St Michael
Mount's Bay

From Porthleven to Mousehole

This beautiful expanse of coast sweeps in a gigantic horseshoe shape from Porthleven to Mousehole on Cornwall’s south coast. It’s our largest bay and boasts panoramic ocean views from dramatic cliff tops, pristine sandy beaches and unspoilt fishing villages, not forgetting the many miles of the South West Coast Path, there is simply no better place to be. The bay itself starts in the east at Porthleven, a working fishing harbour boasting excellent eateries and dramatic cliffs.

Heading west, take in the beautiful stretch past Rinsey site of the iconic Wheal Prosper mine engine house, used in the filming of Poldark. Keep eyes peeled here for you may spot seals or even dolphins and basking sharks. Continuing west, next up is famed smugglars haunt, Prussia Cove and then the small village of Perranuthnoe before reaching Marazion – the town that looks out onto St. Michael’s Mount. Keep going west and you’ll find Penzance and Newlyn. Be sure to check out the art deco Jubilee Pool Lido or consider taking a day trip over to the Isles of Scilly. Lying just 28 miles off the Cornish coast, this archipelago offers clear turquoise waters, soft, white sandy beaches and exotic plant life.

The mount's bay guide

Forever Cornwall Praa Sands Beach Blue Sea.jpg

Beautiful beaches

Mount’s Bay has more than its fair share of beaches. From sheltered coves to swell for water sports, there’s plenty to choose from whatever a day at the beach means to you. Stretching around from Porthleven, you’ll be greeted by coves with engine houses as a backdrop. You’ll have to scramble down but those who do are rewarded with calm, clear waters and crystal sands, perfect for a day at the beach or a pitstop on a coastal walk.

This swathe of coast is also home to some of the UK’s best surfing beaches, with vast stretches of golden sands and beach bars and dramatic coves steeped in smugglers’ histories. It’s the perfect mix of beaches for adventurers who aren’t afraid to get off the beaten track, and for those who are happy to venture just a short walk from the car.

Lanyon Quoit

Walking the past

Step away from the coast and discover the area’s rich history. From Neolithic stone formations to pre-Christian sites, all can be explored on foot. However the jewel in the crown is the impressive St. Michael’s Mount. With a castle dating back to the 12th Century, this statuesque landmark holds tales of giants, pilgrims, fisherman and soldiers. Walk across the causeway at low tide or catch the ferry during higher states of water.

Head back into Marazion to seek out out Madron Well, a holy well shrouded in Pagan mystery. Visit armed with a coloured piece of fabric to add to the ‘clouties’ tied on the tree before visiting the 12th Century ruins of St. Madron’s Chapel. Travel a little further inland to Lanyon Quoit, a megalithic (4000 – 2500BC) stone structure and wonder how it arrived there, or visit Carn Euny and Chysauster and explore the eery remains of an ancient village. Mount’s Bay and the surrounding area is filled with history – make sure you take to the time to explore it!

Victoria Inn, Perranuthnoe

A fine food lover's fancy...

Mount’s Bay is a large area encapsulating many critically acclaimed and delightfully delicious restaurants that are the perfect holiday treat. Newlyn, Mousehole, Penzance and Perranuthnoe all have restaurants that are a must visit, each serving fantastic dishes packed with local produce.

In Mousehole, dine at 2 Fore Street for a bistro style meal, or, for a killer Sunday lunch with a view, head to The Old Coastguard.  Visit Newlyn and experience Mackerel Sky, a seafood bar serving tapas-style dishes from mid-March and over the summer. If you’re looking for something a little more central to Penzance, sample a cocktail or two before enjoying a decadent meal at The Cornish Barn, a fabulous new smokehouse.

Marazion is also home to Ben’s Cornish Kitchen whose reputation preceeds it so be sure to book. Whilst in the area it is well worth making the trip to The Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe (if you’re staying at North Wing then you can walk) too for stunning food at very reasonable prices. A little further along the coast and you’ll find Porthleven, where Amélie’s and Kota Kai should definitely be on your hit list.

Beaches
Thornleigh Cottage Sand Bar Praa Sands Forever Cornwall

Praa Sands

Excellent waves, white sands and plenty of amenities on hand, Praa Sands is the perfect family friendly beach – and big enough to have some room to yourself all year round. There’s lifeguard cover here from May to September, and dogs are welcome from October through till Easter.

Perranuthnoe, Cornwall. Matt Jessop

Perranuthnoe

With its small car park and discreet approach, Perranuthnoe often has plenty of room on its golden sands. If you can, park elsewhere and walk down, and prepare to be overwhelmed by its clear waters, beautiful backdrop and sheltered beach. Lifeguards man this beach from July till early September and dogs are welcome from October until May.

St. Michael's Mount, Marazion

Marazion & Long Rock

Marazion and Long Rock beach all make up the stretch of the coast from St. Michael’s Mount to Penzance. A safe beach, when the tide is out the waters are particularly shallow and great for paddling. When the wind picks up, this is a great spot for kitesurfers – watch them soar above the waves from the cafe above the beach with an ice cream.

Things to do
Shop Open Sign Lo Res

Penzance Town

Penzance is up and coming, with chic new shops popping up at a rate of knots. Wander down the high street and marvel at the impressively stacked shelves of bookshops, or select local produce from the deli. There is a homewares shop that you’ll want everything from, and art stores showcasing the work of local artists. The perfect way to while away a day.

St Michael's Mount

St. Michael’s Mount

Of course, you can’t go to Mount’s Bay and not visit the iconic St Michael’s Mount. Head across in the ferry, our catch low tide and walk across the causeway to the island castle. Learn the tale of Cormoran the giant, and the history of the impressive castle and surrounding buildings that date back to the 12th Century. Or, simply wander through the subtropical gardens with a fabulous view of the mainland.

Tremenheere. View From The Pagoda. Karl Davies

Tremenheere

Tremenheere is a truly unique space, just outside of Penzance. The sculpture gardens, gallery, restaurant and shop are easy to spend a day at, whatever the weather. The gallery showcases the work of local and international artists, as do the subtropical gardens. Stroll through the exotic plants and marvel at the installations – from James Turell’s Sky Space to David Nash’s Black Mound. Well worth a visit or two!

Food and drink
Forever Cornwall Polvenna Porthtowan Pasties

Marazion & Perranuthnoe

These small villages offer some of the best casual eateries in the area. For a real taste of Cornwall, grab a pasty from Philps in Marazion, or enjoy a scone with Cornish clotted cream at The Copper Spoon. If you’re in need of a beach day refreshment, The Cabin Beach Cafe at Perranuthnoe is a delight (the homemade cakes are simply unmissable!).

Rock Pool Cafe Mousehole

Mousehole & Newlyn

For a coffee or lunch stop, make sure you grab a seat at Rock Pool Cafe in Mousehole – great coffee, doorstop crab sandwiches and beautiful cocktails later in the evening! In Newlyn, make sure you head to Newlyn Filmhouse, Lewis Fish and Chips (the best you’ll ever have), and The Smuggler’s. Duke Street Cafe in Newlyn is a great little place for those looking for a full English – the portion sizes are generous, to say the least!

Coffee Shop:cafe Lo Res

Penzance

Wander through the streets of Penzance to discover the excellent Mexican restaurant, Pico Rico for a crowd-pleasing dinner out. If you’re in the mood for a deliciously local lunch, The Honey Pot is a real winner in the heart of Penzance – or, if you want a healthy holiday treat, Archie Brown’s has a stunning range of vegan and vegetarian dishes, and they always deliver on flavour too.

P.S. Be sure to stop for a pint at the Lamp & Whistle – an unapologetically quirky little pub!

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