There is so much to see in Cornwall, the county is vast, varied and stunning, so it really helps to have local knowledge if you really want to see the treasures of coast and moor.

Barry Pengelly and his company, Cornwall Discovery Tours, are a brilliant way to tour Cornwall. He has the local experience, insight and historical knowledge that makes tours so memorable. You only have to take a look at his Tripadviser page to see that.  His tours are favoured especially by our friends across the pond–American’s can sometimes be stunned by our tiny twisting roads–but anyone from out of county can be overwhelmed when driving here!

His bespoke guided tours of Cornwall can be tailored to your needs. Barry is even happy to collect you from the airport and take you to your accommodation, and he’ll venture out of county if that’s helpful too!


Whether your interest is seeing Cornwall as a film set, at Doc Martin and the Fisherman’s Friends’ Port Isaac, or touring the county’s award winning breweries and vineyards, you can create a unique experience. The idea of being able to sit back, relax and enjoy the trip is really quite appealing to most people!

The real gem though of Cornwall Discovery Tours is Barry himself, such warm host, whose chatter is filled with anecdotes that make your trip so memorable. For instance, Tripadviser shows 109 reviews rated as ‘Excellent’ and just one at ‘Very Good’!  With comments like; “After spending several days with Barry, we understood why he gets rave reviews. Barry is Cornwall!”

Certainly something to consider if you are new to the county or want to really know the locals’ Cornwall.

Rosamunde Scott was born in 1924 in the small village of Lelant in Cornwall. She spent many happy times growing up on the cliffs and beaches, and the Cornish landscape had a profound influence on her. In 1946 she married her husband, Graham Hope Pilcher, and moved to the opposite end of the British Isles, to Dundee in Scotland.

She began publishing some of her writings in 1949, first under the pseudonym Jane Fraser, and then under her own name. Although living in Scotland, the landscape and scenery of her childhood in Cornwall provide the setting for many of Pilcher’s stories. Pilcher went on to sell more than 60 million books worldwide.
Pilcher’s books have been turned into television series and films. These programs are particularly popular in Germany, where over 160 television series based on Pilcher’s works have been produced. Sunday evenings are even affectionally known in Germany as ‘Rosamunde Pilcher Night’, and her shows attract a weekly audience of 7 million viewers.
Picher country is so popular that 350,000 German tourists visit Cornwall every year, and two-thirds of all foreign visitors who come to Cornwall are from either Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.
Below can be seen some of the scenic locations across Cornwall that serve as the backgrounds to the Rosamunde Pilcher films and television series.

Prideaux Place

If Rosamunde Picher fans were pilgrims then Prideaux Place would be the Holy Land. The Elizabethan country house has been used as a filming location in numerous Pilcher series

The house is situated near the fishing village of Padstow, and lies on the south bank of the Camel River. Built in 1592, and comprised of 81 rooms, the house sits in its own estate of 3,500 acres. The current owner of the Prideaux estate, Peter Prideaux-Brune, has featured in several of the series, his roles to date include: chauffeur, gin taster and coroner.

Prideaux Place, its grounds, the nearby town of Padstow have all been used as settings. If you are a fan and plan on visiting Cornwall then Prideaux Place is a must-see location.



Very close to Prideaux Place, on the banks of the Camel Estuary, lies the picturesque town of Padstow. This town grew as a fishing port and, while some fishing vessels still harbour here, it now accommodates more modern and luxurious yachts alongside the traditional fleet.  In addition to being a stop on the Pilcher tour Padstow is a tourist destination in its own right, known for its stunning views across the Camel Estuary and as the home of Rick Stein’s fish restaurants.


Bedruthan Steps

North of Newquay, on the North Coast, lies Bedruthan Steps. Also known as Pentire Steps, or its Cornish name of Carnewas, this is probably the most awe inspiring and dramatic setting on our list of locations. It consists of a series of geological stacks, which rise out of the sands across the bay. Each of the stacks has a name, such as: Queen BessSamaritan IslandRedcove IslandPendarves Island, and Carnewas Island.
The name ‘Bedruthan’ it has been said comes from a mythological giant, who used the stacks as steppingstones. The earliest records of this myth, however, indicate that it was most likely invented to entertain the Victorian tourists of the last 19th Century. The name itself is more likely to have originally been the name of one of the miners paths that lead up the cliff from the beach.
Steps leading to the beach were covered by a rock fall, and unfortunately there is currently no safe way down. However, the views from the top of the cliff are still astounding!

18th-century prison with gory history reopens as £8.5m visitor attraction in Cornwall.

Most visitors to Cornwall head to the surf beaches, the picturesque fishing harbours, art galleries, gardens or castles in search of light and joy.

However, a murkier side of life in the south-west of Britain is being told from within the towering granite walls of an 18th-century prison, which is reopening as a new visitor attraction on Thursday.

The £8.5m Bodmin jail recounts tales of crime and punishment in Cornwall from the 1700s to the early 20th century. Visitors are treated, if that is the right way to put it, to a subterranean “dark walk” that uses special effects to expose the lives and deaths of some of those once imprisoned here.

They are invited to stroll in and out of the cells where prisoners once lived and to inspect the artefacts found in excavations of the prison including bunches of rusty keys and even what might be the skull of the fabled Beast of Bodmin.

The most daring can take part in paranormal events or watch horror films, as the jail claims to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.

For those who want to immerse themselves, a £38.5m four-star boutique hotel is due to open early next year. Each room comprises three former cells: one for the bedroom, one the living area and the third the bathroom.

Martin Lyall, the jail’s general manager, accepted it was a challenging time to open a tourist attraction but said the “staycation” market had been strong in Cornwall this summer.

“Many people were reporting levels above 2019. We think that market may stay strong into 2021 and even 2022. The future is promising,” he said.

It will also be a boost to Bodmin, often a town that visitors whizz past on their way to the beach or Cornwall’s better-known attractions such as the Eden Project and St Michael’s Mount. Post-Covid it is expected that about 30 people will work at the attraction and more than 50 at the hotel.

Visitors can enter the “dark walk” element of the attraction through a doorway hidden by a bookshelf. Stories of mining, smuggling and wrecking (when boats were lured on to the rocky coastline) are told.

But it may be the individual stories of the prisoners who were housed in the jail between 1779 and 1927 that visitors find the most compelling. Such as that of brothers William and James Lightfoot, who were convicted in 1840 of the highway robbery of merchant Neville Norway on the road between Bodmin and Wadebridge. More than 20,000 came to watch their execution and a special train was laid on so people would not miss out.

Or that of Selina Wadge, who was hanged at the age of 28 in 1878 for the murder of her son, whom she was said to have dropped into a well on Bodmin moor. Her final words were: “Lord deliver me from this miserable world.”

More than 35,000 prisoners were held at the jail, including 341 children. Fifty-five people, eight of them women, were hanged within the walls, some for heinous crimes such as murder (one woman, Sarah Polgrean, poisoned her husband, Henry, with arsenic hidden in a pat of butter), others for what through modern eyes seemed much more minor, such as sheep rustling or setting fire to a neighbour’s crop. The last execution took place in 1909.

When the prison opened conditions were particularly brutal. Men, women and children were kept in communal cells and one in four died of typhoid.

Later conditions were improved and Bodmin claims to be the first jail in Britain to hold prisoners in individual cells. Sanitation was better, inmates were paid to work, and death, at last unintended ones, became more uncommon.

One the most eye-catching exhibits is the skull of a creature that some believe is the Beast of Bodmin. It was found 100 years ago during the demolition of a hospital wing.

Close to it is an account written by a French prisoner of war, Capt Mathieu Pringy, who claimed that during a trip out from the jail in the 1790s he encountered the beast, a creature with the “largest pair of piercing eyes” and “teeth larger than daggers.”

But perhaps equally as impressive and evocative is the collection of keys. The hefty one for the main gate is 22cm long and weighs 0.5kg. Another display holds a couple of dozen cell door keys found during a 2005 excavation of the jail’s execution pit. The thought is that warders may have ceremonially thrown them into the pit, perhaps when the prison finally closed.