What To Do Near The Ship & Castle | Coast & Country

Plenty To See And Do

With its impressive historic castle, set right on the coast, St Mawes is a popular destination with foodies, walkers and photographers.

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It’s a quaint coastal village where little sailing boats can be seen moored in the harbour, and where larger boats offer a 20-minute ferry trip across the water to Falmouth.

Whitewashed buildings stand in rows by the water’s edge, and St Mawes hotels like the famous Ship and Castle are set beside traditional fisherman’s houses creating a stark impression of contrasting size.

The town of St Mawes has more than enough to satisfy hungry holidaymakers. Friendly and homely pubs stand beside seafood restaurants, and bakeries selling freshly-made breads and traditional Cornish pasties. The town has a strong fishing industry, and fish shops by the quay are stocked with freshly caught seafood from the local waters. Various providers also offer fishing trips by boat, allowing you to catch your own fish and to view scenic local surroundings.

The coastal views are breathtaking. There are playful dolphins not far from the shore, and the passing boats are amazing to watch whether you’re on a family holiday or a romantic weekend getaway.

With a mild climate, the town is perfect for year-round water sports.

Sit back and relax on sand, pebble and shingle beaches or hire a kayak and take to the water. Enjoy wind surfing and rib rides, or search the coastline for fossils.  You won’t find an extensive selection of beach attractions to keep you busy, though you’ll be able to swim in the sea and build a long line of sandcastles complete with surrounding moats.

Meanwhile, the town’s much larger and much more permanent castle is an English Heritage site and a famous Cornish landmark. St Mawes Castle is a clover-shaped fort standing in a prominent defensive position as part of Henry VIII’s coastal artillery. The castle grounds include subtropical gardens, and stretch down to the Fal Estuary, whilst the building itself is open to the public with interesting audio tours.

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Padstow Christmas Festival Thu 7 Dec - Sun 10 Dec

We Recommend

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Idles Beach

Idles beach is situated in an ideal location in the centre of St Mawes village. You can also visit nearby local shops for an ice cream or a pasty.

Cafe Chandlers

This local cafe is a gem in St Mawes, and is in a perfect location on the quay. They use locally sourced goods when they can, and will provide you with wonderful fresh coffee & cakes while you watch the world go by.

Lost Garden of Heligan

Typical of the 19th Century, these gardens are full of hidden gems, such as giant statues, rope bridges and the famous pineapple pit.

Truro Cathedral

Based in the heart of Cornwall, this exquisite cathedral is home to the biggest stained glass project in the world!

St. Mawes Castle

By far the most prominent attraction in St. Mawes, the castle is part of the Falmouth Fortress.

It served a purpose in the English Civil War, but was actually built to protect from non-existent attacks in earlier history. It’s the sister of Pendennis Castle, and from each you can see the other. The grounds are lovely, perfect for a summer picnic, and the audio tour is the best way to learn about the castle and its history.

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Lamorran House Gardens

The Lamorran Gardens were created in 1982, and include both native and tropical plants.

Japanese and Mediterranean cultures have played a big part in the development of the gardens, and you’ll see various water features and a well-stocked koi pond. The garden offers a wonderful sensory experience, with bright colours and unusual floral scents. You can see the harbour at certain points, and will be able to view a variety of statues and rock formations.

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St. Anthony’s Lighthouse

People born in the 1970s and 1980s will probably have seen St. Anthony’s Lighthouse many times before. Yet, they wouldn’t know it.

It regularly featured in the children’s TV show ‘Fraggle Rock’, and is a white lighthouse built in the early to mid 1800s. Still working today, the lighthouse is now fully automatic.

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National Maritime Museum

On the edge of Falmouth Harbour, the National Maritime Museum celebrates life on the sea, both good and bad.

Exhibits and interactive displays provide information about working on the sea, using it for power and how the waters can be enjoyed for leisure and play. You can learn about lighthouses, and the important roles they’ve played throughout history, and can see galleries of art. This is the world’s largest maritime museum.

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The Eden Project

Occasionally described as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the Eden project is an internationally renowned Cornwall attraction.

Huge globes house an extensive tropical garden, with rainforest biomes, and a ‘Rainforest Aerial Walkway’ which allows you to see the trees from above. As well as being a wonderful garden attraction, the Eden Project is ideal for art enthusiasts. Stone sculptures are dotted throughout, and art exhibitions are regularly held in ‘The Core’. Thrill-seekers can ride the country’s longest zip wire, and a regular calendar of events includes music concerts from world-famous bands and solo artists.

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