A historic market town

    A historic market town positioned between Bodmin Moor and the south coast; Liskeard flourished in the 19th century when copper was discovered on the nearby moors. These days it’s a quieter place but still has a buzz about it with a museum and arts and heritage centre.

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    The museum and Guildhall clocktower
    Trethevy Quoit
    A Neolithic burial chamber

    Boom years

    The prosperity that mining brought to Liskeard can still be seen in the fine buildings dotted around the town. Webb’s House, a huge early Victorian former hotel dominates the town centre, shops have original Edwardian facades, medieval Stuart House once provided lodgings for Charles I and the Guildhall is a fine example of Victorian grandeur with its imposing clock tower.

    The railway reached Liskeard in 1859, linking it to London and other major cities. It would soon also have a branch line down to Looe, first for exporting minerals but later a popular route for tourists. It’s one of the most unusual lines in the UK with a tight steep drop from the mainline down into the Looe Valley. Here the driver must change ends and reverse the train the six miles into Looe.

    Immerse yourself in the history of the town and its people at Liskeard & District Museum. Learn about the town’s mining heritage, and take a nostalgic voyage into the early 1900s, uncovering the tales captured in Edwardian fabric. Museum’s crafts and dress-up corner is bound to keep the youngest visitors engaged. The museum is also a home to the largest collection of vintage toys in Cornwall.

    Things to do

    Being central to East Cornwall, Liskeard is a good base for exploring the whole area. The town’s Information Centre is a great place to start if you need inspiration and will have up to date details of what’s on in the area.

    Just five km outside the town you can take part in some slightly scary activities at Adrenalin Quarry, home to one of the UK’s longest zip wires at over half a kilometer long as well as the South West’s biggest aqua park, go karts and axe throwing. For a gentler experience try a windsurfing or kayaking lesson at Siblyback Lake and Country Park on the edge of Bodmin Moor.

    Also on the edge of the moor is Sterts Theatre, a unique canopied amphitheater that has a summer long program of shows from star acts to local choirs and their own theater company. A venue of a different kind can be found at Carnglaze Caverns near St Neot. Here live music is performed deep underground in a huge slate mine.

    And for lovers of history, Trethevy Quoit, just a few miles north of the town, is a Neolithic tomb, dating back 6,000 years and probably one of the earliest man-made structures in Cornwall.

    Golitha Falls
    Where the Fowey River leaves Bodmin Moor.

    Moor to sea

    Being equal distance between the south coast, the rugged heights of Bodmin Moor and the Tamar Valley, makes Liskeard a perfect base for walkers. Pick up a copy of the town Heritage Trail from the Information Centre or venture further afield to favourites such as Golitha Falls, where the Fowey River plunges off of the moor or Cadsonbury Castle, an Iron Age enclosure on a hill overlooking a wooded valley on the way to Callington.

    Keen walkers should tackle the 11 mile walk from Liskeard down to Looe, taking in the hidden delights of the West Looe Valley including the village of Herodsfoot, where the main industry used to be making gunpowder. Once in Looe you can catch the train or bus back to Liskeard.

    With the coast being less than eight miles away, there are plenty of spectacular walks from places such as Polruan, Seaton, Polperro and of course Looe. All of these places can be reached by bus from Liskeard, so you don’t even have to drive, or pay for parking.


    The Liskeard Mural

    The mural depicts the history of Liskeard and South East Cornwall from earliest times. This part of it depicts the industrial revolution and the coming of the railway, two things that had a huge influence on Liskeard. It can be found in Pigmeadow Lane between the town’s main carpark and the Parade.

    Liskeard was a stannary town, somewhere where tin miners could bring their finds to be tested and valued. From the mid-1800s onwards, after copper was discovered on the moors north of the town, it became a prosperous centre with its own banks and offices, it was also a pretty wild place the night after payday.

    In 2006 selected mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Liskeard forms part of the Caradon mining district.

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    Opened in the spring of 2023, Brightside brings proper hospitality back to roadside dining.

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    Plan your trip

    Everything you need to know about getting to Liskeard

    • From the M5 at Exeter continue down the A38 to Plymouth and cross the Tamar Bridge into Cornwall. Continue on the A38 for another 10 or so miles to reach Liskeard.

      Liskeard has plenty of parking in and around the centre of town.

    • The mainline from London and Birmingham runs through Liskeard with all trains stopping. The station is about a mile to the south of the town centre.

      From Liskeard you can also catch the Looe Valley Line to the coast at Looe.

    • National Express coaches stop in the centre of Liskeard.

      Liskeard is well served by local bus routes including Plymouth, Bodmin, Launceston and Looe/Polperro.

    • Liskeard is eight miles inland, so it's easy to get to Looe (the nearest beach) by road or rail. There are also beaches at Seaton and along Whitsand Bay which are easy to access, and with the railway serving the town you can travel to places like Newquay and St Ives without using the car.

    • Yes, and it's free!

      It's home to the largest collection of toys in Cornwall featuring an invading Dalek, James Bond’s Golden Gun, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and many more things you used to have!.

      Learn about the history of Liskeard, from the work of local heroine Emily Hobhouse to the story of how the rocks beneath your feet got turned into Silver, Lead, Copper and Tin….

      The musem can be found on Pike Street, alongside the Tourist Information Centre.

    • Liskeard has a nice selection of Independant shops, many in the pedestrian only Fore Street. It's still very much a hub for south-east Cornwall, so there's a mixture of useful shops and gift/craft shops, plus an award-winning book shop.

      On the outskirts of the town there are a couple of supermarkets and Trago Mills is less than five miles away.

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