If you're anything like me, you eagerly look forward to swooning over Poldark when it airs on Masterpiece Sunday nights. The swooning isn't so much for the attractive actors, although, may I say, "Helloooo, Aidan Turner!" Most of my swooning comes from the gorgeous countryside. When I went to the UK in 2016, I was sure I needed to stop by at least one city in Cornwall. I looked at Poldark filming locations on the BBC's website and decided I needed to check out the Charlestown Harbour. I booked a hotel in St. Austell that was a very short walk and got ready to spend a day Poldark creeping.
To get to the harbour, I walked along the South West Coast Path. That's something to which you can dedicate several hours before doing anything else. It's the most beautiful way to spend no money. I stuck fairly close to the harbour and my hotel on my jaunt because I was by myself and that always makes me a little nervous, but there were some absolutely breathtaking views. Almost as breathtaking as Aidan Turner scything. Almost. The 630-mile path runs from Minehead in Somerset to Poole Harbour in Dorset. That's a lot to tackle in one day for someone who isn't propelled by a jet pack, so I kept it to just a few miles. I had pasties to eat, after all.
The view of the harbour as you approach on the coast path. How could you not want to take this hike?
Charlestown Harbour itself is pretty fun. Its construction first began in the 1790s, so it's had untold numbers of ships come through over the years. If you like to sit and do nothing while daydreaming, which is how I spend about 80% of my time, it's fun to think about all of the different eras in which people have used the harbour. In that very place that you're sitting, eating as much ice cream as you can, ships were coming through 200 years ago. Of course, sexy Poldark actors have also recently come through there. Let's get swoony about that for a minute...
The view from the beach beside the harbour, This is best enjoyed with a pasty.
When you can tear yourself away from the harbour, the surrounding beach area, and Poldark daydreams, you can check out the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre. The museum shares information about the area, and it holds artifacts from more than 150 shipwrecks. The cost is seven pounds per adult, five per child, and kids under five for free. It's worth a few hours of your time, and there's a lot of really interesting information, in addition to the artifacts. All the shipwreck stories may make you reconsider ever going on a boat again, but that's cool.
One of the exhibits in the museum.
After spending a day doing mostly free stuff, you can totally treat yourself to an ice cream and a pasty. There are stands for both in the area immediately around the harbour. As a cheese and frozen treat enthusiast, I took advantage of both. There was blood running through my dairy stream by the end of the day. Despite the stands' proximity to such a touristy destination, they weren't bad! Eating a cheese pasty while overlooking the water? Honestly, I could have just done that all day. I guess it's good to be physically active and blah blah blah, though.
With the coastal path, the harbour, the shipwreck museum, and the tasty food, why not stop by the area?! For more information, check out my St. Austell/Charlestown Thrifty Trip video.