I’m not sure how it’s taken me this long to explore this incredible part of The Roseland peninsula in Cornwall.
It’s technically not even that far away from where I live now, especially if you take the King Harry Ferry that leaves from Feock (just outside of Truro). The ferry takes 5 minutes in your car, and leaves from nearby Trelissick Gardens every 20 minutes throughout summer (although I’d suggest checking the online timetable before you go), and this cuts out a huge chunk of journey time that it might take you if you drove the whole way around!
Towards the end of August, my best friend Olivia and her partner Tom moved to live in their new home in Reading, but on the week before they went up there to move it, Olivia and I decided to go on an adventure somewhere in Cornwall we’d never been before.
It was an amazingly warm, sunny day, so we packed up the car with the three dogs and took the King Harry Ferry across to The Roseland, to explore some of the coast path there.
Driving through the Roseland peninsula is always fun, with winding, wild roads, but we soon found the National Trust car park for Towan beach and parked up (not to be confused with the Towan beach in Newquay, on the opposite coast!).
Towan beach on the Roseland is dog friendly all year round, and has a little cafe at top of the hill before the beach, as well as a set of (really well maintained and cleaned!) toilets that are free to use. They also had dog bowls, and even a little outside shower for you to wash your feet in after swimming in the sea… in general I was just really impressed by the facilities at this little beach in the middle of absolutely nowhere! Well done, National Trust :)
Anyway, we decided to briefly check out Towan beach, and the aim was to walk all the way along the coast path towards St. Anthony’s head, which sits at the very foot of the Roseland and looks out across Falmouth harbour on the other side of the river estuary. From the look of Google Maps (and from Olivia’s memory from visiting via boat), there was a beautiful looking cove along the way on this walk, which we planned to stop at to give the dogs a way to cool off in this heat.
Unfortunately we didn’t quite anticipate it being so hot that day; the weather forecast had said clouds, but in fact it was full sunshine and 23 degree heat with basically no wind (totally unheard of in Cornwall!). We started to realise after about 20 minutes that it was much too hot for the dogs (there’s no shade on the coast path either), and while we did have bottles of water to keep them hydrated, they really needed a dip in the Atlantic to cool them off.
And then we discovered that the path down to the cove we’d been planning to stop off for this purpose had been closed off, or potentially fallen away from erosion! Either way, it was a no-go, so we had to make the decision to turn around and go back to Towan beach, as we didn’t think the dogs would cope with continuing to St. Anthony’s head.
It was a bit concerning at points as we walked back in the heat with these poor dogs panting hard and looking exhausted, but we eventually made it to Towan beach again and they all ran into the sea to cool off.
After plenty of water and resting, we walked back to the car and decided to drive the last bit over to St. Anthony’s head.
It was an easy drive, and I hadn’t realised there was another National Trust car park at the end there. I’m a National Trust member, which means all these car parks are free for me, so I’d highly recommend if you are visiting this area of Cornwall a lot, to take a look at getting a membership as it may save you some money!
We walked around the headland and quickly realised what a happy surprise it was that we’d spontaneously decided to come here that morning – it was Falmouth week and Tom was in fact sailing in the races that day, and from St. Anthony’s head we had the perfect view of all the boats! Next year, if you’re looking for a great viewing platform for Falmouth’s races, I’d definitely recommend this spot.
We carried on walking around this headland with the dogs, and ended up stumbling across the most stunning beach I think I might ever have seen in Cornwall. Again, how have I only just found out about this now??
Tucked away around the corner from St. Anthony’s lighthouse, was this absolute gem of a cove. Bear in mind, this was the middle of August, so it was quite busy with people enjoying a sunny warm day on their boats and walking along the coastline (just like us), but we had to go down to it with the dogs because of how beautiful it was.
It’s a bit of a climb down, and there’s a rope attached the rocks to help you, but it wasn’t too bad getting down. Getting back up wasn’t hard for humans either, but the dogs struggled a fair bit, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have very able dogs that are also light enough for you to pull and push up the side of a rock!
Anyway, I ended up going in for a dip – for the first and only time this year without my wetsuit! As I said in my wild swimming blog post, I am so over being freezing cold in the sea and would rather enjoy myself in the water for longer, which is why I usually wear my wetsuit, but this day was so, so hot and the water didn’t feel cold at all. It was the perfect refreshing stop we needed after a morning of walking.
Once we’d gotten over how stunning this beach was (seriously – doesn’t it look like somewhere you’d find in Italy??), we headed back to the car and drove back to the ferry to go on our way home. Cornwall well and truly delivered for Olivia before she was off to move to Reading a couple of days later, just as I’d planned – to make sure she comes back as regularly as possible to see me! 😁