Historic Lostwithiel in the Fowey Valley nestles alongside the upper reaches of the river Fowey and has ancient stannary town origins dating back to the 12th century. The original Restormel Castle near Lostwithiel was built by Norman lords. Today the magnificent remains of a 13th century shell-keep sit on the earlier Norman mound surrounded by a great dry ditch. The site is spectacular, with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and pleasant walks in the castle grounds. In summer Restormel hosts outdoor theatre performance evenings. You can discover more on the market town’s history in the Lostwithiel Museum, one of Cornwall’s smallest museums, housed in the Old Corn Exchange and jail.
Lostwithiel is famously Cornwall’s ‘antiques capital’ brimming with not just antiques shops and markets, but many independent shops, a selection of historic Freehouse inns serving fine food and ales and several bistros and restaurants. Mainline rail links and easy access just off the A390 make it a great base from which to explore South Cornwall beaches and attractions including the nearby Eden Project just 3 miles away. The National Trust’s Lanyhydrock, a beautiful late Victorian country house set within extensive gardens and wooded grounds is another popular day out in the area, only 5 miles from Lostwithiel. Dogs are allowed in the grounds and onsite facilities include an adventure playground, cafe, restaurant and shop.
Festivals & Markets
Popular annual events include the Cornish Cider Festival celebrating grassroots cider making annually in October, LostFest a quirky one day festival every May and a Carnival Week in July. The Beer Festival comes to town annually in March and a Dickensian Evening featuring a Victorian Santa, vintage fairground rides, festive food, carols, market stalls and late night shopping with shop keepers dressed in Victorian costumes is held every December. Regular markets and fairs centred around the town’s Community Centre are a highlight attraction and include an award winning local produce market every fortnight and The Lostwithiel Antiques Fair on the second Sunday of each month. Antiques and Collectors markets also take place on alternative weeks to the produce market.
Where to Stay
In and around the town you’ll find a great choice of quality guest houses, old inns with rooms, elegant apartments in the centre and farm B&Bs on the outskirts. The surrounding countryside contains many farm and country cottages, and some holiday parks with static caravans and tourer/ camping space.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.