A local

A local's guide to Callington

Ed 12 November 2019

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

Callington is a pleasant town in South Cornwall situated 6 miles from the Tamar Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and 14 miles north of the naval city of Plymouth Once associated with the Cornish tin mining industry, nowadays it’s a sleepy hub for the surrounding villages. Callington is very much a handy base for wayfarers that plan to wade in Bodmin Moor and Dartmoor, as well as for city lovers who love a good shopping spree and a bit of culture. Callington has a town carnival, held in July of each year; it incorporates a window display competition and many, many live events. A visit to the town in the summertime will help you understand why Callington is a past winner of the ‘Britain in Bloom’ competition too. It’s so pretty. 

Callington 4

For an escape to this lovely area, you can't go wrong with a stay in a quality self-catering cottage in Callington. We have many properties in and around the town from small, cosy boltholes for couples looking for an intimate break or large houses for extended families and friends’ reunions.  Many of our holiday homes welcome dogs and have special features to tempt you like hot tubs, wood burners and swimming pools. Visit our full collection of Callington properties to feel inspired.  


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The beaches

Food and drink

The shopping

The history


Callington 2

The attractions

Kit Hill Country Park


Kit Hill Country Park is a 400-acre open, green space high above Callington characterised by its giant mining stack at the peak of the hill. Commanding views across to the dashing Bodmin Moor can be enjoyed up there too. The park is loved by kite flyers and bird watchers and it’s easy to see why once you are there. Places of historical interest in the park include an abandoned quarry and many old mine workings such as the North Engine Shaft (200 metres deep) and South Kit Hill Mine (100 metres deep), walking trails and paths for horse riders. 



Cotehele is a part-Tudor house close to Callington (5 miles) managed by the National Trust. Found on the banks of the rushing River Tamar. Sir Richard Edgecumbe was gifted the original manor house on the property by Henry Tudor for his role in the Battle of Bosworth (circa 1455). Soon after acquiring the estate, he built Cotehele. Today guests love walking around the formal gardens, an expansive 8-acre apple orchard, and its Grade II listed parklands. There is a woodland chapel, café, and gift shop. Film lovers will recognise the house and gardens from Trevor Nunn’s Twelfth Night (1997) starring Helena Bonham-Carter, Ben Kingsley, and Richard E Grant.

Callington Murals

Callington is a historical holiday destination that encourages visitors to discover the town’s past and local traditions. Today it is known for being a town for artists, this is reflected by the collection of large murals on the walls of buildings all across town. Painted by artists, the murals shine a spotlight on Callington’s heritage and the local landscape. New murals are added to the collection annually and you will see them everywhere you go in Callington. Follow the trail and pick up a map from the town hall.  



The city of Plymouth makes for an entertaining day out for all the family. The largest city in Devon (just over the border) has a bunch of places to visit including the wonderful National Aquarium. You can see sharks, octopus, and tuna the size of your family car – it’s a great choice for an outing with the kids. You can see where the historical Mayflower was launched carrying the Pilgrims to America in 1620 (The Mayflower Steps) too. Take a walk around the harbour to The Hoe, The Royal Citadel, Smeaton’s Tower, The Barbican and the Tinside Lido where you can see large warships at anchor out in Plymouth Sound. 

The beaches

Callington is an inland town with the closest beaches being 15 to 20 miles to the south. A sojourn is well worth your effort, as South Cornwall beaches are long, sandy and also popular with scuba divers.



Looe is a few miles west along the coast from Seaton down some very narrow country lanes. Take a trip to Looe as it is as Cornish as Cornwall gets. A thriving hub of activity for visitors and locals alike, the narrow streets are packed wall to wall with cafés, galleries, and pubs. Every year there is a big music festival on the town beach that attracts some great bands. There’s much to see and do in Looe for a grand day out by the sea with your family. 



Seaton has a lovely wide stretch of beach which is perfect for rock pooling, dog walking, sunbathing and swimming. The village has a few shops and cafés. Popular with local surfers, it’s really a nursery but a good place to learn and get comfortable on the board first before tackling a rough break on the north coast. Shore fishermen love it at Seaton too as the views across the bay are wide and it’s a great place for some introspection, and peace and quiet too if that’s what you seek. 

Whitsand Bay

HMS Scylla

Scuba divers know Whitsand Bay for the HMS Scylla, scuttled to become Europe’s largest artificial reef. It’s close to another wreck as well as making a great spot for a dive if you are an accomplished frogman or woman. It’s no longer safe to enter the ship itself but diving on the site is still an enjoyable experience and it’s a superb place to see fish and crustaceans that have made their home there.

The food and drink

The Manor House Country Inn 

Manor House

For good home-cooked food, real ales and a traditional Cornish experience, head to the Manor House Country Inn. Situated at the edge of Bodmin Moor, this family-run pub offers a warm welcome and a wide selection of fine wines and real ales to choose from. It’s very friendly and well regarded in the Callington area too!

The Old Clink 

Old Clink

At the centre of Callington is The Old Clink, a well-loved pub known for a very satisfying Sunday roast. You can even choose the size of the serving, so whether you eat like a bird or a gorilla there is plenty to go around. A hearty meal and an ale in the thick of the town may well be just the tonic you are looking for after a long day walking out in the Tamar Valley AONB, Dartmoor or Bodmin Moor.

The Fish Bar

Chips & Fish

A British holiday without a trip to the local chippy shouldn’t be allowed. Even if you’re not hungry, you should at least know where the local one is, and in Callington’s case, the local fryer is The Fish Bar. It’s friendly and locals claim it’s the best for miles. Delicious! They don’t have a website and they are too busy cooking to hang out on social media, but you can find them on Fore Street in the town centre.

The history

Kit Hill

Callington has been on the map for a very long time. It was granted a market charter in 1267 charter by Henry III, who was busy raising funds for the rebuild of Westminster Abbey. Ever since, there has been a weekly market and an annual fair in the town. Coincide a visit to Callington with the first Wednesday in October; this is when the Honey Fair opens to showcase the wares and talents of street traders, entertainers, and exhibitors from near and far. 

Callington’s 15th-century St Mary's Church is a lovely space to spend time if you love historical religious buildings. Seek out the Celtic lantern cross in the churchyard. Nearby is the Old Clink (not the pub), originally a parish vestry room with some cells where petty villains used to be detained until the local authorities processed them.

The shopping

Drake Circus

Fore Street and Well Street are the main shopping areas of Callington. Local businesses dominate the parades and the town works as a local centre for the outlying hamlets and villages in the surrounding area. For a larger range of shops head west to Liskeard (8.5 miles). Liskeard is compact but has banks, petrol stations, and a few large supermarkets. For an even better shopping experience, make time for a day out in Plymouth. Put a severe dent in your credit and go to Drake Circus. All of the biggest high street brands are represented in full force there. Elsewhere in the city you will find that curios like comic shops, record shops, bookshops, sweet shops, and video arcades all do a roaring trade – who said the British high street is dead? If it is dying then Plymouth hasn’t received the memo yet.

Holiday cottages in Callington


We have accommodation of all sizes for you to choose from in and around Callington. Stay at one of our favourite cottages.


🏠  The Boat House | Sleeps 2 (plus 2 dogs) 


🏠  The Cider House | Sleeps 2


🏠  Linden Lodge | Sleeps 6 


We have a superb collection of self-catering cottages and holiday homes in Callington and all along Cornwall’s beautiful south coast. Visit our lovely collection to find a coastal cottage in Cornwall for a memorable holiday break to the West Country.


Discover more of Cornwall:

Guide to Cornwall

Lead image by Keith Davey @unsplash


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