09 South Coast central
This AONB Section embraces the The Fal Ria; including Mylor, Feock and the Roseland Coast to Porthpean. A winding network of intertwining creeks and river valleys is set amongst a landscape of steep-sided, twisting valleys. Low rocky cliffs and headlands shelter sandy beaches. There are many distinctive landmarks and subtle historic remains, including castles at St. Mawes and its counterpart at Pendennis Castle, as well as St. Anthony’s lighthouse.
BEACHES, BAYS AND COVES
Beaches in the Roseland include Towan near St. Anthony; Portscatho beach; Porthcurnick; Pendower and Carne beaches near Veryan; Portloe, Portholland beach and Porthluney Cove, adjacent to Caerhays Estate.
BOATS AND FERRIES
The local Fal River Links partnership coordinates and produces information on all ferry services in the area. The King Harry Ferry links the Roseland with Truro, Falmouth and west Cornwall. Walkers following theSouth West Coast Path National Trail have to catch the ferry from Falmouth to St. Mawes. From here it continues using the Place ferry. A seasonal ferry service runs from Mevagissey to the next part of Cornwall AONB at Fowey.
COAST AND COUNTRYSIDE
The west is dominated by the River Fal and its tributaries, known collectively as the Carrick Roads. The tip of the Roseland Peninsula at St. Anthony Head offers amazing views across the Fal Estuary and Carrick Roads. To the east, the National Trust owns and manages the large headlands along this coast including Nare Head and Dodman Point.
COMMUNITY AND TOURIST INFORMATION
EVENTS, FESTIVALS AND ATTRACTIONS
The Roseland also has an arts, music and literary festival held in October each year in a range of local venues. A string of local events in late May and early June are held as part of the annual Fal River Festival. To find out about local community events in Veryan Parish Click here. Look out for the annual Mevagissey Feast Week at the end of June which has a carnival and events to celebrate the pilchard harvest.
HISTORIC SITES AND BUILDINGS
The parish church of St. Just-in-Roseland, built in 1250 and set in exotic gardens, is one of the most beautiful medieval churches in Cornwall. South from here is coastal fortification of St. Mawes Castle, owned by English Heritage. Older defences can be found at Black Head, an ancient cliff fort. More recent fortifications include the World War II gun battery placements at St Anthony Head. A lovely booklet - The Wells, Shutes and Springs of Gerrans Parish - has been produced by the Gerrans and Portscatho Old Cornwall Society. The booklet contains photos old and new, illustrations and maps and a comprehensive description of how important these natural water sources were – and which ones still remain.
The whole of the Fal Estuary is designated as part of the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation. There are Cornwall Wildlife Trust reserves at Devichoys Wood, Ropehaven Cliffs and the Fal-Ruan Estuary (access permission is required).
PARKS AND GARDENS
Enys Gardens just outside the AONB boundary at Penryn is one of Cornwall’s oldest gardens, dating back to 1272. On the west side of the river in Feock Parish is the National Trust’s Trelissick Garden. The gardens can be reached by a ferry service. TheTregothnan Estate, welcomes visitors to the gardens by appointment. Both the Lamorran Gardens at St Mawes and the Caerhays Estate boast established collections of rhododendrons and azaleas. A mile or so inland from Mevagissey is The Lost Gardens of Heligan and a wide range of local produce is available at Lobb’s Farm Shop situated next to the garden entrance.
RIVERS, PORTS AND HARBOURS
The harbour town of St. Mawes is one of the main tourist centres in the area. Set within Mevagissey Bay are the harbours of Gorran Haven, Mevagissey and Pentewan, which was an early China clay port. For a great day out on the river contact Fal River Links.
TOWNS AND VILLAGES
On the west side of the Carrick Roads are the small river ports of Flushing and Mylor and further along is Feock. Near the navigable limits of the Truro River is the tranquil village of Malpas. Other villages around the Roseland Peninsula includeGerrans, Portscatho, Philleigh, Ruan Lanihorne, Veryan, Portholland and Portloe. Falmouth town is not in the AONB, but is the gateway to the AONB - visit the official website for Falmouth.
WALKS AND CYCLEPATHS
Click here for fantastic walks in this area from iWalk Cornwall.
and enjoy the Pentewan Trail which runs along an old China clay railway. This trail links with a wider network of trails in the ‘Clay Country’ to the north of the AONB. The Coast and Clay Trail is a major cyclepath, winding through this area of the AONB, from Trelissick to Portmellon, surfacing again north of Mevagissey and joining up with the Pentewan Valley Trail. Also available are circular walks incorporating Nare Head & Portloe from Veryan and Dodman Point and Gorran Haven.