St Mawes to St Just Walk
St Mawes to St Just Walk
Walk from the historic Cornish fishing village of St Mawes along the Carrick Roads to St Just and its beautiful church.
Stepping off the ferry from Falmouth onto the quay at St Mawes turn left and follow the road along the seafront, past The Tresanton towards St Mawes Castle.
From the Castle continue north along the coastal footpath; the path runs adjacent to the Carrick Roads for a distance of about one mile at which point it forks left and right.
Take the left hand fork and continue to follow the path along the shores of the Carrick Roads to St Just in Roseland.
Spend time exploring the magnificent church, gardens and surrounding creek before exiting the churchyard via the lychgate, turning left onto the road and immediately taking the steps opposite.
At the top of the steps you will reach a path, head straight forward over the stile into National Trust land signposted Church Town Farm.
When you arrive at ‘Church Town Farm’ pick up the footpath which will head south adjacent to the road.
Immediately before the road turn right over the stile sign posted National Trust Tregear Vean into a field to avoid walking on the road and head forwards through the fields to a water tower which you need to follow for just over half a mile before picking up the footpath on the left.
The path doubles back at this point and can be followed for another 100 yards where there is a turning left off the main path which will take you down past Bosloggas to the Percuil River.
When you arrive at the river the path turns south. Follow the shores of the river all the way back to St Mawes or continue along the road back to St Mawes if you’re feeling tired.
Starting Point: St Mawes Quay
Distance: 3.5 miles
Duration: 2-3 hours
End Point: Circular walk
On the way: St Mawes Castle and the cafes, pubs and restaurants of St Mawes. You'll also be treated to great views of Falmouth and the Carrick Roads. Get there on the St Mawes Ferry.
Detailed walk information
Stepping off the ferry from Falmouth onto the quay the direction to head for to start the walk is left, west looking over to Pendennis headland and the nearby St Mawes castle. To get to the main car park and the toilets turn right for 50 metres and it is up on your left. Walking back to the quay continue along the road towards St Mawes castle.
St Mawes was known as Lavada or Lavousa in the 13th Century with the chapel of St Mawes going back to 1381. It is named after Saint Maudez of Brittany whilst inevitably other sources would say that the original Saint Maudus came from Wales. Originally part of the parish of St Just, St Mawes did not have its own parish church for centuries but it did have its own holy well, which cured many complaints.
The overriding task of St Mawes castle built around the same time as Pendennis between 1540-45 was to protect the Carrick Roads (Fal River) from invasion along with the larger more prominent Pendennis Castle. Both are more artillery forts that castles although St Mawes is more decorated with gargoyles, Renaissance type and ineffective gun loops and windows. One must remember that at the time of the building Falmouth as a town did not exist whilst St Mawes, Penryn and Truro did. It became a borough town in 1562 sending two elected members of the district to Parliament.
Walk past the Tresanton hotel up the road to the Castle. Then follow the coast path up the Fal River to St Just in Roseland ignoring the path signs to your right. The church within sub tropical gardens is a site of a 5th century Celtic chapel where St Just is Iestyn son of Geraint who was the King of Cornwall (Gerrans is very close by). John Treseder set up a nursery after a visit to Australia in 1897 and originally planted the gardens. There are Gunnera, Western Red Cedars and tree ferns in amongst the native flora. Walk up through the lychgate (toilets are on the left) and opposite is a footpath sign that takes you up a windy path. With the farm on your right go into a National Trust signed lane through a five bar gate. The views further up are wonderful across to Falmouth, up the Fal river and back up St Just creek.
Head uphill following the path between the hedges. Immediately before the road turn right over the stile sign posted National Trust Tregear Vean into a field to avoid walking on the road and head forwards through the fields to a water tower. Go over the stile to the left of the tower onto the road turning right then left down the track just before the road sign for St Mawes. Follow the track and bear right through a gate into a farm then bear left following the track which then bears to the right. Head forwards through two gates then at the third gate with private on it. Turn right over the stile and head downhill. With the stream on your right, head through an archway of trees.
Arrive at the Percuil River and turn right and follow the path uphill through the woods. The leat running through this beautiful valley and the trees either side are worth the walk through the very narrow public access thoroughfare. There are steps and stiles down to the fabulous views one gets of the upper reaches of the Percuil River and Polingey creek. Unfortunately there are no public paths to the left up the river but there are on the opposite banks at Percuil leading up to Gerrans and Portscatho. Follow the wooded path around the river to open land with views of both Polyn and Porth Creeks. Just think of the opportunities for smuggling around these hidden creeks. Go around two boat yards and then at the end of the path turn right uphill then at the top turn left and walk on the pavement following the road back into St Mawes.
Public transport information
Ferry ride from Falmouth to St Mawes.
Nearest Toilets and Nearest Disabled Toilets
Toilets in the main car park in St Mawes.
Nearest Car parks and Nearest Car Parks with disabled provision
Main car park in St Mawes.
All in St Mawes.
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