St Mawes Headland Walk St Mawes Headland Walk St Mawes Headland Walk St Mawes Headland Walk

St Mawes Headland Walk

St Mawes Headland Walk

St Mawes Around the Headland takes you past St Mawes Castle and rewards you with great views across the Carrick Roads to Falmouth.

From the quay at St Mawes turn left and follow the road along the sea front towards St Mawes Castle.

A visit to the castle is well worthwhile and we recommend you find the time to enjoy the fantastic views.

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.

Taking the right fork you will start to climb inland heading east and as you crest the hill you will join the A3078.

Turning right, follow the road south for around 100 yards before picking up the footpath on the left hand side.

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 and follows the shores of the river all the way back to St Mawes.

Starting Point: St Mawes Quay

Distance: 3.5 miles

Duration: 3 hours plus return time

Grading: Moderate

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.

Walk Map

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 over riding 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. There will be a footpath sign to your right once you leave the small road that leads to the riverside houses having gone through the gate. Ignore this as this takes you back to the Town. Carry on along the coast path through fields and gates until one reaches another gate where there will be a footpath signed up hill to the right. This is one mile after the castle.Take this path. To carry on straight will take you to St Just in Roseland.

The path up hill takes you through woodland and between fields in a sunken lane. The views towards and indeed at the top of the hill are wonderful. You can see over to Falmouth and up the River Fal to Flushing, Mylor, Feock and Restronguet Creek. There are riverside walks to enjoy on the opposing bank. 

At the top of the hill there is a disused water tank on stilts, quite a feature of the local area. Cross over the busy main road and 50 metres down opposite the Halwartha garage is a footpath to take you down to Bosloggas and the Percuil River. Go down the drive way and veer right through the gate that has letters spelling “Privat” on the 5 bar gate. Immediately veer left down the track and not into or across the farmyard.

Continue along this track until you get to Bosloggas where a gate and various signs will inform you to turn right over a stile. This takes you down through a barbed wire alley. 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 take the main road 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.

Nearest refreshments 

All in St Mawes.