06 January 2017

Cornwall: St Mawes and Porthscatho

What an intriguing place St Mawes was!

Storm Barbara was making her presence felt with squally showers, waves breaking over the sea wall, and gusty winds, so, after enjoying lunch in a cosy cafe on the waterfront, we didn’t venture far ... up and down the narrow old lanes, along back alleys, back along the seafront, out on to the harbour wall, briefly. It was a picturesque place, to be sure, but I was more fascinated with its interesting bits and pieces. 

Firstly, the equipment from what, presumably, had once been a fully functioning petrol station and/or garage. The old Shell pumps looked almost as good as new, and then there was the superb old Automobile Association sign fixed to the wall. That must be at least 90 years old. I love the precision in those measurements: Tregony 10½ miles and 263¼ miles to London!

The sun wasn’t showing his face this day but the sign outside The Rising Sun Hotel gave a hint of how wonderful the harbour must look on a good day.

There were old post boxes too: a George VI box fixed into the post office wall, and an intriguing, much older letter box, with its own protective cover, set into a house wall. I couldn’t even guess how old that must have been.

The fishing paraphernalia stacked along the harbourside was very photogenic, and the St Mawes Harbour Authority hut on the pier was garnished with a rather lovely weathervane that was straining against the full force of Storm Barbara.

But my personal favourites were the eminently sensible signs along the harbour wall. Perhaps the weather in summer is more conducive to diving and swimming – I couldn’t imagine anyone trying it in winter. And what about this last one? Not only does it tell you not to do something but it also provides a reason. I just love it!

I certainly hope to get back to St Mawes one day when the sun is shining, to enjoy a cruise on that pretty harbour, to check out the castle, to wander and explore more fully this charming little town.

We finished off the day with a visit to Porthscatho, another of Roseland’s coastal fishing villages and another with signage to spare! This was also a place where Sarah had holidayed as a child so we walked from one end to the other as she tried to recall which house her family had rented.

Portscatho must have been a fun place to holiday as a child and, as we drove back to our cottage after a lovely first day out and about, we enjoyed sharing memories of rock pools and seashells and sand castles.