Photo of St Mawes

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 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.

The Best B&Bs in St Mawes

  • 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!

The Best Places to Stay in St Mawes 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.

Prefer 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?


Monthly Weather in St Mawes

Best Hotels in St Mawes

  • Nearwater St Mawes (South Cornwall) 4 rooms from £110

    Self catering to rent  -  A charming annex complete with a kitchen, patio, and living room is ideal for those looking for an independent stay
    Groups  -  With three rooms in the main building plus an annex, this is a good option to rent out in its entirety
    Restrictions on children  -  Children over 10 and babies upto 6 months are welcomed. Small children are allowed if the whole place is taken
    Sailing  -  There is a local sailing school Roseland Paddle and Sail where lessons can be booked
    GardenPet friendlyParking

    A luxurious bed and breakfast set in St Mawes just a stone's throw from the beach. Three well-designed rooms have a nautical feel & a cosy lounge area with a fireplace. There is also a separate annexe for self-catering. An intimate choice with friendly and helpful hosts. A quiet Cornish hideaway. See More

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  • Driftwood Hotel Near Portscatho, Cornwall 14 rooms from £220

    Romantic Break  -  Perfect for a romantic retreat — think sunset strolls on the beach, candlelight dinners, and a private cabin with a terrace
    Foodies  -  Chef Olly Pierrepoint creates stunning dishes in this highly regarded 3AA Rosette restaurant
    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
    TennisRestaurantGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Sawdays

    Set in scenic private grounds, this chic and intimate hotel overlooks stunning Gerrans Bay. Light, marine inspired rooms are the perfect example of comfort meets luxury. Fabulous food at the restaurant makes dining a spoiling yet casual affair, matched by a fine wine list. A dream Cornish location. See More

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  • St Mawes Hotel St Mawes (South Cornwall) 7 rooms from £223

    Boutique  -  Fun touches like a 25-seater cinema, takeaway pizzas, and private dinners make this a standout boutique choice
    Beach Life  -  A lovely beach-chic coastal property only a few minutes from the beach with an excellent seafood restaurant
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Cornwall castles such as St Mawes Castle and Pendennis Castle, both within two miles
    Restaurant  -  The restaurant serves modern Cornish dishes and pizzas are available too
    RestaurantPet friendlyViews
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels , Sawdays

    A chic boutique hotel set in St Mawes and packed full of character. Stylish rooms are designed with a fresh take on traditional style. Think sash windows, pale wood furniture, and modern fabrics. With a popular seafood restaurant and even its own cinema, this small property packs a punch. See More

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  • Hotel Tresanton St Mawes, Cornwall 33 rooms from £260

    Total relaxation  -  Indulge in pampering massages, strolls along the beach, or simply sit and listen to the gentle lap of the ocean- heaven!
    Romantic Break  -  With atmospheric suites, private balconies, gourmet meals, and the beach nearby this is ideal for a romantic hideaway
    Beach Life  -  Blissful beach life- rockpooling, shrimping, habour walks, surfing, sailing and feasting on fish and chips
    Families  -  Family suites, a games room, a wendy house, and a wide range of activities make this very family friendly
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenViewsParking
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith, Frommers, Kiwi Collection, I Escape

    A stylish, laid back hotel set near St Mawes with views of the sea. Rooms and suites are individually styled and feel at once homely yet luxurious. With a restaurant that uses seasonal produce, a private sailing boat, and endless activities, this is as suitable for couples as it is for families. See More

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  • The Idle Rocks St Mawes, Cornwall 20 rooms from £362

    Foodies  -  The award-winning restaurant serves British menus with an Asian influence using the best of local and seasonal produce
    Families  -  A spacious family suite, a private cinema, and a wide choice of activities make this perfect family holiday material
    Surfing  -  Cornwall is renowned for its surf beaches and there are several schoold nearby that offer lessons
    Kayaking  -  Explore the picturesque creeks and hidden beaches of the Roseland peninsula on a kayak

    A boutique seaside hotel well positioned right on the harbour wall in St Mawes. Rooms are designed with a fresh take on traditional design. Expect sea views, plush beds, and modern fabrics. The popular restaurant serves a well-executed British menu with an Asian twist. A chic coastal stay. See More

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