From the birthplace of King Arthur to Henry VIII’s chain of formidable fortresses, Cornwall is full of historical landmarks. These are our favourites.
St Michael’s Mount is one of the most recognisable castles in Cornwall if not the UK. Emerging form the mists of Mounts Bay it’s completely cut off from the mainland at high tide. At low tide you can cross the cobbled causeway and explore the medieval castle and church as well as a small residential community. Once you’re full of history you can hop back over to the village of Marazion for a proper Cornish cream tea.
Pendennis and St. Mawes Castle, Falmouth
Built by Henry VIII in the mid-16th Century these twinned castles stand on opposite headlands in Falmouth guarding invasion from France and Spain. Their fascinating story takes them up to the 20th Century where they saw significan action during the First and Second World Wars. Pendennis and St. Mawes Castles are some of the best preserved Tudor coastal artillery fortresses in the UK. Take in both castles in one day using the hourly ferry service across the Fal estuary.
Carn Brea Castle, Nr Redruth
This unique and imposing 14 Century building seems to grow out of the rocks below it and is visible from many miles around. In the 18th Century it was restored into a folly-like hunting lodge but today it’s used as a Middle Eastern restaurant where you can dine by candlelight enclosed by the thick granite walls.
Lanhydrock House is a magnificent late Victorian country house with immaculate gardens, surrounded by 450 acres of woodland. After a devastating fire in 1881 this Jacobean house was refurbished in high-Victorian style. Today you can discover two sides to Victorian life; from kitchens, nurseries and servants’ quarters to luxurious family areas, elegant dining rooms and spacious bedrooms.
Cotehele House was the ancestral home to the Edcumbe family. The Tudor house, perched high above the Rive Tamar is decorated with intricate tapestries, coats of arms, armour, pewter, brass and old oak furniture. Little has changed at Cotehele since the Tudor period including the mill and quay. Whether you seek tranquillity in the gardens or apple orchards, or want to delve into the history of the house, quay and mill, Cotehele has a lot to offer.
Perched on the rugged cliffs above the North Cornwall coast, the dramatic ruins of Tintagel Castle are said to be the birthplace of King Arthur. Settlements here date back to the late Roman period and are steeped in mythology. Open the door and navigate the steep craggy path to the beach or explore the mysterious Merlin’s Cave.
Which will you visit this year?