A visit to Charlestown in St Austell Bay, Cornwall, is rewarding at any time of year.
The Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre draws visitors to explore the history of a town recognisable to many from film and television programmes – from the adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s novel Rebecca to Poldark, where it serves as the 18th-century Truro harbour with its idyllic setting between a row of pastel cottages and the Cornish shoreline.
The Georgian harbour is imposing, with tall ships on display including the wooden Norwegian trading vessel Kajsamoor, which visitors can board. Inside the Heritage Centre, artefacts have been reclaimed from over 150 shipwrecks, and the chilling stories of these misadventures off the peninsula and around the Isles of Scilly are retold through a display.
A 15-minute drive towards Mevagissey offers a different perspective on the Cornish landscape. The Lost Gardens of Heligan is a restoration project of gardens lost to neglect during World War One but now reopened for walks among natural woodland, intriguing carved sculptures and a jungle featuring tropical plants and a Burmese rope bridge.
Complete your visit in picturesque Mevagissey where you can stop at the Harbour Aquarium or enjoy refreshments at Tea on the Quay.