The Roseland Peninsula is one of the most picturesque and unspoilt parts of the South-West England, offering quiet beaches, impressive coastal and river scenery and quaint villages, within easy reach of the towns of Falmouth and Truro. Often thought of as the capital, St Mawes, can be visited by passenger ferry from Falmouth or by car across the Fal River via the King Harry Ferry near Trelissick.
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St Mawes – Built on steep slopes at the end of a peninsula flanked by the Percuil River, St Mawes is a popular but dignified little holiday resort whose delightful setting and mild climate, which have earned this part of the coast the description of the Cornish Riviera….. [ Read More ]
Percuil – Although it no longer has a ferry link with St Mawes, this hamlet is a popular base for small boat sailors. The lane which runs down to the river from Gerrans passes a National Trust car park where views of the river’s upper reaches are framed by cornfields and woodlands, a great place for a picnic.
St Anthony Head – A lighthouse completed in 1835 and marking the entrance to Carrick Roads is reached by a short walk from the National Trust car park on the headland. There are superb views across Falmouth Bay. Black Rock, a navigation hazard in the days of sail, is an eye catching feature in the sea between the headland and Pendennis Point.
Portscatho – Narrow streets typical of Cornwall’s fishing villages rub down to Portscatho’s tiny harbour, which dries out at low tide. The beach faces due east and has patches of sand between outcrops of rock. To the north, steps lead down from a clifftop carpark to more extensive sands at Portcurnick.
Pendower Beach – This beautiful beach, backed by low cliffs, was presented to the National Trust in 1961 after funds had been raised by local people to save it from commercial development. Th sands, patchworked with areas of rock, are crossed at their western end by a stream which flows from the wooded Pendower Valley.
The beach is sheltered by the impressive bulk of Nare head, whose highest point is more than 300 ft above sea level.
Nare Head – An excellent viewpoint in fine weather, the headland’s summit is a 15 minute walk from the National Trust car park above rocky Kiberick Cove. Crane Beacon, between the headland and Veryan, is an impressive Bronze Age mound. Legend pinpoints it as the grave of a Cornish king who was buried with a golden ship.
Gull Rock, half a mile from Nare Head, is a nesting place for cormorants, shags, guillemots, razorbills and other sea-birds. It is the most prominent part of a reef which claimed many sailing ships. They included the Hera which went down in 1914 with a loss of 19 lives.
Portloe – The rocky harbour, overlooked by the 17th century Lugger Hotel, is almost as narrow as the streets of this pretty little village. The cove has a slipway and is still used by a few fishing boats. There are memorable walks along the cliffs to Nare Head and Portholland.
Porthluney Cove – This safe, sandy beach, sheltered by wooded cliffs is watched over by the towers of Caerhays Castle, which stands on the site of a medieval manor house. The castles dates from 1808 and is the work of the architect John Nash, whose most notable works include London’s Marble Arch and Brighton’s Royal Pavillion. The building ruined the Trevanion family, who had owned the Caerhays Estate since the 14th century. The castle and grounds are open to the public.
Dodman Point – The headland, clad with gorse and bracken, was fortified during the Iron Age and is a major landmark on Cornwall’s southern coast. A 15 minute walk over National Trust land with superb views leads to a granite cross erected in 1896. Th path passes the ruin f a small stone building where coastguards sheltered in the 19th century. Dodmans Point was the graveyard of many ships which missed Falmouth in the days before radar.
Gorran Haven – The narrow village streets lead to a sandy beach whose southern end is sheltered by a small breakwater and overlooked by ‘cellars’ once used by fishermen. The clifftop path to Chapel Point gives access to Great Perhaver Beach and passes Bodrugan’s Leap. This is said to be the place where Sir Henry Treworth of Bodrugan spurred his horse over the cliff to escape from his enemies in 1485, after supporting Richard III’s ill-fated cause at the Battle of Bosworth.
Portmellon – Signs on the lanes which run steeply down to this rock-clasped cove of sand and shingle warn that the road is sometimes washed by high-tide waves. Buildings facing the beach are fronted by walls 3 ft thick and have gateways with slots into which boards are fitted to keep the sea out. There is a boatyard, with a slipway running down to the beach. The road northwards climbs a headland which provides splendid views of Mevagissey.
Mevagissey – Picturesque old buildings flank the step and extremely narrow streets of this ancient fishing port, popular with visitors in the holiday season. Established in the Middle Ages, Mevagissey developed in the 18th and 19th centuries when its inner and outer harbours provided shelter for a large fleet of boats whose main catch was pilchards…. [ Read More ]
Pentewen – The village of Pentwan nestles at the foot of a steep hill and looks southwards over a broad sandy beach backed by tents and caravans. Ducks patrol the abandoned harbour built by a local landowner in the 1820s. The docks closed shortly after the First World War, choked with silt swept down from the clay workings it was built to serve.