Waterside Pubs in Cornwall

A Tour of Cornwall’s Best Waterside Pubs

You can always expect a warm and hearty welcome when you visit the West Country, and nowhere more so than its charming collection of country pubs.

We sent our very own Mr Toad to the beautiful and ancient county of Cornwall on a mission to sample some of its famous seaside pubs and riverside inns, which are so lovely, we’re surprised he came back!


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hayley Bisofsky-Pope (@stovesincoves) on

We must warn you that once you’ve laid eyes on these gorgeous locations you’ll be seriously hankering for a stay in the sunny South West.

Here’s what Mr Toad had to say…

The Pandora Inn, Falmouth

First off, we travel to the Cornish south coast and the flamboyant maritime town of Falmouth on the mouth of the Fal Estuary. Set on the edge of Restronguet Creek lies one of the region’s most characterful waterside pubs. Dating back to the 13th century, the Pandora Inn is recognised by its medieval thatched roof, flagstone floors and low-beamed ceilings, all the hallmarks of an authentic Cornish ale house and sailor’s haunt. The days of moonshine and sea shanties may have dwindled, but the beautiful views and original features remain. Expect to find snug alcoves, old maps, log fires, waterside picnic-tables and a sumptuous menu and amply stocked bar.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ROHRS & ROWE | PROPERTY AGENTS (@rohrsandrowe) on

The Ship Inn, Mousehole

The sparkling waters of Mount’s Bay provides the backdrop for our next destination. Set on the historic harbourside in the idyllic fishing village of Mousehole, The Ship Inn is a traditional Cornish pub packed with character and charm. Expect a warm and friendly welcome when you cross the threshold of this much-loved pub, which like so many of its contemporaries has retained much of its original features and authentic hallmarks – from its low black beams to its rustic stalls and squat round tables. Here, you can expect some exceptional pub grub and a better view of Mousehole harbour – famous for its Christmas lights – you will not find! It’s also one of Cornwall’s many dog-friendly pubs.

The Port William Inn, Trebarwith Strand

If it’s sweeping sea views you seek, head to The Port William Inn on the Trebarwith Strand, not far from the ruins of Tintagel Castle, famous for its Arthurian legends. Here, on the North Cornwall coast, the coastline is rugged and striking, the cliffs filled with purple sea thrift and the sea stacks withstanding the rhythmic pound of the ocean. The Port William is perfectly placed to take in all of this untamed beauty and boasts some of the most glorious sunset views in the whole of Kernow. Explore the winding South West Coast Path as it roams along this magnificent stretch of the coast before booking your seat at one of the pub’s tables on the terrace for a delicious carvery or moreish seafood platter. Waggy-tailed friends welcome.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Port William (@portwilliaminn) on

The Ship Inn, Porthleven

The Ship Inn is a 17th Century pub built on Porthleven’s harbourside, one of the most picturesque settings on the south west coast of Cornwall. On a sunny day, make for the pub’s lovely terraced garden and take in the beautiful views of this iconic fishing port. Step inside to discover a traditional sailors’ tavern full of old maritime memorabilia. Behind the bar are a selection of local ales, plus regular guest casks. Let’s not beat around the gunwale, this is still a proper maritime pub with all the authentic trimmings, and like all sailors’ waterside snugs there’s a hearty welcome for all those who cross the flagstones. Expect to find some Great British seaside classics on the menu and a long list of local seafood specialities – definitely a pub for all those looking for an authentic taste of the Cornish south coast.

Blue Peter Inn, Polperro

Next on the list is one of Polperro’s most popular pubs. With its friendly staff, tempting menu and magnificent quayside position, the Blue Peter Inn is every inch the traditional mariner’s retreat. This popular pub boasts a string of awards, from a certificate of excellence from the British Real Ale Guide, to a Taste of the West, South West, Gold winner. When you visit the south coast fishing village of Polperro you’ll find yourself surrounded by beautiful views and wonderful walks. What better journey’s end than a visit to the Blue Peter for some gourmet pub grub and locally brewed ale.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Laura Giles (@misslaula) on

Like what you see? Why not browse through our long list of Cornish holiday cottages and start planning your West Country escape.

The Halzephron Inn, Gunwalloe

From one idyllic fishing community to another, only this time we’re heading to the Lizard Peninsula – famous for its sweeping views – and the rural parish of Gunwalloe. Surrounded by some of the region’s beautiful beaches and coastal walks, you’ll find The Halzephron Inn. Much of the inn’s five-hundred-year history is intertwined with old smugglers’ tales who once enjoyed great notoriety along these unforgiving waters. The pub has a flotilla of picnic tables, the perfect spot on a sunny day, with wonderful panoramic views of the sparkling Mount’s Bay waters and the surrounding wildflower meadows. Walkers often finish up at The Halzephron Inn after exploring the coastal path that runs from Fishing Cove to Porthleven, enjoying a hearty seaside meal in the pub’s dining gallery. The golden shores of Church Cove are only a short stroll away, ideal for surfers, snorkelers, paddlers and wild swimmers alike.

The Rashleigh Arms, Charlestown

The Cornish south coast and picturesque port of Charlestown provides the location for our next waterside pub. This historic harbour, famous for its tall ships, has been used on countless occasions for the filming of period dramas, from the heroic escapades of Ross Poldark, to the dark and brooding ‘Taboo’ starring Tom Hardy. But you don’t need to be an A-list celebrity to enjoy some downtime on St Austell Bay, just look for The Rashleigh Arms, a 19th Century inn updated into a stylish bar, lounge and dining area that’s become a real hit with the punters. You’ll find an impressive selection of award-winning local ales and fine wines, plus an impressive food menu. ‘The Rashleigh’ also boasts a spacious front terrace and garden and hosts live music and jazz evenings for all those looking for a buzzy night out.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rashleigh Arms (@rashleigharms1851) on

The Shipwright Arms, Helford River

Set on the tranquil banks of the Helford River, The Shipwrights Arms remains one of Cornwall’s loveliest seaside pubs. People flock from near and far to grab themselves a table on the terrace and watch the ebb and flow of this stunning river, accompanied by a pint of something thirst quenching. Traditionally, this quiet hideaway on the creek has been the haunt of yachtsman, sailors and fishermen of the Helford Passage, but it also has a glowing reputation as a friendly family pub, ideal for those lazy lunches and long overdue get-togethers. A highly recommended venue for all those seeking some peaceful surrounds and the Cornish countryside idyll.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Samuel Confino (@s2the_a_m) on

Book up your summertime escapes with Toad Hall Cottages and see which one of these fabulous seasonal deals takes your fancy.

The Heron Inn, Malpas

On the tree-lined banks of Malpas, where the rivers Truro and Tresillian feed into the River Fal, you’ll find one of south Cornwall’s hidden gems, The Heron Inn. Set in the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and with enchanting views of the estuary, this much-loved waterside pub is a wonderful place to sit back and enjoy a gentler pace. The inn is a popular outpost for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts who regularly spot egrets, curlews, ospreys, herons, and even the odd pelican, as they enjoy a riverside stroll to the pretty neighbouring villages of St. Clement and Tresillian. Open all day, serving light breakfasts till noon and then offering a full lunch menu and specials throughout the afternoon and evening, The Heron Inn is blessed with one of Cornwall’s most beautiful backdrops.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FEAST TALES (@feast.tales) on

The Harbour Tavern, Mevagissey

The picturesque fishing port of Mevagissey, near St Austell, is the waterside scene for the final pub on our tour. The Harbour Tavern sits right on the water’s edge and prides itself on serving only the finest West Country fayre supplied from the homegrown toil of Cornish farmers and fishermen. Expect nothing but hearty and wholesome meals when you grab yourself a table at this family-friendly pub, a lovely place to sit back and unwind after your day spent exploring this ancient parish. Not far away you’ll find the Lost Gardens of Heligan, a stunning 200 acres full of vibrant flora and birdsong.

With hundreds of beautiful holiday cottages on our books, it’s no wonder Toad Hall Cottages remains the agency of choice for holiday makers looking to discover and explore the idyllic West Country region. Take your pick from our impressive list of holiday properties in Cornwall and start planning your getaway.