The Black Prince Festival in Millbrook - How to get rid of the winter

The Black Prince's Boat along the street of Cawsand

How to get rid of the winter?

There are hundreds of ways to get rid of winter. Few miles from Plymouth there is a very interesting way and a very interesting area that makes a perfect destination for a way away from Plymouth or for part your long walk along the Cornish Way...And if you visit the first week of May you will see a great popular festival to celebrate the end of the winter! (see below).

In Millbrook the found a way to get rid of the winter!

Millbrook is a very small village situated in front of Plymouth along the mouth of the river Tamar.

If you are coming from Plymouth, the nicest way is to take a five minutes and super cheap ferry ride from Plymouth to Cremyll (If you want to read more about Plymouth,  read my post on Plymouth).

Practically at the harbour at Cremyll is a magnificent palace that welcomes you on this side of the river Tamar: Mount Edgecumbe. Few miles from Edgecumbe the little village of Millbrook is a place to visit.

Start your visit at Mount Edgecumbe.

The name of this palace is Mount Edgcumbe.  Mount Edgcumbe is an 18th century manor with a wonderful garden and it is a fantastic place for a walk away from the noise and the traffic of Plymouth.

Mount Edgcumbe  has wonderful gardens. Seating on one of the many benches infront of the old manor you will enjoy great views along the mouth of the river Tamar. You can walk in the quiet lanes, visit the manor or just enjoy a walk around it.

Mount Edgecumbe

The Black Prince Festival in Millbrook, sending away the winter on a floral boat!

Around four miles from Cremyll and Mount Edgecumbe is the little village of Millbrock. The day of May bankholiday, usually the first Monday in May, starts here a procession that will give you the chance to get to know the most interesting traditions of the area.

Followed by a large group of Morris Garden, the Boat of the Black Prince is paraded around the street of Millbrook.

The Morris Dancers are probably the most interesting piece of folklore of the area.

It is an old English tradition, particularly of the South. Dressed with colourful clothes and armed by sticks and handkerchiefs they dance in group in a traditional and very coreographic dance.

It is said that the tradition of the Morris Dancers was imported from Spain by British soldiers who witnessed the dangerous and quick dances with long sabres of the Moorish soldiers (from them the name "Morris") and they replicated a more safe version with wooden sticks when they came back home.

The Morris Men and the Criers keep the public entertained and they lead the procession of a black wooden boat adorned by flowers from Millbrook to the sea: the Black Prince Flowers Boat.

The Morris Dancers at Cawsand

Cawsand, where the Black Prince boat takes the sea and a nice destination for a day at the sea.

The most scenic part of this special day is certainly when the procession reaches the beautiful beach at Cawsand.

Cawsand is a very picturesque fishermen village that is certainly worth a visit at all times of the year.

Cawsand, overlooked by its fortress, is probably the prettiest village of the Rame Pensinsula.

With its narrow lanes running along the beach, Cawsand conserves the feeling of an old village, where now beautiful pubs and restaurants make a special place for a day along the Cornish coast.

It is a nice walk from Millbrook to Cawsand and the best is approching the village from the top of the hill along the road that run down to the sea and to the beach.

The beach at Cawsand

At the end of the procession, the boat reaches finally the beautiful bay of Cawsand in front of the old harbour. 

The criers sing the launching song and the Black Prince's Boat is finally launched in to the sea (and collected few meters after, behind the rock, to be preserved so that the same ritual could be performed the following year).

People exhausted after a day of dances and music cheer at the boat floating on the waves of the English Channel.

So, in the end, what you can visit in Millbrook and why should you visit?

1. Millbrook and Cremyll are two beautiful villages in the Rame peninsula, the first Peninsula you are going to walk along its coast if you are walking the Cornish Way all the way from Plymouth to Landsend in the region of Cornwall, South - West of England.

2. If you are visit for Spring Day (May Day) you will have the chance to assist to the amazing procession of the Black Prince Floreal Boat in Milbrook.

3. Milbrook and Cawsand make for a wonderful base for visiting Plymouth and the River Tamar Mouth. Read my post about Plymouth

4. Cawsand is a very nice place for a Sunday at the beach near nice pubs, restaurants and in a picturesque fishermen village.

This post has being made thanks for the help and support of Jo Tatam of Millbrook! Many thanks for you hospitality and your kindness Jo!