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.