Friday 16 November 2012

Charlestown in Cornwall

I’m taking you back to Cornwall again. So far I’ve only reported on one day of our holiday. Another day we found our way to St Austell’s little port of Charlestown. It is very picturesque and made even more so because it currently houses the three square-rigged tall ships in my photographs.

 It is privately owned and today I discovered that it has just been put up for sale by its owner who is retiring and hopes someone else will take it over as a business, together with his staff. They build and restore ships and run training in seamanship on the tall ships, which are also hired out as film locations. The harbour was used by Tim Burton for his Alice in Wonderland film when the grown up Alice sets sail for China in one of the tall ships. The port was also featured in other films, including one of the Three Musketeers movies and an episode of Dr Who.

Charlestown gets its name from the person who conceived it, local industrialist and landowner, Charles Rashleigh. Built in the late 18th century, it was originally used mainly by fishermen and for transporting locally mined china clay.

Members of the public can walk all the way round the port, crossing the narrow metal bridge that tops the rising gate that allows boats to enter or leave the inner harbour. Jade wasn’t too keen to set foot on that, but once we persuaded her she was happy to cross.

The beaches on either side of the harbour are private and although public access is allowed, dogs are not, so we didn’t descend to them. The small village that surrounds the harbour also houses a feted museum, The Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, but again we didn’t want to leave Jade outside so we missed that. Of course the South West Coast Path passes through Charlestown and we did walk some of that and got more intermittent but gorgeous views of the Cornish coastline.


Linda D said...

Looks fascinating.
(And you've given me an idea. Is it too early to start planning a holiday for next summer? I think I'll start dropping hints soon ...!)

Unknown said...

Hope you get there, Linda. The area is definitely worth a visit.

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