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GUIDED WALKS IN CORNWALL WITH ABSOLUTOURS

Poldark’s Tin Coast – Botallack & Levant

Be immersed in heritage as you walk the South West Coast Path between the Botallack and Levant mines, UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites. Discover and explore unique mine buildings, a well-preserved arsenic works and locations used in the filming of ‘Poldark’. Enjoy the beauty of Cornwall’s rugged ‘Tin Coast’, watch for choughs chattering above, and marvel at the feats of our ancestors on a guided walk with your local Cornish guide.

Moderate walking fitness. Sensible walking shoes, clothing suitable for weather conditions. Some uneven surfaces may make parts of this walk challenging for those with personal mobility considerations. Fairly level track between sites.

Guided walks in cornwall with Viv Robinson

Explore the ‘Tin Coast’ lying in the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. Visit outstanding historical sites and be immersed in the solitude and beauty of this unique natural landscape with its legacy of past industrial activity.

Whilst walking the South West Coast Path between Botallack and Levant, enjoy dramatic clifftop views of the rugged Atlantic coast.

Weave through a unique C19th arsenic works, towered over by an impressive chimney stack before exploring Wheal Owles, seen as Wheal Leisure in the BBC ‘Poldark’ series, and discover a memorial commemorating a C19th mining tragedy that helps reveal the real story that inspired Winston Graham to write his fictional Poldark novels.

Pausing at a spot above the iconic Crowns Mines located on a wave swept rocky ledge at the foot of the cliff, there is opportunity to capture the photogenic scene and hear how the mine became a popular tourist attraction. In 1865 royalty visited – the Prince and Princess of Wales rode the infamous tramway to the shaft head and proceeded to go underground!

A fairly level walk along an old cart track takes us onwards to the Levant mine site where the oldest working steam engine is housed, yet another site where tragedy struck local families and featured as a location in the Poldark series. On return a cream tea can be arranged nearby at extra cost- Jam First of course!

The Highlights:

  • A 2 ½ hour guided walk led by Cornish Blue Badge Guide
  • Tour of Botallack and Levant mine sites in the UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Visit to ‘Poldark’ filming locations
  • Optional Extra – Cornish Cream Tea at end of walk
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place

Full Day Tour Options

  • Full Day Include as part of Cornish Ancestry Tour – ‘Minerals Mines and Migration’.

Castles Clippers and Cream Teas – Falmouth Shoreline

Walk around Pendennis Headland topped with an historic castle at the entrance to Falmouth’s picturesque natural harbour. Be rewarded with sweeping views of the Cornish coast towards the beautiful Roseland peninsula and across Falmouth Bay. Encounter golden beaches and gardens with exotic plants and palms and take the opportunity to indulge in a cream tea. Jam first – of course!

Moderate walking fitness. Sensible walking shoes, clothing suitable for weather conditions. Some paved, some uneven & unsurfaced tracks may make parts of this walk challenging for those with personal mobility considerations.

‘Thank you for giving us such an excellent introduction to Falmouth. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the walk and found the information fascinating.’ SE Berkshire NT members

guided walks in cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

Walking towards Pendennis Point stop to look over the active dockyard. During WWII Falmouth was a safe haven for soldiers and refugees. As the docks were important to merchant and naval vessels, they soon became a target for German planes whose bombs also fell on the town. Barrage balloons were installed, the Half Moon battery at Pendennis castle reinstated and defences improved. Secret operations were carried out, not least those in preparation for D-Day when American troops were trained on the shores of the Fal and Helford rivers. Today maritime activity continues with commercial vessels, cross-channel ferries, naval ships, cruise liners and yachts visiting the harbour. Reflect on how the harbour developed from a C16th haven to a C17th Packet Ship port for clippers and its transformation into today’s tourist destination.

At Pendennis Point see the most southerly Coastguard Station in the UK, gaze across to the picturesque Roseland Peninsula. Walk along Castle Drive to Falmouth Bay, where Falmouth’s first Victorian hotel is found. Visit Gyllyngvase, Falmouth’s largest sandy beach and continue on the South West Coast Path to Swanpool before walking back along the sea front, for views of Pendennis Castle. Relax in Gyllyngdune Gardens whereif not already enjoyed, a Cream Tea may be on offer.

The Highlights:

  • A 2 ½ hour guided walk led by Cornish Blue Badge Guide
  • Tour of historic Pendennis Headland and Falmouth Bay
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Optional Extra Cream Tea
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place

Full Day Tour Options

  • Full Day – Combine with a half day guided Visit to the exotic Trebah Gardens, on the banks of the Helford River, from where US troops departed for the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches. Public transport can be used between sites. Additional cost for optional extras.
  • Full Day – Combine with a half day guided visit to Pendennis Castle or the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth.

Falmouth For Orders

Walk historic maritime streets of Falmouth, a haven for explorers, merchants and the military. Explore fascinating corners of the town to discover unusual stories and characters associated with this ancient port and world’s third largest natural harbour.

Full Day Tour Options

Full Day – Combine with a half day guided Visit to the exotic Trebah Gardens, on the banks of the Helford River, from where US troops departed for the D-Day landings on the Normandy beaches. Public transport can be used between sites. Additional cost for optional extras.

Full Day – Combine with a half day guided visit to Pendennis Castle or the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth Additional cost for optional extras.

guided walks around falmouth cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

Portreath World Heritage Port

Discover lesser-known corners of Portreath, Cornish Mining World Heritage Site once Georgian spa, bustling Victorian port and now small resort on Cornwall’s Atlantic coast.

Explore the harbour, village and beach. Walk the South West Coast path to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the clifftop from where views of the Giant Ralph’s hideaway and Cornwall’s rugged coast extend into the distance before returning to the village for a Cornish Cream Tea. Jam First of course!

Low to Moderate walking fitness. Sensible walking shoes, clothing suitable for weather conditions. Uneven surfaces and tracks may make parts of this walk challenging for those with personal mobility considerations. Optional walk up to clifftop moderate on relatively steep slope.

Book Portreath walk now
guided walks around portreath cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

Explore Portreath, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, to share in stories and facts that only locals know. With its spacious beach nestled between rocky headlands, Portreath is a small resort less crowded than more well-known coastal hotspots.

Once a private Georgian spa and bustling Victorian port, changes in the demand for copper and tin, and investments by the land-owning Bassett family, reshaped opportunities and lifestyles for local people who previously depended on fishing and farming. Smuggling, wrecking & skirmishes with the French also have associations with this coastline.

Get to know this stretch of the North coast starting with a wander around the harbour. A specialist port for Cornwall’s most important copper and tin mining area in C19th developed to accommodate the Welsh fleet that imported coal and transported ore back to Wales for smelting. The port’s difficult and treacherous approach, lookouts, piers and capstans witnessed tragedy, shipwrecks and changing fortune in the local community.

Walking through the village we notice the unique railway incline, remnants of a tramway, the Red River and typical Cornish cottages. Surfers continue to catch waves rolling off the Atlantic as we investigate the dark cavern of Wheal Mary, an ancient copper mine, and the ‘baths’ hidden secretly in caves or cut into the cliff to provide spa waters for the Bassett ladies in the C18th.

On reaching Smuggler’s cottage there is the option to venture up Western Hill along the South West Coast Path for unrivalled views of uninterrupted seascapes and dramatic cliff top scenery before returning to the village or to just relax on the sandy beach and maybe swim in the sea and tidal pools before returning to the village to indulge in a ‘Cornish Cream Tea’ or Miner’s lunch which can be arranged as an optional extra.

The Highlights:

  • A 2 ½ hour guided walk led by Cornish Blue Badge Guide
  • Tour of Portreath harbour, village and beach – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Optional Extra Cream Tea in tearoom or Miner’s Lunch of a pasty & pint in local pub
  • Optional ½ hour walk extension up to the cliff top into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place.

Full Day Tour Options

Full Day:

  • Include as part of the Cornish Ancestry Tour ‘Minerals Mines and Migration’
  • Combine with a contrasting half day walk on the Great Flat Lode using public transport between sites

Great Flat Lode – The Bassett Mines

Be immersed in heritage as you walk ‘The Great Flat Lode’ in the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site near Redruth, C19th ‘Mining Capital of The World’.

Enjoy views to the coast from a mining landscape, now reclaimed by nature, on a guided walk with your local Cornish guide whose ancestors were part of the Great Migration that spread Cornish culture across the world.

Moderate walking fitness. Some uneven surfaces may make parts of this walk challenging for those with personal mobility considerations. Wheelchair friendly except for access to buildings and parts of South Wheal Frances mine site. Fairly level track between sites. Sensible walking shoes, clothing suitable for weather conditions.

guided walks along the great flat lode, cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

Stroll around part of the Great Flat Lode Trail to discover how C19th lifestyles in mining communities were shaped by the environment and changes in opportunity. When mines became uneconomic, family members left their homeland to spread across the UK and the world in search of better prospects. Due to this Cornish diaspora over 6 million people worldwide now claim Cornish ancestry.

Get up close to engine houses and unique buildings in the area with the highest concentration of historic mining sites in the world on this walk through the Camborne / Redruth Cornish Mining World Heritage site. Visit the impressive beast of an engine house at South Wheal Frances and peer down into the darkness of Marriott’s shaft, before moving across to the ‘thoroughly modern’ miners’ dry, one of many interesting buildings here.

Continuing along the route of a level tramway views of Carn Brea, topped by monument and castle, and landscapes stretching to the North coast are revealed. Imagine what it was like to live and work in the local mining community and how success or failure of the mines influenced lifestyles. On reaching Wheal Bassett gaze across at a complex of mine buildings, uniquely preserved, mirroring those where we stand. A ‘Miner’s Lunch’ can be arranged as an optional extra.

The Highlights:

  • A 2 ½ hour guided walk led by local Cornish Blue Badge Guide
  • Walk in the UNESCO Cornish Mining World Heritage Site
  • Walking the ‘Great Flat Lode Trail’ with its greatest concentration of historic mining sites anywhere in the world
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Opportunity to photograph mine buildings at close hand
  • Optional Extra – ‘Miners’ lunch’ of a pasty & pint in local pub
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place

Full Day Tour Options

  • Full day – include as part of the Cornish Ancestry Tour ‘Minerals Mines and Migration’
  • Combine with a contrasting half day walk at Portreath using public transport between sites

Lizard – Cornwall’s Most Southerly Coast

Walk over clifftops carpeted with wildflowers towards blue waters of secluded coves discovering Cornwall’s rich maritime and natural heritage along the way.

guided walks around the lizard, cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

Other Heritage Town Walks

Redruth – Victorian Boom Town, Helston Stannary Town, Poldark’s Truro, Newquay – Beyond Sand and Surf, Upalong, Downalong St Ives, Penzance Town Promenade

guided walks around truro, cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

FILM AND LITERATURE

Poldark’s Tin Coast – Botallack & Levant

guided poldark walks with viv robinson registered blue badge tour guide

Poldark’s Truro – Fact Meets Fiction

Winston Graham’s Poldark novels trace the lives of Ross Poldark and his contemporaries. Stories of business deals, rivalry, social events, personal liaisons and inequalities between rich and poor reveal links with history, film and fiction as we wander through Truro’s cobbled streets and lesser-known corners. As we wander through the city we uncover the truths behind dynamic lifestyles of landowning families and mining communities in C18th Cornwall as seen in the television series and imagine what the town was like before the cathedral was built.

‘Thank you for sharing your knowledge of Truro and how the Poldark story fits in!’ Bonny Wise & Fellow Poldarkians USA

guided walks around truro, cornwall with viv robinson, registered blue badge tourist guide

The Highlights

  • Guided walk led by a Blue Badge Guide
  • Walk through quiet and lesser known corners of Truro, Cornwall’s only Cathedral city
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Time to visit the interior of the cathedral (self-guided)
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place

Doc Martin’s Port Isaac

Explore Port Isaac’s quirky corners, historic buildings and medieval village centre on a guided walk that visits sites used in filming of the Doc Martin series. Take advantage of many photograph opportunities along the way – the Doc’s house and surgery, Louisa’s school, Mrs Tishell’s pharmacy and more, not to mention the beautiful coastal scenery of North Cornwall. For the adventurous we walk along the SW Coast Path for a panoramic view of the coast and village. Sample a fresh local crab sandwich or slice of home baked cake in one of the local cafes, or gaze across the harbour from the veranda of the ‘Crab and Lobster’ pub.

NB Port Isaac is situated on a fairly steep hill and is not wheelchair friendly – to walk up the headland on to the South West Coast Path is strenuous.

Take a Doc Martin Tour with Viv Robinson, registered blue badge guide

The Highlights

  • Guided walk led by a Blue Badge Guide
  • Port Isaac film location for the Doc Martin Series to observe familiar buildings and scenes featured in the series
  • Scenic village and small working fishing port
  • Use of personal radio receiver connected to Tour Guide wireless audio transmission system for improved audibility and social distancing on walk
  • Free time to explore the village and take photographs
  • Optional extras – Opportunity to indulge in a Cream Tea or local Crab Sandwich
  • Accompanied by Blue Badge Guide with Covid safe measures in place