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St Mawes has a lot to offer, and not all of it's attractions neatly fit into Tripadvisors reviews, here are a few idea's of free things to do in and around St Mawes.
There are a number of beaches, Town (the beach 'inside' the harbour), Summer (the beach across from the harbour) and Tresanton (up the hill towards the castle. Of these Tresanton beach is normally the most popular due to the small stretches of sand and the proximity to the rockpools.
St Mawes has some fantastic rockpools, the best are between the quay and Tresanton beach. Arm youself with a pocket guide, a couple of buckets and off you go. You can lose yourself and start a lifelong love of nature in these pools and rocks. Every stone turned over reveals a new find, a crevice bravely explored rewards you with a new crab or a starfish. One warning is that it can get quite addictive as you find more and know where to look, your activities can start to be arranged around low tides...
Ever popular, the quay is lined with Kids and there parents all jostling for the best spots to catch there crabs from. You can pick up a simple line for £1-2 and a bucket (if you need one) for a little more. Most of the shops along the front have a range of colours and sizes to choose from. They also have larger nets priced a little higher (although in some way, using a net seems like cheating...)
You'll need to get some bait too, some prefer to use packs of bacon, but the crabs aren't that fussy, so any old off cuts of meat will do. You are set to go, bung the meat in the little net bags (not too much fat, or it will float!) thrown in your weight at a likely looking blob and off you go.
As you will discover, some places are better than others, some times are better than others and there are techniques to successful fishing, but it's half the fun discovering these with your kids.
If you catch enough crabs, you can even hold a crab race down the slip when you set them free.
There are plenty of walks around St Mawes, keep an eye out for the King Harrys Cornwall free guide, it details a few of the best. The one of particular note is the walk to the Church of St Just. A delightful walk up to the castle and along the headland with superb views over the Fal estuary ending in the picturesque bay with the church.