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The Muddy Insider’s Guide To Truro

Staycationing this spring? Then you'll be needing Muddy's amazing insider guide to Cornwall's Great Little City, including the tourist classics and hipster hangouts.

Think of Cornwall and chances are it’s wild landscapes and quaint fishing villages that spring to mind – but sometimes, a gal needs a city! When you want to catch the latest production from London or you just want a new pair of shoes.

Guide to Truro Cornwall

Truro – Cornwall’s county town and sole cathedral city – offers just the right dose of urban life (in a laidback, Cornish kind of way), with lots of cool indie cafes, eateries and shops and a spot of culture too. Whether you’re local or on a weekend jaunt, here are some of the places we recommend….

EAT OUT

Sabzi Deli, run by Masterchef finalist Kate Atlee, and winning the title of best deli in the 2021 Muddy Awards, opened in late 2019 serving vibrant and healthy salads and fresh juices, all with Kate’s signature Iranian twist.

The newest branch of The Longstore has opened up where Bustopher Jones used to be on Lemon Street (above) and there’s also Sams in the City, which offers laid-back dining.

Truro is also home to American diner style eatery Hubbox and offers probably the nearest you’ll get to a London neighbourhood in Cornwall with an ASK Italian near the Cathedral and the Yak and Yeti Nepalese-run restaurant. Local’s also rate Bread & Butter café, particularly for their pancakes.

STAY

The Alverton Hotel Truro

Staying over? The comfy beds and famous breakfasts at The Alverton Hotel are calling. Set in luxuriously leafy grounds, this Grade II-listed hotel offers a refined yet relaxed retreat in the city, with a 2 AA Rosette restaurant, and a great wine list alongside excellent, contemporary British cuisine.

It’s also a chic events venue, hosting everything from awards ceremonies to works parties, birthdays to city weddings.

WALK/ GARDENS

Down by the river, and next to the cricket club, you’ll find Boscawen Park, complete with tennis courts, children’s play park and a little café, as well as great views of the river and cathedral spires.

More towards the centre of town, near the court and skate park, is Victoria Gardens, built, you’ve guessed it, in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee back in 1897, so it is of typical formal 19th century style planting complete with a bandstand. The cafe here is good though – Pollen in the Park, and they host pop-up yoga events too.

Trelissick House National Trust Truro Cornwall

Just outside Truro, you’ll find the National Trust estate at Trelissick. The beautiful house overlooks the calm waters of the Carrick Roads on the Fal Estuary and you can stroll down to the water and along the river on the circular walk from the car park. The gardens are beautiful too, with their immaculate lawns and colourful borders – and there’s a cheerful National Trust café serving up tea and cakes. While only assistance dogs are allowed in the gardens themselves, there are miles of woodland and open countryside to enjoy still on the Trelissick estate, from a half-hour stroll across the parkland to a trek down through the trees to Roundwood Quay.

DRINK

On the edge of the town, The Alverton has a great wine list, and a bar just inviting a spot of cocktail drinking. Speaking of which, Lawrance’s, which won best Bar at the Muddy Awards 2021 is on New Bridge Street and Cup & Cocktail is on Cathedral Lane. On the river, you’ll find local brewery, Skinners, and their tap room, cafe and bar.

For pubs try the Muddy Award winning Heron Inn at Malpas or head to the The Punchbowl & Ladle at Feock which is a lovely gastropub on the way to the King Harry ferry. In the city centre, Tom and Lara Trubshaw of The Peterville Inn, St Agnes, have just re-opened the Wig & Pen (above) after a refurb and bring their signature local food and ace cocktail list to the city.

SHOP

Lemon Street Market Truro Cornwall

This little cluster of shops and cafes at Lemon Street Market is a delight – under one roof you’ll find some of Truro’s loveliest shops, including sister gift/interiors stores Illustrated Living and Wish List, and Muddy Award 2021 Finalist, The Flower Press Shop. You’ll also find The ReFill Store which stocks store cupboard staples, like pasta, rice, nuts and baking essentials as well as body care and household cleaning products. And speaking of food shopping, don’t miss Truro Farmer’s Market down on Lemon Quay on Wednesdays and Saturdays, also home to Truro Food Festival (below) which takes place in October.

So far as clothes go, there are the usual big names (and even a White Company, go Truro!) but for indies we like Busby & Fox, a stylish sanctuary on Prince’s Street that’s always worth a browse, stocking a mix of independent Scandi, French, Italian, British and US fashion brands, homewares and jewellery, Uneeka and don’t miss the Truro Arts Company. Beyond the endless and inviting rows of paints, brushes and charcoals, there’s a cosy and inviting art cafe, exhibition space and regular workshops for adults and children. We also love interiors shop Duchy Living.

Busby & Fox Boutique Truro Cornwall

TOURIST

Truro is not so much city of dreaming spires as a city skyline dominated by the soaring vista of Cornwall’s one and only cathedral. Truro Cathedral, completed in 1910, isn’t so much ancient as comparatively new and in full Gothic Revival style. As well as the usual weekly services, it hosts regular classical music concerts and a magical carol service at Christmas time.

Truro Cathedral Truro Cornwall

Royal Cornwall Museum celebrates Cornwall and Cornish culture and is worth a visit – the museum doesn’t shy away from addressing all sorts of topics, so alongside the current exhibition focusing on Cornwall’s past, present and future roles in space travel, there is work by local artists and an installation by the pressure group First NOT Second Homes.

KIDS

When you look for things to do with kids, the Truro postcodes cover so much of central Cornwall that many things are listed as ‘Truro’ when in fact they are really not ‘Truro’ at all, even if they are great. (Mount Hawke Skate Park is a good example – it’s super kid friendly, but it’s not in Truro at all, rather 8 miles away almost at the north coast).

Actually in Truro itself there’s Hall For Cornwall showing children’s theatre, plus check out Player Ready – Virtual Reality on Charles Street, just off Lemon Street, offering Escape Rooms, VR Gaming, Zombie Experiences and Sim Racing. Behind TK Maxx you’ll find the bowling alley, and The Plaza, also on Lemon Street, is a refurbished Art Deco-era cinema dating back to the 30s for a glam film watching venue. 

For swimming, of course there’s the Leisure Centre, but those in the know head to the other side of town and up to Truro School’s Ben Ainslie Sports Centre (above) on the school’s campus, – a state-of-the art centre, with two pools and a gym, and open for community use.

QUIRKY

A Muddy-fave from their beach yoga sessions in Newquay, don’t miss Silent Disco Yoga pop-up sessions held in the cathedral. A collaboration between Jen and Stretch of Ocean Flow Yoga and Newquay’s Silent Disco, practice Vinyasa flow yoga in an awe inspiring location with low lights in your own space following Jen’s instructions through your individual earphones to a carefully curated, uplifting playlist befitting of such a venue. 

Truro is also particularly charming at Christmas time and Truro City of Lights is the magical annual lantern parade that kicks off the season in style. Each year has a theme and lanterns made by schools and community groups, as well as giant lanterns made by local artists, parade through the city.

CULTURE

After a three-year closure for redevelopment, Truro’s Hall For Cornwall opened at the back end of 2021. With increased auditorium size and the public areas, cafe and bar all receiving a good facelift, the theatre is attracting top West End shows to Cornwall – like We Will Rock You! which ran in February, and Bill Kenwright’s Blood Brothers, one of only three musicals to ever surpass 10,000 performances in London’s West End, and on stage in Truro in April, as well as comedians like Katherine Ryan and Sarah Millican.

Old Bakery Studios Truro Cornwall

From intimate gigs to comedy nights, there’s always something interesting going on at Old Bakery Studios, in the historic Blewett’s Bakery on the river. The multi-purpose arts venue occupies the original factory floor and attracts some surprisingly well-known names, while the rest of the building is home to a range of independent businesses and creatives.

Truro is also home to several art galleries, including Muddy Award finalists Tregony Gallery as well as the Lemon Street Gallery.

HIPSTERS

108 Coffee House Truro Cornwall

There may be a vibe shift coming but Cornwall is still hipster heaven and 108 Coffee House makes some of the best coffee and banana bread in town. Drive-thru more your thing? Cornwall’s only Espresso Drive Thru Cafe can be found on Treyew Road.

ON THE MOVE? 

Check out the brand new Insider Guides to cities and towns from the other Muddy Stilettos editors…

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