By Lottie Gross published
The hit show is returning to screens this July, so here we’ve compiled the best Poldark filming locations across Cornwall with the lowdown on where to stay.
The sweeping seascapes, the quaint fishing villages, the starkers ex-soldiers swimming in crystalline waters… Not everything in Poldark was completely realistic. While we can’t guarantee you’ll find Aidan Turner taking a dip at every cove, we can promise Cornwall will wow you.
This stunning county in the southwest of England is indeed ripe with gorgeous sea views, beautiful beaches and cute little coastal towns with historic ports and towering mines.
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The TV series, which is about to enter its fifth season this July on BBC One, has been viewed by over six million people and has encouraged thousands more people to visit this remote area of Britain.
The rise in tourism has been dubbed the “Poldark effect” and Malcom Bell, Chief Executive at the Cornish tourism board, said: “Cornwall is often referred to as ‘one of the stars of Poldark’ – I would say that Poldark is one of stars of Cornwall.”
If you’re a fan of the show and want to relive your favourite Aidan Turner moments, head to these amazing Poldark filming locations for your next staycation.
The 13th century harbour at Charlestown was a no-brainer for filming Poldark (it starred as Truro throughout all four series so far). Frequented by classic tall ships reminiscent of pirate vessels and surrounded by quaint cottages, this little port is like a piece of living history. Have drinks at the Pier House right on the waterfront and dine at the nearby Longstore, where locally-sourced seafood is served with sea views out on the terrace.
Check out the Shipwreck and Heritage Centre for a history of the area, and don’t miss the rum bar inside the white watchtower right on the seafront. Base yourself in a lovely holiday home at the nearby Valley resort and you'll be well placed for an exploration of the south Cornish coast and many of the Poldark locations in this list.
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Kynance Cove, the Lizard Peninsula
This rocky beach is one of the more recognisable Poldark locations in Cornwall and it was here that Ross rescued Demelza from her rather hot-headed fishing trip. Owned and managed by the National Trust, it’s a stunning place on a sunny day (though avoid in the height of summer, when access is difficult due to crowds). Walk along the Southwest Coast Path for the best views, and don’t forget to strip off and take a swim when the weather’s on your side.
Mining was a huge part of Cornwall’s industry until the mid 20th century, when most of the mines began closing. Botallack is now in ruins but it was still used in Poldark as the site of two Poldark family mines: Wheal Leisure and Wheal Grambler. Come here to see the old engine houses perched upon the wild coastline, and stay a little longer at one of the Count House cottages run by the National Trust.
Gwel an Mor, Portreath
While this holiday resort wasn’t used for the filming of Poldark, it was where the cast and crew stayed during the filming of season two. Book a week here in the Residence and you could stay in the very ecolodge where Aidan Turner slept during this time, or where Eleanor May Tomlinson stayed while playing Demelza in season two.
On site, there’s a restaurant, pool, indoor kids play area and a spa, and it’s just a 15-minute stroll down a steep hill to Portreath town and seafront. Incidentally, this resort is a brilliant option for those who want to explore more of Poldark’s Cornwall. So if you’re coming by car, base yourself here and you’ll be able to get to plenty more filming locations with ease.
The most memorable scene for many viewers was filmed at Porthgwarra Cove, where Aidan Turner took his kit off and went for a fully nude dip in the crystal-clear waters. You’re unlikely to sneak a look at starkers TV stars there today, but you will be bowled over by the beauty of this little cove. Low tide sees caves and rockpools reveal themselves, and there’s a lovely little café for a traditional Cornish cream tea too.
Lottie is an NCTJ-trained journalist, an experienced travel writer and an expert in creating compelling digital content.
Lottie has been in the travel writing business for nearly a decade and has writing and photography bylines at The Telegraph, The Times, The Independent, the i and National Geographic Traveller. She's done broadcast work for BBC Radio 4 and have contributed to a number of guidebooks and coffee table titles during her career.
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