Melanie’s April Tales

Welcome to our Melanie’s April Tales blog post where we have actually been away this month AND had some days out!! Nicholas turned 50 this year, so we decided to book a 5 day break in Cornwall. I searched for quite a while as I was looking for somewhere rural, somewhere that we could get away from the humdrum of life, ideally the quietest retreat that we could find. I came up trumps. We found a beautiful log cabin called Kingfisher Cabin at Butterwell Farm in Cornwall. It is situated on the edge of a field, with the river Camel flowing below, all situated in a wildlife reserve. It was out of this world. I did not want to go home.

Kingfisher Cabin at Butterwell Farm in Cornwall

The cabin itself was beautiful, it was the perfect size for us, we didn’t need anymore than it offered. It was all so convenient too, everything on one level. The best part about it was being able to look out of the bifold doors early in the morning to watch the birds on the feeder.

There was a resident family of pheasants who lived in and around the trees and river, along with two Wood Pigeons and a long list of smaller birds. I thoroughly enjoyed getting up early each morning in the quiet, just sitting there with a cuppa and my binoculars. Lily and I kept a close eye on which birds visited the bird feeder, the photo of Nicholas shows him doing just that!

Melanie's April Tales

List of Birds at Kingfisher Cabin

Because the cabin is rural the dark sky was great for stargazing, plus while out there we heard a Tawny Owl and saw the bats flying around. Here is a list of the birds we saw in the daytime ….Wren, Long Tailed Tit, Raven, Crows, Marsh Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock, Sparrow, Nuthatch, Thrush, Blackbird, Magpie, Jay, Robin, Cormorant, Ducks, Wood Pigeon, Woodpecker, Pheasants, Geese, Buzzard and of course where there is a bird feeder….there are Squirrels!

We also have a fantastic bird app, which is completely free. If you are interested in bird watching, its definitely one to download. Its called Merlin Bird ID and it listens to the bird sounds and lists all of the birds it can hear while recording. The app recorded a Firecrest and although we have seen one before, we didn’t see it while we were there, but obviously it was there hiding in the trees somewhere!

Kingfisher Cabin Was Warm!

The cabin was so cosy and warm, it must have so much insulation that once we had lit the wood burner it was almost too warm. Having lived in an old cottage or a farmhouse all my life I am not used to being able to walk around with socks or bare feet. Here you could and it was quite the novelty!

Kingfisher Cabin at Butterwell Farm in Cornwall

The log cabins kitchen was well equipped and had everything we needed, although I did forget to bring a few things like tin foil and kitchen roll, but luckily there was a Morrisons half an hour away. I had planned to make Nicholas a roast for his birthday along with his parents who came to visit for the day. It all went really well and we had a really lovely day.

Melanie's April Tales The kitchen at the cabin

Sadly I didn’t manage to make Nicholas a birthday cake this year. For his 40th I made him a cake in the shape of his favourite electric guitar, the same shape and colour. It ended up being pretty much life size and covered the whole kitchen table. It took me ages, I seemed to have a lot more time on my hands back then! So this time I decided to get him a Marks & Spencer ‘Colin the Caterpillar’ cake as we had never had one before. I think he was still a happy birthday boy!

Nicholas with his 50th birthday cake

Melanie’s April Tales – Outside The Cabin

Admittedly the photos of outside and around the cabin look quite wintery being the first week in April. There were no leaves on the trees yet, but it was not a problem for us. It was secluded and out of the way, which is what we wanted. We were able to walk down to the river from the cabin, plus we had access to the Camel Trail from there too.

Melanie's April Tales Kingfisher Cabin at Butterwell Farm in Cornwall

The Camel Trail is a 17 mile walk along the Camel River. It was originally created from the disused railway line that once connected the towns of Padstow and Bodmin. Constructed in the 1830s it carried people and goods from one part of Cornwall to the other, however as modern transport took hold, sadly the railway became disused.

It is perfect for walkers, runners and cyclist, we even saw children on ponies. Plus of course you can’t forget the tea room serving cream teas and other goodies. Just a stones throw from where we were staying at Nanstallon.

The Camel Trail Cornwall County Council Sign

The Camel Trail

If you are wondering, like I was about the name Camel, I looked up why it was called this. It is believed to have Celtic origins, possibly derived from the Cornish word “Cam-El,” meaning ‘crooked one’ or ‘winding river’. When you think about how the river meanders as it flows from its source on Bodmin Moor to its estuary at Padstow on the north coast, it does make a lot of sense. So nothing to do with the animal!

The Camel trail itself was stunning. I am sure it is even more beautiful in the middle of the summer when the trees are in full leaf. Although it would definitely be a lot busier than when we were there. We managed to walk 5 miles along the trail and Lily thoroughly enjoyed her walk. Happily we took advantage of the weather, as you can see the sun shone for us!

Lily the Tibetan Terrier

We also went back a few days later so I could do a run, while Nicholas walked Lily on a shorter distance. I managed to do a 7 mile run which I was really pleased with. Plus the trail is flat, so I thoroughly enjoyed not having to climb hill after hill which we constantly have to do when running at home here. Although I know its good for you… its sometimes just nice to saunter along on the flat!

Melanie's April Tales Nicholas walking the Camel Trail

Cornish Cream Tea

Of course you can’t visit Cornwall and not have a traditional Cornish Cream tea. We braved the rain.. and it was an absolute deluge! We drove quite a way to the Dutchy of Cornwall, which we have mentioned in this previous blog post. Both Nicholas and myself always enjoyed their café, who wouldn’t with their delicious cakes! It was very busy, but well worth it.

Rain in Cornwall

Lily was allowed in but we had forgotten to bring her treats .. as she always likes a treat when we are eating. Well, it’s only fair! They sold doggy chocolate drops which she enjoyed. Although I think she would have probably liked our cream tea too…!

Melanie's April Tales Cream Tea at the Dutchy Cornwall

Melanie’s April Tales – Walk at Looe

The final day we spent with family and went our for a meal and a walk at a little place called Hannafore Point, which is at West Looe. It has a lovely view to Looe Island which you can see in the photo below.

Looe Island

Again, although it was really quite nippy, the weather and rain held off for us which was lovely.

Melanie's April Tales

Overall we had an amazing holiday at the Kingfisher Cabin at Butterwell Farm. If you are looking for a quiet place to stay, this is your holiday. Having said that do try to book in advance as they are booked up a lot. Which is always a good sign. I really didn’t want to come home. My ideal retirement plan would be a small log cabin, somewhere rural, near the coast, which is beautifully peaceful and quiet. With an art studio on the side. Wouldn’t that be heaven! We can but dream!

Melanie’s April Tales – Day Trip to St David’s

Back home we have amazing landscapes and places to visit too, and so we took an impromptu trip down the coast to St David’s in Pembrokeshire. St David’s is about an hour and a half drive from here but it was well worth the trip. We just felt we needed to get away from home for a day as we had some ups and downs that weekend with one thing and another. So we decided we needed a complete day out to get away. It really did us the world of good. Although it’s a fairly long drive, it enabled us to have a saunter around St David’s itself and had a lovely meal in The Bishops restaurant, situated at the top of the hill that leads down to St David’s Cathedral itself. Thankfully Lily was able to sit in with us.

Melanie and Nicholas

The view from the top of the steps looking down on to the cathedral is so iconic. It is just so stunning and as you can see we did have some blue sky.

St David's Cathedral

Inside The Cathedral

There is one particular room in the cathedral which is my favourite. It’s right near the back and it’s a little chapel you can sit in and just be. This was my view where I was sitting below. St. David’s Cathedral has a great deal of history, it was constructed in the 12th century on the site of a 6th-century monastery.

Inside St David's Cathedral

The celling where I was sitting is just stunning, so much detail. I can’t express how it makes you feel when you walk through the cathedral. You can sit in the little chapel and almost not hear a sound. Close your eyes and it’s like you are the only one there. Luckily I was the only one sitting in that part of the cathedral for the amount of time I wanted to stay.

St Davids Cathedral Chapel

Ultimately my long term plan would be to live a little nearer to Pembrokeshire. A bit more rural, perhaps in my log cabin in a field one day! It’s good to keep your dreams alive.

Thank you for Reading!

I hope you have enjoyed reading our Melanie’s April Tales and viewing all of the photos this month. If you missed last months update, or our business posts and artwork posts, head over to our main blog page. You can explore everything from there… Melanie and Nicholas Art Blog. We hope that you have all had a good month too and we will hopefully see you in May! Keep safe and well!

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