January 2005 www.classic.co.uk
classic news | Cornwall South Coast For this Newsletter we turn the spotlight on the South Coast of Cornwall with a view from Suzanne Woodward, our Property Manager for the area, who has also lived there for twenty years.
classic news | Cornwall South Coast page 1
When I first met the Cornishman I eventually married he would entertain me with tales of a hidden, secret homeland locked, he admitted quite readily, in something of a time warp. . .
The South Coast – A place for all seasons Small, sheltered fishing harbours, unchanged for years, tranquil creeks tempting you further and further upstream in a small boat, superlative sailing in some of the best waters in the UK, wonderful clifftop walking and, best of all, kindly people with all the time in the world for a chat and lives governed by the time of the tides rather than the clock. I used to indulge him, thinking privately that it was probably memories of a happy childhood tinged with the rosy hue of distance and time but, twenty-odd years ago, like most true Cornishmen, he decided to return home and I went with him to discover the truth of what he said. The scenery of the south coast lacks the instant impact of the splendid and magnificent north, but is more than compensated for by lush greenery and exuberant trees cherished by the soft warm winds of the Gulf Stream. The beaches are most visitors’ main destination and they are smaller, quieter and more sheltered, making them ideal for young families. Falmouth has a fine choice of eastfacing sandy coves with easy access from adjacent parking; Gyllyngvase, Maenporth and Swanpool – where you will find one of my favourite restaurants for a spectacular waterside lunch, The Three Mackerel, perched above the beach. The Roseland’s beaches are hidden away from the main tourist track and consequently are less crowded. Accessed by the coastal path but with classic news | Cornwall South Coast page 2
a good car park, Porthcurnick looks towards Portscatho, a picturesque fishing village where the shop sells just-landed crabs. Pendower and Carne beaches are favourites with the bucket and spade brigade as is Porthluney, set below Caerhays Castle, with fairytale turrets and 60 acres of woodland garden overlooking the sea. There are many picturesque harbours to visit including St Mawes, one of the classiest seaside haunts in Cornwall, complete with a castle and battery of guns above the bay – indulge in a cream tea on the balcony overlooking the beach at The Idle Rocks Hotel or celebrate some of the best food to be had in the county at the renowned, and very smart but nevertheless welcoming, Hotel Tresanton. Incidentally, sophisticated foodies are in heaven on the Roseland with some of the best restaurants around being The Lugger at Portloe (a tiny fishing village, blissfully unspoilt), the Driftwood and The Rosevine both near Pendower Beach, and The Quarterdeck Restaurant at The Nare Hotel, above Carne Beach. All have wonderful views across the sea and standards of cuisine and service to rival any metropolitan haunt. One of the best things about the south coast is that many of the places to visit and things to do are cheap or as free as its pure air. Take a short, one-way drive around Castle Drive and Pendennis Point at Falmouth. You get a bird’s eye view of lots of activity at Falmouth Docks, where giant tankers are often under repair. Pendennis Castle nearby
is the largest of the Cornish castles, and has a simulated Tudor gun deck – but be warned, it’s loud! Admire and enjoy the plethora of local art and craft produced in the area by visiting a few of the local galleries – Beside The Wave in Falmouth which has established a national reputation, Mid-Cornwall Galleries in Par and the National Trust galleries at Trelissick and Cotehele – all are free to visit provided that, unlike me, you can resist the temptation of buying something to take home. Much of the south coast is best discovered on foot, again at no charge! Exploring this part of the 1,000km coastal path can be exhilarating, with dazzling views, salty spray and the boom of waves as you walk the edge. If you are lucky you will hear the elusive call of the peregrine, spot a seal off Black Rock or maybe a pod of dolphins playing and performing near The Dodman, Cornwall’s grandest headland. Another favourite walk runs from Trefusis Point, Flushing to Mylor Churchtown, a waterside path along the sailors’ Valhalla, the Carrick Roads. Castaways Wine Bar or the marina café both provide good food and drink at the recently much modernised and enlarged Mylor Yacht Marina. Go on a Sunday morning in season, when you can watch the enchanting young sailors at Restronguet Yacht Club assemble their tiny Optimist dinghies on the beach and venture fearlessly out, shepherded by hi-tech safety vessels.
Page 1: Diving off the rocks at Creek Stephen. This page from left: The King Harry Ferry returning from the Roseland. Skimming stones at Creek Stephen. The boatyard at St Just in Roseland.
If you or your offspring want to taste some watersports, call in at Windsport International or Mylor Sailing School, also at the marina. Aha, you say, and what if it rains with all this outside activity? Shopaholics can get their fix in the county’s capital, the Cathedral City of Truro. The cathedral was built between 1880 and 1910, the first Anglican cathedral to be constructed since St Paul’s. Inside, make sure you see Cornubia – Land of the Saints by the internationally acclaimed painter John Miller, who lived in Cornwall for many years. The Royal Cornwall Museum in River Street will fascinate and educate the young and old alike. Pevnser says that the town’s Lemon Street ‘is one of the most completely Georgian streets preserved anywhere’ and my husband, who was born around the corner from here, first decided upon his chosen profession because as a small boy he admired the numerous shiny brass nameplates of the doctors and decided he should have one too. Refreshments between sightseeing and shopping are good at Bustopher Jones, Indaba Fish, or Xen Noodle Bar. Culture vultures can catch a show at the Hall for Cornwall, with unusually good value prices. The National Maritime Museum at Falmouth, opened in 2003, has plenty of classic news | Cornwall South Coast page 3
interactive and audiovisual displays to catch the imagination. Climb to the top of the 29m tower for breathtaking views, or descend to the bottom and stand beneath sea level in one of only three natural underwater viewing locations in the world.
Parts of the National Trust garden and woodland walks at Trelissick can also be visited throughout the year and they have built a landing stage so that you can travel by water in season from the existing ferries at Truro, Falmouth and St Mawes.
Cornwall’s most famous weather-proof attraction is of course The Eden Project, near St Austell and it hardly needs any introduction from me. I defy anyone not to be impressed by the first sight of two gigantic structures, the Humid Tropics Biome housing the tallest rainforest in captivity and the other, the Warm Temperature Biome with plants from South Africa, California and the Mediterranean.
Coming from a golf obsessed family, life would not be worth living if I did not mention the abundance of courses, many with spectacular sea views, that the south coast has to offer. Looe, Carlyon Bay, St Austell, Falmouth and Truro all welcome visitors with a golf handicap and will give you a good day’s play in one of the most temperate climates in Britain.
But back to the great outdoors, because that is what most of us enjoy best and this part of Cornwall has some of the greatest and finest gardens to see. One of the creators of Eden, Tim Smit, was also an architect of the revival of the Victorian Lost Gardens of Heligan, between St Austell and Mevagissey. You can spend a full day here and it is difficult to nominate the area I enjoy most – the Jungle, where a boardwalk snakes through bamboo tunnels, avenues of palms and tree ferns, the Lost Valley with its lakes and wetlands or the Productive Garden. Open all year, there is always plenty to see.
Whatever the time of year, the south Cornish coast will be greener and usually warmer than anywhere else in the country and in summer I cannot imagine anywhere better to be. It’s always magical to gallop a horse through the surf, or put the first footprint in the sand on an early morning walk. Those of us lucky enough to live here never stop feeling very fortunate and privileged to do so, rain or shine. Come and join us for a while, why don’t you?
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall opened in 2003. The international multi-million pound attraction on Falmouth’s waterfront attracted over 70,000 visitors in its first two months of opening and completes a string of top quality tourism developments in the West Country. Offering a mix of hands-on displays, world-renowned boats and
Activities Walking South West Coast Path www.swcp.org.uk Sailing Mylor Sailing School Mylor Yacht Harbour, Falmouth, TR11 5UF Tel: 01326 377 633 www.mylorsailingschool.co.uk Windsport International Mylor Harbour, Falmouth, TR11 5UF Tel: 01326 376 191 www.windsport.co.uk Cycling Bissoe Tramways Cycle Hire Old Conns Works, Bissoe, Truro, TR4 8QZ Tel: 01872 870 341 www.cornwallcyclehire.com Pentewan Valley Cycle Hire 1 West End, Pentewan, St Austell, TR26 6BX Tel: 01726 844 242 www.pentewanvalleycycle hire.co.uk Golf Falmouth Golf Club Swanpool Road, Falmouth, TR11 5BQ Tel: 01326 311 262 www.falmouthgolfclub.com Truro Golf Club Truro, TR1 3LG Tel: 01872 278 684 www.trurogolfclub.co.uk
Pubs, Cafés and Restaurants The Three Mackerel Swanpool Beach, Falmouth, TR11 5BG Tel: 01326 311 886 www.thethreemackerel.com Driftwood Hotel Rosevine, Portscatho, TR2 5EW Tel: 01872 580 644 www.driftwoodhotel.co.uk The Lugger Hotel Portloe, Truro, TR2 5RD Tel: 01872 501 322 www.luggerhotel.co.uk The Nare Hotel Carne Beach, Veryan-inRoseland, TR2 5PF Tel: 01872 501 111 www.narehotel.co.uk The Sticky Prawn Trefusis Road, Flushing, Falmouth, TR11 5TY Tel: 01326 373 734 www.thestickyprawn.co.uk Chantek Asian Fusion Restaurant 15 New Bridge Street, Truro, TR1 2AA Tel: 01872 225071 www.chantek.co.uk Hotel Tresanton St Mawes, TR2 5DR Tel: 01326 270 055 www.tresanton.com
Photography of NMMC by Bob Berry.
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall associated video footage, maritime heritage and interactive entertainment, the Museum appeals to visitors of all ages and backgrounds – whether sailor or novice, child or ancient mariner. For further details: 01326 313 388 | www.nmmc.co.uk
The Lost Gardens of Heligan Pentewan, St Austell, PL26 6EN Tel: 01726 845 100 www.heligan.com
The Eden Project Bodelva, St Austell, PL24 2SG Tel: 01726 811 911 www.edenproject.com
Pendennis Castle Castle Drive, Falmouth, TR11 4LP Tel: 01326 316 594 www.english-heritage.org.uk
South West Tourism A variety of useful information from the region’s tourist board – particularly good for local events. Tel: 0870 4420 880 www.visitsouthwest.co.uk
Cotehele St Dominick, Saltash, PL12 6TA Tel: 01579 351 346 www.nationaltrust.org.uk Trelissick Garden Feock, Truro, TR3 6QL Tel: 01872 862 090 www.nationaltrust.org.uk Trewithen Gardens Grampound Road, Truro, TR2 4DD Tel: 01726 883 647 www.trewithengardens.co.uk
National Maritime Museum Cornwall Discovery Quay, Falmouth, TR11 3QY Tel: 01326 313 388 www.nmmc.co.uk Royal Cornwall Museum River Street, Truro, TR1 2SJ Tel: 01872 272 205 www.royalcornwall museum.org.uk
St Mawes Castle St Mawes, TR2 3AA Tel: 01326 270 526 www.english-heritage.org.uk
King Harry Ferry Feock, Truro, TR3 6QJ Tel: 01872 862 312 www.kingharryferry.co.uk
Daphne du Maurier Festival Usually held in May. www.dumaurierfestival.co.uk Falmouth Oyster Festival Usually held in October. Tel: 01326 312 300 www.falmouthoyster festival.co.uk
Art Galleries Beside The Wave 10 Arwenack Street, Falmouth, TR11 3JA Tel: 01326 211 132 www.beside-the-wave.co.uk Mid-Cornwall Galleries St Blazey Gate, Par, PL24 2EG Tel: 01726 812 131 www.mid-cornwall-galleries.co.uk Veryan Galleries Veryan Green, Truro, TR2 5QQ Tel: 01872 501 469 www.veryangalleries.co.uk
classic cottages The specialists for coastal and country cottages of distinction throughout the West Country Leslie House, Lady Street, Helston, Cornwall TR13 8NA Telephone 01326 555 555 Facsimile 01326 555 544 Email email@example.com www.classic.co.uk www.classicguide.co.uk
classic news | Cornwall South Coast page 4
Copyright © 2005 Classic Cottages