Explore Launceston the Gateway to Cornwall

Explore Launceston the Gateway to Cornwall
  • Post category:News & Info

The rural market town of Launcestonwith it’s imposing castle high on the hill is home to attractions, markets, shops and arts and crafts. Known as Lannstevan in Cornish, meaning “church enclosure of St Stephen”. Famous for it’s architecture, narrow lanes & alleys, Launceston is also home to Castle Street, which Sir John Betjeman referred to as “the most perfect collection of 18th century town houses in Cornwall.  It is roughly midway between the north coast of Cornwall (at Bude) and the south coast (at Saltash) This former capital of Cornwall is a great place to explore, and then unwind with a pasty.

Launceston Castle

From it’s excellent hilltop vantage point Launceston castle dates back to the Norman Conquest in the 13th century. Climb the top tower (via an internal staircase) for stunning far reaching views of the town and countryside. Launceston’s motto is Royale et Loyale for its faithfulness to the Cavalier cause in the English Civil War of the mid-17th century. Check it out.

Lawrence House Museum

Spread over three floors and built in 1753 this intriguing museum has exhibits including a costume collection, a toy room (where children can play), and Launceston’s links with Australia. This is a child friendly museum with free admission. More details.

St Mary Magdalene Church

Built before the Reformation in 1511 by Henry Trecarrell, and founded by Edward, the Black Prince, this church is famous for it’s intricately carved granite exterior, which makes it one of the finest churches in Britain. Open daily 9am-4pm for visitors.

Launceston Steam Railway is always popular with kids. Only ten minutes drive, the railway is open off season, but a good idea to check the times of the trains before you plan to take a ride.

Launceston’s Charles Causley Festival

The annual literary celebration of the poetry and works of this famous resident, is held in June. Living nearly his entire live in Launceston Charles Causley has been referred to as one of the very finest poets of the twentieth century. Here is the information.

Treasure Trail

Have a go at Launceston’s trail, hunt for clues as you follow on foot, by car or by bike. Suitable for all the family and a great wasy to explore and learn. Submit your answer online once you’ve completed it and win cash prizes. Check out the trail.


Launceston Castle is the starting point for two long distance walks, The Two Castles Trails between Launceston and Okehampton Castle, and the Tamar Valley Discovery Trail between Launceston and Plymouth

Launceston Tourist Information Centre is now located in the White Hart Arcade, Launceston. PL15 8AA