We are located in Charlestown, a small coastal port on the South coast of Cornwall, a county in the South West of England. Charlestown is part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and as such is protected as a conservation area which means it remains largely unspoiled by modern developments. The village was built in the 1800's by Charles Rashleigh as the china clay industry in this part of Cornwall grew in size and a port was needed for exporting the clay. The harbour is now privately owned and during the summer it is possible to visit the inner harbour see the ships and boats close up. During the summer months various pop up eateries and stalls can be found around the inner harbour.
The outer harbour and beaches although privately owned are free to visit at any time, unless they are being used for filming when for security reasons they are sometimes closed off. Charlestown has been used as a filming location for many films and television series, including Alice in Wonderland, Dr Who, Poldark, The Eagle Has Landed and Taboo.
There are lots of other interesting things to do in Charlestown, although as there is no real village centre it can be hard to find everything so it's well worth walking up the hill and down the little alleyways so that you don't miss anything. There is a free map available to either pick up in the village or download from freemapsofcornwall.co.uk
Located right in the centre of the village is the Shipwreck Treasure Museum. It is a fascinating place to visit and is deceptively big. It includes an opportunity to walk along the tunnels where the china clay used to be carried down to the chutes in the inner harbour. At Christmas time the tunnels are transformed into the longest tunnel of lights in the UK and families visit from far and wide to experience this festive delight.
More information about the heritage centre is available on their website www.shipwreckcharlestown.com
For more information about Charlestown Harbour itself including details of any forthcoming events visit the harbour website charlestownharbour.com
Eating Out in Charlestown
If eating out is your thing then Charlestown is the place to be. Over the past few years it has become quite the foodie haven, and there's plenty of choice whether you want fresh seafood, steaks, pizza or just good old pub grub. We've listed below all the restaurants and cafes and briefly what they offer. We've eaten in most of them so can honestly say they are all great. Check out their websites or Facebook pages for more info.
Charlies Coffee House owned by Sarah who bakes all of her own cakes they offer breakfast, lunch, coffee, cakes.
The Boathouse is a light and airy place to eat or have cocktails, and our 14 year old daughter says they do the best pizza in the village.
The Rashleigh Arms is a great pub, very popular with the locals especially dog owners as dogs are allowed in one of the bars. We often go there for a bowl of cheesy chips and a pint after work. It has a smart modern interior but retaining it's traditional features and is owned by St. Austell Brewery.
The Pier House Hotel and Harbourside Inn are both also owned by the brewery. The hotel is right on the harbour with fabulous views of the ships and out to sea.
(Please Note. After a devastating fire earlier this year both the Pier House and the Harbourside are currently closed for complete refurbishment. They are hoping to reopen for summer 2024)
The Longstore is located down near the harbour above Short & Strong which are both run by Pollocks Pub Company. The Longstore specialises in steaks and seafood, and the cafe do a scrumptious selection of cakes and coffees. Sit outside with morning coffee, and a view of the tall ships in the harbour
Newly opened in 2023 and also owned by them is Springtide, the perfect place to try out the St. Austell Bay mussels.
The Galley do a selection of different sandwiches and pasties to eat in their courtyard or take away. They do a proper mug of tea, and soft drinks. They do delicious cakes, so if you're looking for a snack then that's one of the places you can go.
The Tall Ships Creamery do award winning Ice creams and sweets. Next door they serve pasties and hot drinks from a little building on the old weighbridge. They have benches outside to sit on or you can take away.
During the summer season there are also pop up shops and bars around the inner harbour, including for 2022,
Charlestown Fish Co. (the best fish & ships in the village)
The Rum Sailor A unique bar hidden in the walls of historic Charlestown Harbour. We have an epic selection of over 450 rums, 200 plus gins, various tequilas, whiskey and vodkas. Wines, beers, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks are also available. Pop in for a quick drink or book us for a private party with friends out of season. We can also provide food from our Smoke & Ash Pizza Company.
HBQ for a chilled out evening on the harbour side eating bar-b-qued meat and fish,
Shopping In Charlestown.
For a small village we have lots to offer when it comes to retail therapy. Obviously we'd love you to visit us as we have one of the largest collections of original art, handmade crafts and homewares in the village, but there's plenty more to see too. If you're parking in the main pay & display carpark turn left as you walk out of the entrance and you'll find us a little way up the hill opposite the old Charlestown Chapel which is now home to a branch of the homewares and interiors shop Brocante.
Once you've visited us and maybe grabbed a coffee and cake in Charlies Coffee House then head back down the hill.
On the right hand side is Anna's, a lovely little gift shop long established in the village and ideal for bags, scarves jewellery and gifts.
A little further down is The Old Workshop a collection of businesses all in the same building including The Craft Kiln which is a co-operative of crafters, Cscape Gallery with original art by Sarah Blakey and photography by her husband Mick. Upstairs is The Sail Loft Emporium, an antiques centre housing many different dealers in antiques and collectibles.
Kind and Conscious is a tiny little shop within the old workshop, full of inspiring gifts all with an emphasis on being eco friendly.
Gorgeous clothing can be found in Genevieves including Italian bags, dresses and beautiful house robes.
Just after the car park on the right is Charlestown Gallery now run by artist Gemma Austen it was was founded by her late father Don Austen. She has lots of original art by local artists and also really lovely gifts for children too.
On the right hand side next door to Short & Strong is The Wine Store, keep an eye on their social media posts as they often have wine tasting evenings.
If you need a hair cut on your holidays then next door to the deli is Brown Suga Hair Salon, and if you fancy looking for that dream home in Cornwall then Homes Of Cornwall estate agents are located in the same courtyard.
Just opposite the museum next to Charlestown Gig Rowing club is Jangles, a great little jewellery and gift shop.
Don't forget to cross the bridge where sitting proudly on the harbour side is the little round harbour masters hut. It is now home to a gorgeous little shop run by jewellery designer Brian, and called A Little Bit Of Cornwall On The Quay.