a town founded upon ancient freedoms
Porthleven and Praa Sands
Visitors to Helston can always expect a warm welcome, but this year more so than ever. It is 800 years since King John granted the town 'all the freedoms of a free borough'. On 14th April Helston will light a beacon to begin a season of celebratory events - processions, parades, pageants, exhibitions, concerts, rallies, street parties and fairs. And this year will see a very special Flora Day. This internationally famous springtime festival has become synonymous with the town of Helston. It will be held this year on 8th May and is celebrated in a carnival atmosphere of colour and music - the town is decked with bluebells, gorse and laurel leaves as the town's children and adults dance their way in and out of the streets, alleyways, houses and shops.
Nestled in a wooded valley to the north of the Lizard Peninsula, Helston is perhaps the least changed of all Cornwall's main towns. To stroll its streets and cobbled alleyways is to get a real sense of its history - an illustrated town trail guides you around the important landmarks - while no visit to Helston is complete without a trip to the enchanting Folk Museum.
Helston also has plenty of modern day attractions including shops, pubs and restaurants, sports clubs, tourist information centre, boating lake and the popular Flambards Village Theme Park. Nature lovers can enjoy pretty walks alongside the River Cober at Penrose, or a visit to Trevarno Estate and Gardens. Head away from the town past Loe Pool - the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall, separated only from the sea by a long sandbar - towards the coast and Porthleven . . . .
Porthleven and Praa Sands
With its narrow streets climbing the hillsides and its distinctive harbour, Porthleven was once a centre for boat building - its long harbour wall protecting the port from winter south westerly winds. Nowadays, Porthleven successfully combines the activities of a working fishing port with those of a popular holiday resort.
This is indeed a happy mix which ensures that the village is alive with gift shops, galleries, a diverse range of restaurants, comfortable pubs and cafes - trading alongside fishmongers, boatbuilders and chandlers. There is also a sheltered beach, popular with families, and access to breathtaking coastal walks to the east and west of the village.
A mile long sweep of sand and surf - Praa Sands enjoys a reputation as one of Cornwall's finest family beaches, ideal for bathing, surfing and all kinds of associated water activities. Even at the height of the season, the beach is never crowded and this small friendly resort offers a range of places to stay including seaside caravan and camping parks. Beyond the beach a landscape of rolling hills beckons, dotted with interesting villages, medieval churches and historic sites.
At Germoe you can find the arched stone seat of St Germoe in the churchyard, while at the church of St Breaca at Breage you can admire the 15th century wall paintings and a 3rd century Roman milestone. There are magnificent views across Mount's Bay and The Lizard from Tregonning Hill near Ashton, while to the west of Praa Sands lies Kenneggy Cove and beyond that the sheltered inlet of Prussia Cove. The coast path east takes you past the giant bluffs of Rinsey Head and Trewarvas Head with their engine houses perched on the cliff edge.
Falmouth and South West Cornwall Guide
Cornwall Online - Tourism and Holiday Guide
Copyright © 2002 - Disclaimer