Bordered by the Fal Estuary, the Roseland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s easy to see why it’s been given such status. The peninsula’s lush landscape is bordered by endless miles of breathtaking coastline, golden sand beaches and winding paths through field and over clifftop, revealing magical views at every turn. The surrounding clear blue waters offer an endless ocean playground both above and beneath the waves. The area has also become known as something of an epicurean destination with a variety of restaurants, traditional inns and cafés to choose from.
1. Best foot forward One of our favourite days out is to lace up our walking boots, pack up a picnic with some local goodies from either Mr Scorse Gourmet Deli & Wines in St Mawes, or The Old Garage in Ruan High Lanes, and follow one of the South West Coast Path routes around the peninsula. Whether you chose to wend your way up the Carrick Roads along the Fal River, catching the King Harry Ferry for the return leg, or follow the clifftops towards Gorran Haven, there is a new view to be discovered at every turn.
2. A hidden gem While we’re out walking, we love to stop off at The Hidden Hut. This hut-come-café, literally hidden in the dunes above Porthcurnick Beach has become a foodie destination and earned something of a reputation for its beach kitchen fare. Expect soups, chowders and spicy dahls in the shoulder months, with salads and grilled fish taking centre stage in the summer. Dining is al fresco, takeaway-style; grab one of the communal benches or comfy beanbags, or head down to the sand with a rug.
3. Take the helm One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the Roseland is from the water and Roseland Paddle & Sail offers a brilliant variety of water-based activities. With taster sessions in sailing, kayaking, SUPing and windsurfing, RYA courses for the more serious water enthusiast, and even race training, there’s a way for everyone to get out an enjoy the ocean.
4. On the water If you don’t fancy taking the helm, then why not let Enterprise Boats take the tiller and enjoy a scenic river cruise from the maritime port of Falmouth to the stunning National Trust gardens at Trelissick. Stopping off at St Mawes on the way, you’ll steam through wooden valleys, past historic houses and Tudor castles with views of Falmouth bay like no other. And as for marine life…it’s there in abundance! We highly recommend a pair of binoculars and a camera to capture the action.
5. Into the blue The clear blue waters that surround the Roseland are an aquatic playground for those of us who are water nymphs and mermaids at heart. There’s nothing quite like being enveloped in the salty Cornish sea and the practice of wild swimming has seen a huge surge in the last year. Cold water immersion has a plethora of benefits for both body and mind, whether you are just a quick dipper or a salty stroker. If you lack confidence or want to improve your technique then lessons are available are available from In The Wet Stuff, and the newly published A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall has the low-down on the best wild swimming spots across the peninsula.
6. A harbourside treat The quintessential harbourside town of St Mawes is perfect for a good, old fashioned day out. The smell of the sea and the sound of the gulls on a summer morning, set against the backdrop of the sparkling sea is an experience not to be missed. We like to start our day with a coffee at Café Chandlers followed by a stroll along the seafront. Lunch has to be at The Victory, the oldest pub in the village, washed down with a local ale. A snooze on the beach and then a mooch around the boutique shops sets the tone for the afternoon. Last but not least, dinner at The Idle Rocks is the perfect end to a perfect day. Head chef, Dorian Janmaat has created a sophisticated menu to be enjoyed at this water’s edge dining spot.
7. Foodie favourites When it comes to eating out on the Roseland, we’re spoiled for choice. With a huge natural larder to draw from, chefs are creating mouth-watering menus impossible to resist. One of our favourites is The Roseland Inn. Their home-cooked, gastro fayre is pub food just as it should be, served in the traditional surroundings of a building that dates back to the 16th century. If you fancy cooking up your own storm, then the nearby Philleigh Way Cookery School offers culinary courses that will leave you feeling like a masterchef. They also host some brilliant woodfired feats nights, a great way to celebrate summertime with friends.
8. A great estate For a simply stunning spring day out, Caerhays Estate is a must. The iconic, castellated towers of the castle are surrounded by 140 acres of lovingly tended, woodland gardens whose collection of spectacular magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons create a kaleidoscope of colour in the early months of the year. There are an array of garden walks that take in the estate and grounds, along with views of the lake and out to sea. Pre-bookable tours of the castle itself are also available from mid-March to mid-June, where you can experience the grandeur of this English Heritage Grade 1 Listed Building, designed and built by regency architect John Nash in 1810.
9. Raise a glass The working winery at Knightor produces still and sparkling wines using grapes grown from vineyards in nearby Portscatho, as well as further up the coast at Seaton. Located at Trethurgy, wine tours are both informative and interesting and include information on growing grapes and making wine in the unique Cornish climate, as well as wine pairing and focus on their English Vermouth. You’re welcome to taste all of the wines in small sample measures in the shop and trust us, once you’ve had a sip you’ll be leaving with a bottle or two!
10. Garden delights Take a tour up the coast to Mevagissey Bay and head inland to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Here you can lose yourself for a day amidst the 200 acres of meadows of woodlands. Re-awakened in 1990, after being lost to the brambles and weeds since the start of WW1, this is the largest garden restoration project in Europe. Now restored to its former glory it is a haven for plants and wildlife. Winding paths reveal beauty and majesty at every turn and the garden is stunning whatever the time of year you are able to visit. Ancient woodlands share a boundary with a sub-tropical ‘Jungle’, while the Productive Gardens, groaning with fresh produce, are neighbours to the more formal Pleasure Grounds. There is truly something for everyone here.