Helston

Helston

  • Ancient market town
  • Home of the Flora Dance
  • Perfect for exploring the Lizard Peninsula

Helston is an ancient market town dating back to 1201. During the 13th century it was a thriving port at the head of the Cober estuary, however, the estuary began to silt up and a great shingle bank "The Loe Bar" was formed at the mouth of the estuary making it the largest freshwater lake in Cornwall. The estates round this lake are part owned by The National Trust and there are delightful walks to be taken in this area.

For places to stay in Cornwall, as a base from which to visit Helston and the surrounding area, please see: Country House Hotels in Cornwall , Coastal Hotels in Cornwall , Spa Hotels in Cornwall , Bed & Breakfasts in Cornwall or Self-Catering Cottages in Cornwall

A charming feature of the town is its Kennels. These are streams running down either side of Wendron Street, Church Street and Coinagehall Street, in earlier time these kept the gutters clean.

The streets are lined with many interesting shops including a Cornish Book Shop specializing in all things Cornish including the Cornish Language. Local bakeries abound and the smell of fresh baked pasties tempts all who pass. Parking is easy and only a few yards from the shopping area.At the bottom of the town is Coronation Park complete with children“s play area, boating lake, ducks and swans.Two miles southwest of the town stands RNAS Culdrose, the largest helicopter base in Europe. An Air Day is held each year in July and a public viewing area is open all year.

Every May Helston plays host to the Furry Dance and Flora Day. There are 4 dances throughout the day, the first starting at 7am, (historically for domestic servants) the ladies in summer frocks and the gentlemen in white shirts and dark grey trousers with neckties bearing the town crest, loaned for the day. The second dance at 9.50 is when children from the town“s schools dance dressed all in white, the individual schools denoted by the head dresses that the girls wear. The premier dance follows at Midday when the "gentry of the County" dance, the ladies in long ball-type gowns topped off with picture hats and the gentlemen wearing full morning dress. The final dance of the day begins at 5pm, a dance historically for the tradespeople of the town. Participants in this dance are the only dancers to dance around the town twice, having already danced in the 7am dance. Only Helston born people can dance in the lead set in each dance and the first male and female will only lead that dance once in their lifetime.

Helston is also the birthplace of Bob "Ruby Robert" Fitzsimmons, the first triple world boxing champion. The house where he was born and lived in Helston is still standing and is indicated by a plaque above the door.

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