Top 5 places in Cornwall to soak up some history

The Cornish people are defined by their unique history. The story of Cornwall can be easily seen in the charming fishing settlements frozen in time, the engine houses which tease an industrial past, and huge coastal fortifications that dominate the coastline. If you’re planning or have booked a visit, take a look at our top places to soak up some of this fascinating history.



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You may remember this landmark from BBC’s Poldark? Perching perilously on the edge of the Tin Coast, Botallack’s engine houses are icons of Cornwall’s proud industrial past and the mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you can believe it, miles of tunnels once stretched out under the sea excavating out tonnes of tin and copper.

As these are in the depth of west Cornwall, why not stay in the beautiful St Ives which is only a short drive away.

2. St Michael’s Mount

St Michael's Mount1

Towering above Mount’s Bay is a huge tidal island topped with medieval castle — we think this attraction ticks all the boxes. Even if history isn’t your thing, few can doubt this is a cracking view. You can access the island from Marazion — you can walk or boat across depending on the tide.

To get the best views of this landmark, you could book a retreat on Mount’s Bay.

3. Fishing villages!

Port Isaac Harbour and Beach

Picture yourself in a place full of old granite buildings, fishing boats, harbour walls and cosy pubs. Cornwall’s little fishing settlements are a big attraction that continues to bring in countless visitors every year. Our favourites are Doc Martin’s Port Isaac, the historic Mousehole or Coverack, which is perched on a perilous coastline known for its shipwrecks.

4. Godrevy Lighthouse

Forever Cornwall Bees Knees Gwithian St Ives Bay Godrevy Island

Big and impressive — Godrevy Lighthouse is a must for any visit to Cornwall. This stands on one end of the vast St Ives bay and marks the treacherous Stones Reef, which has claimed many ships over the centuries. It is said to have inspired Virginia Woolf,’s To the Lighthouse, good news for all those bookworms out there.

Why not stay in St Ives Bay, you could even find a cosy cottage with a view of the lighthouse itself?

5. Tintagel Castle

Matt Jessop VCL Statue Tintagel North Cornwall

Tintagel Castle has long been associated with King Arthur, so fans of this British legend need to pay a visit. Today it is a ruinous medieval castle clinging to an exposed island in north Cornwall, so the place still evokes the imagination of visitors today. English Heritage has now built a £4 million bridge to save you the hassle of scaling the battlements!

Port Gaverne is just down the coast, which is a great place to experience the dramatic north coast.