Charlestown Shipwreck & Heritage Centre

Top choice in South Cornwall

Charlestown's seagoing heritage is explored at this fascinating museum, which houses a massive collection of objects and ephemera recovered from more than 150 shipwrecks – ranging from telescopes, muskets, scrimshaw and coins to howitzer cannons and a few pieces from the Titanic and Lusitania. The layout is a bit of a jumble, but there are some fascinating stories to uncover here.

A combination ticket also offers entry to the Port of Charlestown nearby.

The museum has recently been taken over by the brains behind Eden Project, who have no doubt spotted the town's potential following the Poldark TV series.

Big plans are afoot, epitomised by the addition of the new Loveday's restaurant.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby South Cornwall attractions

1. Port of Charlestown

0.04 MILES

It's been off-limits for many years to everyone except film crews, but since spring 2017 Charlestown's historic port has reopened to the public. You can…

2. St Austell Brewery

1.53 MILES

Microbreweries have cropped up all over the shop in Cornwall, but in terms of sheer beer-making might, no-one's bigger than St Austell's oldest brewer…

3. Eden Project

2.01 MILES

Looking like a cross between a lunar landing station and a James Bond villain's lair, the gigantic hemispherical greenhouses of the Eden Project have…

4. Polkerris Beach

3.35 MILES

A couple of miles west of Fowey, this is the area's largest and busiest beach. Sailing lessons, windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding are all available.

5. Lost Gardens of Heligan

4.08 MILES

This is Cornwall's real-life secret garden. Formerly the family estate of the Tremaynes, Heligan's magnificent 19th-century gardens fell into disrepair…

6. Readymoney Cove

4.91 MILES

From the town centre, the Esplanade leads down to this little cove and the remains of the small Tudor fort of St Catherine's Castle.

8. St Fimbarrus Church

5.36 MILES

In the heart of town is the 15th-century St Fimbarrus Church, which marks the southern end of the Saints' Way, a 26-mile waymarked walking trail running…