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Cornwall isn’t just made up of picture-postcard beaches and wild countryside – it’s also home to a historic and thriving city that’s perfect for your next Cornish holiday.
Truro is Cornwall’s only city and its hub for leisure and retail, making it a great destination whatever time of year you choose to visit. The cathedral towers over the city, where narrow streets lined with independent shops and restaurants mingle with more modern additions, creating a vibrant atmosphere.
There are so many things to do in Truro, whatever your interests – from visits to historic buildings and boutique shops to tours of local farms and walks around grand estates. But to help you narrow them down, here are our top eight things to do in and around Truro.
Lemon Street Market
Best for: shopaholics
In the centre of the city, Lemon Street Market is a must-visit for those looking for a one-of-a-kind find. The market is backed with Truro’s best independent retailers, where you’re guaranteed to find the perfect keepsake from your time in the city.
Browse contemporary homewares, gloriously green houseplants, super-cute kids clothing and fine Italian linens – or boost your eco-credentials by refilling old jars with goodies for your home. Then relax and refuel with some tea and cake or some authentic Indian cuisine.
Royal Cornwall Museum
Best for: a step back in time
Cornwall has a fascinating history, so why not explore it at the Royal Cornwall Museum? This impressive Truro building houses a range of exhibits spanning millennia – from ancient history to more modern-day finds. Learn about Cornwall’s minerals, marvel at paintings and spy local Prehistoric artefacts.
When you’re finished exploring, the museum is also home to a great café where you can enjoy some refreshments. And best of all, kids go free so it’s a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
Best for: awe-inspiring architecture
There are several reasons you must visit Truro Cathedral. First, Truro wouldn’t really be Truro without it – Cornwall’s only city would only be deemed a town in some respects without its cathedral. Secondly, it’s impossible to miss - its iconic three spires towering above the city can be seen from miles around.
It is a relatively modern cathedral, built in a Gothic Revival design around the turn of the 20th century – in fact, a stained-glass window inside the church commemorates its founding. Inside, the cathedral is just as spectacular, with the multi-coloured rose window, sure to capture your imagination.
Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm
Best for: the whole family
Take the whole family to a cider farm? How irresponsible! Hear us out – Healeys is one of Cornwall’s best family attractions despite its boozy nature. As well as guided tours and cider (sorry, cyder) samples, there’s plenty of wholesome fun to be had on the farm.
Hop aboard a tractor for a tour around the apple farm, learn how to make jam, meet the friendly farm animals and then refuel with a cream team, ice cream or a full meal. Whatever you choose to do, you won’t find a day out like it in the whole of Cornwall.
Best for: tea lovers
This is the ultimate day out for fans of a cuppa and one of the best things to do near Truro. Tregothnan, around 3 miles outside Truro, is where the UK’s first home-grown tea was cultivated. The Tregothnan Estate has a unique microclimate that enables this delicate plant to be grown in the UK and its gardens are practically Edenic!
Tregothnan offers tours of its botanical garden, where you can spy some of the UK’s rarest plants. After a 2-hour stroll around the garden, you can then enjoy a delicious cream tea – with some of Tregothnan’s finest brews, naturally. The only question left to ask is, one lump or two?!
Best for: four-legged visitors
While Trelissick is great for dogs, we’ve got a sneaky suspicion you’ll love it too. The country house and gardens is perched on its own peninsula and offers some of Cornwall’s best coast and countryside scenery. While dogs aren’t allowed in the house, you can take them for picturesque walks through the open parkland running down to the estuary – an activity which is sure to set tails wagging.
If you haven’t got a pup in tow, step inside the impressive house to discover the fascinating history of those who lived there in the 19th and 20th centuries and enjoy commanding views over the peninsula. And if you’re feeling active, Trelissick hosts a weekly parkrun, so don’t forget to pack your trainers!
King Harry Ferry
Best for: wannabe sailors
Truro is perched atop a snaking network of rivers and creeks on the Roseland Peninsula which, although very beautiful, makes getting around by car a little difficult. But just south of Truro, King Harry Ferry crosses the River Fal from Feock to Philleigh, cutting any journeys to the Roseland Heritage Coast in half (more on that later) and saving precious petrol and emissions. It’s a win-win!
Established in 1888, it’s only one of five chain ferries in England so is a destination in itself. Take the car for a tranquil crossing and enjoy views of the surrounding Roseland scenery from a whole new vantage point.
The Roseland Heritage Coast
Best for: beach bums
This designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a must-visit for fans of salty sea air and incredible coastal views. Beginning just 3 miles from Truro, this section of coast stretches from Flushing in the south to Porthpean in the north – a distance of around 30 miles!
The network of creeks, combined with woodland and beaches create a unique landscape that’s completely unspoilt, so it’s perfect for those looking for a tranquil natural environment. Popular destinations include Mevagissey, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and St Mawes Castle but you can find your own favourite corner for yourself.
Stay with us in Truro!
Less than a mile from the centre of Truro, this modern and stylish apartment is perfect for a romantic couples’ break exploring this incredible city and the surrounding countryside. The open-plan lounge/diner is the perfect place to chill out after a day of adventures while the cosy double bed beckons when it’s time to rest your head.
One of three barn conversions around 3 miles outside of Truro, this property is perfect for a family holiday to Cornwall. And there’s no need to leave the dogs at home either, as this property welcomes up to three four-legged guests so you can call enjoy epic walkies along the Roseland Heritage Coast. Inside, the reverse-level barn is spacious and modern, with a super-king-size master bed for a luxurious night’s sleep. A BBQ and pizza oven are available, perfect for family feasts on warm summer’s evenings.
Are you feeling inspired to visit Cornwall’s one and only city? From cultural hotspots to breathtaking beaches, Truro really does have something for everyone. Take a look at our full range of cottages near Truro and start planning your Cornwall holiday today.