Exploring Truro

A pleasant walk between the old and new in Cornwall’s capital city.

NEAREST LOCATION

Truro

RECOMMENDED BY
DISTANCE

1.75 miles (2.8kms)

ASCENT
0ft (0m)
TIME
1hr
GRADIENT
DIFFICULTY
Easy
STARTING POINT
SW826448

About the walk

This route takes you past some of Truro’s finest buildings and is a pleasant contrast to Cornwall’s often robust and undulating coastline. Truro is an easy place to get around. Its central area is generally flat, and the city as a whole has the character of a large market town rather than a city. Relax and stroll at your leisure.

The cathedral

For a time during the late 18th century Truro’s Georgian buildings were a fair match for some of the lesser buildings of Bath – and they were indeed constructed from honey-coloured Bath stone. Today Truro’s landmark building is its cathedral, whose soaring central spire can be seen from all round the city. The cathedral is relatively modern, and was built between 1880 and 1910. Its style is Early English Gothic, although the design of its three great spires reflects a French influence. The central spire rises to a height of 250ft (76m). The interior of the cathedral is an elegant and commodious space. A particularly fine feature is the exquisite font of red Breccio marble on small black pillars. It has a beautiful carved oak canopy. A surviving aisle from the mid-16th century Church of St Mary is incorporated into the cathedral, and its weathered interior and outside wall (see point 6 on the walk) satisfy a certain need for antiquity.

Around the town

The walk takes you to the Royal Cornwall Museum (see While You're There) and on to the endearing early 19th-century Walsingham Place, with a terrace sporting cheerful lion’s head corbels on the doorcases. Lemon Street is next – a wide avenue of splendid Georgian houses that were built during the late 18th century when Truro was the commercial, political and cultural centre of Cornwall. You'll continue on to the semi-pedestrianised Lemon Quay and Back Quay, where the Hall for Cornwall is the cultural focus of the city.

Truro’s central street is broad Boscawen Street. In 1797 the medieval chaos of the Boscawen Street area was swept away and today’s wide, cobbled space was created. If traffic were banished from Boscawen Street it would take on the character of a continental European market square. The route leads past the sturdy Gothic Coinage Hall at the head of Boscawen Street, and then meanders alongside the tiny River Allen back towards the cathedral and past some iconic buildings. Not least of these is the Public Library in Union Place, whose fine facade is like a book in itself. In the spaces between all of these fine old buildings, modern Truro bustles along as Cornwall’s major shopping and administrative centre.

Walk directions

Start beside High Cross, the tall Celtic stone cross in front of Truro Cathedral. Turn left down King Street, and at a junction with Boscawen Street turn right. Keep right at the next junction and go along River Street to the Royal Cornwall Museum.

Keep along River Street to a cross-roads. Cross left, with care and go down Little Castle Street. Turn left at a T-junction and go along Kenwyn Street. Pass a junction with Calenick Street, and then turn right at the next junction, keeping left where it forks. Go down Walsingham Place.

Turn left at a junction, and in a few paces go through the Lemon Street Market. Walk beneath a granite archway into Lemon Street. Cross the road, turn left and then turn right into Lemon Quay. Cross the pedestrianised area and turn right past the Hall for Cornwall and the Pannier Market.

Turn left into Green Street, opposite the bus station. Turn right at a junction and go down Quay Street. Turn left at the next junction with the busy Morlaix Avenue, and cross a bridge over the narrow River Allen. Turn left just before a big roundabout and go down a railed walkway by a ‘Subway’ sign.

Turn right by a notice board and walk through the Memorial Gardens beside the River Allen. Reach New Bridge Street, with a fine view of the cathedral ahead. Turn left over a bridge, then keep left into Duke Street and walk on into wide Boscawen Street by the Coinage Hall.

Keep along the right-hand side of Boscawen Street, then turn right down Cathedral Lane. Cross at a junction and turn right alongside the old walls of the 16th-century Church of St Mary, now part of the cathedral.

Turn left down Old Bridge Street, and in 55yds (50m) go left down Wilkes Walk, beside the river. Keep left at a junction, and continue with the cathedral on your left. Note the great rose window. Pass the old Truro Cathedral School, keep right at a fork and then go left at a junction.

Cross a small cobbled area in front of the handsome neoclassical facade of the Methodist Church, and continue along the cobbled Union Place past the city library. Reach a junction with Pydar Street and turn left to reach High Cross and the cathedral.

Additional information

Surfaced pavements and walkways throughout

Cityscape

A town route, so lead required throughout; note that dog fouling regulations are strictly enforced

City of Truro official map available from Tourist Information Centre on Boscawen Street

Public car parks in Old Bridge Street and on Calenick Street; a park-and-ride service to the city centre operates from a car park on the A390 just outside the city to the west

Calenick multi-storey car park and in Lemon Street

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WALKING IN SAFETY

Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.

Find out more

About the area

Discover Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

Cornwall has just about everything – wild moorland landscapes, glorious river valley scenery, picturesque villages and miles of breathtaking coastline. With more than 80 surfing spots, there are plenty of sporting enthusiasts who also make their way here to enjoy wave-surfing, kite surfing and blokarting.

In recent years, new or restored visitor attractions have attracted even more visitors to the region; the Eden Project is famous for its giant geodesic domes housing exotic plants from different parts of the globe, while nearby the Lost Gardens of Heligan has impressive kitchen gardens and a wildlife hide.

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