The South Coast of Cornwall

cornwall map

This trip as also about 120 miles and much of it is on minor roads. There is no way that you can drive quickly, particularly between Truro and Looe

Truro

Cornwall's country town, Cathedral city and shopping centre. If you need to go shopping, then this is really the only place worth going to. Impressive Georgian architecture, arising from the fact that the city was a centre for mining wealth in the past. It then expanded as a commercial centre and rapidly became the main town in Cornwall

coast

St Mawes

Either take the ferry or drive round. St Mawes is a popular yachting haven. Wander round the small town, walk out to the castle, and there are plenty of places for lunch or a cream tea. (try Idle Rocks Hotel on the front) You can easily spend a few hours here drinking in the atmosphere and the beer.

Stop off in the nearby St Just in Roseland and see the beautiful setting of the church at the waters edge. This must be the loveliest setting of any church in England - let me know if you can think of a better one.

Portscatho

Originally a fishing village, on a ,mainly rocky coast. There are some nice walks south along the coast.

Mevagissy

One of Cornwall's most picturesque villages. It is still a fishing port. Bright painted clap board houses, some with slate fronts. Best avoided in the height of summer, but very pleasant at other times of the year.

Lost Gardens of Heligan

What Pompeii was to Roman history, they say Heligan is to British garden history. Abandoned and overgrown, it was rediscovered by Tim Smit in 1991. You many have seen them restoring the gardens in the 6 part television series. This is a chance to see Heligan in the flesh, to see how they hacked back the brambles and restored the gardens - I empathise, as we are having to do the same thing here at Corisande.

Charlestown

Near St Austell. Charlestown was constructed by a local landowner and mining adventurer, Charles Rashleigh, in 1801, as a export port for ore and china clay. It is now a popular film location and the home to a number of large sailing schooners. The original workers cottages are still there. There is an entrance fee for the complex.

fowey

Fowey

Pronounced "Foy", the town is built on the side of a hill (you will probably need to use the car park at the top of the hill, as parking in the town is limited) Enjoy the views from the streets as you go down, have a drink in the Ship Inn, or a cream tea at Crumbs. If you are looking for a long walk, then you can go round the coast to Menabilly, setting for Manderlay in the Daphne du Maurier novels.

polperro

Polperro.

Take the car ferry from Fowey, it will save you a long drive round. The ferry gets in at Bodinnick (if you have time, stop at the pub here) , then thread your way along the narrow, typically Cornish lanes to Polperro (you have to use the car park outside the town as there is no alternative) Polperro is the most picturesque of the Cornish fishing villages. It has progressed from fishing and smuggling to tourism, but has not been spoilt. Make sure that you find the harbour, a spectacular setting. There are good walks along the coast in both directions

coast boating

Looe

By contrast Looe has been hit by tourism, but is still worth a visit. The old fishing port was originally two towns on either side of the river. The fishing fleet is still there, and you can take boat trips or even go shark fishing.

fishing villages

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Lostwithiel

Heading back via Lostwithiel an attractive, small, market town, you can visit Restormel Castle ( a well preserved Norman castle, steeped in history, besieged by Cromwell))

Bodmin

Lanhydrock House (NT) is just outside Bodmin, and is one of Cornwall's largest houses. The gardens are also very fine. If you are in to steam trains, then try the one from Bodmin through the scenic Glynn valley.

Bodmin used to be the county town of Cornwall, but the growth of Truro means that its role has now declined

harbours

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The hotel to stay at when visiting Cornwall is Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall find out more about it

Corisande Manor Hotel, Cornwall