Ten Interesting Facts About Truro
November 26th, 2021
If you’re looking for a stop on your Cornish holiday that is rich in local culture and history, then look no further than the city of Truro in the centre of Cornwall.
With its cobbled streets and narrow alleyways, Truro offers a range of experiences for shopping, learning about history and eating!
To celebrate this great city and all it has to offer, we’ve made a list of our top most interesting facts about Truro.
1. Truro is the only city in Cornwall
When someone says the word city, it conjures up images of places like London or New York – great and expansive urban jungles complete with skyscrapers and all night traffic. But that’s not always the case.
Despite having a population of 568,210 and an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq mi), Cornwall only has only one city, Truro, which is famous for its ancient cobbled streets and Gothic and Georgian architecture. It gained its city status in 1877, three years before the building of the Truro Cathedral was started.
2. Truro is named after its three rivers
It’s been said that the name “Truro” is actually derived from the Cornish term “Tri-veru”, meaning three rivers. There are, in fact, three rivers that run through Truro: the Kenwyn, the Allen and the Truro River, which joins the River Fal further downstream.
Another theory suggests the name Truro is derived from the term “Tre-uro”, which means “settlement on the River Uro”.
3. There is a direct train from Truro to London Paddington
Now there’s even more reason to choose Cornwall as your next staycation destination!
The journey can take anywhere between four and a half to six and half hours and offers passengers a marvellous scenic route along the South Devon coastline. The train also stops in Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Reading.
4. Truro Cathedral is one of only three cathedrals to have three spires
It’s very uncommon for a cathedral to have three spires, and there are only three in all of the UK that do. These are:
- Lichfield Cathedral – a medieval cathedral dating back to the 13th and early 14th century.
- St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral – a Gothic revival style Cathedral built in Edinburgh in the late 19th century.
- Truro Cathedral – another Gothic revival style Cathedral that was completed in 1910.
5. Roger Taylor grew up in Truro
While he was actually born in Norfolk in 1949, Roger Taylor, drummer for the legendary rock band Queen, actually grew up in Truro.
While he was there, Taylor actually formed his first band at the age of seven with a group of school friends. They were called the Bubblingover Boys, and Roger Taylor played the ukulele. At 15, he became a member of the Reaction, a semi-professional rock band formed mostly of boys from Truro School, which Taylor also attended.
6. Truro was built from the tin and copper industry
Truro was able to rise in prosperity and reach city status thanks to the tin and copper trade. During the 14th century, a port in Truro was established so that metals mined in the surrounding areas of Cornwall could be exported overseas. Truro soon became the central hub in Cornwall and beyond for trading in tin but also slate, copper, cloth and grain.
7. Truro is part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
We all know that Cornwall is a stunning place full of rolling fields and coastlines, perfect for a postcard, but did you know that Truro and its 220 acres of land has actually been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty?
As well as being home to a wide variety of natural plants and wildlife, there are also a number of astounding gardens near Truro, including Tregothnan and Trelissick Gardens.
8. There is more than one Truro in the world
Like plenty of other towns or cities in the UK, Truro also has a couple of international counterparts. There is the town of Truro in Massachusetts, USA and the town of Truro in Nova Scotia, Canada.
9. Every year Truro hosts ‘The City of Lights’
This event is one of the biggest to take place in Truro all year! It begins with the initial switching on of Truro’s Christmas lights and then continues into a lantern parade.
The parade takes place every year, and each time the lanterns tell a different story full of music and dance. School, community groups and local artists all come together to entertain crowds of over 30,000 spectators along the route.
10. The population of Truro is only 20,000
For a city, the population of Truro is rather low at only 20,920 as of 2021, which is even lower than that of Truro’s nearest town, Falmouth, which has a population of approximately 22,000.
The vast majority of the population is made up of over 60s, as the city makes for a great retirement spot. However, in recent years, there has been an influx of business and young entrepreneurs that have moved to the area.
We hope this list of interesting facts inspires you to make Truro one of the prime stops for your next Cornish holiday. If you’re looking for places to stay, our luxury holiday village in Cornwall near Truro is an ideal choice!
The Best Ways to Spend New Year’s Eve in Cornwall
December 16th, 2019
With preparations for Christmas festivities well under way, households all over the country are looking forward to relaxing holidays where they can indulge in great food, drinks and spend some quality time together. Some families might even be looking forward to packing up, and heading south, for a fantastic, festive celebration, Cornish style! Although time is ticking on, slightly faster than the less organised amongst us might like, there is still time to book one of our holiday cottages in Cornwall for New Year!
10 Great Short Walks in South Cornwall to Try This Spring
March 25th, 2019
Spring is the perfect time to take a short break in Cornwall and discover some of the county’s fantastic scenery on foot. We have listed 10 of our favourite short walks in south Cornwall which are within easy reach of our 5-star cottages in Cornwall. While many of the walks listed can be extended to make a full day at each location, you can also accomplish several of them within a single day out, allowing you to pack as much into your holiday as possible.
Porthcurno to Logan Rock
Distance 1 mile
Start Porthcurno car park, grid ref SW288223
Porthcurno is a classic Cornish beach. The golden sand is surrounded by a host of strangely shaped rocky outcrops, and it’s thought that this is what gave the place its Cornish name – “cove of horns”. On the western side of the beach is the Minack theatre, where during the day you can pop in and have a walk around. The coastal path to the east of Porthcurno is the real star of the show, however, winding along the cliff edge towards the Logan Rock. There are plenty of opportunities to clamber around and investigate the outcrops in this area; the granite forms conceal all manner of pools, nooks and crannies. There is a great beach just west of the Logan Rock promontory, with an impressive sandbar that moves every year.
Newlyn to Penzance
Distance 2 miles
Start Newlyn harbour, grid ref SW464286
The seafront promenade at Newlyn makes for a lovely stroll, and both the lido and the art gallery are well worth a visit. This part of Mount’s Bay affords great views back across to St Michael’s Mount and is the mainland home of the Scillonian ferry.
Distance 1 mile
Start Rinsey car park, grid ref SW593276
Rinsey is a delightful mix of seascape, landscape, mining heritage and natural history. Take in three old engine houses with world heritage site status plus close-up views of rare plant life, and further afield the enigmatic Bishop Rock in the Scilly Isles. You might see ponies grazing, choughs displaying or even dolphins playing. As from Penzance, the views to St Michael’s Mount are quite stunning.
The Lizard Coastal Walk
Distance 7 miles
Start Kynance Cove, grid ref: SW703125
The Lizard peninsula is the most southerly point of mainland Britain, and on a blustery day, it certainly feels exposed. There are hidden gems on this route, such as Kynance Cove, home to a great little cafe complete with a turf roof and wool insulation with its welcome as warm as the interior. This area is famous for its wildlife where seals and basking sharks can often be seen. The views from this stretch of Cornwall are magnificent: the coastline starts to soften from this point east, so make the most of the imposing cliffs.
North Helford Countryside Walk
Distance 4.5 miles
Start Bosveal car park, grid ref SW775275
The Helford estuary is a stunning sight, particularly rewarding if you are an early bird, as you often get a beautiful hanging mist just after dawn. Glendurgan is home to a great maze, so take care – you might unintentionally lengthen your walk! A favourite stretch is from Porth Saxon beach out to Rosemullion Head, as the transition from wooded riverside through to rocky outcrops provides a great backdrop to this walk. The real highlight, however, is the views across Falmouth Bay to Henry VIII’s castles at Pendennis and St Mawes. If you catch the right season, then the wildflower meadows on Rosemullion Head make this the perfect spot for the nature lover as well as the amateur historian.
Trelissick to Roundwood Quay
Distance 4 miles
Start Trelissick car park, grid ref SW835395
Nestled on its own peninsula, Trelissick is almost surrounded by water and has direct access across the river Fal via the amazing King Harry chain-driven ferry. You will be surprised at the size of the vessels that get this far upriver to be worked on by the numerous boatyards. They’re anchored in the deep water channel and provide an unexpected twist to any walk in this area. And, as with many of our sites, there is a depth of history at Trelissick – you walk from the Iron Age fort past the industrial quay. The tidal mudflats are home to all sorts of wading birds, which you can spot while you’re hidden out of sight in the woodland. There’s also a lovely National Trust cafe to refuel in Trelissick.
Percuil Picnic Walk
Distance 1 mile
Start Percuil car park, grid ref SW858341
This gentle, rolling landscape is a real contrast to the crags of West Penwith. The sandy beaches are relatively sheltered from the prevailing swell, which seems to give this area its own microclimate. You could extend this walk by setting out from Porthscatho and heading south-west, all around the south coast of the peninsula, until eventually you round the headland and come back up the inland waterway, with its views over to St Mawes from St Anthony. The change from the rise and fall of the landscape behind the beaches through to the wooded riverside offers a fascinating journey.
Gribbin Head Walk, Fowey
Distance 4 miles
Start National Trust car park at Coombe Farm, grid ref: SX110512
One of the finest natural harbours in Cornwall, Fowey offers all that a sailing haven should – with the bonus of good pubs and good food. The walking around this area is fantastic – the exposure of the Gribbin, steep craggy coves, beautiful beaches and stunning grassland meadows, it really does have it all. When the sea mist rolls in you can see why Daphne du Maurier was drawn to this location and set several of her books here.
If you strike out east rather than west you can catch the ferry across to Polruan and then take in the equally stunning coastline towards Lansallos, the unspoilt campsite here is well worth a visit and a cracking cream tea is on offer at Lansallos Barton Farm. Lantivet Bay and Lantic Bay are a reward for the intrepid – a steep path winds down to the latter beach, but the rewards are instantaneous.
Details for this Lantivet Bay circular walk are:
Distance 3 miles
Start Frogmore car park, grid ref SX156518
Whitsand Battery to Rame Head
Distance 2 miles
Start Wiggle car park, grid ref SX410513; finish at Rame Head lookout, grid ref SX422487.
An often overlooked spot, Whitsand Bay stretches from Polperro eastward to Maker Heights. The walking in this area is surprisingly tough, but for those who do take it on the views are stunning. The bay is home to two Napoleonic forts (or Palmerston’s Follies), and there are a couple of great little cafes (one has its own cable car delivery system). You will never tire of the breathtaking views from the headland across Plymouth Sound towards the Yealm Estuary and the Mewstone.
Cotehele House to Quay and Mill Walk
Distance 2.5 miles
Start Cotehele House, grid ref SX423685
The Tamar Valley offers one of the most magical places to explore on foot; it provides the natural boundary between Cornwall and Devon and contains a wealth of history. This area became famous for its market gardens and mining, both well serviced by the navigable reaches of the Tamar. Cotehele was at the heart of the activity, with a bustling quay, lime kilns and market gardens on all the suitable slopes. Today, it’s a fantastic place to explore on foot. Start on the quayside, perhaps with lunch in the Edgecumbe arms and a wander around the historic barge, Shamrock. The gardens are beautiful and frame some of the most magnificent views down this mighty river. The wider estate is steep but well worth the effort when you stumble upon the Chapel and Prospect Tower.
Will you be embarking on any of these exciting walking route adventures this year? Reach out on our social media channels and let us know your favourite walks in Cornwall!
Top 5 Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipes to Warm You Up This Winter
November 15th, 2018
With December fast-approaching, hats and scarves officially out the draws and sub-zero temperatures can only mean one thing. Winter is well and truly upon us. Here’s how you can get cosy on your Cornwall Christmas break with five fantastic, family-friendly hot chocolate recipes… and perhaps one just for mum and dad!
A History of Falmouth
December 29th, 2016
The site of the third deepest natural harbour in the world, Falmouth is a historic port town which today is also a big hit with tourists. In this article, we tell you the story of how Falmouth came to be, as well as how it grew to become the thriving Cornish town that it is today, with thousands of people enjoying luxury family holidays in Falmouth every year.
5 Reasons to take your dog on holiday
December 23rd, 2016
You’ve probably already thought about taking little pup on holiday, but abandoned the idea after thinking of the added stress that comes with Rover bounding around from picnic to picnic scoffing sarnies, and conclude that it could intrude on your time of relaxation. Some of you may have even been reluctant to book some well-deserved time off because of fear of being separated from your beloved furry friends. Here are just five of the reasons you should check out some of our dog-friendly holidays in Cornwall this year and bring your companions along with you!
A walk through Falmouth and a journey through time
December 19th, 2016
Falmouth is a town rich in Cornish history and culture, with many points of interest that are worth a visit on your Christmas Falmouth break. Taking a day, early on in your holiday, to wander the streets of Falmouth and gain a feel for the place is a good idea not only to familiarise yourself with your surroundings, but also have a better understanding of the Cornish lifestyle. Here are 5 places to visit in Falmouth by foot, so you can combine a journey through time with a fantastic family day out:
The National Maritime Museum
A Brilliant venue to explore how the people of Cornwall use small boats and discover the lives of a community that relies so heavily on the sea. The museum aims to provide a mix of conversation, research, education and entertainment remaining proud of its past and present, yet designed for the future. Head up to the top of their tower for unrivalled views of the river and town. Various collections are displayed all year round but if you’re visiting before the New Year, be sure to check out the fantastic Viking Voyagers exhibit!
Stroll along Grove Place, which is just opposite the National Maritime Museum, and you will come across Arwenack House, which was built 1385 and is the oldest building in Falmouth. Largely rebuilt by Sir John Killigrew in the 1560s, it was described as ‘the finest and most costly house in the country’. The Killigrew family were the most powerful family in Cornwall at the time and lived in the house for about sixteen generations.
The Seven Sisters
Stop for a beer at this incredible 17th century ale house where time seems to have stood still. The interior hasn’t been decorated since the 1950s, giving it an incredibly authentic vibe. The pub has seen many characters in its time, from salty sea dogs to royalty and everyone in between. Be sure to chat to some friendly locals about their experiences and ask about the famous key ring collection!
King Charles Parish Church
This beautiful church cannot be missed, right in the heart of the town centre. The church was built in the 17th century, shortly after the Civil War when the monarchy was restored and Charles II was crowned king. The elegant architecture tells a story of the history of Falmouth, but is also integral to everyday life for locals as they often host weddings, funerals, baptisms and many choirs and social groups as well as holding regular services every week.
Get active whilst on holiday with a hike up the 111 steps leading to the Moor, known as Jacobs ladder. With no real historical relevance, the steps were built by local builder and property owner Jacob Hambleton to facilitate access between his business and his properties. Build up your appetite for lunch by a trip or two up the steps, rest assured a decent Inn is located at the top offering homemade pub grub, good beer and a well-deserved rest!
This is an example of what you could get up to on just one day of your holiday in Falmouth. Book your holiday today and you have this and so much more to look forward to!
Image credit: Tim Green
Attractions in Cornwall that are open seven days a week!
December 16th, 2016
Just because it’s winter, does not mean the county of Cornwall goes into hibernation. In fact, winter is one of the best times to visit thanks to smaller queues, reduced admission prices and a more peaceful atmosphere for you and your family to roam without the hustle and bustle of the summer. These conditions also make it a fantastic time to bring your pooch on holiday with you so the whole family can be together. Be sure to check out our dog friendly holidays in Cornwall this year to make some memories you won’t forget.
Here are seven Cornish attractions that leave the doors wide open seven days a week. Check out these fantastic family days out that can be visited throughout the winter months…
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
A fantastic, hands-on educational experience that is fun for all the family! Explore fifteen galleries spread over five floors discovering the past, present and future of our fantastic little island. You can even take a journey through time to the Viking world and find out what made them one of the most iconic cultures of all time, as well as the secrets behind their success.
Eden Project, nr St Austell
Feeling a bit down from the cold? Check out the tropical biomes at the Eden Project, full of fascinating plants and crops from tropical environments, each with their own story for you to get lost in. The Eden Project also has some fantastic thrill-seeking opportunities, with a zip-wire, gigantic swing and leap of faith also featuring in the activities available for visitors. Throughout the winter, an ice-rink is also present and available to book in addition to your general admission tickets.
Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay
If the Atlantic Ocean is a little too brisk for you and your family this time of year, appreciate the sea from the comfort of inside this fantastic aquarium. You will make your way through over 40 naturally themed habitats, from exotic bays to the Cornish seas. The heart of the aquarium features an ocean tank, where you can observe loggerhead turtles, reef sharks and shoals of colourful fish from above the tank and below, in their iconic clear tunnel. The site is located on the fantastic Towan beach, perfect for a few post-aquarium selfies!
Seal Sanctuary, Gweek
In keeping with the aquatic theme, winter is pup rescue season for the Cornish Seal Sanctuary, making it a great time to visit the rehabilitation centre at its busiest. You will be able to fully gauge the scale of work they do to save the seals, but do be prepared to fall in love them yourself! Occasionally the seal sanctuary’s facilities and expertise are called upon to save other aquatic animals, so who knows what you might see there!
Lost Gardens of Heligan, Pentewan
Don’t forget to bring your wellies on holiday, for 200 acres of garden is yours to explore! Step back in time and lose yourself in Europe’s largest garden restoration, which is rich in history, mystery and romance. A visit in the tranquillity of winter will inevitably let you forget the stresses of reality and simply relax in the peaceful, traditional garden that is bursting with nature.
Paradise Park and Jungle Barn, Hayle
This wildlife sanctuary is home to over 140 species, as well as more than 650 birds. Daily events include otter and penguin feeding times and whatever the weather, fun is guaranteed in the huge indoor play area! On Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Sunday’s you can even indulge yourself in a traditional roast dinner from the Otter café, the perfect winter warmer for a cold Cornish day!
Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, nr Truro
No one does cider quite like the Cornish, and home-made brews can make the perfect winter tipple to warm you up from the inside out! Come and see it being made at a real brewery, as well as saying ‘hello’ to the numerous friendly farmyard animals wandering around the place!
So, in many ways, Cornwall comes to life in the winter, and attractions and activities can be enjoyed at your own pace, without the hectic summer crowds. Book your winter break today, and check out any of these fantastic attractions and find some hidden gems of your own!
Christmas at the Eden project
December 14th, 2016
Your Christmas break in Cornwall this year will not be the same without a trip to the Eden project. From the moment the sun sets the site is beautifully lit, the magical ice rink is open to the public and a variety of winter-themed activities are available for visitors. The Festival of Light and Sound is guaranteed to create memories for all the family and be sure to check out the cafes for some seasonal drinks and snacks. Hit the souvenir shop for any last-minute Christmas shopping, as there’s something for everyone!
What’s On In Falmouth This December
December 08th, 2016
If you’re lucky enough to be heading on a festive Falmouth holiday this December, there’s plenty to keep you busy in the run up to Christmas. From Santa Fun Runs to animal-based nativity plays, Falmouth truly is the place to be this month! Check out all that’s on offer below as they are all for fantastic causes.