The North Coast and
Poldark Country

North Cliffs near PortreathThe seductive Atlantic coastline, studded with remnants of its rich industrial heritage, was once the muse and setting for Winston Graham's romantic period novels. From the summit of St Agnes Beacon, the view stretches across both north and south coasts, and at night the beams from twelve lighthouses can be glimpsed. Swept by thousands of miles of ocean winds, sometimes visited by turtles and dolphins, this Heritage Coast, home to seals and seabirds, is sometimes grand, always wild and highly romantic.

The popular seaside resort of Portreath nestles on the shoreline in the green fold of a valley. As with each of the beaches along the north coast, this secluded sandy expanse is ideal for swimming and surfing. Its 18th century harbour once served the copper and tin mines of Camborne and Redruth and walkers can retrace the inland route that the ore once took by following the Portreath Tramroad, part of the Mineral Tramways network.

St Agnes, Stone CrossTake the coastal footpath west from Portreath towards St Ives Bay and you will pass spectacular scenery - evocative names like Deadman's Cove, Ralph's Cupboard and Hell's Mouth bearing testimony to ancient tales of shipwrecks and smuggling. Head inland from the north cliffs and enjoy the contrasting tranquillity of Tehidy Country Park, with its 250 acres of woodland, lakes, footpaths and cycle trails as well as an impressive golf course.

To the east lies the popular resort of Perranporth, with its three and a half miles of golden sands. A true surfer's paradise where you can revel in the excitement of its thunderous surf or simply relax under clear blue skies. Nearby lies Trerice Manor (NT), Nansmeliyn Marsh nature reserve, and the ancient amphitheatre of St Piran's Round. Host to the annual Celtic festival of dance, music and culture Lowender Peran in October, Perranporth draws performers from many Celtic nations to join its celebrations.

The village of Holywell, north east of Perranporth, is ideal for families - with both a golden beach and non-stop entertainment for kids of all ages at Holywell Bay Fun Park. Legend has it that the 'well' itself is hidden in a cave on the water's edge. Porthtowan, on the western edge of Poldark Country, is a land of dunes plunging down to a fine sandy beach. Formerly a winter resort in Victorian times, the village has blossomed and welcomes visitors year round.

The enchanting village of St Agnes still retains its links with its industrial past. Surrounded by ivy-clad mines and engine houses, St Agnes features the old Sea Captain's cottages of Stippy Stappy and the lost harbours of Trevaunance Cove. Nowadays, the village is a hive of activity for local traders, fishermen and crafts people. Folklore tells of a giant, by the name of Bolster, who died for the love of the young maiden Agnes. Every year, during April, the myth is re-created in a grand pageant during the Bolster Festival. With the Victorian Fayre in May, Flora dances in June and the Carnival and Regatta in August, the hustle and bustle of village life never ceases.

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