A great place to start is to pick up a free Liskeard Heritage Trail leaflet from the information centre and enjoy a leisurely hour or so discovering a bit more about the town. The walking trail will take you past the Pipe Well, St Martin’s Church, the Bull Stone, along delightful pedestrianised Fore Street where many of the shops still retain their Victorian shop fronts and past Stuart House. Feeling peckish? There’s a host of great friendly cafés in town where you can enjoy a spot of lunch or if the weather’s kind, pick up a pasty from one of the local bakeries and savour your lunch in peaceful Westbourne Gardens – original Cornish street food to go!
Visit the museum
Pop into Liskeard & District Museum in Foresters Hall to find out about the history of the town and the geology and mining in the surrounding area. Foresters Hall has been home to many businesses over the years including the East Cornwall Savings Bank (the original safes are still in use for precious objects), the Devon and Cornwall Film Company and a wigmakers. The building fell into dereliction in the 1990s but was renovated by the Town Council and the Museum opened in 2002.
In the foyer of the Museum you’ll find Liskeard Information Centre where the friendly staff will tell you about local events, walks and public transport.
Take tea in the hidden garden at Stuart House
Stuart House on the Parade is the second oldest building in the town and the house of the then MP Joseph Jane when King Charles I stayed there during the Civil War. The house has a permanent Civil War exhibition and is also host to arts and crafts exhibitions. There is a wonderful mediaeval walled garden completely hidden from the street. Most people,even Liskeard locals, don’t know it’s there. There is a tea room in Stuart House and on sunny days you can enjoy a cuppa in the garden.
‘Twas Henry Rice, who made it nice’
Liskeard is a town with fantastic architecture, much of the centre of town was designed by Henry Rice during the Copper mining boom, and a map showing all of the Henry Rice buildings in the town is available from Stuart House.
Another hidden treasure in the town is the Hub café in the Liskerrett Centre on Varley Lane. This welcoming, kid-friendly café serves an array of vegetarian food and caters for different diets providing dairy and gluten free options. While there, check if there are any events coming up – the community centre hosts monthly film nights and Carn to Cove theatre productions along with many local groups. who may not otherwise hear of the shows.
At the Cattle Market buy old books, antique knick knacks and the odd cow…
The Cattle Market, just off Dean street, was opened in 1905. Livestock sales are held on alternate Tuesdays. If you happen to be in town on a Tuesday morning pop by and see the action. Auction or no auction it’s still a great place to visit because the area has regenerated recently with some great quirky shops offering all sorts of antiques, vintage crafts, old books and tools – it’s a fantastic place to while away an hour or so rummaging for one-of-a-kind items.
Where there’s a well… There’s a town.
In Well Lane you’ll find the Pipe Well, the water source thought to be the reason people first settled and built here. Legend has it that it has never run dry and that the water has miraculous properties being ‘good for the eyes’ and having ‘matrimonial powers’. (Please do not drink this water – it’s no longer fit for consumption.)
Lux Park Leisure Centre has an indoor swimming pool, gym and tennis courts. If the kids are with you, head to Castle Park where there’s a playground and lots of space to run around. Or take a walk along part of the Caradon Trail down to Moorswater where you can roam along the remains of the Liskeard-Looe Canal and see the viaduct and the old lime kilns.