• Launceston Castle
  • Steam Railway
  • Individual shops
  • Museum

Launceston is a traditional market town. It is quintessentially Cornish, with its Georgian houses, intricately carved church, narrow streets and market square. Today it´s a shopper’s delight, with a range of shops and services equal to many bigger towns - yet Launceston still retains a traditional atmosphere.

As a fortress town it is noted for it’s impressive Castle built by Robert, Count of Mortain, a half brother of William the Conquerer. Today visitors can wander round the Norman keep which is in the care of English Heritage and enjoy the spectacular views from the top.

There are a wide range of places to visit in and around Launceston including The Leper Hospital which was founded in 1257 at St Leonard’s on the banks of the Tamar, Gallows Hill and industrial heritage - by way of the Corn Mills, Dunheved Iron works and the Gas Works and Tanneries. In the 19th Century it was a centre of straw hat making, a rival to Luton the famous home of straw hats.

The Lawrence House museum provides a wider insight into the history, life and times of the town and should not be missed. Walking around the town visitors will notice that it is walled with the Southgate Arch being the last remaining medieval gateway into the town - it is actually still in use as an Art Gallery.

Today you can wander around a wide mix of shops and it is possible to obtain items no longer stocked by department stores or large supermarkets. There is a weekly Farmers Market and plenty of good restaurants and coffee shops to relax in.

For places to stay in Cornwall, as a base from which to visit Launceston 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

Visitors should also seek out Launceston Steam Railway station. This runs along a re-laid part of the track of the original railway from London to Padstow. There are locomotives, railway memorabilia and a functioning workshop to be seen, in addition, of course, to a ride on the steam trains.

Surrounding the Town is gently rolling and peaceful countryside. The river valleys are often wooded, and the rivers and streams always unpolluted. Small hamlets and villages dot the wider district of Launceston.

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