Visit Helston and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Helston, Cornwall. Be here on 8 May, the day of the Furry Dance. It is a holiday; at 7.00 a.m. the church bells ring and the town band begins to play; and from then till the pubs close there is dancing up and down the hilly streets and in and out of the houses, most of the population taking part (some in top hats) or watching. The dance's origin is ancient. It may well be a pre-Christian survival. Legend says a dragon dropped a rock on the town and that the inhabitants danced wildly from relief that it had done so little damage.
On other days Helston is a fairly ordinary town. Until the Loe Bar formed across the mouth of its Cober River in the 13th century it was quite an important port. In Elizabethan times it was, with Liskeard, Lostwithiel and Truro, one of Cornwall's four stannary or coinage towns, where all smelted tin had to be brought to be tested for quality and taxed. In 1549 it was one of the main Cornish sources of recruits for the rebellion against the imposition of Edward VI's new Prayer Book.
Its best streets are the main one, Coinagehall (Angel Hotel was the enterprising Godolphin family's town house), and Cross Street, near St Michael's Church, which is well-preserved Regency. Its most honoured sons are Henry Trengrousse (1772—1854), who invented rocket life-saving apparatus, and Bob Fitzsimmons, the heavy-weight boxer. Charles Kingsley went to its grammar school.
Loe Pool, 1 mile South, is Cornwall's biggest lake, rich in fish, bordered by woods. The bar separating it from the sea is of gravel and a type of flint not, for some unexplained reason, found elsewhere in the vicinity; it is like a miniature Chesil Beach. A culvert takes the overflow from the lake to the sea, and after heavy rains the waters meet in turmoil. Before the culvert was built, people with lakeside homes liable to be flooded would go ceremonially to the lord of the manor at Penrose on the west shore to ask permission to make a cut in the bar. You have to walk to the lake from a path off the road to Porthleven or from the East from a lane off the road to Gun Wallob, a quicker route.
Nearby towns: Falmouth, Marazion, Mullion, Penryn, Porthleven
Nearby villages: Breage, Budock Water, Cadgwith, Camborne, Carbis Bay, Carleen, Carnbrea, Constantine, Coverack, Crowan, Cury, Feock, Flushing, Germoe, Grade, Gunwalloe, Gweek, Gwennap, Gwinear, Gwithian, Hayle, Helford, Mullion, Illogan, Kea, Landewednack, Leedstown, Lelant, Lizard, Manaccan, Mawgan, Mawnan, Mylor, Perranuthnoe, Perranwell, Phillack, Pool, Porkellis, Praze an Beeble, Redruth, Ruan Major, Ruan Minor, St. Anthony, St. Day, St. Erth, St. Hilary, St. Keverne, St. Martin, Stithians, Troon, Tuckingmill, Wendron
Have you decided to visit Helston or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Helston bed and breakfast (a Helston B&B or Helston b and b)
- a Helston guesthouse
- a Helston hotel (or motel)
- a Helston self-catering establishment, or
- other Helston accommodation