Rame Head AONB section
Most visitors who whistle through from Plymouth into Cornwall miss the Rame Peninsula, otherwise known as Cornwall's ‘Forgotten Corner’. Which is a shame as this AONB section contains the 800 acre Mount Edgcumbe Park, one of the most beautiful in England, as well as Maker Heights, Rame Head itself and the picturesque villages of Kingsand and Cawsand.
Guarding Plymouth Sound from the westerly winds, Rame Head, a haunt of the rare Dartford Warbler, is a dramatic headland surmounted by a medieval chapel which once doubled as a hermitage and lighthouse. Inland, the coast gives way to heath and then small fields. At Rame village the 11th Century church has the last remaining hand-pumped organ in the country.
Further round the coast lie the conjoined villages of Kingsand and Cawsand. The tiny cottages in these narrow streets once harboured smugglers who made good use of the sheltered bay. The old county border marker is shown on a house in Garrett Street – once Kingsand was in Devon and Cawsand in Cornwall! Above sit the 18th century fortifications of Maker Heights, built to protect us from a French invasion that never happened. From here the land drops away on the northside through woodland to the tidal expanse of Millbrook Lake.
The eastern end of the AONB is taken up with the splendour of Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park. The house was reconstructed after WW II, the grounds comprise formal gardens, woodlands with wild deer and buildings including forts, a 'temple', several follies and an orangery. The parkland is at it's best in the spring when daffodils carpet the ground whilst rhododendrons and camillias burst into colour on the surrounding hillsides.
The AONB section ends at Cremyll where a passenger ferry crosses to Plymouth.