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South West - Cornwall

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1. Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum

Top 10 ten places to visit in South West England - Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum

The natural landscape of Porthcurno is striking, with its dramatic granite rock formations, white sand, turquoise sea and exotic plant life. The sand is made up almost entirely of tiny shell fragments and extends well below the water line, giving the sea a translucent turquoise colour, even on a cloudy day. The climate in the west of Cornwall is one of the mildest in Great Britain and sub-tropical plants flourish in sheltered valleys and gardens. Perhaps the most conspicuous and unusual plant in Porthcurno is the Giant Rhubarb (Gunnera) which has leaves up to six feet across.

In 1870, Porthcurno began its life as an important centre of international communications. It was in this year that a chain of telegraph cables linking Britain with India was completed and Porthcurno was chosen as the landing point for the British end of this cable link. The company that laid the cable into Porthcurno was the Falmouth Gibraltar and Malta Telegraph Company, founded by John Pender in 1869 and one of four companies established to lay the cables in the 'chain' linking Britain and India.
 
The original intention was to land the cable at Falmouth, however, late in the planning, it was decided to land the cable at Porthcurno instead and hence this remote Cornish cove became the site of Britain's first major Empire communications link. In 1872 the four small companies that had laid the Porthcurno to Bombay cable were merged to form the Eastern Telegraph Company. This company went on to develop a world-wide telegraph cable network and Porthcurno was its major station.

In 1929 the company also began to operate world radio communications through a merger with Marconi's radio network and it was renamed 'Imperial and International Communications'. In 1934 the name changed once again to 'Cable & Wireless'. At its height, Porthcurno was the world's largest cable station, with 14 telegraph cables in operation. The beach and cliffs were donated to the National Trust by Cable & Wireless in 1994.

Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum Address:
The PK Trust and the Museum's postal address is:
Eastern House
Porthcurno
Cornwall
TR19 6JX
England, UK

Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum Opening Times:
10.00 am to 5.00 pm with last admission at 4.00 pm
Late night opening Wednesday 10.00 am to 7.30 pm, 23rd May to 12th September

Summer opening
March to November, Daily, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm.
Late night opening until 7.30 pm on Wednesdays between May and September 

Winter opening 
November to March, Sundays and Mondays only, 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
Last admission time 1 hour before closing time
 
Please follow the Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum link below for updated details of opening times which may change slightly each year.
Porthcurno Beach and Telegraph Museum Admission:
With Gift Aid         
Adults  £5.50           
Family  £13.20           
Children  £3.10        
Senior  £4.90       
Student  £3.90  
         
Without Gift aid          
Adults  £5.00      
Family  £12.00        
Children  £2.75       
Senior  £4.40         
Student  £3.50           
Child under 5  Free
Carer accompanying disabled person  Free
Teachers and carers accompanying school groups: 1 free per 6 children
10% discount is available on a pre-booked group of 10 people or more who pay as a group.

+44 (0)1736 810966

F  +44 (0)1736 811914

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Museum and Shop Enquiries and Group Bookings:
T  +44 (0)1736 810966
F  +44 (0)1736 811914
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Educational Bookings and Workshops:
Contact the Education Officer This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
T  +44 (0)1736 810592

Mercury Holiday Flats enquiries:
contact First and Last Cottages on +44 (0)1736 871284, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.firstandlastcottages.co.uk 

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