In an idyllic corner of our Cornish coast lies this small village. The Helford River is a very unspoilt stretch of picturesque water with lots of small quays and hidden creeks including Daphne du Mauriers famous Frenchman’s Creek. The highlight of every summer are the village Regattas’ which are an annual event and incorporate traditional competitions both on the river and on the beaches. Sand building competitions, dig for treasure,three legged races and sack races as well as all sorts of river activity including land and sea and swimming races in the chilly British waters. It is a good old fashioned fun day on the beach. Cornwall has an abundance of stunning gardens to visit and close to Helford Passage we often visit Glendurgan and attempt the maze which constantly defeats us all! There is also Trebah Gardens which has recently landscaped an outdoor amphitheatre and as with Glendurgan if you walk to the very end of the garden you will arrive on the beach. Rain or shine we are out and about the great British climate means that you must be imaginative with all weather plans. I am always slightly dismayed as we always visit Cornwall having just come back from our wonderful holidays on the Italian coast and in contrast to our seafood beach lunches in radiant sunshine we often sit and picnic well wrapped up in the rain and drizzle on Durgan beach! We all still love it. One of the greatest changes over the years during our visits to Cornwall is the food culture. The choice and breadth of restaurants and the quality of the food has vastly improved since we first visited. Falmouth alone is a town transformed and with the development of the new port and the Maritime Museum. With each visit we discover new restaurants all of the highest calibre it just seems to go from strength to strength.
We have been visiting for many years and since the girls were very young they were thrilled with tales of how pirates used to smuggle in rum, tobacco and lace making it even more exciting and romantic. The hub of Helford Passage village is the Ferryboat Inn pub owned by the Wright Brothers and we often enjoy a delicious pub supper or lunch and a glass of prosecco overlooking the magnificent river. During the summer months the river is buzzing with activity and boats of all shapes and sizes on the river. There is also a good ferry service to take you across the river to Helford and their pub The Shipwright Arms. We often cross the river and embark on the most picturesque walk through fields and woods to visit South Cafe. This is in the village of Manaccan and in the garden which has a mediterranean feel and after your brisk walk you can enjoy a freshly caught lobster with chips and a glass of chilled wine.
I often feel that Cornwall in some respects is a well kept secret. In the summertime the roads are congested as we all head down to our British coastline and yet it remains a very British affair. A unique part of England it has managed to retain authenticity and there is so much creativity and a love of nature here. I love my tranquility so confess that I do prefer it during the out of season months despite the unpredictable climate but I never allow this to be a deterrent.