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A Guide to Poldark Filming Locations in Cornwall

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The popular TV series Poldark, a brooding drama set in 18th-century Cornwall, is an adaption from Winston Graham’s novels and follows the story of Ross Poldark who has his heart set on turning round the fortunes of his late father’s estate. Cornwall provides the perfect setting for filming, due to the rugged coastline, dramatic scenery and breath-taking beauty that the county has to offer, and if you are a fan, then a visit to some of these locations is an absolute must during your Cornwall walking holiday. Here at Way2go4 Walking Holidays we offer a wide range of both guided and self-guided walks in many of the beautiful areas of Cornwall, including some that have you may have seen pictured on your TV screens in series’ such as Poldark! If you are interested in other filming locations nearby, why not take a look at our Doc Martin Port Isaac walk map and begin exploring these destinations for yourself?

A Poldark filming location to visit after your Cornwall walking holiday

Charlestown

This historic town has always been a popular setting for TV series and films alike, including The Three Musketeers, Doctor Who, The Eagle Has Landed and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. This original Grade II listed harbour is renowned for its traditional appearance and features a collection of ships, further contributing to its authenticity. In Poldark, Charlestown stood in for the Truro-Falmouth mining port and complete with tall ships, this is one of the world’s best preserved historic harbours and really looks the part in Poldark.

Porthcurno

Porthcurno acts as Nampara Cove in Poldark. This alluring Land’s End beach is the setting for a series two dream for Ross and his wife Demelza, and the fine white sand, turquoise waters and dramatically high cliffs either side make it the perfect setting. This oasis of beauty is a fantastic spot to visit, not least for Poldark, but you can also climb the 90 rock-cut steps to reach the magnificent Minack theatre and catch the latest show in style.

Porthgwarra

This small fishing cove boasts crystal clear waters and rumour has it that during filming periods, a little beach café remained open until 4am to serve Cornish delicacies to both cast and crew. The cove is accessible via the South West Coast Path and is the peaceful home to an array of wildflowers and birdlife, further cementing the natural and wild themes within Poldark. A tunnel cut through the rock makes it the perfect place for swimming and was in fact the place Ross Poldark had his well-known morning swim, where he was spied on by Demelza. It is also the setting of the landing of the pilchards scene in 2015.

Kynance Cove

On the west coast of the Lizard, the spectacular Kynance cove with a wild back drop and serpentine rock-towers doubles as Poldark’s beloved Nampara. At high tide, the beach virtually disappears as the foamy waves race across the white sands. You can use this cove as a base for a small walk along the cliff path, through wild flower meadows and herds of cattle before reaching the Predannack Wollas. You may also recognise this spot, as the backdrop for many of Aiden Turner’s frequent horseback gallops.

Church Cove

This sheltered, sandy cove was used as the setting to the evening shipwreck scenes, and perhaps rightly so, as the church nestled in the cliffs has the words ‘The church of storms’ written above the door. Interestingly, the 15th century church which the beach is named after is known as St Wynwallow, and has a bell tower detached from the church, set further along in the side of the cliff. Be sure to explore Poldark Mine, a tin-mine tourist attraction, predating to the BBC’s first production of Poldark in the seventies and was reopened in the nick of time for the new series. Also nearby, is the National Trust’s Godolphin House, the elegant home of wealthy mineral-lord Francis Godolphin…or a real-life Warleggan.

Holywell bay

This huge expanse of golden sands is backed by magnificent dunes and makes the perfect spot to portray part of the estate owned by the rival mining family, the Warleggans in series two. This beach is a more peaceful alternative to the neighbouring beach of Perranporth, where it is said Winston Graham wrote most of the Poldark novels all those years ago.

Bodmin Moor and St Breward

Poldark’s very own Nampara Cottage and some of the miner’s homes were located near this village, and scenes including a duel were also shot here. St Breward sits at the top of the Camel trail, a beautiful cycle route that was even used recently by Poldark actresses Heida Reed and Ruby Bengal. The two highest peaks in Cornwall, Rough Tor and Brown Willey are situated on the moor and boast unrivalled views of the wild landscapes that many associate with Cornwall in the 18th Century. The riding stables that provided the horses for filming are located here, and fittingly, as are many of the horseback scenes.

Botallack and Levant mines

It seems that location managers were unable to resist the rich mining heritage that is offered by the west Cornwall coast, linking both Botallack and Levant mines. Botallack provided the location for Wheal Leisure Mine, which Ross Poldark both owned and worked in. Two houses perched precariously on the cliff edge are used for the iconic Wheal Leisure scenes, telling of the dangers involved and a plaque on the wall speaks of 20 lives lost when the mine was flooded in 1893. The fictional Tressider Rolling Mill is depicted by the Levant Mine, a world heritage site which has unparalleled views of the Atlantic.

St Agnes Head

A natural choice to film Poldark thanks to it's world famous engine houses set on dramatic coastline, this area is a double for Nampara Valley during the series. The pretty village, mariners’ cottages and engine houses contribute to its reputation of proper Poldark Country and the towering cliffs overlook a stunning beach at Chapel Porth. If you’re visiting this area, you can visit Blue Hills Tin Streams, a cottage-industry mine which still turns minerals into metal!

Porthcothan

Porthcothan was used to portray Nampara cove and fans of North Cornwall or our walking holidays will recognise the beautiful views across the Camel Estuary and Tregirls beach, as well as the beach acting as Poldark’s fictional Nampara cove. The cliff tops here offer fabulous views across the towering sea stacks at Bedruthan Steps and keep an eye out for scenes featuring Ross himself galloping across the headland.

Image credit: Robert Pittman under Creative Commons 2.0