Outdoor Space

St Anthony Head, the Roseland

Sat at the verdant tip of the Roseland Peninsula opposite Falmouth, St Anthony Head is the perfect answer to peaceful escapes. A short drive from neighbouring hot-spots yet a world away from the summer crowds and cobbled streets, it’s the ideal spot for whiling away the hours. Fill up a rucksack with treats and roll up a picnic blanket: depending on what you are looking for, you can choose from one of two great walks to stretch your legs, lap up the history and take in the views.

Guarding the edge of the headland, St Anthony’s Lighthouse was designed by James Walker and built in 1835. A useful landmark and invaluable guide warning ships to stay clear of the infamous Manacles Reef, the lighthouse is still in use today. Originally emitting light from eight Argand oil lamps mounted on a revolving frame, the lighthouse has now modernised with the times and has an automated light, flashing every 15 seconds – beaming out a thick golden jet that extends for a whopping 22 miles.

Not just famous for its lighthouse though, St Anthony’s Head is peppered with lots of eye-catching details, both natural and manmade. Boasting several beautiful beaches, including Porthbeor and Towan, beach-lovers will be in their element exploring the sandy swathes and rocky coves while historians will find plenty to capture their imaginations too. Thanks to its commanding views over the Fal estuary and the open sea, St Anthony Head’s defensive potential was harnessed early on and the headland is home to a 19th century battery observation post and the remains of big gun pits installed during WWII.

Naturally, if you are looking to stretch your legs or find a secluded picnic spot, this is a fantastic choice and there are plenty of places you can sit to take in the panoramas. With level paths and only around 1 mile of walking, the easiest walk starts at the National Trust St Anthony Head car park and leads you around the headland’s lighthouse, military outposts and a great bird hide to spy resident and visiting species. If you are not looking for something particularly strenuous, this walk is perfect and you can explore at your own pace.

For something a little more challenging, another great walk starts at Porth Farm car park (SW 868330), where you will find a good number of spaces and an honesty box for parking. From here, you can dabble your toes in the sea at Towan Beach before picking up a lovely 6-mile circular walk around the headland. Heading around the peninsula and following the Percuil River on the other side, this moderately difficult walk concludes at the Thirstea Co tearoom – perfect for refuelling with a cup of tea and bite to eat!

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