If you don’t fancy saddling up in the style of Ross Poldark and would rather leave travelling by horse and carriage to Caroline Penvenen, then there are still lots of alternatives to exploring Cornwall by car. Many of our scenic branch lines and bus routes connect to reach Poldark locations, or you could jump aboard a boat, strike out on foot or join an organised tour. There are as many options as Ross and Elizabeth have shared lingering stares – and that’s a lot! Here are just a few…
Levant Mine, near St Just in beautiful west Cornwall, features in Poldark as the fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill. Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site, it is the only Cornish beam engine anywhere in the world that is still in steam on its original mine site.
Getting there: Train to Penzance then the number A17 bus from Penzance bus station (a one-minute walk from the railway station) to Trewellard. The bus journey takes 34 minutes. It’s then a 12-minute walk to the mine. In the summer months you could use the A3 open top bus from Penzance or St Ives.
The quiet sandy coves in Cornwall have always been a haven for smugglers, especially in the 18th century when the Poldark series is set. The scenic Looe Valley Line in south east Cornwall takes you to an area infamous for its smuggling past. Use the line to arrive into Looe by train, and then walk to the village of Polperro along the South West Coast Path.
Getting there: Train to Looe from Liskeard, then walk along the South West Coast Path for 5 miles to Polperro. Regular buses head back to Looe from Polperro all year.
Famed for its collection of tall ships and Grade II listed harbour, Charlestown is the principal port in Poldark. You will almost feel like an extra as you wander around this pretty town with the tall ships majestically sat in the harbour. For anyone interested in the maritime history of our coastline, the Shipwreck Museum is a must.
Getting there: Train to St Austell, then take the number 24 or 25 bus which runs direct from the station to Charlestown.
The beautiful National Trust beach of Holywell Bay with its towering sand dunes and iconic Gull Rock has starred as a backdrop for many Poldark scenes. In the series, it is owned by the Warleggan’s and sees its fair share of action from flirtatious horse rides to after dark smuggling missions.
Getting there: Train to Newquay then take the number 85 bus for about 30 minutes.
Truro and Turnaware Point
Although not a film location itself, the real city of Truro inspired author Winston Graham and is frequently mentioned on screen with Charlestown and Corsham (Wiltshire) standing in for it looks-wise. Boat trips operate from Truro to Falmouth passing Turnaware Point on the River Fal en-route. In contrast to Truro, Turnaware Point is not named in the series, but Poldark fans may recognise it from series three when it acts as a French location.
Getting there: train to Truro then Enterprise Boats classic river trip to Falmouth. Sailing time 1 – 2 hours.
Getting to Cornwall
Back in the 18th Century getting to Cornwall was a long and gruelling journey, apart from the odd day when traffic can be a problem, traveling to the far west is so much easier these days. High speed train services run frequently from London Paddington station, including the Night Riviera Sleeper Service to Penzance. There are also direct trains daily from Bath, Bristol, Birmingham and further afield using Cross-Country trains.
Bus and rail coordinate to streamline your onwards journey from Cornish rail stations.
For coach travel, National Express and Megabus operate routes into Cornwall and by air it’s Cornwall Newquay Airport which welcomes flights from across the UK and further afield through several key airlines.