The tiny city of Truro with its charming cobbled streets and grand townhouses makes a great place to spend a long weekend at any time of year. With excellent shopping, dining, history and architecture you can mix city pleasures with a riverside stroll.
Here are our 5 worthwhile reasons to visit Truro:
- See the 6th century inscribed stone attributed to King Arthur and now housed in the excellent Royal Cornwall Museum which has free admission. The stone was unearthed at Tintagel Castle and is part of the permanent collection of local archeological treasures. Other points of interest include a 25th Dynasty Egyptian mummy and the largest piece of liroconite ever found. Check out the fine collection of Newlyn School paintings and other works by Cornish artists.
- Enjoy lunch or a proper Cornish cream tea at Charlotte's Tea House on the first floor of the old Coinage Hall on Boscawen street. Waitresses are dressed in neat Victorian costume to complement the antique furnishings. Enjoy a pot of tea brewed from tea grown on the nearby Tregothnan Estate. As you descend the staircase, pop into the side rooms and browse the selection of quality antiques on display.
- Shopping! Visit the old Pannier Market on Back Quay or browse the independent shops along the winding cobbled streets around the cathedral. The bustling Farmer's Market takes over Lemon Quay on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The cobbled square frequently hosts specialist markets such as the Victorian Market in December and the Last Chance Market. It's a great place to pick up unusual foodie gifts such as Cornish duck breast, Yarg cheese or saffron buns all produced in Cornwall.
- Truro's architecture is a real gem with the 14th century Coinage Hall and the Italianate City Hall which now houses the Tourist Information Centre. Other highlights include the well-kept Georgian houses on Lemon Street which leads to the Lander Memorial, a column erected in 1835 to commemorate the discovery of the source of the Nile by the local brothers. Look out for the 19th century granite gutters along the narrow cobbled streets which were designed to keep the streets clean. Princes Street has some noteworthy 18th century buildings including the Mansion House and Princes House and the cathedral is well worth a guided tour.
- Escape the city traffic with a walk along the east bank of the Truro River to Malpas. The footpath starts just south of Lemon Quay off Morlaix Avenue and passes the wharfs and warehouses of this former port as it heads towards Boscawen Park.
5 fun facts about Truro
- Truro is the only city in Cornwall and the southernmost city in mainland Britain. It was granted city status by Queen Victoria in 1877 after coming to prominence as a stannary town during the Industrial Revolution.
- The name Truro is thought to be derived from the Cornish “Tri-veru” which means “three rivers”. These are the Kenwyn, Aleen and Truro rivers. Further downstream, the Truro river eventually becomes the Fal.
- Truro once had its own mint, set up by the royalists in the 1640s to pay the troops. A Truro-minted silver crown (face value five shillings or 25p) is now worth well over £1,400.
- Truro makes a great destination for a long weekend as there are direct trains from London Paddington. The journey is exceptionally scenic, especially along the South Devon coastline.
- Although it looks mediaeval, Truro Cathedral was completed in 1910. It is one of only three cathedrals to have three spires.
What do you think makes Truro an exceptional place worth visiting? Can you add to our trivia with another fun fact about Truro? We'd love you to contribute your local knowledge.