“Wonderful idea,” I said when a trip to St Mawes was suggested with our son and his partner for Mr Word Loft’s birthday. I love castles and have been drawn to the village’s one after seeing it captured in art years ago.

The scenery is stunning; two castles can be seen from the main road. Pendennis in the distance, and St Mawes on a closer mound.

The ferry chugs to and from Falmouth – its blue and white boat in the quaint little harbour creating a typical Cornish scene. We stopped and watched it manoeuvre for a while, but it was cold and anticipation for our English Heritage Fort visit was rising.

Galleries, shops, inns, and cafes in all sorts of idyllic buildings, including thatched roofed types, lead up the coastal route to the castle, but our attention was diverted again before we arrived.

Regarding the beach from above, we noticed a newlywed couple with photographers in tow. Bravo to the bride wearing a pale grey silk dress traversing rocks and shingle in high-heeled shoes. I’m sure every unsteady step was worth it, as the photographs must have been enchanting with waves rippling behind them in the bay.

The gun fort rampart and battlements are impressive on approach, but that is the smaller side. It is a clover-leaf plan and was built by order of Henry VIII. The sea façade spreads along the terrain opposite Falmouth with cannons directed over the shore.

There are many floors. A kitchen at the base, with narrow stone steps winding up through the main tower to some storeys used as men’s living quarters and defence. On the rooftop, the views over two bastions, to the Roseland Peninsula and across the river are breathtaking.

Feeling the need to warm up, we wandered back to the main thoroughfare, where the Victory Inn was snug and friendly. The entrance dates back to 1792, and further up Victory Steps to the right, I was delighted to find a holy well, dedicated to St Mawe who lived there in the 6th century.

Finding out about the place’s namesake was a fitting farewell to the village.

Until next time,
Sue. X