Regardless of how much TV you watch, we’re prepared to bet that you’re familiar with the hugely popular BBC series, Poldark. On catching a glimpse of the show, it’s impossible not to be captivated by the stunning panoramic beaches, grassy moors and Cornish cliff tops filling the screen.
Between the dramatic scenes filmed across glowering seas and the romantic trysts Ross Poldark has with Demelza, there’s something for everyone in this truly addictive series.
For those of us who first heard of Poldark when the BBC series began, it’s worth knowing that the original Poldark was a series of twelve historical novels written by Winston Graham between 1945 and 2002. The first TV adaptation came out in 1975 and 1977, but it was in 2015 that Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson first hit our screens as Ross and Demelza Poldark.
The Poldark books and series follow Ross Poldark as he returns home to Cornwall from the American War of Independence in 1783. We accompany Poldark as he navigates his way through life in 18th century Cornwall, and we are immersed in a world of industrial turmoil, political unease and affairs of the heart.
Visiting us at the Beacon Country House Hotel gives you the perfect base to explore Poldark’s Cornwall without the limitations of a screen, and we’re sure it’ll leave you wanting more. Start on our doorstep with St Agnes, and follow our whistle stop tour anticlockwise around Poldark’s Cornwall.
St Agnes Head
The coast at St Agnes Head was the location used as the ‘Nampara Valley’ and part of the Poldark family estate in the Poldark series. Take a stroll along the coastline and visit Chapel Porth Beach to enjoy breathtaking views and stunning scenery.
The Botallack Mine can be found in Penwith, and is the ‘Wheal Leisure’ mine in the Poldark series.The mine is in part of the Cornish World Heritage site, and the Botallack Count House Workshop is open throughout the year offering wildlife and mining information as well as a cafe.
The position of the Crowns engine houses right at the very edge of the cliff make them a popular subject for photographers, but be careful to stick to the footpaths as there are mine shafts and steep drops into the area.
A short walk from Botallack will take you to the Levant Mine, which acts as ‘Tressiders Rolling Mill’ in the Poldark series, and you’ll find it in the St Just Mining District on the Tin Coast. The once active mine produced copper, tin and arsenic, before it closed in 1930.
You can go on a guided tour of Levant from 11am each day, and it is a fantastic place to do some bird spotting.
Gunwalloe on the Lizard Peninsular is home to two beaches: Church Cove and Dollar Cove. Gunwalloe is an area historically known for shipwrecks, so it’s no surprise that the Poldark series used the area as the location for the shipwrecked Queen Charlotte.
One of the real shipwrecks at Dollar Cove was that of the Spanish ship San Salvador in 1669.The vessel was carrying two tonnes of coins, and it’s said that some can still get washed up on the beach…so keep one eye on the sand as you walk!
Minions on Bodmin Moor is where Poldark first meets Demelza in series one, episode one. Take a snap of yourself in the iconic crossing of the paths, and put yourself in Poldark’s shoes.
If you’re looking for a slightly different experience, take a trip to Bodmin Jail. The site of Jim and Poldark’s incarcerations in the series, it is also well known for being one of the most haunted places in Britain.
Afternoon guided tours are available from Monday to Thursday at 4pm, and will give you the chance to explore life as a prisoner in Cornwall.
Holywell is land owned by Poldark’s rivals, the Warleggans, in series two of the show. As well as being a spectacular sandy beach, Holywell is also home to a cave that can be seen at low tide. Tucked under the cliffs of Kelsey Head, the cave is grotto-like thanks to the minerals in the water that drip from the roof. The colours of the cave mean it’s definitely worth seeking out – although it isn’t an adventure to attempt alone!
Whether you’re already an avid fan of the Poldark series, or someone who has never witnessed the strength of Demelza’s love for Ross, you won’t be disappointed when you explore scenery so breathtaking it’s easy to see why it takes centre stage in the hit BBC show.
Poldark’s Cornwall is here for us all to enjoy, and you can’t visit us at the Beacon House Hotel without taking a look into his world.