Launceston

 
The Capital of Cornwall until 1838, Launceston is a charming historical town situated at the gateway to Cornwall. Nestling one mile away from the borders of Cornwall and Devon, this picturesque market town boasts a central location in an area of rolling, peaceful countryside.

There are lots of things to do and see in Launceston. The bustling town centre provides a focus for numerous shops and businesses and other facilities include numerous pubs, cafes and restaurants catering for all tastes. For the more active there are good sports facilities with 2 golf courses, a sports centre and coarse fishing.
The steam railway (open till late October) is a delight with its 4 historic 19th century locomotives which journey through the stunning countryside to New Mills.
For a cultural experience visit the Southgate arch (a remnant of the Norman castle) which houses an art gallery, or just simply stroll along the narrow streets near the Town Square lined with beautiful Georgian houses.

Historically Launceston is of much interest to the visitor. Dating back to Celtic times the town has many architectural and historical buildings of interest. It is dominated by the original Norman motte and bailey castle Château Terrible of Malory’s Morte d’ Arthur which guarded the main route into Cornwall and today towers above the town.
Built in the 11th Century the castle became the administrative centre for the Earls of Cornwall and was extensively changed in the 13th century.
To soak up some of the history take the town trail which highlights many buildings of interest such as the beautifully sculptured 16th Century church of St. Mary Magdalene, or visit Lawrence House which has an array of artefacts and is reputed to be one of the finest museums in the South West.

Launceston is easily accessible to both north and south coasts of Cornwall and nearby places of interest include coastal towns such as Bude, and to the West Bodmin and to the East neighbouring Dartmoor and the market town of Tavistock.