Located on Cornwall’s north coast, St Agnes sits in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Newquay. It's a popular spot for tourists who enjoy the rugged landscape and sheltered beach.
Coast & Country
St. Agnes is a picturesque village on the north coast of Cornwall. Steeped in mining history, the village still retains a traditional friendly Cornish atmosphere and makes a wonderful base for your holiday, being an ideal location for touring the rest of Cornwall.
There's a thriving community with a choice of shops, galleries and craft workshops, plus friendly cafes and bars serving good food and drink in a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The dramatic coastline and breathtaking scenery includes the stunning Chapel Porth Beach and St Agnes Beacon, the hill that looms high over the village and the coast.
Below the village of St Agnes sits Trevaunance Cove, once a busy harbour but now a favourite place for families and surfers. It's easy to spend a day here with plenty of rockpools to explore as well as the sandy beach, plus a good selection of places to eat and drink.
A rich history
From the Bronze Age burial sites high on St Agnes Beacon to the iconic Wheal Coates clinging to the cliffs east of the village, St Agnes is surrounded by history. The village is built around the church, mainly rebuilt in the 19th century, but on a site dating back to Medieval times. Below the church a row of cottages known as Stippy Stappy descend in steps towards the valley running down to Trevaunance Cove.
The cove itself was once a harbour with a large breakwater on its western side. After many years of constant repairs this was finally abandoned during WW1 and many of the granite blocks used to build it can now be seen at low tide scattered below the cliffs.
The remains of the mines that fed the harbour can be seen all over the St Agnes parish and are now part of Cornwall’s Mining World Heritage area. St Agnes featured heavily in Winston Graham’s original Poldark series of novels, and it's easy to see why when you travel around the area.
The Legend of Bolster
St Agnes is said to have got its name from the local legend of Bolster the giant. Bolster was a mighty giant who terrified the villagers and ate small children, but he fell in love with a beautiful young woman called Agnes and wanted to marry her.
Seeing a way to free the parish from his tyranny, Agnes asked Bolster to prove his love for her by filling a hole in the rocks by Chapel Porth with his blood. What he didn’t realise was that the hole ran right down through the cliffs and opened into the sea, and so the more blood Bolster let bleed into the hole, the more ran out the bottom and the hole never filled.
in that way Bolster was tricked, and he died on the cliffs. St Agnes was hailed a heroine, and in time the village took her name. Nowadays there are still days when you will see Bolster's blood staining the waters around St Agnes and the village celebrates his death on Bolster Day every May.
Plan your trip
Everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip to St Agnes
Follow the M5 to Exeter, and then join the A30 across Bodmin Moor and down into Cornwall. When you reach Chiverton Roundabout turn right onto the B3277 and follow signs to St Agnes. Wheal leisure car park offers long stay car parking.
National Express serves Cornwall and the best stop for St Agnes is in Truro, From here regular local busses go to St Agnes.
St Agnes is served by busses from Truro, Falmouth, Newqquay and Redruth. (2022)
The best railway station for bus connections to St Agnes is Truro, although you could also travel to Redruth.
Trevaunance Cove is St Agnes’ main beach, with two car parks less than a minute’s walk away and excellent local facilities. St Agnes is a well-known surf spot and can get crowded on good days. Board and wetsuit hire and surf lessons are available. Dogs are allowed all year.
Yes, the main beach at Trevaunance Cove is family friendly and ideal for swimming.
You can also swim at the National Trust managed Chapel Porth Beach to the west.
Both beaches are patroled by lifeguards from May to September.
,You would need to consult the National Trust website for up to date information.
In 2022 it was £2.00 up to 1hr, £4.00 up to 4hrs and £8.00 all day. National Trust members free.
The Chapel Porth Beach café is famed for its hedgehog ice creams which consists of heaps of Cornish ice cream topped with clotted cream and then coated with chopped hazelnuts. Totally decadent... but a must if you are in the area!
Discover your Cornwall
Long sandy beaches, hidden coves, rugged moorland, quaint fishing villages, deep wooded valleys, bustling seaside resorts, industrial heritage, rocky headlands, colourful gardens, idyllic rivers and a bijou city, Cornwall has a bit of everything for those who want to explore.
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