Cornwall’s capital city offers excellent shopping and dining, along with lovely Georgian houses and interesting museums.
Truro is a bustling commercial city with a lively center filled with cafés and shops. Cornwall’s only true city, Truro can trace its history back more than 800 years. Stroll through the town’s pleasant pedestrianized center, check out its imposing cathedral and admire its elegant 18th-century homes.
It’s impossible to miss the green spire of Truro Cathedral, which dominates the city center. Completed in 1910, the cathedral was built on the site of 16th-century St. Mary’s Church. The parish church was incorporated into the cathedral’s design to serve as its Lady Chapel. Admire the cathedral’s Gothic Revival architecture and especially the Victorian stained-glass windows inside.
Set in a Georgian building, the Royal Cornwall Museum features a number of permanent displays focused on Cornwall’s history. Don’t miss the museum’s small gallery, which includes works by Stanhope Forbes and Anthony van Dyck. Look for interesting torques, metal neck chains worn by the Celts. Browse through the excellent photo collection of more than 50,000 images dating between 1845 and the present. Head upstairs to the Egyptian section to see the museum’s unwrapped 25th-dynasty mummy.
Walk down Lemon Street to see beautiful Georgian mansions built during the city’s prosperous past. Notice the pale stone used for the houses’ façades, a rare feature in Cornwall. Follow Lemon Street toward the Lander Monument, a 19th-century column honoring the Lander brothers, local explorers known for discovering the source of the Niger.
Check out the cafés, delis and barbers in the large indoor Lemon Street Market. The Lander Gallery on the first floor is touted as having the county’s largest collection of classic and contemporary Cornish art. The town also hosts a local farmers market in the piazza at Lemon Quay on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Ride National Express coach routes to Truro from cities across the U.K. or take the train directly from London Paddington, South Wales and Scotland. Newquay is the closest airport to the city.