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Abtot Logo. Encounter Walking Holidays member number 5357


The tiny port of Charlestown with its tall ships and dramatic harbour retains the best of Cornwall's trading maritime past with some excellent modern facilities and attractions. A favourite location for period movie sets - ‘The Eagle has Landed’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘A Respectable Trade’ are just some of the films that have used this stunning location for their shoots.

The history of the harbour is tightly entwined with the local China clay trade which passed through here for over 200 years until finally ending in the early 1990s. Based in one of the China clay storage houses, the Shipwreck, Rescue and Heritage Centre covers not only the history of the harbour, but also of maritime life in general. Entered through underground tunnels that were used to transport the clay, highlights include the largest collection in the UK of artefacts recovered by divers, along with displays on local shipwrecks and clay mining. 

The harbour itself is a peaceful and scenic spot from which to enjoy food from a few well located restaurants and tea shops whilst gazing up at the rigging of the three old fashioned square riggers which are often moored in the harbour seeking protection from the sea.  To each side of the harbour are pleasant rock pool beaches and fine views back towards Black Head and Mevagissey.

Staying here gives you the chance to eat well and relax by the tiny, cobbled quay and the maritime artefacts of days gone past. Inland and around 3 miles away is the world famous Eden Project and for those wanting to take a day out to visit you can catch a bus, walk in or cycle along “Clay Trails” to the project from Charlestown.

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