Explore ancient landscapes, ruined minehouses and secret World War Two tunnels. Learn how Cornwall forged world communication. Take part in ancient traditions, feasts and festivals.
Whether you stay on dry land or take to the waves to discover lighthouses, smugglers and shipwrecks, the Lizard’s living heritage is ready and waiting to be discovered.
Welcome the burst of life that is spring by taking part in an ancient spectacle in the town of Helston. Each May visitors from near and far pack the streets to experience the ancient furry dance. Witness the start-of-the-day striking of the bass drum at 7am then watch over 1000 schoolchildren dressed in white dance through the streets. Hear legendary tales including that of St Piran and St Michael in the Hal-An-Tow and don’t miss the astonishing sight of gentlemen in top hats and tails and ladies in their finest frocks winding their way in and out of houses.
Find out more at helstonfloraday.org.uk
In December 1901 Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi successfully received the first transatlantic radio signal. This freed transmissions from the constraints of fixed wires, paving the way for modern communication including mobile phones, broadband and the internet. The signal was sent from Poldhu in Cornwall to the nearest landfall on the American continent at St John’s Newfoundland.
“It was about half past twelve when I heard three little clicks in the earphones. Several times they sounded but I hardly dared believe.” — Marconi
Discover more about Marconi’s amazing achievement at marconi-centre-poldhu.org.uk
Find over 60 satellite dishes dominating the skyline at Goonhilly Downs just south of Helston. It was here that the first ever trans-Atlantic satellite TV images were received, broadcast by Telstar on 11 July 1962. Many of the dishes are named after characters from Arthurian legend and the largest, Merlin, measures a whopping 32 metres in diameter.
Explore the land around the station to discover ancient burial mounds and a 5000 year old standing stone. The area was Cornwall’s first designated nature reserve and is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
DID YOU KNOW? Local legend says nearby Loe Pool is the lake into which Sir Bedivere cast King Arthur’s legendary sword, Excalibur.