5 Reasons for a Cornish Yurt Holiday in Spring
1 The light Spring is a great time for a Cornish Yurt Holiday and is favourite time here at Cotna Eco Retreat. March is the month we put the yurts up, a time of new beginnings when everything feels fresh and full of anticipation, and we are already loving the lengthening evenings. Did you know that in Cornwall we have 15 minutes more evening light than London? It wasn’t until the advent of the railways that the clocks were synchronised across the country. And it was for the qualities of this light that artists have been attracted to Cornwall since the Victorian times. We are excited that our favourite contemporary artist Kurt Jackson has recently opened his own gallery in St Just.
2 The birdlife In spring the birdsong sounds more vibrant than ever as twilight starts to fall and blackbirds sing their heart out from their posts, the song thrushes follow their cycle of tunes and the barn owl swoops its circle over the yurt field, ghostly and silent. For the morning person a woodland dawn chorus walk is a must, contact the Cornwall Wildlife Trust
3 The flowers Colour starts to return to the woodlands and hedgerows, starting with the yellow carpet of Primroses, which later gives way to the sea of Bluebells in May and then the pink of Foxgloves and Pink Campion. Caerhays Castle has one of the best collections of magnolias from March – try to catch a clear day when the prehistoric looking flowers are set against the bright blue sky. The Lost Garden of Heligan’s rhododendron collection is impressive, and other gardens include Trewithen, Trelissick and Tregrehan
4 The quiet An ideal time for a peaceful yurt retreat, and if you are lucky enough to pick a clear week, you can still have the coast path or the beaches to yourself and soak up that early spring sunlight, clearer and brighter than any other time of year. It might be still too cold to swim for the less brave, but delicious for a refreshing paddle or adventure above water. Try kayaking on the rivers, or if it’s calm enough, rent a kayak from Ray on Gorran Haven Beach and paddle around the headland. It’s an amazing way to connect with the bird life – cormorants, shags, fulmars or even spot ravens and peregrines that nest along the cliffs.
5 The green Spring is one of the best times to find wild food in the woodland, hedges and fields. Late spring and early summer were known traditionally as the hungry gap, when the new season’s veg seemed to be taking forever to grow, and wild food was picked to fill that gap. Wild garlic is just coming up in our woods, and 3-cornered leek smelling of garlic and looking like a white bluebell, is in the hedgerows. Alexanders are knee-high in the hedges and lanes, while Pennywort studs the stony Cornish hedges. Rachel Lambert’s little pocket book, Wild Food Foraging in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is a good companion identification guide, and Rachel does seasonal foraging walks around Penzance There’s the more upmarket Fat Hen Or just stick around Cotna during your glamping stay, and go for a forage cook and dine session with Dave and Sara: ‘Perfect! I can’t recommend this strongly enough if you are here – it is a great way to learn about Cotna, your hosts and this heavenly spot – as well as taking home some new ideas, vegetarian recipes and possibly a pot or two from Sara’s store!’ Julie & Steve