Our absolute favourite place in Cornwall! It is a beautiful little seaside village with quaint shops, cafés, restaurants, art galleries, stunning cliff top walks in both a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a World Heritage Site, a dramatic little cove, dog-friendly beaches and its own brewery! What more could you want? Not enough? Well, for the more adventurous of you, St. Agnes also offers kayaking, coasteering, a surf school and a bike shop. All of that should keep you busy for some time, but once you’ve had your fill of our favourite part of Cornwall, I recommend also visiting the 2 bays on either side called ‘Chapel Porth’ and ‘Trevellas’ for more stunning bays. So here is what we’d recommend you look into further to make the most of your stay.
St Agnes’s lovely little cove; the beach has good surf, and is well protected from the wind. You can hire a surf board, join up for a surf lesson with Tom, or just enjoy some body boarding if you prefer. When the tide is out there is usually some great surf, and sat behind the beach is Breakers café that sells Kelly’s Cornish ice creams, lunch and coffee. Schooners also sits in the cove with stunning views of the cove, serving some of the best food in the area, coffee and something stronger!
The walk to Chapel Porth
The walk along the coastal path to Chapel Porth is truly memorable. You will be walking along National Heritage coastline by spectacular ton mines in the heart of Poldark country! You will see the Balden Rocks, also known as ‘the ow and calf’, a couple of large rocks around 1 mile off the coast, seals if you are lucky, and some stunning coastline. On a clear day you can see all the way to St Ives in the south and Newquay in the north. Towards Chapel Porth, you will find Wheal Coates, the most iconic of the Cornish tin mines that sits high above the sea. Chapel Porth is a lovely little beach/cove, with a wonderful café that does some rather sumptuous ice creams, Cornish teas and hot food, and seems to be open pretty much all year round. You can also drive and park there, which is free for National Trust members, Chapel Porth is a lovely spot for a day on the beach, with loads of rock pools and caves to explore.
Walk to Cligga Head Wolframite Mine & Explosives Factory
As opposed to walking south, head down to Trevaunance Cove and up the hill the other side (just below Driftwood Spars) for an equally breath-taking walk. You will head through Trevellas Cove, and then along some striking cliff tops with stunning views, whilst seeing a number of old war bunkers along the way. The colours of the cliffs include striking reds and greens from the copper, ultimately used to make tin. You can find out more about Cligga Head here but you will also be treated to spectacular views over Perranporth beach.
Join up with Tom at Koru Kayaking who will take you on a magical tour of the St Agnes coastline by kayak. See seals, explore caves, and witness close up the incredible colours of the cliffs around this astonishing stretch of coast. Book here.
Potentially the greatest way of exploring our coastlines. With elements of adventure rockpooling, or a shore hugging, ocean nature-trail. In a nutshell it is a combined experience that respects the foreshore as an eco-adventure playground. It’s about rock-hopping, shore-scrambling, swell-riding, cave-exploring and, yes, cliff-jumping. But it’s as much about exploring our wildlife and coastline at close-quarters; an intimacy that walkers may never experience. Book here.
Blue Hills Tin Mine
Within walking distance of St Agnes is Blue Hills Tin Mine. Cornish tin has been produced and smelted since 2000 B.C. For most of this time it was mined from the surface as alluvial tin (stream tin). This material had been laid down after being eroded and weathered away from outcropping veins or lodes over vast periods of time. You can learn about this fascinating process on a gentle walk around the site. Meet the craftsmen who extract the ore, dress it, smelt it, refine it and make it into the final end product. They process rock through to refined metal and use this to produce their range of handcrafted Cornish tin jewellery and giftware. Learn more here.
Perranporth Golf Club
Set on the cliff tops of Perranporth, you will struggle to find a golf course with more spectacular views. A challenge to the best golfer, particularly on a windy day, you won’t be disappointed. If you want to travel further afield, or turn your stay into a golf tour, Trevose and West Cornwall Golf Course are also within easy reach.
Where to eat
The best view, and what I can only describe as Cornish Tapas. Absolutely delicious smaller dishes allow you to try a variety of the in season treats that their talented chef has concocted. Lots of seafood, and vegetarian alternatives, but plenty to suit all tastes, and probably our favourite place to eat in St Agnes because of this combination.
In our opinion, probably the best food in St Agnes. Whether you want fish, meat or veggie, the quality never drops, and the menu and service are always excellent. Always worth a visit.
The coolest pub in the village maybe. Great beers, brilliant and interesting food, and a great surfer vibe. We love it here.
Cornish Pizza Company
Mostly a takeaway, although room for a select few to eat outside, these are Cornwall’s best pizzas, if the awards are to be believed, and we do. They are certainly exceptional pizzas by any standards, and with some unusual, seasonal and delicious combinations as well as the traditional favourites.
The Sorting Office Coffee Shop
Quaint coffee shop that produces the best coffee / hot chocolates / smoothies in St Agnes, with some health(ish) treats to go with it.
The Driftwood Spars
Set just back from Trevaunance Cove, this is a lovely pub with rooms. Good food, but for this this one is about the beer. They have their own brewery and thus a lot of interesting ales to sample.
St Agnes Bakery
The best sausages rolls I’ve had anywhere, and wonderful bread and pasties to boot. An essential on every trip, and maybe every day!
A small but perfectly formed little shack on the way down to Trevaunance Cove. During the day it does waffles, healthy breakfasts and delicious lunches. During the peak season, they also do the odd evening event too that range from sushi to tapas.
A wonderful little cafe that does the best afternoon tea in St Agnes, as well as lovely crab salads, and the best ice cream in Cornwall (Moomaid). They also usually have a resident artist, and often have live music during the day too.
The Peterville Inn
Doesn’t look that much from the outside, but a great pub once inside.