This blogpost is a bit of a no-brainer for me because I live on The Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall. While I’m from St Austell, as a child I spent many weekends here, visiting my grandparents. I really consider myself to be a Roseland Girl.
Where Is The Roseland Peninsula?
The Roseland Peninsula is situated between St Austell and Truro. There can be some debate about where The Roseland Peninsula starts and ends. If you’re looking on the map, I consider The Roseland to start at Portholland, working it’s way round to Carne and Pendower beach, to St Anthony Head. Across the water, The Roseland includes St Mawes, and stretches up to St Just In Roseland. The Roseland is an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and there’s plenty of reasons why people come back year after year to relax and recharge in this tranquil part of Cornwall.
The Roseland picks up in popularity from Spring to Autumn. It’s popular with walkers and runners, with this trail event selling out every year. Holiday wise, you couldn’t visit a more relaxing and stress free place. There’s plenty of attractions all over Cornwall but if you’re looking for a true escape, The Roseland Peninsula can certainly offer you that.
Let me take you through some of The Roseland’s prettiest spots and places to visit if you’re looking to explore the area. I’ll start at the top.
East and West Portholland.
East and West Portholland are so small and close together, I consider them to be one place. It amuses me that once upon a time they each had their own chapel. East Portholland has sea fronted houses, all with primrose yellow windows. It’s home to Pebbles Cafe and Crafts teashop where you can hire kayaks and surfboards, as well as a decent cup of tea. There’s a carpark here too. Both overlook the beach and when the tide’s out, you can walk across from one Portholland to the other. West Portholland has a few houses dotted near the cove. It’s quiet and removed. You could be anonymous here and I truly love it.
The beach can get busy in the summer, but there’s limited parking which kind of helps.
I may be biased but Portloe has my heart. This bijou village is a safe haven and is where my maternal family come from. There are more second homes now compared to when I was a child, meaning that Portloe has a relatively small community. It boasts a village pub, The Ship Inn, and a boutique hotel, The Lugger. which has outstanding views of the harbour. There’s a timeless quality to Portloe and I hope that never changes. Thankfully, the harbour still has a few working fishermen. Something that means a lot to me as the granddaughter of a Portloe fisherman.
It’s certainly worth braving the coastpath along The Roseland Peninsula, even if you don’t walk regularly. If you start at Portloe, you can head to Broom Parc, (the filming location for The Camomile Lawn). It can’t be much more than a mile. Or you could press on to Carne village, or Carne beach.
A little off the coastpath, Veryan is a lively village and home to 8 roundhouses; a pair at every road leading into the village. Apparently they were built by a local minister for his daughters. They were made round so the devil couldn’t hide in the corners.
I can’t imagine living in such fear!
Veryan has two parts. There’s the Green and I imagine this to be the original Veryan. As you pass through the village and make your way to the beach, you can see how it’s gradually expanded over the decades. There’s a pretty church to look around and a pub offering hearty food and decent beer. If you’ve made your way from the coastpath, you could always wander down to Melinsey Mill for coffee. In the summer they have pizza evenings, and it’s always busy.
Carne and Pendower Beach.
While we’re in the vicinity of Veryan and Portloe, Carne and Pendower Beach are worth a mention. Some years ago the National Trust’s Carne Beach hit the headlines as it was the only beach in Europe to get a mention in the National Geographic Top 10. Which now means it gets super busy and there’s a pay and display machine in the carpark.
There’s no doubt that it’s a wonderful beach. I’ve spent many hours wandering, thinking, swimming and soaking up the sun on this beach. It’s big so even on a packed summer’s day, it doesn’t feel overcrowded. At low tide you can stroll over to the smaller Pendower. It’s popular with dog walkers in the winter too, but in summer all precious pooches need to be kept on a lead.
I live on The Roseland but if I could live anywhere, it would be here. Portscatho has Porthcurnick beach on its doorstep, home of The Hidden Hut. All the houses are appealing and ooze coastal gorgeousness, and it’s remans one of my favourite places to stroll around. I run from here too, heading down to Town Beach before looping to St Anthony Head.
Portscatho is a village with a bit of life to it. You’ll find excellent food at The Plume of Feathers, with the newly renovated Boat House offering casual eating, and cocktails after hours. If I’m going for coffee, you’ll usually find me here. There’s some art galleries and a few little shops offering homeware and knick knacks. Walking along the harbour is good too, looking out to the expanse of sea, or you could do what me and my friend always end doing. Walking along, with our heads down, searching for seaglass. We also swim here a lot in the summer.
St Anthony Head.
If you carry on past Portscatho, through Gerrans, you’ll be heading out to St Anthony Head. One of my favourite sights is the lighthouse, featured years ago in Fraggle Rock. It also sits along one of my most frequented stretches of coastpath, enjoyable not only for the views but also because it’s definitely one of the flatter parts (and there aren’t many of those).
If you make your way from St Anthony Head carpark to the coastpath, there’s a little cove, Great Molurnan. It’s accessible but there’s not much walking to be done during high tide. When the tide’s out, you can walk across to neighbouring coves, and my goodness, it’s pretty. The sand has a golden glow and when the sun’s shining, everything glistens.
From here, you can stay on the coastpath and head out to Place Quay. Great for canoeing, kayaking (take your own) and crabbing.
St Just in Roseland.
Rather than take the turning for Portscatho, you could stay on the main road and head for St Mawes. En route, please stop at St Just In Roseland. There’s a sign for the church and bar (as in water, not pub!) on the right. It’s worth a look. The church at St Just In Roseland sits on the estuary. It’s outstandingly beautiful and incredibly peaceful. There’s Miss V’s tearoom opposite the car park too, offering oodles of homemade cakes, cream teas, ice creams and tea (of course!).
St Mawes is a busy little place with a sleepy coastal village feel. Pubs, a few hotels, a scattering of independent shops and a castle. I love visiting St Mawes if only to pick up another pair of boots from Fat Face. The beach is good for seaglass, and here you can hire kayaks or boats. A good day trip is hopping on the St Mawes to Falmouth ferry and going to Falmouth for the day. It’s definitely something I like to do; it feels like a proper treat.
This post feels like a brief whistle stop tour of The Roseland Peninsula, it’s been impossible to include everything. Once I sat down to write it, I realised how many places there are to talk about. These are just some of my favourite and regular places to visit. If you like videos, there are a few mini films on my IGTV, highlighting some running/walking routes around The Roseland. There’s a video of my running route from Towan Beach and around to St Anthony Head here. And another of my trail run from St Just In Roseland to St Mawes.