The Cornish fishing village of St Mawes, at the mouth of the Percuil River, has epic views that stretch languidly to Falmouth Bay. They say it’s named after Maudez, a Celtic saint who spent years in solitary contemplation looking out at the calming waters. Anyone who has queued in the Co-op in July might find the idea of quiet meditation laughable. However, the rows of pastel and whitewashed cottages, the castle and the imposing lighthouse that stands guard on St Anthony Head all contribute to the fairytale feel. And the sailing is magical, too.
The St Mawes Ferry, which goes to and from Falmouth, shares the water with grand yachts, dinghies, shabby fishing boats and rowers in their pilot gigs. Children spend blissful hours rockpooling on the two small beaches. And there’s plenty more to do: browsing the boutiques, lounging on nearby Carne beach, going for coastal walks or investigating the many fantastical gardens nearby. Or you could take a leaf out of St Maudez’s book and quietly contemplate the view; but unlike him, why not do so on a hotel terrace with an invigorating cocktail or a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc?