Cornwall’s reel adventures
Fishing trips and sandy bays don’t get any better
BASE YOURSELF on Cornwall’s southern coastline for a weekend of wonderful walks (with the dog?), dramatic seascapes and picturesque fishing villages.
For starters, the beaches around the town are exceptional. Head there out of season and they won’t be too busy but, in summer, they’ll be packed. That said, you have a dozen to choose from…and they’re all different: coves, wide sandy beaches, rock pools, etc.
One of our favourite spots is delightful Mevagissey, a historic fishing village, with a beautiful harbour tucked away from the main street behind pretty cottages. The harbour is still very active, with professional and tourist fishing boats chugging in and out throughout the day. The keen photographer will love it here, as there’s so much to shoot, from colourful fishing paraphernalia to the brightly painted boats and characterful locals.
One great way to spend a couple of hours – and hopefully catch your supper – is to head out on a short charter aboard the 33-foot fishing boat, Aquila (charterfishing.co.uk), with its brilliant captain, Chris Gill. Aquila will take you out of the harbour to nearby spots where mackerel, ling, pollack, conger whiting, tuna and, occasionally, shark can be caught.
Rods and reels are supplied, as it expert tuition; and the chances of catching something delicious to eat is high. Two-hour mackerel trips leave daily between 9.30am and 5pm and cost £14 per person. Longer four-hour reef fishing outings cost £35 per person. These trips are a reel adventure (geddit), so kids and adults will love them.
This coastline is gentler than the northern Cornish coast, with rolling, green fields meeting the sea and a plethora of secluded sandy beaches. Two corkers are Porthpean beach, which is excellent for families, and, our favourite, Pentewan Sands (PL26 6BX).
Make your stay better
South West Coast Path
630 miles from Minehead in Somerset to Poole in Dorset.
T: 01752 896237
A small section of the SWCP takes in this area of Cornwall. It is accurately displayed on the website and offers some of the finest coastal views in Britain.
King’s Wood & Pentewan Walk
Start from: Shepherdshill Wood car park, PL26 6DN
A wonderful 3.2-mile walk, graded as ‘Easy’. It runs alongside the St Austell River in places, providing lovely scenery.
Pentewan Cycle Trail
St Austell to Mevagisse
W: search: Pentewan Cycle Trail
This eight-mile ride is largely flat, along a disused railway path, on crushed stone – a relatively easy journey. Wooded countryside and wild flowers abound, and there’s even an extra link taking you to the fabulous gardens at Heligan.
Places of Interest
Southbourne Road, St Austell PL25 4RS
T: 01726 879500
St Austell is home to Cornwall’s clay industry, plus you’ll discover lots of bijou shops and cafés. The tourist information centre’s on Southbourne Road.
Caerhays Castle & Gardens
Gorran PL26 6LY
T: 01872 501310
Price: Castle Adults £9, Children 5-16 £4.50, Combined £15 and £6.50
A little-known castle that’s in fantastic condition and boasts beautiful 140-acre gardens, which you can explore between February and June. The castle’s camellias are famed, having been hybridised by the castle’s occupants back in the 19th century.
Near St Goran (walk from Lamledra Hill Rd
Sensational and secluded sandy beach a short distance from the road (but far enough to keep the crowds away). Naturist bathing at one end. Note: Lamledra Road has narrow access.