Poldark – the insider knowledge

March 11, 2015 by becca.lazar No Comments

Poldark BBC

Last Sunday saw the return of, the remaking of, the revamping of Poldark by the BBC. We always get excited by anything that’s filmed in the county down here: we’re so far away from the glitz and glam of the rest of the country that any appearance on the big (or small) screen raises our temperatures – I was incredibly disappointed to find that the two days I’d spent on rocking to and fro, pretending to be in a Russian winter during August for World War Z was cut completely from the film.

And Poldark had big britches to fill. Although this blogger is far too young to remember the 1970s original, there’s no shortage of people that will tell you about it. I did watch a bit on Youtube though. It looked a bit drab and grey, to be honest…and a bit slow.

So we have a Poldark for the 21st Century. Aiden Turner’s Ross Poldark broods his way around the rugged Cornish coastline like a cross between Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights and Mr Darcy. He’s returned, scarred, from the American War of Independence, his beau is getting married to his cousin, and his family’s land has fallen into debt and decay – if only smouldering looks were currency.

It’s shaping up to be an entertaining series. It’s not afraid to ham it up either – did those Cornish ruffians from Illogan ‘Ooh’ and ‘Arr’ their way all the way across Cornwall, spoiling for a fight?

This is the best I’ve seen the Cornish coastline on screen though. In places it resembles more tropical climes, with hues of burnt orange and flecks of crystal in the water. The BBC didn’t shy away from using it either, showing off their location work either: Ross stares out to sea, one leg propped heroically upon a rock, at every opportunity; and apparently the shortest route to just about everywhere in Cornwall involves the coastal path.

We will probably revisit Poldark over its 8 week run, but for now here’s our list of filming locations from the series.



Alice In wonderland, Dr Who, Mansfield Park: Charlestown has been in them all. The Grade II listed harbour has a historic air and is home to old ships traditional Cornish architecture, making this work port perfect for film crews. 

Church Cove Gunwallow

Gunwallow’s Church Cove was used to film a shipwrecking and smuggling scene, which is not far from the historical use of much of the Cornish coastline. Fires were lit to mimic lighthouses and lure ships onto the rocks in a sequence involving Ross and the villagers. Church Cove is a beautiful cove with the tiny church of St Wynwallow nestled behind it.

Botallack to Levant

The often brutal and Atlantic battered coastline between Botallack and Levant have provided Poldark with dramatic Mine house locations. This is prime Cornish walking country, with Levant Mine and Owels and Crowns both playing parts in the show.

Bodmin Moor

Bodmin Moor’s sparse grasslands served as the external shots of the Poldark cottage as well as backdrop for shots on horseback. This is the land that draws comparisons to Wuthering Heights with its wild, ragged and dramatic feel.

Padstow area

The panoramic views of the Camel Estuary have served the series well, as have the long, golden sands Porthcothan beach in their time as Poldark’s fictional Nampara Cove. Some of the cliff top scenes were filmed in the area too.

(photo copyright BBC)


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