Books set in Cornwall – a reading guide and map

Books set in location allow you to travel far and wide. Why this Easter weekend we went to Burma, visited the travelling theatre troupes of Italy and spent time in Japan.

But we spent most of our time in sunny Cornwall with four books that were as joyful as the weather and allowed us to sample both the food and the local language in equal measure.

Here are four fab reads we totally recommend if you wish to go to Cornwall or are planning a trip. If you are already there, then take these books and really see a diffferent side to the towns, cities and beaches there!

We’ve put together a little map of Cornwall based on the four books we’ve read over the sunny Easter bank holiday – 

Mount St Michael - the setting for Jenny Colgan's Summer at Little Beach STreet Bakery Truro and Charlestown and St Agnes Head for locations in the book and the TV version of Poldark Padstow and St Dominik are the inspiration behind Fern ritton's latest book
Mount St Michael – the setting for Jenny Colgan’s Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery
Truro , Charlestown and St Agnes Head for locations in the book and the TV version of Poldark
Port Isaac and St Dominick are the inspiration behind Fern Britton’s latest book

ross poldarkdelmeza

Poldark novels – Ross book one and Demelza book two

Locations – The main location of the books is Truro, Perranporth, Wheal Leisure mine (fictional) and Nampara (fictional)

TV locationsCharlestown near St Austell stands in for Truro although both locations are equally stunning! St Agnes Head was used to portray the Nampara valley.


With the stunning scenery evoked in the books and in the current television adaptation, Cornwall has never looked and seemed so beautiful. The Poldark novels tell the story of Ross Poldark who has returned to his beloved Cornwall following years of being away fighting in a grim war in America.

He returns home to find his father dead, his mine and his home in tatters and his sweetheart about to be married to another.

Delmeza is the ‘urchin’ he rescues from  a brawl at the local market and before long she has changed his life in many unexpected ways.

a seaside affair

A Seaside Affair

Fictional locationTrevay and Pendruggan

Real location – According to an article we found in the Cornish Guardian – Trevay was based on Port Isaac. Pendruggan is similar to St Dominick and Padstow (the Metropole hotel is said to be the inspiration for the Star Fish hotel)

Story –

A story for the modern age if ever we saw one.  The beloved Pavillions Theatre in Trevay is about to be taken over by a major modern and overpriced coffee shop chain.

Not surprisingly the locals are up in arms and so they join forces to protect what they  know and love. Their theatrical heritage is under threat for a start and cultural life in this quaint sunny seaside town is not for sale!

Just what will happen to Trevay and its beloved theatre? Lights camera action…….

beach street bakery

Summer at Little Beach Street bakery

Jenny Colgan

Fictional locations – Mount Polbearne

Real location – St Michael’s Mount


Summer has arrived in the Cornish town of Mount Polbearne and Polly Waterford couldn’t be happier. She’s in love with her seaside home, her Beach Street bakery and her boyfriend Huckle.

But the summer breeze hides an unsettling wind that is blowing through town and Polly is hiding a secret – one that could hurt her friend Selina who is recently widowed and who has come to the town to recover.

Polly bakes and takes out her unease on the bread she kneads but is there a storm about to hit Mount Polbearne?

Aah Cornwall, we’ve always loved you and remember our family holidays and school trips along your beaches – we can still smell and taste the salt air on our lips and the wind in our hair. The tasty local fare (although Stargazy pie remains untried for some reason ahem) but nothing beats a Cornwall set book.

So we can revisit where ever we are in the world just at the turn of a page.