Exploring Cornwall’s mining heritage

Cornwall's coastline showing waves crashing against the rocks and abandoned mine workings

Cornwall’s mining heritage is visible across the county, from the engine houses dotted across the landscape to the fine houses and gardens created by the wealthy mine owners and industrialists.


Each place has its own story to tell…

The Cornish Mining World Heritage Site website offers lots of resources to help you make the most of your time in Cornwall and find out all about the county’s unique contribution to the industry that helped shape our world.

There are walking and cycling trails, fantastic museums, gardens and attractions to visit, and you can download audio trails and hear stories from a range of Cornish people taking about the impact the mining industry has had on them, their family and community.

There’s even a free app available which you can use to help plan your trips and will give you information at your fingertips when you’re out and about.


Want to find out more Cornwall’s mining heritage? Try one of these suggestions for a stimulating day out:

1. Go underground at Geevor Tin Mine. Take a tour down into the mine and find out what life was really like for the miners.

2. Visit Heartlands, a new, free 19 acre visitor attraction just off the A30 near Camborne, right in the heart of the former mining district. There are state-of-the-art exhibitions, beautiful botanical gardens and a packed events programme all year round. Heartlands has been designed with children in mind – it’s really family friendly, with climb-on sculptures, and a huge adventure playground!

3. Walk the coastal path from St Agnes to Chapel Porth and see the remains of the Wheal Coates mine complex – including the much-photographed Towanroath engine house (pictured above).

4. Cycle the Mineral Tramways Coast to Coast route from Devoran in the South to Portreath on the North Coast (or vice versa, 15 miles). Along the route you’ll come across some of the world’s best conserved historic mining buildings. The trail follows original tramway and railway routes used to transport ore from mines to ports as closely as possible. It’s mostly off-road, and is well signposted and maintained, having been specially created for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

There are many more suggestions on the Cornish Mining website, so take a look and see what appeals to you. And if you’ve been to any of these places recently, or anywhere else connected with Cornwall’s mining heritage, then we’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

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