Caerhayes Estate, Cornwall - Food for the Soul

It is generally accepted that as individuals and families we create 'new traditions' as we mature, things we like to do, year after year, that mean a great deal to us. For me, the first event of the year, eagerly anticipated, is the March visit to the Caerhayes Estate in Cornwall. Caerhayes has some gorgeous botanical treasures and for gardening/floral enthusiasts it is a sheer delight but what about for others whose knowledge and/or time for digging deeper into these areas (no pun intended) is limited? Caerhayes provides food for the soul. Psychologically you can take from it whatever you need, whether you need peace, a degree of solitude, to be with nature or to find distractions from troubles that preoccupy your thoughts.

March arrives. There always seems to be one perfect day, when the sky is so blue it could be August, when you can feel the heat of the sun on your back confirming you were right to wear layers instead of your heavy sweater and thus enabling a level of disrobement so you can absorb this gift of paradise. It is a place to walk, to sit, to look and to listen, to disengage from the difficulties and pressures of life, to simply be.

The Caerhayes Estate looks out to the sea, with Porthluney Cove providing ample parking for visitors; leaving your car behind gives you a sense of freedom. At the start of your visit, or at the end, you can sit on the beach and, protected from the wind, feel real warmth on your face and feel your stresses washing away with the waves.

For those who are infirm or whose disability restricts walking, it is possible to drive up through the entrance to the castle. However, if you can, walking affords you with more time to appreciate the wonderful view of the castle and the magnolia treetops framing it so beautifully, and it is the flowers on the Caerhayes Estate that really take your breath away.

The grounds have over 600 magnolias. Many of these have flowers that seem unreal – so large are they that you would be forgiven for thinking that they'd been made from tissue paper and stuck on, particularly with some of the very young trees.
There is also a tactile feature to magnolias. For those of you who ever had a pet mouse, rat or hamster, cupping a magnolia bud in your hand can evoke childhood memories - for those who dislike small rodents just think of a lovely furry ball instead!
Pinks, whites, creams, reds, purples – beautiful. It is not just magnolias though – camellias, azaleas, rhodedendrons, narcissi, pieris.....the list of spring flowering performers continues, taking your eyes from the heavens to the earth below you, all vying for a little of your attention in their showy costumes. So take time to sit and think and muse and marvel....
and reach for your own slice of heaven!

To see more about Caerhayes Castle and Estate click here.
Sandra Colloby, Sacre Fleur, March 2014


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