The Roseland name is nothing to do with the flower but is derived from the old Cornish word 'ros' or 'rhos' meaning land jutting out into the sea. The Roseland is bordered to the east by Gerrans Bay and Veryan Bay, and to the west by the River Fal estuary (known as Carrick Roads) and its upper reaches. Further east is the Cornish Riviera bordered by St Austell Bay and Mevagissey Bay.
The village of Tregony, with its wide market street featuring a clock tower and some fine old buildings, is known as the gateway to the Roseland. It was once a thriving port before the River Fal silted up, with 36 alehouses to provide 'nourishment' for the sailors. It also returned two members of parliament, being one of the 'rotten boroughs' that existed before the Reform Act of 1832.
The up-market resort of St. Mawes is at the southern end of Roseland and was another rotten borough returning two members of parliament, the whole village being once owned by the Duke of Buckingham. It is the principal village of the Roseland, being surrounded by water on three sides and south facing. It consequently has a very mild climate and a magical atmosphere. It is a centre of marine activity of all sorts, with a small fishing fleet, a large Sailing Club and a Gig Boat Club, fine beaches, and two boat yards.
At the southernmost tip of the Roseland is St. Anthony Headland, with its lighthouse guiding ships into Carrick Roads and warning of the Manacles, a reef jutting out from the Lizard Peninsula. St Anthony was also the site of a gun battery from Napoleonic times until after the Second World War. Further back in history, about 450 years ago, coastal defences were provided by Henry VIII who built St Mawes Castle and Pendenis Castle in Falmouth.
Branching off Carrick Roads a few miles north of St Mawes is the beautiful St Just-in-Roseland creek with its waterside church and 'sub-tropical' churchyard gardens. Between St Just and St Mawes is a lovely walk through National Trust farmland and heath, or along the foreshore at low tide.
The eastern coast of the Roseland Peninsula has a number of sandy beaches and the coastal footpath. Part way along is Portscatho, famous for pilchard fishing and merchant schooner operations in times past. Just inland is its twin village of Gerrans, the church spire being a well known landmark for those at sea and on land. Further east are the small fishing villages of Portloe and Gorran Haven, and the large fishing village of Mevagissey.
There are further lovely inland villages including Veryan. It is famous for its 'Round Houses', built about 200 years ago by the then rector to guard the entrances to the village, the theory being that a round house has no corners for the devil to hide in! Others are Philleigh and Ruan Lanihorne, through which the old Penzance to London coaching road used to run, both with interesting churches and and good pubs. There is also Polmassick with its vineyard, and St Ewe. This is nothing to do with sheep, but named after St Ewa, an old Cornish saint.
In summary, there are a variety of relaxing, interesting and friendly villages throughout the whole of the Roseland Peninsula, Cornish Riviera and surrounding areas. It is within easy reach of Truro and other major centres, and few regions can offer such a variety of outstanding natural beauty, or provide such a superb atmosphere in which to live.