast path to Penpol Creek, passing through fields and woodland along the way, before you make your way down to the sand, following the estuary bed and onto the footpath that will lead you back around to Crantock.

A beautiful walk that enjoys plenty of stunning views, it is essential that you time your outing with low tide. Around 4.5 miles in length it is only around a six-minute drive from Crantock Bay.

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Cubert Wildlife Walk

This walk begins at the car park in West Pentire and heads north towards the coast, starting a circular path that will take you past Porth Joke, an Iron Age fort, Holywell Beach and more – enjoying spectacular scenery as you go.

Offering fantastic displays of poppies and other wild meadow flowers during the summer, as well as magnificent coastal views, this route is well worth exploring. Around 6 miles in length, the starting point is only around a two-minute walk away from us.

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Perranporth to St Agnes

A beautiful cliff top walk, this route provides a great opportunity to see some of the mining relics in the area, as well as the remnants of an old airfield that was used during the war. Don’t miss the opportunity to take a look at the cliffs below Droskyn too, which were once famous for smugglers.

Around 3.6 miles in length and around a twenty-minute drive from Crantock Bay, the path is generally flat with one steep valley climb to tackle along the way.

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Bedruthan Steps

The perfect choice for those wishing to see the iconic stacks – known to many as the legendary rocks that the giant Bedruthan used as stepping stones – highlights of this walk include the spectacular coastal scenery, the beaches of Pentire Steps and Bedruthan, as well as the many wildflower varieties that can be enjoyed during spring and early summer.

A 4.5 mile circular route that begins and ends in the Pentire Farm car park, it is around a thirty minute drive from Crantock Bay.

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Goss Moor circular trail

Moving in from the coast, around a twenty five minute drive inland will take you to Goss Moor and its circular trail. 7 miles in length, the mostly flat path winds its way around the moor, providing the perfect track for walkers, runners, cyclists and riders to enjoy the area safely. The largest surviving remnant of the mid-Cornwall moors, Goss Moor is a beautiful place to explore.

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Why choose Cornwall at Easter?

Easter arrives late this year with Good Friday falling on 19 April. Being a moveable celebration, the date changes each year – and it all depends on the moon. Easter Sunday is calculated as the one which follows the full moon that falls after the first day of spring. This means that it could be any time between 22 March and 25 April.

Whatever the date, Easter is a great time to visit Cornwall. The county springs back into life after winter, with longer days and warmer weather – perfect for exploring.

Crantock Bay Apartments are a great base for an Easter break. Located right on the coast, with easy access to Crantock Beach and an ever-changing view out to sea. There are great on-site facilities too, including a spa, indoor swimming pool, tennis court (with an incredible view) and a newly extended café/bar/bistro.

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There are lots of things to see and do over Easter near us – here are just some of our favourites:

Follow the clues around the garden at Trerice and finish your adventure with a chocolate treat at the end. National Trust properties throughout the county are hosting self-guided nature-themed Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts for children. The money raised will help the National Trust’s conservation work.

Enjoy an Easter-themed afternoon tea at Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm. After exploring, tuck into sweet and savoury treats inspired by the animals on the farm. Healeys delicious homemade scones also feature and are served with lashings of Cornish clotted cream and their own jam. Parking and entry to the farm is free all year round.

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Join Rogue Theatre deep in the woods of Tehidy this Easter for a trail like no other – let your imagination lead you into nature’s dream and discover the wild new world of spring. Lose yourselves in the wild wood and find yourselves in even wilder tales, collect the clues and follow the Hare to the Woodland King. He’ll be waiting with more stories and a chocolate treat for everyone!

Head to the Eden Project for a fun-packed day out at their farm-themed Easter event, which includes a giant scramble course and special chocolate treats. Join the Eden Farmers to help round up their animals and learn what makes crops grow. Collect stamps to fill up your card and eggschange them for cracking prizes!

Hunt for bats, meet creepy crawlies, reptiles and owls at Bodmin Jail on their Easter Sunday family fun day. The day includes a guided tour of the jail, face painting and an egg hunt too – so those who’d prefer less of a fright will also be catered for.

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Whatever you decide to see and do, we’re sure that a stay at Crantock Bay Apartments will be eggscellent!

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5 reasons why you should visit Cornwall this spring

Spring arrives early in Cornwall (earlier than the rest of the country in fact), due to its mild, sub-tropical climate. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful seasons to visit the county, when fields, hedges and gardens explode in a riot of colour.

Last year, spring was declared in Cornwall on the 26th February – the moment when six champion magnolia trees in six different Great Gardens flowered with at least 50 blooms each. It’s a beautiful way to celebrate the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.

If last year’s date is anything to go by, in little more than a month we could already be on the countdown – so we’ve taken a look at our favourite reasons why you should visit Cornwall this spring.

Beat the crowds…

It comes as little surprise that Cornwall is at its busiest during the summer months. Whilst it’s a great time to visit, it can be a little crowded. If you’re looking to have a deserted beach to yourself, quietly explore an idyllic town or village or grab the best table in the restaurant with a sea view – a springtime visit is for you.  We probably don’t need to mention that the roads are quieter too…

Go on a rambling adventure

The South West Coast Path is 630 miles long and takes in fabulous scenery. With Cornwall surrounded on three sides by water, we’re blessed with mile upon mile of paths to explore – all with jaw-dropping views. Cooler temperatures at this time of year make walking and exploring much more comfortable and enjoyable.

Explore a Great Garden 

Cornwall is home to some seriously glorious gardens – including the Lost Gardens of Heligan, Trebah Garden and Caerhays Castle gardens. The latter boasts a magnificent spring woodland garden and a National Collection of Magnolias, whilst Heligan has over 200 acres to be explored. You can be assured of lots of colour during your visit!

Enjoy time with your four-legged friend

With lots of open space and golden sand to enjoy, your dog will love the chance to run free. Whilst some beaches remain dog-friendly all year round, many have a dog ban over the summer months. The spring months are a great time to explore with your dog – stopping at a dog-friendly café (such as our own C-Bay) for refreshments afterwards.

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Go to a Cornish food and drink festival

Many of Cornwall’s food and drink festivals take place during the spring – offering foodies the chance to sample some of the county’s best produce, watch local chefs prepare dishes live on stage and enjoy all of the entertainment on offer. We’re very lucky that are food miles are low – meaning produce is very fresh, with fish landed the same day.