St. Mawes, Cornwall, UK
St. Mawes is a beautiful market town on the south coast of Cornwall on the Roseland peninsula, near to Falmouth. It has a population of around 2000, which swells to more than 5000 in the summer months. It is mostly built on the valley side of the Percuil river, on the junction where this meets the much larger River Fal, which flows down from Truro, the capital city of Cornwall.
It has a number of pubs and restaurants along the waterfront, the most famous of which being the Tresanton Hotel, which has been visited by many famous names incuding Tom Cruise and is nationally renowned for its cuisine. Amoung the other pubs, the Victory Inn and the Rising Sun are well known for their friendly atmosphere and good food.
Getting to St. Mawes depends mostly on your means of transport. Being on the water, there is a lot of boating activity, with regular races, and also visiting yachtsmen from local ports and even abroard. There is a passenger ferry with regular trips to Falmouth which takes approximately an hour and leaves from the main Quay. Also leaving from here is a foot ferry which crosses the river to Place Manor, allowing exploration of the rest of Zone point, where St. Antony's lighthouse (as featured in the opening scenes of Fraggle Rock!) can be seen.
Car journeys from Truro take about 30 minutes and can be done either by road or by taking the King Harry Ferry car ferry.
Another major attraction of the area is the large medieval castle that dominates the headland facing Falmouth. This was build by the Tudor King Henry VIII and is set in beautiful subtropical gardens which include a bank of five functioning cannon. These, and the cannon of the neighbouring Pendennis Castle on the other side of the river in Falmouth are anually fired, though without shot!
As with the rest of Cornwall, there is significant reliance on the tourist trade, and the town can get busy in Summer. For those wanting to explore the beauty of Cornwall, and not desparate for the surf or party atmosphere of the north coast, St. Mawes does make an ideal and fascinating base.