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Mounts Bay

Mount's Bay Holiday Cottages

From our Mount’s Bay holiday cottages, enjoy the beautiful expanse of coast sweeping in a gigantic horseshoe from Porthleven to Mousehole on Cornwall’s south coast, with dramatic clifftops, pristine sandy beaches and unspoilt fishing villages — not forgetting the many miles of the South West Coast Path.

The bay itself starts in the east at Porthleven, a working fishing harbour with amazing eateries and dramatic cliffs. Heading west you pass beautiful Rinsey beach, and the site of the iconic Wheal Prosper mine engine house of Poldark fame. Continuing west is the infamous smuggler’s haunt of Prussia Cove, before reaching Marazion, the village that looks out onto St Michael’s Mount. Penzance and Newlyn are next — 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 has clear turquoise waters, soft, white sandy beaches and exotic plant life. 

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The mount's bay guide

Beaches near Mounts Bay holiday cottages by Forever Cornwall

Beautiful beaches

Mount’s Bay has more than its fair share of stunning beaches, from sheltered coves and quiet bays to huge expanses of sand where wind and kitesurfers whip up tricks out to sea. From Porthleven to Mousehole, this epic sweep of coast is peppered with rugged cliffs, historic engine houses and tiny fishing harbours, stunning scenery, and — with few hills and easy, level paths — some of the most accessible stretches of the South West Coast Path.

This swathe of coast is also home to some of the UK’s best surfing beaches, such as Porthleven with its challenging reef break. You’ll also find stretches of sands dotted with lively beach bars, pop-up food trucks and coastal cafes, and dramatic coves steeped in smuggling history, such as the rocky cove of Prussia Cove. This area has the perfect mix of beaches for visitors who aren’t afraid to get off the beaten track and find their own adventure.

Walking the past

Take a moment to step away from the coast you’ll discover an area rich in history. From Neolithic stone formations to pre-Christian sites, all can be explored on foot. The jewel in the crown is undeniably the 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 at high tide.

Head back into Marazion to seek 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, or visit Carn Euny and Chysauster and explore the eery remains of an ancient village. 

Pub near holiday cottages in Mount's Bay by Forever Cornwall

Fine food

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’s 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.

It is well worth making the trip to The Victoria Inn at Perranuthnoe for stunning food at very reasonable prices. A little further along the coast and you’ll find Porthleven, south Cornwall’s new foodie capital, where Amélie and Kota Kai on the historic harbour should definitely be on your hit list.

Beaches
Beach in Mount's Bay near holiday cottages by 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 room to yourself all year round. There’s easy access from the carpark and watersports are available from Boatshed Activity Centre, from coasteering and kayaking to surfing and paddleboarding. Gwithian-based Global Boarders also run surf lessons from here, and there are a number of good places to eat. There’s lifeguard cover from May to September, and dogs are welcome from September through till June.

Beach near Marazion holiday cottages by Forever Cornwall

Perranuthnoe

With its small car park and limited lifeguard cover, Perranuthnoe is a little hidden gem and stays mostly under the radar of visitors. It’s a lovely, soft sandy beach (which disappears almost entirely at high tide so check the tides before your visit!), with huge rocks to clamber  at one end. There are a number of places to eat nearby, including the The Cabin Beach Cafe right on the beach, and the wonderful Peppercorn Cafe further up. Lifeguards man this beach from July till early September and dogs are welcome from September through till June.

Marazion and Long Rock

Marazion and Long Rock beach together make up the stretch of 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 (you can also do kitesurfing, paddleboarding and kayaking from here). Marazion has lifeguard cover from mid-July until early September and dogs are allowed on the beach all year except July and August (10am-6pm).

Food & drink

Mousehole and Newlyn

For the freshest Cornish ingredients and superb harbour views, head to the ever popular 2 Fore Street, whilst the family-friendly Mousehole Deli and Kitchen serves up small plates to share; they also have a brilliant takeaway menu, including things like a half lobster with fries. Wander along the seafront to The Old Coastguard for an easy-going atmosphere, stunning views from the terrace and superb food. In neighbouring Newlyn the restaurant at the hip Newlyn Filmhouse is the place for a pre-film haddock and chips, whilst The Tolcarne Inn has won all sorts of awards for its delicious Cornish fare. Argoe, which opened in 2021, cooks up fish which literally comes straight off the dayboats in front. Also worth a visit are the little wine bar Lovetts (artisan coffee and pastries by day, cocktails and charcuterie by night) and the Mackerel Seafood Bar.

Penzance

Top of the list should be The Shore Restaurant for outstanding food, wine and impeccable service, and The Cornish Barn at the Artist Residence on Chapel Street. For more laid-back fare, grab a tasty woodfired pizza at tiny Totti in the heart of town or pop into The Cornish Hen, an award-winning deli, which sells the best coffee in town and an assortment of local deli goodies. The new bar and kitchen at 45 Queen Street is a bustling place and event space focussing on local food, beers, wine and cocktails (using their own gin, Tinkture) in a converted redbrick warehouse in Penzance’s backstreets.

Marazion and Perranuthnoe

These small villages halfway between Porthleven and Mousehole offer some of the best relaxed eateries in the area. For a real taste of Cornwall, grab a pasty from Philps in Marazion or enjoy a delicious pastry or scone with Cornish clotted cream at The Copper Spoon, just off the highstreet. We also love Craby’s Beach Bar & Terrace (walk-ins only) tucked behind the seawall for its barbecue feasts and zingy cocktails. For the best pub in the area, make a beeline for the Victoria Inn, a 12-century pub with good food at its heart. If you’re in need of a beach day refreshment, The Cabin Beach Cafe at Perranuthnoe is a delight, selling a range of tasty treats; it’s just off the coast path so makes a great stop off for walkers.

Porthleven Pub

Porthleven

This pretty harbour village has become a bit of a foodie hotspot in recent years. When the sun is shining, it’s hard to beat The Mussel Shoals, which serves up big bowls of mussels and jugs of cider on trestle tables on the quay. Multi-award winning Kota Restaurant and its more laid-back sister restaurant Kota Kai bar and kitchen next door (‘Kota’ means shellfish in Maori) specialise in Asian fusion dishes (there are plenty of non-fish options too!), and don’t miss Amelie’s for delicious Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates. Porthleven is also home to brilliant coffee Origin and their cafe, The Roastery Cafe, slightly out of town (they also serve tasty toasties) — they have a tiny cafe right on the harbour, too. For the best fish in chips in town, head to the Top Chippy — take them to eat on benches on the harbour or watch the surfers down on Porthleven beach.

St Mount’s Bay Local Food Guide

With some of the county’s most vibrant, independent communities, Mount’s Bay is a great place to get your hands on local Cornish Produce, The town of Penzance is chock-full of places to stock up on local food, from delis and bakeries to farm shops and weekly markets, whilst neighbouring Newlyn, one of the UK’s largest fishing ports and home to the Newlyn fish market, is the place to go for fresh fish and seafood.

Take a look at our handy Cornish Food Guide to find out where you can buy local produce in the Mount’s Bay area. 

Things to do

St Michael’s Mount

You can’t go to Mount’s Bay and not visit the iconic St Michael’s Mount, the imposing medieval castle and church set on a tidal island just off Marazion beach. At low tide, you can cross the causeway to the island on foot; at high tide there’s a ferry that will take you over. Now owned by the National Trust, it makes an incredible day trip — learn the tale of Cormoran the giant and the history of the castle, wander around the subtropical and terraced gardens surrounding the castle (seasonal opening times), explore the harbour and village, visit the art gallery or enjoy afternoon tea at the Harbour Loft at the top.

Potter around Penzance

Recently voted as the best place to live in Cornwall, Penzance is one of Cornwall’s most vibrant, creative communities, an eco-minded hub full of art and culture, independent shops and galleries, top notch places to eat, a beautiful coastline and some amazing places to visit nearby. You could easily spend a morning popping in and out of local boutiques, such as the beautiful Handworked Shop, stopping off for a delicious lunch in Penzance centre before taking in an exhibition at The Exchange art gallery followed by a dip in the Art Deco lido on the seafront.

Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens

These beautiful sculpture gardens on the outskirts of Penzance are home to 22 acres of exotic, sub-tropical planting and inspiring art, sculpture and installations, like the James Turell’s Sky Space — a domed chamber from which to view the sky above — plus a restaurant, plant nursery, shop and the Tremenheere Gallery (one of the largest purpose built galleries in Cornwall) with a constantly changing programme showcasing the work of local, national and international artists. Set into a sheltered valley overlooking St Michael’s Mount, the gardens are open between February and October.

Jubilee Pool, Penzance

After a huge renovation project, the Art Deco lido on Penzance’s seafront was opened to the public in 2020. The largest seawater pool in the UK, it contains 5 million litres of water and can be used by up to 600 saltwater swimmers at any one time. The separate geothermal pool (you’ll need to prebook tickets), which remains at a balmy 35 degrees, works by extracting warm water from a geothermal well nearly half a mile below ground, making it one of the most carbon efficient pools in the country. The Jubilee Pool Cafe, which serves local, seasonal produce as well as craft beers and wines, is a great place for a bite to eat afterwards.

Isles of Scilly day trip

Visit the magical Isles of Scilly – a breathtaking archipelago of sand-fringed islands lying just 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall. These tropical islands are the most south-westerly point of the UK, beautifully wild and unspoilt, and close enough to visit for the day as thousands of people do each year.

Ideal for family days out, foodie experiences, wildlife adventures and more, you could sail to the islands on board Scillonian III from Penzance, fly on board Skybus from Land’s End or make the best of both worlds with a Fly+Sail ticket. Read more here!

 

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