The huge success of the 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 routes for walks around some of the place names and Poldark film locations so that you can get a feel for Graham’s Perranporth. See for yourself the beautiful surroundings where Poldark is filmed and get a feel for the dramatic seascapes and Poldark settings in and around Winston Graham’s Poldark, Cornwall.
Based on the original novels by 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. 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. Taking in the breathtaking Poldark settings and filming locations from the very spot that brought to life the stories of the enigmatic character we all know and love.
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, were used in the filming of the latest Poldark series, doubling as Nampara Valley. Perranporth is certainly home to traditional Poldark country, and you can explore the coastline and vistas for yourself, and immerse yourself in Poldark’s Cornwall. Read on for our guide to walks around Poldark locations.
Short Walk of Poldark’s Perranporth, Cornwall (approx. 1.5 hours)
Starting point: The beach car park, Perranporth.
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 the steps 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.
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, Cornwall (approx. 2.5 hours more: 4 hours in total)
Follow the walk above. Walk along the high street and turn left opposite Costcutter down to the beachfront again. At the promenade turn left up Cliff Road. Pass 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 House), 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 and down the coast path to Chapel Porth beach and café.
Walk to Holywell Bay, a key filming location for Poldark (approx. 1.5 hours)
Starting point: The beach car park, Perranporth.
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 a pause here to enjoy the view, continue walking through the dunes, or along the beach if the tide is out, with the sea on your left. Walk the whole length of Perranporth beach and then up the cliff and around the peninsula to continue along to Holywell Bay which is the next bay along.
Surrounded by cliffs, the cove of Holywell Bay enjoys good swells for surfing and bodyboarding. National Trust managed with delightful dunes and lifeguarded from 19 May to 30 September 2018 (10am – 6pm), it’s a dog friendly sandy haven and beautifully picturesque. There is no direct bus back to Perranporth from Holywell, so be prepared to have a rest and a picnic before retracing your steps, or if you’re feeling active, carry on along the coast path for a further seven miles to Newquay and catch the number 87 bus back from there.
To book your stay in Poldark country, check our range of holiday accommodation in and around Perranporth and St.Agnes. To find your perfect holiday cottage, house or seaside getaway, try our property availability search.