Explore & More in... Truro

PUBLISHED: 15:37 09 January 2012 | UPDATED: 20:52 20 February 2013

Five Acres Nature Reserve is great for exploring

Photo: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Five Acres Nature Reserve is great for exploring Photo: Cornwall Wildlife Trust

It's a taste of city life for Lesley Double as she discovers the attractions of Truro

Its a taste of city life for Lesley Double as she discovers the attractions of Truro

Best Known For

Truro was built on three rivers, the Kenwyn, Allen and Tinney, which together form the Truro River that eventually flows into the River Fal. Full of history dating from the Bronze Age, today its a bustling market town and the centre for administration, commerce and tourism. This city happily combines the old with the new and grand Georgian architecture sits alongside modern shops and buildings, little alleys opening on to wide piazzas, the crowning glory of which is, of course, the Cathedral. In some cases a modern building has been built on the site of an ancient one, for example the Crown Courts in Edward Street lies on the site of a 12th-century Norman castle. Several eminent people were born or educated in Truro, with possibly the most famous being the brothers Richard and John Lander, who made the first detailed map of the River Niger in Africa. A statue of Richard can be seen looking down over the town from half way along Lemon Street, and one of Truros two secondary schools is named after him.

Simple Pleasures...

On a sunny day, what could be better than sitting on Lemon Quay and watching the world go by? The outdoor Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday is a great attraction too, and the wide variety of shops, the indoor Pannier Market and the Hall for Cornwall ensure that there is plenty to sample, watch and talk about.

How about a stroll round one of Truro well-kept gardens, theres still plenty to see in the winter thanks to Cornwalls temperate climate. Victoria Gardens, which were designed to commemorate Queen Victorias diamond jubilee in 1898, are situated next to the River Kenwyn and Boscawen Park is on the way to Malpas. Daubuz Moors is an 18-acre wildlife area, situated just off Moresk Road.

Local Treasures...

Almost a quarter of a million people visit Truro Cathedral every year, some to worship but many to enjoy the peace and beauty of such a glorious building. Entry is free although donations are welcome. The cathedral was completed just over 100 years ago and was built on the site of St Marys Church: St Marys Aisle is all that is left of the Tudor church, now fully ensconced inside the Victorian cathedral. There is plenty to see and marvel at, including the worlds largest stained glass project, which tells the story of the Gospels as well as the history of the church in England. A walk around the cathedral can take minutes or hours, depending on what may catch your imagination, whether its the John Miller painting Cornubia, Land of the Saints, the Bath stone reredos behind the altar by Nathaniel Hitch, which is filled with scenes and figures from the bible, or the four Calvary paintings by Craigie Aitchison. If you are lucky, you may hear the choir rehearsing or someone playing the organ and you really shouldnt leave without sampling the restaurant or browsing in the shop.

Hot Tips...

When she is not busy in her home accessories shop, Janine Lester is a special needs teacher at Cornwall College. She has owned Bay Tree Home in Cathedral Lane for six years. I always wanted to own a shop in Truro, says Janine, Its a lovely friendly place and this shop is perfect for me, being so central and near to the Cathedral. Although I dont live in Truro, I come here a lot with family and friends. Bustophers in Lemon Street is our favourite place for a meal and we also like the Old Grammar School in St Marys Street.

Rae Jones works for Emma James and Lucy Allen at eco-florists Daisy Roots in Lemon Street Market. The shop sells local, British, organic and fair trade flowers, plants and accessories. Rae says: We often go for a meal at the One Eyed Cat in Kenwyn Street, or at Chantek Asian Fusion Restaurant in New Bridge Street. We always look to see if theres something good on at the Hall for Cornwall.

Out Of Town...

The Five Acres Nature Reserve is situated at Allet, a few miles north-west of Truro. The 15-acre reserve is looked after by Cornwall Wildlife Trust (CWT) and contains mixed woodland, a BBC Groundforce wildlife garden, ponds, a bog garden and Allet Bog, a nationally important wet heathland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Five Acres was opened in 1989 as the CWT Headquarters, and today contains numerous important animal, insect and plant species. A circular path around part of the reserve is suitable for wheelchair users.

Arts & Crafts...

Several prestigious galleries show all manner of artwork, including contemporary and surf art at the Driftwood Gallery, four centuries of Cornish fine art at the Lander Gallery and ceramics and jewellery at the Lane Gallery. The Hall for Cornwall is a 1,000-seater auditorium in the centre of Truro and attracts artists and performers from all over the world and many different styles: this month theres a vast selection of dance, music, pantomime, comedy and musicals.

Food For Thought...

Truros cosmopolitan cuisine serves your tastes well, whether you fancy a sandwich or wish to celebrate a special occasion. There are cafs, bars and restaurants serving food as diverse as Italian, Bengali, Thai, French and Nepalese, and of course several that serve fresh Cornish fish, and even a champagne and oyster bar. Some restaurant locations are just as unusual: you may find yourself in a converted chapel or an art gallery, down a tiny alley, or overlooking the cathedral.

Family Fun...

The Royal Cornwall Museum in River Street is family friendly, and is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. The Museum holds many different events for children and families throughout the year, including various free art and craft sessions and many of the galleries have activities to help the children explore the collections.

Whats On In The City...

14 January: Free Cushion Concert at Truro Cathedral is aimed at families with children. Bring cushions and sit at the very front of the Cathedral and listen to the boy choristers.

23 January: Cornwall Secondary Drama Showcase is a series of sixteen performances where secondary students take a scene, character, or theme from one of Shakespeares plays or poems and create a new piece of work each lasting ten minutes. This popular annual event is held at the Hall for Cornwall.

Truro Farmers Market: Every Wednesday from 9am-2pm and Saturday from 9am-4pm on Lemon Quay.

Getting there

By Rail: Truro is on the main railway line between Plymouth and Penzance.

By Bus: The city is well served with buses and routes from Truro to towns and villages across Cornwall.

By Road: Truro is situated a few miles to the south of the A30 through Cornwall. Take either the A390 that runs between Chiverton Cross and St Austell, or the A39 between Carland Cross and Falmouth.

By Air: Newquay airport is approximately 12 miles away.

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