To be found in the parish of St Just in the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall, the former fishing village of St Mawes is a picturesque slice of old Cornwall. There’s plenty here for families to do, with a year-round ferry service across the bay to Falmouth, and another, seasonal ferry linking the town with the scenic (and challenging) South West Coast Path. Lying within the Cornwall Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), St Mawes is the perfect coastal location for bracing walks, leisurely picnics, and outdoor activities of all kinds.
Within St Mawes itself, St Mawes Castle is undoubtedly the star attraction. Built by Henry VIII, the property is now owned and maintained by English Heritage, and is the most elaborately decorated of any of King Henry’s coastal artillery fortresses. Constructed in a curious clover-leaf shape, the walls were sturdily built in order to support large ship-sinking guns. The grounds are also perfect for exploring in fine weather, and with views of a busy shipping lane, boats and cruise ships are often to be spotted on the horizon. During the summer, outdoor theatre productions are performed in the castle grounds, and kids love the oubliette, the place in the castle where prisoners used to be kept. The castle also has a gift shop, with plenty of small souvenirs available at pocket-money prices, as well as local products and produce on offer to tempt adults.
For water sports, St Mawes is also supremely well provided. St Mawes Kayak Hire can provide not just kayaks, but mini cruises and water taxis, too. The water taxis make for a stunning and memorable “cab” ride home from a day out shopping in Falmouth, while the kayaks can be hired by the day to paddle up the coast, stopping at secluded coves and quiet sandy beaches wherever takes your fancy. Local company Fish & Trips will take both children and adults out to sea on their first fishing trip, leaving you with your catch to take home and cook on the barbecue – delicious. Longer half-day trips are also available for sightseeing and more relaxed excursions. With mackerel, pollock, cod, gurnard and wrass all populating the Cornish seas, Fish & Trips allows families to catch their supper before taking it to the beach and cooking it on a disposable barbecue on the sand.
If that’s not enough, Lamorran House Garden offers visitors a pond full of koi carp, lush tropical gardens, and a fabulous cafe selling delicious Cornish afternoon teas and other assorted treats. With splashing water features, verdant Mediterranean plants, waterfalls, Greek style statues, hidden paths, and Italian design, this stunning garden’s imaginative layout makes the most of its relatively small site, making it feel many times larger than it actually is. With flowers spilling their fragrance on the air, tiny bridges crossing streams, “ancient” temples, and the azure blue sea vista, Lamorran House Garden is the perfect place to while away an afternoon with the kids, who’ll adore its fairytale atmosphere. The peace and tranquility of this hidden gem are not to be missed. Be warned that the Garden is only open to the public on Wednesdays and Fridays, however.
kate and toms have some stunning properties in St Mawes to choose from, if you are looking for a 4 bedroom house with views of the harbour then Harbour House is for you! A little further in land with stunning views is Sea Reach and if you are looking for a large house then you should check out The Garden House with it’s 10 bedrooms and views to die for!