Our ultimate guide to this laid-back little city, with a lot to offer!
Cornwall’s capital is a buzzing mini-metropolis (by Cornish standards!) where you’ll find museums, galleries, boutiques and eateries at every turn. As Cornwall’s only city, it boasts one of the largest populations west of the Tamar at around 20,766, although in comparison to the rest of the UK that’s still tiny! As you’d expect, there’s an abundance of high street stores, out-of-town retail opportunities, local facilities and amenities, yet despite its “city status”, Truro retains a distinctly “Cornish” and independent feel!
There’s a wide variety of stunning property in and around Truro, including some older period townhouses and Victorian property. The northern side of the city is home to several well-designed new housing developments to serve the demands of this booming city.
Location & transport links
Truro can be accessed by car from the A30 junction at Carland Cross when coming from the east or further on down the A30 at the Chiverton Cross roundabout when approaching from the west. Excellent transport links make Truro one of the most accessible destinations in Cornwall.
Truro is a busy hub on the main London to Penzance railway line, with trains to London taking approximately 4 hours and 40 minutes. A branch-line train service also departs regularly to Falmouth, providing handy access to this attractive university town. Newquay Airport is approximately 35 minutes away by car.
There’s also a great bus service that covers most areas of the city whilst linking to surrounding towns and villages.
As the city has grown, improved road systems have helped to ease traffic and for those arriving by car there’s two park and ride car parks on the outskirts (north side and south east side).
Places to eat & drink
As you would expect from a Cornish city, Truro has a fine selection of independent coffee shops and restaurants that utilise the very best of local produce. Added to this is a great mix of chain brands such as Chiquito, Ask and Pizza Express, leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out.
One thing is for sure, the Truro food and drink scene is always evolving with new restaurants and bars appearing all the time, making it a great place to live for those seeking an interesting social scene. However if you want to eat in, stock up on fresh produce at the twice-weekly Truro Farmers Market, which is held on Lemon Quay every Wednesday and Saturday.
- Cornwall’s home-grown burger joint, HUBBOX, began life in the city in a shipping container before graduating into grander surroundings on Kenwyn Street. Expect excellent burgers and hot dogs made with the finest local ingredients.
- Sam’s in the City is an excellent small local chain (there are also branches at Fowey and Polkerris) which puts a tasty Cornish spin on everyone’s fast-food favourites.
- Sabzi is a brand-new takeaway deli at Walsingham Place, run by Masterchef quarter-finalist Kate Attlee. Expect vibrant, wholesome food, much of which is inspired by Kate’s Iranian heritage. To find out more about Kate, check out our article, Relocating to Cornwall an insiders guide with Kate Attlee.
- Bread & Butter is a (mostly) healthy eatery on River Street. Handy for coffee, snacks and quick lunches when running between meetings.
- Hooked Restaurant is another Cornish mini-chain (Hooked On The Rocks can be found overlooking Falmouth’s Swanpool Beach) which serves quality local ingredients in the heart of the city; in its case seafood, which is freshly prepared in the open-plan kitchen!
- Tabbs is often described as one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets. Chef Patron Nigel Tabb has been quietly impressing diners here since 2005, remaining busy and popular while others come and go!
- The Heron Inn at Malpas (on the outskirts of Truro) overlooks the River Fal, has stunning views and can be reached by boat as well as car! The menu is seasonally inspired and each dish is crafted from the finest local ingredients; it’s a great spot in which to enjoy Cornwall’s legendary food and drink.
- Mannings is just a stone’s throw from the Hall for Cornwall, making it the ideal place for pre-show cocktails and dinner with friends and family, or a light bite whilst shopping in the city. Offering relaxed, modern dining with a personal touch, and generous portions cooked to perfection!
There’s a plethora of local amenities throughout Truro, including Cornwall’s largest hospital on the outskirts of the city and numerous doctors and dental surgeries. The education provision is very good with the city home to wide variety of highly rated primary and secondary schools. Truro College, recognised by Ofsted for its Outstanding status, can be found on the outskirts of the city, working in partnership with Plymouth University to offer excellent higher education courses. Truro School, Truro High School for Girls, and Polwhele House are all highly-regarded independent schools.
Truro is home to one of the UK’s most beautiful cathedrals; made from Bath stone, it is one of only three in the country with three spires. The cathedral is a focal point for the community, especially at Christmas.
The Royal Cornwall Museum in the centre of Truro hosts varied and interesting exhibitions as well as cultural events and learning opportunities. Hall for Cornwall is currently being extensively enlarged and will become a world-class venue with a programme including West End musicals, opera, ballet and musical acts.
If you fancy a bit of retail therapy, Truro is the best place in Cornwall for high street brands, including Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, The White Company, Fat Face, White Stuff, Joules, Top Shop and many others. If a traditional market is more your thing, The Pannier Market is a large indoor market with over 30 trade stalls for you to explore. Lemon Street Market contains artisan and boutique stores (homewares, jewellery, food and drink, children’s gifts, florists) as well as cafes, bakeries and a gallery upstairs.
A recently built Waitrose store is close to the city centre and most major supermarkets can be found on the outskirts.
Within a few miles of Truro you can enjoy the stunning Cornish countryside at Trelissick Gardens, a National Trust property with some great walks and breathtaking views over the River Fal. The Tregothnan Estate is just 3 miles south-east of Truro and is famous for the production of British tea, whilst the rugged north coast (St Agnes, Perranporth, Porthtowan) is just fifteen minutes drive.
For the active, Truro has plenty of leisure and fitness facilities within close proximity and for some weekend fun, there’s a multi-screen cinema and bowling alley close to the city centre. With a multitude of beauty salons and spa’s around the city, there’s no shortage of places to go for a pamper either!
For those looking for property with character, Truro has a large selection of Georgian Town Houses and Victorian Villas close to the cobbled streets of the city centre. Tasteful housing developments adorn the outskirts of the city and there’s a focus on affordable homes to support the young professionals who wish to call Truro home.
Unlike many of it’s coastal counterparts, house prices in Truro remain reasonably affordable but as the city grows and becomes more popular, it’s no wonder that the last 5 years have seen prices rise by 22% or £61,000 on average. Current average prices stand at £335,045 and as the demand for city living in the heart of Cornwall increases, we expect property in Truro to continue to rise steadily.
Over the next 10 years you can expect to see a further 8,000 new homes built on the northern side of the city at Threemilestone, an area also earmarked for Cornwall’s first sports stadium. Truro is definitely a city on the up.
Why we love Truro!
- The picturesque lanes lined with boutiques, the many impressive streets of period townhouses and the grand architecture in and around the cathedral. Truro is a beautiful city!
- Although small, Truro has everything you could need in terms of amenities, and good transport links should you need to travel further-afield.
- There is a healthy retail mix of high-street shops, out-of-town outlets and independent businesses – for both fashion and food.
- Truro is just 15 minutes from the north coast, and also offers easy access to the Roseland Peninsula and the creeks and inlets of the Fal River.
- Idless Woods is a peaceful patch of woodland two miles to the north of Truro. Dog-walkers will love this handy spot for tree-lined strolls!
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