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About St Mawes

Many Cornwall purists think of St Mawes as the ne plus ultra village in a county that is stuffed with pretty seaside spots. The writer, Adam Edwards, has described lovely unspoilt St Mawes as '...St Ives without the charabancs, Padstow without Rick Stein, Rock without the Hoorays.' The setting for popular 70s TV drama series, Poldark, it has two good beaches on either side of its harbour. There are plenty of options when it comes to St. Mawes accommodation and some of the best places to stay in St. Mawes are very special indeed.

What Not To Miss

  • St. Mawes Castle is one of the most notable local landmarks. Built during the reign of Henry VII as a defence against a potential French invasion which never came, it includes three circular bastions in a clover leaf shape with gun ports covering every possible angle of approach and is considered a fine example of Tudor military architecture. During the Second World War American troops camped along the Fal in readiness for D-Day and were visited by Eisenhower.
  • As well as enjoying the postcard-perfect scenery, the best places to stay in St. Mawes offer a range of fairly relaxed ways to pass your visit. Take a boat trip on the regular harbour ferry across to Falmouth, or across the Percuil River to Anthony's Head.
  • Or you could stroll the beautiful (but here relatively gentle) coastal path to Portscatho and beyond towards Dodman Point. Or go the other way through the meadows and along the river Fal to St Just in Roseland, a glorious 14th Century church at the water’s edge, surrounded by palm trees.
  • Enjoy a tranquil stroll around Lamorran House Garden - a rather unique subtropical Italian-themed garden. The views from the gardens across the estuary are also pretty impressive.
  • The St Mawes Ferry connects the village with Falmouth and takes visitors along a wonderful route taking in notable sights including various imposing castles.

The guru's selection of the best places to stay in St Mawes offer something for everyone, whether you're looking to unwind or have more of an active holiday.

The best places to stay in St Mawes

For total relaxation

  • The Hotel Tresanton, designed and run by queen of cool hotels, Olga Polizzi. Smart and sophisticated while remaining at all times friendly and relaxed, it is the ultimate place to unwind and recharge in beautiful surroundings. With a lovely spa, a private yacht and motor launches for more adventurous picnics and excellent locally caught seafood in the restaurant, it is a hotel with everything except a swimming pool.

For foodies

  • The Idle Rocks is right on the harbour wall, an old charmer on the outside, but totally and stylishly up to the minute on the inside. The restaurant is elegant, but the location is a lot of fun, so feel free to be a bit of both yourself.
  • The Driftwood Hotel is just along the coast form St. Mawes, in a great spot for views and a beach almost all to itself. The decor is seaside chic, with plenty of chic, there's a six acre garden along the coastline and a Michelin starred restaurant.

For a chic B&B

  • Very reasonably priced, Nearwater is a luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation in St Mawes, a stone's throw from the beach. Three gorgeous bedrooms with a nautical feel and a cosy lounge area with fireplace. Plus an inviting flower filled garden for sitting out. You can even book a day's sailing with the owner!

For nautical charm

  • St Mawes Hotel is awash with charm and character, and captures the nautical essence of it's surroundings. The rooms are elegant and simple with crisp design features and tasteful furnishings. After a days sailing or surfing, return for some delicious seafood dishes in the restaurant. A coastal gem.

For an apartment or cottage

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option this holiday don't hesitate to visit our online partner Booking.com for a range of properties ideal for enjoying the town and beaches.

Travel Information

  • Fly to Cornwall Airport Newquay located 42km (26 miles) from St Mawes. The airport serves various domestic destinations along with several European ones.
  • There are also regular buses from Truro to St Mawes.
  • Alternatively, catch the ferry from Falmouth to St Mawes with the route being especially scenic.
  • If you want to rent a car to explore the beautiful coastline, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
  • Best time to visit - the summer months from June to early September provide typically the warmest weather for enjoying the beaches and walking trails.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in St Mawes

  • Driftwood Hotel 14 rooms from £190

    Near Portscatho, Cornwall

    Sitting in privates acres, this chic and intimate hotel overlooks stunning Gerrans Bay. Light, marine inspired rooms are the perfect example of comfort meets plush. A Michelin Star at the restaurant makes dining a spoiling yet casual affair, matched by a fine wine list. A dream Cornish location.

    Great walks  -  Grab a hotel picnic and head out through the private estate right down to the coast and explore the beautiful beaches!
    Fishing  -  Right on the coast, there are plenty of fishing boats to rent for the day with equippment and guides if necessary.
    Hideaway  -  A hideaway location just off the beach and in extensive private gardens, why would you leave?
    Surfing  -  No trip to Cornwall is complete without a surf session in the bracingly cold Atlantic.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays
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  • Hotel Tresanton 30 rooms from £260

    St Mawes, Cornwall

    Stylish, laid back coastal hotel resting over St Mawes with views of the great blue. Marine inspired rooms are cosy, comfortable and plush. Seafood and local produce make up the innovative menu. Ideal for a romantic weekend, a family getaway and adventure enthusiasts with sailing, walks and more.

    Exclusive offer  -  Special offer
    Great walks  -  One of the most picturesque parts of the British Isles with miles of coastal trails and paths to explore.
    Sights nearby  -  Stunning three mile walk past St Mawes Castle - built by Henry VIII.
    Kids Club  -  Summer months only
    House party feel  -  Be prepared to meet people.
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, I Escape
    Hotel Website
  • Nearwater 3 rooms from £90

    St Mawes (South Cornwall)

    Luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation in St Mawes, a stone's throw from the beach. Three gorgeous bedrooms with a nautical feel and a cosy lounge area with fireplace. Plus an inviting flower filled garden for sitting out. You can even book a day's sailing with the owner!

    Value chic  -  Doubles from only £90 per night
    Surfing  -  Surfing at many nearby beaches
    Fishing  -  Makerel Fishing nearby
    Sailing  -  Sailing schools nearby
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith
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  • The Idle Rocks 20 rooms from £180

    St Mawes, Cornwall

    Seaside boutique hotel, attracting the younger crowd, with a perfect position right on the harbour wall in St Mawes. Up to the moment design and wonderful restaurant with the freshest fishy ingredients.

    Child friendly  -  Family rooms, children's meals
    Sailing  -  Can be booked nearby.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
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  • St Mawes Hotel 9 rooms from £185

    St Mawes (South Cornwall)

    St Mawes Hotel is awash with charm and character, and captures the nautical essence of it's surroundings. The rooms are elegant and simple with crisp design features and tasteful furnishings. After a days sailing or surfing, return for some delicious seafood dishes in the restaurant. A coastal gem.

    Beach Life  -  A lovely beach-chic coastal property only a few minutes from the beach with excellent seafood restaurant.
    Local exploring  -  Perfectly placed for exploring the beautiful south coast of Cornwall either by foot or by boat.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Cornwall castles such as St Mawes Castle and Pendennis Castle, both within two miles.
    Sailing  -  This makes a great stopping point for a sailing holiday in Cornwall.
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays
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