If you love old sailing ships and maritime history Charlestown is the place to visit. The village is an historic port on the south coast of Cornwall just 2 miles south of St. Austell. Originally a tiny fishing village it was named West Polmear, but in the late 1700’s local entrepreneur Charles Rashleigh redesigned and renamed the village and built a harbour to provide a safe dock for the export of copper and china clay that was (and still is) mined locally. Now you can admire the old sailing ships that are moored in the dock and the cottages that line the wide road down to the harbour. Largely untouched by modern construction the village is a popular filming location for TV and movies and if you are a fan of the new BBC TV series Poldark you may recognise Charlestown in many episodes.
As well as cafes, pubs, art galleries, crafts, gifts and an antique shop you will also find the fascinating Shipwreck and Heritage Centre, the largest private collection of historical shipwreck related artifacts in Europe. The museum also includes an interesting Titanic exhibition – well worth a visit, especially if the weather is inclement. There is also a small beach at Charlestown (no dogs allowed).