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!
What’s Open at The Valley?
April 12th, 2021
We are incredibly excited to announce that all of our facilities at the Valley will be open from the 12th April, apart from the restaurant as per government guidelines. With social distancing measures still in place, we explain what to expect as we reopen the doors of our luxury cottages in Cornwall once again this spring.
Here at The Valley, we pride ourselves as being a safe and secure family haven that welcomes your beloved pet dogs. We have many exclusive leisure facilities in our gated cottage complex for you and your family to enjoy. These include:
- Fitness suite
- Indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools
- Spa Pool
- Games room
- Hot tub
- Squash and tennis courts
- Accessible location
Below we will be taking a look at the opening times and social distancing policies of each one!
Our cottages’ huge appeal is the option to self-cater or indulge in our onsite restaurant.
With most of our facilities opening from 12th April, our restaurant requires a slightly longer wait, with our doors planned to open on 17th May when our guests can safely sit in the indoor dining area.
Being in such an accessible location, our cottages are fantastic if you want to explore the restaurants in Truro or Falmouth, which provide outside dining areas before 17th May.
The Valley offers a fun family experience with our choice of indoor or outdoor swimming pools. Our outdoor pool is heated from the middle of June to September, and our indoor pool is fantastic for all-year-round fun!
All facilities that are usually communal, including our swimming pools, will be bookable by one family at a time, this can be organised when you arrive at the cottages. You will be given an available time slot to enjoy the exclusivity of the pool.
Other Communal Areas
Other communal areas such as our fitness suits, games room, squash and tennis court will also be accessible to individual families through our bookable slotting system, which can be arranged upon arrival.
Some of our luxury cottages are complete with a hot tub for you to unwind after an exciting day of exploring! Our hot tubs are extensively cleaned for your safety and hygiene.
We would like to mention that all of our cottages undergo thorough cleaning procedures every time our guests vacate to ensure that every one of our guests’ personal safety and welfare is adhered to. Our accommodation is expertly cleaned with an extremely high level of hygiene being maintained.
Our beautiful cottages are set amongst the remote Cornish countryside, conveniently located away from local towns, meaning you can safely enjoy the seclusion and make the most of an abundance of open outdoor space.
More About Our COVID Policy
To discover more about our COVID and cleaning policies, you can read through them here!
We look forward to seeing you soon. If you have any further questions about what to expect, please don’t hesitate to contact us- our team will be on hand to help you with any queries! In the meantime, why not discover some of the potential and exciting events scheduled this year in our blog.
5 Fascinating Facts About the Lizard Peninsula
October 19th, 2020
The Lizard Peninsula is the most southern part of the UK, standing out for its unique geology and rock formations. Its rugged, rocky coastline is believed to contain rock which dates to over 500 million years old!
What is the Lizard Peninsula?
Almost an island of its own, the Lizard Peninsula is an impressive rocky headland surrounded by ocean on three of its sides with the Helford River to the North.
Situated on the South West Coast Path, it is a popular spot for walkers who come to marvel at its beauty as they enjoy a spot of adventure during their Cornwall short breaks.
It’s beautiful landscape not only attracts the attention of visitors, but the unique area is a hot spot for scientists as well! We explore its incredible history and offerings with our top selection of fascinating facts!
The Origins of Its Name is Not What You Assume
Despite its mysterious title, the name ‘Lizard’ unfortunately doesn’t derive from mystical origins.
Neither does the name come from the Serpentine rock which the area is renowned for. The surface of Serpentine transforms into a snake and scaly like surface once polished.
The roots of its name are relatively ambivalent, but one proposal is that it comes from the Cornish term ‘Lys Ardh’ which means ‘high court’.
Another suggestion is that the name has connections to the Cornish word ‘lezou’ which is translated to ‘headland’.
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
Home to the UK’s Most Southerly Lighthouse
As the most southerly point in the UK, it comes as little surprise that it also boasts the UK’s most southerly lighthouse.
Previous to the lighthouse’s construction in 1752, the coast of the Lizard was a dangerous area for ships and was titled the ‘Graveyard of Ships’. The spot is now home to the Lizard Lifeboat Station.
Mainland Britain’s Largest Outcrop of Serpentine
As mentioned, the Lizard Peninsula has been a point of interest for scientists and geologists.
It isn’t uncommon to see many university students visit the area as the rocks here are not found in nearby locations.
One distinct rock is Serpentine. The Lizard Peninsula is mainland Britain’s most significant outcrop of the rock. It’s striking appearance was reportedly favoured by Queen Victoria which heightened the industry in the 19th-century.
Best Preserved Exposed Ophiolite in the UK
Another area of geological interest at the Lizard Peninsula is the ophiolite.
The Lizard Peninsula is heralded as UK’s top spot to see the best-preserved source of exposed ophiolite.
An ophiolite is a unique form of rock formation which is produced from the Earth’s oceanic crust pushed onto the continental crust. It is often green in colour.
The parts of ophiolite include:
• The serpentinites
• The ‘oceanic complex’
• The metamorphic basement
An ophiolite can be found in the mountain belts of locations such as the Himalayas and the Alps, and amazingly you can also see it in Cornwall!
Image Credit: Visit Cornwall
It’s an Area of Outstanding Beauty
The Lizard Peninsula has received many awards for its stunning landscape and is a heavily protected area. It is largely recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), as well as providing eight Sites of Special Scientific Interest. These awards and sites are specifically bestowed to protect the geology and wildlife of the area.
The Lizard Peninsula is cared for and under the ownership of a variety of organisations including the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England.
Off land, the surrounding ocean at the Manacles has been awarded as a Marine Conservation Zone which is rich in marine biodiversity.
The Lizard Peninsula is a stunning, natural and protected area, providing the ultimate location for wildlife to blossom. What are your favourite facts about the Lizard Peninsula? Which has not been covered in our blog? Why not share your thoughts on our social media channels; we would love to know!
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 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!
The Ultimate Cornwall – Chosen by you
Calling all families, friend groups and couples who would like to win a four night stay in one of our luxury cottages, amazing daytime activities and experiences plus a unique evening of dining, all here in Cornwall!
We’re launching ‘The Ultimate Cornwall’ competition to highlight some of the incredible adventures this county has to offer.
The most unique part, is that YOU will get a say in what makes up the final prize package!
Over the coming weeks, we’ll be running the competition via our Facebook page and asking you, our followers, to select where you want to eat, an attraction you’d like to visit and a coastal or sea-based experience you’d like to try.
The most popular experience from each category will then be included in the final package for ‘The Ultimate Cornwall’ prize.
All of us here at The Valley absolutely love Cornwall – a county that has something for everyone – so we’re running this amazing campaign to celebrate it.
Potential prizes cover a range of experiences including a trip to The Eden Project, a heritage day at Caerhays Castle & The Lost Gardens of Heligan, A Day of Art at St Ives School of Painting, A Vineyard Tour & Wine Tasting at Polgoon in Penzance, A Waterboat Safari with Orca in Falmouth, surf lessons with King Surf, guided beach horse riding with Cornish Riding Holidays, a choice of activities with Loe Beach Water Sports, dinner at The Falmouth Bay Seafood Cafe in Truro, The Cove Bar & Grill in Maenporth, Lewinnick Lodge in Newquay or a Cornish chef to cook in the comfort of your holiday home.
Make sure you have ‘Liked’ our Facebook page and keep checking back so you can vote for your preferred experiences which will make up ‘The Ultimate Cornwall’ prize bundle. The winner will be announced on the 6th June 2016.
1. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
2. By entering this contest, you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any or all liability in connection with this contest.
Visit these five beautiful Cornish fishing villages on your Cornish holidays
January 27th, 2016
With its shores nestled on the majestic Atlantic Ocean, fishing has always been central to the Cornish economy with many villages and coves flourishing from the trade. Visiting any number of the fantastic fishing villages throughout Cornwall is the best way to see the history that the county and the fishing trade share. (more…)