Whether you’re swept away by Aidan Turner’s brooding, dark-eyed Ross Poldark on the PBS TV series or lost in the hard-to-find books by Winston Graham which started the Poldark fantasy, Cornwall is steeped in romance. Its rugged coastline, sun-kissed by the sun or bashed by the pounding of a sea storm, grabs your soul and never lets go…sort of like Ross Poldark, but I digress.
Cornwall itself is much too large to see in a week or weekend. It’s a mere 58 miles if you drive from Padstow to Land’s End but I dare you to do that in a weekend. Every romantic village or abandoned mine or sweeping view pulls at your heartstrings like a powerful magnet which you can’t resist. It could take a fortnight if you get carried away, which is oh so easy to do in Poldark’s Cornwall.
So in this month of cupids and hearts and romance, I’ve highlighted the Top Five sites of Poldark Country when all you have is a weekend in Cornwall:
1. Bodmin Jail – Prison might be a strange place to start a romantic weekend but there’s a train station nearby. It’s perfect if you want to take a train from London to Cornwall and then rent a car. TV fans will remember that both Ross Poldark and poor Jim were jailed at Bodmin. Today, you can visit the site which has housed a jail since the 18th Century. Today’s building dates from about 1850 and the visit is probably too gruesome for young children, so plan accordingly because there are some quite graphic displays.
NOTE: The train from London Paddington takes just over four hours to Bodmin
2. Caerhays Castle – romance needs a castle and this one’s open to the public. It just happens to have been the real home of the Trevanions and now is the residence to the Williams family. It offers those sprawling, breathtaking Cornish sea views and magical English gardens. Plan a picnic on the beach or there’s a beach shack café to grab a quick bite. If you want a cuppa then head to the Magnolia Tea Rooms on the castle property. Both the Caerhays gardens and castle re-open to visitors in the spring. You can even park yourself for a week at an on-site rental at the water’s edge.
NOTE: It should take you just under an hour by car from Bodmin Station.
3. Truro – Poldark fans must stop for lunch or souvenir shopping in Truro. The Poldark characters spend so much time shopping, socializing and politicking in Truro that it’s a must-see on your romantic Poldark journey.
4. Land’s End/Porthgwarra – Your journey wouldn’t be complete without a stop in Land’s End. Here at the sandy cove of Porthgwarra, fans of the TV series will recognize the beach where Ross’ boys gathered the pilchard, the booty cache from the storm-battered ships at sea.
5. Botallack – is an abandoned engine house along the Tin Coast and is now part of the National Trust. It’s featured in the TV series as the Poldark-owned mines: Wheal Leisure and Grambler. Unlike some historic sites in cold Cornwall, Bottalack is open throughout the year.
Cornwall offers so much more than the romance of Poldark sites and stories. Take your time, inhale the views and write your own romantic story.
Our UK travel specialist is ready to help plan your Cornwall vacation.