The city of Truro has long been important as the center of Cornish culture and administration. From being a former stannary city assaying and stamping locally mined tin and copper, to its time as a port city to being home to high society in 18th and 19th Century, Truro is truly one of the highlights for any visitor to Cornwall. It is a must-visit, offering something for everyone from families, museum and history lovers, retired people, and beer and food lovers.
Truro is the only city in Cornwall, and in fact it is Britain’s southern-most city, sitting directly in the middle of western Cornwall near the Southwest coast of Britain. Geographically, it sits in a bowl with nature reserves and gardens surrounding it, including Trelissick Garden. Cornwall has seen a revival of the Cornish language in the last hundred years or so, and with Truro being the epicenter of schools that teach Cornish, a visitor may well hear a conversation here or there in the Welsh-related language. One of the main attractions in Truro is its excellent Cathedral, completed in 1910. Designed by the architect John Loughborough Pearson, the gothic-revival Cathedral rises 76 meters in the air and took 30 years to build. Truro did at one time have a castle that was constructed in the 12th Century. In fact, it was this castle around which the town grew. It was built by the Chief Justice of England under Henry II, Richard de Lucy, although the structure is no longer standing.
The city is also home to some of the finest examples of Georgian and Victorian architecture. Walsingham Place and Lemon Street, named after the MP and mining leader Sir William Lemon, are both lined with fine buildings from those periods. The Royal Cornwall Museum offers a wide variety of displays for those interested in Cornish history. With its own rich culture, Cornwall is a fascinating place for those who love to investigate culture and history, and much of this can be accessed at the museum. In addition, there are many art, geology, and archaeology displays.
For lovers of food, Truro is an excellent location for bistros and cafes. Tabb’s Restaurant is a fine establishment for gourmets who seek a menu with international influences. Truro also has a thriving nightlife with a variety of clubs and bars, in addition to one of the premier performing arts venues in the area, the Hall For Cornwall, for which Truro is well-known. Afficionados of beer have a place set aside for them in Truro at Skinner’s brewery, found by Steve and Sarah Skinner in 1997. Their brews have won numerous awards, including Campaign for Real Ale and SIBA awards.
Locals enjoy a wide variety of shops and stalls at the Pannier Market. It is indoors and open year-round. And there are plenty of activities in Truro for every season. During the summer Truro takes its place erecting floral displays around town for the Britain in Bloom competition. The preparations begin in April, and this colorful city-wide activity continue until around the time of the carnival. The Truro City Carnival has activities suitable for everyone. With a carnival, music performances and arts displays, fireworks, food and drinks and children’s activities, the carnival, open every year during the weekends in the month of September, is a great way to spend time in Truro.
When the holiday season comes around, there are plenty of things to do and see. A paper lantern parade takes place during the Winter Festival, as does a grand switching-on of the Christmas lights in the city centre. With late night shopping events, fireworks on New Year’s Eve, and various events at the cathedral, it truly is an extravaganza.
Finding a comfortable and reasonably-priced place to stay in Truro is no trouble at all, although during some of its festival activities, it is probably best to make your reservations in advance. The tranquil and pleasant Chy Vista is only about a kilometer outside of town, and with country views and quick access to the city, it is one of many perfect lodgings for touring the city. If you are looking for something that is in the city, you might try The Haven. From there you need only walk three minutes to get to the Cathedral, and a fantastic breakfast is served every morning.
Truro is easily accessible by automobile or the railways. The A39 connecting to Falmouth and Penryn goes 9km out of the city and meets with the A30, while connecting to Plymouth, Exeter, and the M5 motorway is the A390 on the city’s south side.
All in all, Truro is a holiday destination that is sure not to disappoint. Whether your interests are related to the arts, or to history, or simply enjoying fine food and perhaps a night out on the town, the city offers something for everyone.