Walk around the narrow streets of Launceston and you get a real sense of the town’s ancient history. Up on the hill is a Norman castle and nearby prison, where notables including George Fox of the Quaker movement was imprisoned. Overlooking the rolling countryside, you can see remains of the defensive wall that once circled the town, there’s a 14th century gatehouse into the old town and tucked away below the castle is a row of grand houses that Sir John Betjeman described as the loveliest Georgian street in Cornwall.
Still a hub of activity, Launceston serves the local agricultural community who come to the town from miles around so you’ll find traditional butchers and bakers along with independent shops selling everything from second hand books to pet supplies. The indoor Friday Market at St Mary’s Hall selling locally produced food, plants and an assortment of crafts and the market held in the Town Square every month give a window into rural life in Cornwall that stays traditional and friendly.
Reasons to visit Launceston
- Steeped in history
- Home to the famous Launceston castle
- Array of shops offering locally sourced goods from food and clothes to arts and crafts
- Surrounded by beautiful countryside
- Perfectly located to stay, relax, explore and return time after time
Things to do in Launceston
- Built in the 13th century the thick-walled Launceston Castle demonstrates the town’s former strategic importance and has fantastic views out over the countryside and town below. The Castle Green is free admission and is the perfect spot for a Cornish picnic
- The Lawrence House Museum, (free entry) gives an absorbing insight into the life and times of the local community from prehistoric objects to a collection of vacuum cleaners
- Launceston Steam Railway’s five mile round trip through the Kensey Valley to the hamlet of Newmills gives an enjoyable insight to the days of when freight and passengers were hauled by Victorian steam locomotives
- Take the town trail and learn some fantastic facts about Launceston whilst wondering around the beautiful countryside
- Visit the Magdalene Church in Launceston and take in the beautiful carved exterior
- Walk up to Kit Hill where you will experience some of Cornwall’s most fantastic views. Being the highest point in the Tamar Valley, you will spot Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor, Plymouth and the Eddystone lighthouse
- See where famous writer/poet and local lad Charles Causley lived at No 2 Cyprus Well, Ridgegrove Hill, PL15 8BT.
Sat Nav: PL15 7AA