Pendennis Castle, Falmouth
Having defended Cornwall against foreign invasion since Tudor times, Pendennis Castle is one of Henry VIII’s finest coastal fortresses and you can still get first-hand experience of the sights and sounds of battle. There is plenty to discover including a fascinating new exhibition examining the role of the castle as part of Fortress Falmouth during the First World War, castle tours, live guns and cannons and the formidable Castle Keep. The Barrack Block has great food and drink, which can be enjoyed whilst taking in amazing sea views and there is always the excitement of learning something new of Cornish history courtesy of the wonderful exhibitions on show.
National Maritime Museum, Falmouth
Be engaged and inspired by stories of the sea, boats and Cornwall. Explore the myriad of display and interactive zones including the Lookout Tower, Tidal Zone, Nav Station and the Quarter Deck, all reflecting the museum’s commitment to conservation, research, education and entertainment. The collections span boats, art, books and archives, all in support of an understanding of small boats and their place in people’s lives, and of the maritime heritage of Cornwall. Throughout the year there are special exhibitions like Viking Voyagers and Mermaids: Women at Sea and Voices of Maritime Cornwall, plus wonderful food and views to top off this great day out.
St Michael’s Mount, Mount’s Bay
Visited since Neolithic times, becoming a place of pagan spiritual expression, by 1066 St Michael’s Mount passed to the monks of Mont St Michel in Normandy. In the 12th century they built the church and priory. From 1193, when the Mount was seized by Henry La Pomeray, through the Wars of the Roses in 1473, to the Civil War, the Mount has weathered many battles. Today, whether you gaze out across the rows of cannons which drove a Napoleonic ship to its capture or peer up to the church tower where the first beacon was lit that warned London of the approach of the Spanish Armada, there is much to take the fancy of any budding or seasoned historian.
Helston Museum, Helston
Found in the heart of Helston, the museum’s building and displays reflect both the social and industrial history of The Lizard Peninsula, from mining, fishing and farming through to home life in the 18th-20th centuries. The comprehensive collections offer insight into social history, archaeology, geology, costume and photography, which are complemented by the mezzanine gallery, used for regular art exhibitions and workshops. The museum shop provides a fine range of silver and local jewellery, cards, local books and minerals, making for a very interesting and educational day out with mementos a plenty to take home.