10 Poldark inspired things to do
Make like Ross and Demelza and step into the 18th Century world of mining, smuggling and romance with one these Poldark experiences.
Saddle up and experience Bodmin Moor on horseback with Hallagenna Riding. Having provided stabling and accommodation for the Poldark horses while filming on the moors they know their stuff when it comes to Poldark locations. Join them for a peek into what went on behind the scenes on their specially created 2 – 4 hour Poldark Trail. It takes in some of the locations visited during filming, including the cottage used for Ross and Demelza's home, Nampara, as well as some of the miner’s cottages. It’s best suited to experienced riders but there are options for beginners too. Giddy up!
One of the largest preserved mine sites in the country, Geevor in west Cornwall offers a fascinating insight into the harsh and dangerous life of a Cornish miner. Explore abandoned buildings that remain just as they were when the last miner left, take an underground tour and get hands-on in the interactive Hard Rock Museum. Time your visit to coincide with a special Poldark Day (Mondays during school holidays - check website for dates) and you’ll also be able to try on beautiful costumes from the Poldark era and have a go at hand drilling.
Tolgus Tin Mill near Redruth is Cornwall’s last remaining tin streaming works and is a designated heritage site. Using methods dating back to 1865, it has been lovingly brought back to life and is once again producing and processing tin. Join a guided tour for a glimpse into the process of tin streaming and learn how tin ore recovered from the stream running through the park is smelted on-site to create Cornish jewellery. Don’t leave without calling into the jewellery showroom to see the Tolgus collection of silver, gold and tin jewellery on display. You’ll be in good company if the Demelza range catches your eye; Eleanor Tomlinson has a piece herself!
Cycle the Mineral Tramways network of multi-use trails and see physical evidence of how the region was shaped by mining. Covering 37.5 miles, many of the trails on the network closely follow the tramway and railway routes once used to transport ore and vital supplies to and from the tin and copper mines to ports such as Devoran and Portreath. The trails are great for all ages and cycle hire is available at various points.
For serious cyclists Cornish Cycle Tours has created The Poldark Tour, a circular route covering 177 miles. It takes in a number of Poldark locations and is designed as a self-guided, eight-day excursion.
As though it has been frozen in time, Charlestown with its historic port and characterful cottages, was a readymade film set for the Poldark production team. Imagine yourself as an extra by popping along for a wander and undercover the area’s smuggling past at the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre. The Historic Port of Charlestown is now open to the publicand if you are lucky there will be a tall ship to explore. Step aboard for a taste of the golden age of sail and once back on dry land solve clues on a 1.5 mile self-guided treasure hunt from Treasure Trails. As you discover hidden corners of this famous port you’ll learn fascinating facts along the way and may even find some of your own buried treasure.
Follow in Ross Poldark’s footsteps by becoming the latest inmate at Bodmin Jail which housed prisoners for nearly 150 years until 1927 and is home to the only working execution pit in the UK. Now a visitor attraction it offers fascinating tours which go deep into the dank cell where Ross awaited his fate for charges ranging from inciting a riot, theft, striking a custom’s officer and wrecking.
Take to the sea for a two-hour kayak adventure with Koru Kayaking around St Agnes Head, a Poldark film location and part of the incredible World Heritage Cornish Mining landscape. Paddle your way through archways and into caves, and with a unique perspective from the water, see the miner’s paths cut into the cliff-tops and the now open iron and tin seams at Cligga Cliffs.
In the first episode Ross meets Demelza walking across open moorland, you can do the same at Minions on Bodmin Moor. Park in the western carpark and walk out along the track going past the Hurlers Stone Circle. The whole area is part of the Cornish World Heritage site because of its mining remains, but there's also plenty of prehistoric sites to see and the wonderful Cheeswring rock formation.
The main town in Poldark's time (now a city) Truro is the place to head if you are wanting to go shopping in a historic centre. Its warren of compact streets are home to an impressive array of independent traders. From boutiques to bookshops and designer interiors to delicatessens, this great little city offers a unique shopping experience. The café culture is pretty impressive too, with hip coffee houses, artisan ice creameries and cocktail bars dotted across the centre. At it's heart is the Cathedral, which although built in a Gothic style was only built at the end of the 1800s, so would not have been known by Poldark.
Visit Levant Mine and Beam Engine near St Just in beautiful west Cornwall. 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. Tour its engine room, look down the shaft and recall it from its onscreen role as Tressiders Rolling Mill.