You don’t have to go far from The Cornwall to enjoy a great day out. St Austell, the closest town to The Cornwall, has a wealth of attractions and places to visit. There really is something for everyone – and here are our suggestions for some fantastic trips out, in and around St Austell.
For Poldark fans – Charlestown
Charlestown was once a sleepy little fishing port called West Polmear. Then, in the late eighteenth century, local businessman Charles Rashleigh developed it as the port for exporting copper, and later china clay. With the population rocketing from 9 to almost 3,000 residents, the town needed to be built from scratch, hence Charlestown’s attractive and consistent Georgian looks.
Charlestown remains remarkably unspoilt, and is a beautiful example of a Georgian port. This of course makes it a perfect film location, and Charlestown recently played Truro in BBC’s Poldark. There are usually some sailing ships to look at, and the fascinating Shipwreck and Heritage Centre to visit.
For gardeners – Heligan and Eden
Two of Britain’s most famous gardens are on our doorstep. You can even reach The Lost Gardens of Heligan on foot or by bike, along the pretty Pentewan Cycle Trail. Heligan’s story is sad, romantic, and exciting in equal measure. Just twenty five years ago, the estate’s gardens were buried, Sleeping Beauty-style, under a tangle of overgrown plants and weeds, a testament to the estate’s changing fortunes during two world wars. The discovery of a door among the undergrowth opened up a whole, lost garden. Restored and replanted, Heligan is one of Cornwall’s most beautiful gardens.
Just a few miles away in Bodelva is the Eden Project. Having discovered and restored the gardens at Heligan, Tim Smit started on his next project – a centre to celebrate, explore, and discuss humans’ relationship with the planet, which educates as well as entertains. The distinctive biomes, home to thousands of incredible plants, sit neatly in a large former china clay pit, a spectacular and unique setting.
For historians – Wheal Martyn
If you were interested in the Eden project’s original industrial setting, try Wheal Martyn China Clay Museum and Country Park. This museum tells the story of Cornwall’s china clay industry, as well as giving you (and the dog) a fantastic 26 acres of woodland and paths to explore. You can also stand on the viewing platform and watch the present china clay quarry in action. It’s part of the Clay Trails project, a walking and cycle trail, so you can make a full day of it and combine a visit here with exploring the St Austell’s stunning industrial landscape.
For grown-ups – St Austell brewery
You will definitely want to leave the car in the car park for the next attraction – St Austell Brewery’s Visitor Centre.
The Centre has just been refurbished, and tells the story of St Austell’s 160 years of brewing Cornwall’s finest. The Centre’s Hicks Bar is open during the day, and as well as a pint, serves pub food. If you’re combining this with a trip to Wheal Martyn and a walk on the Clay Trails, you can bring the aforementioned dog to the bar’s outside decked area. There’s also a gift shop (bring a strong backpack).
For teens – Hangloose Adventures
If any teenagers (or big kids) in your party aren’t exactly enthralled by the idea of visiting a garden, tell them about Hangloose. Based at Eden, Hangloose Adventures offer a zip wire across Eden’s biomes (reaching speeds of up to 60mph!), a giant swing, and a free fall jump from a 12m high platform.
You can book ahead on their website, or simply turn up when you’re in a brave mood.
For younger families – Kidzworld
If you’re travelling with younger kids, you probably prefer their adventures to be a bit less extreme… Try Kidzworld in Par, just outside At Austell. With 20,000 square feet of play space, a lot of it indoors (hurrah!), this is a great place to keep the little ones busy. For older children, there are dodgems, laser tag, and mini golf.
Of course, for children of all ages, there’s also the Porthpean Outdoor Education Centre on one of our local beaches, offering all sorts of marine and outdoor sports and activities.
For June visitors – St Austell Feast Week
If you’re staying with us between 18 and 25 June this summer, you can take in St Austell Feast Week. A recently revived traditional festival, this lively event includes music, exhibitions, food and drink, arts events, and competitions. A great chance to experience a Cornish feast week, without having to stray too far away from the peace of The Cornwall!
To find out more about St Austell or any of its attractions, please contact us. We’re always happy to help our guests plan their holiday entertainment!