Since the new BBC adaption of Poldark stormed onto our screens last year, we’ve been a nation obsessed. Full of drama, love, loss and redemption, Poldark has captured the mind of the British public but the real star is the stunning Cornish backdrop with its rugged moorlands and jaw-dropping coastline. As we await the highly anticipated second series, let’s take a look at the real-life locations in Cornwall where Poldark was filmed.
Bodmin Moor in North Cornwall provided the perfect, wild backdrop for Poldark’s cottage, Nampara. Exterior shots were filmed here on these brooding moorlands, as well as many of the shots that feature the cast on horseback. The moor is easily accessible and there are many walking routes that you can follow to take in some of the best sites, such as Rough Tor, Minions or Brown Willy- the highest point in the whole county.
Padstow and the Camel Estuary
The spectacular coastline surrounding Padstow is responsible for many of the breath-taking clifftop scenery that you see in Poldark, and the picture-perfect Porthcothan Bay is used to portray Nampara Cove. This sandy beach is popular with families because of its vast open space and it's dog friendly all year round too. There’s level access from the main car park and it offers all the usual facilities such as toilets and a beach shop.
If you're visiting Padstow and are looking for somewhere to eat, read our guide to 5 of the best restaurants in Padstow and discover an excellent place to dine.
The narrow streets and traditional harbour at Charlestown makes this pretty South Cornwall village a magnet for film-makers. Its olde-worlde appearance encapsulates the spirit of the Poldark era, making it the perfect choice to depict Cornwall’s principal city, Truro, as it was back then. Visit Charlestown to learn more about Cornwall’s maritime history at the Shipwreck & Heritage Centre, or pay a visit to the wonderful collection of Tall Ships which often frequent its Grade II listed harbour.
Church Cove in Gunwalloe, on the Lizard Peninsula, set the scene for the dramatic night time shipwreck in the last episode of series one. If you fancy paying a visit yourself, the beach is very family friendly with a small stream running through that’s perfect for paddling in. During the summer, lifeguard service and refreshments are available, and there’s also disabled access from the National Trust car park. What makes this beach really special though is the tiny church that sits at the bottom of the cliffs, overlooking the beach- well worth a photo!
Whilst Truro itself wasn’t used as a filming location in the Poldark series, it was Winston Graham’s inspiration for the original Poldark novels back in 1945 and it was here that the world premiere for the series took place. The city itself is steeped in history with a beautiful cathedral containing the largest stain glass project in the world, the fascinating Royal Cornwall Museum, and many stunning open spaces and parks. It’s also hailed as one of the best examples of Georgian architecture west of Bath.
St Agnes Head
Another breath-taking Cornish landscape that features in the Poldark series is St Agnes Head on the north coast of Cornwall. In the series, St Agnes Head portrays the fictional Nampara Valley. This area is rich in tin and copper mining heritage and was another of Winston’s real-life inspirations for his novels; he was fascinated with its rugged, striking beauty and wrote the series just a few miles from here. There are plenty of walks you can take around St Agnes Head, along coastal paths which although well-maintained are naturally uneven, so walking shoes are definitely advised.
If you find yourself in North Cornwall, why not take part in some outdoor activities? Read our outdoor activities in North Cornwall guide to find out what you can get up to!
This peaceful little cove with its clear blue waters and secluded location was once a bustling fishing spot, but is now the perfect place to relax and enjoy Cornwall’s natural, unspoilt beauty. Porthgwarra was used as the setting for the landing of the pilchard catch and also Ross Poldark’s iconic swimming scene. The café here is said to have stayed open until the early hours of the morning during one late-night filming session, serving pasties and drinks to the cast and crew. Visits to Porthgwarra should be made at low tide, as the beach almost completely disappears during high tide. Access is via a steep slipway or through a tunnel cut through the rock, so care should be taken.
Botallack to Levant
The landscape spanning between Botallack and Levant is one of the most historically important areas of the tin mining trade. This stretch of coastline is home to many abandoned Wheals including Levant Mine, which played the role of Tressiders Rolling Mill and Owles and Crowns, which portrayed Ross Poldark’s tin mine, Wheal Leisure. If you want to walk this section of the coastline yourself, the South West Coast Path has a spectacular three mile walking route which takes in all the sites. It’s a fairly easy walk on signed paths and there’s relatively little ascent or descent involved.
If you’ve been inspired to visit these Poldark filming locations, why not book one of our fantastic holiday cottages in Cornwall and experience Poldark Country for yourself!