Friday, 31 January 2014

Guest Photo Competition

We're shouting out to all the guests that have stayed at Merlin Farm to send in their favourite holiday snaps (taken at Merlin Farm). All our favourite entries will be posted on our Facebook page in our 'guest photos' album. The best photos will be selected by a panel of judges (myself & Darrel) and win up to £100 in vouchers towards a stay at Merlin Farm. Please forward your pics to info@merlinfarm.co.uk along with your name(s) and year taken (if possible). The closing date is Easter 2014 and we'll announce the winners soon after. Here are just a few of the competition entries so far...


Winners will receive a voucher towards a stay
at Merlin Farm:
 
1st Place - £100
2nd Place - £75
3rd Place - £50
3 Runner ups - £25
 
Plus the photo which recieves the most likes on our facebook page
will receive the 'people's choice' award, winning a further £50 voucher
 
where you and your friends can vote for your favourite
 
Terms and conditions
Photos must have been taken at Merlin Farm during your holiday.
You must seek permission from the owner of the photograph before emailing to us.
You agree to us displaying your images on our website, blog, facebook & twitter
The voucher prize must be used to place a booking within 18 months of issue.
There is no cash alternative and vouchers cannot be used against existing bookings.
The vouchers can not be used in conjunction with any other discount (low occupancy discounts, where applicable will be honoured

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

BMWi3 test drive

Written by Darrel Wheeler | From Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages in Cornwall

For many years now we've had a watchful eye on the electric car evolution. Our aim has always been to provide electric vehicles for our guests to be able to use during their visit to Merlin Farm. So far we have experienced the Vauxhall Ampera and Renault Zoe. The new BMWi3 is the latest for us to spend a morning with. The model has been designed from the wheels up to be as eco as possible.



From the F1 derived carbon fibre body shell being manufactured in a factory powered by hydro electric to seats being naturally tanned using olive leaves!  These 3 cars are at the cutting edge of the latest technology to ensure electric vehicles can be a useable and reliable means of everyday transport.


As expected BMW pushes the benchmark even further. At a starting price of £25,680 on the road including batteries the i3 sits some way above the Zoe at £13,995 excluding battery price, which you have to lease. The Ampera at £28,750 includes batteries and range extender. What couldn't be measured was the feel good factor of driving such a stylish, futuristic and amazing performing eco car which left an extremely broad grin on my face! In many ways it reminded me of what we have done with our Eco Holiday Cottages, that to be environmentally aware does not mean you cannot have your well deserved luxuries. 

The BMWi3 outside Rhodes at the Dome
 
Not to decry the other two models, which are both very competent vehicles, but with the i3 I felt that I was driving something really special. With a 0-60 in 7.2 seconds you have more than enough acceleration for any situation. From a distance the i3 looks quite compact with the footprint of a 1 series BMW, but it's like a tardis once sat inside with plenty of legroom in the front and ample in the back (even for adult passengers). The stylish and luxurious interior is like nothing I have ever seen in any other BMW, which includes a sleek wood trim made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus.

 
 This really would be an electric car that you could use very day and rely on. It can charge to 80% in 30 minutes and like the Ampera it has a range extending petrol generator (optional extra at £3,205 ) which will always bring you home!  Unlike the Ampera it was almost impossible to hear the generator running.

Darrel loves - the SUV driving position, intuitive technology and range extending petrol generator
Lucy loves - the funky opening doors, sleek & stylish dash and auto parallel parking mode

Darrel dislikes - potential cost of replacing bespoke run-flat tyres (tyre insurance available)
Lucy dislikes - only 2 seats in the back

Hopefully soon we will have one at Merlin Farm and you too will be able to sample what it has to offer during your stay.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

10 years on at Merlin Farm



We are the Wheeler's and we upped sticks from our pretty '2 up - 2 down' newly renovated grade 2 cottage to a nearby 27 acre farm in 2003. A big change to say the least, but we weren't wet behind the ears. At the time, we owned a 30 bedroom hotel with a pub, I was expecting our second child and we needed a home with an extra bedroom.  Merlin Farm ticked the extra bedroom box ten times over and I often recall the moment when Darrel showed me the particulars and I said "You're mad!" It did seem a crazy idea at the time but a bold decision well made. 
 
Not only did Merlin Farm provide a wonderful home for our children to grow up, but a wonderful environment to base a holiday. The close proximity to Mawgan Porth Beach, the wealth of wildlife and surrounding history makes Merlin Farm a truly enchanting place. We did not want to create a holiday park, we wanted to guarantee our guest's exclusivity, a small complex surrounded in acres of beautiful Countryside, where you get a sense of 'being away from it all', even in the height of Summer. Darrel's 30 year experience in the hospitality industry has ensured that guests at Merlin Farm have everything they need at their fingertips to get the most from their holiday. Our love of Cornwall and time spent exploring has meant that we too can share some of our favourite things to do. After almost a lifetime we are still exploring and finding new experiences to share, just how many cream teas can we research on our guest's behalf ? ;-) 
 
We wanted Merlin Farm to be as sustainable as possible. Selling our hotel business enabled us to create 3 new 'Eco Cottages' to complement the existing cottages onsite. The eco aware renovations along with planting a 250 tree woodland and the installation of 218 solar panels played their part in ensuring a 'Gold' standard green accreditation. Merlin Farm's Eco Cottages are virtually carbon neutral and it is a delight to know that the whole farm uses electricity we have generated onsite.
 
It has been a labour of love. By extending and renovating the farm buildings at Merlin Farm we have built up the successful luxury holiday cottage complex that you see today. We feel that we have achieved our goal, the repeat bookings speak for themselves. We opened our doors to guests for the first time at Easter in 2004. We still can't quite believe how fast the time has flown!

To commemorate our tenth year of opening we're shouting out to all the guests that have stayed here as we'd like to produce a collage of all your favourite holiday pics taken at Merlin Farm. More details at http://www.merlin-farm-cottages-cornwall.co.uk/#!competition/c11bd

Darrel & Lucy
xx
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




Saturday, 25 January 2014

Friday, 10 January 2014

Cornwall beaches voted best in UK

Living in Cornwall all my life I really should have known this....that there are over 300 beaches in Cornwall! I am genuinely shocked, and it has sparked a desire to explore the Cornish coastline in greater detail. 
 
In a recent survey more than 100 of the UK’s most influential travel editors and writers where asked to name their favourite places both at home and around the world.
 
Cornwall's beaches scooped the most votes in the best UK beach category, among them were Watergate Bay (making the top 10), Porthcurno, Bedruthan Steps, Bude, Crackington Haven, Daymer Bay, Harlyn, Hawkers Cove, Kynance Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, Lantic Bay near Fowey, Mawgan Porth and Nanjizal. (I am ashamed to say that the latter I had never even heard of !).
 
 
Looking to book a holiday in Cornwall ? Visit Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages
 
Mawgan Porth Beach (above) is just 15 minutes walk from Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages
 
 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The tail end of the Storm...Newquay Cornwall Jan 2014

WOW what an epic storm to hit the Cornish Coastline in the last few days. Following the Atlantic code red yesterday we ventured out in to Newquay bay this morning to capture the tail end of the storm at high tide.

We drove to several points along the Newquay Coastline and the most spectacular sights were seen from East Pentire, we captured a huge swell making it's way towards Fistral Beach


This guy must of got wet as he observed the waves hitting East Pentire Headland...


Mawgan Porth - after the storm...


Highlighting the danger and unpredictability of the sea, about 10 minutes after I took this picture of Mawgan Porth Beach a guy standing just past the life guard hut turned his back on the sea for a second to pick up his dog's mess and a wave completely engulfed him. This guy walks his dog on the beach every day, he was stood 20 metres from the shoreline with the tide going out. He was fine, just a bit shaken, and very wet!


Monday, 6 January 2014

Safe stormwatching in Cornwall - best coastal webcams

With an Atlantic Code Red incoming it's hard not to want to jump in the car or head to the coast on foot to witness the spectacular waves hitting the coast of Cornwall today, anything up to 36ft is expected ! We have witnessed photographs in the press of so many irresponsible people over the last few days, putting not only their own lives as risk but their children's too, as well as those who may need to rescue them. Please take heed of the warnings given and view from a safe distance of harbour piers and cliffs etc. We have included links below of some great webcams on the North Coast. Stay Safe !

                                                                             Picture taken from Magic Seaweed

Webcams:
Mawgan Porth
Watergate Bay
Lusty Glaze Beach Newquay
Fistral Beach Newquay
Newquay Harbour
Sennen Cove Harbour
Porthtowan
Padstow Harbour
Rock

See also:  http://merlinfarm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/top-storm-watching-spots-in-north.html

Friday, 3 January 2014

A Fresh New Year

My New Year's resolution is to be more active and eat healthy, what's yours ?

Here are 5 tips to help you get the New Year off to a great start......

1. Be inspired:
Book a break at Merlin Farm and be inspired by the breathtaking scenery of the North Cornwall Coastline and invigorating fresh sea air.
 
 
2. Treat your tastebuds:
North Cornwall is known as the Gourmet Coast with Restaurants serving the finest locally caught seafood.
 
Paul Ainsworth@ no.6 Padstow
 
3. Rejuvenate:
Mawgan Porth has two fabulous day spa's overlooking Mawgan Porth. Treat yourself to a massage or opt for a whole day of pampering to unwind after the party season. Merlin Farm now offers in-house spa treatments brought to you by My Personal Sanctuary 
 

4. Ease yourself back into your exercise regime:
Work off those excess Christmas calories. A gentle walk along the coast path or a run across the shoreline, start the year off the way you mean to carry on.


5. Recharge:
Relax in the tranquil and exclusive setting of Merlin Farm Holiday Cottages. The day is your own, wake when you wish, dine when you want, explore at your leisure. Return home feeling fully recharged and ready for the year ahead

Visit Merlin Farm now or click here to receive a quote

 
Why not hire cycles during your stay ? Delivered to your cottage by: