Truro glows with Cornish charm and has spectacular countryside and coastline on its doorstep. No wonder it's become a house-hunting destination for city escapees.
Truro in Cornwall is the UK's most southerly mainland city. Its narrow cobbled streets, grand Georgian architecture and charming coastal lifestyle draw plenty of tourists. But it is also tempting many more to settle there permanently.
Where is Truro?
A vibrant city located in western Cornwall, Truro is north of the Roseland Heritage Coast area of outstanding natural beauty and is bordered by an area of great landscape value to the north east.
These perks have pushed up house prices with the average now standing at a sizeable £315,000. This puts it above the average for Cornwall as a whole (check the latest figures), but it could be a price worth paying.
Cornwall Council has put the city of Truro at the centre of its bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023, to showcase the wider area's cultural and artistic talent to the world, and help boost the Cornish economy by £100m.
Use our detailed guide to learn more about living in Cornwall.
Living in Truro: what to expect
Truro has a compact city centre with plenty of narrow winding streets. Most buildings date from its prosperous Georgian and Victorian years, including plenty of residential properties.
The centre has kept much of its independence with a lively café and artisan culture. Ice cream parlours, quaint tea rooms and delicatessens line the main streets.
Surrounding the city is some of the most famed Cornish countryside. The Daubuz Moors and untamed coast offer plenty of room for exploration.
Truro is a good place to live for families thanks to its excellent schools. Independent institutions include the respected Truro School while a good state education is offered at both the Richard Lander and Bosvigo Schools.
Top places to start your property search
City centre: Truro's city centre is packed with Georgian and Victorian houses. The finest houses for sale are on Lemon Street and Walsingham Place. These town houses typically have character features such as sash windows and many are built from stone. Courtyards tend to be small although there are some larger properties that benefit from extensive gardens.
Large terraced townhouses can also be found on Treyew Road and Clifton Gardens. Some of the properties are stone-built and have five bedrooms. The best have views across to the cathedral as well as original floor tiles, high ceilings and the original fireplaces.
For three or four-bedroom period terraces, check out Ferris Town, The Crescent and St Dominic Street. The latter is set down a narrow road but the houses are surprisingly spacious with galley-style kitchens and modest courtyards.
Listed houses are also on the market. Frances Street has Grade II-listed four-bedroom terraces from the 19th century. These homes have attractive arched doorways, ceiling cornicing, dado rails and wooden sash windows. Yet more listed properties can be found on Kenwyn Street and Daniell Street.
The riverside area has undergone a great deal of redevelopment and features a large number of contemporary flats. Look along Enys Quay for modern two-bedroom flats overlooking the River Allen. Alternatively, snap up a modern three-storey town house or a period property with mature gardens on Malpas Road.
Striking modern developments can also be found on Boscawen Woods. These houses are raised with parking beneath them and typically have three bedrooms. Newbridge View also has modern white-rendered terraces.
To the immediate north of Truro is Moresk. It has some eye-catching Victorian semis on Carvoza Road. These homes have six bedrooms as well as box bay windows, large gardens and attractive cast iron fireplaces.
Trelander is also to the north of the city. Take a look for modern four-bedroom detached homes on Huthnance Close. This quiet cul-de-sac has homes with double garages as well as generous gardens. Or, check out the listed stone cottages on Chy Hwel.
On the very outskirts of Truro in the west is Gloweth. Chyvelah Vale has three-bedroom cottages with countryside views, whereas Halbullock View has two-bedroom terraces with small courtyards. For a roomy family home, take a look at the spacious modern properties on College Way.
The outskirts of the city are the best place to look for contemporary homes. Copperfields is just one example of the new estates that are becoming more commonplace around the city centre. This development has a selection of two- to five-bedroom family homes, some of which have integrated garages.
Best ways to get around Truro
By rail: Truro station lies on the Cornish Main Line, which provides a service from Plymouth to Penzance. It also has services from the Great Western Railway, which runs regular trains to London Paddington. Truro to London takes four hours and 30 minutes.
Drivers should be aware that Truro's compact size and historical layout means it can become easily congested, particularly in summer.
By air: Cornwall Airport in Newquay is just a 30-minute drive from Truro. It has both domestic and European flights and is served by airlines including Flybe and Ryanair.
Best things to do in Truro
History: The Gothic-revival Truro Cathedral, which dominates the Truro skyline, has three elegant spires and excellent examples of Victorian stained-glass windows. Free guided tours run on a regular basis.
One of the best things to do in Truro is visit the Royal Cornwall Museum. This attraction has a permanent collection of ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts as well as an extensive mineral collection. A recent addition is the Poldark exhibition. It combines 18th-century objects with images and information from the books and BBC TV series.
Another top place to visit in Truro is Trelissick Gardens and House. The house was built in 1750 and has 30 acres of formal gardens within its 300-acre estate. Visitors can enjoy views over the River Fal as well as extensive woodland and waterside walks.
Cultural: In addition to the Hall for Cornwall, the largest performance venue in the county, Truro also has the Plaza Cinema. This independent cinema was first opened in 1936 and now shows the latest releases as well as live-streamed theatre, opera and ballet.
Truro is also famed for its festivals. City of Lights is a mid-winter festival that draws 30,000 people into the city. The local community makes hundreds of lanterns for the event, which are enjoyed alongside live music and dance.
Outdoors: Enys Gardens is thought to be the oldest garden in Cornwall. While it is open from April to September, the best time to visit is in spring when the bluebells are in flower. Visitors can wander around an open meadow, flower garden and woodland.
In the city centre is Victoria Gardens which is laid out in a 19th-century style with exotic trees, shrubs and flowers. Behind the park is the Henfra play area, which also has a popular skate park.
A family favourite local is Boscawen Park, offering visitors a natural play area with slides, swings and climbing walls as well as tennis courts, football pitches and a cricket pitch.
Shopping: Truro has three popular markets for local goods. The Pannier Market is a traditional English market with more than 30 traders. Operating from Monday to Saturday, it includes stalls such as Martins Bakery and Scoops Ice Cream Parlour.
A farmers' market is held on Lemon Quay every Wednesday and Saturday. Locals can pick up anything from smoked fish to fresh duck eggs.
Independent shops can also be found within the Lemon Street Market. Its shop-holders have a range of goods including food, jewellery, crafts and homewares.
Food and drink: Skinner’s Brewery offers daily tours from Easter to October. A tour guides visitors through the brewery and its processes before ending with a sample of their cask-conditioned ale and a hot Cornish pasty.
Restaurants in Truro celebrate the area's produce. Hooked Restaurant & Bar showcases local seafood, whereas The Old Ale House serves up traditional dishes such as Cornish ham, eggs and chips alongside local ales and craft ciders.
Charlotte's Tea House is one of the favourite cafés in Truro. Housed in the old Coinage Hall, it has a Victorian theme and offers refreshments including a selection of leaf teas and Italian coffee as well as homemade cakes and scones.
Cornwall's longest viaduct is found in Truro. The structure replaced Brunel's original viaduct with a stone version and is 405 metres long with 16 arches. It offers train travellers stunning views of the city.
5 reasons to live in Truro
- Historic centre with Georgian architecture
- Surrounded by wild countryside
- Close to the coast
- Strong café culture with boutique restaurants
- Lively calendar of arts, music and festivals