The Eden Project is under half an hour away and is one of the most famous gardens in the UK. The Rainforest Biome and the Mediterranean Biome spread the stories of plants from across the world. Renowned musical artists perform throughout the Summer and the Eden Bakery is fast becoming a favourite place to eat throughout Cornwall.
The Minack Theatre is a world-famous open-air theatre located right on the coastline of Porthcurno Bay. Wrap up in blankets on the stone steps and enjoy the theatre and fantastic sea views. Arrive earlier in the day to make the most of their succulents and cacti garden.
Escaping the crowds of the North Coast in the nearby coastal town of St Mawes gives visitors a taste of the Mediterranean. Gift shops and wonderful places to eat such as the Tresanton Hotel (which do delicious homemade ice cream on the Terrace in the Summer months). A twenty-minute passenger ferry can be caught to Falmouth.
The National Maritime Museum
The National Maritime Museum is situated in the nautical town of Falmouth overlooking the water. It is known for celebrating the sea, boats and Cornwall and hosts various exhibitions throughout the year. Falmouth itself is a fun day out, with harbour-side restaurants, galleries and Pendennis Castle.
Tate St Ives
St Ives is one of the most stunning towns in the South West, and enticed artists such as Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson to its cobbled streets and white sand shores. The Tate Gallery, on the edge of Porthminster beach is well worth a visit.
Situated on the River Fowey, Fowey has a unique and unspoilt charm. Cobbled walkways, narrow streets and a busy boating scene. Steeped in nautical history, the town has a regatta each Summer as well a literary festival every May to celebrate the life and work of Dame Daphne Du Maurier, who spent most of her life in Fowey.
Cornwall’s beaches are world renowned with long sweeping beaches to dramatic cliffs and secluded coves. The beaches near Hay Barton are quieter compared to the bustle of the North Coast.
Beaches near Hay Barton
Carne Beach is Jill’s favourite beach and where her son became engaged! A ten-minute drive away, the beach has white sand and is set against the dramatic backdrop of Nare Head overlooking Gerrans Bay. The beach is safe for swimming and when the tide is out, you can walk for over a mile along to Pendower Beach.
Porthcurnick is an isolated sandy cove, backed by high cliffs and is a perfect place to dip in the sea followed by something totally delicious from the wonderful Hidden Hut cafe. Stroll along the coastal path to Portscatho and its excellent galleries.
Porthbeor is a remote but stunning beach on the way to St Anthony’s head. It is renowned for having clear water and looks straight out to sea.
Kynance Cove is one of the most dramatic pieces of coastline in England. On the Lizard Peninsula, steep steps lead down the serpentine studded cliff face to a strip of white sand with sea either side. A traditional beach café serves cream tea at the bottom. Truly worth the drive to see.
Porthcurno is a wide sweeping cove, with spectacular stacked granite cliffs and some of the clearest water in Cornwall. Watch for passing basking sharks in the Summer and meander along the coastal path to visit the nearby Minack Theatre.
Watergate Bay is one of the North Coast’s finest beaches with over two miles of sand stretching out before you and plenty of surfers in the sea. The Beach Hut café is a rather classy place to stop to eat.
Lamorran House Gardens
This Mediterranean-style garden has beautiful sparkling sea views over Falmouth bay. Sub-tropical plants spill across this four-acre garden nestled in the coastal village of St Mawes.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are truly magnificent situated near Mevagissey with over 200 acres to explore. Ranging from formal Victorian gardens to ancient woodland and a lush sub-tropical jungle, Heligan has something for everyone. A wonderful farm shop on location stocks the best of local produce.
The grounds of Caerhays are an informal woodland garden boasting fine camellias, magnolias, rhododendrons and oak trees. You can spill out on to Caerhays beach once you have finished exploring one of Cornwall’s more unknown treasures.
Further afield the delights of Trebah and Glendurgan gardens on the Helford River, Trelissick and Lanhydrock are just some of the many fine gardens that Cornwall has to offer.
Circular Walks Nearby to Hay Barton
St Anthony Head and Place
This gentle circular walk is five miles long and can begin at either St Anthony Head or by catching a ferry from St Mawes to Place. Stunning sea views stretch across Gerrans Bay towards Falmouth, one of the world’s largest natural harbours. Two white sand coves with azure blue sea on a clear day give way to St Anthony’s lighthouse.
St Mawes to St Just-in-Roseland Church
The walk from St Mawes to St Just-in-Roseland is wonderfully peaceful. Around five miles with one moderate climb, the path meanders along St Just Creek with fantastic views across the Carrick Roads. The Church at St Just-in-Roseland is one of the most beautiful in Cornwall and just up the hill is Miss Vs tea shop which serves delicious home baked food throughout the day which will fortify you for the walk back to St Mawes.
Mevagissey, Gorran Haven and Portmellon
For those after something a little more strenuous, the seven mile walk from Mevagissey is ideal. Starting at this traditional fishing village with a large harbour, the path winds through woodlands to the harbourside village of Gorran Haven, where a stunning coast path walk then returns to Mevagissey through Chapel Point.
Pendower Beach and Treworlas
This three-mile walk starts at Pendower Beach with views across to the dramatic headland of Nare Head. The path leads away from the beach and into a wooded valley. Melinsey Mill is an excellent place to stop for a cream tea before finishing the walk, returning to the stretching shores of Pendower.
Walking guides in the Guest Sitting Room at Hay Barton will help provide plenty more food for thought for walks throughout Cornwall as you enjoy your afternoon tea after a day’s sightseeing.
Places to Eat
Near Hay Barton
Watch house, St Mawes
The Taverna at Portscatho serves scrummy pizzas and is part of the Hidden Hut group.
The Kings Head
You will be well looked after at the Kings Head in Runa Lanihorne, just three miles away from Hay Barton. Delicious food with lots of locally caught fish specials and a garden to catch the afternoon sun.
This charming thatched country pub serves wholesome pub food. A large roaring fire can be enjoyed throughout the winter.
In an unrivalled setting looking across Falmouth Bay in St Mawes, the Tresanton’s food is utterly spoiling. The restaurant is uncluttered with a light nautical air and food can be enjoyed on the terrace on sunny days.
Watch House St Mawes
A harbour side restaurant in St Mawes. A comfortable and cosy ground floor dining area and bar with family friendly booths and a light and open upstairs dining room with sea views out across the harbour to St Anthony’s head.
The Quarterdeck at the Nare Hotel
A ten-minute drive away and based at one of Cornwall’s top hotels, the luxurious Quarterdeck is in a breathtakingly beautiful location overlooking Gerrans Bay. It is a good find on a Sunday evening when many of the local pubs are closed.
Padstow is forty minutes away where you can try out Rick Stein’s culinary expertise. From the highly acclaimed fish and chips on the quay to his sea food restaurant, the fishing village is well worth a visit.