Simply the West
Great days out for everyone this season in Cornwall, Devon and Wales.
Of course there's lots to do in the whole region, but for now, here's a taste of some great activities and experiences this season in Cornwall, Devon and Wales, whether you're looking to enjoy an entire week away or simply a nice long weekend
Cornwall produces some of our finest things to eat, all celebrated in the region's Food & Drink Festival, 28 to 30 September, Lemon Quay, Truro. The jam-packed three days features more than 60 exhibitors, live chef demonstrations and, of course, a chance to sample everything from fudge and clotted cream to World Champion Cornish Blue Cheese and traditional pasties.
Cornwall is also renowned for its apples, and autumn is a lovely time to visit Healey's Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow, Truro, to see the apple harvest. The Cornish family-owned business is dedicated to using traditional methods of cider production, and is free to enter, with tractor rides around the orchards, tours of the bottling line, still, museum and the cellars, and tastings in the farm shop and restaurant.
Autumn temperatures provide some of the best walking conditions, and this year The Nare Hotel, Carne Beach, Veryan-in-Roseland, has teamed up with the Fal River Autumn Walking Festival, 19 October to 4 November, to offer 50 guided and more than 50 non-guided walks for all levels of fitness and enthusiasm – dogs can come along, too. Pooches are also welcome at The Nare, where they can make full use of the hotel's drying room and services such as the dogs' à la carte menu.
Finally, a classic Cornwall attraction – The Eden Project, Bodelva, St Austell, is staging its Harvest Festival, 8 to 16 September, with chef demonstrations and wine talks, music, gardening talks and lots more.
For more ideas on what to do in Cornwall: 01872- 322900, www.visitcornwall.com
Food is a big focus in Devon during the autumn months, with a crop of special festivals and events.
Dartmouth Food Festival, 26 to 28 October, is one of the best food festivals in the UK and celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2012, with 10 core events, including the Great British Pud Night, the festival quiz, beer festival, wine and champagne village, as well as cookery demos from celebrity chefs, food writer Tom Parker Bowles, food critic Giles Coren and TV presenter and explorer Monty Halls.
Arts and crafts are also celebrated. Every year, the English Riviera (Torquay-Brixham-Paignton) transforms itself into the murder-mystery capital of the country in honour of the Queen of Crime, with the Agatha Christie Festival, 9 to 16 September. Murder mysteries galore are staged and you'll also find competitions, book launches, exclusive events and even a birthday fireworks display.
0844-474 2233, www.agathachristiefestival.co.uk
Book worms may be interested in the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival, 21 to 23 September, in East Devon. Renowned authors Hilary Mantel and Penelope Lively and poet Wendy Cope are among the line-up. Meanwhile, guests at The Appledore Book Festival, 28 September to 7 October, include Ruth Rendell, Jeremy Vine, Fiona Phillips and the Chivenor Military Wives Choir.
For more ideas on what to do in Devon: www.visitdevon.co.uk
How about foraging for your own food in Wales? TV presenter Kate Humble has recently moved to Monmouthshire to open a farm with countryside courses. The Traditional Taste Of Autumn: Food Foraging And Cooking course, 27 October, from £125 per person, will help participants turn forgotten seasonal treats – such as medlars, quinces, cobnuts and orchard fruit – into pickles, preserves, fruit butters and sweetmeats.
Lovers of art and the countrysid
e can capture the changing colours and forms of autumn on a Botanical Art In Coloured Pencil course, Snowdonia National Park Centre at Plas Tan Y Bwlch, Maentwrog, Blaenau Ffestiniog, 5 to 7 October, from £166.75 per person. Be inspired by the hedgerows and gardens to produce your own single study or mixed composition. The Plas gardens include a diversity of trees with changing leaf colour, seeds, nuts, shrubs, flowers, mosses and fungi.
Meanwhile, autumn is a great time to visit the National Botanic Garden Of Wales, Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, as heleniums, penstemons, asters and ornamental grasses give way in late autumn to the katsura tree, Japanese anemones, paperbark and snakebark maples. Lots of events, too. Admission, £8.50.
For more ideas on what to do in Wales: 08708-300306, www.visitwales.co.uk
Daily tip from the lady archive
"What makes leisure and holidays delightful is just the fact that they come rarely. If you can have them whenever you like they lose their nature.”The Lady. The Joy of Work. 14th May 1914
Attractive salary and benefits.
Furnished accommodation provided.
Must have excellent references.
Single or couple with partner who could assist with household and garden work.
Drivers licence required.
Must be good with pets.
Contact: Apply Box 15573