Poldark: one day itinerary

Charlestown, Poldark

Get a glimpse of Poldark locations with a quick self-drive, one day tour taking in both the south and north Cornish coasts.

10.00 am: Charlestown

Starting at the iconic and historic port of Charlestown, near St Austell you will immediately be transported to the Cornwall of yesteryear. Charlestown is the home port of the ancient square rigger the Phoenix which has featured in numerous films including Poldark. 

Take a walk around the harbour and visualise Verity Poldark boarding Captain Andrew Blamey’s packet ship.  Find Capt. Blamey’s cottage overlooking the port. Walk the breakwater where Ross consulted with the merchants and wander down onto Charlestown beach which has recently doubled as St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly.  Charlestown has been used as Truro and Falmouth and features in the opening title sequence of Poldark.

There are excellent restaurants, pubs and cafes surrounding the harbour and a central car park that allows for easy access. Allow an hour to have a wander around and perhaps a coffee stop.

11.30 am: cross Cornwall from the south to north coast

Take the A390 towards Truro then the A3058 to Newquay and skirt through the interior China clay areas of Cornwall giving a hint to the significance of Charlestown as a major export port of its heyday.

At Quintrell Downs roundabout take the A3075 towards Redruth until you see Holywell Bay signposted off to your right. 

12.15 pm: Holywell Bay beach

Arrive at Holywell Bay beach which is served by a pay and display National Trust car park (free to NT members). Take a walk onto the beach to be immediately met with the sight of the twin peaked Gull Rock.  Here many beach scenes from Poldark have been filmed including encounters between Dwight Enys and Caroline Penvenen.  The caves and sands have provided many a backdrop for the series and are the geographically the closest to the Hendrawna Beach of Winston Graham's novels which is in fact Perranporth a few miles further west.

13.30 pm: Perranporth

Perranporth provides a good lunch stop and shopping opportunities. This small coastal community nestles in a valley adjoining three miles of sandy beach and was the site of the real “Wheal Leisure”. Recent development precluded its use in the series but it's worth a visit before taking the B3285 towards St Agnes. 

15.00 pm: St Agnes Head

The climax of both Poldark series’ one and two has been on the rocky outcrop of St Agnes Head which is reached by following road signs towards Chapel Porth beach, then St Agnes Beacon.  A seaward side lane at the base of the beacon gives you vehicular access direct to the site of the filming.  Keep following the track to its end, ignoring the other designated parking spots along the way. You will see the engine house of Wheal Coates a little further along the coastpath to the west. The rocky outcrop of St Agnes Head is directly next to you providing panoramic views of the coast in both directions and a walk or drive eastwards along the headland towards St Agnes takes you down into Trevaunance Cove for a well earned end of day drink or cuppa at famous Driftwood Spars pub or one of the other excellent cafes there.

For more information on Poldark locations and guided tours of all places used in the filming see Poldark's Cornwall


Alternative ways to get about:

By rail: Charlestown is served by the mainline railway station at St Austell. Ticket and timetables to St Austell and branch line information for Newquay and other routes around Cornwall.

By bus: First Group provide buses to all locations mentioned.


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