Poldark, the BBC One hit show currently airing for its fifth and final series, is continuing to showcase the dramatic beauty of Holywell Bay and its iconic Gull Rocks which are only a 15-minute walk from us here at Trevornick.
The period drama, a fixture on UK TV screens since 2015, has helped make a star of the stunning Cornish beach which has appeared in numerous scenes – often while a well-known character stares broodingly out to sea.
Winston Graham’s novels, following the Poldark family and late 18th and early 19th-century life in Cornwall, have been popular since publication and the latest hit screen adaptation has introduced the canon, and the Cornish landscape, to a whole new audience.
We’ve compiled a number of fascinating facts about Poldark’s favourite beach that visitors to the area can discover for themselves when visiting Cornwall this summer.
Carter’s or Gull Rocks
Little is known about the iconic rocks which are used frequently as a focal point in the TV adaptation. There are two names used to refer to the islets situated in Holywell Bay, Carter’s Rocks and Gull Rocks. ‘Carter’s Rock’ presumably originates from the famous Cornish smuggling brothers Harry, Charles and John Carter; the latter of the three brothers was famously known as ‘The King of Prussia’. However, many maps also feature the name ‘Gull Rocks’ which follows suit with the other rocks situated along the coast towards Newquay with fellow feathered namesakes including, ‘Chick Rock’ and ‘Goose Rock’.
The Holy Well
Found nestled in the grounds of Trevornick this natural spring has been a religious place of pilgrimage for many years. The water from the well was thought to have healing powers and historically many people would travel to sample the restorative properties of its water.
Holywell’s Sea Cave
This bizarre natural formation of stalagmites and stalactites creating a natural well is a must-see for visitors to the location. Featured in a famous scene between Demelza’s younger brother Drake Carne and his love interest Morwenna; the ancient rock formation can only be found at low tide, at the far eastern end of Holywell beach (Great care should be taken when looking for the well).
As well as Poldark, a number of other films and production companies have utilised the beautiful scenery of this part of the Cornish coast. Bond films ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, and ‘Die Another Day’ have both seen 007 striding on the sand of Holywell Bay.
At low tide, beachgoers should look to the horizon and amongst the waves, they’ll spot the mast of a sunken ship jutting out of the swell. The SS. Francia, an old Argentinian ship, was carrying a cargo of coal when it was wrecked in 1917 during stormy conditions. This remnant of the maritime industry lends itself well to the dramatic atmosphere of the location.
Visitors keen to immerse themselves fully into Poldark country can choose from a range of accommodation options overlooking the popular filming location here at our Cornwall holiday park. Just a short walk through the sand dunes to the filming location.
Guests can choose from camping under canvas and heading straight to the beach with the effortless and fully-equipped Eurotents, experience the saltwater lifestyle in a static caravan, enjoy the coastal comfort of a Cornish cottage and, delight in a little bit of luxury, in the five-star lodges.