5 of the best Cornish mining experiences
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Cornwall is renowned for its former mining industries which have left their mark on the landscape - today these visitor attractions promise a great day out.
Wheal Martyn offers a great day out for all the family - even the dog! Set within 26 acres in the heart of Cornwall this picturesque site includes nature trails, woodland walks and is home to the UK's only china clay heritage centre, set amongst preserved remains of a Victorian clay works. See Cornwall's largest working waterwheel, witness modern mining in action at pit view and explore ancient buildings and vintage commercial vehicles. The rich history of the clay industry is brought to life in the interactive centre which tells the story of china clay from past to present. There's also a wonderful café, gift shop and children's play area.
Set within the Cornwall Gold complex, this attraction is set around a now fully working tin mill which extracts tiny grains of tin ore from the surrounding landscape and turns it into jewellery. A fascinating journey along Cornwall's tin mining history where you can see in action how rock from local mining waste was pulverised by huge stamping machines and how sand and river deposits were sifted, washed and sorted to isolate precious tin ore. Discover some of the human stories behind the men who worked the Tolgus mill.
Set in the centre of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site, this former mining wasteland is now an oasis of greenery and history. At the centre of this 19-acre site sits the pumping engine at Robinson's Shaft - a gloriously well-preserved example of a Cornish engine which worked at this site between 1903 and 1955. There are tours, an award-winning café in the old carpenter's workshop, craft workshops and a stunning garden and play area.
Head underground and explore the labyrinth of levels, caverns, adits, stopes, tunnels and shafts that make up this 18th century mine which first opened to the public in 1975.
Made famous by the novels of Winston Graham, even if you are not a fan you should head to the only complete tin mine in Cornwall open for underground guided tours and which is regarded as one of the most historic locations in the annals of Cornish mining.
This is the largest preserved mine site in the country sitting on the Atlantic Coast, Geevor features the Hard Rock museum with interactive displays, mineral gallery, artefacts and oral histories. There is also an underground tour and mineral panning as well a chance to look down Victory shaft to the bottom of Victory Shaft 480 metres below. Winner of countless tourism awards, Geevor Tin Mine is a great day out.
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This article was updated by Martha Griffiths in June 2021.