Top Hidden Gems in St.Mawes : A Local’s Guide

Nestled on the southern coast of Cornwall, St. Mawes is often celebrated for its picturesque harbour, medieval castle, and charming coastal ambiance. While the town itself attracts many visitors, the surrounding area is filled with hidden gems waiting to be uncovered.

From secluded beaches to enchanting gardens, this local guide explores St.Mawes and the lesser-known attractions near St. Mawes and the Rosevine Hotel, offering an insider’s perspective on the best-kept secrets of this beautiful region.

Hidden Beaches and Water Sports

Hidden Beaches Near St. Mawes
  • Porthcurnick Beach

Just a short stroll from the Rosevine Hotel, Porthcurnick Beach is a secluded haven known for its golden sands and serene environment. Unlike the more crowded beaches in the area, Porthcurnick offers a tranquil escape, perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, and exploring rock pools. The beach is also home to the renowned Hidden Hut, a rustic café that serves delicious, locally sourced meals and hosts seasonal feast nights.

  • St. Anthony Head

For those who enjoy coastal walks, the St. Anthony Head peninsula offers breathtaking views and a sense of solitude. Starting from the car park near Place House, the walk takes you past an old lighthouse, dramatic cliffs, and lush woodlands. The area is rich in wildlife, so keep an eye out for seals, dolphins, and various seabirds. The St. Anthony Head is also historically significant, with remnants of World War II bunkers and a military battery.

  • Towan Beach

Towan Beach is a hidden gem located on the Roseland Peninsula, offering a more secluded alternative to the busier beaches. This sandy cove is surrounded by rolling hills and provides a peaceful setting for swimming, sunbathing, and beachcombing. The walk down to the beach is steep, but the pristine waters and scenic beauty make it worth the effort.

  • Percuil River

The Percuil River, a tributary of the River Fal, offers a peaceful setting for paddleboarding and kayaking. The calm waters and scenic surroundings make it a perfect spot for exploring the natural beauty of the area. There are several points along the river where you can rent equipment and enjoy a leisurely paddle through the tranquil estuary.

  • Carne and Pendower Beaches

These adjacent beaches offer a long stretch of sand and shingle, backed by low cliffs and farmland. Less frequented than other beaches in the area, Carne and Pendower provide a more secluded beach experience. The beaches are excellent for walking, with the South West Coast Path running along the cliffs, offering stunning views of the coastline.

  • St.Mawes Kayak Rentals

St.Mawes is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, particularly those interested in boating and yachting. The estuary is ideal for boating, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), providing a serene alternative to the region’s surfing spots. These activities are easy to learn and suitable for all ages, with SUP drawing from traditional Hawaiian practices. Most people become proficient in SUP within a couple of hours, making it accessible and fun.

Enchanting Gardens and Estates

  • Lamorran Gardens

Situated in St. Mawes itself, Lamorran Gardens is a subtropical paradise that often goes unnoticed by visitors. These Italian-inspired gardens feature winding pathways, exotic plants, and stunning sea views. The Mediterranean feel of the gardens, complete with palm trees and vibrant flowers, creates a sense of escapism. Open from April to September, Lamorran Gardens is a perfect spot for a relaxed afternoon stroll.

  • Trelissick Garden

A short drive from St. Mawes, Trelissick Garden offers expansive landscapes and diverse plant collections. Managed by the National Trust, Trelissick boasts panoramic views of the Fal Estuary, extensive woodlands, and beautifully maintained gardens. The estate also includes art exhibitions, a café, and a gift shop, making it an ideal destination for a day trip.

  • Caerhays Castle and Gardens

Caerhays Castle, located near Porthluney Cove, is another hidden treasure. This historic estate is renowned for its magnificent gardens, which are home to one of the UK’s largest collections of magnolias. The gardens are typically open from mid-February to mid-June, showcasing an array of blooms that transform the landscape into a vibrant tapestry of colours. The castle itself, with its Gothic architecture, adds to the enchanting atmosphere.

Quaint Villages and Local Culture

  • Portloe

Portloe is a charming fishing village that seems untouched by time. Nestled in a narrow valley, the village is known for its traditional cottages, scenic harbour, and tranquil ambiance. A visit to Portloe offers a glimpse into Cornwall’s maritime heritage and provides opportunities for coastal walks and seafood dining. The Lugger Hotel, located in the village, serves excellent dishes made from fresh local ingredients.

  • Veryan

Veryan is a picturesque village famous for its unique roundhouses, built in the early 19th century by the Reverend Jeremiah Trist. These distinctive houses, with their thatched roofs and circular design, were intended to ward off evil spirits. The village is also home to the lovely Veryan Church and is surrounded by beautiful countryside, perfect for hiking and exploring.

  • Philleigh

Philleigh is a small village known for its historic pub, the Roseland Inn. Dating back to the 16th century, the pub offers a cosy atmosphere, traditional Cornish ales, and hearty meals. Philleigh is also home to the Philleigh Way Cookery School, where visitors can learn to prepare classic Cornish dishes using local ingredients. The village’s rural setting and friendly community make it a delightful place to visit.

  • Ruan Lanihorne

Further adding to the area’s allure is the Ruan Lanihorne, a quintessentially Cornish hamlet that lies upstream on the River Fal. Here, time slows down among the centuries-old cottages and the picturesque riverbank. The local pub, The King’s Head, is renowned for its traditional Cornish hospitality and offers a range of ales and regional specialties that embody Cornwall’s rich culinary heritage. The village also hosts an annual regatta that showcases local sailing traditions and community spirit, drawing both residents and adventurous visitors.

  • Roseland Art Trail

For art enthusiasts, the Roseland Art Trail is a must. This lesser-known circuit connects a series of studios and galleries across the peninsula, where local artists display their work. From pottery and painting to textile arts, the trail offers a unique glimpse into the vibrant local arts scene, with many artists taking inspiration from the stunning coastal landscape that surrounds them.

  • Melinsey Mill

This delightful destination offers a glimpse into the region’s rich heritage, with its beautifully preserved mill set amidst lush, tranquil gardens. Visitors can explore the mill’s fascinating history, enjoy delicious homemade treats in the cosy tearoom, and wander through the serene grounds, which include a peaceful pond and woodland walks. Melinsey Mill also features unique arts and crafts for sale, making it a perfect spot to find a special souvenir. With its idyllic setting and warm hospitality, Melinsey Mill is a must-visit gem in the heart of Cornwall.

  • Gerrans and St. Anthony Church

The village of Gerrans is home to the ancient St. Gerrans Church, which dates back to the 13th century. Nearby, St. Anthony Church is another historic gem. This beautiful church, set on the edge of the Fal Estuary, features a stunning stained-glass window and a peaceful churchyard. Both churches offer a sense of history and serenity, perfect for those interested in Cornwall’s heritage.

Culinary Delights and Local Markets

  • The Cornish Smokehouse

Located near St. Mawes, The Cornish Smokehouse is a hidden gem for food enthusiasts. Specialising in smoked fish and meats, the smokehouse uses traditional methods and high-quality local ingredients. Patrons can purchase a variety of products, including smoked salmon, mackerel, and cheeses, all of which make perfect picnic fare or gifts.

  • St. Mawes Farmers Market

Held regularly in the village, the St. Mawes Farmers Market is a great place to discover local produce and artisan goods. From fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade crafts and baked goods, the market showcases the best of Cornwall’s local offerings. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet local producers and experience the region’s vibrant community spirit.

  • The Roseland Inn

As mentioned earlier, the Roseland Inn in Philleigh is a historic pub that offers a true taste of Cornwall. With its cosy interior, friendly atmosphere, and delicious menu, it’s a must-visit for anyone exploring the area. The pub’s emphasis on local ingredients and traditional recipes ensures an authentic culinary experience.

Unveiling St. Mawes: Discovering Cornwall’s Hidden Charms

St. Mawes and the surrounding areas are rich in hidden gems that are off-the-beaten-path and offer a unique and authentic Cornish experience. From secluded beaches and enchanting gardens to the local culture of quaint villages and historic sites, there’s something for everyone to discover. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or foodie, these lesser-known attractions provide a deeper appreciation for the charm of this coastal region. So next time you visit St. Mawes, venture off the beaten path and explore the hidden treasures that await you.

Local Markets Near St. Mawes

Plan Your Next Getaway at The Rosevine

Plan your family holiday in Cornwall with The Rosevine Hotel, offering family-friendly accommodations near exciting attractions. Our boutique hotel, set in a beautifully restored Georgian house, combines timeless elegance with modern design for a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Our tastefully appointed apartments feature comfortable furnishings, elegant décor, and modern amenities. They are perfect for two adults and up to three children, with some allowing pets. Enjoy a master bedroom, children’s room, kitchenette, and spacious living area, blending luxury hotel comfort with a homey feel. Many rooms have stunning sea views and are a short walk from the coastline and local village attractions. Book your perfect Cornwall getaway online or contact us at +44 (0) 1872 580 206 for more information.

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