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.

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 - day sails

Set sail on a classic ship around the beautiful Cornish coastline.

The Harbour is a hub for traditional ships, and from May until September, in addition to residential voyages, there are Day Sails on board the beautiful classic ships, Anny and Mascotte. Day sailers can join in, help with manoeuvres, take the helm and learn the ropes, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the South Cornish coastline.

3 hour and 6 hour day sails (and longer residential voyages) are available to book via our online shop.

Things to do - watersports

Gylly Adventures from Charlestown Harbour.

From the end of May, Gylly Adventures offers a fantastic range of watersport experiences from the heart of the Harbour. Gylly’s skilled team provide Sea Kayaking and Paddleboarding, all setting off from our beautiful Georgian port.  They offer lessons, a variety of tours and adventures as well as equipment hire.

Gylly Adventures can be found in the old Rope Shed on the Outer East Quay.

For more information, email:

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 the Inner Harbour is freely open and with it some fantastic pop-ups.

Cubs on the Deck, serving delicious freshly cooked Mediterranean tapas.

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 200 rums as well as many other drinks in a truly unique environment.

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 walkers needing further respite, the boat Pen Glas offers bunkhouse style accommodation particularly suited to those just needing a comfy bed for the night. Bunks can be pre-ordered or if available can be purchased on the day. More information can be found here.

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.

Surfbox Cornwall is a great new Cornish brand. Based in the Inner Harbour, it has a fantastic range of clothing and gifts.

There are many more local art, crafts and gift shops located in the village, all of whom are small, local and friendly!

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.

Eco-friendly buckets, spades, crab lines and other items for your day out on the beach – including deckchair hire for those that want to relax – are available from the Harbour Shop at the Round House.