Cornwall Things to Do Tips by Bwana_Brown Top 5 Page for this destination
Cornwall Things to Do: 304 reviews and 602 photos
The Ventnor Hydroplane
Developed by the Ventnor Boat Works of New Jersey, these novel 3-point hydroplane boats were the result of an order from the Chinese government for a squadron of high-speed suicide attack boats with a 500 lb. bomb in their bow. As it turned out, the 3-point hydroplane design (two pontoons on the either side of the bow and the propeller-driven rear end) was needed to keep the bomb-heavy bow up out of the water. This design innovation came about as a result of the fact that the Ventnor Works also specialized in water skis, as they fused this technology with boat-building! When one of the ordered boats was left unpaid for, it ended up as a racing boat that set the sport on its head in 1936 when one of these craft set a speed record of 55 mph. This view of a Ventnor was taken from one of the upper walkways in the Flotilla Gallery (and you can see one of its bow pontoons sticking out the side).
Cathedral View from the Football Grounds
Cornwall boasts it's very own impressive Anglican Cathedral, located in the major city of Truro. Truro happened to be the where the first Bishop (1877-1883) was located when the new diocese was created, and he went on to become the highest authority in the Church of England when he became the Archbishop of Canterbury (1883-1896). It seems that Bishop Edward Benson was a man of influence, because this Cathedral was the first new site to be started, in 1880, since the Cathedral of Salisbury in 1220! The familiar old style is retained in the Gothic Revival design of this beautiful cathedral, which is visible from just about anywhere in Truro. Construction was essentially completed with the Dedication of the Western Towers in 1910. The original architect was John Pearson, with the work being finished following his death by his son Frank, 27 years from inception
A unique feature of this Cathedral is that it incorporates parts of the much older parish Church of St. Mary's into it's construction, in order to prevent the demolition of the older church.
Harbour View of the Museum
(Feb. 2004 trip) - Located on the English Channel side of Cornwall, the port city of Falmouth is home to the new National Maritime Museum Cornwall. This ultra-modern multi-level building was only officially opened in December, 2002 and has already been voted as the British Family Attraction of the Year in 2003. This view from the harbour side, (taken from their literature) shows the building, including its 29 m (95 foot) tower with the restaurant area windows also visible on the right side. The top floor of the tower houses a panoramic viewing area of Falmouth harbour while its very lowest level is actually below the water level and is outfitted with windows that allow you to see what is going on down there as well! There are a number of very interesting and interactive displays inside as you travel from level to level throughout the complex. Admission is 6.50 pounds (US$12) per adult and we also paid 2 pounds for 3 hours parking in their adjacent lot.
Directions: Harbourside in the middle of Falmouth.
Other Contact: email@example.com
Phone: 01326 313388
The 1904 Railway Viaduct
If you happen to be in Truro admiring the Cathedral, one other thing that is difficult to miss is the massive stone viaduct used to allow rail traffic to cross the River Kenwyn valley in which the city is located. The original viaduct across the valley was built in 1859 by the famous architect Isambard Kingdom Brunel during the onset of the railroad craze. However, it was superceded in 1904 by the present granite viaduct, although the pillars of the original are still standing next to it.
I found it to be a very graceful and relaxing structure and I always enjoyed my short walks into downtown Truro from my wife's parents house as the path took me beneath the massive structure. Part of the pleasure (second photo) was due to the very relaxing pedestrian footpath alongside the River Kenwyn, called 'The Leat', which led directly into the centre of Truro.
Boats at the Maritime Museum
(February, 2004 trip) - The Flotilla Gallery is one of the most impressive in the Museum. This 12 meter high gallery has a number of small craft on display (including several suspended from the ceiling) covering a wide range of boating history through the years. You may walk among them, view them from the side or from above on the viewing platforms that ring the room or even activate interactive displays. These workstations allow you to toggle through the selection of boats on display and, at the press of a button, you will be presented its history or even an animation of it in action if you choose. I could have spent a lot of time here!
Directions: The Flotilla Gallery section
North Coast View toward Portreath
(December, 2005 trip) - After a day of Christmas feasting, Boxing Day broke with full sunshine and only light winds, so it looked like a good day for a hike along the North Cornwall cliffs! Only a short drive from where we were staying in Truro, we ended up on the 250-foot high cliffs between Portreath and Godrevy Island. The coastal footpaths in this part of England are the longest in the isles and can be strenuous if you really want to make a day of it (see my 'Local Customs' tip for further details). As for us, we were simply out to enjoy the views and the ocean airs - and what a great day it was.
There were quite a few people out enjoying the holiday weather and, as we passed one of the many flat sheep fields on the landward side, we even had some entertainment provided by a couple of remote-controlled miniature airplanes engaged in a dog-fight! If you are ever in Cornwall, get yourself up onto the cliff edges at some time, preferably with a picnic lunch. We have been here in summer too, and there are steep trails in some places that lead down onto secluded beaches, some of which are also nude beaches. However, not at this time of the year!
Fal Estuary Tidal Range
This photo was taken in the bottom level of the Museum's concrete tower. The bottom and top edges of this window show the tidal range in Falmouth harbour and you can see that, at that moment, the water level was about even with my head! The museum literature also mentioned that the world's highest tides, from my home Bay of Fundy area in eastern Canada, have a range three times greater than that depicted by this window! To the upper right is a display of how the position of the moon affects the level of the tides depending on what part of the cosmological cycle we are in! By the way, the glass window is tapered to be narrower at the bottom because of the increased water pressure on the glass the deeper you go.
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