Helston - map
Helston - map
Back in the 1970s, Sir Terry Wogan had a huge hit with the catchy song 'The Floral Dance' and right here in Helston is where all that dancing takes place in an annual spring celebration dating back centuries. Helston’s timeline stretches back a long way. The Saxons were here in the 6th century, King John granted a charter in 1201, making the town the second oldest in Cornwall, and through the centuries Helston, as so many major towns in the country, prospered on the back on tin mining and later with the coming of the railway and the boom in early tourism.
Today the town has a lively, friendly atmosphere with a busy main street and plenty of historical attractions that keep the town’s heritage alive and as you walk past the thick set miner’s cottages, numerous pasty shops and old pubs, there’s nice traditional feel to the place which is totally engaging. The boating lake and park are great for families, plus there's a skate park and cafe.
Take the fascinating town trail and go back in time. Twelve points of interest illustrate Helston’s heritage from the old well where townsfolk used to wash their clothes to the centrepiece monument erected in celebration of local hero Humphrey Millett Grylls whose benevolent actions kept a local tin mine open saving 1200 jobs. Free guide leaflet available from museum/council offices/library.
On the road to Porthleven, you'll come to the Penrose Estate where you can talk the 7 mile circular walk down to the coast skirting Loe Pool, the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall separated from the sea by a long sandbar. Start from the free car park in the Amenity Area. The nearby Goonhilly satellite station, currently closed, is to be given a new lease of life soon when government funding will turn it into a space and communication centre, plans are afoot to upgrade the existing antennas and reopen the visitor centre. Watch this space!