Local Towns The Far West Cornwall

The picturesque villages and lively towns of The Far West have their own unique Cornish history. With a wealth of fascinating buildings, pretty harbours and a variety of visitor centres, each one has something special to offer the visitor.


Camborne is one of the great industrial towns of Cornwall's southwest and is so linked to Pool, in more ways than one. The other two main towns for this area which were also heavily involved in the Industrial Revolution are Redruth and Hayle. Camborne town today is not as prosperous as it once was, when mining and engineering were at their peak, but it is an interesting place and has bred many famous people in the nation's history.

Hayle is in the crescent of St Ives Bay surrounded by three miles of golden soft sand stretching to Godrevey Lighthouse. With panoramic views of St Ives, Carbis Bay and Godrevy Lighthouse. This is a very popular location for holiday's from hotels to self -catering with many facilities and a wide range of leisure activities only a short walk from the beach.

Helston is a vibrant community with strong links with the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, which is sited on the outskirts of the town.  Helston is also, for many people, the gateway to the Lizard peninsular, serving the needs of many of the visitors who enjoy their holidays in the area throughout the year.

Lands End is the most westerly point of Cornwall and mainland Britain.  It is widely known for its spectacular views and its sheer 200ft granite cliffs where the land falls away into the Atlantic.Having established itself as a very popular attraction, Lands End now boasts over 20,000 square feet of undercover exhibitions and attractions for its visitors.  One of the most popular attractions is Return to the Last Labyrinth with its special effects which has been running for some 13 years.  You can also visit the Air Sea Rescue Motion Theatre, The Visitor Centre, the craft workshops, souvenir and gift shops,  the lifeboat station and the Dollar Cove Suspension Bridge to name a few.   There are several local eateries and if you have a sweet tooth, you can go to the Cornish Sweet Manufactory where you can see the sweet makers at work before sampling their goods! Throughout the Summer months at Lands End there are various concerts and special events being held. During August, every Tuesday and Thursday evening hosts a spectacular firework display not to be missed.  For more information on these go to www.landsend-landmark.co.uk

The popular cove of Sennen is just around the corner from Land’s End and has a prestigious Blue Flag Beach Award.  The beach is also well known for its excellent surfing conditions.Lands End is a popular spot for wreck diving. Wrecks of all ages can be found along the entire length of the coast and it is widely believed there are many still undiscovered.Lastly, don’t forget to have your photograph taken under the famous landmark signpost, it is virtually compulsory!  Over 12 million people have had their photo taken there since 1995.

Lizard is one of the most attractive areas of natural beauty to be found in Cornwall. The Lizard Peninsula is where Serpentine can be found, a rare rock which is worked and polished locally and takes its name from its resemblance to snake skin.

Lizard Village, located close to the tip of the peninsula, is a small but pretty village with shops and a very good pub. The Top House is an old coaching inn which is the southern most pub in Britain and today is renowned for its great atmosphere and folk music.  The village is an excellent place to park your car so that you can explore the range of local landscapes and heritage sites.Lizard Point and Housel Bay are to the East of the Village.  Lizard Point is the most Southerly point of mainland Britain and a wonderful starting point for scenic cliff top walks.  Here you will find the 18th century Lighthouse.  Built in 1752, it is one of the oldest lighthouses in Britain and one of the most powerful in the world. It can be visited by the public from Easter through to September.  Housel Bay has spectacular cliffs and a cove with a small sandy beach.For the more adventurous there is excellent scenic & drift diving around The Lizard.  The underwater visibility is very good as a rule and you are likely to encounter basking sharks.  It is also a great spot for diving the many shipwrecks, due to the hazardous coastline and strong tidal currents from the Atlantic.

This dramatic coastline also boasts Landewednack Churchtown with its 13th century church, Kynace Cove, Cadgwith and its quaint thatched cottages, Kennack Sands which has one of the best beaches, Poldhu Cove where Marconi made the first transatlantic radio transmission,  Mullion Cove and of course, Earth Station Goonhilly. The Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station Experience, the largest and oldest satellite station in the World welcomes more than 80,000 visitors a year. With over 60 Giant Satellite dishes, a multimedia Visitor Centre, a guided shuttle bus tour and a web based museum of communications, ‘Connected Earth’, Goonhilly is an interesting and unusual attraction unique to Cornwall. Also special is surrounding heath land, a nature reserve heath land purchased in 1976 by English Nature, which has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Marazion is set on the shores of Mount's Bay, renowned as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, it provides a safe seaside environment for swimming. Marazion is also a popular destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing. A number of major sporting events in these fields are held on Marazion's beaches. 

Marazion is also more widely known as being the gateway to the National Trust property Saint Michael's Mount, the jewel in Cornwall's crown and one of the counties most visited attractions. Saint Michael's Mount is accessed by a causeway, once walked by pilgrims in honour of the alleged appearance of Saint Michael, which is revealed at low tide. At other times visitors are ferried from Marazion to the Mount in small boats.

Penryn is a small granite town near Falmouth, which overlooks the estuary.  Penryn previously exported granite worldwide and was a very busy little trading port long before the port of Falmouth was even built.  There are still some boatyards and chandleries remaining as sailing is very popular here.

The town has some nice features which includes some cobbled streets, a small square, a museum, a town hall and clock tower to name a few.  It also boasts several pubs and restaurants.   Much of the town has undergone recent restoration and a bypass has also been built which is good for residents and visitors alike.

Just east of Penryn, near Mylor is Lanterns, a small garden next to the river which is open to the public.   Set in half an acre of ground, Lanterns is referred to as a natural working garden and is crammed with shrubs, plants and flowers; many of which are grown on the premises by the owners, Mr and Mrs Chapman.

Close by is also the Helford River which has some wonderful river bank walks, or if you prefer, as with most of the surrounding area, explore the woodland or take a stroll along the long sandy beaches.

Penzance the ancient market town of Penzance is the Capital of the far west of Cornwall and is set in beautiful Mounts Bay - a body of water dominated by the grandeur of St. Michael's Mount. Located just 10 miles from Land's End, an area of Celtic culture and outstanding natural beauty surrounds the town.

Perranporth Like many other Cornish coastal settlements, Perranporth was a tin mining village during the 19th century.  Now better known for its’ wide expanse of beach (approx 3 miles long) and famous landmark, Arch Rock, it is a popular venue for families and boasts some exciting activities like sand yachting and surfing.  This beach along with others in the area all have professional lifeguards working them.You will often hear this area referred to as Poldark country due to Winston Graham having written his first Poldark novel whilst living in Perranporth.  The Perranzabuloe Folk Museum is well worth a visit as it offers an insight into the social and industrial past of Perranporth and surrounding areas. Having recently been refurbished it also has a memorial exhibition to Winston who was a patron of the museum until his death in 2003.Perranporth has had 3 churches, all taking the name of St. Piran.  St Piran is the Patron Saint of Cornish Tin Miners and the National Saint of Cornwall, and reputedly landed from Ireland in Perrans Bay.  You will no doubt have seen some St Pirans flags which have a white cross on a black background.  St Piran’s Day is 5th March.   The first church to be built was somewhere during the 6th/7th century.  It was submerged by drifting sand in the 11th century but amazingly the remains were discovered in the mid 19th century.   The second church was build on slightly higher ground in 1150 but still suffered the same fate.  The third and surviving church was built at the beginning of the 19th century a mile and a half to the south east.   Although not easy to find, there is an ancient Celtic cross close to the site of the original church and the remains of the Oratory built by St Piran is marked by a granite stone and plaque. Perranporth also has a golf course, a boating lake, an iron-age hill camp and Droskyn Castle.

Redruth is a town that owes its growth and current size to the Cornish Mining Industry. Once the capital of mining for the county it features many Victorian properties which reflect the wealth the industry created, alongside the many miners cottages that can be seen as you walk around the town.  The history of the town can be charted in the Cornish centre and there are many shopping and eating experiences available in the town.

St Agnes is a picturesque village on the north coast of Cornwall. Steeped in mining history, the village still retains a traditional friendly Cornish atmosphere. St Agnes offers a variety of year-round activities for all the family. Sample the beautiful scenic coastline, fantastic beaches, arts & craft shops and mining heritage. There are also a variety of pubs, restaurants and eateries. For more information on what St. Agnes has to offer visit: http://www.st-agnes.com/

St Ives is a lovely harbour town, offering several beaches and home of the Tate Modern art gallery. There is a large selection of shops, pubs, restaurants and eateries and the picturesque harbour is inspiration to both artists and photographers alike. The beaches are a particular attraction for tourists and offer both bathing and surfing opportunities, and range in size form the small to large expanses of golden sand. The town itself features cobbled streets and quaint cottages, with dramatic sea and harbour views to be enjoyed. For more information on what to see, where to stay and places to eat in St. Ives visit: http://www.stives-cornwall.co.uk/

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