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Historic Towns & Picturesque Villages

View of a cottage along the River Dart at Dittisham


in the county of Devon

Pictures of St Mawes

in the county of Cornwall

About St Mawes

St. Mawes is the stuff picture postcards are made of, the sunlight reflecting on the frothy ocean waves, the warm sea breezes, dreamy thatched cottages overlooking the bay, all combine to make this picturesque place a haven far removed from today's hectic world.

The resort is built at the end of a peninsula, it is steeply sloping, flanked by both the Carrick Roads and the Percuil River with views over the River Fal towards Falmouth. It is often thought of as the capital of the Roseland Peninsula, of which it is a part. The mild climate of the region which encourages early growth of picturesque tropical plants, has also done much to entice not only visitors to the area, but the development of smart houses in St. Mawes has caused an influx of retiree's to settle here.

St.Mawes is an old fishing port, steeply rising streets crammed with attractive flower decked cottages, shops and pubs, lead from the harbour-side. In the town you will find galleries, souvenir shops, a church, friendly bed and breakfast houses, luxury hotels and away from the town you can seek out pretty caravan parks.

The bay is popular for sailing, there is a local sailing club, and two good beaches either side of the harbour are ideal for relaxing, doing a spot of sun-bathing and swimming. For anyone with plenty of energy there is a recreation ground with tennis courts, but not much beats a stroll around the town to enjoy its sights, or a coastal walk to watch the tumbling waves and listen to the eyrie cry of seabirds.

St.Mawes Castle occupies a dominate hillside position, this was built between 1540 and 1543 to guard the approach to the Carrick Roads. Today, the castle is cared for by English Heritage, it is open all the year round and with its three bastions forming a clover-leaf around a central tower, the castle is a fine example of Tudor military architecture. Interestingly, the castle fell to Cromwell's troops in 1646, it had been thought to be impregnable, but the fact that its guns faced seaward allowed the attack by Cromwell to be successful!

Visiting St.Mawes is a huge delight, there are so many pretty villages and interesting places to be explored. The Carrick Roads is a legacy of melting in the Ice-Age, this caused the sea level to rise exposing what is the world's third largest natural harbour. Villages to see include, St.Just-in-Roseland, Porthscatho, Portloe, and Veryan.

Ferries take you to Falmouth, or to St. Anthony Head where a lighthouse is poised almost 70 feet above the sea, this was built in 1834 to replace the old coal beacon which formerly protected shipping from the infamous Manacle Rocks. The lighthouse is automated and makes an interesting tour for visitors when it open to the public during the holiday season.

Such is the scenery in these parts that St. Mawes featured in the highly acclaimed "Poldark" television series, and St. Anthony's Lighthouse was the set for the series Fraggie Rock.

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