The Roseland Peninsula, Cornwall
February 6, 2015
Want an idea for a brilliant day trip out from The Rathgowry Guesthouse, Falmouth, Cornwall?
Well, Mike & I spent a wonderful day recently on the Roseland Peninsular and we can highly recommend it because you will see some beautiful scenery and eat some delicious food too!
We had heard about a very picturesque church that was supposed to be a ‘must-see’, so, we jumped in the car, plugged in the satnav postcode for the church, which is called St Just in Roseland Church (TR2 5JD) and headed off.
Your trusty satnav will take you on the main roads out towards Truro, before directing you right towards the King Harry Ferry. This is a car ferry and we bought a day return ticket for £8 (trust me, you’ll be coming back on the ferry too). The setting for this ferry is amazingly tranquil and it is a pleasant wait with the engine off and the windows wound down watching fishermen on their boats and listening to the birds that live along the Fal River.
For those that thrive on facts, the Ferry was established in 1888 and it connects St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula with Feock, Truro and Falmouth by avoiding the alternative 27 mile route through Truro & Tresillian (see, I told you you’d want the return ticket). The impressive fact of the day is that the ferry saves 5 million car miles, 1.7 million kg of CO2 and ¾ of a million litres of fuel and carries 300,000 cars every single year. Wow!
Once across the river it won’t be too long before you arrive in the village of St Just in Roseland. Just before you arrive at the final destination, you will notice a sign to a small free car park just off the main road, which is where we parked. However if you turn right at the church signpost then there is another car park right outside the church itself – but that does carry a charge. It was a five minute walk down the hill and there we were at the church gates next to the car park.
St Just in Roseland church is built on the site of a 5th century Celtic chapel and is built right beside the water on a tidal creek. I can’t tell you how beautiful this place is or how serenely peaceful it is. You truly have to go and experience it for yourselves. The gardens surround the church and the gravestones and tombs are hidden away amongst shrubs, bamboos and trees all over the place. The constant bird song is wonderful too. Behind the church the gardens and graves are set into a steep hillside and it is worth following the path all around the garden and up to the top where you will find the old Lych gate.
We went at the end of January, hence why the greenery isn’t out in the photos, but it was still totally amazing. (we’re definitely going back in the summer to see the change).
For some more facts I borrowed the following text from the churches own website – http://stjust.roselandchurches.co.uk
“The present church was dedicated to St Just on 14th August 1261, by Walter, Bishop of Exeter, and The Chancel with its double piscina is of this date. The parish registers date from 1538. A 19th century vicar brought in many tropical plants, and the combination of the church on the water’s edge and the wonderful flowers and shrubs in the churchyard are what gives the church its uniqueness.
The oldest bell was hung in 1684, It has the names of the two church wardens, a small three quartered figure of Charles II, and two copper coins of his reign cast on the bell”.
There are little streams and ponds, and a little waterfall into the estuary (which we saw at low tide). On your exploration of the garden, look out for the St Just Holy Well and Spring. All who are baptised at St Just are baptized with water drawn from this well.
When you go in the church, you can buy a little guide book which tells you more about everything. So do dig in your pockets and help them keep this place going. You are going to love it, I’m sure!
After leaving the church in our zen like state we headed back to the car and drove up and out of the village towards St Mawes. St Mawes is a coastal village dominated by the St Mawes Castle on the headland.
This castle is the sister to Pendennis Castle – which you can see on the other side of the harbour. Take your time to go and look around the castle and the village.
There are a couple of pubs in St Mawes but Mike and I headed back towards the ferry because en-route we noticed a signpost to The Roseland Inn.
This is a very picturesque country pub and as an added bonus, in the summer there is a brewery next door that you can go around too.
It feels like a truly traditional English country pub and we would definitely recommend it. As it was a cold day, the fire was burning away and the place was toasty and warm. For food, we opted for simple fish & chips & sausage and mash – but it was totally delicious. The specials board had a beautiful selection of offerings and as I watched them go out to other tables, I felt a pang of regret at not ordering the pan fried hake. Oh well! Next time!!
After that we headed back to the ferry and once across, we did some exploration of Feock, which is yet another pretty village, before heading home.
Well, I hope that this little post has inspired you to go and visit the Roseland Peninsula in Cornwall and once you have done it, you can come back to the Rathgowry guesthouse in Falmouth, put your feet up with a cup of tea before heading out to Falmouth town for the night! If you haven’t already booked in to stay with us, then what are you waiting for! 🙂 Click here to check availability at our lovely bed & breakfast or call directly on 01326 313482.