Trafalgar Way

The Trafalgar Way is the name given to the historic route used to carry dispatches with the news of the Battle of Trafalgar and Nelson’s death overland from Falmouth to the Admiralty in London. The first messenger was Lieutenant Lapenotiere, of HMS Pickle, who reached Falmouth on the 4th November, 1805.

Lapenotiere made 21 stops to change horses on his 271 miles journey from Falmouth to London and his “account of expenses”, which was carefully saved for posterity in Admiralty records, shows his route, where he changed horses and his costs. These were Truro, Fraddon, Bodmin, Launceston, Okehampton, Crockernwell, Exeter, Honiton, Axminster, Bridport, Dorchester, Blandford Forum, Woodyates, Salisbury, Andover, Overton, Basingstoke, Hartfordbridge, Bagshot, Staines and Hounslow.

Lt Lapenotiere’s 37-hour journey by post chaise and those of the other messengers that followed were commemorated by the inauguration of The Trafalgar Way in 2005. Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal unveiled a plaque at Falmouth on 4 August 2005 that launched a series of events along the Way.

Ride the Trafalgar Way, a cycling sportive event, follows the route from Falmouth to Admiralty House, London every year in October.