While the dramatic storylines and handsome cast may be some of the reasons to tune into Poldark each week, for us the real star is the fabulous Cornish landscapes and coastline. As the show starts its fifth and final season, you may be wondering how you’re going to fill that void once it’s over. But don’t worry – with our beautiful collection of holiday cottages in Cornwall, it’s possible to visit many of the series’ locations and relive those iconic scenes for yourself!
Charlestown stood in for the city of Truro in the programme. With its traditional appearance, Grade II listed harbour and original granite quays, it’s the perfect place to recreate the 18th Century landscape... it even has its own tall ships! Although it became a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2006, Charleston is still a working harbour for china clay exports. The town also regularly hosts TV and film crews in the controlled film tank, which is located in the inner harbour. In fact, it has been used in over 100 TV programmes and films over the years, including Dr Who, Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island.
Poldark lovers won’t want to miss the unique photographic exhibition at the Charlestone Shipwreck Museum, featuring photos of the cast and crew throughout filming. The exhibition opened on Friday 12th July 2019.
As one of the most south-western points in England, this part of the country has some unbeatable coastal viewpoints. The Penwith peninsula, in particular, is known for its untamed, rocky landscapes and spectacular views out to sea. The blue waters and endless horizons made it the perfect place for the programme's horseback rides and cliftop encounters.
Gwennap Head is perhaps one of the most rugged of the headlands in the area, with the Runnel stone reef, around a mile off shore, having been the site of many shipwrecks. The craggy rocks and uninterrupted views over the water have made it a particularly dramatic backdrop for the iconic TV series over the seasons. Visitors can enjoy the same views from the well-trodden South West Coast Path, which is popular with walkers.
Chapel Porth & St Agnes Head
With its theatrical clifftops and famous mining engine houses, it’s easy to imagine dramatic horse rides and secret rendezvous taking place across this spectacular part of Cornwall, which reaches between Chapel Porth and St Agnes Head. This part of the county is also home to the best-known of the region’s engine houses; Wheal Coates. Owned by the National Trust, it’s one of the most photographed mine buildings in the country.
Meanwhile, the beautiful heathland on St Agnes Head made it a great location for creating the Poldark family estate, Nampara Valley. Combined with the stunning coastline and historic sites, it’s another fantastic choice for a refreshing coastal walk.
For the scenes away from the huge skies and sparkling coastline, the crew chose the aptly named Poldark Mine. This was where the programme focused on the conditions and hardships of the 18th Century miners, who were tasked with extracting tin from the Cornish rock. The mine is actually a tourist attraction and was originally named Wendron Forge, before being renamed when the original BBC adaptation of Poldark became popular in the 1970s.
Today you can take part in a guided tour of the mine itself, as well as explore the gardens and peruse the open-air museum. It’s open most days in the high season, although it’s worth checking the website for exact times and prices.
Season one’s shipwrecking scenes were perhaps some of the most dramatic of the show, and were all filmed at the lovely Church Cove at Gunswalloe. Despite its attractive surroundings and views of the Atlantic, the area has a less-then-peaceful history. In fact, the Poldark crew may have been inspired by tales of the shifting sands here, which were once responsible for the wreck of the 17th Century ship, the Schiedam. The nearby Dollar Cove has also claimed it’s fair share of vessels and was used for filming smuggling scenes in Poldark.
For those of us on solid land, however, it’s a charming place to explore. The dunes are rich in wildlife and the nearby towns of Porthleven and Helston are great places to stop for a bite to eat. Much of the area is looked after by the National Trust, meaning the surrounding area and walking routes are well-maintained for a truly pleasant day out.
For the mining scenes that needed to be shot above ground, the cast couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful spot than Botallack. The National Trust’s Botallack and Levant mines were both used as Wheal Leisure, Poldark’s family mine. Both mines are perched precariously on the cliff edges, creating a dramatic sight even in their current state of ruin. For filming, the crew recreated the mines using wooden structures built onto the side and adding the roofs digitally later on.
You can visit both these mines during the Botallack to Higher Bal walk. You can also take part in a guided tour at Levant mine, and see the restored 1840s beam engine.
The beauty of Bodmin Moor is how, even at peak season, it’s possible to get away from it all. Its remote beauty and wild, untamed landscapes were the setting for several horseback and carriage scenes throughout the programme. The Moor is also dotted with plenty of small, granite villages, hunkered down against the elements. One of these, St Breward, was used for the exterior shots of Poldark’s family home, Nampara. Meanwhile, the village of Minions was used for several of the miner’s cottages as well as the famous crossroads scene at the very start of season 1.
With its wild, unmatched scenery, the Moors are certainly worth exploring. The two highest peaks, Rough Tor and Brown Willy, provide some unmissable views of the Moors - it's easy to see why they've been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Our collection of holiday cottages make the perfect base for exploring Cornwall. Whether you’re an avid Poldark fan or have never seen an episode, you’re bound to be stunned by the many awe-inspiring landscapes and views on offer. Book your break today and get ready to fall in love with this spectacular part of the UK.