Despite having lived in Cornwall for most of my life, I had yet to visit one of the most beautiful parts of the county – the Roseland Peninsula.
Situated on the south coast, close to Falmouth, the Roseland Peninsula stretches from Tolverne in the north, along the River Fal to the St Just Church and creek, around St. Anthony Head, and down to the southern coast to the harbour towns of Portscatho and Portloe.
I headed to the rural area of Philleigh which lies on the northern side of the peninsula and is surrounded by lush green landscapes that are dotted with quaint thatched cottages and colourful fragrant gardens.
Soon after settling into the Ardevora Mill & Cottages in Philleigh, I headed to one of the Roseland’s Peninsula’s most historic spots. Tolverne was once used as the embarkation point for World War II D-Day landings in Normandy and the area features shingled beaches and a 500-year-old cottage which was used as the American Army headquarters. Smugglers Cottage is now used as a tea room and restaurant after it was taken over by Tregothnan Estate in March 2010. Nestled on the emerald green banks of the Fal Estuary, this charming thatched cottage is a fantastic place to enjoy a Cornish cream tea whilst admiring the stunning views over the sparkling river as visitors moor their boats on the pontoons.
My next stop was the famous St Just in Roseland Church which is situated within beautiful surrounding comprising sub-tropical gardens overflowing with sweet-smelling rhododendrons, camellias, bamboos, and bluebells. Positioned next to a creek, the 13th-century church is one of the most famous churches in Cornwall and is visited by many global travellers, and rumour has it that Jesus was even brought to the area by Joseph of Arimathea.
The area surrounding the church features trickling streams and ponds, creating a calming atmosphere allowing visitors to sit and absorb the tranquil setting and breathtaking views.
The Roseland Peninsula boasts a collection of traditional pubs and restaurants featuring a wide selection of gourmet cuisine. My “local” was the Roseland Inn which features its very own micro-brewery and lies in the heart of the Roseland, just around the corner from the King Harry Ferry. This traditional pub symbolises a true Cornish rural pub, with low-beamed ceilings, welcoming staff, a pretty beer garden and an extensive menu of freshly cooked pub grub.
A trip to the Roseland Peninsula would not be complete without a boat trip around the local area so I headed to St. Mawes for ride on the ferry over to Falmouth. The ferry takes just 25 minutes and is a great way to pop over to Falmouth without having to take a car.
I’m not too brave when it comes to getting on and off boats but the friendly crew gave me a helping hand as I clambered down the steps onto the fast ferry. As the boat chugged along the calm (fortunately) waters, I absorbed the spectacular views of both sides of the peninsula. To one side, the banks are lined with lush green trees and landscapes, and to the other side, the historic St. Mawes Castle stands proudly on the slopes.
After I returned from my trip to Falmouth, I was glad to be back in the remoteness of Roseland and I had one place to tick off on my list before I made the long journey home (to Newquay).
Veryan is a picturesque village which sits on the southern coast of the peninsula and boasts sandy beaches including Carne and Pendower.
The village is a great starting point for coastal walks and is famously known for its five early 19th-century thatched round houses. Legend has it that the houses were built in a round shape so that the Devil had no corners to hide in.
My last supper was enjoyed at the 16th-century New Inn in Veryan which sits in the heart of the village and is a great place to experience the local community spirit. The food is delicious and the atmosphere is cheery (helped along by the wide selection of local ales).
As my trip came to an end I realised that I didn’t have that usual sinking feeling often associated with having to return back to the “norm” after a nice holiday. Instead, I felt extremely fortunate that his little piece of remote paradise is practically on my doorstep.