Eco-holidays in Trelowarren (Sep07)

There can’t be many things more exhilarating than surfing – or body boarding to be more precise. Watching the huge waves rolling towards me, I was among a throng of fellow surfers at Polzeath, poised to catch the best roller, so I could skim on its back towards the shore.

The wonderful thing about surfing is that it’s not too weather-dependent. This was important because the week we stayed in Cornwall was pretty wet. But the day we went to Trelowarren was an exception.

Trelowarren is a beautiful Cornish estate, situated on the Lizard, near the Helford River. It’s run by Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, who has made it into a top-of-the-range eco-destination.

I went to investigate what this meant and to see whether it would be somewhere I’d want to go.

The long drive took us to series of cobbled courtyards. In the past these would have been filled with horses and all their paraphernalia. Today there’s an office, some shops selling Cornish arts & crafts and a restaurant, where Sir Ferrers took us to lunch.

I was with my three sons – Connor (12), Rollo (10) and Monty, aged 8. This didn’t prove to be one bit overwhelming for Sir Ferrers because he has 5 sons of his own. I think mine were reasonably well behaved but I got the impression that they could have been pretty wild without him raising an eyebrow!

My family are all enthusiastic about food. It was truly delicious. Locally sourced and beautifully cooked. I had fish. The boys went for mussels. But I couldn’t resist finishing off with a blackberry fool. The restaurant was full and it seems that this is not unusual – you generally need to book in advance.

If you want to stay at Trelowarren you can rent one of the houses on the Estate – but the main idea is timeshare.

I’ve always run a mile when anyone even mentions the word ‘timeshare’ because of all the hard selling fraudsters who have got mixed up in the industry.

Actually, the concept is quite ‘green’ because it generally means the holiday home is occupied for most of the year.

The houses at Trelowarren had other eco-virtues. They’re heated by a large CHP (combined heat and power) centralised wood-fired boiler, built of local wood or stone and are fitted with energy-saving lightbulbs (mostly). There’s also a large shared pool, tennis courts and miles of woodland to walk in.

I haven’t yet booked a holiday there but I’d be very happy to go. And we wouldn’t even miss out on surfing – there are some suitable beaches nearby.

Posted originally on Telegraph Blogs by Julia Hailes

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