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Life on the beach

Holiday Cottages in Maenporth

Nestled amongst a woodland valley between the vibrant town of Falmouth and the peacefulness of the Helford River, Maenporth is the ideal location to enjoy a laid-back beach holiday. This unspoilt beach is a haven for all sorts of water sport activities — from kayaking and stand up paddleboarding to rockpooling and wild swimming, there is something for everyone. Maenporth is also home to a popular beach cafe as well as an award-winning restaurant — perfect for either ice cream or drinks on a sun-soaked afternoon. One of the best things about Maenporth is its unique location on the coast path; being based here leaves so much room for exploring the secluded coves and pathways of the Helford, many of which are just waiting for the keen adventurer to stumble upon them.

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Maenporth

Beach near holiday cottages near Falmouth by Forever Cornwall

Life on the beach

Maenporth is a pretty, sheltered cove located in a woodland valley on the south coast, overlooking panoramic views of Falmouth Bay towards Pendennis Point. Although it isn’t lifeguarded, the soft sandy beach is an ideal playground for families with younger children, with its sheltered waters and stream running down the beach for paddling and sandcastle building. The area is also popular for open water swimming with the calm waters being spectacularly serene in the likes of May and June, but conditions are ideal to enjoy this sport year round. The gentle slope of the beach leaves a treasure trove of rockpools and fascinating marine life to be explored, as well as the historic Ben Asdale shipwreck of 1978. The popular Life’s a Beach café and shop is open year round offering breakfast baps, lunch ciabattas and snacks throughout the day. With Falmouth Surf School and Watersports based right next to the café, there’s no shortage of activities ranging from stand up paddleboarding (SUP) to kayaking to yoga. As an area rich with hidden coves and caves, taking to the water is the only way to see some of them, which is especially hard to resist when the azure waters beckon on a beautiful day.

Pentreath Luxury Holiday Home Maenporth Falmouth Forever Cornwall 56

A walking haven

As Maenporth is situated on the South West Coast Path, this is a walker’s paradise with beautiful tracks in both directions. Head east along the coastal path for 30 minutes towards Falmouth and you’ll find Swanpool, another cool little cove complete with a beautiful beach, excellent café and tranquil nature reserve. In the opposite direction, head west towards Mawnan and past Rosemullion Head which is an incredible sight to see in spring when the coastal grasslands burst with a variety of beautiful wildflowers. Spot secluded beaches and coves along here, many of which are wonderfully quiet year-round due to their more hidden nature such as Cows Beach, which can be found through a secret pathway east of the headland. Stop off for a swim or snorkel at Bream Cove, then wander up to Hotel Meudon for a light lunch or cream tea. As well as the coast, Maenporth is close to some beautiful garden walks on the Helford. Transport yourself to a sub-tropical climate at the award-winning Trebah Garden, which offers four miles of delightful winding footpaths to explore, or take a visit to The National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden which notably features an alluring 19th-century cherry and laurel hedge maze to get lost in.

Street near holiday cottages inFalmouth by Forever Cornwall

Falmouth town

The vibrant town of Falmouth is just a couple of miles from Maenporth. A wonderful, arty hub and maritime mecca, you’re spoilt for choice with an abundance of artisan restaurants, eateries and unique bars. Experience the hustle and bustle of the cobbled streets in summer, when the town is strewn with beautiful bunting and various food and music festivals are celebrated, such as the Sea Shanty Festival, held in June. There are numerous independent shops and art galleries to be explored especially on those rainy days, or take a trip to the fascinating National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Head to the Prince of Wales Pier where you can hop aboard a variety of boat trips; take the ferry across the water to the picturesque village of St Mawes on the Roseland Peninsula, or opt for an adventurous journey across the bay, up the Helford River and along to Frenchman’s Creek with Falmouth Pleasure Cruises. Being the third deepest natural harbour in the world, you can really appreciate the size of Falmouth when out cruising around the bay. If you fancy staying on land head up to Pendennis Castle, an English Heritage landmark, and learn about the fascinating history of this 16th-century artillery fort. Falmouth has something for everyone and is just a stone’s throw from Maenporth.

Beaches

Maenporth

A beautiful sandy cove with sheltered waters, making it idyllic for families and those looking for the laid-back beach lifestyle. An array of water sports is on offer through Falmouth Surf School and Watersports, and the beach café is on hand with a selection of food and beverages to warm up or cool down after activities. This beach is rich with rockpools, making it ideal for little ones to explore the shallow waters and fascinating marine life. The popular Michael Caines restaurant, The Cove, is set just back from the beach making it a brilliant spot to wander up to for drinks on the terrace on a sun-soaked afternoon, or for a more fine-dining evening experience with panoramic views across Falmouth Bay.

Gyllyngvase Beach near holiday cottages in Falmouth by Forever Cornwall

Falmouth

Falmouth’s beaches are well loved and very popular, and all within easy walking distance of the town. Gyllyngvase Beach is the largest of them, lifeguarded and holds the prestigious status of being a Blue Flag beach. There are great facilities as well as a café and restaurant here. Castle Beach is at the other end of the seafront to Gyllyngvase, and often benefits from being quieter and ideal for snorkelling over rockpools, especially when the beach disappears completely at high tide. Swanpool beach is a sand and shingle cove, perched in front of a wonderful nature reserve which is home to over 100 different species of bird. Enjoy a famous ‘hedgehog ice cream’ at Swanpool beach café, or grab a sundowner at seafood restaurant Hooked on the Rocks. With three amazing beaches which all have excellent facilities, you’re spoilt for choice.

The Helford River near to Forever Cornwall's holiday cottage Little Wood On The Helford

Helford

Helford beaches offer plenty of hidden treasures, with many being located off the beaten track, waiting for the keen adventurer to uncover them after a magical woodland walk. Many of these beaches benefit from being dog-friendly all year round, such as Porth Saxon and Bream Cove. As these beaches are mostly used by passers-by, they are the perfect place to venture to with an afternoon picnic and good book, and to enjoy the secluded tranquillity. Grebe beach can be found near the little picturesque village of Durgan. Like many of Helford’s beaches, access is via a steep path, but it’s well worth it for a sunset sundowner barbecue or refreshing swim in the clear, tranquil waters.

Places to eat
Beach near holiday cottages near Falmouth by Forever Cornwall

Life’s A Beach cafe

Nestled on the left-hand side of Maenporth beach, Life’s A Beach café caters for just that — serving wholesome breakfast baps and lunchtime ciabattas, as well as hot and cold beverages throughout the day. Grab a Kelly’s Cornish ice cream for a cool down, with over 20 different flavours to choose from. The café is open seven days a week 9am – 4pm.

The Cove

Part of the Michael Caines Collection, The Cove is a modern restaurant and bar with spectacular views across Falmouth Bay, offering a family-friendly dining experience using the freshest local produce. Stroll up for drinks on the terrace on a gorgeous summer’s afternoon or opt for an evening of the full dining experience.

The Ferryboat Inn

Find the Ferryboat Inn on the waterfront of the North Helford Passage. A quaint, rustic pub dating back over 300 years, they offer homemade pub classics and fresh Cornish catch. Enjoy dining outside in summer overlooking the gorgeous waters of the Helford, or spend a cosy evening in by the fire in the quieter months.

Mawnan Smith

Only a 15-minute walk up the footpath from Maenporth, Mawnan Smith is a small village with The Red Lion, a family-friendly pub dating back to 1500, at the heart of the community. You can also find the wonderful Awna coffee house, a small independent coffee shop serving a variety of pastries, cake and speciality coffee.

Potager Garden

Nestled near the village of Constantine, Potager Garden is set amidst the woods, providing an enchanting atmosphere for visitors. The café itself is set in a converted greenhouse, emphasising its roots as a once abandoned plant nursery but now a delightful haven offering delicious vegetarian breakfast and lunch, as well as homemade cakes. Ingredients don’t get much fresher than this, with produce coming straight from the garden, and the menu changing according to the seasons.

Things to do

Surf school

Take to the water with Maenporth Surf School and Watersports, a family-run local business who offer plenty of activities including stand up paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking, yoga and surfing. Both SUP-ing and kayaking are popular sports at Maenporth, with the sheltered waters making it the perfect place to paddle from. With the option to hire all equipment it doesn’t get much easier than that for a day at the beach. It’s best to book in advance for lessons or equipment hire, especially in summer! If you fancy something a little more chilled, their beach yoga classes are the perfect wind down.

Hedged Maze

Gardens

The temperate climate of south Cornwall has allowed for beautiful gardens to bloom over time. Take a trip to award-winning Trebah Garden, open year round, which is a 26-acre sub-tropical valley garden with four miles of winding footpaths and its own private beach to be explored. The National Trust’s Glendurgan Garden is another tranquil place, home to both exotic and native plants, which meanders down to Durgan beach. Glendurgan is home to an enticing ancient cherry and laurel hedge maze, which is great fun for both adults and little ones.

Panoramic view of Helford River

Helford Boat Hire

Make the most of being right by the Helford and take to the water to discover secret coves along the river’s beautiful ancient shoreline. Helford River Boats offer plenty of options including hiring your own motor or rowing boat, or take a back seat and relax with a guided tour instead. They also offer kayak and SUP hire if you prefer to explore the river this way.

Orca Sea Safaris

Falmouth Bay is one of the best places to go for a seafaring adventure. Hop aboard one of these cruises and you’ll have the chance to see a huge variety of marine wildlife, from dolphins to seabirds to basking sharks! Orca Sea Safaris also pride themselves in operating their tours in the most respectful and responsible way around wildlife.

Hotel Meudon

After a hard day at the beach or hiking along the coastal path, why not take some time to pamper yourself with a relaxing treatment at Hotel Meudon’s spa. Stay a little longer for an indulgent afternoon tea, or opt for a fine dining experience in their award-winning restaurant.