1. Walk to St Just-in-Roseland church
The best walks are along the coastal paths. There is a delightful three-mile stroll past St Mawes castle, built by Henry VIII in 1542 and through the fields beside the sea to the 14th Century church of St. Just-in-Roseland, which John Betjeman called ‘to some people, the most beautiful churchyard on earth’. A regular ferry during the summer months will take you to the other side of the harbour where there are longer walks past the lighthouse, to Porthscatho and beyond. Best to take a picnic from the hotel to enjoy the scenery throughout lunch.
Distance 3 miles Duration 2 hours
2. The Gardens
P.S. Our sister hotel Endsleigh is set in 108 acres of gardens, woodlands, follies and grottos created by Humphry Repton. This year we are celebrating 200 years since the creation of this garden. See website for special events.
4. Waves and light
Two of our therapists, Sarah and Alex, have been inspired by the mystical nature of the waves to choreograph a four-handed massage named Apollo Awakening. It captures the energy and serenity of St Mawes’ bay as the two therapists work together in a wave-like flow that induces a profound awakening of your senses, re-connecting energy pathways from your core to the tips of your toes.
5. Tate St Ives and beyond
International Exchanges: Modern Art and St Ives 1915–1965, at The Tate, explores the wider national and international contexts which shaped art in St Ives in the 1940s, 1950s and 60s. Purchase an Art Pass ticket for entry to the Leach Pottery, Tate St Ives, Barbara Hepworth Museum (pictured), Penlee House Museum and Gallery.
Well that far west, take the opportunity to explore Penwith which inspired many of the artists who lived and painted in St Ives. Zennor, Cape Cornwall, Sennen Cove and the moors in between St Ives and Penzance are all a must.
For lunch try The Gurnard’s Head.
6. The Museums
The National Maritime Museum in Falmouth is only a charming 20 minute ferry trip from St Mawes. It offers a unique collection of extraordinary boats and interactive displays which are great fun for children. Stein’s fish and chips is next door.
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum has reopened after an extensive refurbishment. Porthcurno, in the far West of Cornwall, was the hub of international cable communications from 1870 to 1970. During WWII secret tunnels were dug by Cornish miners to house the entire telegraph operations and protect them from enemy bombings.
The Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro is rich of European and Cornish archeology collections as well as social history and world cultures. Unjustly overlooked by visitors, is well worth a visit together with the fabulous art shop next door.
7. The Eden Project
Already world famous, the huge greenhouses contain tropical and Mediterranean zones. An extraordinary achievement, well worth a visit. Endless entertainment for children and adults alike. The ice rink is a popular attraction during the winter months.
8. Archeological Cornwall
Grab as your guide a copy of ‘Rising Ground, a Search for the Spirit of Place’ by Philip Marsden, and follow his voyage through time and place, from the Neolithic ritual landscape of Bodmin Moor to the Arthurian traditions of Tintagel, from the mysterious china-clay country to the granite tors and tombs of the far south-west.
9. Port Isaac
There are very good reasons why it was chosen as the film set of much loved TV series Doc Martin. It is magical. Get there early and grab a lunch table at Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen for a modern Michelin star dining experience.
10. Find a keepsake of your stay
Head down to the most southerly point of the British mainland, Lizard Point, and find one of the little serpentine workshops surrounding Kynance. Here you can buy a little stone lighthouse to remind you of us!
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
John Masefield, Sea Fever, Salt-Water Ballads, 1902