So much to do in West Cornwall!
Our very own chocolate box Cornish fishing village!
Whatever the time of year, St. Ives greets visitors with a warm welcome. The town has several sandy beaches perfect for a family day on the beach.
St Ives is a picturesque classic Cornish fishing town. Only in relatively recent years has St. Ives become the tourist destination that it is today. This was in part due to the arrival of eager Victorian holiday makers and the Great Western Railway branch line that arrived in the town in 1877.
The town is blessed with four distinct beaches. Porthmeor is a fine surfing, Blue Flag accredited, beach. With restaurants and other facilities it makes a great beach for all the family.
The harbour beach is accessed from the harbour road in town. It is a sheltered beach protected by the harbour wall. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the small boats moored in the harbour.
Porthgwidden is a small beach which is suitable for swimmers and bathers. It gets the sun for most of the day and is also served by a small cafe for refreshments.
The final beach is Porthminster. This is the largest beach in St. Ives stretching about half of a mile. The beach offers calm waters so is great for families with children.
St. Ives has a wealth of galleries, studios, gift shops and boutiques to explore, as well as an amazing choice of restaurants, cafes and bars.
The Tate Gallery stands above Porthmeor Beach and visitors can visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden, which preserves the 20th century sculptor’s studio and garden much as they were when she lived and worked there.
The town also hosts its own September Festival. A two week celebration of music and the arts. This festivals draws performers and visitors from all over the country and beyond.
Truro is both the county town and the centre for administration, leisure and retail.
The city is historically a market town. Today the city still has Pannier Market, an indoor market space open all year round. There are also many open air events on Lemon Quay including food festivals, music and arts and craft markets. Being the only city in Cornwall, Truro also boasts a cathedral. It was completed in 1910 and is only one of three English cathedrals with three spires.
As well as many independent shops, the city is also home to many well know high street brands. With several car parks around the city, it is easy to have a day out shopping in Cornwall.
Truro is also connected to the rest of England via the Cornish Mail Line where trains are available to destinations throughout the country.
Penzance & Mounts Bay
The Very Model of a Modern Major Town.
Penzance is the last large town in Cornwall overlooking the glorious Mounts Bay. The town is well known as the location for the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance”. Today the town still has very strong ties to the arts. Every year the town celebrates the Golowan Festival. The celebration happens at the end of June every year and attracts thousands of visitors. There is a strong emphasis on music and costume; the celebrations culminate with a parade featuring many marching bands and local organisations in costume.
Penzance is another Cornish town that has produced some engineering and scientific giants. Humphry Davy was born in the town in 1778. As well as isolating various elements including sodium and potassium, he also invented and gave his name to the Davy Lamp. This was a lamp that was able to isolate the space around an open flame and that of the surrounding atmosphere. This was a revolution in mine safety as explosions due to open flames were a constant threat to mine workers.
Always visible just off the coast is the dominating presence of the iconic St. Michaels Mount. The family seat of the St Aubyn family. St. Michaels Mount is a National Trust property and is open to the public from May to October. Because of the Mounts impact on the landscape, it has been a significant character throughout history. The name in old Cornish actually means “Grey rock in the wood” probably referring to ancient times before the bay itself was swallowed up by the sea. To back this up remains of trees have been found at low tide dating back to 1700 BC. Some of the current buildings date back to the 12th century.
The surf capital of the UK! Newquay and its impressive Fistral Beach play host to many music and surf festivals. The town also boast an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars.
Newquay is many things to many different people. The surf capital of the South West! The party town of Cornwall! The list goes on. With its eclectic mix of restaurants, sandy beaches and plenty of entertainment, it’s no wonder that the town is visited by thousands of tourists every year. The town boasts a zoo, aquarium and plays host to Cornwall’s main airport!
Falmouth has a proud naval heritage. A bustling town with plenty of museums, art galleries and restaurants.
Falmouth is a bustling town with a long naval heritage it has one of the deepest natural harbours in the world! In the town you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries. There is never a shortage of things to do and see in Falmouth; many festivals have based themselves in the town such as the annual Oyster Festival and the Sea Shanty festival.
Redruth & Camborne
The beating heart of West Cornwall industrial heritage. Birth place of some of the greatest minds in mining history.
Redruth & Camborne are a repository of Cornish mining history. These two neighbouring towns were at the centre of Cornwall’s industrial revolution and long standing history with mining. It’s quite a sight when Camborne celibates Trevithick Day! The town fills up with steam engines, stalls and entertainers from all over England to celebrate their famous son.
Isles of Scilly
The island jewels of Scilly offer picturesque scenes with stunning beaches and varied fauna and flora.
If you are staying in West Cornwall, it is easy to arrange a day trip to visit the Isles of Scilly. These beautiful islands are only a few miles off the coast and can easily be accessed via Penzance, where there are regular ferry crossings or via Newquay or Lands’ End airports where there are regular flights on the Skybus.
Arriving early in the morning you have the choice of exploring the main island of St. Marys or taking the short ferry ride to some of the other islands, all within a few minutes’ boat ride. All the islands are different and have their own identity.
St. Marys, the main commercial and administrative centre of the islands, with enchanting Hugh Town, huddled around the harbour and beaches, offers restaurants, shops and an array of activities. There are numerous historic and archaeological sites on the islands and on St. Marys you can find many including ancient burial chambers and The Star Castle on The Garrison.
If relaxing is for you then just sit on the harbour in the gardens or in one of the cafes and watch the fleet of small boats come and go with the tide.
A little way across the sheltered waters is the Island if Tresco. Tresco is the second largest of the islands and a subtropical paradise. It is privately owned by the Dorrien-Smith family and has a world renowned Abbey Garden with visitors from all over the world. Over several years, a luxurious resort has been developed on the island, with luxury shops and restaurants. The traditional island pub, The Island Inn, still is the hub and focus of island life. Nearby is Cromwell’s Tower, well worth a visit.
A short distance to the west, in fact walking distance at low tide, is Bryher. An unspoilt, natural island with little traffic apart from the local tractor. Bryher is unspoiled, unhurried, and a world away from the stresses you left behind on the mainland. It is the smallest of the inhabited islands. From the Wild West coast the Atlantic stretches for two thousand miles. There is an island shop offering locally made pasties and all you need for that perfect picnic, while there is a chance to visit England’s most westerly pub, the Fraggle Rock Bar, named by Jamie Oliver as a ‘Best British Boozer.’
St. Martins is a short boat trip and the most eastern of the islands, 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall. St. Martins is home to colonies of seabirds and rare marine life. Highertown, Middletown and Lowertown make up the three main communities on the island with about 120 people living on the island. Similar to Bryher. St. Martins has two quays one at each end of the island and which one to use is dependent on the tides. Look out for the information boards with tide and ferry times. St Martin’s is 2 miles long and about 1/4 mile wide so it is easy to walk the island in an afternoon. There are farms with livestock as well as the famous Scilly flowers. There is a shop and artists’ studios where visitors are welcome and it is possible to discover remains exist of early Christian chapels.
St.Agnes, in the southwest is England’s last frontier, ideal for those seeking wild, natural, unspoiled places to escape. St. Agnes’ closest neighbour is Gugh, to which it is joined by a sand bar at low tide.
There are rocky outcrops on the western side with views to Bishop Rock, contrasting with white sand beaches in its more sheltered coves. An amazing place to relax is on the sandbar between St. Agnes and Gugh where it is possible to watch the ever changing seas all around you. There are flower fields, and a lighthouse which towers above the island’s highest point. With fabulous unspoiled beaches there are opportunities to swim in the clear waters or simply find a cafe offering the best of local food, or enjoy a beer in the island’s pub the Turk’s Head.
Sennen Cove & Lands End
The most westerly point of mainland England. Lands End and Sennen have always drawn visitors over the years.
Sennen Cove & Lands End are famous for not only being the most westerly point of England, but also because of their inspirational vistas. Lands End’s rich coastline is battered by the maelstrom of currents surrounding the point. Sennen in contrast has the most wonderful, peaceful beach.
A visit to Lands End is a must for all those who enjoy the rugged beauty of West Cornwall. Walk a short distance to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the popular cafes, hotel and attractions to stand atop the 200 foot high cliffs and watch the clear blue waters below or wonder at the wealth of natural beauty, wildlife and fauna. Gaze out to sea and ponder the many who left these shores to find their new world and and watch the waves lap the base of the Longships lighthouse a mile off shore.
A visit to Lands End can be as peaceful or as exciting as you wish. There are amusements for all the family adjacent to the car park with all that a popular tourist destination brings. Hotel, cafe, shops, attractions including the Last labyrinth, the First and Last House and a Pirate Ship, all celebrating the history and culture of Cornwall.
Having seen the attractions and stopped for a drink, ice cream or snack, take a stroll along the clifftops to find the true rugged character of Cornwall. Towards Sennen some 3 miles away there are spectacular views and both wildlife and historical interest. The wildflowers ensure this is a brilliant walk in spring, when shags and cormorants can be seen offshore and the cliffs are noisy with nesting fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots. The Great Black Backed Gull can often be seen and to see its sometimes 6 foot wing span soar above is an unforgettable sight.
A little way beyond Lands End is Nanjizal beach. This amazing beach can only be accessed by foot, but is well worth the effort. On a clear day it is possible to see the Isles of Scilly
Whether you walk or drive a visit to Sennen Cove should not be missed. Watch the surfers ride the waves while enjoying a break at one of the cafes or simply sitting on the harbour wall trying some of the local delicacies. There are artists galleries, shops and an excellent pub serving meals throughout the day.
To the south you will find a different climate and feel to the landscape. Sheltered coves, lush valleys protected from the prevailing winds and bathed in the warm sunshine. Coves are less rugged and their almost white sand contrasts the blues of the waves lapping on their shores. Porthcurno with its fabulous beach and sheltered waters is no exception. It is ideal for swimming and has a busy beach cafe. Porthcurno also has two amazing locations not to be missed. The Telegraph Museum telling the story of the first signals to be sent across the Atlantic, the beginnings of our modern communication and the world famous Minack Theatre, where plays and musicals are performed in the open air, amongst this unforgettable scenery. Even if you don’t have time to take in a performance, a visit to these subtropical gardens is a must
Wind swept, rugged and beautiful. The Lizard Peninsula is sparsely populated and wild. Perfect for hiking!
The Lizard Peninsula is south of Hayle. It is large, unspoilt and breathtakingly beautiful! The peninsula is a tapestry of moorland, hills, valleys and glorious coastlines. The Lizard is perfect for hiking and cycling for those who want to explore the rugged peninsula.
The Lizard Peninsula stretches south from Helston and boasts its own unique landscape and stunning views.
Lizard Point, with its lighthouse is the most southerly point in Great Britain. This area is famous for the local serpentine stone which is dark green veined with red and white and there are several serpentine turners working in their studios during the season. The visitor can also explore several nearby shops, cafes and galleries.
Since 1751 there has been a lighthouse on Lizard Point, warning shipping of the dangers of this beautiful but treacherous coastline. Below the point you can see the Old Lifeboat House. The present lifeboat station is a few miles east of the headland. Whilst here you may be lucky enough to see the Cornish Chough, which once again breeds in the area and during spring and summer, wild flowers cling to the rugged cliffs and hide in the protecting hedgerows.
There are so many small coves to explore. Many are protecting small fishing fleets like at Cadgwith, where inshore fishermen eke out a living in this beautiful part of the world.
Cadgwith Mullion Kennack Cove and Gunwalloe are there to be enjoyed. At Church Cove, near Mullion, two treasure ships were known to have been lost – one in 1526 and the other in 1785. Keep an eye out, you never know.
Marconi sent his first transatlantic radio message in 1901 from Poldhu Cove.
Kynance Cove and Coverack are both worth a visit. Dolphins can sometimes be spotted in the water close to shore while gulls and larger birds of prey soar above.
Many of these hidden coves were smugglers haunts, bringing in their goods from afar and still have that timelier atmosphere.
Visitors should not miss the beautiful and tranquil Helford River area. There are many leafy lanes, creeks and inlets and be sure not to miss Frenchman’s Creek, where Daphne du Maurier found inspiration for her book of the same name.
In contrast, Goonhilly Earth Station can be seen from some distance away and is a major player in satellite communication as well as developing the capability to support the exploration of Lunar and Deep Space for institutions and private enterprise. In addition it is part of a National Nature Reserve and is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
At Gweek you can visit the Cornish Seal Sanctuary situated in 40 acres of stunning Cornish countryside, The Seal Sanctuary is the only fully operational seal rescue centre in Cornwall.
At the northern end of the peninsula, the market town of Helston can be found, home of the famous Floral Dance on the 8th May each year, a traditional celebration of spring not to be missed.
Poldark Filming Location
Find out where some of your favourite scenes have been filmed.
Many of the filming locations are within a short drive of the Hayle area. In fact the locations manager stayed with us here at Hayle during the year before filming began, seeking out just the right places for each scene.
Cornwall’s rugged coastline and small fishing coves provided the backdrop for many of the action scenes throughout the Poldark series. Below are some of them and an idea of how they were used.
Charlestown near St Austell, boasts a wonderful collection of historic ships and over the years film location managers have found it to be the perfect place, due to its unspoilt, traditional appearance. Charlestown has a Grade II Listed harbour, perfect for Poldards 18th century setting. It was used as the set for Poldark’s scenes in Truro. .
Church Cove, Gunwalloe
On the south coast’s Lizard Peinsula, Church Cove at Gunwalloe provided the backdrop for the exciting night time shipwreck scene, with Aidan Turner along with many local extras. The pretty little church is well worth a visit.
Bodmin Moor formed the perfect backdrop for many scenes throughout the Poldark series. The cottage used as Nampara, Poldark’s home as well as some of the miner’s cottages were located near the village of St Breward: The duel scene, many shots of the cast on horseback and long distance moorland shots were filmed here. Don’t forget that Daphne du Maurier’s legendary “Jamaica Inn” is set here as well and you can visit the centuries old inn and museum at Bolventor.
St Agnes Head
The engine houses on the cliff edge at St Agnes Head and those from Botallack and Levant were used throughout the series, giving a true sense of Cornwalls rich mining heritage. Levant Mine became the fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill and Owles Mine and Crowns Mine near Botallack were Ross Poldark’s Wheal Leisure.
Peaceful Porthgwarra cove is a haven for wild flowers and fauna. The crystal clear waters make it perfect for swimming and rock pooling.
An amazing city to visit and the inspiration for the Poldark story. Visit the Cathedral or spend time browsing the lanes and alleys of interesting studios and shops. A city not to be missed.