Today, as far as the weather will allow, Cornwall celebrates St Piran's Day, named after the county's fifth-century patron saint. Legend has it that back in the day, Piran was tied to a mill stone and cast into the stormy sea by Irish tribal kings, only to wash up – very much alive – on the Cornish coast at Perranporth. He made a new home for himself in the land that saved him and went on to become patron saint of Cornwall, honoured with his own flag, now the national flag of Cornwall.
There’s plenty to celebrate about a part of the world where gloriously rugged scenery combines with fascinating history, tradition and folklore. And, while many will feel that Cornwall needs little introduction, it has evolved tremendously in recent years, transforming itself from an appealing choice for holidaymakers and second home-owners into a thriving year-round destination.
In the last few years, we have seen new property hot spots develop in previously under-the-radar areas, stretching between the well-known resorts and opening up the market across the coast. So, just as Saint Piran apparently rediscovered the lost art of tin-smelting, it seems appropriate that we mark today with a little rediscovery of our own, pin pointing three of the areas to watch in 2018.
Set in a large sweeping bay on the rugged west coast, Porthleven is very much a traditional Cornish town, steeped in charm and history and boasting one of the prettiest harbours in Cornwall.
Until recently, the residential market was largely local but over the past few years, a restaurant scene to rival the county’s best-loved foodie resorts has prompted an emerging prime market that is developing at pace. Interest stretches beyond the village, taking in the picturesque coastal villages of Perranuthnoe and Marazion, where impressive sea-facing properties are being snapped up by lifestyle buyers and investors alike.
Moving east along the south coast, brings us to the Roseland Peninsula. A pretty seaside village, just a few miles outside of Truro, Portscatho offers a sheltered spot and a series of fine sandy beaches, making it an ideal holiday resort. Luxury tourism prompted the developing prime market here, with a handful of excellent hotels, including the Michelin-starred Driftwood Hotel and The Nare with four AA stars, carving out a new culinary scene, which includes an array of top quality restaurants, cafés and pubs, including The Hidden Hut and The Plume of Feathers.
With its laid-back, artistic culture, its setting in an Area of Outstanding Beauty and its mild climate (locals talk about it as sub-tropical), Portscatho is set to make its mark in 2018.
Named by The Sunday Times as ‘Best Place to Live’ in the South West in 2016, the university town of Falmouth has been a rising star of the local property market for a good many years now and in terms of price growth, has outperformed most of Cornwall over the last decade. But only recently has it really been emerging as a prime area for property.
The university has played a role in the creation of a buzzing creative tech scene, while the town’s successful marine industry, built around one of the world’s largest natural harbours, home to leading superyacht business, Pendennis, brings in a year-round international clientele.
Boasting some of the most spectacular stretches of coastline and miles of sweeping rural landscapes, Cornwall has long been recognised for its world-class resorts. Now, however we are seeing a wealth of previously hidden gems emerge along the breadth of the county, feeding an exciting market.