Cornwall’s capital city often gets overlooked among the tourist stampede to coastal areas and pretty little fishing harbors, but there are plenty of reasons to visit what is deemed “our great little city”.
Although Truro – like everywhere else – has suffered with the lockdowns of the past two years its future is starting to look rosy. As well as the much-needed redevelopment of the tired concrete jungle that is the Pydar area, Truro’s riverside area is also due to have a rebirth thanks to the millions of pounds promised in the Government’s Towns Deal.
If you’re a tourist and have missed the train to Falmouth or happen to be visiting from Bude and want to ingratiate yourself with a Truronian, here are some of the things you SHOULDN’T say while in the city.
This is a nice town
It’s a city! Okay, it might be a bit small – the eighth smallest in the UK actually – but it’s a great little city and we love it.
Where are all the beaches?
It may be one of the rare Cornish places without a beach on its doorstep, but Truro is more or less equidistant between the north coast beaches at Perranporth and St Agnes and the likes of Pendower and Carne on the south coast. So, in that respect, it’s the perfect place to be. Plus there are some riverside beaches very close to the city if you know where to look.
How do you feel about Truro? Tell us in the comments section.
Can I see the famous bus lane?
We don’t talk about what happened on Tregolls Road anymore. It’s like Bobby Ewing’s shower scene in Dallas – it was all a dream.
I love that new speed camera on Tregolls Road
No one likes that new speed camera on Tregolls Road, especially if you’re trying to get into the city at rush hour – but it’s probably a good thing.
What are those picnic tables in the middle of your high street?
The traffic calming measures on Boscawen Street? Never has opinion been so divided.
Truro’s a bit boring
Bleddy ridiculous. There is loads to do in Truro, from culture and history (Royal Cornwall Museum), a top cinema (Plaza), loads of parks and woods for walks and recreation, a Virtual Reality gaming center, a great selection of pubs, bars and restaurants, a vibrant arts center (Old Bakery), a skate park, choirs, and the theatrical jewel in Cornwall’s crown (Hall For Cornwall). There’s even an ax-throwing place.
The top of Pydar Street’s looking a bit shabby, isn’t it?
One of the main thoroughfares leading out of the city center may have seen better days, but have you seen what’s planned for it? New homes, green spaces, student accommodation bringing some much-needed young blood into the city center, bars and restaurants as well as a hotel will bring some much-needed vibrancy to Truro.
It might have a university, beaches, the Cornish Bank venue, a castle and more cool restaurants than you can shake a stick at, but has Falmouth got a cathedral, Primark and little rivers that run down the side of the main street?
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There’s nothing I want to see at the Hall For Cornwall
Poppycock. The new-look building – featuring the Cornwall Playhouse auditorium – has something for everyone. In the next few weeks you can see everything from dance with Rambert, Magic Goes Wrong, BANFF Mountain Fill Festival, Sandi Toksvig, folk music with Kate Rusby, Twirlywoods for the kids, and a great run of comedy with Jasper Carrott, Rhod Gilbert, Omid Djalili and Stewart Lee. It’s good to have it back.
Where are all the nightclubs?
Granted, Truro isn’t exactly renowned for its nightlife, but if you want to carry on dancing and boozing into the small hours, there is Vanilla and The Office. We like to have a little decorum in Truro.
The side of the road is flooding
That’s supposed to happen. They’re called ‘leats’.
Can you point me in the direction of Urban Outfitters?
Okay, okay, so Truro may be lacking in high street names, but that’s the way we like it. Hardly any other cities have the range of independent shops that Truro offers, which is what sets it apart from the rest. Who wants an H&M, Zara and Urban Outfitters anyway?
I fancy at cheeky Nando’s
And we may be lacking in high street eateries too bar your Burger King, Ask and Pizza Express, but again it’s all about the independents. How about Bodega 18, Hubbox, Bustopher Jones, Xen Noodle Bar, Yak & Yeti, Shanaz, Elseafood, The Longstore, The Lounge, Mai Thai, The Ganges, Kathmandu Palace, Hooked, The Cornish Vegan, Tabb’s, Sam’s In The City, Piero’s, Chorley’s, Yue, Archie Browns, Mandarin Garden, Truro Tandoori … there’s a huge selection.
No one famous came from Truro… ever
What about Queen drummer Roger Taylor? Robert Shaw from Jaws and From Russia With Love went to school here too as did Olympian Ben Ainslie and the former chairman of Marks & Spencer, the late Lord Myners. Maybe that’s why Truro has such a lovely M&S store.
What’s that ugly building opposite Sainsbury’s?
It’s New County Hall, and we’re actually rather proud of it and the other fine examples of Brutalist architecture across the city, including Moorfield car park, the Roman Catholic church and that odd but fascinating building above Tui on Lower Lemon Street.
It’s too posh and middle class
Rubbish – Truro has always been a working city, from its time as a port going back centuries. It led the way in fair housing for all too, as the residents of Trelander, Malpas, Rosedale, Malabar and Tregurra estates can attest.
Lemon Quay is lovely, isn’t it?
No it isn’t and we all know it. It’s like an airport landing strip in a wind tunnel and could have been so much better, but there are great plans ahead to improve this side of Truro now that the Towns Fund bid for millions of government funding has been successful. Plans include creating links between Newham and Malpas, lots of cycle routes, and creating a marine and riverside area with restaurants and bars. Anyone using the old railway track between County Hall and Newham for cycling, running or walking will have seen huge improvements in the last few weeks.
How much would it cost to open up Lemon Quay to the water again?
What’s Nelson’s Column doing in Truro?
It’s actually Richard Lander, a great explorer, who deserves to be recognized in incredibly tall statue form for walking from Truro to London … when he was nine.
Can you tell me where I can park on the street?
Nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. Unless you pay for residents’ parking or arrive at 5.40am, but there are loads of car parks.
I can’t find a suitable school for my little one
Well, that’s where you’re wrong as Truro has a plethora of fine primary schools, four secondary schools and one of the most celebrated further education colleges in the land, Truro College. Among those are not one but two private schools – Truro School and Truro High School for Girls. All social classes and sizes of wallets catered for.
Where’s the live music?
There was a time you could see live music every night of the week but, sadly, Truro reflects this dying trend. Thank goodness then for pubs like the Old Ale House and Bunters, and venues like the Old Bakery who keep it rocking.
Truro voted for Brexit, didn’t it?
Well, no, actually, Truro bucked the Cornish and national trend, and voted to Remain in the European Union. Not a lot we can do about it now.
Is the stadium ever going to be built on the outskirts of Truro?
Don’t go there. Just go there when it actually opens.
Not very good at sport are you?
How dare you. Truro City FC play in the Southern League Premier South, the seventh tier of the English league system. They are the highest ranked club from Cornwall and won the FA Vase in 2006/07. And don’t forget that Sir Ben Ainslie, one of the most successful sailors in Olympic history, went to Truro School and has a very good sports center in the city named after him.
I love Truro and can’t wait to come back
Now, that’s one thing you can say.