Penzance to St Mawes

Discover the north Cornwall coastline and then head inland to undulating countryside

Follow the route – Penzance to St Mawes

Newlyn harbour

Penzance to Mousehole

> From Penzance, drive south along the coast for a mile (1.6km) to Newlyn, and a little further to Mousehole.

Visiting Newlyn

Really a suburb of Penzance, this is a lively and colourful fishing port, once famous for its artist colony. The Newlyn Art Gallery shows contemporary work.

Further along the coast is Mousehole. Pronounced ‘mowzel’, this delightful old fishing village consists of a semi-circle of colour-washed and granite houses round its harbour. Some of the roofs are specially weighted down to combat strong sea winds. Dolly Pentreath, supposedly the last person to speak Cornish as her native language, died here in 1777.

Places to stay in Penzance

The Dolphin Tavern

The Longboat Inn

Queens Hotel


Porthcurno bay

Mousehole to Lamorna and Porthcurno

> Continue on an unclassified road to Lamorna.

Visiting Lamorna

Lamorna is a holiday centre. The tempting golden sand of its spectacular cove is surrounded by steep blocks of granite cliffs and rocky outcrops.

> Join the B3315, then at Trethewey turn left on to an unclassified road to Porthcurno.

Visiting Porthcurno

Porthcurno’s beach of almost- white sand is overlooked by a remarkable theatre in the cliffs. The Minack is Britain’s equivalent to an ancient Greek theatre, set 200 feet (60m) above the waves. It was created by Miss Rowena Cade, who cut it out of the cliffs in 1931. The theatre can seat 750 on its granite terraces.

Places to stay nearby


Boskenna Home Farm

Downs Barn Farm Cottages

The coast near Land's End

Porthcurno to Land's End

> Return to the B3315 and continue for another 4 miles (6km), then join the A30 to Land’s End.

Visiting Land’s End

England’s most westerly point, Land’s End is 873 miles (1,405km) from John O’Groats, Scotland’s most northerly town. On a fine day the Isles of Scilly, 28 miles (45km) away, can be seen, along with Wolf Rock Lighthouse and the Longships Lighthouse, only 1 1/2 miles (2km) offshore. Land’s End is the setting for wild coastal walks and amazing rock formations.

Further along is the small village of Sennen, the battle-ground of the last Cornish fight  against invading Danes. Sennen Cove has a good sandy beach and excellent bathing.

Places to stay near Land's End

The Commercial

Bosavern House

YHA Land's End

St Just beach

Land's End to St Just

> Continue with the A30, then left on to the B3306 for 5 miles (8km) to St Just.

Visiting St Just

This enchanting village and its neighbourhood are rich in antiquities. St Just is noted for the contents of its large medieval church: a stone of the 5th or 6th century inscribed with XP, the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ, and the shaft of a  9th-century Hiberno-Saxon cross. Abandoned and ruined mines litter the countryside north of the town.

At Botallack, along the B3306, is a deep mine which extended out beneath the sea, and at the Geevor Tin Mining Museum at Pendeen, a little further on, you can take an underground tour of this preserved mine.

Places to camp near St Just

Trevaylor Caravan & Camping Park

Roselands Caravan and Camping Park

The Tate Gallery, St Ives

St Just via Zennor to St Ives and Lelant

> Keep going along the B3306 to Zennor.

Visiting Zennor

Zennor, named after St Senara, is a grey stone village huddled round its restored 12th-century church in a wild, bleak landscape. The writers D H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf both lived here in the 1920s. Zennor Quoit, to the southeast, is a chambered tomb dating from about 2000 BC.

> A further 5 miles (8km) along the B3306 is St Ives.

Visiting St Ives

St Ives was a prosperous pilchard port in the 19th century, but is now more noted for tourism, with its two fine sandy beaches and many excellent museums and galleries. It preserves its old- world charm: quaint houses and narrow streets cluster round the 15th-century church. Be sure to visit the wonderful Tate Gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Leach Pottery.

> Take the main A3074 for 3 miles (5km) to Lelant.

Visiting Lelant

Lelant has a fine Norman and Perpendicular-style church with a 17th-century sundial.

Places to stay near St Ives

27 The Terrace

The Sloop Inn

And many, many more...

Hayle beach

Lelant to Hayle

> Follow the A3074, then the B3301 to Hayle.

Visiting Hayle

During the 18th century, Hayle developed as a port for the copper trade, but now it is a small industrial town with a good sandy beach, though there are still a few boats to be seen in the harbour. Paradise Park, just off the road before entering Hayle, is a conservation theme park with otters and endangered species of birds. There is also a first-class falconry display.

Places to stay near Hayle

Trewinnard Holiday Cottages

The Penellen Bed and Breakfast

Riviere Sands Holiday Park


Hayle to Portreath

> The B3301 runs along the coast to Portreath.

Visiting Portreath

Portreath’s tiny harbour cottages cluster around the port and the 18th-century pier, at the foot of windswept cliffs. It is a marvellous place to go walking along the coast path and there are spectacular views from Reskajeage Downs.

Places to stay in Portreath

Landal Gwel an Mor

Trengove Farm Cottages

Tehidy Holiday Park

Porthtowan beach

Portreath to Porthtowan

> Turn inland along the B3300, then left on unclassified roads for Porthtowan.

Visiting Porthtowan

Porthtowan is a pleasant little place with a sandy beach and magnificent cliffs to north and south. If you have time, walk up on to the cliffs for fantastic views inland and over the Atlantic.

Places to stay in Porthtowan

Rosehill Lodges

Porthtowan Tourist Park


Truro cathedral

Porthtowan to Truro

> Follow unclassified roads, then the B3277 and A390 to Truro.

Visiting Truro

Truro is a quiet town with a blend of old and new buildings. Lemon Street has many fine Georgian structures, and Walsingham Place is a beautiful early 19th-century crescent off Victoria Place. The whole town is dominated by the cathedral, which has three spires and was built on the site of a 16th-century church. The Royal Cornwall Museum in River Street is considered the finest in Cornwall and there is also a fine art gallery and concert hall.

Places to stay near Truro

Mannings Hotel

Townhouse Rooms

The Alverton Hotel

St Mawes harbour

Truro to St Mawes

> Follow the A39 and then A390 eastwards, then turn right along the A3078 for St Mawes.

Visiting St Mawes

Smart shops and houses and many narrow old streets make this an interesting place to wander round. You should try to visit St Mawes Castle, built by Henry VIII in the 1540s to guard the mouth of the Fal estuary. The views across Carrick Roads, a stretch of sea, to Falmouth are particularly impressive. Trelissick Garden, north of St Mawes, boasts a fine collection of exotic plants from all over the world.

Places to stay near St Mawes

Trewince Touring Park

The Royal Duchy Hotel

Membly Hall Hotel

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