Spend a weekend in...The Roseland Peninsula

St Mawes, Roseland Peninsula

Spend a weekend in...The Roseland Peninsula.

The Roseland Peninsula has been designated part of Cornwall’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for the quality of its landscape and coastal scenery. It is home to picturesque fishing villages, leading to the coast and St Mawes, a fashionable village curving around a sheltered bay. It is popular with walkers, wildlife enthusiasts, yachtsmen, windsurfers and canoeists.

The area is bordered by the Fal Estuary to the west and the Atlantic to the east. 


The beaches in the Roseland are lovely wide open stretches of sand but are rarely crowded. The Tavern and Summer beaches that are on either side of St Mawes harbour, are excellent for swimming and families. Porthcurnick Beach is north of Portscatho and is Good Beach Guide Recommended 2014. It is a beautiful south east facing sandy cove, owned by the National Trust with many rockpools for children to explore. Further south is Portscatho, it is a scenic village beach facing east on the beautiful Roseland peninsula overlooking Gerrans Bay close to the village harbour.

Beautiful Gardens

Near to the Roseland there are many popular gardens that are a must visit. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a mysterious garden and estate offer with over 200 acres for exploration. You can also enjoy Trelissick Gardens that is perched at the head of the Fal Estuary, Trelissick Gardens boasts jaw-dropping views and a huge array of plant species. An inspirational garden with varied woodland planting, mixed borders with bright summer and autumn flowers together with exotic perennials.

Charming Fishing Villages 

Portscatho is just one of the many lovely fishing villages to explore on the Roseland. It used to be one of the centres of the pilchard industry and is a great place to discover. St Mawes is the principal village on the Roseland Peninsula, it is a centre for a range of watersports activities. St Mawes is a picturesque harbour with a small fishing fleet and an interesting heritage. It is linked to Falmouth by the St Mawes Ferry which runs year round across the harbour. 

Learn about the history of the area

St Mawes used to be an important port in medieval times that was protected by the most perfectly preserved of Henry VIII's coastal fortresses, St Mawes Castle. It was one of the chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545 to counter an invasion threat from Catholic France and Spain, it guarded the important anchorage of Carrick Roads, sharing the task with Pendennis Castle on the other side of the Fal estuary. The Castle is open to visit and you can take the audio tour to learn all about it's story. 


There are a number of circular routes that can lead you to see more of the Roseland. There is an easy 2 mile coastal walk from St Mawes Castle to St Just in Roseland Church, described by Sir John Betjeman as being “to many people the most beautiful churchyard on earth.” You can take a circular 4 miles walk from Towan Beach to Portscatho where, historically during the Napoleonic Wars, smugglers would row out to the middle of The Channel in pilot gigs to trade with the enemy. During the summer months, a small passenger ferryboat links St Mawes to Place on the remote St Anthony headland, enabling visitors to visit the St Anthony Lighthouse  as well as enjoying a pleasant circular walk. 


The Rosevine

Non-residents are welcome to this hotel's restaurant where you can enjoy a combination of fresh seaside style and relaxed dining. Enjoy stunning sea views across Gerrans Bay towards Portscatho and seriously good food for adults and children, cooked simply using locally sourced and seasonal produce.

St Mawes Hotel

The bar restaurant at the St Mawes Hotel is a fantastic place to enjoy authentic quality dishes that will showcase the best locally sourced Cornish ingredients. Menu options include both smaller and larger dishes based on the wonderful produce from the sea, alongside stone baked pizzas and daily specials. Alfresco tables provide an idyllic location to make the most of sunny days and enjoy the spectacular views of the water. Non-resident guests are welcome.

Idle Rocks Hotel

The Idle Rocks was voted number 1 “Top Sunday Lunches” by The Times 2015. The food will be served to the very highest standard, the setting is relaxed – providing a real home-from-home feeling. The philosophy: good-old-fashioned hospitality, simplicity and friendliness. A relaxed but lively atmosphere, with music playing, guests chattering, cocktails being created and a great wine list to mull over and enjoy. Non-resident guests are always welcome.

What are your recommendations for things to see, do, and places to eat in The Roseland Peninsula? Let us know via Facebook comments below?