Nestled in the heart of Cornwall, St. Austell beckons with a treasure trove of activities waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this charming town has something for everyone. With its lush gardens, including the world-renowned Eden Project, you can immerse yourself in a sea of greenery.
Delve into the past at the historic Charlestown Harbour or wander along the scenic South-West Coast Path for breathtaking ocean vistas. And don’t forget to savour some of the finest Cornish cuisine at local pubs and eateries. St. Austell promises a delightful adventure, no matter your interests.
15 Things To Do In St. Austell
1. Visit The Eden Project
When considering St. Austell as a holiday destination, one cannot overlook the crown jewel of the St. Austell area – the Eden Project. Nestled within a former clay pit, the Eden Project is an ecological wonderland that transports visitors to distant lands without leaving Cornwall’s embrace.
Step into the iconic biomes, each a distinct microcosm of our planet, and find yourself immersed in the lushness of a tropical rainforest, among other captivating environments. The Eden Project in St. Austell isn’t just a garden; it’s a testament to human innovation. And a must-visit destination for those seeking the wonders of the natural world within the charming embrace of St. Austell.
2. Charlestown Harbour
Nestled along the stunning St. Austell Bay, Charlestown Harbour stands as a captivating piece of history waiting to be explored by visitors to St. Austell. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a living testament to Cornwall’s maritime past. The historic harbour exudes an old-world charm with its well-preserved tall ships, reminiscent of a bygone era when it served as a bustling port for China clay exports.
A leisurely stroll along its cobblestone streets transports you back in time, offering a glimpse into the industrial heritage of the region. Nearby Carlyon Bay complements this experience with its beautiful coastline, making Charlestown a must-visit destination for those seeking both history and natural beauty when visiting St. Austell.
3. The Lost Gardens Of Heligan
One of the most popular attractions near St. Austell, Cornwall, is the renowned Lost Gardens of Heligan. Nestled within the lush landscape, these gardens are a horticultural masterpiece that has emerged from decades of neglect. The Lost Gardens enchant visitors with their diverse and meticulously restored areas, including the lush tropical jungle, intricate Italian Garden, and the enchanting Wild Cornwall section.
A highlight of the gardens is the Pinetum, which boasts an impressive collection of conifers from around the world. Strolling through these meticulously landscaped gardens is like stepping into a living canvas, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the St. Austell area.
4. South West Coast Path
Exploring the South West Coast Path is a quintessential Cornish experience that should not be missed when visiting St. Austell and the surrounding areas. This iconic trail winds its way along the rugged and picturesque South Coast, offering some of the most breathtaking coastal scenery in the West Country.
As you meander along the path, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring vistas of dramatic cliffs, secluded coves, and the endless expanse of the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. It’s a perfect way to connect with nature, discover the rich maritime heritage of Cornwall, and immerse yourself in the unspoiled beauty of the coast. That is what makes it one of the top attractions in the region.
5. St. Austell Brewery Visitor Centre
The St. Austell Brewery and its accompanying Heritage Centre offer a fascinating glimpse into the rich brewing traditions of this charming town. More than just a brewery, it’s a great place to delve into the history and craftsmanship behind some of Cornwall’s finest ales. The Heritage Centre provides a captivating journey through time, where you can learn about the brewing process, the heritage of the brewery, and the characters who have shaped its story.
After the informative tour, it’s time to savour the fruits of this labour of love with a tasting session. You can sample a variety of St. Austell Brewery’s renowned beers, making it a must-visit stop for beer enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
6. Porthpean Beach
Porthpean Beach, nestled in the heart of the Cornish Riviera near St. Austell, is a quintessential sandy beach that beckons with its allure. Its golden shores are perfect for sunbathing, sandcastle building, or simply lounging with a good book. But the fun doesn’t stop at the water’s edge; Porthpean offers a range of activities, including swimming in the clear waters of St. Austell Bay and indulging in thrilling water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.
For adventure seekers, boat trips from the beach are a fantastic way to explore the captivating coastline and discover hidden coves and rock formations. This picturesque riverside retreat promises endless enjoyment for those seeking fun things to do by the sea.
7. Wheal Martyn Clay Works
Nestled in the heart of China Clay Country Park, Wheal Martyn is a captivating destination near St. Austell that immerses visitors in the history of China clay extraction. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the remnants of a once-thriving industry and learn about the region’s industrial heritage. This park boasts a network of scenic clay trails where you can take a leisurely walk through picturesque countryside, passing by old clay pits and historical artefacts.
The centrepiece of the park is the Wheal Martyn Museum, which houses an extensive collection of mining equipment and exhibits. It’s a fascinating journey back in time and an educational outing that provides valuable insights into Cornwall’s past.
8. St. Austell Market House And Town House
St. Austell’s Market House and Town Square, situated at the heart of the town centre, are vibrant hubs of activity that showcase the essence of Cornwall. The Market House, with its bustling stalls, is a treasure trove of local crafts, fresh produce, and unique items. It’s a fantastic place to sample St. Austell’s food culture, with artisanal goods and traditional Cornish fare readily available.
After perusing the market, the Town Square welcomes you to relax in its charming atmosphere. Here, you can find cosy cafes and quaint shops, perfect for a leisurely afternoon of shopping, people-watching, and indulging in delicious treats. The adjacent car park makes access convenient, making this a must-visit spot to soak up the town’s lively ambience.
9. Caerhays Castle And Gardens
A stone’s throw from St. Austell lies the captivating village of Caerhays, a hidden gem nestled within the stunning surroundings of Cornwall. This picturesque village is known for its iconic Caerhays Castle and Gardens, a place of unparalleled beauty and historical significance. The gardens are a horticultural wonder, boasting an exquisite collection of rare and exotic plants, making it a paradise for gardening enthusiasts.
Beyond the gardens, Caerhays offers magnificent views of the English Channel and a tranquil ambience that’s perfect for a family day out. It’s a testament to the natural and cultural splendours that abound in the UK’s charming villages, and it’s a must-visit destination for those exploring the St. Austell area.
10. Tregrehan Garden
Tregrehan Garden, located in the heart of the St. Austell area, is not just a garden; it’s a holiday destination in itself. A lush oasis amid the rugged beauty of Cornwall, this garden beckons visitors of all ages to explore its serene landscapes. With a diverse collection of plants from around the world, including rare and exotic species, Tregrehan Garden offers a delightful journey through nature’s wonders.
Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this garden has something for everyone. It’s a place where families can create lasting memories and where the beauty of England’s natural treasures unfolds in every corner.
11. Roseland Peninsula
The Roseland Peninsula, a hidden gem near St. Austell, is a pristine coastal paradise that enchants visitors with its unspoiled beauty. Nestled on the southern coast of Cornwall, this idyllic stretch of land is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a tranquil escape. The Roseland Peninsula boasts charming fishing villages like St. Mawes, with its historic castle and picturesque harbour.
As you explore the winding lanes and coastal paths, you’ll encounter secluded coves, sandy beaches, and lush gardens. The peninsula’s stunning scenery, dotted with wildflowers and framed by the sea, makes it a perfect destination for leisurely walks, wildlife spotting, and embracing the quintessential charm of Cornwall’s coastline.
12. Luxulyan Valley
The Luxulyan Valley, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site near St. Austell, is a captivating landscape that carries the echoes of Cornwall’s industrial past. This hidden gem boasts a lush and tranquil valley adorned with thick woodlands, meandering streams, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
At the heart of this enchanting setting stands the remarkable Treffry Viaduct, an engineering marvel from the 19th century, showcasing impressive stone arches that span the valley. Walking through the Luxulyan Valley is like stepping into a bygone era, where you can marvel at the architectural prowess while immersing yourself in the untouched natural beauty. It’s a haven for hikers, history buffs, and nature lovers alike.
13. Dodman Point
Dodman Point, a striking headland near St. Austell, is a natural masterpiece that beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Perched on the southern coast of Cornwall, it offers some of the most breathtaking vistas in the region. As you traverse the coastal paths, the sweeping views of the English Channel unfold before you, providing a sense of awe and tranquillity.
At the very tip of Dodman Point stands an iconic giant cross, a historical marker that has guided sailors for centuries. This windswept headland invites visitors to explore its rugged terrain, discover hidden coves, and witness the ever-changing moods of the sea. Whether you seek invigorating hikes, birdwatching, or simply the solace of nature, Dodman Point delivers a captivating experience that lingers in memory.
14. Treffry Viaduct
The Treffry Viaduct, nestled within the picturesque Luxulyan Valley near St. Austell, is a testament to Cornwall’s industrial heritage and architectural prowess. This awe-inspiring structure, dating back to the 19th century, stands as a remarkable engineering achievement. Comprising a series of towering stone arches that gracefully span the valley, it’s a sight to behold, evoking a sense of grandeur and historical significance.
The viaduct, once part of a horse-drawn tramway system used for transporting China clay, now offers a unique opportunity for visitors to stroll or cycle across its impressive spans. As you traverse this architectural marvel, you’re enveloped by the valley’s natural beauty, with verdant woodlands and the soothing sound of the Luxulyan River below.
Treffry Viaduct is not just a remnant of the past but a living bridge between history and nature, inviting exploration and appreciation from all who visit.
15. The Lostwithiel Railway Walk
Just a short drive from St. Austell, the Lostwithiel Railway Walk is a delightful journey through history and nature. This former railway line has been transformed into a scenic walking and cycling trail. As you meander along the path, you’ll be treated to picturesque countryside views, river crossings, and charming old stations.
It’s a perfect way to immerse yourself in Cornwall’s rural beauty while discovering the rich industrial past of the region. The Lostwithiel Railway Walk offers a tranquil escape for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
In the heart of Cornwall, St. Austell and its surrounding areas beckon with a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors. From the iconic Eden Project to the historic Charlestown Harbour, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, to the rugged coastal splendour of Dodman Point, this region offers numerous attractions.
The Luxulyan Valley and Treffry Viaduct showcase Cornwall’s industrial heritage amidst breathtaking natural landscapes. And the Roseland Peninsula, Cornish Alps, and various trails add layers of charm to this captivating destination. Whether you seek adventure, history, or tranquil beauty, St. Austell and its environs provide a quintessential Cornish experience, inviting exploration and leaving indelible memories.
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