Top places to explore in South Cornwall
From coast to coast, Cornwall is plentiful in exciting places to see and things to do, but take a jaunt from east to west and you could be forgiven for missing secret coves and hidden gems, waiting to be explored.
To help you make the most of your time in Cornwall, Neil Moore, Director of Portscatho Holidays which offers one of the largest selections of holiday cottages in South Cornwall, shares his favourite places to explore.
The villages of the Roseland Peninsula
Lots of little villages make up the Roseland Peninsula, each with their own personality, here are just
three: St Mawes is classic and chic, set against a backdrop of traditional cottages and a pretty harbour;
where you’ll find the base for Portscatho Holidays. St Just in Roseland is where the poet Sir John
Betjeman declared the churchyard ‘the most beautiful on earth’; you can see what he meant when
you wander through the grounds of one of Cornwall’s most visited churches. Portscatho has a
wonderfully sheltered beach for swimming and the all-important sandcastle building; it’s also an
active fishing port where you can buy fish straight off the boat’.
A stop at Knightor Winery is a must-do for me; a working winery nestled in 4 acres of Cornish
hedgerows, pasture and orchard above St Austell Bay. They make you very welcome at both their
winery and shop where you can sample some of their wines and vermouth, or on their pre-booked
tours. They also host wonderful feasts and celebrations, with the finest local produce and of course,
Lamorran House Gardens
A haven of Italianate design and subtropical planting, I can spend hours wandering round its gravel
paths and through hidden archways. I like to take in the spectacular views over to the lighthouse at
St Anthony’s Head and enjoy a coffee and cake at their café ‘La Terrazza'. Lamorran has been
featured on Gardeners World, as well as in the top 10 of a 'BBC Nation's Favourite Gardens' poll.
Portscatho Holidays take bookings for Lamorran Lodge which is a holiday home right next to the
gardens and gives guests complimentary admission to the gardens.
National Maritime Museum Cornwall
I often hop on the ferry from St Mawes and head to the aptly named Discovery Quay in Falmouth to
the National Maritime Museum. It’s a fabulous building housing objects from round the world,
telling stories of life on the sea both in Cornwall and internationally. They’ve got family activities on-
site and run education programmes in Cornwall and beyond – a fascinating place to find out more
about how the water has shaped life here in Cornwall. The admission ticket includes unlimited
return visits for the following 12 months!
Built upon on a peninsula jutting out into the Carrick Roads, this artillery fort was constructed by
Henry VIII between 1540 and 1542 to protect against invasion from France. Today it’s managed by
English Heritage and they do a great job of telling its history – amazing to think it remained in use
until the end of WWII where it was used as a secret military base. There is a nice café and plenty of
grassy areas to sit and admire the views.
Portscatho's ‘main beach’ is wide and sandy, with beautiful views both inland and out to sea, at low
tide there is plenty of space for beach games and dogs are welcome all year. As it’s a National Trust
beach it’s well preserved and the real delight here is that you might spot porpoises, dolphins or even
basking sharks. And after a good walk, a game of football or a nature spot you’re not far from the
Hidden Hut café which is becoming a must-go destination in the area.
Explore from the water
And once you’ve explored from the land it’s so easy to get onto the water - mini cruises, water taxis
fishing trips and coastal safaris are available all along the coast. The ferry from outside Portscatho
Holidays' base at St Mawes will take you to Falmouth 364 days of the year, swapping a 29 mile road
journey for a 20 minute cruise.
If you want to be more active on the water then The Roseland Peninsula provides some of the best sailing and paddling areas in the country – so many ways to get out there.
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