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5 English Heritage locations to visit in Cornwall

22nd February 2023


There are English Heritage locations across the UK, but with the outstanding beauty and a wealth of history, there is no place better to explore these stunning historic sites than Cornwall. Cornwall has over 10,000 years of history and fantastic monuments and buildings to document all the great happenings of those many years. In this guide, we take a look at five of the very best English Heritage locations in Cornwall and what makes them a special place to visit.

5 English Heritage locations to visit in Cornwall:

  • Pendennis Castle
  • Launceston Castle
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Ballowall Barrow
  • St Mawes Castle

Pendennis Castle


Pendennis Castle sits on the imposing coastal outcrop in Falmouth and has vast views out over the water below. It’s one of England’s finest examples of a coastal fortress to still exist and has over 400 years of mighty history. Beginning its life as a gun fortress in the 16th century, the site has been adapted and added to over the years, and the castle you see today is made up of various eras. The castle was used by Henry VIII in the 16th century and then also forced into action again during WW2 when it was used to guard the coast against invasion by the Germans.

For those planning to visit, you can take a leisurely walk from Falmouth town centre in about 20 minutes.

Or there is a pay-and-display car park right at the heart of the site should you wish to drive. For those with disabled badges, there is ample disabled parking, and the terrain around the site is relatively flat; however, there are stairs and narrow areas within the buildings. Members go free; if you’re not a member, it is £12.80 for an adult with a donation, £7.60 for children with a donation or £33.20 with a donation for a family of two adults and two children.

Launceston Castle 


Imposing and proud above the town of Launceston sits Launceston Castle. The original keep was built in the 13th century by Richard, Earl of Cornwall and is a prime example of construction from the 1200s. The location was once of high importance in Cornwall and Launceston, being the administrative headquarters of the county and, later, a prison with its most famous inmate being George Fox.

Although not much remains of the castle now, the grounds still offer clues and hints as to how the castle was once used as a stronghold of the town. Bring the family and learn about 1,000 years of history in the latest exhibition or bring a picnic and enjoy it in the grounds of the historic site. Be aware that the ground is uneven at Launceston Castle, and there is a steep hill and steps up to the hilltop fortress, but lower areas can be accessed by all. Adults can visit for £6.60 with a donation, children can enter from £4 with a donation, and a family can enter for £17.20 with a donation.

READ MORE: 5 English Heritage locations to visit in Sussex

Tintagel Castle 


Probably known as once of the most famous castles or sites in Cornwall, Tintagel Castle is an iconic English Heritage location that has to be seen. Split across the mainland and jagged headland that looks out over the water below, the site is now joined by a modern footbridge for visitors to use. The castle is known for its association with King Arthur and Merlin, the location has been of significant importance since the 5th century in which time it has played its role as an important stronghold and residence to Cornish rulers. The castle that the site is known for wasn’t built until 1230 when it was erected by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, the same man who constructed Launceston Castle.

For those planning to visit Tintagel, getting a guide and learning about the vast history of the site is wise or ask the staff if they offer a guided tour to help you navigate and learn about the location. There are accessible toilets and wheelchair hire, but no disabled parking on site, so thinking about your visit prior is probably wise. Adults are charged £16.60 with a donation, with children costing £9.80 with a donation and £42.40 for a family after a donation.

Ballowall Barrow 


Ballowall Barrow is owned by the English Heritage but is managed by the National Trist and is the only site on our list that is free to enter. The spectacular cliff edge location is home to a unique Bronze Age tomb and is a site that has a long and complex history. The tomb is known for having sacred qualities and visitors have come here for centuries to try and take advantage of these promising properties.

There is a small, flat parking area opposite the site in a layby and the land around the tomb is flat and accessible for visitors of all mobilities.

St Mawes Castle


St Mawes Castle is known for being one of the best-preserved of Henry VIII's coastal artillery fortresses and was part of a chain of forts built between 1539 and 1545. St Mawes is just over the water from Pendennis and made up part of the same defensive stronghold which was used by Henry VIII and his son Edward VI.

The castle has stunning, panoramic views that look out over the Fal Estuary and for those who head to the top of the castle keep will be able to witness these first hand. Disabled parking and accessible toilets can be found on site and the grounds surrounding the keep and castle are flat and accessible. You can visit the castle for £7.80 as an adult with a donation, £4.70 with a donation for children and £20.30 for the whole family after donating to the English Heritage.

Visiting historic sights is a wonderful way to learn about the history of a county or location, and Cornwall is no different. If you struggle with mobility and often use aids like straight or curved stairlifts and are looking for accessible, historic sites, then hopefully, this guide has given you an insight into some of the locations worth visiting. For more articles like this, make sure you take a look at our blog.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.