Beautiful market town Launceston located just off the A30, the main route into Cornwall, is the region’s ancient capital. The town is ideally placed for the north and south coasts, Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor and The Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A wealth of outdoor activity opportunities sit right on your doorstep. The centre is dominated by the mighty ruins of Launceston Castle. Other heritage highlights include the beautiful Victorian Town Hall and the Grade Listed town square which hosts regular craft and local produce markets, and is surrounded by 18th century townhouses. Launceston is brimming with craft and gift shops, some featuring onsite cafes. Fine old inns are plentiful and the central Tourist Information Centre in White Hart Arcade on Broad Street has lots of information on local attractions, walks and activities.
Visit The Hidden Valley Discovery Park with a Hobbit Trail, a Crystal Maze game, miniature train, hedge maze, fountain ruins, farm animals, a gift shop and tea room. Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre in Lifton is just east of Launceston with enchanting vintage fairground rides. Take a ride on the Launceston Steam Railway, a five-mile scenic round trip with a cafe, gift shop and museum of vintage transport at the station. Another fun family day out in the area is Trethorne Leisure Park just off the A30 west of Launceston with bowling, arcade amusements, a cafe, licensed bar and restaurant, a leisure farm with friendly meet and greet animals, a dodgems ride and conference facilities.
Launceston Castle in the heart of the town sits on a strategically elevated natural mound and has spectacular views of the surrounding countryside from the top of its Round Tower. The castle was once a real powerhouse in Cornwall, home to the administrative headquarters of the Earl of Cornwall. Over the centuries it has been a prison housing such notables as the Quaker George Fox who suffered particularly harsh treatment here. Climb the battlements and explore the extensive castle grounds. An exhibition tracing a 1000 years of the castle’s history and a souvenir shop are on-site.
Lawrence House Museum
Visit Launceston’s Lawrence House Museum within a beautiful Georgian townhouse. Free to enter and family friendly, Lawrence House features a variety of exhibits across three floors including The Launceston Room exploring the history of this former Cornish capital, an exhibit on the life and work of local poet Charles Causley, a recreated Victorian kitchen and a toy room. Launceston celebrates the work of its local poet during the annual Charles Causley Festival across a weekend in June.