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St Just to St Mawes (Roseland Peninsular) 

Starting point  and OS Grid reference:

St Just – free car park by St Just church (SW848356)

Ordnance Survey Map

OS Explorer 105 – Falmouth and Mevagissey.

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Distance: 5.8 miles

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 Click the PDF logo above to give a printable version of this walk without the photos.

WalkSt Just to St Mawes sketch map

To view route as a dynamic Ordnance Survey map click here.

Introduction: This is a lovely walk around the Roseland Peninsular. Similar to the St Anthony Head walk, there are sections not indicated as public footpaths on the OS map but they are well walked and well marked. The walk starts from the 13th century St Just in Roseland church which is something of a gem. It is a magnificent church for such a small place and its grounds have been planted with tropical trees and shrubs such that it is almost a botanic garden. It is well worth spending a little time to look round.

The walk passes by St Mawes Castle, built by Henry VIII in 1540 as one of a pair, the other being Pendennis Castle at the other side of the Fal Estuary. It was used in both World Wars and is consequently in remarkable condition. It contains a bronze cannon The Alberghetti Gun, though to have come from a ship sunk by the English in 1603 and retrieved from the seabed in 1975.

The route then goes through St Mawes, a pretty village, where refreshments can be obtained at various pubs/cafes etc.

One word of warning. Do not be tempted to change the route by taking the Right of Way between (SW 855338) and the farm at (SW 849342). Although indicated on the map as a walled track, it is in an appallingly neglected condition and choked by branches (June 2013). It has been reported.

The walk starts at St Just in Roseland, from the car park by the church. To get there, follow the A3078 south west. Just after the bend in the middle of St Just, turn right down a no through road. The car park is on the right. If it happens to be full, there is an alternative free car park in the village opposite the entrance to the no through road.

Start: From the church car park (SW848356), you can either walk through the church grounds to the church or turn right down the road to pass the toilets and enter the church grounds via the lych gate.

        St Just in Roseland Church        St Just in Roseland Church interior

From the church and facing the water, turn left to follow the path along the edge of the creek.

View from St Just Church

Pass through a working boatyard and as the road bends to the left, the public footpath goes off to the right  indicated by a fingerpost “St Mawes 2 miles”. Initially this is a road to houses before the footpath branches off to the left through a walkers’ gate, indicated by a fingerpost. Once past the houses, the path turns right to resume following the water.

At SW 845351 the path bends left very briefly to avoid a section prone to mud.

At SW 842341 note the path off to the left (which leads to a water tower on the A3078),  just before entering the National Trust Newton Cliff area. This is the point at which one of the optional return routes joins from and where you would retrace your steps to the car park. Stay on the coastal path now.

It is perhaps worth mentioning that there are various gates on the right off the coast path through which you can access the foreshore if you wish.

View over Carrick Roads

Pass a three way fingerpost, the left turn going to Castle Road, but stay on what is described as a byway for “St Mawes 1¼ miles”.

You pass along a row of gorgeous houses with enviable views across the water before arriving at the castle. This is English Heritage and worth a look round. There are benches in the grounds where you can picnic.

St Mawes Castle

Alberghetti Gun

St Mawes from the castle

St Mawes

St Mawes harbour

View of St Mawes harbour

From the castle, walk along the road through St Mawes along the coast road, following round the bend as it starts to follow the Percuil River, for just over a mile. Look out for a road on the left - Buckeys Lane. About 150 yards beyond that, next to a house called Trade Winds turn right along the footpath indicated by a fingerpost (SW 853332).

Boats on the Percuil River

Cross straight over a road and go down the tarmac track which is the access to a boatyard. At the boatyard’s barrier, the footpath goes left.

As the path enters a more open area into a field, bear slightly left towards a gap in the hedge where there is a footpath marker post. You reach a marker post where there are several paths heading off. Keep to the right hand path descending with a steel handrail on the right.

At a fork, go left – the right fork is barred by a gate with a “No Right of Way” sign.

Stay on the path until it dips down to the waters edge, where there is a stile (SW 855342). Cross this and turn left, climbing through the woods.

At the farm, follow the track through the farmyard. It becomes a concrete drive which brings you out on the A3078 road  at Halwartha (SW 847341). Turn right (there is a slightly wider grass verge on the left). You only follow the road for a few yards before turning left just past the water tower.

You now have to decide whether to drop back down to the coast path as described above or turn right over a stile, to follow the path to St Just (which was my preference because of the good views).This is not a public footpath shown on the OS maps and the wording “…towards St Just” (instead of “to”) could be off-putting. However the path links up with a bridleway further on which brings you out opposite the toilets at St Just church. Because this path follows the higher ground, you get great views across Carrick Roads, the wide stretch of water between the St Just peninsular and Falmouth. The downside is that to begin with the route runs next to the A3078, albeit behind the hedge, so there is some traffic noise.

The path “towards” St Just enters a walled track, after about half a mile (SW 847350). Turn left. The track heads downhill. Ignore a path off to the right marked with a footpath post. Pass the gates of Churchtown Mill and keep straight ahead indicated by the marker post, to come out opposite the toilets.


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