Press release: 24 Apr '15

While it’s farewell to Poldark, it’s hello to Cornwall as fans of the BBC One series head south west to discover the on-screen locations.

As the first series of Poldark wraps after eight episodes (BBC One, Sunday 8 March to Sunday 26 April, 9pm), Cornwall is set to benefit from a boost in tourism thanks to what is being coined as the ‘Poldark effect’.

More than 5 million viewers have tuned in every week to watch the captivating story unfold, but images of glistening blue waters, lush countryside and craggy cliffs have proved to be the greatest seduction, sparking a huge surge in Cornwall interest. During and after each episode the Visit Cornwall website, www.visitcornwall.com, saw 50% more visits than normal, offering Cornish tourism businesses optimism for the summer ahead.

In fact, the uplift in visitor numbers has already begun with some businesses reporting near double year-on-year figures. St Aubyn Estates Holidays manages the car park and café at Porthgwarra Cove, as well as a number of holiday cottages in the area, and based on takings, estimate that they welcomed almost 100% more visitors this Easter than last year.

“Many of our customers during the Easter period told me that they have been inspired to visit Cornwall, as a direct result of watching Poldark,” comments Kerry Baillie, Cottage Manager for St Aubyn Estates Holidays. “They are visiting Porthgwarra Cove to see where Ross famously swims while watched from the clifftops by Demelza, or the location of the pilchard fishing scene where the water is so brilliantly turquoise. We envisage that once the summer arrives we will receive many new visitors to the Cove and look forward to welcoming new guests in the cottages that are located in and around Porthgwarra.”

It’s a similar story for the National Trust’s Levant Mine which plays the role of the fictional Tressiders Rolling Mill in Poldark.Part of the Cornwall and West Devon Mining World Heritage Site, Levant offers fans of the show an evocative taste of Cornwall’s mining heritage, as well as the chance to explore a on-screen location, and compared to last year has seen a swell in visitor numbers by 91%.

A number of businesses are capitalising on the Poldark effect by creating themed packages and experiences. At the luxury resort of Gwel an Mor in the coastal village Portreath, guests can sign up for a Poldark break and enjoy a guided tour of the film locations, while Hallagenna Riding, who provided stabling and accommodation for the stunt riders and horses while filming on Cornwall’s Bodmin Moor, has created a Poldark horse-riding Trail. Such is the interest that Poldark inspired coach holidays are also available, with Glasgow based Caledonian Travel offering a 5 day tour of mines and film locations.

“Film and TV is proven to have a significant influence on holiday decision making so Poldark has been incredible gift to Cornwall. We couldn’t ask for a more powerful showcase and with the second series confirmed it can only get better,” said Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall. “We are optimistic about tourism levels for the year ahead but it is important that we convert interest into bookings so it is fantastic to see businesses grasp the opportunity and create Poldark offers. The series is already showing on Australian TV and other countries such as New Zealand and America won’t be far behind, so there is potential for the Poldark effect to go international.”