Days Out In Cornwall

We have written a few articles where we have enjoyed a day out in Cornwall doing an activity like surfing or visiting a place of interest like the Barbara Hepworth museum. Our latest day out took us to the Flicka Foundation, a donkey sanctuary near Falmouth, followed by lunch at Slice of Cornwall.

Flicka Foundation Donkey Sanctuary

The Flicka Foundation is a sanctuary and haven for mainly rescued donkeys but also some ponies and miniature shetland ponies. It is at Mabe Burnthouse which is a short drive from Falmouth and, if staying in a self-catering cottage in St Ives, the drive takes around 45 minutes. Being a horse owner and lover, visiting the donkeys at the sanctuary was long overdue given I have lived in Cornwall for 14 years. Ross, the other Director of Orange Roofs, was born and raised in St Ives and he had yet to visit so we thought let’s make a day of it and share with others via our Orange Roofs Blog. We couldn’t have chosen a better day weather-wise; the weather in Cornwall in May is usually very lovely, settled and warm and, on the day of our trip, it didn’t disappoint. The Sanctuary is nestled in the middle of the countryside very close to Mabe Burnthouse and above Argal Reservoir (where you can pop in to see Yallah Coffee’s Roastery too!) The countryside is beautiful as you drive through wooded valleys, particularly during May when the hedgerows are full of colourful wild flowers.

The Flicka Foundation was formed in 1995 by a lady called Mary Berryman. It is now run by her daughter and very much keeps the well-being and happiness of these often traumatised donkeys at the heart of the operation.  If you can bear reading about their stories, each donkey comes with their arrival in a desperate state to being loved, cared for and nurtured back to health. The very first donkey to arrive at the Flicka Foundation in 2008 was a small donkey called Marybelle. When visiting the sanctuary you can see how much love and dedication goes into the donkeys and ponies and Marybelle’s story is really so touching.

There is plenty of parking at the sanctuary and it is free to enter but a donation is always hugely appreciated! We parked up and were met with the gorgeous sight of three donkeys sunbathing in a paddock opposite.

Super content donkeys grazing in a paddock are the first welcome sight when drawing up to the Flicka Foundation

Each paddock has a name after a donkey and you are very welcome to go up to the fence and give the donkeys a scratch and a stroke. Some love the attention and would allow you to stay for hours showing them affection.

Visitors are kindly asked not to feed the donkeys and dogs are very welcome on leads too. The day we visited there were quite a few happy dogs having a walk around the grounds – what they thought of the donkey brays though, I’m not sure!

Fun fact: A donkey bray can be heard up to 60 miles away over flat ground!

After we had stopped and said hi to the first donkeys we saw at Horace’s Paddock, we were warmly welcomed by a volunteer who was very happy to share as much information as we were curious to want to know. Every volunteer we met was friendly, eager to share their love of donkeys and wanted to help to make our visit as happy as possible. We mooched to the main entrance and followed our noses to the main barn where we were met with the sight of many donkeys and two ponies sharing a very deep and luxurious bed of straw. It was here that we stood mesmerised for up to an hour watching how they interacted with each other and with us. It was as if they took it, in turn, to come up for some love and fuss! There were couples with dogs and families with young children so it’s a place to visit for anyone who loves animals; the donkeys didn’t seem phased by a dog bark or a child’s squeal of delight, in fact, they seemed to enjoy the company!

Another fun fact: Donkeys will partner up with another buddy donkey for life where they walk, sleep and eat together always.

We walked around the outdoor paddocks to see the mini shetlands and other ponies as well as enjoy the sight of the donkeys being let out of the barn for a stroll on the hard standing to sunbathe and take promenades together. It was such a sweet sight to behold!

We spent 3 hours mooching and stroking any donkey that wanted the fuss. We read about their stories and filled up on facts about donkeys that we never appreciated. There is a vegan cafe on site where hot drinks and moreish-looking cakes are served. We opted out given we were saving ourselves for the mighty Slice of Cornwall just outside Constantine. There is a gift shop, donation stations and also a great secondhand book shop where each book (regardless of its original RRP) is just £1. We made our donation and bought 5 books and said farewell to a place that filled us with such warmth and love. You don’t need to be an equine lover to appreciate the Flicka Foundation. The therapy that stroking a donkey brings is endless!

Sunny lunch alfresco at Slice of Cornwall

After leaving the Flicka Foundation feeling relaxed and peaceful, we got back into the car and headed to Constantine where Slice of Cornwall is located just on the outskirts.

Slice of Cornwall is a real favourite of the Orange Roofs’ team! It has outside dining which is where we decided to sit given the warmth of the sun and the gentle, warm breeze. We visit this amazing foodie place all year round and the indoor dining is light and bright with high vaulted ceilings and an entire glass front. The menu is extensive but their strength has to be their waffles and huge sourdough flatbreads. They serve vegetarian, vegan and meat across an enormous choice of sweet and savoury dishes. Their coffee is just gorgeous (Yallah!) and they have a wonderful selection of hot and cold drinks serving local produce all the way.

The car park is large and even on a weekday at 2 pm it was busy; we highly recommend you book a table indoors (and out when the weather is glorious) given Slice is a really popular place to eat, drink and catch up with friends and family. We arrived and chose a table overlooking the pond and were greeted by the sight of ducklings having a whale of a time playing in the little fountain bubbles while mum seemed to be upside down for most of it! All of the staff at Slice are so friendly and engaging and we were asked if we were okay in a matter of minutes. We chose two local ciders and our meals and sat back to enjoy the relaxing tunes through their outdoor speakers, the happy chatter from the other diners and the beautiful sound of nature given Slice is immersed in a small valley surrounded by trees.

Our food arrived after about 15 minutes and we tucked in (just about remembering to take a photo for this article!).

We can’t shout about Slice and it’s food (and portion sizes!) loudly enough. It’s a great place to plan a brunch or lunch with loved ones before heading out for the rest of your day satiated.

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