St Mawes is and has been for sometime one of the most popular Cornwall coastal holiday and weekend destinations. Posh Edwardian holiday makers loved it. Somehow St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula has retained it's 'fishing village' feel, and is a superb base for coastal walking and birdwatching. All of the Cornish Roseland Peninsula remains unspoilt, and a Mecca for cliff and riverside walkers, sailing, windsurfing, water sports and estuary ferry trips. St Mawes is blessed with two excellent family oriented beaches, ideal for swimming!
St Mawes is also perfect for easy access to many of South Cornwall's hotspot attractions such as the Eden Project, Heligan and to the west bustling and booming chic Falmouth. It's position far south, and within the Gulf Stream, St Mawes enjoys a mild climate, ideal for the many boats, yachts and sailing clubs located here. Combine this with a choice of chic seafood restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, and some of the most idyllic self catering holiday cottages and homes in Cornwall, it's not surprising St Mawes is a particularly popular Cornish holiday location.
St Mawes Castle is strikingly intact, largely due to the fact that it fell into Parliamentary hands early in the English Civil War. Right on the coast, with a stunning outlook towards Falmouth and out to sea, St Mawes Castle remains one of Henry VIII's most ornate coastal fortresses, and a memorable Cornwall castle to visit indeed! Built between 1535 and 1545, St Mawes Castle is mirrored by the larger Pendennis Castle across the Fal Estuary at Pendennis Point near Falmouth. Check the English Heritage weblink for further details on opening times, tours and corporate hire of the castle.
The estuary winds inland into what are called the Carrick Roads, basically a natural harbour within a valley flooded by melt waters from retreating glaciers left from the Ice Age. This beautiful estuary offers ferry trips in the summer months, including the 25 minute ferry crossing from St Mawes to Falmouth. Ferries also run to Anthonys Head, and St Anthony's Lighthouse built in 1835. (Fraggle Rock was filmed here!). The ferry to St Anthony's Headland is only about 10 minutes, and popular with walkers intending to explore the Roseland and take coastal walks around the headland - magic!
St Mawes village itself is a picture-postcard harbour village, which often featured in the popular Poldark TV series. St Mawes' two south facing beaches are positioned either side of the harbour, and perfect for family swimming. The village has a good selection of shops, a post office, bank and plenty of St Mawes Hotel accommodation, cafes and bars around the harbour area. Tennis courts are also available for hire, situated in the heart of the village at the top of the main village car park.
St Mawes Castle, Cornwall TR2 3AA. Tel: 01326 270526.
Love sailing? Yes, well head for St Mawes, definitely one of Cornwall's top hotspots for sailing, including plenty of racing events and regattas! Learn to sail at all levels with St Mawes Sailing Club (see their weblink for details). There's lots of sailing course options for juniors here too, with opportunities to undertake RYA recognised qualifications. St Mawes also has junior race weeks!
St Mawes Sailing Club benefits from a fully equipped clubhouse overlooking the harbour. Facilities include a bar, meals are also served with lunchtime menu available with a spacious deck, showers, lounges and a television.
For the full calendar of St Mawes Sailing events, racing, regattas and sailing courses available check the St Mawes Sailing Club website for details.
St Mawes Sailing Club, No 1 The Quay, St Mawes, Truro, Cornwall, TR2 5DG. Tel: 01326 270686.
As with other areas of this South Cornwall Coast, St Mawes and the surrounding villages offer a choice range of gardens and gardening centres. One of the most renowned is the subtropical Lamorran Gardens which offers superb views across to St Anthony's Head out to sea. This garden contains an amazing collection of Rhododendrons and evergreen azaleas. You can hire the gardens for weddings too, what a good idea.
Check the Lamorran Gardens Website right for full details on opening times and admission costs.
Around St Mawes are a collection of idyllic Cornish coastal villages including Veryan (noted for it's roundhouses which mark the entrance to the village, Gorran, St Just in Roseland, Tregony, Portloe and Portscatho. All these pretty Cornish villages are smaller holiday resort locations, and perfect bases for exploring this stretch of the Roseland Peninsula coast.
Lamorran Subtropical Gardens, Lamorran House, Upper Castle Rd, St Mawes, Cornwall, TR2 5BZ. Tel: 01326 270800.
The Roseland Visitor Centre, The Millennium Rooms, The Square, St Mawes, Cornwall, TR2 5AG. Tel: 01326 270440.
Castle image contributed by Trevor Rickard. Quayside image contributed by Chris J Dixon. Ferry image contributed by Chris Allen. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.