If you’re anything like me, you’ll be glued to your TV screen every Sunday evening at 9pm at the moment, waiting to find out what dramatic things will occur in the next episode. We’ve already had a murder, the death of a baby, a jilted bride and a mining catastrophe, all of which have left me hanging on the edge of my seat!
But aside from all the drama, my favourite part of watching Poldark is pointing at the TV when I spot Poldark filming locations. You see, like Demelza, I am a Cornish maid and I live within a close vicinity of many of the beautiful beaches, secret coves and picturesque fishing villages which feature in the BBC’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s novels. If you’d like to visit some Poldark filming locations when you’re on holiday in Cornwall, read on to find out where to find them!
It’s highly likely that you’ll recognise the two rocks in the sea at Holywell Bay. Known as Gull Rocks, this is a familiar backdrop to many of the thrilling scenes in Poldark. Holywell Bay provides the setting for the beach owned by the Warleggan family, rivals of the Poldarks. Situated half way between Perranporth and Newquay on the north coast of Cornwall, this beach is a mile long at low tide. It’s a gorgeous sandy beach which is backed by grass-tufted sand dunes, providing the perfect dramatic backdrop to many famous Poldark scenes. The romance between Dwight Enys and Caroline Penvenen develops on this stunning sandy beach. It’s also where Drake waits for Morwenna whilst making her a shell bracelet. Finally, Demelza’s liaison with Hugh occurs on the sand dunes which tower over the bay.
If you visit this beach for Poldark location spotting, I would also recommend going for a surf or bodyboard because the waves are usually really good here. It’s a great beach for sunbathing,sandcastle building, beach games and BBQ’s with friends.
St Agnes & Wheal Coates
If you stay on the north coast but head west, you’ll come to the charming coastal village of St Agnes. The author of the Poldark novels, Winston Graham, actually lived in Perranporth, which is very close to St Agnes, Many of his ideas for the novels were inspired by this dramatic part of the coastline.
The St Agnes landscape is rugged with stunning coastal views and is dotted with tin mines. If you walk along the south west coast path between St Agnes and Chapel Porth beach, you’ll see the remnants of disused engine shafts, the reminders of Cornwall’s mining past. Wheal Coates, which was a working mine between 1802 and 1889, towers over the ocean and is said to behaunted by miners who died there in the past.
We all adore the scenes where Ross Poldark and his horse gallop across the clifftop. The amazing scenery is dotted with purple heather and wild gorse, with a beautiful ocean backdrop. You’ll see this section of the coastline popping up in many scenes and it’s the perfect area for dog-walking. The coastal walk between St Agnes and Chapel Porth is one of my favourites in the whole of Cornwall.
The Botallack Engine Houses in West Cornwall are probably one of the most photographed places in Cornwall. They are often battered in the storms, but they still stand. It is thought that mining activity here dates back to the 1500s. In 1865, Botallack employed 500 people. You can find the iconic Botallack mines close to the town of st Just, about 6 miles from Land’s End.
These striking engine houses actually have mile long tunnels underneath them which go under the ocean. Imagine being a miner back in the day and hearing the roar of the Atlantic ocean above your head…crazy! Botallack Mine and the Crowns Engine Houses are used in BBC’s Poldark to portray Wheal Leisure, Ross Podark’s mine, where many nail-biting scenes have occurred.
This area is steeped in Cornish history and is a particularly rugged and wild part of the coastline. A picture of this striking scenery is a must-have for your Instagram feed if you’re coming to Cornwall. And if you visit in the Winter, it’s an atmospheric place for storm-watching during wild weather. The views here are absolutely breathtaking!
Turquoise waters, white sand and rugged serpentine rock. It’s no wonder that this incredible beach was used in many of the scenes featuring Nampara. The interesting rock formations here have provided many impressive shots of Ross Poldark galloping across the cliff-tops. The vast beach is perfect for wide camera angles and long panning aerial shots.
The coast path route from the Lizard Point to Kynance Cove is absolutely breathtaking so I would recommend a morning coastal walk before an afternoon on the beach. Take a dip in the dazzling turquoise sea and feel the soft white sand between your toes. You will convince yourself that you’re no longer in the UK! Kynance Cove is like paradise.
Speaking of paradise, Porthcurno is another unique place in Cornwall. Both Kynance Cove and Porthcurno are unusual places; there is nowhere else quite like them. This is down to the clear, tropical waters, the micro-climate and rare plants, and the extraordinary rock formations. The views are mesmerising.
Porthcurno’s craggy granite cliffs and soft white sand often provide the setting for Nampara Cove. The most memorable scene is from series two, when Demelza and Ross find themselves walking along Porthcurno beach in a dream sequence on a serene summer’s day.
The high granite cliffs provide shelter creating a warm and exotic beach in the summer. Go for a lovely dip in the sea, which turns turquoise in the sun, or paddle over to nearby Pedn Vounder, another stunning beach, on a kayak or paddle board. Retreat back onto the soft sand for a tasty picnic and breathe in the magnificent views.
Porthgwarra & Penberth Cove
Just around the corner from Porthcurno you’ll find the peaceful cove of Porthgwarra. This idyllic cove was once a bustling fishing cove but is now a tranquil spot which is great for paddling in the sea and exploring caves when the tide is out. Porthgwarra is where Ross goes for a swim while Demelza gazes down at him from the cliff top. It also provides the setting for pilchard fishing scenes.
Penberth Cove is one of Cornwall’s secret beaches, a quaint fishing hamlet close to Porthcurno. If you visit Penberth Cove, you’ll feel like you’ve really been transported back to Poldark times. It’s an unspoilt fishing village that hasn’t really changed at all. Many scenes are filmed here including Prudie doing laundry in the stream, meetings between Caroline and Dwight, Demelza walking across the stream and countless fishing scenes.
The Poldark series producers certainly picked some stunning locations to use in their filming. Why not visit Cornwall on a Poldark tour? You can explore the secret beaches, unspoilt fishing villages and spectacular cliffs and coastline where the TV series is filmed. To read about more beautiful Cornish beaches, coastal walks and fun activities to do on your holiday, make sure you’re following the Cornish Maid Blog.
A massive thank you to Laura for this wonderful guest blog post.