Comfortably nestled between the Fal Estuary and St Austell Bay, The Roseland Peninsula is Cornwall’s hidden gem. This striking coastal district boasts some of the most scenic beaches and walking routes on the southwestern tip.
With a heatwave predicted for the UK this April, most of us will be looking to take advantage of the rare British sun. Whether you fancy a relaxing day sunbathing or a hike along the South West Coastal Path, the Roseland Peninsula doesn’t leave you short of options.
Hidden within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lie rocky crags overlooking miles of crystal clear water, woodland trails inhabited by rich wildlife, and secluded coves sheltered within the cliffs. All within a stone’s throw from the Driftwood Hotel.
Reaching temperatures as high as the Mediterranean during the warmer months, this historic fishing village is situated less than 5 miles from Driftwood. Home to a handful of stunning beaches and pretty seaside cottages, St Mawes is the perfect springtime destination.
The village’s two beaches are great for swimming, kayaking or admiring the magnificent scenes of St Mawes bay. Summers Beach can be found just a few steps away from the nearby carpark and visitor centre, right around the corner from the local shops and bistros.
Once you’ve had a browse, take a quick stroll along the seafront, past the harbour towards the smaller (but equally as delightful) Tavern Beach. Settle down with a book and get lost in thought while you soak up some vitamin D, or bring the kids along for a splash at the pontoon. Finish with a short stroll back to the harbour for a bag of chips and an ice cream cone.
When it comes to walking routes on the peninsula, St Mawes doesn’t disappoint. Walking the circular headland route along the coastal footpath takes you past St Mawes Castle, home to one of Henry VIII’s artillery forts. Built in the 16th century, the four-storey castle served to counter a potential attack from France and Spain after the English Reformation.
Wear your best hiking shoes as the walk lasts three hours, spanning 3.5 miles of stunning views, from Falmouth to the Carrick Roads.
St Mawes to St Just in Roseland
For a slightly longer trek, head along the western coast from St Mawes until you meet the historic Church of St Just in Roseland, situated 10 minutes from the Driftwood Hotel. The 6 mile walk will take you past the castle towards stretches of lavish countryside and farmland brimming with wildlife.
The Roseland doesn’t mess around when it comes to its flora and fauna. You’re likely to come across a red admiral or a comma butterfly, both of which are monitored by locals throughout the warmer seasons to protect the declining species. Other wildlife to keep an eye out for along the way is the cirl bunting bird, known for its distinctive yellow appearance and high-pitched trill.
Refuel with a delicious Cornish cream tea, courtesy of Miss V’s tea room in the sub-tropical gardens of St Just Church. The perfect afternoon treat before heading back to Driftwood for a well-deserved rest.
Porthcurnick Beach to St Anthony’s Head
Tucked away in the peninsula's cliffs lies Porthcurnick Beach, waiting to greet you with golden sand, turquoise water and rolling hills.
Unknown to most who have the pleasure of visiting, Porthcurnick hides the remains of a submerged forest, lost to rising sea levels over ten thousand years ago. Look up and you’ll see The Hidden Hut, ideal for grabbing a cold drink and a bite to eat over a spectacular view of Gerran’s Bay.
Porthcurnick Beach also offers a beautiful trail along the South West Coastal Path to the remote fishing village of Portscatho. Here you’ll find a charming harbour lined neatly with fishing boats, white cottages and unexplored rock pools.
Keep trekking along the coastal path and make a pit stop at Towan Beach for a paddle (if you’re feeling brave enough) before continuing towards St Anthony Head to visit The Fraggle Rock lighthouse.
Carne Beach to Nare Head
If you’re looking to take a break from sand and sea, perhaps a rural walk to the top of Nare Head is more to your taste. Starting at Carne car park, prepare yourself for a hilly climb through grassy footpaths and narrow country lanes blooming with wildflowers. Eventually, you’ll arrive at the wooden steps to Carne Beacon.
The Beacon dates back to the Bronze Age and provides panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for wild ponies and sheep as you push on to the top of Nare Head and reward yourself with breath-taking views of Falmouth. Just yards away from the cliff edge is a preserved underground bunker dating back to the Cold War.
Driftwood’s Private Cove
Driftwood guests are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to explore. But if that isn’t enough, the hotel sits directly above its very own private beach. Recover from a long day’s exploring with a relaxing stroll down a wooded footpath until you reach the cove. Enjoy your very own slice of heaven right on your doorstep before completing your adventures with a good night’s sleep in one of our cosy seafront rooms.