North Cornwall's history is packed with interest
and events - and you don't have to delve into history books to
get at it. Just visit one of the fine museums and you'll be walking
into a showcase of life in times past.
The Bodmin Town Museum will take you on
a guided tour of the town from its prehistoric beginnings up to
World War II. Along the way you can see what's cooking in the
A short way across town at the Duke of Cornwall
Light Infantry Regimental Museum, you'll be shouldering arms
with one of the most famous regiments of the south west, and inspecting
the impressive collection of small arms and machine guns.
At Camelford, you can step into life in old Cornwall
in the North Cornwall Museum and Gallery, which also has
changing exhibitions of crafts and paintings throughout the season.
At the Bude-Stratton Museum, on Bude's canal
side, you can see how you measure up to Anthony Payne, the Cornish
giant, and then embark on a voyage through the town's maritime
and shipwreck heritage.
Launceston has a fine museum in the splendid
Georgian Lawrence House, where, after admiring the costume
displays and exploring the Local History Room, you can stroll
around the Victorian garden.
There's a strong whiff of sea air in the Padstow
Museum. After you've come face-to-face with the famous 'Obby'
Oss, you'll be amazed at the heroism of Padstow's lifeboatmen,
and the skill of its ship-builders.
One mile north of Camelford on the Boscastle road
the British Cycling Museum is located at the old Camelford
Historic Homes and Gardens
Besides the drama of the coast and moors. North
Cornwall has yet another trick up its sleeve - in its great houses
and gardens. Here you'll see a different kind of dramatic grandeur,
and you'll be stepping into the upstairs-downstairs world of the
At Pencarrow, the National Heritage Award winner
for the country's best historic house, you'll be the guests of
the Molesworth-St Aubyn family, who still live in this Georgian
mansion. Amidst beautiful woodland gardens, the house has magnificent
collections of pictures, china, furniture, and antique dolls.
You may have already seen Prideaux Place at Padstow,
without realising. The Elizabethan house and ancient deerpark,
overlooking the Camel Estuary, has been used as a spectacular
backdrop for films starring Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter
and Ben Kingsley.
Stroll around the Longcross Victorian Gardens near
Port Isaac, and you'll see how the Victorians fashioned intriguing
floral displays in a superb coastal position. And during the spring
Cornwall Gardens Festival, visit North Cornwall's other gardens
at Tremeer, Lancarfe, Watergate and Penheale.
If you time things right, you might be able to
catch an opera or concert staged at one of the houses, and spend
an evening out in serious style.