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Poldark's Perranporth

Jane Swift 22nd April 2015

The huge success of the latest adaptation of BBC romantic drama Poldark has brought the rugged beauty of Cornwall to the attention of millions. Written by Perranporth resident Winston Graham, and inspired by the local area, we’ve put together a route for a walk around some of the place names and film locations so that you can get a feel for Poldark’s Perranporth. 

Based on the original novels by Winston Graham, the popular costume drama has the nation transfixed with the adventures and exploits of dark and daring romantic hero Ross Poldark and his flame haired impulsive wife Demelza. And the Cornish landscape is getting almost as much attention as Poldark’s physique, as characters gallop their horses across wide windswept moors with the sparkling sea a stunning backdrop.

When the first of the acclaimed novels was written in the 1940s, Winston Graham lived in a rented bungalow above Flat Rocks, in the dunes over Perranporth beach. The spectacular three miles of golden sands below his house and the view out to the open ocean beyond must have inspired the author, and although the bungalow is no longer standing, visitors to the site can still enjoy the same view from a memorial bench in Graham’s name.

Many of the names used in the novels are of local places such as Poldark’s house Nampara, named after an area of Perranporth (and Graham’s own home Nampara Lodge), and Poldark’s mine Wheal Leisure, named after an ancient 19th century tin mine in Perranporth. The iconic views of St Agnes Head including the engine house of Wheal Coates, perched on the cliff top above Chapel Porth doubled as Nampara Valley in the filming of the latest Poldark series.

Short Walk of Poldark’s Perranporth (approx. 1.5 hours)

Starting point: The beach car park, Perranporth.

* ONLY UNDERTAKE THIS WALK AT LOW TIDE AND ALLOW ENOUGH TIME TO GET BACK ACROSS THE BEACH SAFELY *

Turn right onto the beach, walk past the Watering Hole and surf club and up the steps into the dunes. The memorial bench dedicated to Winston Graham on the site of his rented bungalow above Flat Rocks can be found just a few metres along the path from the top of the steps.

After taking in the view from a short break on the bench, retrace your steps back down and along the beach. Immediately after the Watering Hole turn left and leave the beach over the little metal bridge by the Sand Bay holiday homes.

When you reach the road turn right and cross the road when you can (pass Virginia House on your left). Turn left at the roundabout and at the Co-op cross the road again to head down Wheal Leisure (to the left of Rileys garage) to walk across the old site of the ancient mine (and pass close by Dunroamin).

Walk the length of Wheal Leisure and at the T-junction turn left up Liskey Hill, over the old railway bridge and turn into St Michael’s Road - the fourth turning on the right. 500 metres down St Michael’s Road there’s a row of terraced house on the right called Nampara Row (including Nampara Row 4) which stand on the site of Winston Graham’s old home Nampara Lodge.

Continue down to the end of St Michael’s Road and turn right at the T-junction along Boscawen Road, past the boating lake on your left and re-join the high street.

Long Walk of Poldark’s Perranporth (approx. 2.5 hours more: 4 hours in total)

Follow the walk above and then continue along the high street and turn left opposite Costcutter down to the beachfront again. At the promenade turn left up Cliff Road. Pass Perran Cottage, Cliff Nook and Atlantic House and continue to the top of the cliff and the sun dial. Walk along the road with the car park on your left and the sea on the right and follow the road up to the left to the side of Droskyn Castle. Turn right to walk behind Droskyn Castle along to the Youth Hostel. At the Youth Hostel turn left and follow the South West Coast Path to St Agnes.

This beautiful walk offers stunning views along the coast path and passes through Blue Hills, a valley where tin has been produced for centuries by tin streamers working the sands on the beaches. Tin ore is cast up from the ocean floor and the Blue Hills tin streamers carry on the old traditions of extracting this tin. Past Blue Hills take the coast path up the cliff again for the final section to St Agnes and descend into Trevaunance Cove for a well-earned refreshment at The Driftwood Spars! 

For those staying in Perranporth, you can get a bus or taxi back from St Agnes. Or for those staying in St Agnes (we have several lovely properties including Gargoyle Cottage and Bryanack), you might consider doing this walk from the opposite direction, or exploring the other side of St Agnes, walking through the village and along the coast road to St Agnes Head and the iconic engine house of Wheal Coates, where some of the Poldark filming took place, and down the coast path to Chapel Porth beach and café.

Enjoy exploring Poldark's Perranporth! 

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