Charlestown

Travel Guide
Charlestown showing heritage architecture

Visit this pretty Georgian harbor town, once an important port for china clay and now a popular filming location for period TV shows and movies. 

Charlestown is one of Cornwall’s most picturesque villages, known for its well-preserved late-Georgian working port. Browse the town’s galleries, check out tall ships moored in its harbor and cool off with a drink at a restaurant overlooking its sandy beach.

Charlestown was built between 1791 and 1801 by Charles Rashleigh, an entrepreneur and local landowner, to facilitate exporting china clay from nearby St. Austell. Remarkably, the town continues to serve as a working port and small amounts of china clay are still exported today. Look around the harbor for one of the town’s impressive old square-riggers. The harbor is often used as a filming location for TV shows and movies, including Doctor Who, Mansfield Park and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

Visit the Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre, which exhibits artifacts collected from more than 150 shipwrecks, dating as far back as the early 18th century. Set in a historic clay building, the museum houses one of England’s largest collections of underwater diving equipment. Look for artifacts from the Titanic and other failed White Star Liners, as well as memorabilia relating to Admiral Nelson.

Walk along the town’s small beach, which is located just beyond the harbor. Covered with a mix of sand and pebble, the beach is a fine spot for bodyboarding or snorkeling depending on the tide conditions. You’ll also find a few restaurants and cafés where you can sip a drink overlooking the shore. Head to nearby St. Austell Bay to enjoy golden sand beaches and even more watersports opportunities.

The town has several small galleries. The Atishoo Gallery exhibits the work of more than 80 artists, many from southwest England. Check out the gallery’s ever-changing exhibition of paintings, jewelry, pottery and crafts.

Charlestown is located 7 miles (12 kilometers) from Fowey and 2.2 miles (3.5kilometer) from St. Austell. To get here, follow the highway from the Mount Charles roundabout in St. Austell or use local bus services.

Rashleigh Arms
Rashleigh Arms
4 out of 5
Charlestown Road, Charlestown, St Austell, England
The price is £99 per night from 26 Sep to 26 Sep
Situated by the ocean, this inn is steps away from Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre and Charlestown Harbour. Charlestown Beach and Duporth Beach are ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (92 reviews)
"Fabulous 3 night stay in the Gig room which was spacios and delightfull. Staff were fantastic and very accomodating even getting us a table in the bar when the football was on. Food was delicious both for breakfast and dinnner. Location of this hotel is also wonderful. Absolutely loved this hotel ..."

Reviewed on 10 Jul 2021

Rashleigh Arms
Antonia's Pearls
Antonia's Pearls
4 out of 5
Charlestown Harbour, St Austell, England
Situated in St Austell, this beach villa is steps away from Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, Charlestown Beach and Charlestown Harbour. Duporth Beach ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Everything we wanted in a mini break.
"It was perfect. Stylish comfortable surroundings with private garden and all the amenities one would need for a short stay."

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2021

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Antonia's Pearls
Pier House
Pier House
3.5 out of 5
Harbour Front, Charlestown, St Austell, England
The price is £163 per night from 12 Oct to 12 Oct
Situated in St Austell, this beach bed & breakfast is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Charlestown Harbour and 3 mi (4.8 km) from Eden Project. Charlestown Shipwreck and ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (137 reviews)
"lovely position, clean rooms, friendly staff"

Reviewed on 12 Jul 2021

Pier House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Wheel Water Collections
Wheel Water Collections
3.5 out of 5
Waterwheel Apartments, Charlestown Road, St Austell, England
The price is £125 per night from 5 Oct to 5 Oct
Situated in St Austell, this apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre and Charlestown Harbour. Charlestown ...
4.6/5Exceptional! (11 reviews)
Excellent property
"Very nice property in a lovely location. Walking distance from the beautiful harbour."

Reviewed on 25 May 2021

Wheel Water Collections
Antonia's Pearls
Antonia's Pearls
4 out of 5
Charlestown Harbour, St Austell, England
Situated in St Austell, this beach villa is steps away from Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, Charlestown Beach and Charlestown Harbour. Duporth Beach ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Everything we wanted in a mini break.
"It was perfect. Stylish comfortable surroundings with private garden and all the amenities one would need for a short stay."

Reviewed on 10 Aug 2021

Antonia's Pearls
Cottage No.26
Cottage No.26
3.5 out of 5
26 Foundry Drive, St Austell, England
Situated in the historical district, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre and Charlestown Harbour. Charlestown ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
"A lovely cottage with a perfect garden. Plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the sun but also shady areas if it’s too hot. The kitchen was well equipped. Loved the coffee maker! One point though, the beds are very low and could be a problem if you have back or hip problems."

Reviewed on 5 Sep 2021

Cottage No.26
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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