My recommended things to do inside Cornwall’s capital ‘city’ of Truro.
Although most of us Cornish locals describe Truro as a town, it’s technically a cathedral city (Cornwall’s ONLY city), with a population of just around 20,000 ‘Truronians’! It’s where I spent much of my teenage years, and these days it’s my local haunt as I only live about 10 minutes drive away – so I thought I’d share with you some of the top things to do if you’re visiting.
The History of Truro City
Truro has been a growing town since the 12th century, with its name coming from the Cornish word ‘tri-veru’, meaning ‘three rivers’. This is because of where it’s located at the meeting of rivers Kenwyn and Allen, forming to creating Truro River which feeds into River Fal (which then feeds into Carrick Roads harbour).
At one point, Truro was nicknamed the ‘London of Cornwall’ due to the local mining economy attracting the rich and wealthy to the town in the 18th and 19th centuries, but today it’s best known for its ‘Gothic-revival’ cathedral, and its handy central location in Cornwall with direct train links to London and the south west.
As I say, Truro Cathedral is definitely Truro’s most iconic landmarks, with its impressive gothic architecture, intricate stone carvings and stunning stained glass windows. Visitors can join a guided tour to learn more about the cathedral’s history.
Hall for Cornwall
If you’re looking for theatre shows, music concerts, film festivals, comedy and other performances while you’re in Truro, Hall for Cornwall is the place to be! This venue has undergone a massive refurbishment over the last couple of years, with its main auditorium now seating over 1000 people.
Truro bowl has an 8 lane bowling alley and is great for some evening fun as a pre-dinner activity, evening out, or a birthday or event celebration. I definitely spent a good few birthdays here as a kid!
If you’re after a peaceful oasis in the heart of Truro, Victoria Gardens is a lovely spot to have a wander around or take a picnic, with lots of colourful flower displays, ponds, bandstand and fountains.
Coffee Shop Hopping
Part of Truro’s charm is its selection of independent coffee shops and eateries, so I’d definitely recommend settling down in one with a book or your laptop to chill for the afternoon. Here are some of my personal favourites:
- 108 Coffee (great for laptop mornings)
- Bread & Butter (great for cakes & dog friendly huts outside)
- Cafe Uneeka (great for vegan options & good shopping downstairs)
Check out my list of favourite breakfast and brunch spots in Truro if you want a quick bite to eat as well.
Truro Farmer’s Market
Truro Farmer’s Market is held every Wednesday and Saturday on Lemon Quay and is a must to check out if you love local produce and delicious street food! You’ll also find some wonderful crafts and artisan stands here as well.
Eureka Escape Rooms
I absolutely LOVE an escape room; they’re so much fun for rainy days and challenging the whole family. Eureka Escape have a couple of different escape games at their Truro site to try out.
(My visit was kindly complimentary in exchange for sharing about it on my Instagram page, but I genuinely loved it so wanted to include it here too!)
Truro Plaza Cinema
Our classic art-deco cinema had to get a mention on this list! Again, I spent many a birthday watching the latest movies with my friends at Truro Plaza, and of course a trip to the cinema is perfect for grey wet days.
Delicious Truro Restaurants
Yum! There are plenty of wonderful restaurants to choose from in Truro, ranging from casual burgers, to tapas, and even fine dining. My personal favourite has to be The Longstore on Lemon Street; their food is just INCREDIBLE (yes I’ve tried dinner, brunch, and roasts from here!) and their cocktails are great too.
Check out my list of best restaurants in Truro for more inspiration.
Truro Player Ready Virtual Reality
This is a great one for kids or grown up parties, or for when the weather is rough outside. Try VR gaming, Zombie experiences, and racing simulations right here at the Truro Player Ready VR location.
Boscawen Park & Malpas
The outdoor play area at Boscawen Park is a definite favourite for kids (I used to LOVE it here), and the gardens are a lovely spot to explore too. I actually learned to ride a bike here too, as there’s a nice flat, easy trail around the flower beds for children.
From Boscawen Park, you can walk along Truro river to the little hamlet of Malpas. A lovely riverside location, with one of my favourite pubs, the Heron Inn.
Guided Walking Tour
There are plenty of self-guided walks to enhance your wander around Truro, or you can book onto a walking tour with a guide from the Truro Visitor centre instead of you’d prefer to get some local knowledge of the historic city.
Royal Cornwall Museum
I haven’t been to the Royal Cornwall Museum for possibly over 20 years, but it’s still a thriving hub of exhibitions and events for all interests. At the time of writing this, they have exhibitions on for Victorian Dress costumes, Cornish Prayer Book Rebellion and more!
Independent Shops & Boutiques
Truro’s high street has many of the chain retail stores you might expect, but also a great choice of independent and boutique fashion and lifestyle shops too. My personal faves include:
- Enjoy Clothing (for retro, vintage and festival gear)
- Inhabit (for plants, cute homeware and jewellery)
- Uneeka Life (bohemian lifestyle items, homeware and accessories)
Hendra Skate Park
My cousin love going here with his scooter! This outdoor skate park attracts all levels of skaters and has a younger kids play area and picnic tables nearby too.
Lemon Street Market
Lemon Street Market is a little hub of creativity in the heart of Cornwall, with independent shops, cafes and galleries inside under one roof. It’s definitely worth a wander around during your visit!
Axe Throwing with The Celtic Tossers
This is a bit of an ‘out there’ suggestion, but why not?! The Celtic Tossers have a few locations, with one being in the centre of Truro, offering axe throwing as a fun daytime activity.
Where to Stay in Truro
I’ve written a full list of the best places to stay in and around Truro, so check that out for my recommendations.
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Truro for families, couples and people of all ages, in all sorts of weather conditions. Plus you don’t even need to travel anywhere (all of the above can be visited on foot from the city centre)!
Will you be adding these to your list of things to do?