Helston is a busy market town, situated at the northern end of the Lizard Peninsula, 12 miles east of Penzance and 9 miles south-west of Falmouth. Famous for the annual Furry Dance or Flora Day, a day-long celebration of the arrival of Spring which dates back to the medieval period and is one of the oldest British customs still practiced today.
There is a nice traditional feel to the old mining town, with thick set stone cottages, numerous pasty shops and pubs. The boating lake and park are great for families and there are plenty of things to see and do close by. Originally a thriving port, the river long ago silted leaving Cornwall’s largest freshwater lake. A few miles from the town lies Porthleven, accessible via car (10 mins) or along the cycle path (1 hour) a bustling foodie seaside town, with plenty of excellent restaurants and cafes as well as a sandy beach and working harbour.
Helston has a number of attractions. The most well-known pub in town, The Blue Anchor Inn, is possibly the oldest private brewery in the country, dating from the 15th century. Locally famous for its strong brew, Spingo – the Inn retains its original character, with live music played every Thursday night and an 18th century skittle alley, with bowls and skittles made from solid sycamore.
The Helston Museum is a treasure trove of memories and curiosities. Free entry into this old butter market is a window into the past. Explore the culture and industry at the heart of Helston. A short walk from the museum is St. Michael’s Church, also well worth a visit. The Earl of Godolphin, whose family represented Heslton in Parliament for many years, donated an impressive 24 branch chandelier and some fine Elizabethan brasses.
At the bottom of the town lies the boating lake, with a large children’s playground, café and skate park. From here you can walk through the woods on a flat, well tarmacked foot & cycle path to the National Trust run Penrose Estate, which has a great take away café in the Old Stables, then continue on the path, running alongside the freshwater lake all the way to Porthleven.
Flambards theme park is at the top end of town, with rides and attractions open throughout the year.
A few miles away is the Cornish Seal Sanctuary at Gweek, Europe’s leading seal rescue centre and a great day out. If you head towards the Lizard peninsula you will not only access some of the country’s most beautiful coves and beaches but some wonderful days out too. Roskilly’s Farm, home of the delicious, award winning ice cream is open daily for trips around the working farm and meeting the animals. Cornwall Segway offer rides around Goonhilly Satellite Station, just out of Helston town. Gliding around the tarmac under the huge, iconic listed Arthur satellite dish is an experience like no other!
Colvennor, Cury, near Helston, sleeps 5
Fourways, Hayle, sleeps 8