In south Cornwall, even in the dead of winter, you can feel the mildness in the air. The first daffodils are out in December, camellias bloom at Christmas, and by February the subtropical gardens at Trebah and Glendurgan are already aglow with the miracle of the Cornish spring.
Tregony is where it all begins, on the upper reaches of the Fal. This is the gateway to Roseland, that beguiling peninsula of woods and creeks and National Trust beaches between St Mawes and Veryan Bay. In the gaunt headlands of the Nare and the Dodman there is grandeur, but the south coast is gentler than the north. Its bays and coves are safe and sheltered, and even the light is subtly different. On the north coast you stand with the sun at your back but here at midday it shines before you, beating a path of hammered silver to the horizon.