Places to Visit in South East Cornwall


Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Gardens

Mount Edgcumbe House is the former home of the Earls of Mount Edgcumbe. Set in Grade I Cornish Gardens within 865 acres Country Park on the Rame Peninsula, South East Cornwall.

Whether you are searching for a venue for a family outing or group visit, enthused by the magnificent Grade I Cornish gardens and famous historic house, combining your visit with a cruise of the River Tamar, looking for a civil wedding venue or viewing the national collection of camellias you are invited to come and explore, enjoy, learn its history or even dream awhile.

Mount Edgcumbe House was first built in the 1500s and was restored after World War Two. It is jointly owned by Cornwall Council and Plymouth City Council and is one of the region’s most popular historic tourist destinations.

The wider park is open year round, daily from 8am to dusk and is free to the public. The free area of the park includes the National Camellia Collection and the majority of the formal gardens.

Whitsand Bay

Whitsand Bay Beach offers three miles of stunning beach from Rame Head to Portwrinkle and is considered one of Cornwall’s hidden gems. Four golden sand beaches backed by sheer cliffs combine to create stunning scenery. Reached by steep paths and steps , at low tide the long stretch of glistening sand provides some great walking or jogging and the constant swell keeps surfers happy riding some huge waves.

Rock pools dotted around the beach reveal fascinating sea life and out to sea the bay is a popular dive site and home to HMS Scylla, an ex-naval frigate sunk in 2004 to form an artificial reef. When the tide’s in, the beaches are mostly covered but up on the cliffs the award winning View Café is a great spot for a meal and at the bottom of the cliffs at Tregonhawke Beach the Eddystone Café is an ideal place to grab a coffee and just enjoy the rather stunning views.

Access – Can be difficult on steps and uneven paths from parking areas.

Kingsand and Cawsand

Today always twinned, they were for many centuries on different sides of the border, the tiny stream acting as the boundary, with Cawsand located in Cornwall and Kingsand in Devon. In 1844, Kingsand rejoined Cornwall. The sign on one of the white painted cottages shows where the division occurred.

The villages have an interesting history with much involvement in smuggling and fishing. Remains of old pilchard cellars from the late 16th century can be seen on the shoreline just beyond Kingsand. These ‘Pilchard Palaces’ were for the storing and processing of this most prized fish.

Smuggling was rife in the 1700s and early 1800s and the villages were the main centre of smuggling in the West country during that period. Thousands of casks of spirits were landed here every year by the fleet of over 50 smuggling vessels which operated out of Cawsand Bay.

Richard Carew, one of Cornwall’s most famous historians visited the villages and recorded in his Survey of Cornwall(1769)his discovery of “Kings Sand and Causam Bay … The shore is peopled with some dwelling houses, and many Cellers, dearely rented for a short usage, in saving of Pilcherd…I have heard the Inhabitants thereabouts to report, that the Earl of Richmond (afterwards Henry the seventh) while hee hovered upon the coast, here by stealth refreshed himselfe; but being advertised of streight watch, kept for his surprising at Plymouth, he richly rewarded his hoste, hyed sppedily a shipboord, and escaped happily to a better fortune”.

The name Kingsand was first used in the mid 16th century. It is believed to be English in origin, rather than Cornish, and to denote that the sands were owned by a family called King.

The first recorded mention of the name, Cawsand, was as Couyssond in the early 15th century. The name is believed to be English and to derive from the words ‘cow’ and ‘sand'(beach).

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