On a lovely, sunny November day we decided on a visit to Cotehele, a gorgeous National Trust property, to see the amazing Christmas garland as well as to enjoy a leafy, autumnal walk through the woods and along the Tamar Valley to Calstock.

Finlay, of course, needed his walk before we indulged in the house so we wandered through the woods down to the river Tamar, the plentiful squirrels taunting him as we walked. (Not sure what he thinks he’d do if he actually caught one but there is precious little chance of that anyway!) Despite being mid-November the trees were still full of glorious colour and Finlay adores running around and sniffing in the fallen leaves. Doggy-heaven!

Calstock is the navigable limit of the river Tamar and has a busy little boatyard, a pub, a handful of small shops and a launching slip. All of which sit beneath an elegant viaduct on which a 2-carriage train frequently trundles on the branch line between Plymouth and Gunnislake, just a little further upstream.

On returning to Cotehele we popped Finlay back in the car and proceeded into the gardens and the wonderful Tudor Hall to see the incredible Yuletide garland. It takes half a dozen gardeners two weeks to decorate a 60ft long piece of rope into something quite extraordinary. This year they used an astonishing 35,770 individual stems. (Pity the poor person who had to count them!!) It really is a sight to behold and it’s well worth a visit to see for yourself if you are in the area between now and Christmas.

If you fancy a holiday in the area so you can visit yourself, please have a look at our main website for details of our accommodation.