South Coast - Central AONB section
This central section of the South Coast AONB takes in the land around the nine creeks of the Carrick Roads in the Fal estuary, the famous Roseland Peninsula and the coast either side of Mevagissey. It stretches inland up river almost to Truro and the ancient silted-up port of Tregony.
Around the creeks of the Fal, the landscape is of small farms and woodland. The Carrick Roads part of the Fal estuary is particularly deep and large ships often lie at anchor here up to and past the King Harry Ferry. Above the ferry sits the splendid house and grounds of Trelissick (National Trust), whilst further upriver sits Tregothnan, where tea is grown. The creeks themselves, largely undeveloped and tranquil, are home to many different birds from Black-necked Grebes to Great White Egrets.
Many small villages are located at the heads of creeks, often containing medieval churches such as Ruan Lanihorne, and St. Just in Roseland. They are the playground of yachtsmen, kayakers and walkers as often the best way to see them are on the water or on foot.
The coast around the Roseland consists of killas rocks which form the cliffs and shores of the bays and coves between the heights of Nare Head, Dodman Point, and Black Head. Below these promontories, sandy beaches abound, clean and unspoilt and popular with visitors in the summer.
Famous landmarks in this section of the AONB include the small but perfectly formed castle at St Mawes complementing Pendennis Castle on the opposite shore, St. Anthony Lighthouse, built in 1834, which guards the entrance to the Carrick Roads, the thatched round houses in the village of Veryan and the beautiful church of St Just in Roseland. Caerhays Castle, built in the early 1800s sits behind Porthluney Beach, it's grounds full of rhododendrons and other sub-tropical plants. On the Dodman Headland can be found a stone cross erected in the late 1800s and the ditches of an Iron Age cliff castle.
At the eastern edge of the AONB lies the fishing village of Mevagissey, with the famous Lost Gardens of Heligan up a valley behind. Pentewan with it's large sandy beach and Black Head lie to the north before the AONB ends on the outskirts of St Austell.