Charlestown Harbour is a must see for visitors to Cornwall

From the historic ships and harbour through to the stunning beach, shops and cafes – there’s something for people of all ages to enjoy.

Charlestown Harbour is a great place for families of all ages to spend the day. Visitors can stroll this historic site whilst taking in amazing, unspoilt views over St Austell Bay.

From April until October unique the Inner Harbour is open – free of charge – to visitors who can explore the history of the Harbour from within. One of our resident tall ships, the Kajsamoor is moored in the Harbour for visitors view from the quayside. There’s a fantastic range of food a drink outlets on offer.  Whether it’s a coffee, pasty, rum cocktail or braised beef brisket, there’s something for everyone to sit and enjoy whilst taking in the views of the harbour and tall ships.

Please note that very occasionally we close the Inner Harbour due to severe weather conditions or urgent harbour operations. Contact us to check before your visit.

Things to see

If you are looking to see historic sailing ships set in a traditional Cornish harbour then Charlestown is the place to visit.

Charlestown also has some of the most beautiful architecture in Cornwall. The lock gate is of particular interest, with the water levels in the Inner Harbour always maintained whilst the water in the Outer Harbour goes in and out with the tide – so walking across the lock gate can even be nerve-wracking for some!

The Harbour also has both resident and visiting classic ships, which are beautiful to see. From the beaches there are unspoilt views across St Austell Bay.

Charlestown Harbour is also the setting for many famous film and television productions, so visitors to the Harbour can see where the likes of The Three Musketeers, Taboo, Poldark and BAIT were filmed.

Things to do - boat trips

Cornwall Seafari offer a range of trips from Charlestown.

From May Half Term until the end of September, Cornwall Seafari offer professional boat trips and tours for most ages and abilities. There are sightseeing trips offering an introduction to the beautiful St Austell Bay, exploring the caves, inaccessible beaches and the local wildlife. Also available is the Fowey to Charlestown fast ferry, which is the most exciting way to get between Fowey and Charlestown.

Things to do - museum

Shipwreck Treasure Museum

The Shipwreck Treasure Museum and Shackleton’s Legacy Exhibition are open daily from 10am – 4pm with last admission at 3.30pm.

The Museum houses over 8,000 finds from over a hundred wrecks, and includes the only intact barrel of coins ever recovered from a wreck.

For more information visit the Museum’s website.

Things to do - food and drink

Quayside dining with stunning views.

Charlestown boasts fantastic choices for a meal or drink, with a variety of cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants.

From 1st April until 31st October the Inner Harbour is freely open and with it some fantastic pop-ups, all of which are small, independent eateries using lots of local, fresh produce.

The Knuckle bar serving barista coffees and pastries all day, as well as beer, wine and delicious freshly cooked food from The Saltbox.

HarbourQ offers amazing harbourside summer BBQ dining, with a varied menu to suit all tastes.

The Charlestown Fish Co has a delicious range of fresh fish dishes, including fish and chips.

The Rum Sailor has a range of over 600 rums as well as many other drinks in a truly unique environment.

The Deck serves up wholesome fresh family food including toasties, jacket potatoes, pasties and salads – all to takeaway to eat on the beach or to enjoy on The Deck.

All of our seasonal pop ups cater for most dietary requirements, and offer a range of vegan and gluten free options.

Please note that individual opening hours vary depend on daylight hours and weather.

Within the village itself, there’s many more to choose from, including The Longstore restaurant, with its infamous steak and seafood. The Pier House which is a large pub and restaurant with fantastic harbour views, and for ice cream lovers, the Tall Ships Creamery is a must.

Things to do - walking

Stunning coastal path walks, with a warm welcome in Charlestown. 

For walkers, Charlestown Harbour is situated on the South West Coast Path, in between Duporth and Carlyon Bay. A pitstop in Charlestown is an absolute must, and whilst enjoying the history and sea vistas, walkers can take a break with a meal or drink from one of the many eateries, most of which have sea or harbour views.

For those on walk tour holidays, Charlestown is a wonderful place to stop for a night or two, and we offer Air BnB on both Anny of Charlestown and Sea Lion.



Things to do - shopping

There’s is a variety of independent local shops, offering arts, crafts, clothing and jewellery, perfect for browsing and buying.

A Little Bit of Cornwall  is a fantastic collective of local artists, selling everything from handmade soaps and crafts to beautiful prints. A Little Bit of Cornwall can be found in the Harbour Shop situated in the Round House.

Cornish Cream in the Inner Harbour offers a yummy range of Cornish liqueurs, rum, gin, fudge and gifts, including their exclusive ‘Poldark’ range. Open April – October only.

Harbour Gifts is a great new Cornish brand. Based in the Inner Harbour, it has a fantastic range of clothing, gifts, beach goods and treats. Open April – October only.

There are many more local art, crafts and gift shops located in the village, all of whom are small, local and friendly! Just a short stroll up the hill, Atishoo Gallery and Brocante are a must for visitors to Charlestown.

Things to do - beaches

Relaxing, playing  and rockpooling on the beach.

Charlestown has two pebble beaches, both of which are perfect for exploring, rockpooling or just sitting and enjoying the Cornish sunshine.

Buckets, spades, crab lines and other items for your day out on the beach are available from the Charlestown Beach Shop.