Cornwall LivingExplore Roseland
Slow down on The Roseland
Cornwall’s Roseland peninsula is a paradise of sleepy villages, stunning scenery and secluded creeks and coves. Life here moves at a refreshingly gentle pace and you can’t help but go with the flow.
A break on the Roseland peninsula is sure to include a fair amount of relaxation. So bring a good book, a picnic blanket and a board game and prepare to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones.
“The panoramic cliff top views out across Falmouth Bay make it easy to understand why this has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”
The area is perfect for exploring and adventures, too – from getting out onto the waters of the Fal Estuary to spending lazy days on the beach or in front of an open fire – this is a truly blissful location, whatever the season.
The coast and countryside here are crisscrossed with footpaths and the dramatic area around St Antony’s Head is our favourite walking spot. The panoramic cliff top views out across Falmouth Bay make it easy to understand why this has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Make time to explore the 19th Century military fort on the hill and look out for peregrines from the bird hide. Little Polruan beach is a lovely spot for a picnic and don’t miss the impressive white lighthouse here – fans of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock will recognise it as the one that appears in the TV show.
The fishing village of St Mawes is often referred to as the ‘capital of the Roseland’ and it’s an idyllic spot looking across the estuary to Falmouth and connected to the town via a 35-minute ferry ride. There are two beaches, stylish shops and lots of options for foodies in this charming village with a strong community spirit. Make time to find a spot to sit overlooking the water (there are lots of options) with a glass of something chilled, and if you love a castle don’t miss the clover-leaf shaped one here. The best preserved of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery fortresses, St Mawes’ Castle is elaborately decorated and has grounds that stretch down to the riverside. You’ll find theatrical productions and other events to entertain you here on summer afternoons and evenings.
Extend your stay with an easy two-mile walk to the beautiful church at St-Just-In-Roseland. It’s said Joseph of Arimathea landed here en-route to Glastonbury and John Betjeman described the churchyard as the most beautiful on earth.
If St Mawes is Roseland’s capital, tiny Portloe is known as its hidden jewel. This captivating fishing village has survived over-development and expansion thanks to the steep-sided valleys around it. Contraband French brandy was once smuggled through here and hidden in local farms and cellars and it’s a popular TV and film location. Pick up lobster or crab fresh from the fishermen on the quay or doff your cap to the place’s past with a brandy in the Ship Inn. The South West Coast Path is on hand for keen walkers, and the 2 AA Rosette restaurant at the Lugger Hotel on the water’s edge has a menu that features wonderful locally caught seafood, lobster and crab.
And be sure to take the chance to get out on the water. Hop in a kayak and explore the wildlife of the nearby inlets and creeks, charter a boat for a sea fishing trip or plunge beneath the waves and try wreck diving. From June to September sea swimmers will find a diving platform in Porthscatho, donated by a local family in memory of their daughter Emma Hatchley, and now a magnet for swimmers in the bay.
Our favourite foodie hotspots
There are lots of cool places to enjoy a bite to eat around the Roseland. Here’s our pick of the best.
For good pub grub try the Plume of Feathers in Porthscatho where ocean to plate and local, seasonal fare is the order of a daily changing menu. Or stop off at the Ship Inn in little Portloe, a former fisherman’s cottage with a lovely beer garden overlooking a wooded valley and trickling stream. The King’s Arms in Tregony also has a lovely walled garden, and in winter the cosy slate floors, wood panelling and open fire make this a great spot to hunker down.
For a selection of dining experiences to remember make a beeline for St Mawes and seek out one of three excellent eateries. Enjoy seafood by the seashore at the hip but laid back Idle Rocks where the trophy cabinet includes Best Restaurant in the Trencherman’s Guide and Number 1 for Sunday Lunch in the Times Newspaper.
Seek out the Watch House on the High Street for a surprising culinary experience – or excellent takeaway fish and chips to enjoy al fresco on a summer’s evening.
And don’t miss Olga Polizzi’s elegant Treasanton. At lunch they’ve a £25 two-course and £29 three course special, which includes a glass of wine. They also offer excellent afternoon tea and an impressive evening menu, inspired by their proximity to the sea.
"The panoramic cliff top views out across Falmouth Bay make it easy to understand why this has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty"