Lets Move to Truro
PUBLISHED: 12:41 05 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:06 20 February 2013
Although a fairly small city by the UK's standards, Truro is a great place to live. We look at what Cornwall's city has to offer in the April issue
Although a fairly small city by the UK's standards, Truro is a great place to live.
Sitting at the head of the waterway bearing its name, Truro, with a population of just 22,000, may be one of the UK's smaller 'cities' but it has a big heart and a welcoming sense of Cornish style. With its great shops, fabulous restaurants, good entertainment, quality housing and relaxed lifestyle, it's placed right at the top of many a wish-list of favourite places to live and visit.
Wander through any of the city's streets and the dominating feature is the magnificent neo-Gothic cathedral, visited by more than a million people every year. The spires of this architectural masterpiece can be seen from the surrounding streets and passageways, where it sits comfortably among the shops and businesses.
The city's hub is the wide, open space of Lemon Quay, once the unloading site for river boats coming up from the sea. This granite-paved plaza is now home to restaurants, elegant shops and the Hall for Cornwall theatre; it's also the regular venue for local farmers' markets and a succession of music concerts, art and craft fairs and Cornish produce fairs.
Getting about in this friendliest of cities is easy. Everywhere can be reached on foot and all the main shopping areas are linked through a series of walkways or 'opes'. It's an enchanting place to visit and a wonderful community in which to eat, shop, work, be entertained or educated. In fact, it's a great place to live.
What can I get for my money?
Truro offers a large choice of property, from inner-city apartments to elegant town houses, riverside properties, edge-of-town developments, or properties with land.
Price, of course, depends on the type of property, but the market has currently seen several substantial four-bedroom family homes offered for over 850,000, with a large number of one- and two-bedroom houses and apartments looking for buyers at just over 150,000. A scan of the property pages shows that there's a healthy stock of property on the market, not just in the city but also on the outskirts and in outlying villages.
Unless you've decided on a city-centre address, don't overlook the surrounding villages. The welcoming communities of Grampound, Trispen, Three Mile Stone, Probus and Perranwell Station (yes, it has a railway station) are popular locations and each is within a few minutes' drive of Truro city centre.
Although occupying a geographically exposed position at the far end of the country, Truro is well served by road, rail, air and sea links. The main London to Penzance railway line passes through Truro, and regular daily air services to and from London and elsewhere in the UK operate from Newquay Airport (15 miles away). The fast A30 dual carriageway passes within 7 miles of Truro and the sea can be reached by boat, tide permitting, via the regular river service down the Truro River to Falmouth.
Shopping in Truro is a delight. The city centre is served by a combination of national chain stores, independent stores, trendy boutiques and specialist outlets. Pydar, Boscawen and King Streets form the shopping centre that leads through a series of quaint opes full of smaller shops, down to River Street and Victoria Square with their independent clothes and jewellery shops. From there it's just a short walk to Lemon Street, with its comfortable courtyard of market-style galleries, shops and cafs, and to Lemon Quay with its huge Marks & Spencer store, parade of shops and open piazza for that cup of coffee as the world strolls by. And overlooking the Lemon Quay pedestrian area is the main entrance to Truro's Pannier Market. Inside, there's an amazing collection of stalls selling everything you're likely to need. Many would argue that Truro is not only the South-west's best shopping centre, but that it also provides the region's most pleasurable shopping experience.
Out and about
As a regular Britain in Bloom winner, Truro has two outstanding parks. Boscawen Park, the city's main open space, has superb sports facilities and exciting open-air performance and children's play areas. The more tranquil Victoria Gardens, with its ornate bandstand which hosts summer concerts on sunny Sunday afternoons, is filled with exotic trees, shrubs and colourful bedding schemes. For garden lovers another outstanding delight can be found at Bosvigo Gardens not far from the County Council offices. So why not take a stroll among Boscawen Park's flowerbeds, where you can also watch the cricket at nearby Truro Cricket Club's ground, or enjoy a picnic or afternoon tea in the open air?
Truro Tourist Information Centre (01872 274555, www.truro.gov.uk