Written by Ian and Liz on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 17:01.



Newsletter January 2018

Sam - After the heartache of losing little Nell at the end of 2016, we soon realised that Tregathenan (and Ian and Liz) needed a new canine friend.  And so, on 4th March, we collected Sam from the Border Collie Rescue Trust in Stafford.  He was not 18 months old, but had already had four different homes, not through any fault of his own.  It is fair to say, his first year at Tregathenan has been quite challenging at times, and incredibly time consuming, but also so rewarding.  Together we still have a few issues to overcome, but we are gradually knocking th  em off.  The thieving has more or less stopped, as has the chewing and destroying, and he is learning some nice manners.  Sam is a happy, intelligent and friendly boy as well as being most terribly handsome

Ducks and Chickens – We survived last year’s avian flu scare, only to lose most of our ducks to fox attacks. The last of which claimed the life of my lovely charismatic gander, Jerry.  He was vociferous, moody, cantankerous and sometimes downright scary, and I miss him every day.  The summer saw the arrival at Tregathenan of Prudie, Demelza and Elizabeth - 3 Black Rock hens no longer wanted by a neighbour.  They were soon joined by Lady Caroline and Verity.  They have been laying well all through the winter – and we hope their efforts will continue in 2018 so that our guests will be able to sample their wares too.

B&B - The biggest change at Tregathenan has been the closure of the B&B business.  We opened Tregathenan House in Spring 2005 following a year’s renovations in the house.  Each year, we served 800 or so breakfasts, and looked after so many lovely guests.  However, the early mornings and the 24x7 commitments take their toll, and when Ian turned 70 this summer, we decided that it was time for semi-retirement – of a sort!  Work began in November to convert the kitchen and back of the house to make a cosy farmhouse kitchen with utility room, and anew energy-efficient heating system.  This spring Tregathenan House will re-open providing spacious self-catering accommodation for up to 6 people.  There are many aspects of running the B&B that we will miss, not least the fun and laughter and banter with our many guests from many nations, many of whom have become good friends.

We are considering using the services of a local agency to help us with our initial marketing of Tregathenan House, but you will also be able to book the property direct with us – by phone or email - as for the other cottages.  We are also revamping our website, so look out for that soon. 


Maintenance and improvement works – continue every year.  This year the Hayloft was re-carpeted throughout and we replaced the kitchen and the aged boiler in the Long Barn.  The pointing project continues, this year it is the turn of the Granary and the Hayloft.

Culture - There have been some eclectic cultural experiences this year.  We were lucky with the weather to enjoy WildWorks’ production of Wolf Child in the grounds and woodlands of the Trelowarren Estate – a hugely impressive and convincing work.  In September, Liz re-discovered her youth and bopped along to Stranglers and Bad Manners as part of the Bands in the Sand series at the Watering Hole on the beach at Perranporth.  It was an amazing venue, but so vulnerable to the elements.  In November, Liz visited the Giant’s Crossing project – a 3.5m high sculpture of St Piran (Cornwall’s patron saint) which is to be transported by sea in July to La Vallee des Saints in Brittany to join almost 100 other granite saints in the sculpture park.

In June, we celebrated Ian’s 70th birthday with a small gathering of friends and neighbours.  Our friend Annette provided some wonderful food and made this rather special cake.

We had an eventful day trip to the Scilly Isles in September to help Liz’s brother celebrate his retirement.  We sailed on the Scillonian III, a sturdy little ship with a flat bottom to help it get in and out of the harbour at St Mary’s, but which provides little in the way of stability in rough seas.  The force 7 winds experienced on the way over became gale force 8 for the return journey and most of our time on the islands was spent looking for travel sickness pills.  The Scillies are beautiful islands and we will return next time the sun comes out..!

Ian continues to help provide eyes and ears on the coast and sea at the Lizard with his voluntary work with the National Coastwatch Institute (NCI).  One of the benefits is that he gets to sit and watch the sea for 4-5 hours at a time and so gets treated to some very special wildlife displays including gannets, dolphins, seals and whales.  Liz continues to enjoy her cycling and this year’s exploits have included the Cornwall Coast and Clay and the Eden Classic – a 62 mile ride around South Cornwall starting at dawn in front of the iconic biomes at the Eden Project.

It is with great relief that we write, having just received news from DEFRA that our alpacas have tested negative for TB.  It has been an anxious wait since they were tested on 28th December.  This is the first time we have been required to test our boys – a sad reflection on how prevalent the disease now is around W. Cornwall.  There would have been no right of appeal if any of the boys test positive.

We finish this year’s newsletter on a sad note.  In April we said goodbye to our lovely builder, David Freeman.  Dave renovated Tregathenan House with us and was our ‘go to’ man for all our building projects, jobs and emergencies.  Over the years, he wasn’t just the builder, but became a very special friend to both of us.  We miss his knowledge, his wisdom and his sense of fun.  We were lucky to have known him.

All that remains is to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2018 and we look forward to seeing many of you back down in Cornwall this year.

Liz and Ian

Written by Ian and Liz on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 15:20.



January 2017

Newsletter 2017


We start the year on a sad note with the news that we lost our special little border collie, Nell, to a stroke just before Christmas.  Nell met and welcomed everyone who visited Tregathenan in her own friendly and loving way.  She had a shaky start in life and we were fortunate to be given the chance to provide a forever home for her when she was 5 months old.  Since then, she has been our dearest friend and constant companion.  We miss her terribly and we know many of you will too.


Social Media


We have arrived, kicking and screaming, and somewhat late, into the 21st century.  Tregathenan now has its own Facebook page where we post pictures and items which we hope are of interest to our followers, and keep you up to date with what’s going on at Tregathenan.  We also have a presence on Trip Advisor and Google and we enjoy reading the lovely reviews that our guests leave there.  We are delighted with our 5* Trip Advisor rating.


“Wass On!”

We have been busy outside this year.  The Granary has now been fitted with double glazing – so all our cottages are now cosily double glazed.  The front of Tregathenan House and the Old Farmhouse were re-pointed and windows painted.  The flat roof at the back of the property has been replaced.  In the gardens, we have enlisted the help of local groundsman Jeff Bray.  He and his team have helped to keep all the lawns, paths and hedges tidy this year.  Thanks to them, we have discovered that the tree in the courtyard, which had been earmarked for the chop due to its lack of flowers, is in fact a walnut tree, and produced its first crop this year!  We are hoping for rather more than 6 walnuts next year though!  Jerry and the ducks have new houses, built from recycled plastic; there is new fencing for the alpacas and repairs to their field shelter.



Inside, we have new bedroom soft furnishings and new kitchen appliances in the Hayloft, new beds in the Granary and a new floor in the hallway of Tregathenan House.  This year’s plans include a new kitchen for the Long Barn and new carpet for the Hayloft.  Our solar panels have now generated over 18,000 kWh and we are investigating battery storage as a way of using even more of the power we generate.


Plans to add to Jerry’s little harem of 4 ducks (only 2 layers) are on hold due to the current avian flu scare.  Jerry and his ducks are all under netting and we are taking all the hygiene precautions we can to keep them separate from the wild birds.


Alongside our small range of alpaca products – yarn, hats and scarves, this year we have added alpaca duvets and pillows.  We sent some of our fleeces to Penrose Alpacas and in return have luxury duvets and pillows to sell.  Alpaca is able to regulate body temperature thus giving a lovely even night’s sleep...The duvets are breathable, dust mite free, non-allergenic and environmentally friendly (and really comfy- Liz!).





Bass Point LookoutFollowing several weeks of training, in December Ian qualified as a volunteer Watchkeeper with the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI). He will be based at the Lookout at Bass Point, Lizard and will do 2/3 watches per month.  NCI Watchkeepers are the eyes and ears of the coast and sea.  They monitor shipping movements, particularly local fishing boats and keep an eye on users of the coastpath and coasteerers.



Liz continues to pedal her bike and ride in sportives whenever she can.  Her pride and joy is her new super lightweight Cannondale bike which arrived in the spring.  Highlights included cycling up Cheddar Gorge (awesome) and the 100 mile RideLondon closed road event, raising over £1200 for the charity SmileTrain.


Our elderly neighbour, William, moved into a care home last summer which marked the end of an era at Tregathenan.  A year later, at the end of this summer we welcomed new neighbours across the lane.  Outings this year included the annual Helston Flora Day; trips to the Minack Theatre, including an evening with favourites the Fisherman’s Friends; the Royal Cornwall Show, and a trip to see the amazing Man Engine when he visited Godolphin.




We wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017 and look forward to seeing many of you back in Cornwall during the year.


Liz and Ian


Written by Ian and Liz on Friday, 22 January 2016 12:30.

Newsletter 2016


Our thoughts go out to those unfortunate people whose homes have been flooded or whose lives have otherwise been affected by the extraordinary winds and rains of this winter so far.  So we thought we’d start our newsletter this year with a sunny picture of nearby beautiful Porthleven harbour to cheer us all up!


New Arrivals:

We welcomed 4 tiny hatchlings to Tregathenan in the Spring.  Previously, we had only reared ducklings with their mother and now realise what a hard job it is being mother duck!  The ducklings arrived in early spring when it was still quite cold, so we couldn’t leave them outside, and the bike shed became their temporary home.  They needed feeding, watering and cleaning out many times each day, so we were delighted when Jerry arrived at the door of the bike shed one morning and literally took them under his wing! The ducklings developed into 3 girls and a boy and the girls produced a good supply of eggs during the summer for our guests.


Sadly we had to say goodbye to two of our dear alpacas this summer.  Our oldest boy, Dakota, had developed so many ailments that we felt the kindest act we could do for this quiet old gentleman was to help him to go to sleep.  Then only a couple of weeks later, our favourite white boy, Pippin, just lay down and went to sleep too.  We miss them both.

Three families of swallows were raised in our front porch this year.  The parents were so busy.  We were privileged to witness the very first flight of the first broodof the summer and were in awe of their instinctive flying skills.


In March, we entertained Liz’s extended family, including cousins from Edinburgh and Italy.  It was lovely to spend time together.  We planted a special oak tree in the top field, and a natural seat made from granite and seasoned oak is planned, so in years to come it will provide a shady spot to sit and relax amongst the alpacas.  We are hoping the tree grows and thrives for many years, but right now the alpacas are finding the lower leaves very tasty!

Cornwall on TV

This year saw Cornwall highlighted on our TV screens many times.  The usual programmes -  Martin Clunes as Doc Martin in Port Isaac, Cornwall with Caroline Quentin, and for our German visitors, the Rosamunde Pilcher series’.  Then Poldark arrived on our screens. Aiden Turner had many a Cornish maid glued to her screen on a Sunday evening!  Filming took place at lots of local locations including Church Cove, Gunwalloe, Poldark Mine, St Agnes Head, and Botallack.  https://www.visitcornwall.com/about-cornwall/blogging-cornwall/poldark-film-locations Aiden Turner returned to our screens over Christmas with a big role in Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ which featured the nearby harbour at Mullion Cove, and Kynance Cove.


Photo courtesy of Visit Cornwall

Back at Tregathenan, we continue with maintenance and improvement works.  During the year we have installed new double glazing in the Hayloft and improved the insulation in Tregathenan House.  Our Poldhu room was given a complete make-over, with new curtains and bedding.  There are new curtains in the Granary too.  In Tregathenan House, we have introduced a new, extended breakfast menu, with a number of lighter dishes, such as poached Tregathenan duck eggs on wholemeal toast, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, and porridge with warmed Tregathenan honey, all of which have proven popular with our guests.  Don’t worry, the full Cornish is still available along with our standard cold buffet of juices, fresh and dried fruits, yogurts and cereals!


Outside, much of the fencing is being replaced and we have plans to replace all the duck houses with new eco-friendly ones made from recycled plastic. www.arkus.co.uk



We had a busy Christmas season as many guests enjoyed a festive break here  .Tregathenan looks very pretty with its Christmas lights and festive wreaths, and all our guests are treated to a Christmas hamper with local and home-made goodies.  Shortly after Christmas, we had a big scare when Nell had a stroke.  It was very upsetting to see herso confused and disorientated, and we were very touched by the support from so many people which made us realise what a popular little girl she is.  Fortunately, the stroke was minor, and with much TLC and some magic pills and care from our vet, she has more or less returned to normal.


Liz managed to drag Ian to the Eden Project in June to experience a fantastic evening at the Elton John concert.  The Eden Sessions are attracting some great artists to Cornwall and it is an amazing venue.  www.edensessions.com  We had our usual trips to the Minack Theatre during the summer, which this year included a performance by the Fisherman’s Friends from Port Isaac and a wonderful production of King Lear by Winchester College Players. www.minack.com.  If you do manage a trip to Cornwall this year, do try and take in some of the many fantastic musical, dramatic and cultural events on offer.


We look forward to seeing many of you during the year, and we wish everyone a very happy and healthy new year.


Liz and Ian


Written by Ian and Liz on Saturday, 17 January 2015 20:20.

Newsletter 2015


Hello!  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Merry.  I arrived at Tregathenan in December.  I came from a big herd of alpacas and we all needed to find new homes.  At first, I went to stay with Liz and Ian’s friend, Julie, at Porkellis.  There I met my new friends Paco and Dakota.  Paco had had a poorly leg and was convalescing there with his mate, Dakota.  They told me about Liz and Ian’s place and Julie agreed I should go and stay with them.  Paco and Dakota came with me as Paco is better now, and they have helped me to settle in.  I have been called Merry – something to do with Lord of the Rings and the time of year, plus I’m always smiling, as you can see!


Jerry here! It’s not been a great year out by the duck pond.   We have been fighting a losing battle with the fox.  ‘Fighting’ being the word, in my case.  I took on Mr Fox and came off quite badly.  I had a trip in the car with Liz to see a nice man who gave me some injections to make me feel better.  My wings and neck were very sore for some weeks and Liz and Ian had to help me to eat. I was even given hot water bottles at night.  Anyway, I’ve now got my honk and my hiss back (I know the neighbours are pleased about that!) and I’m feeling a lot better.   And I’m getting lots more ducky friends in the spring.

They built a big new shed here in the summer.  At first, I thought it was going to be a big new palace for me and I spent many sunny days supervising my friend Kevin.  It turns out that part of it is for storing Ian’s new mower; the other half is the bike shed – not just for Liz’s bikes, but its big enough to keep guests bikes secure too, and they can use all the facilities – bike wash, power, stand, etc.



Woof!  It’s Nell!  As usual, I have had a great year welcoming all my old and new friends to Tregathenan. In April, we had some very special houseguests, as Ian’s grandchildren visited from Canada.  They are just 2 and 4, but once I got used to the speed they moved at, and the noise they made, it was great fun!  Just like keeping an eye on Bill, Ben and Bluebell really, which I do all the time.  So as you can imagine, I was very busy.  There were some sad times too, this year.  Our dear neighbour, Gwen passed away early in the summer.  She was a lovely lady and she used to call herself Miss Marple, as she always knew everything that was going on at Tregathenan.  Then in August, Liz’s Dad passed away.  I used to go into the Nursing Home with Liz every week, and he would save a biscuit for me if I was good.  I miss them both.

You’ve heard from the animals - it’s our turn now!  Happy New Year to you all!  On the Green front, we are still delighted with our all-electric Renault Zoe and have completed over 5000 electric miles.  Over the year, our charging points have helped to charge a number of our guests’ electric cars, including the plug-in hybrid Toyota Prius, a BMWi3 and the new extended range Tesla Model S.  This month sees the opening of the first public quick charger in Cornwall, courtesy of the renewable energy supplier, Ecotricity, (http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road) at the new Cornwall Services at Victoria on the A30.  This will charge most electric vehicles to 80% in less than 30 minutes, and means for the first time that Cornwall is truly accessible to almost all electric vehicles.

Last year, we discovered the Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens, near Penzance, which we visited several times.  Newly opened, they balance an unusual eclectic mix of sculptures and other artwork within large-scale exotic and sub-tropical plants.  The gardens are located in a sheltered valley amongst woods and streams, with some wonderful views over St Michael’s Mount.  The Gardens also have a fabulous café with lots of homemade cakes!  We are working with Tremenheere (www.tremenheere.co.uk }, and, building on our existing relationship with the lovely people at Trebah Gardens, we are once again able to offer our Tregathenan Spring Gardens Break.  For more details, please see the Special Offers Page on our website.

The new double-glazing in the Long Barn has proved a great success.  The cottage is warmer and dry now, and very cosy.  The UPVC blends well into the existing surroundings – many of our guests haven’t noticed the change until we have pointed it out to them.  Encouraged by this, we will gradually roll out double glazing to the other cottages as funds permit.  In spring, the floor gave out in the Hayloft bathroom, and we decided it was time for a re-think.  The Jacuzzi bath leaked and was an energy-guzzler, and many guests state that they prefer to shower.  So, we stripped out the bath, and replaced it with a lovely big walk-in shower, new tiles and decorated the bathroom – the paint was just about dry when our first guests arrived!  For those guests who do prefer a bath, rest assured, we have no plans to remove the baths from the Granary or the Long Barn.


Finally we leave you with an image of Porthleven in the height of last year’s storms and we hope and pray these will not be repeated this year.


With our very best wishes for 2015.

  Liz and Ian


Tregathenan House B&B and Tregathenan Country Cottages, The Old Farmhouse, Tregathenan, Helston, Cornwall TR13 0RZ  www.tregathenan.co.uk    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Written by Ian and Liz on Wednesday, 29 January 2014 13:58.

Newsletter 2014

For those of you lucky enough to visit Cornwall this summer – what a treat!   Summer 2013 was like the Cornish summers we can remember as children – long hot days on the beach, azure blue seas, barbeques, and children playing long into the evening.  Happy memories as we write this newsletter on another damp dull January evening!  Yet spring is just around the corner here at Tregathenan - already we have snowdrops in the garden and fields of yellow daffodils surfacing.  The camillias and magnolias are budding nicely.

New arrival – Zoe!

Not a new four-legged arrival at Tregathenan, but a 4-wheeled one!  Our new, all electric, zero emission Renault Zoe arrived in November.  The charging point for Zoe is connected to our solar panels, so as long as the sun shines, we have completely carbon-free motoring.  Notwithstanding the carbon savings, a full charge for Zoe covering 80-100 miles costs £2-£3, even when the sun isn’t shining, compared to £12 to £18 for a petrol or diesel car.  And forget any ideas about milk floats.  Zoe can hold her own up to and slightly beyond the legal limit.  The only slightly worrying thing (for the locals) is that up to 30 mph she is almost completely silent.  You have to be a bit patient and wait until dog walkers and horses realise you are there!

Awards etc

There is always a degree of nervousness when our annual assessments are due for our Visit Britain and Green Tourism Business Scheme.  This year, for the first time in several years, there was a new Quality in Tourism inspector to be introduced to Tregathenan.  We needn’t have worried, we sailed through with flying colours, retaining all our awards - even increasing our scores across the board!

Legolas’ abscess

Poor Legolas developed a tennis ball sized lump on his jaw this summer.  Legolas is really just a gentle giant, however the vet was reluctant to examine the inside of his mouth in any detail…something to do with him still having his fighting teeth….but diagnosed a probable tooth abscess and prescribed a month’s course of anti-biotics – to be injected every other day – by us!   Neither of us had ever injected anything more than an orange so it was a steep learning curve for Nurse Lizzie.  Legolas was very brave and very patient as Liz initially poked and stabbed him before mastering the technique – just as well as the one-month course became three months.  Happily for Legolas and Liz, the lump seems to have eventually disappeared.  Legolas does miss his daily dose of pro-biotic yogurt though.

Liz and Ian:

After many years, and with encouragement and technical support from friends and neighbours, Liz took to the Cornish roads on a new road bike.  Gradually increasing her miles as the months went on, her big achievement for 2013 was completing the annual Lands’ End 100 on a beautiful sunny day in September.  If there are any keen cyclists out there, it must be one of the most stunning cycling sportive routes in the country, and not to be missed.

Ian, who has been an enthusiastic member of our local Sithney Parish Council for a few years, became Chairman of the Parish Council in May.  His very first Council meeting at the helm was a baptism of fire - attended by over 80 people! This was the biggest attendance at a Sithney parish council meeting since records began!  Ian felt very honoured at such a turnout for his first meeting, but quickly realised it was not his electric personality they had all come to experience, but to vent their very differing views over a contentious planning application! 

..And What’s New….

The Long Barn has new double glazing, there are new mattresses in the Granary and new drainage work is ongoing.  A new cycle shed is planned for guests to store their bikes during their stay (alongside Liz’s!) and a new shower room is planned for the Hayloft, but this may not be until the end of the year.  The Playroom has upgraded to a PS2 (but don’t worry you retro-fans, the PS1 and its games are still there!).  For those of you who enjoy spending a few hours watching the end of your line in the water, you may be interested to learn that the owner of Tregathenan Reservoir is to permit a very limited number of fisherman access to the carp fishing on the lake.  Please contact us prior to your visit if this is of interest.

…and finally….the availability calendar went live on our website last year making it easier for you to plan your visit to Tregathenan.  We try our best to make sure it is up-to-date, but it’s always best to check with us – an email or quick call – before finalising your plans.

With our very best wishes for 2014.

Liz and Ian

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