As Cornwall’s one and only city, Truro is a hub for the county and is perfectly located to explore this stunning and mystical region. A historic stannary town, Truro is well known for its great Cathedral, cobbled streets, independent shops and Georgian architecture.
The city has an active calendar of events with wonderful festivals, markets and exhibitions including Truro City of Lights which marks the start of the festive season with schools and the local community parading homemade lanterns through the dark, cobbled streets.
Perfect for those who enjoy shopping, Truro is popular for its eclectic offering of different gifts shops and markets, as well as the usual bigger brand retail outlets. There are also many different pubs and restaurants to choose from with a lively night-life. The city benefits from a mainline train station making it easily accessible from London and the North as well as being well located to discover the rest of Cornwall.
Nearby Falmouth on the South coast is a popular seaside town with many beaches and watersport opportunities. Falmouth is also home to various pubs and restaurants serving locally caught seafood. In the other direction, a short drive North of Truro is Perranporth with miles of sandy beaches and the popular Perranporth Golf Course.
A holiday cottage in Truro is a great base for a cosmopolitan break in Cornwall, whilst the county's rural and coastal charms are still within easy reach.
From wildlife watching to coastal safaris, FalRiver offers some of the most unique and wonderful boat trips in Cornwall, exploring the UK’s spectacular waters. Orca sea safaris under the guidance of a cheering and informative skipper will give you an education in local history and conservation seeing dolphins, sea birds and seals along the way and learning about the unique climate created by the Atlantic in this particular corner of the world. Head out on a number of boat trips from the Coastal Explorer to Bay Discovery or charter your own boat for an individual or private group trip. They offer everything from two-hour trips to exclusive birthday, corporate or hen/stag dos – the world is your oyster.
In the heart of Polruan, Back Beach is not short of facilities and nearby shops and restaurants. A pretty little beach that’s popular with families, it has beautiful views across the river to Fowey and is a lovely place to watch the world go by with all the boats pottering along in front of you. It’s predominantly a sand beach, leading to a sheltered section of the river, so it’s good for swimming, but there aren’t any lifeguards around. The only complication for access is that it’s very difficult to park in the village, and it’s a considerable walk down the steep hill from the car park at St Saviours, or a ferry ride across the river from Fowey. Therefore, it’s best to combine a visit with a day exploring the village itself to make the most of it.
Between Polruan and Polperro along the coastal path, Lantivet Bay is only accessible at low tide when a sand and pebble beach is revealed. Parking is in the National Trust car park at Polruan, where there are toilets as well, but there aren’t any facilities closer to the beach itself. Dogs are allowed all year round, which is lovely as it’s the perfect beach to incorporate into a walk. The National Trust recommends a charming circular route, starting in the car park and taking in 2.4 miles of beautiful bays and surrounding landscape, and giving you the chance to explore the area with its rich smuggling heritage.
A rocky beach in a narrow, sheltered cove, Port Quin Beach is close to Port Isaac, and is only accessible at low tide. Its rugged landscape is beautiful to see, but its location means that it’s largely popular with seasoned walkers and those looking to go snorkeling and kayaking. Unspoiled and peaceful, it reveals a treasure trove of rock pools when the tide is out, and the nearby village is largely deserted, having once had thriving fishing and mining industries. Today both the cove and the village are owned by the National Trust and there is a car park courtesy of them in Port Quin. Dogs are banned between Easter and October, and there aren’t any facilities nearby – it’s all about enjoying the peace and quiet.
In South East Cornwall, Polperro is widely thought to be one of the area’s most picturesque fishing villages. Brimming with whitewashed cottages all the way down the harbour, the beach sits in a sheltered position under the cliffs, only visible at low tide and close to the harbour. Unsurprisingly, it’s a popular destination and can get busy in the summer months. Dogs are not permitted at the beach during peak season, from Easter to October, and while parking in the village itself is all but impossible, but there’s a large car park about a mile up the valley with a regular shuttle service going up and down the hill.
Since the arrival of Doc Martin on the small screen, Port Isaac has soared in popularity, and the pretty little village with the historic harbour, which also serves as the beach, has become instantly recognisable. Still an active fishing village with crab pots scattered about, the sand stretches between twin piers at low tide and has a small stream and lots of rock pools to explore, so it’s ideal for children. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and as it’s at the centre of the village there’s easy access to shops and all facilities including public toilets. The car park for the town is a 10-minute walk away, and while there are a couple of parking spaces on the beach itself, just make sure you park above the high water mark, or keep an eagle eye on the tide!