This post would have originally been our first car show since the pandemic, but thanks to some inclement weather, it was cancelled! Not to waste a day off we decided to head down to St Mawes Castle, an English Heritage site, not too far from Falmouth.
This was a fun impromptu day out to make up for the lack of show! We visited from about 2pm, and they close at 5 on a Sunday. You can of course check the website for opening times and prices.
St Mawes Castle
St Mawes is a Tudor castle built in the 1540s, and still used in WW2, when modern armourments were placed. Though never needed in sieges, it is an interesting look at history, well preserved! Used as a fort in the 18th and 19th centuries, the castle is a four storey cloverleaf design.
St Mawes, is twinned with Pendennis Castle, which also stands on the river Fal. The sister castles are opposite each other; across the estuary due to the distance cannons could reach when fired into the mouth of the river, therefore needing one either side for full protection!
Acting as a fort, a barracks, and an artillery base; closing fully in the 1950s, the castle has a rich history to explore.
As a day out, we weren’t too sure what to expect, although we have visited Pendennis Castle a couple of times; (click the link to read about our most recent visit). Upon arrival, I would say it is less grandiose than Pendennis, you arrive in the gift shop area and it is a short walk to the castle itself.
The parking is a bit “blink and you’ll miss it” and St Mawes itself is VERY narrow. Do bear this in mind. We parked (at cost) in the town car park and had a walk up to the castle itself. Our visit was free, (parking ON SITE also); as we are members of Cornish Heritage, this is also the case for English Heritage members of course.
We were suprised by how big the castle felt, and enjoyed looking out at the views from the gun decks, and exploring the rooms. There are some fun additions too…
We also walked down to look around the gardens, and find the historic original defences on the cliff edge.
There are toilets on site, but no cafe. The gift shop does have ice cream available.
We really enjoyed the day. Volunteers were really knowledgeable and friendly, and we enjoyed exploring the castle, as well as the extras.
Have you visited any of Cornwall’s castles? Do you have any other favourite places to explore? Let me know in the comments, or I’m always up for a chat on Twitter (and other socials below).Follow me on social media