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From Luxembourg to the Cornish coast

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(NG) Luxembourg residents can now get to Cornwall, England, in under four hours, thanks to a new flight route starting this month to Newquay from Frankfurt-Hahn.

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Factoring in the drive time from Luxembourg to Frankfurt-Hahn and an approximate 1.5 hour flight time, the new Ryanair route means that Luxembourg residents can leave the Grand Duchy and be on England's western-most coast, enjoying a cream tea or soaking in the dramatic Cornish riviera, in under four hours.

The route runs twice a week on Thursday and Sunday through mid-October, with the possibility of extension should the route prove successful.

And it will be a welcome relief for those keen on visiting the region: there hasn't recently been a flight to Cornwall from the Greater Region, and previously Düsseldorf was the closest city offering flights to the area. Drive times weren't much better either: it easily takes at least 12+ hours to reach Cornwall from Luxembourg by car.

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Photo: Lewinnick Lodge
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Just 20 minutes from the airport, Newquay is located in northern Cornwall, where the beaches tend to be more rugged than those in the south.

It's home to Fistral Bay, located in the centre of two headlands which afford stunning views of the sea. Considered the home of British surfing, Newquay does attract plenty of surfers, who brave the four foot waves.

But even if you don't enjoy riding the waves, the area is ideal for romantic strolls along the area's coastal paths or for catching a lavender sunset.

The award-winning Headland Hotel (above) is one of the most easily recognisable hotels in the area and a practical way to start your visit. Built in 1897, it may look familiar: "The Witches", an adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, was filmed there. While it offers lessons in surfing, kite surfing and more, many visit just for its spa. It has an 8,880 sq ft spa, complete with a hydrotherapy bath and Rhassoul mud room, with access to the beach.

And there's no shortage of fine dining in the area either, whether you decide to taste some 'Picanha' Cornish beef roast at the Headland Hotel or opt to go elsewhere.

Lewinnick Lodge(right), for example, has a friendly, international staff and another incredible view of the bay. Try their classic fish & chips or, for something a bit more refined, the fresh Cornish mussels or slow-cooked lamb in wine jus. Weather permitting, there is also an outdoor terrace overlooking the bay where you can simply enjoy a Sauvignon Blanc or a Chardonnay while breathing the fresh sea air.


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Photo: Lewinnick Lodge
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Photos: Caerhays Castle (top), Natalie Gerhardstein (above)
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Did you know spring in England arrives first in Cornwall?

It's called the Cornwall Spring Story: six nominated magnolias are monitored in six of the so-called "Great Gardens" to record when they flower. Once it's spring in Cornwall, it's spring in England.

And one of the best places to catch sight of the magnolias in bloom is at the Caerhays Castle Gardens, where four gardeners tend to the 140 acres which include around 800 magnolias. While wandering the gardens, visitors might notice magnolias that include Caerhays in the name, as many of the hybrids were created on site: "Caerhays Splendour", for example. Also worth seeing are the Cornish red rhododendrons and tree ferns.

And one of the biggest Cornish reds is actually in The Lost Gardens of Heligan (right), located about 40 minutes from Newquay. In 1990, these gardens were rediscovered in the largest restoration project in Europe. Today, some 200 acres of plants exist, including a sub-tropical landscape with bamboo tunnels, giant rhubarb, tree ferns and more.

Another highlight of Cornwall is the Eden Project, which explores man's interaction with plants. A China clay pit was transformed some 15 years ago to create the experience, set inside beautiful dome structures.

Additional gardens in the area include Terbah Garden, Tregothnan, Tresco Abbey, Trewidden and the sculpture gardens of Tremenheere.




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Photos: Caerhays Castle (top), Natalie Gerhardstein (above)
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Photos: Courtesy Jane Reeves Gallery
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St Ives is the home of British modern art and is about an hour's drive from Newquay. It is also home to one of the Tate museums (although it will be closed until March 2017 for renovations). The Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, however, are open daily.

But original art isn't just to be found in St Ives. Visitors can also stroll through a number of towns to visit galleries and boutiques for unique souvenirs like glass vases and ceramic salt pots. Try Port Isaac along the northern coast (where the television series "Doc Martin" is filmed), or spots along the southern coast, such as Falmouth, Mevagissey and Padstow.

The Jane Reeves Gallery in Padstow (pictured above) is one such gallery, located only about a half-hour from Newquay. Pieces in the gallery are carefully chosen and range from ceramics (right) and jewellery made of silver, wood or ceramic to cut glass and glass paintings, giving new life to coastal landscapes.

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Photos: Courtesy Jane Reeves Gallery
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Of course, being on the sea Cornwall has plenty of seafood, from hake and sole to crab, lobster, mussels and more. If you want to try your hand at cooking some of the local fare, consider booking a cooking class at Rick Stein's Cookery School in Padstow, where head chef lecturer Mark Puckley might teach you how to make something like Singapore chilli crab, one of the restaurant's signature dishes. The lesson even includes killing your own crab (in the most humane way possible): but don't worry! Participating in this part of the course is completely optional!

If you don't enjoy seafood, consider at least trying a Cornish pasty, which can only be called such if it is made in Cornwall with local ingredients. Quite a heavy dish, it is a pastry traditionally filled with beef, potato and other root vegetables. Tin miners in the 17th and 18th centuries were known to eat the dense meal, which often included a dessert portion. The crimped edge served as a handle for the food, which the miners could toss away to ensure traces of arsenic wouldn't touch their mouths.

And no trip to Cornwall would be complete without a cream tea: tea served with scones, jam and clotted cream. The Falmouth Hotel serves a nice version with fresh strawberries. According to some of the locals, the difference between a Devon cream tea and a Cornish one is that in Cornwall, the cream is served on top because they aren't ashamed to show off their cream!







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Photos: The Nare
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Even though the trip to Newquay is short, time seems to stand still once you are in Cornwall: and no more so than the southern coast, where the water appears almost Mediterranean.

A perfect place for a weekend escape in the south is The Nare hotel, a luxury escape near the charming town of Veryan-in-Roseland, which also offers a courtesy service to collect guests from the airport. The quiet, family-run hotel is perched above a beach where, if you're lucky, you might spot seals playing in the sea.

There is also an option to have a picnic and ride on the Alice Rose yacht (right) to take in views of the Falmouth Harbour from the sea.




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Photos: The Nare
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