Rosamunde Pilcher is the reason many people come to visit our wonderful county. Born in 1924 in Lelant, Cornwall, she is best known in the UK for the international best-seller The Shell Seekers which sold over 55 million copies. Over on German soil, Rosamunde Pilcher is more of a household name. With Sunday nights dubbed ‘Rosamunde Pilcher night’, around six million Germans tune in to one of the regular TV adaptations.
There have been over 100 films made of Rosamunde Pilcher’s stories, nearly all of which have been filmed on location in Cornwall. There’s no right or wrong way to explore the Rosamunde Pilcher trail – however you choose to explore, you will be amazed at the breathtaking beauty of the landscape.
Featured in many flyovers, Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps is one of the most popular areas to visit on the North Cornish coast. Soak up the views over Bedruthan Steps where a rank of colossal, pointed stacks can be seen staggered out into the Atlantic sea. The walks around this area are wonderful and if you are a fan of wildlife then this area is a must see. Just be careful – Bedruthan beach can get cut off at high tide.
An amazing 16 Pilcher films have apparently been shot here and it’s home to the famous Lord Willoughby. Other films shot at this location include Four Seasons, Shell Seekers, Winds Across the Sea, End of Summer and Coming Home.
All of this has contributed to the huge number of visitors the house sees every year. Of the 25,000 people who are estimated to visit each year, 40% of these are German tourists, some of whom arrive on organised Pilcher bus tours. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular and where better to sample the famous Cornish cream tea? Visit the Prideaux Place website.
St Michael’s Mount
Cross the causeway at low tide by foot or high tide by boat to discover this magical piece of Cornwall. A filming location for both The Shell Seekers and Coming Home, you will recognise it instantly. Explore the Castle, gardens, village and quaint harbour and then make your way back into Penzance. where you will find beautiful architecture, tropical gardens as well as cafes and restaurants to revive you. Visit the St Michaels Mount website to plan your trip.
The Day of the Storm (Stürmische Begegnung) was filmed at Penzance and Land’s End.
Lands End is the UK’s most south-westerly point and one of the most famous landmarks. Walk the clifftops, enjoy the breathtaking views and don’t forget to take a snap at the famous Lands End sign. Visit the Lands End Landmark website for more info on attractions.
Bodmin was one of four Cornish filming locations for the film Cliffs of Love (Klippen der Liebe). Steeped in history, Bodmin is one of Cornwall’s oldest towns. The town’s imposing granite buildings will give you a feel for its importance during the mining boom and the surrounding walks will encourage sheer relaxation. Join ‘The Saints Way’ trail at Bodmin, a coast to coast walk from Padstow to Fowey.
This Cornish gem featured as Benson Valley Winery in the 2011 Pilcher film ‘English Wine’, as well as in the films The Weekend and The Red Dress. Guided tours of the 50 room Georgian mansion, which is still the privately owned and cherished home of the Molesworth-St Aubyn family, are available during the main season on Sundays through to Thursdays from 11am-5pm.
Outside, there are 50 acres of parkland to enjoy with lake, woodland and gardens boasting more than 700 varieties of rhododendrons and many camellias. Take your tastebuds – visitors can also pick their own soft fruit when in season! More info on the Pencarrow House website.
Lanhydrock House was used as a filming location for Cliffs of Love (1999) and In Doubt for love (2009). An elegant Victorian country house, Lanhydrock House is set in 1000 acres of wooded parkland where visitors can find rare shrubs and trees. The house contains 50 rooms to explore, amongst which a rare book collection can be found in the Long Gallery.
Pendeen and the surrounding area of West Penwith will be recognisable from many of the Rosamunde Pilcher stories. This area has been nominated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. In addition, many parts of the area are protected and managed by the National Trust which means that thankfully, the area will stay unspoilt for the generations to come.
Many of the UK and German adaptations of Pilcher’s novels, including The Shell Seekers have featured Lamorna Cove and Mousehole. The South West Coast Path is one of the best ways to appreciate this wonderful stretch of coastline.
Lamorna Cove itself is situated on the South West Coast Path and is a small pebble beach beside the harbour and quay.
Mousehole is a small, traditional fishing village just three miles west of Penzance. Explore the narrow streets and sample the numerous cafes, restaurants and galleries.
Whilst exploring the area, we strongly recommend a trip to the Minack Theatre. Perched on the cliffs above Porthcurno Beach, the Minack Theatre has been carved into the rocks and looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean – a most amazing and dramatic setting!
Cornwall Plus makes the perfect base from which to explore the Pilcher trail. Centrally located in Penryn, near Falmouth we are perfectly located for exploring and relaxing alike.
Books by Rosamunde Pilcher:
- A Secret to Tell
- Another View
- Coming Home
- On My Own
- Sleeping Tiger
- Snow in April
- The Carousel
- The Empty House
- The End of Summer
- The Day of the Storm
- The Key
- The Shell Seekers
- Under Gemini
- Voices in Summer
- Wild Mountain Thyme
- Winter Solstice