We’re lucky to be blessed with an array of fantastic cultural and historical monuments across the region, so to celebrate World Heritage Day we thought we would share our favourites with you, in hope that you might to make a visit in the near future!
Lois – Growing up in Cornwall I’ve had the opportunity to visit many of the most famous heritage sites throughout the county over the years, on school trips or with family and friends. Here are a few of my favourites:
Cotehele, St Dominick
Cotehele is a National Trust estate dating back to medieval times. It isn’t far from where I grew up so I have walked around the site countless times and I’ve also been rowing along the river. The walk up to the house through the woods is peaceful one, and the great thing is you’re allowed to bring your dog. Although there’s lots to enjoy for free, it is well worth paying the entry fee to view the gardens and the house. The house itself is in fantastic condition and fascinating to walk around with guidance from the volunteers. But for me the gardens are the real highlight! They grow a variety of annual flowers for both the house and the 60ft-long Christmas flower garland usually on display in the Great Hall around Christmas, which has built up quite the reputation. You can either take a picnic a sit down by the Quay, or visit the tea rooms for a tasty Cornish cream tea!
Tintagel Castle, Boscastle
Tintagel Castle is one of Cornwall’s most iconic sites and an absolute must-see. There’s an element of magic and myth as King Arthur was rumoured to have been born there! The last time I visited I was with friends on a beautiful, sunny day, which made walking along the coastal footpaths even more enjoyable as the views are breath-taking. After crossing the bridge and viewing the impressive castle, try to walk down to the pretty beach where you’ll find Merlin’s cave, which the kids will love. The other great thing is that the town of Tintagel itself is a lovely place to visit, delicious Cornish ice-cream and nice pubs.
Geevor Tin Mine, Trewellard
Before I visited this place I had no idea how fascinating it would be! I obviously know a little history about the mining industry in Cornwall, but seeing this ex-working tin mine first-hand gives you an amazing insight in to what life would have been like for the workers. During a visit you’re able to go right, down inside the mine which although damp, dark and narrow, is a great experience. After you’ve given your hard hats back you can grab a pasty in their café which has stunning views of the ocean, or see the rest of the site which is full of information and mini museums.
Joe – As soon as the weekend comes I love nothing more than exploring all that Devon has to offer. Since moving to Plymouth a couple years a go I have tried to visit a few local heritage sites, here’s the ones I enjoyed the most:
Totnes Castle, Totnes
The English Heritage castle is the focal point of the town, standing as a legacy to the once powerful Normans. It is one of the only well-preserved motte and bailey castles in country, and the moat is now filled with cottages and gardens in the town. Why not make a day of it and take a ferry trip along the beautiful River Dart to Dartmouth or join the steam train for a trip to Buckfastleigh?
Powderham Castle, Exeter
There is so much to see and do at Powderham Castle you will be pushed to fit it all in to one day. But don’t worry, you can come back within 7 days for FREE and see any bits you’ve missed! There’s so much to do there, such as entertaining guided tours inside the Castle that take you through secret doors and even across a haunted landing! Outside there are acres to explore and discoveries to be made. Children can earn themselves a Powderham medal on the nature trail, get stuck in to arts and crafts in the Nature Nook and much more – there’s so much to do for all the family!
Jurassic Coast, Seaton
The Jurassic Coast in Devon runs from Exmouth to Lyme Regis in Dorset and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its outstanding historical significance. This unspoilt stretch of coastline reveals a unique geological portrait of 185 million years of the Earth’s history sequentially exposed in dramatic cliffs, secluded caves, coastal stacks and barrier beaches. The tilt of the rocks creates a ‘walk through time’ that includes the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, so why not visit and take in the views, the history and walk itself?
The Newcomen Engine, Dartmouth
This is a chance to view the oldest preserved working steam engine in the world! The Dartmouth Newcomen Engine was built in around 1720 and was first used to pump out the Griff Colliery in Staffordshire. If you head to the visitor centre in Dartmouth, you can see how it all works – even after all this time!
The Templer Way is a walk of 18 miles tracing the historic line of granite being taken from the quarries at Haytor to the docks at Teignmouth. The route gets its name from the Templer family, who used the route to move and transport granite. It’s a beautiful walk in the sunshine, even if you only do a part of it and not the full 18 miles!