There’s a certain allure to Charlestown that draws you in as soon as you arrive. Maybe it’s the tall ships bobbing gently in the harbour or perhaps the historical aura that seems to drape over the town like a comforting blanket. Regardless, Charlestown Harbour is one of those places where memories are made, especially when you’re sharing it with your kids.

Charlestown Harbour: A Step Back in Time

Pulling into Charlestown feels like stepping into a different era. The meticulously restored tall ships in the harbour provide an immediate history lesson for the little ones. Even before disembarking from the car, the kids were pressing their noses against the windows, their eyes wide with awe. It was as though we had sailed through a time machine, and they were eager to explore.

One thing that stood out to us was how this harbour seemed to naturally cultivate a child’s imagination. With its rich maritime history, the place practically begs you to envision pirates, sailors, and epic sea battles. Here are the kids with their pretend swords as soon as we arrived.

charlestown harbour kids fun playing pirates

No visit would be complete without acknowledging its more theatrical elements – the large cannon and the wooden pillory that serve as unique backdrops for unforgettable photo opportunities. It’s not every day you get to explain medieval punishment to the kids while they laughingly stick their heads and arms through the holes for silly pictures.

Charlestown Harbour is peppered with small pockets of intrigue – little pathways leading to secluded viewing spots, hidden staircases that seem to lead to secret pirate hideaways, and of course, the nooks and crannies perfect for a quick game of hide and seek. These ‘hidden pockets’ provided endless amusement for the kids.

Charlestown’s Legacy as an 18th Century Georgian Harbour

Charlestown isn’t just another picturesque seaside locale; it holds the distinguished title of being the UK’s last open Georgian harbour from the 18th century, a fact underscored by its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site. With an array of vessels that span the ages – from century-old classics to more contemporary boats.

Constructed in the late 1700s, the harbour has retained its original, unspoiled charm, a testament to architectural and historical preservation. This aura of authenticity makes Charlestown a magnet for film and television aficionados. Whether you’re retracing the steps of Ross Poldark or standing where Michael Caine once stood in “The Eagle Has Landed,” the harbour serves as a versatile and captivating backdrop for numerous cinematic moments.

Charlestown Beach: Skipping Stones and More

Adjacent to the harbour is Charlestown Beach, where the kids decided to try their hands at stone-skipping. If the tide is out, there is plenty of rock climbing and exploring to do, whilst taking in these beautiful views of the Cornish Coast.

Skimming stones on Charlestown beach

Charlestown Harbour, We’ll Be Back

We drove away with hearts full of joy and a camera full of pictures. Charlestown Harbour offered us a day where history met adventure, learning met play, and where every moment seemed to warrant cherishing.

Things to do in Cornwall

Take a look at Free things to do in Cornwall and things to do in Padstow for more days out ideas. Why not check out the Padstow webcams to get a window into the beautiful town of Padstow. You can watch the boats sway gently in the harbour, observe the comings and goings of local fishermen, or even catch a stunning sunset over the water.

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