From Truro, follow the A39 via Falmouth and Helston, to reach the Lizard peninsula.
Roskilly’s is based at Tregellast Barton Farm, St Keverne, TR12 6NX. For opening times, visit www.roskillys.co.uk
A potted history: Joe and Rachel Roskilly inherited the farm in 1950, and began selling clotted cream. Cottages were developed during the 1960s; Joe started building ponds during the 1970s; and ice cream production was launched in the late 1980s. The 1990s saw the addition of a new milking parlour with viewing gallery, the Croust House restaurant, while diversifying into fudge making and preserves; while the Noughties saw all the production bits under one roof, and the arrival of bottled milk.
Today, only milk and cream produced by Roskilly’s 125-strong herd of Jersey cows is used to make all the ice cream, and even the water in the sorbets comes from the farm’s spring. The new decade sees the team on a quest to go one better: producing all the energy used by the farm, on the farm, by way of 100KW of solar panels, and a wood pellet boiler.
The site is a charming mix of old and new, and there’s plenty here to keep the entire family busy for a few hours. No sooner have you parked, than there are farmyard animals to greet you – pigs, goats, chickens. Who, of any age, can resist? Buy special feed for all of them in the Croust House – the goats will lick you to bits, but it pays not to get too close to a chicken’s beak. At certain times of day, you can see the cows being milked.
We ordered sandwiches at the Croust House, where you can also buy a variety of Cornish foodstuffs to take home; and explored the Bullpen gallery and shop, which sells lovely local books. Having followed up with the inevitable ice cream, it was time to walk off the calories. Buy a farm trail in the Croust House, or maps for longer walks using the farm as a base.
During the legendary summer of 1976, Joe began work on a couple of ponds, then got the bug and added bridges, streams and water wheels. Almost four decades on, the result is quite enchanting, in particular the old withy woods and the valley meadows left to grow wild. There was plenty to spy, from rows of haystacks indicative of the season, to colourful beehives; a herd of grazing Jersey heifers unfazed by our appearance, and even a thrilling glimpse of a Tall Ship through a gap in the trees.
Also in the area:
• Goonhilly Downs. You can enjoy Segway tours on the old BT site (www.cornwallsegway.co.uk), and this stretch of road is a lovely drive alongside a nature reserve which is great for wildlife spotting and mountain biking. The dishes make an intriguing contrast with the ancient natural landscape.
• Marconi Centre, Poldhu. Location of the first transatlantic radio signal in 1901. Marvel at the prospect of those three dots crackling through the ether, and consider how far communcations have come since. For opening hours, visit www.marconi-centre-poldhu.org.uk
• Trelowarren. Historic seat of the Vyvyan family, also home to the New Yard Restaurant, Walled Garden Spa and holiday accommodation. www.trelowarren.com
• Coverack. Charming fishing village.
• The Lizard. Most southerly point in the UK. Enough said.
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