Cornish capital Truro at the head of the Truro/Fal river is brimming with Georgian architecture and is home to some of Cornwall’s best art galleries and museums, and the region’s premier entertainment venue – the Hall for Cornwall. The city (feeling more like a beautiful county town) was once one of the Cornwall’s powerful stannary and financial centres – the many elegant houses around the centre are a legacy of this, built by wealthy mine owners and their descendants. Lemon Street in Truro is widely regarded as one of the finest Georgian provincial streets outside of Bath. Truro’s architectural gems aren’t just Georgian. Dominating the centre is the great Victorian Gothic revival cathedral completed in 1910 and built from Cornish granite and Bath stone.
Pick up boat trips from Truro quayside to Falmouth, St. Mawes and other locations along the Fal River. Boat trips put a wide range of attractions around the estuary within easy reach including historic Pendennis Castle and the Trelissick Gardens. Take in a film at Truro’s award-winning independent four screen cinema, the Plaza, or escape the hustle and bustle and stroll around the city’s peaceful parks and gardens including beautiful Victoria Gardens with bandstand and Waterfall Gardens alongside the River Kenwyn. The Hall For Cornwall entertainment venue right in the heart of the city centre offers a packed programme of performances ranging from opera and pantomime to ballet, comedy, music concerts and great family shows. The city also hosts numerous events including an annual Gay Pride Festival, Truro’s Continental Market, the City of Lights Festival with lights parade, and an annual half-marathon.
History & Cathedral
Truro was designated a city by Queen Victoria in 1877 but has a history stretching back to the 12th century when Chief Justice of England Richard Lucy built a castle here on what is now the Courts of Justice on Edward Street. Truro really started to develop in conjunction with Cornish tin and copper mining booms. Centrally placed in Cornwall and with a strategic riverside location, Truro was once an important industrial port and stannary town connected to the deep harbour facilities of Falmouth at the estuary mouth. Magnificent Georgian architecture is plentiful around the centre, particularly on Lemon Street and Walsingham Place, both of which are lined with Georgian houses and a selection of Georgian B&B guest houses. Great stannary courts, a city hall, magistrates, police offices, a skating rink and picture house once stood on the site where the Hall of Cornwall entertainment venue stands today.
Truro Cathedral is the city’s centrepiece – an ornate and vast Gothic revival building. The cathedral’s first stones were laid by Edward VII in 1880 before he became king. The cathedral is a classic example of the Victorian’s skill in combining a medieval Gothic revival style with modern building techniques. An ice rink is usually in place across the Christmas season just behind the Cathedral and the building is free to enter, featuring a great range of themed children’s trails ideal for families including Riff Raff the Cathedral Cat Trail. A cafe/ restaurant and cathedral gift shop are both on-site, and guided tours are available.
Royal Cornwall Museum
Renowned internationally for its collection of rare minerals, the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro is region’s centre for archaeology, social history, geology and fine art. Exhibits and collections are in a variety of areas from ethnology and natural history to fine art and geology. Fine art treasure include work by members of the Cornish Newlyn and St Ives Schools of Art as well as impressive work by Constable, Hogarth and Edward Burne-Jones. See an exceptional collection of archaeological finds from across Cornwall including finds from ancient sites like Carn Brea, particularly Neolithic flint, Iron Age and Romano British pottery and an array of Bronze Age material.
Quayside & Boat Trips
This Cornish riverside capital also has a stunning quayside at the head of the River Fal where you can pick up a variety of scenic boat trips around the estuary. Buy your Fal Mussel Card Visitor Ticket for unlimited hop on and hop off ferry, train and bus travel from and to Truro! Days out on the water include boat trips to Falmouth and St Mawes where you’ll find a choice of pretty beaches, watersports, castles and more. A great time to visit Truro is during the annual Fal River Festival in late May/ early June and the Autumn Fal River Walking Festival!