Every year we visit Cornwall. The drive is never to be looked forward to, but the destinations do make up for it.
This year we chose St Mawes. Well the wife did, I just have to get us there. Do I go the old route down the Fosse Way, or the "Fastest" route down the motorways?
St Mawes. Apparently voted the "hippest" place to visit in Cornwall this year, so I read in a magazine while I was there. What a beautiful village located on the Roseland peninsula, with St Mawes Castle looking over towards Falmouth and the Pendennis Castle, protecting the Carrick Roads. Clear seas all round.
We rented a cottage for the week halfway up the hill from the harbour, more importantly, close to a Pub - The Victory Inn. This is a true Cornish village, with a mix of tourists from the north, the south, Sloane rangers and builders. A great mix and not so many to spoil the village feel. No amusement arcades or anything like that. It's Crabbing here for the kids or grab a wetsuit and jump off the side of the Harbour (No I did not).
From St Mawes, you can catch a small ferry boat to Falmouth, or take one of the many coastal walks in the area. (Timberland Deck Shoes for that holiday look).
For food, you have the best fish & chips I have ever tasted, all the way up to posh nosh at The Tresanton Hotel, everyone is catered for. With the weather being kind to us, we were able to enjoy evening drinks outside at various watering holes. In fact, I think we visited every single one, always ending up at the Victory Inn for a nightcap. (The locals pub).
A nod to the St Mawes Hotel too. Location, Location, Location.
We did venture out in the car a couple of days, so here are my tips if you are in the region:
The Church at St Just by Roseland. (Walkable from St Mawes) A couple of miles along the coastal path, sea wind in your hair and cow shit on your shoes, arriving at the most stunning church ever, surrounded by Cornish Palm trees. (They exist). There is a new cafe at the top of the hill for a Ploughmans Lunch & Cream Scones. Tried to scrounge a lift back by boat but to no avail. (Shin Splints kicking in.)
St Anthonys Head. (Little Ferry ride across from St Mawes), or jump in the car for 10 minutes. It's the site of an old Battery. Not a car battery, but one of those to defend ol' Blighty from all those pesky invaders. Preserved by the National Trust & enough to set the kid's imaginations running wild playing soldiers.
Portscatho (Short car ride away) another quintessential Cornish fishing village. Lovely beach, clear waters & cornish pasties plus the obligatory pub. Again, you can take coastal walks from here.
Mevagissey, a larger Cornish Fishing village. This one has tourists. Buckets of them, but what a beautiful village it is. Worth a trip just to try the Crepes at She Sells Megavissey. A great museum also to while away an hour. Free as well..... Bonus.
In fact, just google Roseland and the surrounding area. Everywhere is stunning.
P.S - I took the Motorways. Boring as hell.
I feel your pain concerning the drive ..but for me it’s well worth it !..I’ve been going to cornwall at least one per year for almost 20 years …and I’m still discovering new places !..for the last 8 years I have been renting a cottage in wadebridge ..it’s a proper working Cornish town ..bike hire is available to make use of the camel trail ..it’s abouta 5 mile ride to Padstow ..a great day out ..and there are so many fantastic places within 15-30 mins away in the car ..I love Polzeath..although it can get crowded in the summer holidays
Head a little further up to Fowey.
Great town and Sam’s is good for cocktails and food.
A really nice place is Polkerris beach, 5 mins drive. Park at th top and walk down to a cracking beach, with a water sport centre, the Rashleigh arms do great food and lots of games to entertain the kids, Sam has beach restaurant in the old lifeboat station here, rustic and good if you can get in,l