A visitor’s guide to St Mawes

December 02nd, 2016

St Mawes is one of the most beautiful harbour villages on the Cornish coast, located on the Roseland Peninsula, and is easy to reach from our luxury Falmouth resort. It’s a stunning example of a traditional fishing port; cobbled streets lead away from the quiet harbour, which is decorated with fishing boats. Slowly becoming a more popular tourist destination, you can easily spend a day in St Mawes as there are now a number of quality restaurants, independent shops and art galleries to enjoy in the village.


On either side of the St Mawes harbour, you will find two lovely beaches, which are perfect for swimming and sunbathing on a summer’s day. Sitting on the opposite side of the River Fal to Falmouth, life in St Mawes has always revolved around the water. Its sheltered location has made it popular with boats and yachts, which can easily navigate the river and Carrick Roads, an estuary of the River Fal which is also the third largest natural harbour in the world. The coastline surrounding St Mawes is very beautiful, and has even been used as a filming location for the BBC’s hit period drama Poldark.

St Mawes Castle

Overlooking the coast, St Mawes Castle is a majestic 16th century castle, and was one of the many coastal defences built in Cornwall at the time. Cared for by English Heritage, the castle opens its doors to visitors all year round. It’s an impressive feat of Tudor military architecture, with stand-out features including its gun ports as well as its three huge circular bastions.

St Anthony Lighthouse

The St Anthony Lighthouse is another historic landmark that you can find in St Mawes. Built in 1834, it was originally constructed to replace the coal beacon which was many centuries old. Marking the entrance to the Carrick Roads, the St Anthony Lighthouse has an important role in keeping ships clear of the Manacle Rocks. Although its operations are now automated, visitors can still go inside the lighthouse to see how it used to work, and also discover the location’s role as the setting for the children’s TV show Fraggle Rock.

What’s nearby

A number of ferries run from St Mawes, and many people in fact reach the village by taking the ferry across the river from Falmouth. Nearby you can also catch the King Harry Ferry over the river to Trelissick, which also acts as a shortcut to Truro. St Mawes is also a good base from which to explore the rest of the Roseland Peninsula, with some of the best villages to visit on the headland including St Just, Portscatho, Portloe and Veryan.

Image: Tim Green, CC 2.0