A good-sized town that serves as the gateway to Cornwall when arriving from the east, Launceston is dominated by its 11th-century castle. Once the capital of Cornwall, Launceston is an interesting and appealing place, with a good range of shops, restaurants, and pubs, making it a welcoming place to stop for a few hours, or longer if preferred.
The castle is a ruin these days, and it’s well worth visiting to get a feel for its lofty position above Launceston, and for the fabulous views from the very top. Combining well with the castle, the town museum, housed in the impressive Lawrence House, tells the story of Launceston’s long history very effectively. Dating from 1753, it’s one of several handsome buildings in this part of town.
For those that like to sit back and relax, the Launceston Steam Railway provides a nostalgic and calming experience, or for the more active-minded, Launceston marks the start of two walking trails, the 30-mile Tamar Discovery Trail, or the 24-mile Two Castles Trail.