South Cornwall

Swap cliffs for gentle hills, strong currents for calm estuaries, surfboards for paddleboards, and give Cornwall’s South Coast a chance. Its understated, quiet beauty might just turn your head.

Gentle is the best word to describe the South Coast of Cornwall. Cliffs aren’t steep and craggy, they just tend to roll down luxuriantly into calm, azure coves. Waves don’t crash, they ebb and flow, lapping onto the sands and tugging placidly at the smooth pebbles of the area’s beaches. Even the harbour towns hum with a muffled kind of energy, as fishermen pootle out into the mouths of estuaries in small boats to gather oysters and mussels.

Don’t take this slower pace of life to mean you can’t fill your holiday calendar here though. The miles of branching rivers and hidden creeks are a kayaker’s heaven, taking you away from civilisation where only the sound of the birds disturbs the silence. Unspoilt beaches are a haven for families, inquisitive snorkellers and intrepid rockpoolers.

Away from the coast, the sheltered subtropical gardens of the region are the perfect way to spend a day, losing yourself in a colourful jungle of plants from all over the world. Or spend some time exploring the towns and villages that populate this relaxed part of Cornwall.

Safe Harbours

Cornwall’s south coast is home to some of the best known harboursides in the country. From Falmouth to Fowey, Polperro to Portscatho, there’s a welcoming quayside wherever you decide to ‘drop anchor’. Falmouth has for centuries guarded the entrance to the River Fal and today is one of Cornwall’s most culturally and gastronomically diverse urban centres, partly due to having a university on its outskirts, but also because it’s a very popular tourist destination. With wonderful beaches, and hotels, it’s also, along with St Mawes and other villages up stream, Cornwall’s yachting mecca.

Travel up the coast, and the wonders of the Roseland Peninsula are probably some of the most guarded in Cornwall, and for good reason. Whilst St. Mawes might appear on the radar of many visitors, and Portscatho might sound vaguely familiar, the rest of the area is largely unexplored and retains a hushed and pastoral grandeur, with gems like St. Just in Roseland, Portloe, Tregony and Veryan well worth taking a detour off the beaten track to pass a peaceful few days in.

At the eastern end of the Roseland, Gorran Haven and Mevagissey retain their Cornish charm, the latter still a vibrant fishing harbour with the added attraction of having The Lost Gardens of Heligan as a near neighbour. Sitting on the edge of St Austell Bay, they are only a short drive from the Pentewan Valley where there are any number of holiday parks and the historic port of Charlestown. St Austell itself is famed for its brewery and its links with the China Clay industry which looms large in the hinterland beyond the town. The Eden Project is close by, a must for any visit to Cornwall.

As you move further east, the deep harbour at Fowey is another well known destination, with its literary links. The river, running down from high on Bodmin Moor, is a wonderful playground for those who enjoy ‘messing about in boats’ with countless creeks to explore all the way up to Lostwithiel. Picturesque Polperro is a few miles up the coast, as is Looe, a family friendly destination that is also still a working harbour. A place to spend the day on the beach before dining out on fresh fish in the evening.

Coves and Gardens

The smaller, quieter beaches are a haven for families, inquisitive snorkellers and intrepid rockpoolers. Many can only be reached after a walk along the South West Coast Path, making them more exclusive, take a picnic and spend the day in glorious seclusion. Of course, we won’t be telling you where these hidden coves are as that would defeat to object!

The South West Coast Path is by far the best way to explore the whole of Cornwall’s coastline, not just to reach secret beaches! Some will want the challenge of walking the whole thing, but many will be happy to just do and hour or two. On the south coast there are some very popular sections, such as Looe to Polperro, around the Gribben Head from Fowey and out around St Antony’s Head at the mouth of the Fal estuary. These can all be completed in a roundtrip or by using public transport.

If you prefer to be on the water, the miles of branching rivers and hidden creeks, snaking inland, are a kayaker’s heaven, taking you away from civilisation where only the sound of the birds disturbs the silence. Both the Fal and the Fowey offer a huge variety of waterways to explore and if you don’t have your own craft there are companies who will guide you to lesser-known secret spots.

The South Coast’s shelter from the infamous Cornish gales means that it’s a fantastic place to experience Cornwall’s unique sub-tropical flora and fauna, being home to some of the UKs best renowned gardens. Top of your list should be The Lost Gardens of Heligan, expertly maintained to retain an air of magic and mystery that make visitors feel like they’re stepping back into a time long-forgotten. Make sure to also head south and visit Trebah Gardens, especially in the summer, when the Gunnera Passage towers over you to prehistoric proportions, and the resplendent Glendurgan, where the wildflower-blanketed valleys lead you down to a peaceful beach for an afternoon of skimming stones. Whilst not always in the guidebooks, set aside time for the woodland walk of Trelissick Gardens, the Pinetum Gardens near St Austell and the magnificent magnolia collection at Caerhays Castle.

Oystercatcher – Mevagissey




Commanding breathtaking views across St Austell Bay and the south Cornish coastline, a brand new detached 4 bedroomed property offering bright and very spacious reverse level accommodation of the highest quality with off-road parking for 3-4 vehicles.

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Birch Studio – Lamorna, Penzance




If you are looking for a romantic retreat then look no further. The ultimate couple’s hideaway, where complete privacy and peacefulness can be enjoyed. The Birch Studio in Lamorna in Cornwall is a wonderful and unique holiday cottage, in an idyllic woodland setting that is just two hundred yards from Lamorna Cove itself.

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Harbour Lights – Charlestown

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This luxury holiday home invites you to relax and unwind in the historic and pretty harbour village of Charlestown. The open plan living area with log burning stove is the perfect place to spend time together.

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