Aside from chunky pasties and crashing surf, the tail end of the UK’s most southerly county is also blessed with some of the best pubs in Cornwall. I’ve divided my recommendations up based loosely on travel area. These are some of my favourite pub spots in my family home of beautiful Cornwall. You’ll probably need to allocate a (slightly bitter) designated driver to contemplate this entire guide!
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3 PUBS AROUND FALMOUTH:
PANDORA INN | this idyllic spot is right on the water and certainly one of the best pubs in Cornwall. The Pandora Inn is a little slice of history with lovely wooden beams and flagstone floors. The best part is the jetty that extends out on to the water and holds about 14 or so pub benches. The perfect spot for early evening drinking. Great food is heavily seafood focused and caught fresh that day.
THE BOATHOUSE | one of my favourite Falmouth spots, just a short walk up the hill from the centre of town. There are a handful of pubs in this pretty studenty town, but this one serves up good seafood and has lots of outdoor seating. Despite having been licensed for over 300 years, it remains independent and boasts great views across the harbour at sunset.
FERRYBOAT INN | this waterside pub more than justifies a long day-time walk to build up a thirst. We normally start from Durgan National Trust carpark or Mawnan Smith carpark, for a longer hike. Paddle in the estuary and enjoy the fields filled with yellow flowers in summer. Stunning.
3 PUBS AROUND PENZANCE:
SHIP INN PORTHLEVEN | this iconic pub is built into the rocks at the entrance to the most southerly port in England. The family- and dog-friendly Ship attracts locals and tourists alike. Enjoy the staggered garden terrace outside for views of the pretty harbour. For me, this is definitely a winter pub though: come and snuggle up inside around Christmas time. The cosy atmosphere is enhanced by great music, memorabilia adorned walls, and mulled wine.
THE FIRE ENGINE INN | admittedly the food can be hit and miss here, but I love this pub for the pretty views of famous St. Michael’s Mount. Pick a sunny day and enjoy a glass of rose on the grassy slopes of the large garden. It’s pet-friendly – like most places in the county – but would probably benefit from a bit of a spruce up inside.
SHIP INN MOUSEHOLE | Mousehole (pronounced M-ow-s-all, not literally Mouse-hole) is a dreamy little fisherman’s village near Penzance. It’s beautiful year round, but most famous for it’s Christmas lights that have people flocking there in the thousands. The Ship Inn is a favourite of my family’s for dropping in for a festive drink. It’s cosy and welcoming inside, adorned with trinkets, and serving food as well as booze – making it one of best pubs in Cornwall.
3 PUBS AS WEST AS YOU CAN GET:
THE SLOOP | one of best pubs in Cornwall and my favourite pub in St. Ives: along with the rest of the population it seems. This 14th-century inn, located right on the much photographed harbour, is totally charming. The whole town gets so busy in July and August that St. Ives is probably best avoided altogether then, but in any other month try and get a seat here. Dog friendly despite the limited space in the traditional front bar.
THE TINNER’S ARMS | is located in tiny Zennor, on the north coast not too far from St. Ives. There’s a pretty little church and also a Folk Museum, which I admit I haven’t been to! In the summer you can sit outside and enjoy some rare rays. Apparently this pub dates back to 1271 and has log fires, local ales, and 4 rooms in its 19th-century cottage.
FIRST AND LAST INN | a huge pub with garden that has recently undergone refurbishment due to new ownership (2016). Dating back to the 17th-century, it was renowned for being the headquarters of smugglers and wreckers and still contains an exposed smugglers’ tunnel. As well as tonnes of history, it’s also located in Sennen: the most westerly village in mainland Britain just one mile from Land’s End. We all enjoyed an excellent £11 Roast Dinner last Sunday.
1 PUB I WISH I’D BEEN TO:
SEVEN STARS INN | in Stithian’s is one of my parent’s favourite local pubs, for it’s friendly atmosphere and good quiz. It’s cosy and traditional inside with low beamed ceilings and old stone walls. If you like the name, but not the location, then the Seven Stars Pub in Flushing has an equally good reputation.
AND KNOW THIS: Apparently some of the best pubs in Cornwall are also haunted! There’s the Jamaica Inn – Bodmin Moor; Cornwall’s most famous smugglers inn made world-famous by Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn novel). The Crow’s Nest – Darite has had four different ghosts sighted.
The ghost at The Crown Inn – St Ewe is believed to be former landlord Norman Jeffery. 400-year-old The Ship Inn – Mevagissey
also has a ghost of its former landlady, Lil Barron. Finally the Dolphin Tavern – Penzance apparently has three ghosts in residence. Check out the original article for all the details!