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Ebike in St Ives from Wildflower Wood

LEAVE THE CAR BEHIND Part 1

19Jun

DIFFERENT WAYS TO GET AROUND WEST CORNWALL

Next time you’re on holiday in Cornwall, take a break from the car, too, and try a few different ways to explore the county.

The fun alternatives to four wheels include pedal power, a set of hooves or a pair of stout boots. Here’s the first instalment of Beersheba’s guide to getting around Cornwall without a car.

Pop on a bike

Kalkhoff Ebike at Wildflower Wood

As you read in our previous blog, Beersheba now has two new hybrid electric bikes, which are available for our glampsite guests to hire. If you’ve never tried an electric hybrid bike before, trust us, they’re awesome. Hills have never been so easy.

If our bikes are booked and you’d rather not bring your own, there are several cycle hire places near St Ives. Try St Ives eBikes or for pedal power, Lands End Cycle Hire has a good choice.

If you want to make a real outing of it, try one of West Cornwall’s beautiful cycle routes, including The Cornish Way.

Take the train

St Ives Rail Line

The closest station to Beersheba is Carbis Bay (near the beach). From here, you can take the branch line train to the main line hub at St Erth, or go in the other direction towards St Ives.

This short stretch of rail is often voted the prettiest in Britain, and you can see why. If you embark at St Erth, it runs right along the coast, taking in Hayle estuary, the sand dunes, and the sweep of tree-fringed beaches towards St Ives. The station in St Ives is just above Porthminster Beach: you couldn’t arrive in a lovelier spot.

Taking the train into town really cuts down on the strain of parking in summertime St Ives.  Find out more on the Devon & Cornwall Rail website.

By water

SUP Image by Brian Tucker from Pixabay

Less of a practical suggestion and more of a fun idea, you can also explore the Cornish coast by sea. Pop down to Ocean Sports on Carbis Bay Beach to hire a kayak or SUP (maybe try the MegaSUP which takes the whole family), and see the bay from a whole new angle.

Learn to surf or brush up your skills at St Ives Surf School on Porthmeor Beach. Prefer to be a passenger? Catch the Dolly P out towards Seal Island.

If you’d like to find out more, or hire a Beersheba e-bike for your stay here, please drop us a line.

Kalkhoff Ebike at Wildflower Wood

Ebike hire at Wildflower Wood

25Mar

ERDF logo Wildflower Wood logo

Wildflower Wood Ebikes overlooking Porthmeor Beach St Ives

West Cornwall on two wheels: NEW ebike hire

How does this sound: setting out from Wildflower Wood for a cycling adventure in the Cornish countryside? We’re so excited to introduce Beersheba’s latest eco venture: electric bike hire.

Wildflower Wood is now the proud owner of two new hybrid electric bikes, which are available for our glampsite guests to hire.

You’ll now be able to enjoy the gorgeous Cornish cycle routes without having to bring your own bike on holiday, and because you can reserve them straight from us, you won’t even have to find a hire shop.

The two bikes have been funded by the European Regional Development Fund* (ERDF) Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Kickstart Grant Scheme. They’re supplied by the fabulous Top Gear Ltd based in Penryn.

And we’re delighted with the models that Top Gear have provided. The Kalkhoff Endeavour 3 B8 is a hybrid electric bike. This popular model has a large 500w Bosch in-frame battery, letting you cycle for longer on a charge. If you’ve never ridden an e-bike before, get ready for a pleasant surprise when you first cycle up a hill! Extra features include LED lights, a Sports Comfort saddle and a Bosch LCD display on the handlebars.

Bikes in Cornish lane

Even better, the bikes have rack cargo bags so you can pick a picnic before heading out along the lanes and cycle trails. You don’t have to bring any cycling-specific equipment with you on holiday, as we’ll provide helmets and locks, and even local maps.

So, leave your car at Beersheba for the day and explore Cornwall on two wheels for a change. Our new bike hire scheme also makes it easier to travel to Wildflower Wood by public transport (we’re a mile from the bus stop and there’s a branch line train to Carbis Bay).

The beaches at Carbis Bay, St Ives and Hayle are within easy cycling distance. There are also some great dedicated cycle routes in West Cornwall, including The Cornish Way to Land’s End, which is part of National Cycle Network 3.

Pedal power appeals to us at Beersheba. We’ve made sure that everything about our glampsite is kind to the environment; and our new eco-friendly transport is yet another way to take holidays along a greener route.

Just imagine, out in the fresh air after all these long months, travelling through the beautiful West Cornish landscape with a pasty in your saddle bag… Why drive when you can cycle?

Beersheba’s bikes are ready and waiting to be booked by guests (minimum rider age 18 yrs) from 1 May. Hire prices are £30 for one day or £50 for two days per bike. If you’d like to know more about our glampsite’s eco bike hire, please get in touch with us.

Wildflower Wood Ebikes

*European Regional Development Fund

The project has received £4701.66 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more info visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding

Can IPA beer and stack of pancakes

BEER-sheba Pancakes

15Feb

BEER-sheba Pancakes

Pancakes are fantastic holiday food, and aren’t just for kids, as our lush Beer-sheba batter pancakes prove. For a bit of a mix up on the traditional breakfast fare, swap the milk in your pancake batter for a splash of something more interesting.

Why use beer in your batter? Beer brings a bubbly lightness, as well as giving the pancakes a distinctive, yeasty flavour that’s perfect with savoury toppings.

Here’s what you need (with handy measures for a camp kitchen!):
110g plain flour (about 4 heaped tablespoons)
2 eggs
Pinch of salt
185ml lager (just over half a 330ml can)
approx 100ml water (use enough to make a thickish batter)
100g (ish – approx 2/5s a 250g pack) unsalted butter

Plus, a non-stick pan, a spatula you can trust, and a hob or camping ring that throws off a decent amount of heat (if you are staying in Wildflower Wood, you can hire all this and whip them up in your outdoor kitchen). A pouring jug or deep ladle for the batter will also make life easier.

1. Mix the flour, salt and eggs together, and gradually whisk in the beer and water.
2. Melt the butter in your frying pan. Set most of it aside for later, but pour a teaspoon or so into your batter to help prevent it sticking.
3. Heat the pan to smoking level, then wipe it round with a dollop of melted butter.
4. Pour or ladle in the mix, moving the pan around so the mix spreads into a nice, even circle around the base.
5. When it looks set, gently slide the spatula underneath the mix and flip it over to cook the other side. Note: don’t be a tosser: this mix is stickier than a conventional milk-based batter, and is a bit trickier to flip.
5. Slide the pancake onto a plate, and repeat until the batter’s gone.
6. Makes 12 small or 6 large pancakes.

Our Beer-sheba pancakes have a more savoury tang than milk batter ones. We’d serve these with grated cheese and fried mushrooms for a handy post-surf snack. Or, add chutney and some slices Cornish Yarg (like this lovely one from Kittows Quality Meats).

We used a Cornish beer, Harbour Brewery’s Antipodean IPA. You can use any beer you fancy, although IPA does work well. We’ve also heard good things about Belgian beer batters.

Not a beer fan, or flipping pancakes for the kids? Stick to the usual recipe – but use our local Trink milk for extra rich loveliness.

Love a way of life

Love of a way of life

12Feb

LOVE OF A WAY OF LIFE

Love means different things to different people, and as well as partners, family and friends, it can also be about your surroundings. At Beersheba, we love where we live, and that’s something we want to share with our guests.

We take a look at some of the reasons why we love our local landscape and the experience of woodland glamping in Cornwall.

Love of the sea

The Greeks have a word, thalassophilia, which translates as loving the sea. It’s often the love of the sea that brings people to Cornwall. They say that if you grow up by the sea, you never forget it, which could be why so many Cornish people return here.

Of course, if you don’t usually live by the sea, that’s a big part of the appeal, because there’s nothing like stepping out of your landpod or onto your patio and taking a big, deep breath of ozoney coastal air. It’s not unusual for visitors to fall in love with the sea itself – which in extreme cases, results in upping sticks and moving to the coast.

We appreciate how lucky we are at Beersheba. There’s this wonderful moment as you drive or walk from the farm to the road, and the sea suddenly comes into view. You can see Godrevy Lighthouse and the curve of the coast around Hayle, and it’s a breathtaking moment.

And if you’re looking for romance? The sea is your ally, providing backdrops that vary from warm sunsets to wild waves. There’s nothing quite as romantic as a walk along the beach or the coast paths, whatever the weather.

Love of the woods

We love our woodland at Beersheba. Wildflower Wood is a compact, friendly little forest: big enough to explore, small enough to feel welcoming.

In Japan, shinrin-yoku (a “forest bath”) is a recognised form of mindfulness, recommended as a wellbeing activity. There’s a lovely German word for solitary contemplation in the woods: Die Waldeinsamkeit. In the UK, we’re now realising the significance of walks in the woods, and our own Woodland Trust has recommended that forest bathing should be offered as a non-medical therapy.

There’s a scientific reason behind our need to be among trees. There are chemicals called phytoncides, a term that literally means “exterminated by plants”, which are released by trees. Exposure to phytoncides boosts our immune systems, and the positive effects last for a few days after the trip.

Love of simplicity

One of the many things about spending time in Wildflower Wood is how simple life can become. The routine of setting and lighting the fire pit, for example, is one of those perfect little rituals that brings a sense of mindfulness. It’s hardly bush survival level; however, because making a brew outdoors is more involved than switching on the kettle, it becomes an absorbing task in its own right. Take your coffee with a sense of achievement.

Learn to love the small things, like a toasted marshmallow or a glimpse of sea through the trees. If there are any positive takes from our lockdown lives, it’s that simple pleasures have become more significant.

Loving nature is a big part of our love of the simple life. The phrase “getting back to nature” may be a bit of a cliché, but we completely understand that need, whether it’s going for a walk or a sea swim or simply having breakfast outdoors while watching the local wildlife. Observing a squirrel search for a buried nut can be every bit as fascinating as the latest box set; and picking out the musicians in the dawn chorus is the best live gig ever.

Love of company

Easier said than done at the moment (February 2021) but one of the benefits of the outdoor life is the way we connect with the people around us. The popular Scandinavian concept of hygge isn’t only about the open fire, the mulled wine and the woolly socks – it’s also about the people you choose to hygge with (if you can phrase it like that).

We’ve found that woodland glamping, especially with friends and our combined children, brings us together like nothing else. The kids love chopping the kindling or foraging for twigs. Away from the easy entertainments of the house, family and friends chat more. Creating a meal in the woods can be a real team effort and it’s so much more rewarding because of that.

And of course, camping or glamping as a couple is such a romantic experience. A nighttime campfire outside your glamping pod creates an intimate space: the focus is just on the two of you, in that lit-up, cosy circle. It feels like there’s no one else in the world.

Sunrise in Wildflower Wood Rejuvenate in 2021

Rejuvenate this New Year

31Dec

REJUVENATE THIS NEW YEAR

The best way to refresh and rejuvenate in 2021 will be in the fresh air. Simply being outside is the new going out (and staying in). At Beersheba, we definitely plan to embrace this advice, and spend as much time in the great outdoors as we can.

Bringing the Inside Out

When we first set up our glamping Landpods in Wildflower Woods, we wanted our guests to be able to do everything they do indoors, outdoors. From showering to family feasts, you can have the full holiday experience under the leafy canopy.

You can easily swap your entire indoor existence for a life outdoors. While you’re in West Cornwall, switch indoor-based hobbies for new outdoor ones. Try cycling, running, hiking or horse riding, and we can recommend the best places and providers for all of these.

It may have become one of the great cliches of 2020; however, nature is healing. Breathe in the ozoney hit from the ocean combined with the ever-changing scents of the woods, and you’ll know exactly what we mean. Here’s the Beersheba guide to a rejuvenating 2021 in the Cornish open air.

Forest Bathing

The Japanese theory of shinrin yoku, forest bathing, reached us Brits a few years ago. You simply spend time in the woods, breathing in the woody, musty and zesty-green scents while quietly observing and listening out for the wildlife around you. Of course, we’ve always known that trees have a calming quality, but it’s nice to put a name to it.

Cornwall isn’t famous for its forests. We may not have as many places to forest bathe as sea swim; however, there are lots of accessible woods across the county. As a family, we regularly go to Tehidy Woods near Pool, which has a choice of easy-to-navigate trails and Cornwall’s cheekiest squirrels. Closer to home, Steeple Woods above St Ives gives you stunning views across the bay, or take the short drive to Gulval near Penzance for locals’ favourite walking spot, Trevaylor Woods.

If a walk in the wood soothes the spirit, how about a whole holiday under the canopy? Our eco glamping pods place you right in the heart of the woodlands. Every rustle, every hoot, every snapping twig is an experience to be immersed in and enjoyed.

Wild(ish) Food

You can go the full wild and book onto a foraging tour. Or in season, take a fishing trip from St Ives and grill your own catch in the fire pit. There’s nothing like freshly caught mackerel, barbecued near the sea. Or you can do what we do: shop at the local farm shops and fishmongers, then cook outdoors. One of the best bits about forest glamping is having your morning cuppa outside, watching the sun rise through the leaves. You might even glimpse a shy deer…

Cooking near the Landpods always felt really important to us. The cosy conviviality of a campfire meal appeals to something in all of us. We set up fire pits, and graduated to fire pits plus cooking areas with worktops and stoves. The camp kitchens are undercover, so a bit of Cornish mizzle needn’t mean the end of cooking.

But don’t feel pressured to be the cook on the wild side. Grab a takeout coffee and drink it on Porthminster Beach. Eat a pasty on the coast path. Order a pizza to come to your glamping pod and eat it sitting on a log. As the Famous Five kids told us in almost every book, food always tastes better when it’s eaten outdoors.

Vitamin Sea

Wild swimming became popular during 2020, possibly because most pools were closed, or maybe because of the feeling of freedom it imparts. Communities of swimmers expanded or sprung into life in 2020. Try Porthminster Beach, Battery Rocks (Penzance) or go for full immersion at the much-loved naturist spot, Pedn Vounder near Porthcurno (please check tide times). At Beersheba, we’re just a mile and a half from the Blue Flag beach at Carbis Bay. Even if you don’t want to swim, its Mediterranean-esque setting sets the soul sparkling (and there are great places to eat and drink on the beach…).

The local lidos kept us all going in 2020, and we hope they’ll continue to flourish. Penzance’s architecturally perfect Art Deco lido, the Jubilee Pool, has become a must-visit place for those in search of a refreshing treat. They have recently added a geothermal spa pool, heated naturally, and gently steaming in the bracing Cornish air. Recommended. Closer to Beersheba, the unassuming and friendly Hayle lido is another favourite place for a swim and chill.

For an indoor dip, Una St Ives is a high-end holiday resort that’s just a ten-minute walk from Beersheba. There’s a swimming pool and spa that welcomes day members, as well as a lovely bar and restaurant. (And you get the child-like excitement of the torchlit walk back in the evening.)

Underneath the Stars

Star trails over woodland

Then it’s nighttime, and this is when the real outdoor magic happens. There’s the glow of the campfire, which appeals to the ancestor in all of us, against the background blackness of the woods. When it’s time for bed, the cosiness of your tent or (if you’re staying at Beersheba) Landpod contrasts with the shadowy, nighttime outside.

It’s probably on many of those “must-do-bucket-list” type articles to sleep under the stars, at least once. Yes, you can find a bivvy bag and an accommodating farmer and spend a night beneath the open sky. I have to confess that we went for a comfier version when we commissioned our glamping pods: simply raise the outside flap and clip it up, and the side of the pod opens out. You can lie in the comfort of your own bed, gazing out at the dark canopy and the distant lights.

If you’re staying in Brea Cottage, delay bedtime. Switch on the hot tub and lie back in the gently bubbling water (ideally with a lightly bubbly drink), enjoying the darkness of the rural night. Fascinating fact: hot tub sales rose by 1000% in 2020 in the UK, and we completely understand this.

Get in Touch

If you like the idea of unwinding in the woodlands, or relaxing in our cosy cottage, please get in touch with us at Beersheba, St Ives.

Godrevy Landpod Wildflower Wood

The Landpods have landed in St Ives!

07Aug

THE LANDPODS HAVE LANDED IN ST IVES!

There is a special little pocket of wild woodland at Beersheba Farm, St Ives. On a hill, overlooking St Ives Bay, with views towards Godrevy Lighthouse, it’s a peaceful setting for a new eco-glamping adventure – Wildflower Wood.

Owner Andrew is opening an off-grid, low impact, family-friendly site, where the guests can stay in one of his fantastic Landpods. “It’s a special place where you can get back to nature and enjoy the great outdoors. You are surrounded by the woodland and farm wildlife – even shy deer visit from time to time.

“The Landpods are brilliant as they don’t disturb the protected woodland. They are carried in by foot, sitting on little legs & pads. They are assembled in situ and can sit quite happily under the trees without impacting them,” he added. “Other than tackling some vulnerable deadwood, the site preparation around the pods is minimal”.

Although off-grid, the Landpods have LED lighting (and can also charge mobile devices), are well insulated, have comfortable mattresses and can sleep a family of up to 5 in comfort. Kids absolutely love the bottom double bunk whilst the adults get a roomy top double bed. The L-shaped sofa seating also can be used as an extra bed. The unique roll back roof can open to reveal the sea views glimpsed through the trees from the beds!

Wildflower Wood enjoying marshmallows

Wildflower Wood enjoying marshmallows

Each pod has been named after local landmarks that form part of the stunning bay view. Godrevy is the lighthouse across the sea, Gwithian is the popular surfing and world-class windsurfing beach, Towans is the Cornish word for dunes that sit along the bay from Gwithian to Carbis Bay.

An outdoor kitchen area, picnic table and fire pit is provided for each Landpod. It’s an antidote to modern living – where the space and peace of relaxing, cooking and eating surrounded by the trees really nourishes the soul. “We have some fun forest challenges for the children and they just love making up woodland games and exploring. At the end of the day there’s nothing like sitting around the fire to unwind as the sun sets through the trees. The kids can test out their fire building skills and toast marshmallows.” said Andrew.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms with Swedish waterless toilets

The site facilities are also off-grid. There are state of the art Swedish waterless toilets and waterless urinals, low energy lighting and water saving gas powered hot showers. Eco-friendly toiletries and loo paper are provided. Andrew’s wife and interior designer Vicki has helped with the design, “We don’t want to sacrifice comfort, but everything has been planned to minimise any impact on the woodland environment and designed as sustainably as possible.”

Wildflower Wood at Beersheba Farm is between St Ives and Hayle, just a mile from the sea. Surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, kite-surfing, rock-pooling, building sandcastles or just sunbathing on the golden sands are all available nearby – there is something for everyone in this beautiful Cornish bay.

This unique holiday experience doesn’t stop there. Standing Stone Stables also offers pony treks around the farm and through the woodland for guests. Beersheba Farm has excellent routes for walkers – the South West Coast Path is just a mile away and St Michael’s Way adjoins the farm, linking the north Cornish coast at Lelant to the south coast and St Michael’s Mount at Marazion.

Wildflower Wood cooking

Wildflower Wood cooking

Cyclists can enjoy a variety of coastal routes in West Cornwall such as the Coast to Coast trail, the Penzance to Marazion trail or the Camel Trail to Padstow. Guests are encouraged to arrive by public transport. The nearby Carbis Bay bus and rail links beyond Cornwall and to St Ives are excellent. The closest beach at Carbis Bay is walkable (1.5 miles down a hill). Bedding is provided and cooking equipment can be hired so that guests can travel light.

Wildflower Wood is open until the autumn – book online here.

Spring daffodils

Spring into family fun in St Ives

29Mar

SPRING INTO FAMILY FUN IN ST IVES

Cornwall really bursts into life in spring, and there are loads of fantastic family friendly holiday activities in and around St Ives. Get the most out of your stay in St Ives with our favourite activities:

Looking for a scenic and exciting egg hunt?  The National Trust and Cadbury team up for their Easter trails (6/7 – 22 April), follow the clues to get your tasty Easter treat. Our favourites are Trelissick and Godolphin for gorgeous gardens, and Trengwainton and St Michael’s Mount for stunning scenery. Or just head to Marazion beach to look for special dragon’s eggs amongst all the pebbles. If you want to have your own trail on the farm you can roam around the fields and the woods and look for spring treasures on your doorstep!

Easter at Eden

Easter at Eden

The best family days out!  The Eden Project never fails to entertain in the school holidays and this Easter (6-25 April), you can go Down on the Farm and enjoy lots of indoor and outdoor games and activities, story telling, the Great Eden Egg Hunt and trails for the whole family, in their farm-themed Easter event. In Hayle, at Paradise Park, you can get close to goats, rabbits, mini sheep and donkeys in their fun farm field, be a Wildlife Hero or enjoy the Easter Golden Egg Challenge (6-22 April), and the race around indoor soft play area – the Jungle Barn.

Why not get creative?   If you want to get more hands on with chocolate – try a fun Chocolate Workshop at Coco Kitchen with St Ives’s very own artisan chocolatier. Or get messy with clay at the Leach Pottery who run clay days for 6-12 year olds on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the school holidays.  At Tate St Ives children can get hands on with Tate Create and explore the exhibition by Anna Boghiguian before making their own art figure.

Get out on the coast path – with the gorse and daffodils bursting into colour and the warm spring sunshine its a great time to walk and enjoy the stunning coastal scenery. This spring there have been regular dolphin sightings, even a humpback whale being spotted in St Ives Bay, so make sure you have your binoculars and get out early to get the best chance.  Seals love the sunshine and from the clifftops at Godrevy Point you can see crowds of them peacefully sunbathing in the coves below.

Rogue Theatre March Hare

Rogue Theatre March Hare

Get in the water!!  With the warm spring sunshine its a great time to take to the water – stand up paddle boarding or kayaking from Carbis Bay beach, or surfing at Gwithian or Porthmeor are all fantastic fun and just minutes away – remember (or hire!) your wetsuit!

Have a bit of drama in your holiday! The famous, award-winning Rogue Theatre’s Wild Spring Hare (12-22 April) takes you on a magical journey of immersive outdoor theatre through the wild wood to the Woodland King. Or the Minack Theatre, with its spectacular clifftop setting has family friendly shows throughout the school holidays with the highly enjoyable Squashbox Theatre (Mon/Weds am – book in advance – for younger children), and this Easter are showing Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden.

Kurt Jackson Following the Surfer

Following the Surfer

27Feb

FOLLOWING THE SURFER

Kurt Jackson surfboard

Kurt Jackson surfboard

Popped down to see the fantastic exhibition – Obsession: Following the Surfer by Kurt Jackson this month.  A real gem with a series of large and small paintings, prints, sculpture and ceramics inspired by the coastline and surfing.  One of our favourite pictures (featured top) really did have such power and depth you could dive right in.

This gallery space in St Just is a clean, fresh canvas to display the wide variety of works that local artist Kurt produces and is well worth a visit.

We look forward to the next exhibition Bees (and the Odd Wasp) in My Bonnet – that runs from 25 March  – 19 August 2017.

More info here