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Spotlight on St Agnes

A beautiful village on Cornwall’s north coast, St Agnes is characterised by sheltered beaches, scenic landscapes, picturesque cottages, a proud history and lively community. It also has one of the best foodie scenes in the area and is a deservedly popular holiday hot spot.

The village

Leafy lanes, steep hillsides, granite cottages and beautiful views… St Agnes is a gorgeous Cornish village to amble around. Take a look at the picturesque row of traditional Cornish cottages called Stippy Stappy which ‘step’ down the hill into the valley. Visit the lovely parish church in the centre of the village, and walk down to the beach along narrow verdant paths, past old engine houses while enjoying glorious coastal views.

There are a plethora of artisan shops, independent galleries and artists’ workshops in St Agnes. Discover one-off wares and unique art in Churchtown Arts, Jo Polak’s studio gallery, and the Trevauance Cove craft workshops. Visit Finisterre’s shop at the Wheal Kitty Workshops and browse surf fashion and boards at Aggie Surf Shop and Beachbeat Surfboards. For foodies, a pit stop at Trunk Deli or St Agnes bakery for Cornish treats to take home, is a must!

The food and drink scene in St Agnes is thriving, with delis, bakeries and farm shops, vegan specialists, cafes, bars and restaurants. In fact, there are so many fabulous places to eat and drink in this unassuming little village, they deserved their own blog! Check out our blog on foodie heaven in St Agnes.

St Agnes Beacon

Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a hike up to the top of St Agnes Beacon, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the highest point around. 192 metres (630 foot) high, the panoramic views from the top take in coast to coast vistas and on a clear day you can see for 30 miles across countryside and coast. Look to the south for Porthtowan, Portreath, St Ives and Godrevy Lighthouse, inland to Carn Brea and Redruth, and north to St Austell and Bodmin Moor.

Historically a chain of beacons linked one end of Cornwall to the other and were lit to warn of threats of invasion (such as the Spanish Armada), and for celebrations including the midsummer solstice and on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Wheal Coates

Two miles along the coast, south of St Agnes village, the remains of Wheal Coates mine are well worth a visit. Awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, the old engine house and chimney make a striking silhouette against the sea. Perched on the edge of the cliff overlooking the National Trust owned Chapel Porth beach, the ruins are an iconic image and reminder of the area’s mining heritage. Stroll down to the beach to visit the little café in the car park for a cup of tea or infamous Cornish clotted cream ‘hedgehog’ ice cream to round off your walk.


Keen walkers can follow the South West Coast Path from Trevauance Cove in St Agnes to Perranporth in one direction or Chapel Porth and on to Porthtowan in the other direction along stunning rugged scenery, taking in spectacular views and spotting Cornwall’s beautiful coastal flora and fauna along the way.

Bring your dog

The St Agnes area welcomes dogs, and there are plenty of lovely walks to enjoy with your four-legged friend. Dogs on leads are allowed at Trevaunance Cove all year round, and for a local countryside wander, take a leisurely walk to Crosscoombe, down to Blue Hills and allow your pooch to paddle off the lead at the small pebbled beach of Trevellas Porth.

Visit the beach(es)

You’ll be spoilt for choice in St Agnes with four beautiful beaches in the area.

The village beach is Trevaunance Cove, a sheltered pebbled beach with numerous rock pools and caves for exploring, great surf, clear water and an old harbour. Popular with families and surfers.

Trevellas Porth is situated halfway between St Agnes and Perranporth. A tiny cove at the bottom of Blue Hills, it can be reached by clambering across the rocks from Trevaunance at low tide, or over the cliff top if the tide is in.

Down in a valley, below dramatic cliffs, Chapel Porth is a well-known surf spot. It has a small rocky beach at high tide, but soft sand stretches for miles at low tide.

Porthtowan is a blue flag beach, perfect for a family day on the sand, followed by a drink or something to eat in one of the beachside bars.

Trevaunance Cove St Agnes Cornwall

The legend of The Bolster

The village is rumoured to be named after a young woman called Agnes in the legend of Bolster the Giant. Folklore has it that long ago an enormous and fearsome giant called Bolster lived in the parish. He terrorised the villagers but fell in love with beautiful Agnes. He proposed to her and she agreed to marry him if he completed the tasks she set him.

Agnes led Bolster to the cliffs at Chapel Porth and showed him a small hole in the rock, and asked him to show his love for her by filling the hole with his blood. He made a cut on his arm and held it above the hole, but Agnes had tricked him. His blood ran through a cleft and into the sea and the giant bled to death. It is said that the crimson cliffs around Chapel Porth were stained by his blood. Each year a festival is held on 1st May to celebrate the legend and re-enact the story of Bolster.

Mining heritage

St Agnes has a rich history of mining tin, copper and arsenic, and the last remaining tin production centre in the UK is located at the Blue Hills mine, above Trevellas Porth. The area’s mining history has shaped the landscape, and the ruins of mines dot the countryside.

At Trevaunance Cove the remains of the old harbour can be seen, where once ore was shipped and coal received. Fascinating accounts, artefacts and information on the area’s mining and seafaring heritage can be found at St Agnes Museum in the village.

To explore what St Agnes has to offer, book a self-catering holiday with us today. Choose from our range of holiday homes in this quintessential Cornish village. Click here to browse our St Agnes properties.

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