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Truro Cathedral

truro cathedral entrance

Discover Cornwall’s Gothic Beauty at Truro Cathedral

Rising from the heart of Cornwall’s small city, Truro Cathedral cuts an impressive silhouette against the skyline with its soaring Gothic spires. As the seat of the Anglican diocese since 1876, this historic building has plenty of tales to tell – if only its stones could talk!

A family day out here offers a peek into Cornwall’s spirituality, architecture, culture and even its natural history. Grab the kids to seek out sly carvings, climb the towers and unravel stories in the stained glass on your next rainy day adventure.

cross in truro cathedral

Getting to Truro Cathedral

Truro Cathedral sits centrally within the small city of Truro in west Cornwall. The full address is: 14 St Mary’s Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2AF.

By car – Truro lies just off the main A30 route through Cornwall, approx 1 hour’s drive from Devon across the Tamar Bridge. The cathedral has no parking but the city centre has numerous pay & display car parks.

By train – Truro Railway Station has a mainline service from across the UK network. From here, it’s a short 700m walk to the cathedral, much of it downhill.

By bus – Frequent buses connect Truro to nearby towns like Falmouth, Newquay, St Agnes and Penzance. Hop off at Boscawen Street or Lemon Quay stops, both 5 mins from the cathedral.

Opening Times

Truro Cathedral is open daily with guided tours running:

  • April – September: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm (last tour 3pm) Sundays, 2pm – 4pm
  • October – March: Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm (last tour 2.30pm)

As an active place of worship, there may be exceptions for services or special events. Check the website before visiting.

Entry is free with donations welcomed. Tickets for guided tours cost:

Adult £5 Child £1 Family (2 adults + children) £10

truro cathedral going in

What to See and Do

On display within and around the cathedral are over 850 years of Cornish history, talent and stories. From the outside, admire the Gothic Revival style architecture and the impressive spires that seem to reach to the heavens.

Inside marvel at the sheer sense of light and space created by the high ceiling and long aisles. The feeling here is uplifting yet intimate. Take in the beautiful stained glass windows glowing in radiant colours and the intriguing carvings dotted throughout.

Joining a guided tour (45mins) lets you access the upper galleries for the best views down across the nave and chancel. Expert guides also highlight fascinating details around the cathedral you’d likely miss otherwise. Like the cheeky stone masons immortalised as characters or creatures in the carvings!

Kids love seeking out the strange beasts and green men hiding on pillars and between arches. Can you spot the hippo or the man with elephants growing out his ears?! Interactive trails make exploring the cathedral fun for children – ask at the welcome desk.

truro cathedral interior

Climb Higher Up the Towers

For bird’s eye views across Truro, head up the cathedral’s towers. The south west tower houses the cathedral’s bells and clock mechanism. Reached by a spiral stone staircase, the tower’s viewing platform gazes out over the city’s rooftops showcasing Truro’s neat layout.

Feeling energetic? The north west tower stands taller and involves climbing a steep 131 steps to reach the top. emerg out onto the balcony for panoramic views across Truro to the River Kenwyn and the rolling Cornish countryside beyond.

drone photo of truro cathedral

Tales in the Stained Glass

Truro Cathedral’s stained glass is considered some of the finest in the country thanks to the skill of local 19th century glass painters like John Nash.

The Kids’ Corner window playfully showcases Cornish history and folklore. How many tales can you recognise like Tristan & Iseult’s tragic romance or the legend of the Merry Maidens turned to stone?

Meanwhile the vast West Window beautifully depicts the creation story from Genesis in vibrant blues and golds. See if you can spot the Cornish element – a fish Palaeothyris hiding amongst the waters and wildlife. A nod to local prehistory!

truro cathedral stained glass window

Lunch at the Cathedral Cafe

Fuel up on homecooked lunches, Cornish cream teas or just coffee and cake at the Cathedral Café & Terrace. This glass-fronted eatery sits within the grounds serving delicious, ethically sourced food.

On fine days, eat alfresco on the outdoor terrace with lovely views of the cathedral’s exterior. Kids can run off steam in the lawn while you relax. Note dogs are welcome throughout the grounds.

The cafe makes an ideal pitstop midway through exploring Truro too. Cathedral entry is not required to eat here or access the toilets.

truro cathedral cafe

Music from Truro Cathedral

the music of truro cathedral

Truro Cathedral’s musical tradition is as awe-inspiring as its architecture. Renowned for its acclaimed choir, the cathedral resonates with heavenly melodies during regular services and special concerts.

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Nearby Attractions in Truro

Pair your cultured cathedral visit with some of Cornwall’s other nearby family-friendly attractions:

  • Levant Mine and Beam Engine – Go underground at this historic Cornish tin and copper mine. See the working beam engine, visit the museum, and walk the Tin Coast to explore Cornwall’s mining landscape.
  • Royal Cornwall Museum – This museum in the centre of Truro explores Cornwall’s history and culture. It has exhibitions showcasing the county’s mining heritage, maritime history as well as archaeology and geology.
  • Hall for Cornwall – This Truro venue located on the city’s waterfront hosts major theatre productions, music concerts, comedy acts and dance performances throughout the year.
  • Truro Treasure Hunt Walking Tours – Explore Truro on an interactive self-guided treasure hunt around the city, discovering interesting facts, stories, and locations as you walk.
  • Trelissick House and Garden – Explore these scenic riverside gardens run by the National Trust with views across the Fal Estuary. There are woodland walks, an orchard, herbaceous borders and an art and crafts exhibition.
  • Fal River – Take a scenic boat trip along the Fal River from Truro to visit historic villages like Trelissick, Malpas and St Mawes with their castles, towers and views.
  • Newquay Zoo – Get close to endangered animals like lemurs, meerkats and sloths at this zoo in Newquay, around half an hour’s drive from Truro.
  • Eden Project – Just over half an hour away, this iconic Cornwall attraction consists of huge tropical biomes housing plant species from around the world.
  • St Agnes Beacon – Hike up to the top of St Agnes Beacon near Truro for stunning views across St Agnes village and the North Cornish coastline with mines in the distance.

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