We all know Cornwall has magnificent beaches and gardens, but what else does Cornwall have to offer? We’ve selected 5 historical sites which are all less than 40 minutes from our door and well worth a visit this summer.
Castle-an-Dinas is one of the largest and most impressive hillforts in Cornwall. Its position on the summit of Castle Downs means that it has extensive and panoramic views across central Cornwall to both north and south coasts. It features in Cornish legend as one of the seats of the Duke of Cornwall and folklore has it that Cador, Duke of Cornwall, and Ygraine, King Arthur’s mother were killed here.
Distance: 19 miles/35 minutes
The hiding place of the crown jewels (during WWII), Bodmin Jail is remembered for its grisly past. Built in 1779 by prisoners of war, it was used for more than 150 years. Today it is a fascinating landmark of the British justice system with exhibitions telling the story of the ordinary – and sometimes just plain unfortunate – people who spent time there. There are plenty of tours and special events – including a tour of the country’s only remaining execution pit.
Distance: 14 miles/30 minutes
Explore the 1,500-year history of Tintagel and discover how the Arthurian legends and stories the site have inspired, have shaped the castle we see today. You can explore Merlin’s Cave, the medieval garden ruins and stop awhile at its beach café and wonder at how it was built sticking out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Distance: 14 miles/ 36 minutes
Bodmin and Wenford Railway
Discover the nostalgia of steam travel with a journey back in time on the Bodmin & Wenford Railway, Cornwall’s only full-size railway still operated by steam locomotives. Enjoy a leisurely 13-mile round trip, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a bygone age, as the era of a Cornish branch line in the 1950s reveals itself during the course of your journey.
Distance: 14 miles/ 30 minutes
The Prideaux family, an ancient Cornish clan, has been seated at Prideaux Place for over 425 years. Their origins go back almost one thousand years to the time of the Norman Conquest when they are recorded as Lords of the Manor at Prideaux Castle, Luxulyan. Later Sir Nicholas Prideaux, a distinguished lawyer, built Prideaux Place, completing it in 1592. The Elizabethan manor house still presides over the fishing port of Padstow with views of the Camel Estuary.
Distance: 15 miles/35 minutes